September 10, 2017
"…Your labor prompted by love…
Labor Day was last weekend and it got me thinking about how we view our work and labor. The first mention of labor in the Bible is in Genesis 3:16 where God tells Adam and Eve that it is going to take labor to birth babies. The most precious human gift we receive from God is going to take work! Someone once said, " If raising children was going to be easy, it wouldn't have started with something called labor." From the beginning in our fallen world, anything worthwhile takes labor to birth — an idea… a relationship… an education… a rescue… a ministry!
I often find myself laboring over things that don't matter much and have no lasting value, but I find that when I labor over things prompted by God's love, produced by faith and inspired by hope — those things really matter and they will be remembered!
I Thessalonians 1:3 says it this way — "We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."
Today because of several hurricanes, people are laboring for many hurting families. Men and women are setting aside their own comfort to labor for others! That is the only beauty in these storms. But, even when life is "normal" and work is tedious, labor becomes something precious when we do it for the Lord and our love for others. Then we won't miss the little and big labors that can make a difference in someone's life.
Thank you for laboring with us for our laborers in Malawi — Dick, Charlotte, Moira, Ben, Mary, Philip, Cathy, Brenda, Lameck, Michael, Aaron and Timaleni. This team labors together to disciple, train and minister to gogos, vulnerable children, students, teachers and village leaders.
I can't think of truer words then these about you as supporters of our Malawian staff. They are worth repeating! "We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."
— I Thessalonians 1:3
It's a Fact . . .
"God sells us all things at the price of labor." — Leonardo da Vinci
"God give me work, till my life shall end. And life, till my work is done."
— Epitaph of Winifred Holtby
"Hard work is painful when life is devoid of purpose. But when you live for something greater than yourself and the gratification of your own ego, then hard work becomes a labor of love." — author unknown
Malawi News . . .
Laboring Together For Children
Villagers in Kawiya Tikondane have labored to mold and fire 35,000 bricks in this outdoor oven which are being used for constructing a new Community Based Childcare Center. They will be able to buy iron sheets, cement, nails and other needed supplies because the Burke Community Church Gogos in Virginia raised funds for this at their Coffee House Concert! What a beautiful partnership of labor for the children in this village!
The caregivers (teachers) of our Community Based Childcare Center in Kondanani are making a fuel-efficient stove in their brand new outdoor kitchen! This was also a joint labor between the Granada Heights Gogos in California who raised the funds and village workers in Kondanani supplied the labor!
The Mariners Gogo Group has labored to make possible the wonderful programs at our SAFE Haven in Zomba. Aaron, our SAFE Haven Coordinator, and his volunteers labor to tutor and build relationships with the poor children living in the area.
Laboring of Prayer
Lameck, one of our SAFE staff, labored in prayer together with local village pastors in order to have an outreach meeting with 25 chiefs (mostly Muslim) from the Kawiya villages. They decided to show them the Magdalena film that shows Jesus' love and respect for women. The Muslim men regard women as second-class people in the community, so after the film it was awesome for Lameck to hear the chiefs praying and asking God to forgive them for their wrong attitudes.
One chief commented, "What we saw in the film is what is happening in our communities… so we would love if you would show the film to all the people we are looking after so they would also turn from this behavior as we have now decided to do." Please pray for the men and women in the Kawiya villages this month who will see this film.
Laboring of School
Our 93 orphan students who receive school fees went back to school this September. They face many difficult challenges in their lives just to be able to go to school and stay in school. They often have to labor — not only in their classes — but also in someone's garden just to eat. Thank you for making school possible for them!
U.S. News . . .
Mary's Labor in the U.S.
In August, Mary Phiri (our Director of Early Childhood Development and Gogo Grandmothers) came to the U.S. to labor with us. Mary was one of the main speakers at the Malawi Mission Network Conference in Omaha. Then she had the opportunity to go to Angel's Camp and Alamo, CA to share with wonderful groups of people about SAFE's labor in Malawi. Thank you Mary!
RBC's Labor in Malawi
The Rancho Baptist Church mission team of 9 is preparing to go to Malawi September 14- 29. Their church and Gogo group has labored for months getting things made and collected to send with them! They will soon be seeing the results of their labor over many years in the lives of people in their sponsored village. What joy!
Gogo Retreat October 7, 2017
Register today for the Gogo One-Day Retreat at Mariners Church in Irvine, CA. You may not be able to go to Malawi — but on October 7th, "The Warm Heart of Africa" will come and minister to you! Bring a friend and learn more about how you can make a difference "On the Other Side of Your Obedience." Breakfast and lunch is included in your registration fee of $15. Gogograndmothers.com/retreat
"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." — 1 Corinthians 15:58
In His labor and love for the least,