Mission Moments: Malawi
Dancing for the houses
Story by Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Photos by Damson Samson, C4C missionary to East Africa
Even as their new houses are being built, the widows blessed beyond their imaginations feel like dancing. Sometimes they literally do so.
“Some, they feel like just flying in the air, not understanding how the house has come to them,” said Damson Samson, Climbing For Christ’s kingdom worker in East Africa.
Damson continues to be pleasantly surprised by their reactions even as he has now seen the completion of 25 houses in our ministering to the many widows in southern Malawi.
Sometimes you need to touch something to believe that it’s real: Aggese Mawaza smiles as she places her hand and arm on her new house.
Project 1:27, based on James 1:27 (“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress”), began in Malawi in 2011 to support the orphanage of Pastor Duncan Nyozani’s Searchlight Ministries. Seventeen orphans are currently sponsored by Climbing For Christ members and supporters.
Damson was the young man working with the orphans when our first short-term team visited in 2011. He shared how he had been praying for seven years to go to college. The Spirit moved us to send Damson to college. After graduating in 2014, we called him to serve as Climbing For Christ’s missionary to East Africa. He accepted and has spent the past two years developing our Kilimanjaro Chapter in Tanzania, where we are discipling guides and porters and teaching them how to evangelize on and around Africa’s tallest, most popular trekking peak.
This year, Damson expanded Project 1:27 to include widows in his homeland of Malawi. He began providing food and sleeping mats to those ignored and forgotten elderly people who were sleeping on dirt floors filled with potholes in houses that had no roofs - or weren’t really even houses.
Climbing For Christ began a housing project and saw 10 houses rebuilt. Hope Lutheran Church in Rochester, NY, USA, then got involved, providing more than $13,600 to fund the building of even more houses. Fifteen houses have been built for $10,000. The remaining funds will build another five or six houses.
There will be more dancing.
Estery Isesi and her new house.
“We have more widows who are challenged,” Damson said on Tuesday. “Only we were picking the most affected (by difficulties in one of the world’s 15 least developed countries).
“I was in a meeting Sunday (Oct. 9) and there was appreciation from every corner in the room. We were to say, ‘Thank you, (Climbing For Christ) and to the church (Hope) which has been covering them.
“We are going into the rain season. If God will provide then next year we can start (building more houses) with those who have never seen such grace.”
In the meantime, Damson is continuing a food program for widows who often go days without eating. He has proposed supplying US$500 worth of maize (the staple in Malawi) to those who otherwise will go hungry.
Afany Chakana, above, and Estery Phuziwa, below, and their new houses.
Fany Kamoto (from top to bottom), Timothy Biziweck, Asidaya Chikwane, and Elube Macheke have been blessed with new houses.
Can you help?
Please contribute to the care of the least of these by sending a donation to Climbing For Christ c/o Widows Project 1:27 at P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, NY 14616-0290 USA. Or CLICK HERE to give via PayPal and email info@ClimbingForChrist.org to alert us to your donation.
In Canada, make checks payable to The Great Commission Foundation, and on the memo line add Climbing For Christ CANADA c/o Widows Project 1:27. Mail your support to: The Great Commission Foundation, #3 – 1335 Trans Canada Way SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1B 1J1. Or give online at http://tgcfcanada.org/donate. Mark your contribution: “Climbing For Christ CANADA c/o Widows Project 1:27.”