From my heart to yours…
Leslie Lewis is the U.S.
Coordinator of Gogo Grandmothers
I am trying to imagine the journey that has brought your eyes to this page.
• Maybe you are looking for something meaningful to do with extra time you have been given because of an empty nest, retirement, or another life change.
• You may be troubled by the statistics--20,000,000 orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2010--and you understand that this is the greatest human crises of this century.
• Perhaps you have been to Africa and know first-hand the opportunities the AIDS pandemic presents for expressing the love of Christ.
• Some of us have simply seen an orphan child's face on television and we cannot forget it.
Please ask yourself, "Is God calling me to join Him in the work He is doing in Africa through Gogo Grandmothers--a ministry of prayer and providing?" Mother Theresa said, "When God calls a woman, she knows." Of course this is equally true for a man.
For me, the call has come and I know it. I don't know what it will all mean…only that I am to begin. You may be feeling the same.
Dick and Charlotte Day (the founders of Gogo Grandmothers) have shown me what can happen when a person says "Yes" to God at any age. Nearly 17 years ago, Charlotte left for Africa when she was a 60-year-old grandmother-never imaging God would use her to birth a ministry to the gogos…one that would be a culturally appropriate way to meet the needs of millions of children left orphaned by AIDS.
The Gogo Grandmothers group at Mariners Church in Costa Mesa, Calif. went through the labor pains to birth this ministry to the gogos in the Makungula village of Malawi. What they learned and developed is now being duplicated in Gogo Grandmothers groups around the world.
I can only imagine what the Lord will do as thousands and thousands of grandmothers and others in First World countries say "yes" to helping the AIDS orphans of Africa by assisting the grandmothers who care for them.
In Melissa Fay Greene's book about the AIDS orphans in Ethopia (There Is No Me Without You), she recounts the experience of her little adopted daughter, an African orphan of AIDS, shortly after she arrived in the United States.
"One day, about four months after arriving in Atlanta, Helen collapsed in my arms, suddenly stricken with the memory of her late mother. I held her as she writhed, wailing, 'Why she had to die?'
A few minutes later, she said between sobs, 'I know why she died. She was very sick, and we didn't have the medicine.
'I know,' I said. 'It's true. I am so sorry.'
By then, I was well versed in the AIDS orphan crises, but it floored me that she captured it with such accuracy, brevity, and grief, more powerfully than any of the thousand pages I had read on the subject.
'I wish I had known you then," I told the child in my arms. 'I wish I could have sent her the medicine.'
'But we didn't have a phone,' she wept, 'and I couldn't call you.'"
Do you hear your phone ringing? The children are trying to call us! Will you answer and become a part of their story?
- Leslie Lewis
U.S. Coordinator for Gogo Grandmothers
Click here for information on how to start a group.
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