The ‘Beatitudes’

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“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” 
Matthew 5:6 (NKJV)

This verse is perhaps one of the easiest to understand as it is pretty self-explanatory. Have you ever been really thirsty? We were branding one spring while it was a very sunny and warm day. For those that have been involved with branding calves you understand how dusty and dry it can get. About half way through I was not sure I could feel my tongue anymore. I wanted water in the worst way, almost to a point of not being able to continue without it. I think that is what Jesus means when He says, “hunger and thirst for righteousness.”

That type of thirst or hunger that drives ‘til you stop everything else to quench it. In some way we all want righteousness; I believe this verse is for that hunger or thirst that takes control of your mind. Few of us have ever been really hungry; that was probably the closest I have ever been to truly understanding thirst. I believe God used that time to help me get a small understanding of what He is talking about in this verse.

God is looking for those that desire Him over everything else. The good thing is, those that do will be ‘filled’ or blessed. Multiple times throughout scripture we see this truth. I’ve listed a few of the verses below. This is not a comprehensive list, so see how many more you can find that relate to this topic; as we do, we “shall be filled.”



The ‘Beatitudes’

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"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
Matthew 5:4 (NKJV)

We have all mourned for something; the loss of a loved one, a job, a friendship, or a pet. I believe we need to view this verse as a temporary condition, not a permanent state. We need to look at the word ‘mourn’. I am not trying to make light of our losses but they are not a permanent feeling or way of feeling. The thought that came to me was mourning over our condition of spiritual bankruptcy, if you will. When we realize that we are helpless in a situation, we go through a type of mourning. There are those who go into this state of mourning and seem to stay in it for years. I know everyone walks through these things differently, however, Jesus states in this verse that they shall be comforted.

My point is that we are not to go around with our head down declaring what a sorry, no good, sinner we are. While this may be true, Jesus promises comfort. If we translate this verse literally, we could say it as ‘Happy’ are those that mourn. That part alone would be an oxymoron to most of us. How can one be happy if they are mourning? Have you ever been hit so hard by a loss that completely broke you? Did you notice that when you reach the end of yourself, there came a sense of peace and comfort? I have been there. Maybe what He is trying to tell us, is that if we come to that kind of mourning over our own condition, we will find comfort.

The first two verses of the beatitudes are pointing to our relationship with God and our heart attitude. This is where it all starts; what is my heart and attitude towards the Father? Am I acknowledging Him? For me, I must always put my relationship with God above everything else and let God arrange all of the other parts of my life. These two verses help us to do just that.

Lord, help me to continue to be humble in my relationship with you. Give me comfort and peace to know that You are all I need.



"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God…"  — Isaiah 41:10a

COVID 19 has made its way into Malawi! PRAY it stays contained! There are only a few ventilators and ICU beds in the entire country -- and no ability for most people to get medical help if it spreads. 
In one village area, Mary Phiri and Brenda Sanama had an opportunity to teach gogos, preventative measures like social distancing, hand washing with soap, wearing masks and recognizing symptoms.

Mary Phiri showing the importance of hand washing!

SAFE has 2,730 gogos registered in all three regions of Malawi. Many are still caring for orphans and vulnerable children. Ironically, they are some of the most vulnerable themselves!

Mary using a stick to help describe social distancing. Nothing could be more culturally different!

The Malawian government is shutting down the country through May 9... So our plans to get soap to our other villages had to be changed! White ash from the cooking fires can be used for hand washing, but it is NOT as effective as soap. 

Thankfully, SAFE has village coordinators that live in all of our sponsored villages. They can be equipped to educate their village about COVID 19 during the shutdown period. They can also help people replace their fears with faith in Jesus.

James, Coordinator for Kawiya villages, sharing a prayer time with the gogos.

SAFE staff have been seeding God’s word for years in the hearts of gogos, children, teachers, students and inmates in the prisons. We know God will use them during this time to be His witnesses in their communities.  
“ … I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10b

Please pray! Malawi is especially vulnerable due to poverty, culture and illiteracy, and because its healthcare systems are way below international standards.
Their hope -- and ours -- is in God!

“Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him; the LORD protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies.” -- Psalm 41:1-2

To Pray and/or Donate please visit:

In His love for the least and for you,

 Leslie Lewis
U.S. Coordinator for SAFE/Gogo



 El Salvador has been on a tight lockdown for a couple weeks now. Thanks to Nayib Bukele, the new president, the country has experienced many changes, one being his early actions in putting the country on a quarantine and closing down the borders. He has approved a three month wave on electric, water bills and bank payments. They’ve also mobilized a 2,000 bed make shift hospital anticipating the coronavirus outbreak. He is doing the best he can to protect his people.

Thanks to the wonderful internet, La Capilla (Calvary chapel El Salvador) is still up and going! The church has been physically closed but on Facebook we are alive! Every night Pastor Carlos streams live for a book discussion that follows the daily guide he sends via text message in the morning (working though the book of Revelation). Since the Patmos program is in an enclosed property, they are still going strong, hitting the halfway mark of the term!

As for me, I am safely relaxing in my parents’ home in Florida. Missing my Salvador immensely, but trusting God’s timing for when I can go back. Currently Upon entering El Salvador you must go to a 30 day quarantine location, president ordered. My days now are filled with bible studies, Jon Courson sermons, walks with my family, deep cleaning, Netflix and delivering food to my feisty Bronx born grandma. I’m also hoping to take advantage of this time and educate myself (love YouTube) more in psychology and social work to be better equipped in serving our God.