Cyclone Freddy, the longest lasting storm of its kind, made landfall for the second time in a two-week period in southeastern Africa. Today we read that it has claimed 400 precious lives in Malawi and more in Mozambique. The death toll is expected to rise as rescuers, friends and family search through the collapsed mud/brick houses and dig through areas struck by mudslides. All you have to do is type in “Malawi Freddy” into any search engine and you will find video after video of homes, humans and cattle being swept down by the raging water of swollen rivers. Malawi was declared in a state of emergency several days ago by President Lazarus Chakwera and they expect somewhere near 11k people have been left homeless.
Currently, the hardest hit areas are around the large city of Blantyre where they live below the mountains. Power is out throughout the country. Aid is being deployed, but many areas are unreachable. Honestly, it just doesn’t seem fair how recently I wrote a similar article, a plea for financial support, after 2022’s devastating Cyclone Ana.
The big question is, how is the orphanage? Our sweet orphanage and the boarding schools that house our bigger kids are currently safe. Our boy’s dorm has flooded again, as expected, leaving many of the mattresses ruined. Thankfully, the boys were able to relocate to the second floor of the church again, a blessing we are constantly thankful to have. Construction is underway to begin raising the new boy’s dorm, up and out of the area that floods. The children have been hard at work with school being canceled. They carry bricks and distribute them around the footings and are so excited to have a warm, dry place to sleep! The floods damaged the pig pens and herd and also damaged the new rice crop we have planted near the lake.
A new heavy-duty inverter is on its way to the orphanage from China. The new inverter will be strong enough to power the entire compound with solar. Our unending thanks to those of you who have partnered with us to make this important upgrade. Solar energy allows the children to have clean water to drink as it runs the pump to the well. Pray with us that it can arrive soon with the obvious condition of the roads. So many have collapsed, isolating entire villages from aid and food supplies. Until we can install the inverter, we will need an extra supply of petrol to run the generator we recently purchased, another huge recent blessing for such a time as this.
The critical needs for this week also include bussing the big kids home from their boarding schools. They have been hunkering down, but we need to transport them safely back to El-Shaddaih. Please pray for safe travel.
Food is already scarce. Always. Many of the local markets where we purchase fresh produce are already closed and much is bought out for the displacement camps. We will need to stock up for the coming weeks because unfortunately, we aren’t sure how much more water will rise in Salima. When I asked Blessings about meat she said “we wanted to purchase a cow to butcher but they are scarce… so many have been swept away. And with unreliable electricity we cannot butcher and store it.” We will need to purchase meat, if possible.
These needs say nothing of the help we wish we could offer to the surrounding suffering families. As always, we beg you to pray for Joel, Blessings and our team at BESI as we navigate these impossible times in Malawi, and we strive to keep believing the Lord will always provide and be our true portion. I’m leaving you with scripture, a list of urgent needs and their cost, and our promise to make sure every dollar is meeting a need on the ground at the El-Shaddaih Orphanage.
Praying that they will know us by our love for one another,
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples -John 13:35
You drew near in the day that I called upon you; thou said, Fear not. O Lord, you have pleaded the causes of my soul; you have redeemed my life -Lamentations 3:57-58
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us –Ephesians 3:20
- Transport for big kids $300
- Petrol $1,000
- Fresh food/meat $2,000
- Boy’s Dorm $40,000