The story of ‘dying Mary’
By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Widow Mary Maida sleeping on the ground in her roofless house. (Photos by Damson Samson)
This is a story shared by Damson Samson about a widow – “dying Mary Maida” – who has been ill for some time. “She has never tasted peace since her daughters have been rejecting her as their mother,” Damson said. “This widow was found lying down the whole day. My volunteers wondered if she was alive or not. Then they called her name to ask if she ws OK. She woke up complaining of hunger. The situation has been that hard for her.”
Mary Maida was sleeping on a mat on the ground in a roofless house with an emtpy stomach, Damson reported. “She said, ‘I am hungry,’ while showing the symptoms that she was weak. I looked inside the house to see what she had there and there was just a blanket on top of a bucket for storing water.
“Asking how can she be able to stay (here) during the rain time, she said she doesn’t know,” Damson said. “Really it was hard (to see). I sent my wife to visit with some food items. She thanked God for such a support given to her as she never had expected anything.”
Damson’s wife Selena delivering food to Mary Maida. “This is ‘dying Mary,’” Damson said. “Love only can change situations. That’s you, Climbing For Christ.”
This was done through the COVID-19 relief that was provided by God through Climbing For Christ members and supporters. There are many widows like “dying Mary Maida” in southern Malawi. Forgotten by children or through the deaths of their children left to care for grandchildren when they cannot even care for themselves.
This month, Damson and his many volunteers delivered food to 333 widows. Each person received at least 15 kilograms of maize, which is ground into flour and used to make the country’s staple meal nsima. Damson said some who were helped had been sleeping on empty stomachs “and some they only eat boiled mango.”
Through the despair, however, there is hope.
“It has been like dry bones (found in Ezekiel 37) to revive again,” Damson said. “We shared the Word of God with them from the book of Isaiah (chapter) 53, verses 2 and 3.
“‘For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.’
“We emphasized to them that Christ has no beauty that all should like Him. But He is Godly – and they (the widows) are covered (by the love of Jesus) even as they have no beauty.
“We are looking at dressing the naked and feeding the poor. My heart has been heavy as I think about these people. But, yes, the Spirit can lead us. Hundreds of widows have come to the Lord so easy with the demonstrated love of Christ Jesus in their lives.”
A face of the Malawi widows, thankful for what has been given.
Widows and grandchildren, above and below, refuse to let a single kernel go to waste – picking up all the maize that was distributed.