Posts Tagged ‘gogo grandmothers’

Zomba Day #4

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Our visit to Makundula wasn’t quite as joyous because 2 Gogos had died over the weekend and their mourning is extensive — you gotta get ’em in the ground within 48 hours as there is no embalming.

We did see the pre-school where we read and sang. We left our goodies to be given another day.

Then we thoroughly enjoyed sitting thru a “Why Wait” class taught at Mponda School (1050 kids thru 8th grade).  The 70 kids in this class actively participated with Isabel about being special and waiting to give yourself to one person. There was singing and dancing and even with 3 to a desk, they were so well behaved.  The boys got pencils and the teenage girls got panties (several went right to the bathroom to put them on under their required uniforms).  We Have learned that many drop out due to lack of a pencil or no underwear.  REALLY.

Training Day

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Steve and I had the privilege of being part of a training day at Kawiya Village outside of  Zomba. We knew to bring head scarves and panties to distribute and you would have thought is was Christmas!!! The singing and dancing that the Gogos did with their new bandanas ( tied all sorts of ways) and the children, many who immediately put on their new underwear.

We prepared and ate lunch with the village and presented knit quilts to the 2 chiefs. We were there about 5 hours.

Soy Grinding

As we were leaving and hugging and singing and dancing, a Gogo in tears thanked us and said ” the Love of God brought you here.” And I’m thinking in my mind,  “wait a minute, lots of planning, lots of money, and lots of sacrifice got us to that crazy place.”  But in an instant, I was shown a bigger picture.  Because I love the Lord, retired, joined SEEDS, see others putting their faith in action, decided to step out, had Partners in Hope and Gogos capture my heart (and it catching many of you)…Yes, I joined her in tears because God loved me enough to bring me there.

Define Gogos

Friday, September 24th, 2010

A Gogo was an old widowed lady with little standing in the community who is also draining its resources.

A Gogo NOW (thanks to the work of Gogo Grandmothers) is a woman who has joined a support group, is raising orphaned grandchildren and is learning to plant,process and eat soy for the additional nutrition it supplies over the current crop of maize.  They are now very important ladies who have been adopted by many  U.S. churches that have formed a Gogo support group.

I am so proud to be a member of, whose members voted to send their first International grant to Gogo to provide the seed, fertilizer, trainers, and staff to launch their “Seeds of Joy” project.   Just a coincidence we have Seed as part of our name?

Old Goat

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Steve and I bought a goat to add to the soy feast with the Gogos at KawiyaVillage. Yes the goats provide milk, meat and garbage disposing, but what gets my goat (sorry) is no one is herding them and they look like they are gonna wander out on the road in front of our vehicle.

Oh, and it tastes like beef with a lot of gristle.


Monday, September 20th, 2010

I am behind in recounting our experiences, so until I catch up, this is a tease to let you know that we are fine, and I had the most incredible day today.  And I am dancing!

Leaving Friends

Monday, September 20th, 2010

We were overwhelmed by our last day in Lilongwe.  The Dedication of our artwork and the appreciation that came our way, as well as saying adieu to the wonderful Jansen family. There are so many emotions tied in with both experiences, they are heartfelt and words just can’t do it.

What a wonderful, warm, loving time for Steve and I. We felt welcomed, that we were of some small service, made friends, and made good friends better friends.

We are Zomba bound to relinguish all our luggage’s contents (panties, caps, scarves etc) in the villages that have Gogo Grandmother groups in them.

Be safe, dear ones in Lilongwe.  God Bless you as richly as you have blessed us!

Baby Caps and Panties

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Abby thought she would model one of the bigger caps!

The Gogo Grandmothers, whom we will be checking on in Blantyre and Zomba in Malawai,  sent us special request to bring:

1.  Underwear for little girls   Little girls tend to not participate in school because the little boys will look under their skirts when they stand to address the teacher

2. Baby caps.  There are no incubators  there, so this keeps the heat in for the infants.

So, I put the word out and was showered with oodles of panties and sweet handknit caps.

We have filled 4 suitcases to overflowing levels. Thought I would give you a peek of the suitcases as they were last week before another 300 came in!

Prayer Letter

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

“As you help us by your prayers many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:11

Malawi FlagWe are excited to have the opportunity to go to Malawi, Africa from Aug. 19th – Sept. 28th.  In retirement we thought it was time to we checked up on some of the folks we have supported in ministry over the years.  You might say we are leaving our comfort zone, and putting feet on our faith.

First we visit Dr. Perry and Brenda Jansen in the capitol of Lilongwe.  They were teens in Debbie’s youth choir back in the mid 1970’s.   We hope to paint murals and graphics on the walls of a new 3 story hospital.  Debbie is thrilled that she gets to paint on more walls (a hobby) .

After about 3 1/2 weeks we will get ourselves to Zomba and Blantyre in southern Malawi, to visit an organization called GoGo Grandmothers (‘GoGo’ is the word for grandmother in their language).  The grandparents are raising their grandchildren because their parents have died of AIDS.  These dear hearts are learning to raise a soy crop for more protein, and also being educated on how to teach their young ‘Reasons For Waiting Until Marriage’.  We have gathered underwear, baby caps, sewing kits, and head scarves to let them know that friends in America care.  Four + full suitcases!!

Our request of you is that if we come to mind, please pray.  Tuck our little mission in a spot in your brain and keep us lifted up.  We know God can take care of the health & travel issues as well as protection from the forces of evil when we come to Him in prayer.

Also from our little website [], we will keep you updated on our experiences.  We understand they have Internet randomly in the country as only 6% have electricity, but we will do our best to stay in touch. (God bless the Internet and Skype for keeping us close)

The prayers of friends and family have carried us through some amazing times, Thank you.

Debbie and Steve

We covet your prayers, but several friends have asked where they could send a financial gift. If this is on your heart, you can mail a tax deductible check to Partners in Malawi (see below) with our name on the memo line. This will help pay for the projects we hope to undertake.  We can’t fly with paint, so that will be an expensive purchase on that end.  However, this letter is meant only to solicit prayer.

Send checks to:
Pam Douglas, Director
Partners in Malawi
2948 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404