English - Ministers in Malawi pray over bags of maize before distributing them. Español - Ministros oran sobre sacos de maíz antes de ser distribuirlos entre las víctimas del ciclón en Malawi.

In March 2023, Cyclone Freddy struck the east coast of Africa. Devastating floods and landslides displaced over 650,000 people and killed more than 1,000. Malawi was impacted most severely. In response, Brethren in Christ (BIC) conferences in the U.S., Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe collaborated to provide immediate and ongoing aid.

Seeing the need of their brothers and sisters to the north, BIC Zimbabwe collected items for those affected in Malawi and Mozambique, donating seven bales of clothing and blankets. BIC U.S. sent money from the Global Compassion Fund to pay shipping costs to transport the clothing and blankets from Zimbabwe to Mozambique and Malawi.

Months after the storm passed, food insecurity continued to be a devastating result of Cyclone Freddy. The storm struck at the end of “hunger season” when harvest nears and food stores run dangerously low; this is possibly the worst time for such a catastrophe. In Malawi, funds from the Global Compassion Fund were used to sponsor food distributions in March, April, July, and November, helping hundreds of seriously affected and vulnerable families. This continued food aid not only eased the acute pain of food scarcity but also allowed those impacted to use their financial resources to rebuild and repair their homes.

Global Compassion Fund is founded on Christ’s love and a desire to care well for the international Brethren in Christ family.

Rapid response is paramount in the aftermath of a natural disaster such as Cyclone Freddy. Thanks to the Global Compassion Fund, over $33,000 was released in 2023 to care for Cyclone Freddy victims, and we continue communication with regional BIC leaders to assess ongoing needs.

This kind of collaborative response to a crisis is only possible because of the decades-long relationships between BIC conferences in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and the U.S. As the church, we are all part of the same family, of the same body, and as such we can aid those within the church in their time of greatest need. Romans 12:4-5 says, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

At its core, the Global Compassion Fund is founded on Christ’s love and a desire to care well for the international Brethren in Christ family. When giving and serving is done as an act of worship, the impact of the Global Compassion Fund far exceeds the sum of numeric donations or distributions. The Global Compassion Fund provides a channel to participate in living out the Gospel, offering comfort and care to those in need, for Christ’s glory.

Naomi Roth
Naomi is a freelance writer, artist, and librarian who has been a part of the BIC church for her whole life. Her parents Mark and Maggie Roth are missionaries through BIC U.S World in Zambia. She has been involved in multiple missions trips both with youth groups and with her family. When she's not working at the library, she writes novels, short stories, and poetry and does art, music, and any other creative hobby she can come up with such as leather working. Naomi also loves reading - particularly fantasy - cooking, and traveling.

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