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a-MAIZE-ing Grace!

A Simple Idea for Preventing Famine and Saving Lives in Malawi, Africa

In September 2012, Her Excellency President Joyce Banda visited the USA to attend the opening of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. A devout member of the CCAP, Blantyre Synod, Mrs. Banda asked to hear about the Partnership between churches in Malawi and in the USA. During the course of this meeting, she said many things, but among the most gripping was this: “We are facing a food crisis in Malawi. We need help. I am asking you to help me save the lives of the children in my country.“

Coincidentally, Pittsburgh Presbytery was hosting 27 visitors from Blantyre Synod, many of whom confirmed that the rains had failed and that the “hungry season“ would be long and harsh in Malawi a nation that is accurately described as “The Warm Heart of Africa“ and yet has suffered the curse of chronic poverty for generations.

The essence of this plan is simple. Individuals and communities will be invited to contribute money for famine relief. Each $25 gift will provide 50 kilograms of maize (corn), which is enough to supplement the diet of a family for about a month (a 50 kg. bag of maize is about ten times the size of that pictured here). Those who make contributions in the USA will receive small tokens shaped like maize bags as reminders that we are blessed to be able to give. These hand-made ornaments are designed as alternative holiday gifts, appropriate to hang on a Christmas tree. Contributors will also have the opportunity to sign personal cards that will be distributed along with the maize.

Funds collected in both countries will be transferred to the Blantyre Synod Health & Development Commission, which will work with established ministries within Malawi to equip local pastors and churches to offer food to all in need, regardless of religious affiliation or non-affiliation.

We are asking churches and individuals to spread the word and seek contributions. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how you or your congregation can participate in this effort.

One of the a-MAIZE-ing things about this project is the fact that a relatively small investment ($25) can help sustain a family for a month. If your church would like to hear from someone who has been to Malawi, or see photos of what these funds can do, please let us know!

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