March 6, 2017
"…Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."-- Nehemiah 8:10b
Nothing describes Mary Escamilla better than this verse! Mary was our San Diego Inland Gogo Leader and she always seemed to have a song of praise to God behind her smile. Often in conversations she would spontaneously sing to make her point. "Sing Out Loud!" could be the caption under most pictures of Mary — and because Mary loved Gospel music, many of her conversations ended with her singing a hardy Aaaaaaaaaaamen!
When Mary got cancer she would say, "I am either going to be a cancer survivor or I am going to meet Jesus. Either way it's a win-win!" You could actually watch Mary's joy of the Lord grow stronger as her body grew weaker, and she realized she would soon be with Jesus. Mary went to be with the Lord February 25th with her loved family around her. Her memorial will be March 18th at 11AM at Penasquitos Lutheran Church in San Diego.
Mary left a strong legacy — here and in Malawi! She went to Malawi the first time to teach young women how to make washable menstrual pads so they would not miss school and fall behind. Then she went on a second trip to introduce our Bible banners into our preschools in Malawi — some of the most impactful discipleship and learning tools we have for children. Most of all, here and in Africa, Mary left a legacy of her love for Jesus Christ and her joy of the Lord that has left us all stronger!
Thank you Mary!
It's a Fact . . .
"Joy is the flag you fly when the Prince of Peace is in residence within your heart." -- Wilfred Peterson
"Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile." —- Wilfred T. Grenfell
Malawi News . . .
A Story about the Joy of Giving
In December 2016, the SAFE (Sub-Saharan Africa Family Enrichment) staff held this season's 1st distribution of dried maize in 12 village areas of Malawi. The 4th and final giving of maize from The Joseph Project will be completed this month —March 2017. After two years of the worst drought in 35 years, hunger is gripping the nation of Malawi. Over 8 million people are facing a food emergency until the next harvest comes in April or May.
15 members of the Day family went to Malawi in December to celebrate the 65th wedding anniversary of Charlotte and Dick Day Sr., founders of the SAFE ministry in Malawi. Those family members came to Makungula village to help the SAFE staff with the food distribution.
This story takes place in Gogo Grandmothers' 1st sponsored village, Makungula, where Charlotte Day started the first preschool —CBCC (Community Based Childcare Center). Many gogos and children came to Makungula that day for food during this time of famine.
The photos that tell this story come from Dick Day Jr. and his daughter, Sarah. Little Charlotte, named for her great Grandmother Charlotte Day, was also there for this time of giving.
Some of the poorest of the poor were present that day as they gathered at the CBCC early in the morning.
Each gogo patiently waited until her name was called to come get her half-bag of maize kernels. Each 50-kg bag of maize was shared between two gogos to feed their families for the next month. Most of these women are caring for three or more orphaned grandchildren.
After the bags of maize were given out, the gogos broke into singing with grateful hearts for this food during their "hungry time."
One gogo stood up and said, "We thank SAFE very much for the gift of maize Without it, most of us would have starved to death because the harvest was so very poor."
Now, I would like to share with you one short story within the bigger story….
As the corn was being distributed that day, some of the bags of maize had split open.
Dick Jr. saw his granddaughter Charlotte leaning over to pick up some kernels of corn that had fallen on the ground.
Thinking she was playing with the corn, "Papa" told his 2 ½ year-old granddaughter these words,
"Charlotte, this is precious because they don't have enough to eat and this is their food. They are not playing with it but they are collecting it to eat."
At that point, little Charlotte understood her grandfather and started collecting the precious kernels to give to the gogos.
Soon a handful of Malawian children joined this American toddler in gathering corn off the ground to hand to their grandmothers.
Just as her grandfather taught Charlotte, our Heavenly Father teaches us to join Him in caring for the poor.
In Proverbs 22:9, we learn that God rewards those who do what He asks: "A generous person will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor." Almost always, part of that blessing is Joy!
Thank you to everyone who has given to The Joseph Project over the last 2 years!
U.S. News . . .
Sweet Repeats: Saturday, April 1, the Gogo Group at Mariners Church is "repeating" their annual Sweet Repeats fashion show featuring thrift store and consignment shop clothing. Gently-used accessories (purses, scarves and jewelry) will also be available. Funds raised will go to meet needs in Makungula village. It will be held at Mariners Christian School in Costa Mesa, CA. Contact Suzi Hamilton firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Coffee House Concert: Friday, April 7, the Gogo Group at Burke Community Church in VA will host their second Coffee House Concert where an evening of good music, good food, and good art combine with good-hearted people! Funds are being raised for a new CBCC (preschool) for the children in Kawiya Tikondane Village.
Make a Difference . . . Provide funds for solar lamps for our orphaned students on scholarships to enable them to study at night. There is an organization called SolarAid providing the best low-cost option for solar lights in Malawi. Only $5.00 will provide a solar light for a student. We have 105 students in need.
Thank you for helping bring the joy of the Lord to the poor in Malawi!
May the joy of the Lord be your strength!
In His love for the least and for you,
"LIKE" GOGO GRANDMOTHERS