March 17, 2023 - Flood Update in Malawi
Written by: Joanna & David Morrison, co-directors Iris Malawi.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble, I call upon you, for you answer me.
Psalm 86:6-7 ESV
Malawi has been hit hard by Cyclone Freddy. We had very heavy rain for three days in a row, only tapering off the late afternoon on the fourth day. The Iris base is in good shape except for a couple of security walls down, but the surrounding villages are devastated. Today we have been receiving news from our workers and community that many houses are down, as well as bathrooms and kitchens, usually small separate buildings. Many people spent the night crouched under any shelter they could find. One of the Cerebral Palsy families (whose house we built) reported that his house is the only one still standing in his village. Even so, their house was knee-deep in water, with no dry space to lie down.
There are many stories of walls falling on people and even children being swept away by the fast-moving runoff. David (Mo) and Andrew (a visitor from Canada) spent two days on the boats rescuing people stranded between the Ruo and the Shire rivers. These people had so little, and now they have nothing. It was heartbreaking to drive the boats over fields of maize almost ready to harvest.
This all comes on the back of a serious hunger crisis in which many people eat once a day if that. After last year's cyclones, people were desperate for this year's harvest. The crops that survived this storm have already begun to sprout which makes it impossible to mill into flour. Hunger will be compounded by these losses. Maize has doubled in price overnight. Please pray for those who were already on the edge of disaster.
The children pictured in the boat had not eaten for four days. When we rescued them and brought them to Bangula, they went to a camp for displaced people that is just getting organized.
We have one highway that runs between Blantyre and Bangula. With that road severed in several places and several bridges down, it will be weeks before supplies get through, including food relief for those who have been displaced. Lack of fuel will also become a problem very quickly. Please pray for multiplication and provision. It is not simple to deliver food to a camp. People living in Bangula whose houses are fine will line up for food there as well because they do not have enough food. Please pray for wisdom in distribution.
Today I met with a mother who has eight children. Her house collapsed, and she has taken shelter in the Primary School (along with hundreds of other families). Several of her children are already sick. I was able to help them with sheets, but they need so much more. We are so grateful to all of you. With so many crises all over the world, we appreciate your interest and support. Do not forget to pray. God can do more than we could ever ask or imagine, and he does again and again. Our heart desires that those who are looking in every direction for help will find themselves looking at their Father in heaven, who loves them completely and is worthy of their trust.