The devastating impact of flooding and drought continue to cause heartaches for the people of Malawi. Officials with the Malawi ACT Forum are telling the Presbyterian Mission Agency that hunger in Malawi is growing despite relief efforts by government and various NGOs, especially in rural areas. Most markets have no maize to sell and the sporadic rain has people concerned that the 2016 harvest could be in jeopardy.

“My experience in Zambia and Malawi is that the people cling to God and the promise of love during times of difficulty,” said Nancy Collins, regional liaison in East Central Africa with World Mission. “They feel God’s presence with them and know that God accompanies them in their sorrow and hunger and pain. The people here will celebrate during this Christmas season in the midst of their hunger and desperation.”

Collins and the Rev. Debbie Braaksma, Africa Area Coordinator with Presbyterian World Mission, recently accompanied the Church of Central Africa throughout the three Malawian synods to see the food insecurity firsthand. It’s estimated that nearly two million people will not have the minimum food to survive before the next harvest in March.

“It will be so difficult for families to find food in the next month. It is our appeal that those that are well-wishers, partners and donors would come and join us,” said the Right Rev. Dr. Timothy Nyasulu, moderator of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP) General Assembly. “The churches of Malawi are playing a big role. For example, the Synod of Livingstonia has been contributing maize by the congregations, putting them together and feeding those who are being affected.” 

Dr. Rochelle Holm and her husband Tyler are mission co-workers in Mzuzu, northern Malawi. She says there is hope for a good harvest in parts of the country in April 2016.

“Some areas of Malawi have been blessed with rain these past two weeks and many families are out now tilling their fields and planting,” she said. “We pray for the current food crisis but also for these early rains to bring next year’s harvest.”

Donations to support the relief efforts in Malawi can be made through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.