On Tuesday, HeartCry received this disturbing message from Pastor Mala of Antioch Baptist Church in Blantyre, Malawi:
“A severe tropical storm hit our country yesterday, taking out part of our main power station. There is flooding in many parts of the country. Roads, houses, electricity power lines, and office blocks have been damaged or destroyed. Sadly, a few lives have been lost. In some areas yesterday, we literally drove over electricity lines on the ground (not live). 2 days without electricity now. Please pray that lives may be preserved!”
When I spoke with Mala Wednesday, electricity had been restored to his home. But many areas of the country are still without power, and some roads are still impossible to travel.
Here is the latest update from Mala today (Thursday):
“People in the Chikwawa area (Southern region of Malawi) are suffering the most. This is an hour away from where we are. I have been told that the roads are completely unpassable. So the only means of transport are boats, operated by locals.
I have a few people I know from this area, including a man named Nickson. I cannot get hold of him and I am concerned. I just got in touch with a Muslim man who is organizing rescue missions, working with the local boat owners. He will assist in locating Nickson and his family to make sure they are safe. I am told that there are still many people trapped in trees or on higher ground, waiting for help to come.
Two years ago our church made a trip to this area during another flooding that took place. We took with us blankets, Bibles, gospel tracts, booklets, food items, etc. We were able to preach the gospel to hundreds of displaced families. A few men from our church will go down to Chikwawa on Tuesday. We do not think we will be able to go beyond where the roads have been washed away or jump into these boats. This rescue mission is probably best carried out by the locals running boats in the floodwaters.
My hesitation to go beyond where the roads are submerged is that the flooding is coming from the Shire River, the largest river in Malawi that flows into the Indian Ocean. Shire River is infested with dangerous crocodiles. The floodwaters are dangerous as the crocs are carried along. A good number of people lose their lives not only from the floods but crocodile attacks. We hope to go close enough to be able to offer help in terms of food, hire more boats, blankets, Bibles, booklets, and tracts.
Pray for lives to be spared. Pray that our government will act quickly. Pray for our safety as we head down there, and for wisdom as we balance our safety with efforts to help.”