February 14, 2005
After the tsunami hit on December 26 th, the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) of the PC(USA) sent several teams in to help, and gave an immediate grant of $100,000 to victims of the disaster. They then mounted a campaign to raise 2.5 million dollars for tsunami relief and implementation of a five-year plan for recovery and rehabilitation. It is only February, and already that amount has been reached and exceeded! Americans can be very generous.
Recently, however, we learned that so can Malawians. Blantyre Synod sent out a memo asking all congregations to pray for the victims and survivors of the Tsunami on Sunday, January 30 th. At St. James CCAP Church it was decided not only to pray but to take up a special offering for the Tsunami victims. We watched in amazement as each person in attendance came up and contributed something to the offering. Sometimes it was only a 5 Kwacha note (worth about a nickel), but in a country where it is “hungry season” and there are plenty of people suffering from malnutrition, that is amazing. We hear accounts of people subsisting on mangoes alone on a daily basis, but absolutely everyone gave something. It reminded us of the parable of the widow’s mite.
Malawi is the fourth poorest country in the world. Most people live on less than a dollar a day, and yet, when others were struck by disaster, these people dug deep and responded with incredible generosity because of their Christian faith. Think what would happen if we did likewise.