The email hit my inbox with a sharp ping. That was my signal to open the computer and see what was coming my way. This one was from a long-time friend in Malawi. It appeared to be more of a plea than a request. He was nearly begging. With the threat from COVID-19, he noted that the Malawi rural churches, which are very poor, are in desperate need of plastic communion cups.
It reminded me of all the times I had attended some of those small rural congregations where so many live in abject poverty in remote mud huts villages. I remembered during the communion service communion cups were heading through the audience toward me, only to have them run out before reaching my aisle. It seemed communion cups were in short supply, and there was little in the way of funds to purchase enough of them for everyone. When they ran out young men would rush back to the front and fill three or four glasses with grape juice and then rush back toward us to where they had run out of cups.
Now it was no longer a cup per person, it was a growing number of people drinking from the same cup. This was not any sort of doctrinal preference it was a lack of communion cups. I can remember praying as the communion came my way. Not only did I pray a prayer of appreciation for the sacrifice Christ made, but I also found myself praying the Great Physician would protect me from whatever might be on the surface or in those glasses. It always seemed there was potentially a serious threat for coming down with some dreaded disease from all the lips (and potentially sick people) that touched those cups.
Now there is the threat of COVID-19 spreading all through Malawi, from the most secure enclaves in the cities to the most vulnerable in the countryside. Death seems so much closer now as the pandemic is much more evident than was the possible illnesses that might have faced us in earlier years. What would I do now if I were worshipping in a remote rural, poor congregation and they ran out of communion cups? What are they doing? Well, the answer is pretty clear, they are continuing to worship God, and continuing to take the communion, and continuing to run out of cups!
We have 40-foot shipping containers leaving for Malawi on a regular basis. None have ever been lost and no one has ever stolen the goods we sent to the poor. Here is your chance to help someone celebrate the Lord’s Supper safely.
Places like Christianbook, 21st Century Christian, Gospel Advocate, Concordia Supply, and a host of other locations can drop ship communion cups to us per your order. Send them to Malawi Project, 2421 Golfside Drive, Lebanon, Indiana 46052.