TWR Africa and its partners are struggling to reach out to survivors of what officials have said may be one of the worst disasters to hit the Southern Hemisphere.
Cyclone Idai smashed into Mozambique near the city of Beira on March 14, killing at least 750 people in four countries and producing what has been described as an 800-square-mile inland lake. Ninety percent of Beira was damaged or destroyed, according to news reports, and the city is an island amid the flooding with severely limited communications, clean water and power. A Mozambique health official said 139 cases of cholera had been confirmed this week, and vaccination programs were gearing up to stave off an epidemic.
TWR Africa staff members say getting information from the affected areas is difficult. That’s also been the case for TWR national partner RTM Mozambique, located in the capital city of Maputo, roughly 750 miles south of Beira. (RTM is equivalent to TWR in Portuguese, Mozambique’s official language.)
RTM Mozambique’s FM station, Radio Capital, has been calling on churches to mobilize to help survivors of the storm with donations and humanitarian supplies, Station Manager Maria Taibo said. U.N. officials have said sustained aid will be needed, especially considering that nearly 1 million acres of crops were destroyed just before harvest time.
The massive loss of life and destruction of property are obviously the biggest tragedies in this disaster, but the breakdown in communications seriously complicates recovery efforts for people inside and outside the affected areas.
After numerous attempts, Sphiwe Nxumalo-Ngwenya, TWR ministry director for southern and eastern Africa, managed to reach a pastor who is one of her contacts living in Mozambique. The pastor, who lives outside the hardest-hit area, said he and others in his community are desperately seeking ways to bring home their children, who are university students in Beira. Roads are impassable, communication is difficult, and their young loved ones don’t have the food, clothes and shelter they need.
“Pray for wisdom as we work on a post-cyclone intervention,” Nxumalo-Ngwenya said, “especially as we attempt to bring healing and hope in the spiritual lives of survivors, which we trust will overflow into the social life of the areas.”
Pray for the people of southeast Africa
As you the Lord leads you to respond to Nxumalo-Ngwenya’s request, please also take a minute to pray for the following needs.
- Pray that survivors are able to make their way to aid centers and get help.
- Pray for adequate relief supplies to be provided and transported to the hard-hit areas and distributed to those who most need help. Remember also the well-being of the many relief workers.
- Pray for the prevention of an outbreak of cholera or other diseases.
- Pray that the gospel programs broadcast by TWR through the generosity of its supporters will bless the lives of survivors and millions of others across Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Madagascar, bringing hope and encouragement in the wake of this disaster.
Photo: Diggers in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe, try to locate a missing family member amid the wreckage left by deadly Cyclone Idai, which crossed into the country from neighboring Mozambique.