Lebanon, Indiana … Lebanon is 9,000 miles from the Central African nation of Malawi, and the lifestyle and living conditions are worlds apart. While the U.S. is one of the richest nations in the world, Malawi is one of the poorest. The children that attend the Montessori School that meets at 1204 Indianapolis Ave have been learning what it is like to be a child in Malawi and to be without electricity, running water, or living conditions like the children in the school in the U.S. school enjoy. Their lessons about Africa come from Dick and Suzi Stephens, a local couple who founded a faith-based work in Malawi thirty-years ago and continue to travel to this sub-Saharan nation each year.
Recently part of their study included information about the disastrous cyclone that struck Malawi with a force estimated to be equal to an entire hurricane season in North America. Homes and villages were washed away, lives were lost, transportation and communication lines cut. The Montessori children decided they would help by giving some of their own clothes, toys, and other things they could obtain from their families for the children affected by the storm. Just a few days from Dick leaving for Malawi he and his wife went to the school that is housed in the Lebanon Church of Christ building and accepted a large donation to be sent to Malawi to help the children there.