As a missionary team, we often hear rumors and stories of far off villages and people on the edges of Malawian society. Often these tales are exotic and exaggerated, engaging real events couched in mythic concepts. Cultural concepts swirl deep as we try to best discern needs and reality, fiction and prose. However, one need landed hot last October, as we learned again about the small fishing community found on Chisi island, located in Eastern Malawi in Lake Chisi.
This community, who mainly rely on fishing in a seasonal lake, were literally starving because of shifting rain patterns. We learned as well that several congregations were attempting to support those at Chisi, but famine creeps outward, and these congregations were in a difficult position. Thankfully, the Thondwe Church of Christ and Namikango staff members made swift and decisive decisions: the Namikango maize supply was counted, and a good portion of the supply was set aside for the members at Chisi.
Due to several logistical reasons, the maize could not be delivered at the same time. Therefore, the first batch was shipped in November. If you want to read more about that eye-opening trip, you can click here. The second trip occurred this week. The trip in November occurred before the seasonal rains had begun in earnest, therefore we were able to drive to the island across the dry lake bed. Since that time, however, the rains have come, and the lake has reemerged. This second trip brought us to the lake’s edge, with boats of community members coming ashore to greet us.
The Namikango team was able to speak to the church members as well as assist with the distribution of maize, beans, and salt. These supplies were loaded into boats and sent over to Chisi island, where they will assist this community still affected by the famine.