LOVE DOES by Bob Goff
After 46 years of being tied to a church as their organist/choir director, I am now playing the field as far as joining a church at this time. and you know, each Sunday I seem to be exactly where we should be in worship! A few Sundays back it was at CRB (church of rancho bernardo) where we heard Bob Goff (guest speaker) shake things up. I bought his book after the service…more of a ‘thanks for coming, really enjoyed your enthusiasm’ than a ‘gotta read it!’ And for $15, I figured I’d pass it along after I read it to the person it was “really” meant for. WRONG! It made me regret the years I hadn’t lived on the edge, see the times I did experience that, and realize there was still a lot of time left to be a verb in Jesus’ vocabulary.
Looking for status quo or normal? Don’t read this book. “Love Does” is 31 chapters that go down like peanuts’; you can’t stop at one. And now it’s time to BE the 32nd Chapter!
LOVE DOES by Bob Goff
A few of us visited a South Bay high school in early September (a site visit for one of our local ministry applicants for 2012) and sat in on a youth club that meets weekly over the lunch hour. We were impressed at how easily the games/worship leaders engaged the rest of the kids. (Get this for an ice-breaker: pair up into 2s, play “rock-paper-scissors.” The winner of each 2-some plays another winner, with the losers beginning to form a group behind them. When the final 2-some plays, the winning group gets . . . candy!)
The kids only had about 40 min. to eat (yea pizza!, provided by a church youth group connected with the school), play, worship, pray, and have a short message chock full of Scripture about not quitting, not being afraid, by one of their classmates.
A young couple walked in just before the activities, she great with child and he very attentive and caring for her. Afterwards, they introduced themselves, shook our hands. We asked about the baby–a little boy, due in November. “Thank you for not aborting that baby,” we said. “We know it will be hard.”
“It already is hard,” she said. And then, softly and somberly, “I hope I can be forgiven.”
“Oh, honey,” we said. “You ARE forgiven!”
Lord, please let her remember what we told her, how we held her hands, stroked her belly, smiled our forgiveness at her. Sometimes, just hearing words of forgiveness, even if they’re from an unaffected party, is so healing. Let it be so, Jesus!!!
You might have noticed that we have a new committee member, Peggy Keck. (More about that soon.) But who’s missing is our Lisa Liguori! Lisa is moving on to family philanthropic activities. She is one amazing lady and helped us SO much to be where we are today. Anything electronic is because of Lisa and our voting procedure is because of Lisa. She brought a younger perspective to our meetings as we worked to get ourselves off the ground. And there was always a lot of laughter as she mentored us on the world wide web!
Lisa leads behind a huge void. We love her, we miss her, and she tells us we can still give a shout if we get in too much trouble! We all thank you, Lisa xoxo.
WAIT! Before you sign that next check for your favorite ministry. Before you join a campaign to collect shoes for orphans in a poor African village. Before you take sandwiches down to the homeless in San Diego, take time to read When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert.
I’ve often considered that politicians exploit the poor for their own purposes, but I never judged myself guilty of such a ploy. Don’t get me wrong. My exploitation takes the form of helping myself feel better about the abundance of possessions I have when I skim off some of the excess and pass it off to those who might need it more. This book has made me take more than just a second look at how I deal with the materially poor in this world. My focus has been on my deeds, but not so much on my attitude. I’ve had a rude awakening – well, perhaps not rude, but maybe radical – regarding the whole issue of “helping” the materially poor.
The authors are sharing perspectives they have learned the hard way, from their own loving but misguided mistakes. Their approach is far from authoritarian, but rather, from a shepherding viewpoint. They are sincere about helping not just the materially poor, but also those of us who want to help. Their ideas are practical, biblical, and sustainable. Do yourself and the poor you help a favor, read the book. -Marian Drops
You’ve really got to watch out when you join SEEDS. Last year we voted to award one of our grants to GogoGrandmothers in Malawi, Africa. It really touched many of your hearts including MINE! I am off to Malawi, Africa to visit some of the villages and bring headscarves, panties, sewing kits, knit infant caps and greetings from all of you! Thank you to so many who donated their time and prayers and resources for this adventure. We like to check out those who apply for our grants…we call them site visits and you are all welcome on any of them. Well, I am doing a “site visit” after the fact and will report back. Follow me on my travel blog Morales22.com, and meet the folk in Lilongwe, where My husband Steve and I will serve for several weeks, and then out to Gogos in and around Blantyre and Zomba!
During our first year of giving, our SEEDS Advisory Committee was mightily blessed and challenged by the quality of the hearts and work being done around the world by the six ministries that applied for our first grant. Our great hope is that our members (ourselves included!) will keep abreast of the needs and progress of ministries that we introduce. We’ve seen for ourselves how certain causes leap out at one or another of our little committee, and we know the same is happening to all our members. We don’t, however, want to flood you with email updates from these ministries, so we encourage you to sign up for the kinds of communication you want directly on the various ministry websites. Every now and then, though, we’ll post some updates here on our blog.
The Purple Palace, which won one of our two first grants, has been forced out of their place in Zona Norte, the red light district of Tijuana where they work with the children of the prostitutes. They now have a new home and a new name–the Tijuana Children’s Home. Their new website will be up soon– www.tijuanachildrenshome.org. Until then, you can still go to www.thepurplepalace.org to keep up with their news and needs. Right now they’ve been made aware of a new baby just born. Here is their account:
“In one of the small, cold, dank, and dirty rooms of Zona Norte ,a baby boy was just born. It reminds us how our Lord Jesus came into the world. This mom named him Jesus too. Please pray that we can convince this mom to let us help her care for her new gift from God. This mom has only a little bit of food. If you could help us help her and her 3 other children we would be blessed ourselves. There are 27 more families that are on the brink of destitution in this area. We are asking for lots of blankets for them since the really cold nights have rolled in. Many are small children that also need clothing, warmth, and food. The children at our home are eager reach out to those in Zona Norte (where they came from) to help these others to have some hope in their lives. We know exactly where those that are hurting are located….could you help us help them? Please pray that we can take many of these kids home with us. We are not the government, so we try and convince the moms that we will do our best for their children’s little lives.”
Friday night, Oct. 30, 2009, in a warmly lit family room, a small group of caring, committed women gathered to hear the results of SEEDS San Diego’s first financial award votes. They heard about the beginnings of SEEDS, the joys, challenges, and fine-tuning of the year, and, finally, the two winners of our funds were announced:
The Purple Palace in Tijuana and Gogo Grandmothers in Malawi!
(As we were meeting, Tyler Youngkin from Purple Palace and Pam Gott from Gogo Grandmothers arrived and were ‘hiding’ in the living room, ready when the time came to thank us in person and tell us more about their organizations.)
Purple Palace’s request in their proposal was for a large van to ferry the kids in their care to school, to sports, to church, and to other activities. They are accustomed to making do with older vehicles and have mechanics who help keep them runing, but their ‘youngest’ van is 13 years old. We were so pleased when Tyler confirmed that the gift SEEDS gave them will be enough to buy a really good, slightly used, van!
Gogo Grandmothers requested funds to introduce a soy crop into a small village in Malawi. The grandmothers (and grandfathers) there, who are caring for their own and others’ orphaned grandchildren, grow maize (corn) primarily and are in need of a crop with greater food value – thus, soy, full of protein, easy to grow, but difficult to process. Gogo Grandmothers provides the seeds, the training, and the motivation that will not only provide this nutritious grain for these AIDS-orphaned children but will also introduce a new avenue for entrepreneurship.
Both of these fine organizations have needs that you might be interested in meeting on your own, from prayer, to money, to manpower, to ‘adopting’ a grandmother. The Purple Palace (www.thepurplepalace.org) is located just 15 minutes south of the border and is looking for all kinds of physical help – painters, plumbers, carpenters, computer technicians, etc. – as they have just this weekend moved to new facilities without much notice. Gogo Grandmothers (www.gogograndmothers.com) establishes groups of praying grandmothers in the US (though there are NONE in San Diego at present), and encourages groups of women already established (like maybe your book club or Bible study) to adopt a gogo (the African word for grandmother) as a project.
Go to their websites to find out first how wonderful they are, and second, what you can do to help! And if you would like to get involved in SEEDS, read over the website and go to “Become a Member.” We’d love to have you!
One year ago this month a small group of like-minded women sat down to brainstorm the concept of a giving circle on a grand scale. And SEEDS San Diego was born. (See the “Story of SEEDS” under our “About Us” tab.) It took us a while to get through all the paperwork and set up our little group, come up with a name, and refine our purpose, but we did it!
And now we’re about to conclude our first fiscal year by presenting to all our members a slate of 7 terrific evangelical Christian nonprofits, in the greater San Diego area and overseas, for a vote. Yes, each member of SEEDS gets to have her say as to where our money goes. (I almost wrote “put in her 2 cents” but that sends the wrong message!)
We think our distinctives–of internet-driven communication, VERY few meetings, overseas and local recipients, and sharing the decision-making for the vote–will draw in the busy women we know who have huge hearts and limited time.
We’ve extended our deadline for this year’s giving to Oct. 15. All you need to know is on the website. If you want to get in on the fun and the philanthropy, become a member!
We have taken an amazing journey through the establishment and growth of SEEDS! And we have learned sooooooo much about creating a Giving Circle, the many needs in the world, and how incredibly awesome our God is. He has watched and guided us the whole way!! As we are about to submit to you the worthy organizations for your consideration and vote, please know that any one of these groups would like your support and involvement if you are led to do so.
We want SEEDS to be contagious! So, thank you for catching the spirit…pass it on!