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In Malawi, lightning kills eight church members last Saturday of 2013

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In Malawi, lightning kills eight church members last Saturday of 2013

Frackson Kuyama, president of the Adventist Church's Malawi Union Mission, speaks at the December 30 funeral of eight church members who were killed by lightening two days earlier. Hundreds of community members and government officials attended the funeral. Sitting at left in a red chair is Malawi's Vice President Khumbo Kachali. [photo courtesy Malawi Union]

Hundreds of community members, government officials attended funeral

January 08, 2014 | Lilongwe, Malawi | Eaton Kanyandula/ANN staff

The last Saturday of the 2013 was a tragic day for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Southern African nation of Malawi when lightning struck a congregation, killing eight parishioners and injuring scores of others.

Lightning struck the Chisiyo Seventh-day Adventist Church in the capital city of Lilongwe shortly after a rainstorm on the afternoon of December 28, knocking most of the 200 parishioners unconscious. Those who suffered injuries were taken to a hospital approximately 10 miles away.

Eight were pronounced dead, including four members of the Dorcas Society and four Adventist Youth members. One was a member of a visiting singing group that had come to conduct a musical program.

The Sabbath service had been extended to include a Lord’s Supper and ceremony for a transfer of leadership.

Adventists in other parts of the city rushed to the scene to offer help, including money and emotional support.

The Malawi Government also responded by providing food, transportation and other supplies for a funeral.

Hundreds of community members and government officials attended the funeral ceremony on December 30.

“Let’s continue praying for the bereaved families and the church members at Chisiyo [Adventist] Church,” said M.S.J. Kadyakapita, a professor at Malawi Adventist University. “Pray that the assembly in the church does not provoke painful and frightful memories and association among our members.”

There are approximately 393,000 Adventist Church members in Malawi.

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