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FIRST-PERSON: People are starving to death in Malawi

LILONGWE, Malawi (BP)–My husband, Van, and I work with our Baptist seminary here in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi. Since last February, seminary students and graduates have been coming to us with stories of how people are starving to death in their communities.

One pastor, a graduate of our seminary, told me about four people in his churches who have starved to death. The attendance at his preaching points and churches has declined significantly because people do not have the energy to walk for lack of nourishment. Those who make it to church ask to be allowed to sit since they are too weak to stand for a long time.

One seminary student, Nellie, is well-known in her community for teaching children through a backyard Bible club. Three little children heard of Nellie’s love for children and went to her house, saying they had not eaten for three days. They were orphans, living with an elderly grandfather who was too frail to find food for them. Nellie is a widow, a full-time seminary student, and a mother with children still living at home.

With all these other obligations, though, Nellie went into her own supplies and gave the children mealy meal for a few days’ nourishment.

An elderly gentleman, weak from hunger, fell faint outside Nellie’s house. He shared that he had no food, and he was traveling to relatives who might have enough to share. Nellie gave him a small parcel of food, some funds for his journey, and prayed that he would find food.

Our growing season around Lilongwe is usually from the first of December through March. It is a very long time until the harvest for people who are already struggling for their daily bread.

We pray Southern Baptists will continue to respond to our projects for the human needs of the people of Malawi. Thank you for what you are already doing.

    About the Author

  • Mary Thompson