The lives of many, stretching across Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi have been tragically affected by the unfortunate events taking place in the region. Cyclone Idai has brought upon flooding to the eastern side of the continent and it may be some of the worse damage these areas have experienced in a very long time.
In the first moments disaster struck, volunteers and member agencies of the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International responded to the call to serve. The foundation immediately put plans into action and with great prayer and willingness, teams were on their way. The Hope Relief Mission focused on the following cities: Harare, Mutare, and Chimanimani. The mission kickstarted on April 10th, while the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation continues to raise support and awareness of needs and prayer for Beira, Mozambique (where it is reported to have the worst damage).
The effects of such disasters are seemingly endless. Before one problem is fixed, a new one is coming to the surface. In this instance, the flooding is only a part of the total extent of damage caused. The flooding alone has killed hundreds and destroyed countless buildings and businesses, bringing the entire society and life of the inhabitants to a screeching halt. Across the three countries, hunger is increasing as people living in more remote areas are now restrained. In addition to farmland, livelihood, and families being torn apart, there are now cases breaking out of cholera.
Cholera is a viral disease with a very high potential of causing fatality, and quite rapidly if not treated. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Researchers have estimated that each year there are 1.3 million to 4.0 million cases of cholera, and up to 143, 000 deaths worldwide. In order to even control such a virulent disease, the first and most crucial need is safe water and sanitation.
Early last week, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) reported around 1.85 million people were effected. According to the World Bank, there have so far been an estimated 2 billion US dollars of damage caused by Cyclone Idai and continues to grow. The Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International has top level teams working with the Humanitarian Volunteer Network to gather supplies and materials to bring to the victims. Operating in sponsorship with the COFI is also the Trauma Care International Foundation. The Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International’s own medical teams and volunteers have been on the ground, distributing Bibles, food, clean water, and hygiene kits to the vulnerable and displaced.
It was just two years ago that the man of God, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome made his first visit to the country of Zimbabwe where he led the country in a Worship and Communion Service. He expressed his mandate to join and pray together with the Zimbabwean people over their land and region. During the service, Pastor Chris spoke encouraging words of strength and resilience over them. In the book of Isaiah, it is written that the Word of God spoken forth does not return void. As the scriptures tell us “it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11).
The words of Pastor Chris still resound over the nation of Zimbabwe, as God’s truth does not fade away.
“Don’t be afraid; you may need to understand that despite the difficult times that you have had as a nation, Zimbabwe remains a jewel of Africa … Young people I tell you something, be proud of Zimbabwe. Because you have it inside you; you can rebuild your country.”
The Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International stands with Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi, reminding them during this difficult time that they are triumphant and strong, with God on their side.