Cyclone Idai hit the Southern African countries of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi almost two weeks ago and the death toll has already risen above 750. Workers are working to restore electricity and water, and trying to prevent the outbreak of cholera. In Mozambique the number of dead has risen to 446, while there are 259 dead in Zimbabwe and at least 56 dead in Malawi for a three-nation total of 761 (as at 25 March 2019).
As flood waters recede and more bodies are discovered, the final death toll in Mozambique alone will be well above 1000. Nearly 110,000 people are now in camps more than a week after Cyclone Idai hit – and increasing.
Repairs and bypasses are being built to main roads. Restored road connections will allow larger deliveries of food, medicines and other essential supplies to be brought to flooded areas.
Malaria is a looming health problem, because large expanses of standing water is conducive to the spreading of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Field hospitals are being erected and water purification systems are made available. Without clean drinking water, cholera will unavoidably break out in some areas. The flood waters are draining away very slowly and this creates much bigger problems than when flood waters quickly flow away.
Source: INcontext International
Let us pray
These types of disasters are normally critical spiritual turning points for many people. Some may turn to God while others might turn away from Him completely. The following can serve as some prayer pointers:
- Pray for victims who have lost a loved one to be able to find rest and comfort in God. Ask that non-Christians will be able to meet someone who can comfort them and demonstrate God’s love to them. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever. (John 14:16). Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Cor.1:3-4) And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
- Pray for those who have lost a home, possessions and livelihood. That they will receive the necessary financial support to build their lives again. He shall regard the prayer of the destitute and shall not despise their prayer. (Psalm 102:17) Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
- Ask the Lord to open the way for the effective distribution of food and clean water, as well as medical supplies for as long as necessary. That there will not be any hindrances due to unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape, and no corruption.
- Pray for God’s grace and protection against any outbreak of sickness and disease among the people and animals. I have given you the power to trample on snakes and scorpions and to defeat the power of your enemy Satan. Nothing can harm you. (Luke 10:19) And you won’t fear diseases that strike in the dark or sudden disaster at noon. (Psalm 91:6)
- Pray that the Church in South Africa and worldwide will continue to support the communities with physical and spiritual help in the long-term. “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40)
You can help the victims
You can provide financial support to the flood victims in disaster-stricken countries by donating to Project Idai, a Christian-based support initiative.