the power of three strands

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

            The wisdom of this scripture is shown by understanding its meaning and application to life. It means whether it is a person, or a strand of rope a single strand can be broken. But if it is two strands linked together it is much stronger and can withstand greater resistance. If it is three strands it is strong enough that it will not easily be broken. 

            Action for Progress in Malawi has found yet another application for the three-strand principle. Wilson Tembo, the Executive Director for Action for Progress explains, “As we travel throughout Malawi distributing mobility units to those in great need we have learned the value and importance of forming cordial relationships with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and community groups that can work beside us to reach the poor. One of those groups is the Center for Disability and Elderly Affairs (CDEA). This is a government agency that works nationwide to identify and assist both young and old who are faced with mobility issues. More and more they are coming to us for help in offering support and encouragement to those with whom they come in contact who need our attention. This is what happened recently in Mangochi, in the Southern part of the country.”

            “Bibi Ali is a 70-year-old woman identified for assistance by the CDEA. They turned to Action for Progress for assistance. AfP representatives went to Mongochi (in Malawi’s southern region) to interview her. She relayed her sad story. It started with a simple statement, ‘The devil comes to steal, destroy and kill,’she said.”

            She continues the story, “On one fateful night twenty-one years ago I had taken my evening meal and retired for the night. While asleep thieves broke into my house and shot me in the leg. While my life was spared, I was left with a leg that could not function.”

            Her son, Peter Austin picks up the story of what happened as she recently received her brand-new mobility unit from Action for Progress. “The past twenty-one years has been challenging. She likes to associate with the other women in her village for development projects and church meetings. Using a crutch, she could go to nearby meetings but nothing very far away. With this mobility unit things will change.

            Bibi echoed the sentiments of her son, “Just as my son has said, it has been very challenging to go places. My failure to attend even the local funerals has isolated me from society.”

            Adding to these remarks on behalf of the CDEA board chairperson Mr. King Norman Rudi thanked Action for Progress for the support and love it has shown to Bibi, “The question as to whether this gesture will be of great benefit to the beneficiaries can easily be seen in the faces and testimonies of those receiving the units. We really say, ‘thank you’ to the contributors.”

            The value of agencies working together to help the less fortunate will again be seen in the face of Bibi as she freely loves about her community and beyond. 

            The three strands of Action for Progress, Malawi Project and Mobility Ministries shows how strong and effective this work is and how its success cannot be broken.

2 - Bibi Ali
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