As parts of southern Africa grow dangerously dry, TWR’s headquarters in the region has issued an urgent call to its core supporters for prayer.

“Please stand with us in prayer every time you open a tap or reach for a glass of refreshing water – SAVE WATER and PRAY FOR RAIN,” reads the email sent in early February to donors, radio listeners and social-media followers. “Parts of the Western Cape province of South Africa and many parts of Malawi and Zimbabwe are in dire need of rain – PRAY FOR RAIN.”

TWR radio programs bearing messages of faith and hope are broadcast across southern Africa from local radio stations and from the ministry’s major transmitter site in Swaziland. A response from a TWR listener in Malawi conveys the human dimension of the multiyear drought on Lake Chilwa, its roughly 1,000 square miles making it the second-largest lake in the country.

“My Lake Chilwa is drying,” the listener wrote as he interacted with TWR staff on social media.

“We get worried daily about our future and our children – including our livestock. So our spiritual life goes down. When our eyes rise to look around at the dry land, we feel pain and sorrow.”     

Malawi is also suffering from recurring blackouts because of the drought’s impact on its hydroelectricity generation.

International news reports have focused on Cape Town, South Africa, which reportedly could become the first major city in the world to run out of water. Water usage has been severely restricted as the city’s 3.7 million inhabitants anxiously look ahead to Day Zero in April or May, when the taps would have to be turned off and people would stand in line to receive daily water rations.

“All South African Christians are really trusting … for the Lord to come through,” said Danie du Preez, transition director for TWR Africa. “But I think the biggest concern is what will happen after Day Zero. And we trust the Lord Day Zero will never come, that he will intervene.”

A large-scale prayer rally is planned for the Cape Town area on March 24, when believers will come together to seek the Lord’s help in this crisis. A major concern, du Preez said, is that Day Zero could lead to a breakdown in the social order.

“If the body of Christ worldwide can start praying maybe for patience, for endurance, perseverance in this situation and that the Lord will really help the people to be mature in their behavior, I think that will be crucial,” he told Mission Network News. (Read and hear that report here).

Joining du Preez’s appeal for prayer from believers around the world, Anthony Barkhuizen, TWR Africa’s English program and project manager, recommends a few other specific needs to focus on:

  • Ask the Lord to bring forth rain where people need it most.

  • Pray for calm as water resources dwindle.

  • Pray for the relief efforts of many humanitarian organizations.

Photo by Emmet Sheerin of Trocaire/Creative Commons 2.0