Inside the doors and windows of your own home should be a safe place. For many people in the world, it isn’t.
In Malawi most of the homes in the village are made of bricks that the villagers make themselves. They mold the clay like mud into brick shapes. Some bake those bricks in large dome like ovens. Others harden the bricks in the hot sun of Africa. The floors of these homes are also made of hardened mud. Since most sleep on the floor, the floors need to be recoated every few weeks. It’s done by hand in a process called “smearing.” Once coated with fresh mud, the floors can be swept to keep them clean until the process starts over again.
Then there is the roof. Most are made of thatch. The thatch is made from a tall grass that grows native in the bush and forest areas. Usually, the women will go to collect the grass. They cut and carry it on their head or back to the home where it will be piled up to a thickness of 8 to 12 inches. It takes a lot of thatch and a lot of trips.
All houses have door openings, most have at least one window. The best houses have wooden doors and windows, but not everyone has them. An old cloth draped over the opening can serve as a window or door covering. Sometimes, a door can be made of thatch too.
Now imagine this. The rains come heavy one day. The thatch roof cannot keep out the rain, so the water begins to pool up on the mud floor. It is not long before you are standing in water. Then comes evening, you have no other place to go, so you make your bed and lay yourself down on the mud floor in the water to sleep. By morning, everything you own is completely soaked.
Or imagine this. The rain continues, it comes almost every day during the rainy season. Now the clay bricks are also beginning to become soaked with water. They turn soft, into a play dough like texture. Once that happens, they can no longer stand the weight and the entire house comes crashing down with you inside. You are lucky to escape with your life.
Can you imagine this? Your cloth doors block the view, but they don’t keep animals or people out. As you sleep at night you must keep one eye open. You are watching for snakes, wild dogs, hyenas, or just curious goats who can come wandering in at any moment. You don’t ever get much sleep because you must also be on guard for someone with evil in mind. Someone who might enter the house to rob and steal or even to do you or your family harm.
For those in the western world, this is hard to imagine, but it is reality for so many in developing countries like Malawi. Yet, we praise God for so many generous sponsors, who are helping to make these situations a thing of the past. During 2020 we were able to put on tin roofs and even build proper houses for more than 50 families, and so far in 2021 that pace is only increasing!
Here is something we can all imagine. These improvements are life changing. From one recipient, “I never dreamed I would live in a house like this. Even me. God has surely heard my prayers and answered. I am praising Him today. I am thanking my sponsor. I do not have the words to express how grateful I am for what has been done to me.” She made these comments while on her knees giving thanks to God and her sponsor.
May God bless all of those who are making this possible. May He bless all those making such a real and tangible difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world. It’s not too late to help. Visit our site at www.y-malawi.org to learn more.
“I thought it was the end of my life.” That’s what Elizabeth said about her situation when she was raped before entering high school.
Elizabeth lives in a home with a family of 11. She had been able to attend elementary school regularly, but the pregnancy put an end to her school career. God was gracious and Elizabeth had plenty of help to care for the baby. Still just a young girl herself, she was learning how to be a mother. Yet, in her heart she longed to go back to school. As each day passed, her dream of education seemed farther and farther away.
Then God did the amazing. Her brother heard about Y-Malawi helping women and girls in a nearby village. He contacted Y-Malawi and asked for help on behalf of his sister. The need was made known, and God provided a sponsor. Within just a few weeks, Elizabeth had a new school uniform, books, pencils, examination and other school fees paid. She was going back to school.
Imagine her excitement returning that first day. Elizabeth told her new sponsor, “I am so grateful for this opportunity. I do not take this for granted. I will work hard. I will achieve my dream. I am praying for you too, that God should bless you for what you have done to me.”
The road ahead for Elizabeth is not an easy one, literally. She is walking up and down hills more than 5 miles each way to get to school. That means she is walking more than 3 hours each day just to get to school! At home she has chores to do and of course homework. Her days begin before the sun comes up and end long after it has gone down. Yet, she is determined. She says, “I have learned many lessons in my life, now I am learning the lesson of working hard to achieve.” Her goal is to finish school, then help other girls who might need the same encouragement she did.
Helping a girl like Elizabeth takes only about $1 per day. To learn more about how you can help other like her visit https://y-malawi.org/sponsorships/
Are you as excited about what God is doing in Malawi as we are? Perhaps God is prompting you to lean in a little closer. But then what could you do? A lot actually, and the even better news is that everyone can do something! God gives us all different ways to participate in His story. We are “Fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), specifically to fulfill His purpose for our lives.
Now back to that question, “But what can I do?” Here are 5 things, five suggestions to get you started.
Start with the small steps and work your way forward as God leads you.
- Start out slow. Go to YouTube and watch the movie called Come and See. This hour-long movie will give you more insight into how Y-Malawi works and what God is doing there. It could not be easier, just follow this link to go directly to the movie on our YouTube Channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laZl4dNY1so&t
- Then take another step. Buy the book Heart 2 Heart. This book will give you even greater insight into the work and ministry of Y-Malawi. You won’t just read, you will watch video’s along with each chapter to help you experience what you are reading about. This link will take you to Amazon to buy the book https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578705281?ref=myi_title_dp
- If you have come this far, you are starting to open your heart. Now how about taking that next step and sponsoring a woman or girl in need. For just $35 per month (about $1 per day) you can help a vulnerable woman or girl with food security, schooling, vocational skills training, coaching and encouragement. Plus, half of your monthly gift goes to help us come along side a local church. Your sponsorship helps her entire community. Click this link to learn more. https://y-malawi.org/sponsorships/
- Her is the fourth step, and it’s a bold one. How about coming with us to Malawi? You can walk in the village with us as we minister to children, Chiefs, women, girls, youth, and churches. It will be two weeks that will change your life forever. It’s a big step, but one you will never regret. Click on this link to learn more about trips. https://y-malawi.org/trips/
- Last step, you are almost there. Someone once said something like, you can know when a person really believes in something by examining closely their checkbook. Some of us have been blessed beyond what we deserve and are called to help support this work financially. Perhaps that’s you? If so, sharing some of what God has given you is as simple as clicking on this link. https://y-malawi.org/donate/
And there you have it. 5 things you can do to engage in a deeper way and experience how God is changing lives in a place far away. God is doing something incredible in Malawi, and you can be a part of it. Who knows, you might find that in the process He does something incredible in your life too!
It started and has been this way since the creation of man. Even the Bible, in Galatians 6 says, “A man reaps what he sows.” It is a law of nature and of man. But what if you cannot sow? What if you only get rain during a few months of the year? Imagine it, how could you plant crops and reap any harvest without rain? For much of the world, the ability to grow food and therefore to eat is totally dependent upon the rain that is given from heaven.
Until now. During 2020 with the help of some generous donors, Y-Malawi has started implementing solar powered water pumps that can irrigate crops without rain. These pumps bring water from ponds, streams and lakes to the fields. They are making an incredible difference.
Until now, it has been impossible to grow more than one crop per year. These pumps are allowing people to grow 3 or in some cases more. For centuries people have died during “The Hunger Season.” Now they have options. Now they have hope. Now they can change their own future. In the photos below people have just harvested a crop of maize. Now they are planting sweet potatoes cassava and various other vegetables. Some have planted 4 crops just this year!
People are no longer hungry, they are encouraged, and they are praising God for what He is doing in their lives. Along with planting crops, they are planting new Bible studies. They are sharing with others how the love of Jesus has changed their lives through people in another country, on the other side of the world, that they have never met.
That’s what love does. It changes everything.
She is worth more than rubies, that’s how King Solomon described a noble woman (Proverbs 31:10). As the world celebrates women this month, we want to especially celebrate the women of Malawi. In particular, the women of Malawi who live in the village.
We are so proud of the women of Malawi. They face so many challenges in life.
- Cultural stigmas, in some areas 30% of women believe they are inferior, and it is acceptable for them to be abused.
- Early marriages, 46% married before age 18, 9% before age 15.
- Lack of education, 30% of women cannot read.
- Poor sexual and reproductive health resources, resulting in heighten vulnerability in childbirth, sexually transmitted disease, and associated deaths and disabilities.
Yet, the women of Malawi are strong. They are courageous, determined and beautiful. They are making great strides of progress in all of the areas above. Thanks in part to Y-Malawi programs designed to empower women, the pace of progress is picking up.
- Women are starting new businesses.
- Girls staying in school, graduating high school, even attending universities.
- Early marriages prohibited and or disrupted.
- Adult literacy classes are heavily attended by women.
- Women are forming groups to help, encourage and support each other.
- Older women forming Mother Groups to educate, encourage and support younger girls.
She is indeed worth more than rubies. We honor this month the women of Malawi. We thank God for them and for what He is doing to bring hope. Solomon ends his tribute to a noble woman with these words, “Honor her for all that she hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
We simply say Amen.
Click to learn how to help a woman start her own business
Click here to learn how to sponsor a woman or girl
There is an African saying, “Those who visit the lake have the opportunity to see the Hippo.” The western world might say, “You don’t know, what you don’t know.”
At 16 years old Chisomo had never left the village. Her parents died when she was young. This left the children alone to fend for themselves. The older children had to take care of the younger, but with a little help here and there from others, they were able to remain together as a family. Chisomo grew up knowing long days of work that started before sunrise and ended deep into the night. She learned how to plant Maize and how to pound that Maize into flour. She learned how to repair a thatched roof to keep out the water during rains. She learned the meaning of poverty and hunger.
Somehow, through all of this, she was able to graduate from primary school. Then, not long after she entered high school she was sponsored in Y-Malawi’s program to empower women and girls. Through this sponsorship, Y-Malawi provided the required school fees and school supplies so that Chisomo could stay in school and continue her education. She worked hard and did well in school, but Chisomo knew she was missing something.
When her sponsor made a visit to Malawi, Chisomo shared her dream of going to a better school, and even going to university one day. With a 130 students per teacher, village schools can be a difficult learning environment. Chisomo smiled from ear to ear when her sponsor agreed to consider sending her to a better school.
Then it happened. Her sponsor offered to help Chisomo go to boarding school. Arrangements were made at home, and Chisomo went to start her new life at school. Having never left the village before, just traveling to school in a large city was like a dream. She had no idea what life was like outside the village. She had seen a video once, but now she was living it!
Upon arriving at her new school she said, “I have now seen the real life. I have tears of joy. The unexpected has happened to me. I have no words to express what I am feeling now.” Chisomo’s life has changed. Once destined to early marriage, bearing many children, and long days of work in the fields, her life is now on a different course. All because her sponsor opened her heart to help this girl who just needed someone to care.
There are other girls like Chisomo. Surprisingly, it doesn’t take much to make this kind of difference. A difference that changes the course of someone’s life. A difference that will last for generations. Want to know more? Send us a quick note, email us at email@example.com, or call us at 909.541.7660. Make a difference in a girl’s life today!