Malawi has been in our news programmes – once again for the saddest of reasons. Cyclone Freddy has caused devastation in the Southern region of Malawi. Days of heavy rain have not just caused catastrophic flooding in the low-lying Lower Shire area, but even the commercial city Blantyre, that sits at over 3000 feet above sea level, has seen some of the most tragic scenes.
Torrents of mud have swept away homes, and whole families have been killed. Road, bridges and power lines have been destroyed, hampering communications and relief efforts. The death toll, already over 400, is bound to rise as more bodies are discovered buried in the mud, as damaged and weakened mud brick homes collapse, as people are exposed to the dangers of contaminated water.
And the children are the most vulnerable. Many of the dead are children, who could not save themselves from the strength of the flood waters and mud slides. Schools have been closed for education until 17th April because most of them are being used as crisis centres to shelter families who have lost their homes. Many other schools have been damaged and are unsafe for use.
Children for Christ Ministry’s office is in Blantyre, and the devastation is all around them. Many of CFCM’s Bible clubs are in the worst affected areas. The houses of two CFCM volunteer trainers in Phalombe have fallen down. The schools where Elevate and Joseph normally hold weekly Bible clubs are being used as crisis centres, and many of the children are themselves camped there. Elevate and Joseph have been receiving similar reports from club leaders and volunteer trainers in Phalombe, Chiradzulu and Machinga, and ask that we pray for these children.
- Pray that children who have lost home and family will be comforted.
- Pray that relief agencies will be able to get through with emergency supplies, food, shelter, blankets and clothes.
- Pray that cholera will not break out again – it has already claimed many young lives over recent months.
- Pray for strength for those who seek to minister to the needs of displaced families.