“I know, my God, that you test the heart…” – I Chronicles 29:17a
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” —Jeremiah 1:5 NIV
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “testing” as, “causing (someone or something) to be in a situation that shows how strong, good, etc., that person or thing really is.”
The Lord allows us to be in situations that test and reveal our love for Him and for others. Those situations that test our love for God are the most important tests we will ever take in our lives. In Malawi, our SAFE team’s hearts are tested each time they face the work it takes to free people from spiritual or physical poverty. In school or on the job, we are also tested about what we know or don’t know about something. Have some fun testing your knowledge about SAFE’s work in Malawi.
Moira Chimombo was set apart by God to come alongside Dick and Charlotte Day in Malawi and later to lead SAFE (Sub-Saharan Africa Family Enrichment) as both the Education Director since 2003 and the Executive Director since 2008. She will be retiring at the end of this month and she will leave an amazing legacy!
Moira recently shared, “Looking back on my life, I can see how God prepared me in so many ways for different aspects of my work with SAFE.”
Moira was teaching at Chancellor College when Dick and Charlotte came to Malawi in 1990, thinking they would be only be there for a one-year sabbatical. But that was 28 years ago!
Moira remembers that time
When I read these 2 words “walk humbly” and the 28 words surrounding them in Micah 6:8 — “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” — they always feel like clean water splashed on my dirty feet! I want to breathe them in slowly, and make them true in my life and in our world!
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” —1 John 4:11
“… if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness…” — Isaiah 58:10a NIV
This verse does NOT tell me to spend my money on behalf of the hungry and oppressed. It talks about something far deeper — spending myself. This is about spending ME on behalf of the poor! Because when God has all of me, He has control of everything — my prayers, my time, my talent and my money — those little "loaves and fish" given in love to Jesus to multiply and feed hungry people.
After reading Isaiah 58:10, I had to ask what part of ME do I spend on the poor and hungry and oppressed in this world? I have to ask that question because Jesus said this is the question He will ask of me someday. (Matt 25: 31-46)
“… surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” –Jesus (Mathew 28:20b)
As I write, Valentine’s Day is around the corner! The smell of roses fills grocery stores, and little cards are on display for children to give their classmates. This is a good reminder to me that LOVE IS A VERB — and that God’s love is not a once-a- year bouquet, or an infrequent word of affection given — but it is active and alive for each of us every day…. and my love toward others should be the same!
The verse above from I John 4:11 is on the back of our gogos’ T-shirts, and is a reminder of this truth whenever they meet together!
Yesterday I received a report that read… “Our Gogo Grandmothers groups here in Malawi are very unique in strength, compassion and love for one another. The gogos are able to help one another in times of need.”
“Every good and perfect gift is from above…”
What a promise to remember as we begin 2018!
Jesus gave this promise to his “team” of 11 disciples, but thankfully it is still His promise to us today! Jesus teams up with us as we obey His command to go…
^“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.” –Matthew 28:18-20
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ
Christmas is coming! How wonderful to be reminded that every good and perfect gift comes from God!
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17
God’s gifts never go out of style, and God’s supply never runs out! They are available to everyone -- all cultures -- all ages -- rich and the poor. You don’t have to have a Christmas tree to put them under – they are available anywhere 24/7!
Your labor prompted by love
The gospel is good news because it is a gift from God, not something that must be earned by penance or by self-improvement. Sometimes I picture the gospel like a gift box being held out to someone. That person has a choice whether to take the gift or not, and even if they take it, they may not open it for a very long time. They may have been told what is inside — but they can't imagine that it could be true!
“Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.”
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!
We often grow up with a negative view of obedience from our childhood, especially if we have had a hurtful experience. You may not see obedience to God as the gift that it is, because it has become twisted and redefined by sinful man like so many things that God created to be good and a blessing to you.
At the recent Gogo retreat we talked about the meaning and blessing of obedience to God. Here are a few of the thoughts we shared together…