Children

Not Our Work, But God’s Work.

Posted on August 23, 2010. Filed under: Children, Glory, God, VISION AFRICA-2010 JULY MISSION TRIP | Tags: , , , |

God created all of these children in His image.

7-19-2010

Each morning prior to going out into the field to do ministry, we gather at the Somebody Cares office for worship, prayer, celebration, and a time of devotion.  Today, at devotion, Theresa shares how we should allow God to guide us with His will and purpose and not our own.  She describes how each day we may be asked to do something that we do not desire to do or what we thought we should be doing, but rather what God wants us to do.  It is important for us to recognize a willingness to first seek the completion of His will in all things, including our mission work.  At times, if we are following our own will instead of God’s, he may rebuke us.  God may do this in order that we come back inline with His will.  We may not like how God disciplines us, but it is necessary so that His greater purpose is fulfilled.  It is important for us to remember this, it is Not Our Work, But God’s Work!

On a mission trip to Africa, there are many different types of duties to be completed.  It is always a good time packaging up bars of soap and sugar for widows in the villages, because we know the items are needed.  One of our teams will be taking the packages to the village of Njewa.  I am sure the widows will be blessed and very appreciative.

We are a little sad this morning, as we are told that of the widows died in Ngona on Saturday night.  We pray for her family and those who knew her.  It is difficult to comprehend the loss of life that happens so regularly among these village people.  The devastation of Aids and other diseases truly aches my heart as I meet people who do not have much time left in this life.  My prayer is that they all come to know Jesus as Lord and savior while they still have time.  When we arrive in Sichongo, Chief Kapudzama tells us that someone in his village had died during the night, and many of the villagers are at the funeral.  Again, I am stricken with grief and sorrow for the many who suffer.

In Sichongo today, a remote village about 30 minutes outside of Chikudzulire, we are greeted by most of the villagers on the side of a soccer field, which also serves as a gathering place.  We are given wooden chairs to sit in underneath a large tree.  The chief formally greets us with Ramsey interpreting his message.  Although Somebody Cares has been giving assistance and guidance to Sichongo, Ramsey tells us we are some of the first non-Africans to visit their village.  A sense of being distanced from the outside world overwhelms my emotions as I wonder about the isolation these people have been in for so long.  The beauty of us engaging with these people today in community and in the presence of our mighty God brings me peace.  It is obvious how the ministry of Somebody Cares is instrumental in bringing God into this community.  The ministry is not just about bringing them life’s physical sustenance, but also to teach them how to become a self-sufficient village.

Tyler and I play soccer with some of the youth.  These kids are very skilled at moving the soccer ball with their feet; I on the other hand am not skilled at all, and they no it, taking advantage of my lack of playing ability.  We play 5 on 5 on a smaller field, without any goalies, as we have make small goals about 4 feet wide, using bricks as the side markers.  There are 3 teams, which are rotated in after each team scores a goal.  One goal wins the game.  So, after each goal, we start a new game.  I play until I am soaked with sweat, and too tired to run any longer.  I am not 15 anymore, and these kids run circles around me.  Still, it is a huge blessing to be able to play soccer with these young boys on their turf.

Around 1 PM, several of us go with Ramsey and about 15 of the village youth and adults to the garden.  It is our job to give the garden it’s afternoon bath, or let’s just say we water the garden.   We dip and fill up the watering cans from a water hole and give the garden the much-needed daily supply of water.  This procedure is completed twice daily, once in the morning, and once in the afternoon.  The village has a starter garden, whereby they plant the seeds until the plants began to grow.  After the plants reach a certain growth stage, they transfer them to a larger garden so they can grow to their fullest potential.  Ramsey shares with us how proud the villagers are of their garden, and how they expect it to continue producing crops they can eat, sell at the market place, as well as produce more seed in order to continue production in the future.  Their goal is for their village to become self-sufficient and not rely on outside resources.

The medical team performs another incredible job as they administer examinations to 185 children, including dispensing medicine as applicable.  In addition, all the children are given medication to prevent them from having worms.  Unfortunately, there are still about 30 children who do not receive examinations today, as we run out of time in the day and have to leave to go back to COTN.  There is just not enough manpower or time to take care of all the children who need our attention.  Leaving some children without receiving medical examinations brings sorrow to all of our hearts.  But, we know we have given our best for the fulfilling of our mighty God’s divine purpose; we have to be at peace with that thought.  Also, we must remember it is Not Our Work, But God’s Work.  Amen.

I pray all of you are blessed by God’s Spirit,

Daryl Dho

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Dancing in the Street

Posted on August 6, 2010. Filed under: Children, Creation, God, Salvation, VISION AFRICA-2010 JULY MISSION TRIP | Tags: , , , , |

This is Dancing With the Stars in Malawi

I know it has been several days since I wrote, but I had some other responsibilities to attend to.  But don’t worry, here is the next segment of my journey from Malawi.
7-16-2010 (Friday)

Chatimba

We are having a little different experience this morning at the office of Somebody Cares for our devotional time.  Keta decided it was time for us to play some games as a team-building event.  We are playing 30 Seconds and Pictionary before leaving out on our trip to the village.  I am having a lot of fun, but it is obvious Keta plays all of the time, as she is the best and is crushing the rest of us.

Our journey to Chatimba is quite long today.  We get to village and receive an awesome welcome from the people of the village and even Chief Chatimba, as everyone is Dancing in the Street. Other than Somebody Cares vehicles, only cow powered carts and bikes will be coming through, so it’s cool to be Dancing in the Street.  Most of us are dancing with the women who were having a great time.  Unfortunately, the men do not normally dance with the women, which is a bit of a bummer.  But today, Chief Chatimba decided to dance with us, so I am dancing with him too; it is a blast.  He is very excited to participate with everyone in this celebration of life.  Dancing with the Malawian people is such a joy, as they truly get into it with all their heart.  None of the other men danced; oh well.

Afterwards, half of the group went to the village gardens.  One of the gardens they went to see was the widow’s garden, which apparently was in its beginning stages.  They told me it was beautiful, and that Chief Chatimba was excited to show our group all they had accomplished in the growing of their garden.  They are growing tomatoes, herbs, and mustard greens, which are a main part of their diet here.  Many people in our group love the mustard greens, but I do not.  I have been eating them, but let me say it this way; I do not want to have them after we go home.  Chief Chatimba also showed the group a tree that every part of it is used, wasting nothing.  They use parts of the tree for relish and others to enhance the flavor of nsima.   We see banana trees all around us throughout this region, which is nice to see.  Also, there have a pond with fish in it they eat.

I am going with several in our group to the school, where about 500 kids learn English and many other things.  As we arrive, several of the children show us what they have learned, including sharing how they can speak English.

Joe, a local volunteer intern with Somebody Cares, and I are taking about 200 of the older kids outside to play some games and to teach them about God.  I teach them the story of creation and the fall, and of how Jesus was in God’s plans for our salvation.  Joe translates for me, as I do not speak their language yet.  After the lesson, I invite those who do not know Jesus to come to a saving faith in the Lord. I pray for those who do not know him to come to Christ.  After we pray, Joe asks them to raise their hand if they accepted Jesus as their savior.  Praise God, about 100 raise their hands, sharing they have accepted Jesus as their savior.  Alleluia.

It’s time for lunch with Chief Chatimba and Theresa in the chief’s house.  What a treat, as he even provided soda for us.  Now I know why I brought my bottle top remover.  He has the nicest house I have seen in any village we have been in, as he even has some furniture.

After lunch, Trinity, Sidney, Tyler and I decide to play soccer with some of the teens until it is time to go. Just like many of the World Cup games the score ended up 0-0.  Wow, I feel like a pro.  LOL.

Before we leave Chatimba, we have time for one last dance.  Wow, the people of Malawi like to sing, dance, and clap their hands a lot.  The chief grabs my hand and into the circle we go with all the women.  I am having a great time with all of these beautiful people.

On the way back to the office of Somebody Cares, Tyler, Chelsea, and Lynn decide to stop and buy some Mouse on a Stick from one of the roadside vendors, and then they took the plunge and ate some; oh wow bud!

To conclude a great day we are having a rolling blackout.  This seems to be a daily occurrence, and provides us with the lack of electrical resources so that we can have a candlelight dinner.  How cool is that!

Have a blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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Enter At Your Own Risk, But What Is The Alternative?

Posted on August 2, 2010. Filed under: Children, God, VISION AFRICA-2010 JULY MISSION TRIP | Tags: , , |

Some of my young friends in Malawi

Okay, here is another installment of my mission trip journal.

7-15-2010 (Thursday)

Upon our arrival in Mngwangwa, approximately 75 women greet us with singing and dancing.  Everywhere we go, we are greeted with singing, clapping, and dancing, which is such a huge part of their culture.  I am amazed at how all of the villages are so in sync with other in this area of their lives.  Most of the songs and dances are the same at each village.  They do not have TV’s, because there is not any electricity, they do not have a book of these dances that I know of, they do not have cars, and it is a long way between villages.  How do they all know the same dances and songs?  It is a mystery to me, but I like it.  The young girls in our group like to dance also, and some of them I think may be part Malawian, because they rock at this dancing stuff. Praise the Lord!

Today there are not many kids at the Community Center when we arrive, which is unusual compared to some of the other villages we have gone to.  The few kids that were here seem a little afraid.  I wonder why?

Now we are at the old Community Center, about a mile from the new center.  There are about 25 men and 25 women who are local Pastors, Elders, Deacons, and lay leaders from the local churches.  They have come here prepared to sing, dance, worship, pray, and be taught God’s word.  The leaders here today are tomorrow’s future in Mngwangwa.  It is awesome to see so many of these young people here ready to learn and get better equipped for service in God’s kingdom.  Praise the Lord!

I am blessed today to be able to preach to these pastors and leaders, and am prepared by God’s Holy Spirit to bring on the gospel.  Today God has lead me to teach about having the characteristics of Jesus in our lives, about putting off our old self and putting on our new self as we become born again into the body of Christ. I am teaching from Colossians 3:1-17, John 14:26; 15:12; 17:4,6,25, and Matt 5,6,7.  I am relying totally on the Holy Spirit to teach through me as I only had 10 minutes to prepare prior to leaving the office of Somebody Cares, where I was told I would be teaching today.  9 minutes of that 10 was spent in prayer, the other 1 minute God lead me to today’s Scripture for the lesson.  Praise the Lord!

After teaching for about an hour, we are going to where the counselors are helping many of the local women.  After hanging around there for a while, I decide to take some of the kids with me for a walk.  I started with about 10-12 kids, walking to the Somebody Cares Community Center.  Now we are at the Community Center, and we decide to turn around and walked back.  Oh wow bud, now I have about 30 kids with me for the return trip, where did they come from?  Upon my return to the top of the hill, Trinity & Andy decides to join us for a walk back to the Community Center; I am getting dizzy.  Andy decides to leave Trinity & I on our own with the kids, which has now swelled to a number of between 60-70.  We are doing it again, but this time when we get back, we had to go and the kids didn’t want to leave, so we got one of the local Pastors to tell the children goodbye for us. One little girl held my hand the entire time, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.  Praise the Lord!

Another great thing just happened; about 180 women were given exams & new panties by our medical staff. Wow, and Praise the Lord!

Everywhere we go we see goats, what is up with that?  Also, there are chickens and cows running around everywhere, with no fences.  I wonder how they know where they live? 

Hmmmm.

Another thing I noticed today.  There are partially finished brick houses all over Lilongwe.  I asked why and was told they build them as they have money.  So, they buy some land, then get some money for some bricks, build a little, and then wait for more money.

Hmmmm.

Oh, important detail; today was Trinity’s birthday.  Praise the Lord!

I know today I may be including some strange observations, but hey, they are my observations, so they go in my journal.  Think about this when you are enjoying a nice luxury toilet in the United States.  Community toilets in Malawi are very challenging to use, as they are only a hole in the ground surrounded by 3 or 3 1/2 walls, no door, and only about 4-5 feet tall. I would not want to go #2, or be a girl.

Maybe there should be the following sign:

Enter At Your Own Risk

But What Is The Alternative?

Praise the Lord.

Have a blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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Children Are A Blessing

Posted on July 31, 2010. Filed under: Children, Creation, God, VISION AFRICA-2010 JULY MISSION TRIP | Tags: , , , |

Children having fun today on jungle gym and swings.7-13-2010 (Tuesday)

Last night, we moved to where we will be living for the next 12 days.  We are staying at the Children of the Nation facility, which is outside Lilongwe.  Children of the Nations assists disadvantaged teenage children and young adults, giving them an education and an opportunity to better their situation in life.  The most important aspect of their teaching is to raise these young people as believers in Jesus Christ.

I woke up around 4:30 this morning.  It is cold here compared to the 115-degree days back in Phoenix, as it is probably around 40 degrees here.  I don’t want to wake up Tyler, my roommate, so I am using the flashlight App on my iPhone.  As I depart the room to go and brush my teeth in the bathroom, I attempt to shut off the flashlight App on my phone.  In doing so, I am looking down, not forward, and walk directly into a tree with my forehead.  To my defense, the tree was directly in the middle of the sidewalk, so I am not completely at fault.

Today was a fantastic day in the village of Chikudzulire.  Started the day at the Somebody Cares office this morning at 7:30 for God calisthenics, which included prayer, singing, prayer, and more singing.  I believe the Holy Spirit of God enjoys dwelling at the offices of Somebody Cares, for the level of faith of the staff and attending missionaries is high.

It’s time to leave, so we need to go and get into the vans.  One of my fellow team members just asked me what happened to my head.  They said I have a large bump on my head and it is bleeding.  So, I looked into the mirror, oops they are correct.  I guess this is my first battle wound in Africa.  Hopefully nobody will laugh at me today, as it is a little embarrassing.

The medical team (Robin, Stephanie, Lynn and Rachel) is going to Ngona to provide checkups and administer medicine to sick people in the village.  As they arrive in Ngona and set up for the clinic, they are overwhelmed by the people lining up to see the doctors.  By the end of the afternoon, they have given medical assistance to 40 people.  The doctors also took the time to listen to the devastating personal life stories of some of the adults they had treated.  I believe these doctors will never forget many of those whom they gave aid too today.  The experience has given them a sense of accomplishment and a sense of despair, as there are too many sick people for them to care for.  Now we are blessed by the doctors’ return, as the entire medical team shares with us some of the stories of the day.

I am still amazed at the number of people who ride their bikes everywhere.  They ride them not just to get themselves around, but also to carry goods and supplies for sale to other villages and the market place.  Some of the riders have attached wood sticks to their bikes in order to stack up large quantities of wood, sugar cane, and other goods to sell at the market place.  I am amazed as I just saw a guy with a stack of wood on a bike that looks to be 6 or 7 feet high.  I question how they even balance themselves while driving down the road.  Vehicles fly by the bicyclists so fast and within inches of the rider’s; I am amazed at how they don’t even flinch.  Apparently, this is just a normal occurrence in their lives, so, no big deal!  A staff member told me that when a car hits a bicyclist or pedestrian along the roadside, the person driving the car is responsible for the medical bills of the injured person.  I hope we don’t hit anyone, because our driver is flying down the road.  I am not even sure if the wheels are on the ground.

This is so cool, we are in a remote area, and the little children are so excited to see us driving by.  Apparently they do not see people driving by very often, especially “azungus” (white people).  They are coming out running, waving, and screaming things out loud as we speed through their neighborhood.  The children seem to be amused by anything they would not normally see or experience in their lives.  This is one of my favorite things I have seen so far.  I love these kids.  Most of these children have so little; I guess any little change or something new or different can have a huge impact on their lives.

We are now arriving at the Somebody Cares Community Center in Chikudzulire.  Children come to the Center from many of the surrounding 46 villages that make up the Chikudzulire zone.  They gather for instruction, fun, porridge, and hope.  Basically, the community center is a daycare for the parents to send the children.  Most importantly, the Community Center provides one meal for the children Monday through Friday, so they at least receive one meal everyday.  About 50 children are in a classroom now, and are reciting the Alphabet Song.  It is joyful to watch these children, who are probably between the ages of 2-6, learning the alphabet among their peers.  As a means of encouragement, when one of the students completes the Alphabet Song, the others clap for their fellow classmate.

Outside children are running around the complex, and playing on the swings and monkey bars.  Up until a year ago, when the playground was built, the children had never seen a swing or monkey bar.  But, now a year later, many of the children have become quite proficient at using the playground apparatus, but not all.  I am going to teach some of the children that don’t know how to swing to use their legs, and how to swing back and forth, so they too can have some fun.  There are many of these children helping other children to play and learn.  I am surprised how the children share; how the older children help the younger ones enjoy playing, and how they want others to enjoy what they are enjoying.  Seeing this makes me feel good.

It is now the end of the afternoon.  I have played with the kids for hours, and I am worn out.  I am not sure if playing with them on the swings and monkey bars was the most fun, or teaching them stories about God with Joe as my interpreter.  I know this for sure; these kids have touched my heart today.  What a joy it is to see their beautiful smiles beaming for all to see.  These innocent children just need an opportunity, an opportunity to live life, an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to have food and water, and an opportunity to know true joy from our creator.  I am beginning to understand how the ministry of Somebody Cares is giving them an opportunity to live longer and with hope.  What a HUGE BLESSING today was for me.  Thank you God!!

See you tomorrow as I continue in my journal of our mission trip to Malawi.

Amen

Look for an opportunity to share your life with someone else today.

Daryl Dho

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A Contrast of Joy and Sadness

Posted on July 30, 2010. Filed under: Children, God, VISION AFRICA-2010 JULY MISSION TRIP | Tags: , , |

Here is my account of our first full day in Malawi.

7-12-2010 (Monday)

5AM and the Muslim Synagogue nearby loudly plays the morning “Call to Prayer”.  Voices echo throughout the surrounding neighborhood for miles.  Hearing the prayer call for those who believe in the Muslim faith gives me a stronger conviction of why we are here in the first place.  We are here to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, who takes away the sins of the world.  I pray for our mission, I pray for those we will encounter today, and I pray that God will use us in a mighty way for the fulfillment of His will and purpose.

Later birds sing through my bedroom window. The echo from the song of the birds on this crisp morning gives glorious evidence of God’s masterful creation.  The marvelous sounds coming from the birds become louder and more pleasing to my ear as I go outside to listen.  It is like a concert of creation as the birds fill many large trees in the compound with their song.

I notice a man who guards the gate of the compound where we stay.  I walk over to talk with him about how great it is for us to experience God’s creation.  He is not able to understand very much English, but can still comprehend some of what I say as I point to the birds in the trees above.  I establish through my conversation we have a mutual appreciation for the bird’s song.

As is typical in Malawi, the power goes off without any notice and for unknown reasons.  Today, the power turns off during the morning hours while many take showers, and the cooks prepare breakfast.  The facility has some backup generators and is able to make a wonderful meal of potatoes, Malawian sausage, bread, eggs, pineapple, bananas, papaya, and oranges.  This would be our last meal with this much fruit for a while.  It is a tasty way to start the day, although I do not have any eggs or sausage.

After breakfast we drive in vans to the office of Somebody Cares for prayer and orientation.  People are everywhere, walking and riding their bicycles up the hill and down, to the left and to the right they go, hurrying to begin their daily routines.  Most of the Malawian people do not have cars for transportation, so the alternative are either walking or riding bikes, and they do it constantly.

We arrive and the staff of Somebody Cares is engaging in an outcry of prayer to the Lord.  Scripture tells us in Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  In the world of darkness whereby the staff at Somebody Cares does God’s work, it is important they go to God almighty with all of their prayers and petitions, as only He will hear all our prayers.  The seriousness and conviction concerning the ability of God to hear our prayers is not something the staff takes lightly as they continue for a long periods.  After prayer a man leads us in song, giving glory to God in the highest.  Singing and dancing with faces smiling wide, sharing the love they have for the Lord with us.

Half of the team spends the rest of morning separating the medicine for distribution, which will happen sometime later this week, while the rest of us relax at the Somebody Cares offices.  We enjoy conversation and get to know each other a little better. We play guitar and sing worship songs. I slowly let the experience absorb into my soul, overwhelming though it may be. We are adjusting to the Malawian way of doing things, which is a little slower and not always in a hurry to get to the next task.  This is a little challenging for me, but I am adjusting.

Now is our first chance to venture out into the local villages.  First, we go to the village of Ngona, about 30 minutes outside of Lilongwe.  They call this area a slum, and for good reason, as the level of poverty among the villages was unlike any I have seen in my entire life.  But in poverty, there can still be joy.  We arrive in town, and about 40 women we singing, dancing, and praying to the Lord God Almighty.  It is exciting to experience their joy in the moment as they all bustle with excitement for the Lord.  We all disembark from our vans and the women dance in a circle, coming to each of us while they danced to shake our hands.  The sincerity of their joy is evident in their simultaneous singing, laughter, and love on display.  We participate with them in dance and song, as the sound echoes through the fields and into the village below.

Next, we divide into groups to venture out into the village to visit sick women and children.  We go to the homes of mothers and their children who had been struck with AIDS and TB.  Although it is difficult to see them in their suffering conditions, prayers for healing and the peace of Jesus is brought to them.  I ask one of the Somebody Cares staff members if those we encounter are believers in Jesus, and the answer is yes.

The devastation and suffering these women and families experience in their lives is overwhelming to see.   Their physical well-being and condition is so terrible due to illness and poverty, it is nearly unbearable to be witness to. Although my heart is tearing inside from seeing the devastation that disease and poverty create, I am blessed with the joy of watching the smiles on the young children’s faces.  When I compare this world to the living standards I have grown accustom to for nearly 50 years in America, it seems desolate and unbearable.  Even so, the children seem as happy as any I can recall seeing throughout my life.  Maybe they see hope in potential change, giving them a source of pleasure?  The children smile, laugh, and run around in and out of the village, playing with each other, caring for each other, and sharing their lives together.  For some, they have nothing else but the joy they have in their hearts.  For many today, there is a sense of unknown; a wonder whether or not they will have a next meal, or whether today will be their last.

We play with the children, teach them about things Jesus said, and raise them up into the air, optimistically giving them hope for a brighter tomorrow.  Although I am sure we bring joy to them amongst their sadness in life, these young beautiful creations of God give me something I will never ever forget; they share absolute genuine joy to us who encounter them.  They give me a gift I will never lose; they give me a glimpse of God, an understanding who God is in a little person of His creation.  God loves each and every one of us, including these little Malawian children.

What I see this first day in Malawi will change my perspective on life and the world forever, and I shall never be the same.

In the evening at night I cry.

May God bless your day,

Daryl Dho

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Up Up and Away

Posted on July 9, 2010. Filed under: Adversity, Children, Faith, God, Justice, Love, Mercy | Tags: , , , , , , |

Okay, so the day has finally arrived where 19 people from the Mesa and Gilbert Arizona area will be traveling around the world to a remote country called Malawi, Africa.  Why are we going to Malawi, is there a fantastic resort there?  I am not sure, but if there is, we are not going to it.  We are going to live and care for those who have not had the easiest life. We are on a mission to give assistance to some in the world who have been ravaged with AIDS/HIV, raped and beaten women, orphaned children, severe poverty and poor living conditions.

God has directed all 19 of us to go and be with the people of Chikuzulire, Africa, and to give support in many different ways.  We are bringing medical supplies, so that the children can be de-wormed, administered antibiotics, and have their hungry bellies fed.  Only God knows exactly what will happen while we are there, so we just pray for His will to be done.

I will be collecting my thoughts in an electronic journal each day we are there, for which I will publish on my blog post in successive days once we get back to an area where we have internet.  So, in the meantime, please pray for our journey, pray for safety, and that God will move in a mighty way for those we will be with for the next 2 weeks.  Pray that we can be the hands and feet for God, and pray for God’s will to be done on this earth and in the place of Malawi.

In Matthew 28:18-20, the Bible tells us this:

“18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Have a blessed day.

Daryl Dho

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Serving People Around The World

Posted on April 19, 2010. Filed under: Adversity, Children, Faith, God, Justice, Love, Mercy | Tags: , , , , , , |

I am excited to be going on the mission trip to Chikuzulire, Malawi from July 9th through July 24th, 2010 in order for our team to provide assistance and counseling to many women and children who struggle with challenges in their lives, such as rape and HIV/AIDS.  This past week, I had the privilege to meet with Mission Community Church’s partner from Somebody Cares, an organization which helps support those who have many physical and spiritual needs; her name is Chief Theresa Malila.

Theresa gave us an extensive overview of the current conditions in Malawi, and what we could expect on our trip.  As she spoke and described life in Malawi, I was overwhelmed by her stories, which both broke my heart and encouraged me simultaneously.  She is an amazing servant of God for the people in Malawi.  Afterwards, I was more convinced of the importance of the trips our team takes to Malawi in order to provide assistance, all while sharing the gospel of Jesus through our lives and our words.  It excites me to envision how God will use us, as we serve and minister to their myriad of needs.  Yes, it is a privilege to be serving people around the world.

I also ask for your continued prayers, as we approach the time to go to Malawi, including preparing our minds and hearts to be focused on serving those individuals who have many needs.  The area is very poverty stricken, has a low life expectancy, and high rates of HIV/AIDS.  Over the last few years, positive change has taken place in the villages around the area of Chikuzulire due to so many people who care for and educate them.  What we do to humbly serve them, in order to bring some hope and the gospel of Jesus Christ is so important.

If you would like to find out how you may participate either financially or prayerfully, please visit my blog dated April 7, 2010.

Also, if you would like to obtain some information about the country of Malawi, please go to this Wikipedia address on the internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malawi

May God bless you,

Daryl Dho

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Please Help Pray For And Finance Africa Mission Trip

Posted on April 7, 2010. Filed under: Children, Faith, Family, Friendship, Glory, God, Justice, Love, Mercy, Sacrifice | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Recently, I was presented with the opportunity to go to Malawi, which is in the southeast portion of Africa.  It borders Tanzania on the East and Mozambique on the West.  My church, Mission Community Church, in partnership with the organization, Somebody Cares, has taken the approach that we truly are the hands and feet of Christ.  I am joining a team on July 9th through July 24th to help where God sees fit to best serve the needs of the people there.  Our destination is the village of Chikudzulire, where previous teams from our church have had the opportunity to assist in the completion of a well for clean drinking water and the construction of a feeding center and community center to provide for more than 900 local children who have been orphaned by the AIDS pandemic.  There are many opportunities our team may assist with while we are there; for which our Trip Focus will include building relationships and to be a support with the people of Chikudzulire and other villages; and to address the issues widows, women and orphans face each day.  Our Trip Purpose will be to organize and conduct rape/crisis counseling conferences; and to teach and train on women’s issues of hygiene, sex education, childcare and other topics as needed; along with additional projects as directed through the staff of Somebody Cares.  Most importantly we’ll get to show the amazing love of Jesus to some of the most hurting and impoverished people on the planet. The trip will personally challenge me to things I’ve never dreamed of and surely will change my life forever.  

Each individual team member will need approximately $3,000 to fully fund this trip.  Any funds that are donated will directly help us to cover airfare, food, lodging and local transportation, as well as supplies for aiding the children in the villages that we will visit.   I have no idea how God will work to provide the funds for me, but I know He has something incredible to teach me while we are there and through the fundraising process.  He surely will provide.  I feel compelled to provide hands-on help to these children in Malawi, and I am thankful that God is opening doors to allow this to happen.   So, do you want to participate with me on an African Mission trip?

This is where you come in.  I am writing to all of you since you are my friends and already supporters of me personally in my life.  I ask that you would consider offering a financial gift, not because I need it; for God doesn’t need any help from you or I. I’m asking you specifically because I want to invite you to participate with me in this step of faith and see what God does with what you can give.  Equally important is prayer support for safety on the trip, the strength of the team, and the hearts of the Malawi people.  May God keep us safe and work through us and in the lives of those we go to serve. As the trip nears, I’ll provide further information where you can prayerfully follow along through an online blog and photo-journal while we are in Malawi.  Thank for your love and support for allowing your resources to dramatically change the lives of people in Africa.  All prayers and any financial support will be a blessing to the ministry.  Even as little as $10 can go a long way.

If you would prefer to donate securely online, please go to http://www.Africa.mission68.org and select the “Give” tab on the far right.  Set up a quick login account if you don’t already have one and follow the simple prompts.  Select the trip which I am participating and input my name, amount of donation and payment info.  If needed, please contact me for additional instructions or details about giving online.

IMPORTANT Please make all checks payable to “ Mission Community Church “ and leave the memo line BLANK, but attach a note indicating my name, Daryl Dho, so my account will be credited.  You can mail your check the following address:

Daryl Dho
10141 E. Kilarea Ave.
Mesa, AZ  85209

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, 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.

May God Bless You All,

Daryl Dho

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Life’s Little Bundles Of Joy

Posted on March 18, 2010. Filed under: Children, Creation, Family, God, Love | Tags: , , , , |

Today was a fun day, as I took a leisurely drive with my Mom and Wife on a picturesque two-lane mountain road outside of Payson, Arizona to a little town called Pine.  Yes, to answer your question, there are some pine trees in Pine, Arizona.  We looked around at some of the antique shops, which to me seemed like overgrown garage sales.  I sense maybe some of the people who own these antiques shops go to many garage sales, seeking the next “hot item” for their stores.  But, all in all, it was a fun time just walking around, as we ventured through several stores, prior to completing our visit to the quaint little town by having a late lunch in one of the restaurants, which was an antique itself, and at some point, converted from an old house.

Next stop on our journey was to my nephew’s house in Payson.  My nephew and his wife have 3 children, ages 7, 2, and 5 months.  Of course, all three children have extremely distinctive personalities, not only because God has made each and every one of us uniquely special, but also due to their age differences.

As I watched the children play, run around, act shy, and say whatever came into their inquisitive little minds, I experienced a diversity of emotions.  My three children, who are now 22, 19, and 16 years of age, were, as babies, yesterday’s life’s little bundles of joy. Seeing my nephew’s children, remembering my own children growing up, as well as recalling when my nephew was born, really gave me a sense of joy.  Yes, we had 4 generations in the house at the same time, which amazed me as I negotiated through the passing years of life in my mind.  At some point in our lives, we were all life’s little bundles of joy, for those who brought us into this world.

How incredible our life cycle is.  One day we are but a thought in someone’s mind, and the next we are crawling, walking, and talking, until the day comes when we continue the cycle of life with our own multiplication into the next generation.  God told Adam to be fruitful and multiply in Genesis.  Year after year, generation after generation, this has continued as the world’s population of families continues to grow.  How beautiful our world is when we gaze upon life’s little bundles of joy, which are smiling, giggling, and developing their own distinct personalities.

The next time you see a baby, take a moment to reminisce about when you were a baby yourself, how your parents were babies before you knew them, and if you have been blessed to have had your own children, then take satisfaction in the joy of their lives, their growing up to become adults, and the day where they will fulfill what God says in Genesis 1:28 ESV, “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Yes, babies are life’s little bundles of joy, so when you see one, take the time to enjoy them, take the time to think about how intricate their little bodies are, and how God has created each and every one of them in His image.  Then, love them, and love them, and love them until the day you depart this earth.

May God bless your days with life’s little bundles of joy,

Daryl Dho

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Helping Others Around The World

Posted on March 15, 2010. Filed under: Children, Family, Mercy, Sacrifice | Tags: , , , |

In our culture, it is easy for us to complain about the current conditions of our life such as a bad economy, broken relationships, disliking our working environment, not enough money, or home foreclosures.  But, for most of us, we still have favorable living conditions compared to a large percentage of the world.  We have high-definition television, computers, video games, movie theaters, cars, theme parks, and more conveniences than I could include in a single blog.  I know there are many, even in our country, whom are suffering in poverty; but as a society, we are blessed beyond measure.  I believe many would agree we squander a large portion of our wealth on non essentials, causing us to have diminished bank accounts.  Because of the way we waste our resources in America, including not saving like we should, we have far too little left over at the end of each month.  It could easily be said, without argument, that most us have too much debt and our spending habits are far too frivolous.

Today, about 40 high school kids and adults from our church left on a trip to Tijuana, Mexico in order to help people in that community who do not have any shelter to live in.  Now, I understand this type of ministry has been happening in that area for years, but every time I see someone help others, if for no other reason than just to give them aid, I feel good.  Prior to leaving this morning, the youth group leader from our church gathered everyone together and made this statement, “we are never more like Jesus than when we serve.”  This reminded me of a passage in Matthew 25:40, where Jesus makes the claim concerning giving aid to those in need, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”  Jesus has a desire for us to be helping others around the world, and when we do, it is as if we are helping Him.

Our young high schoolers will be gone for about 6 days, will build several shelters, hang out with kids in an orphanage, and most likely will be a light of hope to those they come in contact with, as they share the love they have for Jesus to a world permeating with poverty.  I was fortunate enough to go on a similar trip a few years ago, which left me questioning my own selfishness, greed, and lack of awareness of people who are in need of help, both locally and abroad.  Helping others around the world should be a concern for us all.  Certainly, we can all make sacrifices of our own needs to assist someone who most likely has a situation far more challenging than our own.  I know for myself and my family, we have more conveniences and luxuries than we need, and I get convicted of it every time I pay attention to others in the world who are left without.  My plea to each and every one who reads this blog, including myself, is to examine your own situation, see where you might be able to sacrifice for a greater need, and take the plunge into a sea of worthy causes that are available.  This is what Jesus would want us to do.

The beautiful exchange we all will receive when we sacrifice of our own, in order to help others around the world, will be love and a peace which cannot be measured.  When we are generous with our time, treasure, and talent, it is rewarding to see those who benefit. We also benefit because of the satisfaction we receive from knowing we have put a smile on a child’s face, give a parent the ability to give clean water or food to a loved one, and of course the capacity to shelter their family from the elements.  If this was a MasterCard commercial, the value for what we receive when we sacrifice for others is “Priceless”! So, I appeal to each and every one of us to consider how we can sacrifice of our own while helping others around the world.

May you be blessed and may your days be “Priceless”,

Daryl Dho

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