Mission Moments: Malawi

Mission Moments: Malawi
Gary Fallesen

Mission Moments: Malawi

State of disaster declared: feeding the hungry

Drought destroys crops, hunger follows

By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ

Saturday, April 20

Running to receive food in Milatu, Mozambique. (Photos by Duncan Nyozani)

Funding wired on Tuesday and received in Malawi on Wednesday produced a food delivery Friday in Mozambique. Praise God for this blessing!

“We had a very wonderful day meeting with our fellow brothers and sisters at Milatu,” said Pastor Duncan Nyozani, our ministry partner in Malawi. The church at Milatu was built by Climbing For Christ in 2013.

“We were able to buy 42 bags of maize weighing 50 kilograms each. We were able to give 35 kilograms of maize to each (church) member. Sixty congregants received the food aid to feed their families. They are sending their thanks. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for remembering this church at Milatu in their hard situation.”

Feeding the church at Milatu, above. Below, Pastor Felix with his memorable smile and his wife.

“There is also severe hunger in Mozambique as it is here in Malawi,” Pastor Duncan said. “They have also experienced a dry spell on their farms. They are desperately in need of food aid for some months.”

That is not the only need for our old friend Pastor Felix Namame’s church.

“Though food is their first priority, they also need good shelter, clean water, Bibles, etc.,” Pastor Duncan reported “They were also badly affected by the Cyclone Freddy in March last year; many have not yet rebuilt their homes due to great poverty in their communities.”

Friday, April 19

PRAYER TEAM UPDATE: Ministry partner Pastor Duncan Nyozani is delivering food to his sister church in Milatu, Mozambique today. We lift the feeding of Pastor Felix Namame’s church. God provided $1,500 USD through Climbing For Christ to help Pastor Felix’s church.

An estimated 20 million people in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are facing “acute hunger,” according to the United Nations. This is the result of a drought caused by El Nino, which produced one-fifth of the typical rainfall during the wet season. The first few months of every year – just before the harvest time – are usually a hungry period. This year, the hunger is expected to last well into the year with prices for local corn four times higher than last year.

We are asking God to continue providing for our relief efforts in southern Malawi.

Sunday, April 7

Msema church members, above, hold up bags of maize to give thanks to God. Below, Pastor Duncan speaks to member of the Kambona church after distributing maize. (Photos by Damson Samson)

We capped two weeks of food distribution by delivering maize to the churches of ministry partner Pastor Duncan during worship. “It was another shocking moment where the Church was not expecting such a blessing,” Damson said.

The two churches sang thanks to God for the gift of food. Some people were left speechless by this blessing from the Lord.

In 12 days, Climbing For Christ has been able to provide weeks of food for about 1,700 people.

Wednesday, April 3

Hands up for Jesus in Fort Lister, one of the gateway villages to Mulanje Massif. (Photo by Damson Samson)

The prayer meeting in Fort Lister had been postponed until today. God’s timing.

When Damson Samson showed up to deliver food to the Mulanje Massif Chapter guides and porters based in Fort Lister, he was met by 278 people. “I never expected to have number we had,” Damson said.

He shared the Word of God: reading the story of Elisha’s healing of the water in 2 Kings 2. He concluded by telling them, “We might be in a problem in our life not knowing exactly what is going on. That’s where we need to meet the Healer who can heal our situation.”

The problem for many these days is a lack of food. God provided through Climbing For Christ to deliver food to 86 people associated with C4C in Fort Lister. But the Bread of Life was received by even more people who asked for salvation and healing and many other needs in daily living.

Saturday, March 30

Food was delivered to the Thuchila branch of the Mulanje Massif Chapter. (Photo by Damson Samson)

Damson Samson met with 182 people associated with the Mulanje Massif Chapter in Thuchila – guides and porters and members of their small groups. He taught from John 18 and told those listening that Jesus was “given to evil and came back to life after three days. We have victory in Christ Jesus.

“Then we asked those who were ready for a confession prayer. I could not count the hands raised. (There were too many.) We prayed with them, and it was an amazing time together.

“After the prayers, I called the (small) groups to get their food.”

Food was distributed to 127 people, bringing to more than 1,300 the number who have been fed this Holy Week.

Friday, March 29

Heads up on food delivery. (Photo by Damson Samson)

It was a good Good Friday for about 340 widows and caretakers in the flood zone villages devastated by Tropical Cyclone Freddy last year. Damson Samson and his team distributed maize in that area today, bringing to nearly 1,200 the number of people who have been fed this week since God provided $9,200 USD through Climbing For Christ to drought-stricken southern Malawi.

“It was another adventure as we could see God answering His people,” said Damson, who also preached from John 19:17: “Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha).”

After sharing the Good Friday story of Jesus going to the cross for our salvation, Damson distributed much-needed food.

Thursday, March 28

Guides and porters from Fort Lister, above, and Mnesa receive food. (Photos by Damson Samson)

Day 2 of food delivery saw Damson Samson and his team taking maize to the guides and porters in Climbing For Christ’s Mulanje Massif Chapter. Seventy-seven guides and porters and 260 “third-generation members” (or participants in the guides and porters’ small groups) each received 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of maize.

“After Cyclone Freddy (last year) you remembered us,” said Samson Khalani, a guide and one of the chapter leaders from Fort Lister. “Since that time until today we are still struggling. We thank you very much. From today for two to three weeks we’ll eat good nsima. We’re happy.”

Mulanje chapter small groups in Likhubula, above, and Thuchila receive food.

In two days, 843 people received food. On Friday, Damson will visit the remote villages that were flooded by Tropical Cyclone Freddy last March and deliver maize to the remaining widows.

“It has been like heaven on earth to people through the support provided,” Damson said. “Many have expressed themselves in thanking God for remembering them in a hard time like this.”

Wednesday, March 27

Receiving the Bread of Life before corn flour. (Photos by Damson Samson)

We praise God that 506 widows and caretakers received maize (corn) today. Every widow received 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of maize and each caretaker 10 kilograms (22 pounds).

“There was a great joy to the lives of these widows, especially seeing Jesus reaching them in another way in a time of pain,” said Damson Samson, our Kingdom worker. “But now it’s a great comfort to these widows. As we gathered, we had to share the spiritual food before the physical.”

Damson taught from Isaiah 21:11-12 (“This message came to me concerning Edom: Someone from Edom keeps calling to me, ‘Watchman, how much longer until morning? When will the night be over?’ The watchman replies, ‘Morning is coming, but night will soon return. If you wish to ask again, then come back and ask.’”).

“From these two verses we were able to see how life is when you are in total darkness,” Damson explained. “Yes, you might ask what time it is because you expected it to be day, but it doesn’t work in the way you hope for. We were expecting this month of March to be ‘day’ to us in Malawi [the harvest season], but now it is the darkness.”

Serving up a month of meals.

Damson said he heard from some widows who were going three days without eating. “Not because they are fasting, but there is nothing at home. We prayed together, asking God to bless those who contributed to this aid and praying for (more) support as it is too dark when it is supposed to be day.”

Another 350 widows and caretakers will receive food on Thursday.

Tuesday, March 26

Truck loaded to deliver food to the hungry. (Photos by Damson Samson)

We praise God that within 28 hours of sending out an E-Alert (“State of disaster in Malawi”), we had received more than $9,200 USD in donations to buy food for widows and our Mulanje Massif Chapter guides and porters. As additional funding is received (and another $920 USD has come in this morning) others, such as the people in Duncan’s churches, will also be fed.

I messaged our co-worker Damson Samson after midnight Eastern time to alert him to the funding. It was Tuesday morning in Malawi. “Wahoo, this is amazing!” Damson responded. “This is God at work. All glory goes to Him!”

I told Damson I would wire funds this morning, which I did, and he went to work getting maize. At twilight in Malawi, he had the Praise Foundation truck (that Climbing For Christ helped him buy two years ago) loaded with maize that will be distributed to 500 widows.

Introduction

Undergrown maize. (Photo by Damson Samson)

The president of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera, declared a state of disaster Saturday (March 23) in 23 of the country’s 28 districts because of drought conditions caused by El Nino. Chakwera said “the most urgent need is food because of the huge number of people at risk of facing hunger.”

Those at risk include the widows, orphans, and others served by the ministry of Kingdom worker Damson Samson and ministry partner Duncan Nyozani in southern Malawi.

“I have visited all the fields I was hoping for, but nothing will come out,” Damson said Sunday (March 24). “This time in the year we were supposed to be harvesting or eating our own crops, but it is a different story. People are starving from hunger. It has been so hard to the lives of our people here.”

The country’s president said more than 44 percent of the nation’s crops have been affected by “irregular rainfall, dry spell, and flooding.”

In March 2023, massive floods struck southern Malawi after Tropical Cyclone Freddy. This year, Damson said, “we had a good rain as we were starting the year, but later it was a dry season. From the time I left home to Tanzania (for Mission: Kilimanjaro 2024, Jan. 16-Feb. 2) it never rained until I was back two days later. But the crops were already affected.

“We need food,” Damson said. “Our people need food. If we can get enough money, we can go right away to get maize or maize flour to be distributed. Where the Lord would provide, I would love to get it done for a month. To my estimate, if we can have $5,000 (USD), we can get food for 500 widows for a month.”

The guides and porters and families of the Mulanje Massif Chapter are also in need. As are members of Pastor Duncan’s churches. Please pray for the people of Malawi and this great need.

Helping hands

Send checks to Climbing For Christ at P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, NY 14616-0290 USA. Write “Malawi Relief” on the memo. Or CLICK HERE to give online via PayPal.

In Canada, make cheques payable to The Great Commission Foundation, and on the memo line add Climbing For Christ CANADA, “Malawi Relief.” Mail your support to: The Great Commission Foundation, P.O. Box 14006, Abbotsford, BC V2T 0B4. Or CLICK HERE to give online.

Thanks for your support!

The final Word

“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.” – Matthew 25:35 (NLT)

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