Thank you for your prayers and financial support for our brothers and sisters suffering from the devastation of Cyclone Idai. The cyclone — which struck Southeast Africa in March — is the second most calamitous storm in that region on record, its death toll being more than 900 in the combined countries of Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.
In each of these countries, the BIC has a local presence.
Through your generous gifts, we sent $39,000 for emergency aid to more than 570 families in the hardest-hit areas of Mozambique and Malawi.
“We have long-term, established relationships in this area of the world,” said Jonathan Lloyd, director of World Missions. “This allowed us to respond quickly.”
Through partnering with local BIC pastors, BIC missionaries, and Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), we were some of the early responders to the crisis.
Read a summary about our aid efforts in specific regions:
About 90 percent of Beira, Mozambique — a coastal town where BIC churches are located — was destroyed by Cyclone Idai. We focused our aid efforts on the areas in and surrounding Beira: giving aid to families in our churches, as well as households surrounding BIC churches. Because of the expansive need, we targeted families who have lost homes. We also prioritized the most vulnerable: widows, the disabled, and the elderly.
Because of your support, about 500 families are receiving a month’s supply of beans, rice, and cooking oil.1 Through receiving emergency food aid, families can focus on rebuilding their homes.
Cyclone Idai destroyed homes and crops in the township of Mangochi — where many of our church plants are located. Early April, we were able to mobilize to provide food for 70 families from 17 village fellowship groups.
“Each affected family received 100 pounds of corn, 10 pounds of beans, 5 liters of oil, and a roll of plastic sheeting,” said missionary Doug Miller, who helped facilitate the food distribution. “They shared great appreciation for the practical assistance.”
Global Compassion Fund
Thank you for your continued support, as we come alongside our brothers and sisters around the world. Late April, a second cyclone, “Kenneth,” impacted northern Mozambique — where a group of rural BIC churches are located. And on Friday, May 3, Cyclone Fani devastated portions of the Indian state of Odisha: a region with many BIC churches and four SPICE hostels. It was the most severe tropical cyclone to strike India since 1999.
We are working to determine how to respond in the wake of these new storms. If you would like to support ongoing relief efforts, give to the Global Compassion Fund.
1. Food distribution is occurring over two phases, each allocation covering a family’s emergency needs for two weeks: The first allocation was early to mid-April, and the second distribution is scheduled early May.