In Malawi, where the Lutheran Church of Central Africa–Malawi has many churches and members, floods caused by Tropical Cyclone Freddy swept away entire villages earlier this month. Many homes have collapsed. Police officers and soldiers have been digging for victims buried under the mud and rocks as the death toll rose sharply. In the three countries affected (Malawi, Mozambique, and Madagascar), more than 500 people have been killed and hundreds are still missing. Those numbers will likely rise as information comes in from places that have been cut off from communication.
More than 300,000 people have been displaced. More than 280,000 children have been affected by the storm.
In addition to the destruction of homes and roads, the storm has inundated farmlands and destroyed crops, just as farmers were about to harvest the only crop of the year. This only increases the food crisis in Malawi, where 3.8 million people were already in need of food assistance before the storm.
Many governmental and private relief efforts are already underway to address the immediate needs. No doubt, there will be need for longer term assistance once the immediate crisis has passed.
As of today, we are waiting to hear how the storm has affected the congregations and members of the Lutheran Church of Central Africa–Malawi. There is no doubt that our sister church body has been impacted. As we wait for word, WELS Christian Aid and Relief is ready to provide assistance in whatever way it can. If you would like to help in this effort with a financial gift, you can do so by making a gift online.
Please keep our brothers and sisters in Malawi in your prayers.
Serving with you in Christ,
WELS President Mark Schroeder