A story in pictures: Mozambique flood victims grateful for life and food assistance
The massive floods in several cities in Mozambique have displaced hundreds of thousands of people. The Mozambique Wesleyan Superintendent, Graça Nhathelo, reported that dozens of Wesleyan churches were hit in the Gaza Province and Zambezia Province.
Thousands of church members have lost their homes, crops, livestock, and possessions in the flooding. In Chokwe Wesleyan Church, for example, all 500 members evacuated and felt fortunate to have escaped with their lives.
The Limpopo River has been slow to recede and some of those who have tried to return to homes still find water standing, with swarming mosquitos and endemic malaria a massive health issue. Homes supported by mud walls collapsed and possessions were strewn all over the community. Even so, those who have received at least some food and medicine from the Wesleyan relief fund expressed gratitude.
In this southern African nation, hope, at times, has seemed far away after the devastating floods. But, thankfully, Wesleyans around the world are responding and beginning to offer help to some of Mozambique’s displaced.
On February 6, Global Partners Mission Director Orai Lehman and a U.S. team delivered rice to some residents after raising gifts from the visiting team. Soon after that, $5,000 was advanced from the Wesleyan Relief Fund, and General Superintendent Dr. Jo Anne Lyon urged Wesleyans to give and to pray for those in distress who are vulnerable to sickness and do not have basic needs including food, medicine, or shelter.
At that time, Dr. Lyon stated, "Our goal is to mobilize our churches to pray and to give generously to those in need in Mozambique. We are praying that we will be able to send $50,000. Our Mozambique church leaders will help not only our Wesleyan families in need, but also others near our Wesleyan churches who need to see God’s love expressed in concrete ways at this critical moment. Thanks to all of our church families in North America who can help us meet this goal.”
Now, as of this date, $23,000, or about half of the goal, has been given to the Wesleyan Relief Fund for Mozambique flood victims, and 100% of the gifts go to the relief effort. With the massive scale of loss, any amount of funds could be quickly utilized, but our leaders are taking care to steward the precious funds where they will save the most lives and relieve suffering.
Local residents from some of the hard hit Wesleyan churches are partnering and distributing rice to others in their own community. Pastor Sergio Muianga and Pastor Esteva Macambaco distributed bags of food to members of Feniseleni Wesleyan Church and people of Xai-Xai District who were forced to flee the flood waters of the Limpopo River. Although all their summer crops have been destroyed by the flooding, they are just “happy to be alive.”
Volunteers from Maputo churches accompanied Superintendent Nhathelo as the group distributed desperately needed food to flood victims in site after site. Members of Canicado Wesleyan Church and other churches sang with joy and praised God after receiving bags of rice and beans and cooking oil as they began to rebuild in their communities.