|STARVING BELIEVERS IN MALAWI EAT SAWDUST TO SURVIVE! - April 23, 2002
The above photograph is of Hennie Hanekom, Regional Director EHC Anglo Africa, while on an emergency relief trip to northern Malawi to offer assistance with food and other needs to our focus leader Simon Msowoya and other EHC workers
WIDE SPREAD FAMINE IN THE COUNTRY OF MALAWI IS HAMPERING THE SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL
EHC EMERGENCY PLANS TO HELP
Widespread famine in the country of Malawi, is hampering the spreading of the Gospel. Pastors are so hungry they can't walk far to preach the Gospel any more.
This seems to be one of the worst natural disasters that has ever struck this small landlocked country in south central Africa. There were famines before, but then the government had emergency supplies to help. Now there's nothing left and on March 27th the State President declared Malawi a disaster region.
Heart rendering stories of the agony of a country in the grip of death, spurred EHC workers and supporters on to respond within 48 hours after we heard that some of our EHC workers are mixing their last cornmeal with sawdust to keep the angel of death at bay. After hasty emergency planning, Hennie Hanekom (Regional Director of EHC Anglo Africa) flew from Pretoria to Malawi. After changing planes several times, he reached Mzuzu in northern Malawi where EHC leaders were already converging from far and near.
- Firstly they don't have the physical strength;
- Secondly, they must use their time to try and get food to save their families and members of their flock from dying.
God did miracles to get some of our leaders there.
Responding to an emergency call to go to Mzuzu immediately and not knowing what it was all about, Pastor David Kandawire of Nkhata Bay, left his family who had already been without food for a few days - just hoping for a miracle. Getting his ration of basic emergency food was to him and his family like manna from heaven - a true miracle!
"An angel saved me from drowning and getting this food is a second time my life is saved today!" He beamed, dancing around and praising the Lord. With the money EHC raised within a day or two, we could buy almost seven tons of maize meal and beans - the staple food of the area. Each of our 46 leaders who turned up, could take away enough to ward off starvation for their families, and 2760 extended members of these families are already benefiting from this! Hennie says: "It was one of the most moving moments of my life to see the joy and praises to God of these leaders." And to think that we came just in time to help avert a major disaster!
I thank God for everyone who contributed to make possible this emergency relief. In Matthew 25 Jesus says: "I was hungry and you fed me! Blessed are you!"
- Pastor George had to walk far and cross a river to come to Mzuzu. His canoe capsized and he lost all his meager possessions including his shoes. He believes an angel saved his life because he could just remember how he was going under. He gasped for breath and prayed fervently as the water was closing over him. Then everything went blank. When he came to, he found himself lying on the bank of the river!
That's a word to our donors who helped and others who will still help!
Not only do we want to take in more food, we also want to take an agricultural advisor and vegetable seed with us soon. The people must be taught to plant emergency vegetables that would help see them through in the coming months. The disaster in Malawi where many have already died of hunger is a result of years of drought followed by years of flooding. Poverty also prevented most farmers from being able to buy fertilizer to produce enough crops like before.
Simon, the leader of our work in northern Malawi, says about three thousand lives will be saved through EHC's emergency action. There is a time to preach the Gospel. That time is always! There is also a time to open your hand and your purse to feed the dying and help them produce food.
Thank you for coming!
- When I heard of an old starving man who died of excitement when he just SAW some maize meal after weeks of hunger, I knew the time had come;
- When I heard of a man walking 24 kilometers to buy half a pound of rice with his last money, I definitely knew the time had come;
- When I heard of a mother who walked far to get a little food, only to see her baby trampled underfoot by hungry people who stormed the distribution point, I knew I could wait no longer!
- It was time to get on my knees and beg my brothers and sisters outside Malawi: "Please help us, we are dying!"
Please don't forsake us in this valley of death!"
EHC will work together with the Government of Malawi, with the Churches in disaster areas and also with relief agencies if and when they come to these areas of need. We will do what we can to save lives.
Please let us know by e-mail what you can do!
God desires for us to be "going" people and also "giving" people!