Cooking for the Children
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." – James 1:27
Sometimes individual stories get lost in the big story of what God is doing! So sharing today is about a particular cook—a very special kind of cook!
My name is Lizzie Longwe and I am one of the 44 cooks who help feed the children in SAFE’s 20 preschools. I wake up early to carry water and gather wood to cook the ground maize with soy, sugar and salt for the children’s phala (porridge). Knowing that I am helping to stop malnutrition in our village children brings me so much joy!
I live in Chipayika Village and have been a widow since 2007. Six grandchildren stay with me. This has not been easy. When there was a need for a cook for the little village children attending SAFE’s Muwowo Community Based Childcare Center, I didn’t hesitate to take the opportunity. The allowance that I get from my cooking for the CBCC (preschool) cares for most of the daily basic needs of my household. I love what I do! Each morning when I wake up, I don't need to be told what to do -- but go with joy to cook for the children.
Thank you for making stories like Lizzie’s possible!
The cost of fertilizer and other goods for our gogos in Malawi is skyrocketing due to the unrest in the world. Pray about being a part of our 2022 LOVE BOLD Malawi Walkabout to address some of the needs of the gogos and the children in SAFE’s preschools.
Click this link to learn more about walking or donating. https://gogograndmothers.com/walkabout
Thank you for the many ways you partner with us!
“For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” -- Psalm 107:9
In His love for the least,
Leslie — for our SAFE staff in Malawi
We hope you are doing well as Spring weather begins to warm the air and bring beauty in the form of flowers and leaves on the trees! You may remember from our last newsletter that we prayed about how we could help in this terrible humanitarian crisis sweeping throughout Europe. We felt the urge to do something, but what?
So many lives displaced, so many stories, so much suffering, yet the Lord allowed us, among so many others, to be a small part of the help. Physical support also brings spiritual benefit to the suffering when accompanied by the Gospel. One of the first things we did when we found out about this crisis was to contact our friends in Ukraine, offering to house people as needed. We also asked our church members to consider this prayerfully. Our first refugee house guest, Tanya, arrived this week. We are glad to be able to offer a drop of help in this ocean of need. Today we worked on the paperwork side of things. Legally she is allowed to be here; though Ukraine is not in the EU, some formalities must be done, which we've begun.
Going back to the time of our last newsletter, we were contacted by The Bridge, a church that wanted to invest through us in bringing help and hope to refugees. After much deliberation, Mike got a ticket to Eastern Germany to join pastor Kurt Ibbotson. During the trip, our church, Calvary Chapel Paris, got behind the project, offering prayer and support for the entire adventure. Once Mike arrived in Leipzig, Kurt and he drove to Krakow and then, every day, filled up the van with as many provisions as could fit in it and brought that to a Refugee Center at the Ukrainian border. They then would walk around, share with people, humanitarian workers, and refugees, and see who needed to be driven. They then would start the shuttling service of moving people from the Refugee Center to the airport or train station.
With Mike back home, Tanya safely settled in, and other families in the church hosting refugees, we realize we are not done. One of the more exciting first reactions this Sunday was the idea that missions trips of this nature, possibly to other parts of the world, may be on our horizons. It’s too soon to be sure how this will play out, but the seed has been planted. Please pray that God will lead us.
The Easter outreach is progressing nicely, which is incredible considering everything else! One team working on tracts and a poster with contact information, one team working on the choir, chocolates for the neighbors, matching outfits… it has been suitable for our little church! We are just a couple of weeks away. Please keep us in your prayers that people will get saved!
The worship band started working with a vocal coach – one of the co-leaders found a Christian who does vocal lessons and happens to have been on the French version of The Voice! It is such an answer to prayer to be growing in this area!
Please be in prayer for the Children’s ministry. With all that has been going on – with the pandemic, confinement, and now the war there is always a reason not to bring children to church. It makes it difficult for the children who come – they want to be with other kids! Let’s pray in all the kids back and then some!
The women’s group is doing well. This week we are going to enjoy fellowship at a café. One of the ladies is a student and must work on the weekends. She has been missing church and is sad about it – and we miss her too! So, we decided to go to her juice bar for fellowship right after she got out at five so that she could join us!
On a personal note, please pray as Sophie needs braces – so expensive. We need to get plane tickets soon to go to Mike’s brother’s wedding this July.
May God bless you this month!
Mike and Becky
We wanted to send out an update and tell you about how things are going here. It’s been strange to hear the news of Russia attacking Ukraine. We’ve been in constant contact with fellow missionaries over there. One of our elder’s is Ukrainian and thankfully he was able to evacuate his mother from Kyiv but his wife’s family is still in a neighboring village in the heart of the country. It’s a heartbreaking moment and although we don’t know the details of our future involvement will be, we are preparing for how the Lord would have us be involved.
In the meantime we can talk about the things we do know more about and that’s what the Lord is currently doing at CC Paris. We wanted to thank you for your prayers, Mike was able to go the Pastor’s conference in Austria. He came back refreshed and bearing chocolate!
In our last newsletter we spoke about the new direction the church is taking and our vision for this season which can be summarized as “connaître Dieu et le faire connaître” or “knowing God and making Him known”. We’ve continued our “pre-glows” and finished with a week of all-church prayer during which the the Conflict in Ukraine began. It was such a help for our church body to be able to gather together daily and pray in the middle of the day - to “cast all our cares on Him, for He cares for us” in this hour of uncertainty and need.
We met twice last month as a church and solidified our Easter evangelism project. Here is the basic plan: we will have a Good Friday service mainly for the members of our church, then a special Easter service where we invite all the neighborhood, special welcoming team and evangelistic message. Then after the service we plan to hit the streets with a choir that we are preparing and a bunch of invitations with chocolate. Please pray for us. We have about six weeks to pull it all together. We will also rebuild our Social media presence and replace our live stream (which has been silent for awhile) with a podcast style that will aimed more at connecting with visitors. These ideas are from the church themselves and so we are excited about working with people to see the Lord use them in this new way. Please keep us in your prayers. It has been great to see different groups of people rise up for each project with the goal of reaching Paris with the gospel.
Another high point this month is to see how the Worship ministry is taking shape. We have co-leaders now: one person concentrated on music and another on organization. This is a great step in the right direction for us as we prepare for the Easter outreach and puts us in good shape for future endeavors. Once this gets well underway, we will need to begin to concentrate on the Children and Youth ministry. This will need prayer coverage as it’s a sensitive subject that needs work. Thankfully, Abby and Kris have a huge heart for the youth and some pretty great ideas too. They are thinking about summer projects with the kids as well, like possibly going to the CreationFest in the UK this summer. As these projects are far off, we realize that now is the time to plan and so we wanted to share with you.
Lastly, we wanted to share some other prayer requests. We have a few weddings this summer in California we hope to attend, including Mike’s brother’s. Please pray the Lord would open the doors for us to attend. Also, Becky has been studying at CCU in the Biblical Counselling department but has felt it may be time for a change. She is taking a break to see if Western Seminary might not be a better fit. Please pray the Lord would lead us and provide all that’s needed.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support.
Mike and Becky Dente
Hello All! Just wanted to share a few pictures from our visit to the new mission which is about to open!
This will be the parking lot.
Here is the front of the aged building
From left to right: Pastor Erasmo (the new pastor of this mission), Pastor Marcelo (Ricardo's dad, property has been given to Ricardo's dad from his grandfather), Neighbor who takes care of property, son, and Pastor Murillo (missions pastor)
This will be the area where church services will be held. The shade is great and in the picture are some of the men from our men's ministry who came to plan out how they are going to clean up the property and paint the building.
The idea is that this will be the children's area.
Currently the plan for this area is to clear it and make it a field for the children to be able to play.
A lot of leaves and bushes to clear.