United Methodists provide food to Mozambique
By Antonio Wilson*
But church leaders say the needs for food, shelter and medical assistance are still far beyond what the Mozambican government and various organizations are providing to the impoverished nation as it reels from a series of natural disasters.
The Inhambane North district of The United Methodist Church was "reduced to extreme poverty" by the Feb. 22 cyclone and subsequent rains, according to the Rev. Ana Maria Francisco, district superintendent. The central region already had been inundated by heavy rains since January, causing flooding and forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes.
Francisco is grateful that United Methodists in
"Thanks for food, for your heart of comfort and compassion as you share your resources with us," she said of the March 10-12 distribution.
The cyclone, which killed 12 people, affected the areas of Central-Vilanculos, Aeroporto, Chiruala, Mapinhane, Machanissa; Maimelane, Pande, Nhapele, Inhassoro, Chibo, Save, Mambone; and the Vilanculos and Inhambane North districts. Additional food was shipped by boat to benefit churches and communities of the Machuuquele district.
The storm's wake
At least nine United Methodist parsonages and church buildings were destroyed in the cyclone and its aftermath.
The Rev. Alberto Malangutane Mutuque, a district superintendent in Vilanculos, had never seen such a violent cyclone.
"It was a very strong wind that destroyed the roof of the district parsonage, (and) the
Amelia Domingos, a member of
"I give thanks to God because this happened during the daylight and this helped us to escape from the zinc sheets and other objects that were flying in high speed," she said. "We could have lost many people, I am sure."
The Rev. Aida Lambo Ngale,
"Soon after the cyclone had cooled down, we could easily witness the damages, deaths and complete uncertainty in families," she said. "There was no refuge in our neighborhood to be accommodated. I need to congratulate my church members for joining efforts and erecting some kind of shed for me and my family. They did this realizing the damages they had also suffered."
Rebuilding for the future
A permanent chapel under construction for
The Rev. Rita Choquico Quimbine,
The United Methodist Committee on Relief is assisting the
Donations can dropped in church collection plates or mailed directly to UMCOR at P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087, with the words "UMCOR Advance #156500, Mozambique Emergency" written on the memo line. Credit card donations can be made by calling (800) 554-8583 or online at http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/advance/donate.cfm?code=156500&id=3018386.