May 6, 2017
When Jesus said in Matthew. 28:18-20, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." — He didn't say it would be easy to go — BUT He said He would be with them every step of the way!
I can't help but think of Dick and Charlotte Day who obeyed God's "Go to Malawi" 26 years ago and began SAFE (Sub-Saharan Africa Family Enrichment) and Gogo Grandmothers. They have lived in a rented college home for the last 18 years and suddenly they are being asked to pack up and go. Someone else wants their home! This is NOT easy… But here is what Charlotte wrote this morning after sharing her plan to go plead their case at the college. "We want you to know, we have God's peace on this… our emotions are rather raw, but we KNOW our dear Shepherd will guide us and care for us…. But God!"
Dr. David Livingstone, the famous Scottish missionary doctor and explorer of Africa, knew that following Jesus' command to go wasn't easy. But his thirty years of missionary travels eventually led to the ending of slavery in Malawi and surrounding African countries. After Livingstone's death, some words were found that he had scribbled in his Bible next to Jesus' promise in Matthew 28, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Livingstone had written, "The word of a gentleman!" Livingston knew Jesus went with him.
Members of our SAFE staff show their obedience to Jesus' command to go in all the programs they administer with the gogos, children, youth and teachers. It is not easy — but it is obvious Jesus goes with them. Lives are changed because they go!
Those of us in the developed world go in many different ways. Some people obey Jesus' command to go by going on a mission team to serve in Malawi. Others go in prayer — the real work! Many of you go through your gifts of volunteer hours "here" to make the ministry possible "there"! And those who give financially, send funds that go to make the work Jesus sent us to do in Malawi possible.
Jesus knows we all play a part in the "going" — and you never know what will be on the other side of your obedience to go!
It's a Fact . . .
Dr. David Livingston was the first man known to take the gospel of Christ to Malawi and his words continue to inspire us today!
-- "God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours."
-- "I will go anywhere, provided it be forward."
-- "If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all."
Malawi News . . .
"GO" Train Mother Groups
Mother groups are village mothers who have a passion to council young girls — to end teen marriages and to encourage those who drop out of school to go back. In April, Mother groups from Mposa (Lake Chilwa) Simiyoni, Kondanani and Kachere gathered at SAFE's Training Center in Kondanani Village for 4 days to attend our Positive Parenting Training covering the Six A's of positive parenting (adapted from How to be a Hero to Your Children by Josh McDowell and Dick Day). Also taught was our Counseling Teenagers Training compiled by Catherine Cheonga and Moira Chimombo.
Chief Simiyoni is the chief in one of our sponsored villages. She is the small woman in blue in the middle of the picture. After a few days of the training, she got up and danced — other women spontaneously joined her. The chief was so happy! She testified to the group that the parenting lessons had changed her as a mother and as a person. She used to punish all her children over petty issues because she was harboring anger in her heart over how her husband used to treat her. She never was affectionate to her children and was never was available to them.
When she went home after the lessons she went into her room and cried out to the Lord to have mercy on her. She surrendered herself to the Lord and felt His forgiveness. Then she gathered her children and asked them for their forgiveness. For the first time in years, she sat together with her children and she told them how sorry and convicted she was after going through the parenting lessons.Then Chief Simiyoni asked her children to check on her behavior in the future.
(I have met Chief Simiyoni several times but I had no idea she was carrying this kind of hurt and anger in her heart. But because Cathy decided to go and teach God's love and truth, many lives will be changed!)
"GO" to the World Congress on Families
SAFE's Executive Director, Moira Chimombo, had an opportunity to present our Biblically-based Why Wait? Life Skills curriculum at the World Congress on Families held in Nigeria. Why Wait? is a fabulous curriculum that has impacted thousands of students' lives over the years. Many leaders in Malawi testify to the impact it made on them when they were students. West Africa countries were represented at the congress, and we are praying that the interest shown by representatives from Uganda and Nigeria will translate into open doors for the curriculum to be used in their schools. Many countries are concerned about their students and see the need for a curriculum that deals with character development. But it is often a David and Goliath battle against groups pushing harmful agendas. Go Moira!!
U.S. News . . .
In the first part of July, the Gaius ministry will take a team to Malawi to expand the SAFE Haven (container) we sent to Malawi in 2012. It was turned into a youth center where peri-urban children in Zomba come to play sports, be tutored, and be discipled. More space is needed for all the kids coming, so Gaius is building an addition to the existing structure. They plan to engage and mentor some of the youth in the process.
"GO" give and encourage
In September, a wonderfully diverse group of 9 from Rancho Baptist Church in Temecula, CA go to Malawi with bags full of needed items that the church Gogo Group, youth, and even some men are making. Pray for them as they prepare to give — and God prepares their hearts to receive.
"GO" start a Gogo Group
It is always a joy to welcome a new Gogo Group into Gogo Grandmothers. This group at Valley Christian Fellowship in Menifee, CA was birthed by our Temecula, CA Gogo Group. It always feels like birthing a baby! In this case it really does, because the new leader, Kim Day (no relation to Dick and Charlotte Day), is just about to give birth to their third child! Phyllis Wilkerson is also taking a leadership role in this new wonderful group! They are in the front row on the left! Go Gogos!
"GO" give blankets!
Blankets may seem like a simple thing to us, but to a gogo in a village they are a "prized possession"! When their only defense from the cold nights is a mat on the dirt floor and a thin piece of cloth — that blanket becomes a treasure to the gogos and little children.
We are looking for the best buy on good blankets in Malawi, because it is already cold, and the gogos and children need them — especially at night in June and July! We hope to find blankets for about $10.00 apiece Click the button to help buy a blanket.
Jesus says when we go and care for the least… we are actually going to care for Him! —Matt. 25:40. And someday we will hear Him say, "Come!" —Matt. 25:34
Thank you for "going" in so many ways to some of the least!
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