God is at work: After an inspection by three government inspectors on the 20th September, the CCAP Orbus Mission Secondary School was given official approval to start. With this go ahead the first Form 1 class began on the 25th of September 2017.
To view a selection of photos of the first week of school please Click Here.
CCAP Orbus Mission Secondary School - Opening Ceremony
11th September 2017
An opening ceremony was held on 11th September 2017 to give thanks to God, to celebrate the completion of the first secondary school building (completed on time in 3 months and 13 days and on budget - things only God can do under such circumstances) and to mark the beginning of the CCAP Orbus Mission Secondary School at Ngumbe, Malawi.
Please click HERE to view photos of the opening ceremony.
He Lowers to Raise
"Thy LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, and lifteth up" (1 Samuel 2:7).
All my changes come from Him who never changes. If I had grown rich, I should have seen His hand in it, and I should have praised Him; let me equally see His hand if I am made poor, and let me as heartily praise Him. When we go down in the world, it is of the LORD, and so we may take it patiently: when we rise in the world, it is of the LORD, and we may accept it thankfully. In any case, the LORD hath done it, and it is well.
It seems that Jehovah's way is to lower those whom He means to raise and to strip those whom He intends to clothe. If it is His way, it is the wisest and best way. If I am now enduring the bringing low, I may well rejoice, because I see in it the preface to the lifting up. The more we are humbled by grace, the more we shall be exalted in glory. That impoverishment which will be overruled for our enrichment is to be welcomed.
O LORD, Thou has taken me down of late and made me feel my insignificance and sin. It is not a pleasant experience, but I pray Thee make it a profitable one to me. Oh, that Thou wouldst thus fit me to bear a greater weight of delight and of usefulness; and when I am ready for it, then grant it to me, for Christ's sake! Amen.
Universities from Malawi and South Africa choose to donate gifts to ORBUS orphans and vulnerable children
22nd July 2017:
Orbus was chosen out of all the orphanages and orphan care centres in Blantyre to be the recipient of a loving and generous gesture by a large number of universities today.
University of Malawi Staff Sports Association (Umssa) today held it's annual Inter-Varsity Games at the College of Medicine in Blantyre where members of staff from the University of Malawi, the College of Medicine, Chancellor College, Kamuzu College of Nursing, The Polytechnic, Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) and University of Limpopo (South Africa), who drove up to Blantyre yesterday, pitted their sports skills against each other.
Malawian company Old Mutual, who are the official sponsors of the games, also participated in the games. Some of the games played included football, volleyball, netball, pool, darts, chess and track and field.
They took a break during the proceedings to focus on some less fortunate members of the community and at 2.20 pm this afternoon, a bus full of media and representatives of Old Mutual, Umssa, Luanar and University of Limpopo arrived to much excitement at Orbus to donate lots of gifts including clothing, soaps, school resources and a cash donation, to the Orbus orphans and vulnerable children.
Having brought much cheer these very generous visitors then departed to continue to the finals part of their games day. The excited and grateful children were very patient and well behaved as the goods were then distributed in a professional and orderly manner by the Orbus headteacher and teachers over the following two hours.
The visitors shared how they had conducted their research and decided to choose Orbus out of others they had visited because they noticed that we had been doing what we do completely under the radar, with no publicity sought or received in Malawi. We thank God for this blessing which fell upon our children at Orbus as if from heaven this afternoon.
Photos of the event are online at the July Photo Journal.
The Daily Times, Malawi. 20th July 2017
By Sharon Jumbe
"University of Malawi Staff Sports Association (Umssa) will hold its annual inter-varsity games at College of Medicine in Blantyre on Saturday, thanks to Old Mutual’s support.
Umssa Public Relations Officer, Martin Matululu, said the games will pool members of staff from College of Medicine, Chancellor College, Kamuzu College of Nursing, The Polytechnic, Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) and University of Limpopo (South Africa).
“Old Mutual, who are the official sponsors of the games, will also participate in the games. Games to be played on the day are football, volleyball, netball, pool, darts, chess and track and field,” he said.
“Before the finals on Saturday, representatives of Old Mutual, Umssa and University of Limpopo will go to Orbus Care Centre in Ngumbe, Blantyre to donate to orphans and vulnerable children. We are appealing to well-wishers to join us in this good cause,” he said.
Matululu said Umssa’s objectives were to promote sports, healthy lifestyles and culture.
“In addition, the games are aimed at fostering existing friendly relations among members at all levels. Umssa is cognisant that such relationships, created through participation in sports, have significant potential of building bridges among these universities in other academic and research endeavours,” he said.
Meanwhile, Old Mutual Life Assurance Company Managing Director, Tawona Biza, yesterday in Blantyre confirmed that the company was the official sponsor of the games.
Umssa President, Bernard Thole, said that the sponsorship would go a long way in making the games a success. Thole and Biza spoke during a press briefing.
10 Years of Orbus:
ONLY GOD COULD DO THIS! PRAISE HIM AND GIVE HIM ALL THE GLORY.
(What men could only mess up God just does and it becomes so very obvious that He is sovereign, He deserves all the glory and praise. He is God!)
By Craig Manners
20th July 2017
We recently had a memorable dinner with the Very Rev. Prof. Silas Ncozana, (past Principal of the Zomba Theological College, past General Secretary of the CCAP Blantyre Synod, past Malawian Ambassador to Germany, and active participant in past Malawian political history), at his home in Blantyre, and were richly blessed by a brief but fascinating discussion on Malawi’s history. It reminded me of the importance of history, that it is not only helpful to know the history of things but it is most often fascinating, especially to see how God brings things about.
So, I thought I might risk boring some of you with a reasonably brief history of Orbus, something which is in order as we mark 10 years since the founding of Orbus.
How did Orbus come about? It started with reading God’s word the Bible and coming to the realization that God has a deep love and concern for the fatherless, the weak, the poor, those in need and without help, and that His people should share this same deep love and compassion and respond accordingly. And that if this is the case, He will make things happen to bring about such things.
In the early 2000’s at South Yarra Presbyterian Church we had a family from Malawi. I had never really heard of Malawi until I had met this family. We got to know the Mbawa family over the following years. They told us about the devastating impact of the AIDS epidemic on Malawi and how there were hundreds of thousands of orphaned children. It is no easy thing to hear of this sort of tragedy and to sit back and do nothing. The question of “What to do?” exercised our minds and many of our friends from then on?
The Mbawas with their three daughters returned to Malawi in around 2006 and we kept in contact. Colin then soon became a minister in the CCAP. I was studying theology, as a private student, at the Presbyterian Theological College at the time, and studying God’s word made it clear that a desire to help was God given but by itself was not enough, action of some sort was required. In February 2007 I sent an email to Colin and Shirley asking if they would be interested in and willing to help us Australian’s to start a small home and school for AIDS orphans in Malawi.
With their positive response things got underway in Australia to establish Orbus, with the outlining of an initial plan, the choosing of a name (Jayni), designing of a logo (Rachel Stasse), the setting up of an advisory panel, the writing of a constitution and other things. There were plenty of like-minded friends at PTC, South Yarra PC and among our wider friends, who mostly all knew the Mbawa family as well, so there was no shortage of willing participants to help out.
The first Orbus funds were dispatched to Blantyre in June 2007 to register Orbus Development and Aid in Central Africa Limited, and thus Orbus was launched! With Colin and I to choose three directors each the founding directors were John Wilson, Vin Lopes, myself, Richard Chaponda, Elliot Mulange, and Hastings Thembakako.
Over the following years the strategy changed and the model changed, from one of sending money to one of sending people to work alongside our Malawian brothers and sisters to try to help more directly.
My family and I had come to the realization in 2009 that we should go to Blantyre to help with the work. We made our plans, prayed much, sought counsel, saw God open doors and confirm we were on the right track and finally arrived in Blantyre in May 2010. Much to our dismay Colin had transferred from Blantyre to Zomba in around February 2010, leaving us without our key contact and local friend and wondering whether we had made a mistake in coming!
We had no suitable accommodation, no local support and were very disheartened at first. We were met by Colin on arrival but he was not able to stay around for long. Having been directed on arrival to a one room pension all the way out in Limbe, a long way from Orbus, with no vehicle and no plans, within a week or so we found ourselves quite lost and alone, with a young family and Jayni three months pregnant.
Then we moved ourselves into Blantyre and checked in to Grace Bandawe accommodation owned by the Synod. There we met Linda Ingles, a Canadian whose husband Glenn (both from the Canadian Presbyterian church) ran the Synod's BHSDC (Blantyre Synod Health and Development Commission). Linda sensed our hopeless predicament and insisted we come and stay with them (in their self-contained cottage) until we got ourselves some proper accommodation.
We came very close to returning home to Australia around that time, but thanks to the Ingles' hospitality, and realizing that just because things were difficult didn't mean God didn't want us there, we decided to persevere.
Within a month our circumstances had changed for the better, we had longer-term accommodation in Namiwawa, were having beds made and furnishing the house, got a vehicle, Jayni had started the boys home-schooling and I was busy out at Orbus in Ngumbe every day getting familiar with things, getting to know the local area and community and making new friends.
One other thing which kept us determined to make Orbus succeed was knowing that although Orbus did not have much money most of what it did have (apart from the donation to buy the land at Ngumbe) had come from lots of small donations from faithful Christians from many congregations, mostly within the Presbyterian Church of Victoria. Every time we were given inflated quotes to do things, such as building or to dig wells, I thought of these faithful donors and insisted that the prices be what the locals would receive, rather than prices aimed at the Mzungu (foreigner).
A single anonymous donation from Australia earlier in 2008 had provided the funds to purchase the 20-acre site in Daniel Village, Ngumbe from the Malawian government. So, having sought out, met with and sought counsel from the surrounding village chiefs, community leaders and church leaders and surveyed the actual needs in this community it was decided in June 2010 that our plans should be changed to focus more on education for OVC rather than on a residential home, as the extended family most often steps in and cares for orphans, and they were better off in their villages with extended family.
So, this change of circumstances, model and strategy led to the disbanding of the old Orbus entity in Malawi and after establishing the Orbus Centre, Orbus Kindy, farm and local orphan care programs over the coming months, we established a new Orbus structure on September 23rd 2010, via legal agreement being a partnership between the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) – Blantyre Synod, the Presbyterian Church of Victoria and Orbus Australia.
From this new start the Orbus Centre was officially opened on 31st July 2010. Then we opened the Orbus Nursery School for orphans and vulnerable children on September 6th 2010. This was followed with the opening of the Orbus Primary School for orphans and vulnerable children on September 5th 2011 with a single Grade (Standard) 1 class, 2 grades added in September 2012 and then one grade per year after that.
While we did not see much of Colin after our arrival in 2010 or over the following years, the arrival of the PYV team in June/July 2017 saw us catching up with him again when we all had lunch at the Mbawa homestead compound with Shirley and two of their daughters. They are a special family and we give sincere thanks to God for them and for their introducing the Australian friends to this equally special country of Malawi.
In 2014 a new entity was formed in Australia to house the Orbus Australia side of the partnership, called Orbus Ministries Australia Inc. and a new website www.orbusministries.org was started around that time. The Board and the Australian Advisory Board of the old Malawian entity were automatically disbanded upon that entity being wound up in 2010. The Board of the new entity was made up of Vin Lopes, Rob Boyle, Craig Manners, Bill Medley and John Stasse.
We give thanks to God for the many friends of Orbus over the years, you know who you are, and I ask that you forgive me for not mentioning everyone by name. However, at this time it is fitting to make particular mention of the early work of some friends in Malawi such as our good friend Lameck Chitela (without whom Orbus would not be what it is today), and a special mention also to Blessings Kanike an Ngumbe local who became a close friend in 2010 who assisted my family and I immensely, Glenn and Linda Ingles, also Colin, Richard, Rose, Eliot, Hastings, Flossy, Ellen, Rhoda, Felix, Leonard, Davey, Benson, Mjojo, Evelyn, Esme and Triphonia, Louis Mwanamveka, Lonnie Nczona, as well as a special mention of our Head Teacher Wills Mbewe and current teachers, Grace, Martin, Mphatso, Elton, Florence and Samantha.
But a very special mention should be made of, Jayni, Joshua, Caleb, Daniel, Benjamin and Jonathan who did so much to make Orbus a reality over many years and in many ways.
In Australia, trying to mention all the people God has built Orbus out of is fraught with danger, as some are bound to be missed due to the sheer number. But a special mention should be made of the initial directors (listed above), and each of the advisory panel members of the initial structure, being Jayni, Bill Medley, Rob Boyle, John and Sue Steendam, John Stasse, Stuart Bonnington, Dean and Sandy Carroll, and David Manly, who have all remained involved in varying ways since then. No doubt a second mention of the tireless work of Vin Lopes, Rob Boyle, John Steendam, Bill Medley and John Stasse is very warranted too.
Then there are some of the serial volunteers at Orbus including John, Sue, Rob, Doug, Diane, Steve, Michael and Dorothy. Along with the myriad other visitors over the years, including Hui Lim, the Orchards, Toby, Mark, Melanie, Matt, Bobby, Sherif, Tia, the Frankston PC team, Craig, Alicia, Mark, Casey, Pip, Matt, James, the recent PYV team, Emily, Gail van Heerden, and the numerous donors and supporters of Orbus, such as APWM, PWMU, PresAID, the faithful members of the Frankston PC, SYPC, Maroochydore PC, Sorrento/Rye PC, and others too numerous to mention. They are friends of Orbus, cherished and never forgotten, friends who have planted seeds at Orbus for God to grow. Praise God for these generous people and their selfless desires to help those in need in the name of Christ Jesus.
We give thanks for the way the relationship with the CCAP Blantyre Synod has worked so well over these past five years and we really thank God for the Synod. They are a blessing not taken for granted. Special mention should be made of the early friendship of our good friends Rev. McDonald Kadawati, and the current General Secretary Rev. Alex Maulana (the first and second Malawian trustees of the Orbus Centre), the past Education Secretary Lester and current Education Secretary Moses Kasitomu.
We praise God that now, in 2017 Orbus has 380 children enrolled from Nursery through to Standard 7 and is about to start Standard 8 and Form 1 of the new secondary school, God willing, in September 2017.
We praise God for all the people who have become such an integral part of Orbus since 2007, in both Australia and Malawi and we recommit this project to God’s glory and for the help of orphans and vulnerable children in His name.
"Blessed is he that considereth the poor" (Psalm 41:1). Many people give (or think they are giving) their money to the poor, the weak, the helpless, and the needy in a hurry and without thinking whether that is the best way to help them; and many more give (and do) nothing at all. Psalm 41:1 tells us that we should “consider” the poor i.e., we should analyze their particular situation, prepare plans that will really help them, not just on a short-term basis but longer-term structural help, we should involve them in these plans and then we should wisely and thoughtfully carry these plans out, again together with those in need.
Perpetuating past practices of sending money or goods without really knowing where they are ending up will just achieve more of the same corruption, and orphans and the genuine poor will continue to go unhelped. As Charles Spurgeon said, “We can do more by care than by cash, and most with two together.” Orbus aims to do what we can to provide this type of considered help for orphaned children as we move forward, all in the name of Jesus and trusting Him and His perfect plans.
ONLY GOD COULD DO THIS! PRAISE HIM AND GIVE HIM ALL THE GLORY.
Here is a brief run down on just some of the activity of the Presbyterian Youth of Victoria (PYV) team at Orbus during their three week blitz of love, generosity, compassion, thoughtfulness, selflessness, happiness, energy, hard work, perseverance, patience, and contagious joy. For further insight into the PYV team’s valuable ministry please visit their blog page and browse through each day’s entry.
This amazing team took Orbus by storm, hitting the ground running from day one and did not stop. They have made 380 children very happy over three weeks; conducted Bible talks most days; taught songs to the children (which fill the air as children skip around the school at play time); gifted sports and school resources; played lots of sports with the children; helped out in various classes; marked school work; supervised (invigilated) exams; helped the teachers in various ways in classes; visited orphans in their villages, providing groceries and gifts; bought paint and painted buildings; bought new playground items; conducted a thorough nursing clinic for 380 children, taking some to a local doctor and some to the hospital for more tests, and sadly discovering some serious issues in a couple of children, which if left untreated could have possibly been quite tragic. (We praise God for this and see His providential hand in the team having two nurses).
They also visited many local churches around the Orbus school, enjoying joyous Sunday mornings of wonderful Malawian worship.
Recently a few of us visited one little orphan girl in her village after school and found that she had been coming home after school and singing the songs the team had been teaching at school. Malawians learn much through music and dance, and the effort that the PYV team put into the songs they have been teaching at Orbus have been a big hit, echoing around the school and around the villages.
Seeing the children after school not wanting to go home, but waiting to give the team hugs and high fives, was heart-warming. There were some sad children, and team members, when it was time to say goodbye, and a sad Manners family at Chileka airport yesterday too.
My family and I went to Orbus straight from the airport and there was a quietness and lingering sadness about the school, even with 380 children running around at recess time.
Please visit the photo journal pages to see some of this activity.
Gail Van Heerden, a teacher from St.Andrew's Christian College in Wantirna visited Orbus for two weeks in July. She has been such a blessing to many staff and children in various grades, teaching, invigilating, marking, singing, colouring, doing craft classes, loving, sharing, and caring. One of Gail’s main problems though was that she had trouble getting the children to leave the class for recess or lunch, as they did not want the classes to finish!
You can visit the PHOTO JOURNAL 2017 to see some of Mrs. Van Heerden
There is a new church plant in Blantyre! The "CCAP Orbus Prayer House" has started up in one of the Orbus classrooms. The congregation which meets at 8.30am Sundays has lots of children, some Orbus teachers, police families and others from the area. http://www.orbusministries.org/orbusphotojournal2017.html
Things are moving ahead well here in Malawi. Our partner church, the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) - Blantyre Synod, have been very welcoming and helpful and there is much excitement and activity, within the Synod and at Orbus, about the Orbus Secondary School, which is on track to make a small start in September.
The Synod organized a cornerstone laying ceremony recently with Synod leadership, Education Office representatives, local Ministers from CCAP churches, Presbytery of Blantyre North representatives, village Chief representatives, Synod radio station reporters, a women’s choir, and others present, with speeches, songs and prayers.
It is impressive how the school at Orbus has developed (Praise God!) and we are increasingly assured that the structure and relationship we have with the Synod is such that we can confidently take a long-term view of things, and I do think what Orbus are doing at Ngumbe is needed, is of definite practical benefit to the community and most importantly has at its heart a Christ-centred focus which by God’s grace we trust will be of eternal benefit to many.
There is a particular need for secondary education in the area, and we are hopeful that Orbus will be successful as a fee paying, and possibly boarding, school, which will then help to subsidize the free secondary education the school will be offering to orphans, the poor and the vulnerable.
A few brief things:
1- You can follow the activity at Orbus over the coming months at the Orbus Photo Journal: http://www.orbusministries.org/orbusphotojournal2017.html
2- On Friday June 23, the PYV Mission Trip to Malawi will fly out of Melbourne. They will be working alongside the team at Orbus for three weeks and visiting different churches around the Orbus school. They have worked hard to prepare themselves for the visit, and to bond as a team. Please support them with your prayers. If you would like to keep up with what's happening on the trip, please visit their blog - https://os17malawi.wordpress.com/
Read more-->> http://mailchi.mp/54a276eb69dc/orbus-malawi-update
“For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:17–19).
Faith's Checkbook by C.H. Spurgeon
Full Reliance on God
"For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper". (Psalm 72:12)
The needy cries; what else can he do? His cry is heard of God; what else need he do? Let the needy reader take to crying at once, for this will be his wisdom. Do not cry in the ears of friends, for even if they can help you it is only because the Lord enables them. The nearest way is to go straight to God and let your cry come up before Him. Straightforward makes the best runner: run to the Lord and not to secondary causes.
"Alas!" you cry, "I have no friend or helper." So much the better; you can rely upon God in both capacities-as without supplies and without helpers. Make your double need your double plea. Even for temporal mercies you may wait upon God, for He careth for His children in these temporary concerns. As for spiritual necessities, which are the heaviest of all, the Lord will hear your cry and will deliver you and supply you.
O poor friend, try your rich God. O helpless one, lean on His help. He has never failed me, and I am sure He will never fail you. Come as a beggar, and God will not refuse you help. Come with no plea but His grace. Jesus is King; will He let you perish of wants What! Did you forget this?
As the following Faith's Checkbook from Charles Spurgeon (one of my favourite old Christians if you haven't already noticed!) makes clear, there is work for all Christians, no matter what their age, status, situation, skills, etc. etc.
God uses all His people, we just have to be willing and then act. We all want to be useful in God's kingdom, and God wants us to be useful. In fact He expects us to be useful. It is no good praying and asking for God to use you if you are not also willing to act. Like the invalid man at the Bethesda Pool in Jerusalem (John 5). He was required to act, to do something. In his case it was to trust Jesus, pick up his mat and walk (what incredible faith, given he had been lame for 38 years), and then to sin no more.
Older people are so incredibly overlooked in Western nations like Australia. This is folly! Older people have lifetimes of experience and wisdom which young people simply cannot have. They should in reality be paid more for their services. Yet the reality in our world is that they are often overlooked and go to waste in their older years.
That does not have to be your reality however! There is much to do and "retirement" does not have to comply with the "norms" of society. Orbus volunteers John and Sue Steendam are two good examples of this at Orbus. In their 70s these two faithful Christians continue to seek to do the will of Jesus in their older years. Praise God!
Faith's Checkbook by C.H. Spurgeon
"Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive." (Matthew 20:7)
"Yes, there is work in Christ's vineyard for old bodies. It is the eleventh hour, and yet He will let us work. What grace is this! Surely every old man ought to jump at this invitation! After men are advanced in years nobody wants them as servants; they go from shop to shop, and employers look at their gray hairs and shake their heads. But Jesus will engage old people and give them good wages, too! This is mercy indeed. Lord, help the aged to enlist in Thy service without an hour's delay.
But will the Lord pay wages to worn-out old men? Do not doubt it. He says He will give you what is right if you will work in His field. He will surely give you grace here and glory hereafter. He will grant present comfort and future rest; strength equal to your day and a vision of glory when the night of death comes on. All these the Lord Jesus will as freely give to the aged convert as to one who enters His service in his youth.
Let me tell this to some unsaved old man or old woman and pray the Lord to bless it for Jesus' sake. Where can I find such persons? I will be on the lookout for them and kindly tell them the news."
In many ways, given the change of heart supernaturally produced in Christians after Jesus saves them, the Christian church should be an outworking of practical works, reflecting Christ's ministry to the weak, the poor and the vulnerable.
Such ministry to the weak, the poor and the vulnerable should be intentional, planned and done with wisdom. It should be Christ centred, as any ministry which does not include sharing the gospel is not Christian ministry, and ultimately only provides temporary (bandaid) help.
Charles Price in one of his talks at Belgrave Heights Convention in April 2017 put it this way: “The local church is only as strong as it’s ministry to the weak and the poor.”
Faith's Checkbook by C.H. Spurgeon
He Never Fails
I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. (Joshua 1:5)
This word to Joshua is often quoted; it is the basis of that New Testament word "He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Beloved, a life of warfare is before us, but the Lord of Hosts is with us. Are we called to lead a great but fickle people? This promise guarantees us all the wisdom and prudence that we shall need. Have we to contend with cunning and powerful enemies? Here is strength and valor, prowess and victory. Have we a vast heritage to win? By this sign we shall achieve our purpose; the Lord Himself is with us.
It would be woe to us indeed if Jehovah could fail us; but, as this can never be, the winds of disquietude are laid to sleep in the caverns of divine faithfulness. On no one occasion will the Lord desert us. Happen what may, He will be at our side. Friends drop from us, their help is but an April shower; but God is faithful, Jesus is the same forever, and the Holy Spirit abideth in us.
Come, my heart, be calm and hopeful today. Clouds may gather, but the Lord can blow them away. Since God will not fail me, my faith shall not fail; and as He will not forsake me, neither will I forsake Him. Oh, for a restful faith!
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Read on -->> https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm+37&version=NIV
"Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept your will for my life.
"Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept your will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to you to be yours forever. Fill me and seal me with your Holy Spirit. Use me as you will, send me where you will, work out your whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever. In Jesus' name, Amen." (Prayer of Betty Scott Stam)
Trust and Do; Do and Trust
"Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed." (Psalm 37:3)
Trust and do are words which go well together, in the order in which the Holy Spirit has placed them. We should have faith, and that faith should work. Trust in God sets us upon holy doing: we trust God for good, and then we do good. We do not sit still because we trust, but we arouse ourselves and expect the Lord to work through us and by us. It is not ours to worry and do evil but to trust and do good. We neither trust without doing nor do without trusting.
Adversaries would root us out if they could; but by trusting and doing we dwell in the land. We will not go into Egypt, but we will remain in Immanuel's land - the providence of God, the Canaan of covenant love. We are not so easily to be got rid of as the Lord's enemies suppose. They cannot thrust us out nor stamp us out: where God has given us a name and a place, there we abide.
But what about the supply of our necessities? The Lord has put a "verily" into this promise. As sure as God is true, His people shall be fed. It is theirs to trust and to do, and it is the Lord's to do according to their trust. If not fed by ravens, or fed by an Obadiah, or fed by a widow, yet they shall be fed somehow. Away, ye fears!
Be confident. Be strong and courageous. The weapons we fight with have the power to demolish strongholds.
We do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with have the power to demolish strongholds ✦ For our war is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil ✦ It is God who arms me with strength. He is the God who avenges me…who saves me from my enemies ✦ Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified or discouraged, for the Lord Your God will be with you wherever you go ✦ Do not be afraid of them for the Lord Your God himself will fight for you ✦ Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. ✦ The Lord is my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my shield, my stronghold ✦ No weapon forged against you will prosper and you will refute every tongue that accuses you — this is the heritage of the Lord’s servants ✦ For the battle is the Lord’s ✦ Therefore, put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground ✦ And in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.
“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing." (Deuteronomy 10:18)
"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed." (Psalm 82:3)
"Defend the cause of the fatherless..." (Isaiah 1:17)
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9)
"You are the helper of the fatherless." (Psalm 10:14)
"Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds--his name is the LORD-- and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." (Psalm 68:4-5)
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:27)
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:10)
No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11)
Many pleasing things the Lord may withhold but "no good thing." He is the best judge of what is good for us. Some things are assuredly good, and these we may have for the asking through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Holiness is a good thing, and this He will work in us freely. Victory over evil tendencies, strong tempers, and evil habits He will gladly grant, and we ought not to remain without it.
Full assurance He will bestow, and near communion with Himself, and access into all truth, and boldness with prevalence at the mercy seat. If we have not these, it is from want of faith to receive and not from any unwillingness of God to give. A calm, a heavenly frame, great patience, and fervent love--all these will He give to holy diligence.
But note well that we must "walk uprightly." There must be no cross purposes and crooked dealings; no hypocrisy nor deceit. If we walk foully God cannot give us favors, for that would be a premium upon sin. The way of uprightness is the way of heavenly wealth-wealth so large as to include every good thing.
What a promise to plead in prayer! Let us get to our knees.
To add to the growing poverty and general hopelessness in Malawi the poor are again under intense pressure as the government increase the price of the country's staple maize by 127%.
A 50 kilogram bag has increased in price from K5,500 to K12,500.
The impact on inflation and the economy is expected to be far reaching, with the hardest hit likely to be those already in extreme poverty who will simply be unable to pay the increased price.
Prayer and action is required.
News from Malawi on the ABC on 21st September 2016
Hope fades in Malawi as severe drought leaves millions suffering
By freelance correspondents Kayla Robertson and Max Greenstein in Chikwawa
Wed 21 Sep 2016, 8:52am
"There have been plans to drought-proof the nation. One, called the Green Belt Initiative would have irrigated one million hectares of farmland, but it withered through lack of funding.
Critics point to endemic corruption in the country, which has seen an estimated $550 million stolen from government coffers in the past 10 years and siphoned away from vital programs."
Read the full article -->>
Practical Christianity requires a selfless heart. To love others requires a selfless and giving heart. Giving is love in action, the opposite of selfishness. Because of sin, we don't have this heart, so God starts to give his people selfless and giving hearts when he rescues them from their selfish, self-seeking and lost ways.
God's ways work, fallen man's ways most often don't. God works his generosity to his people through having his people be generous to other people. The worldly will seek to gather by all means and then hoard. But what good does that do on the last day? Someone else just gets to enjoy it. Better to empty your silos while you live and bless others in doing so. God confirms this by filling his people's silos faster than they can empty them. His ways work.
God is wise and therefore his people should seek to be wise givers not foolish givers. This sometimes takes effort, but is required if your giving is not to perpetuate corrupt and futile practices, which may give you a warm feeling for a time but helps neither the intended poor recipient nor the corrupt wealthy interceptor of your giving.
MATTHEW 6:33 NIV "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
PSALM 122:5 NLV "Good will come to the man who is ready to give much, and is fair in what he does."
LUKE 6:38 NIV 38 "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
PROVERBS 3:9-10 NKJV 9 "Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine."
MATTHEW 10:42 NIV 42 "And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."
2 CORINTHIANS 9:6-8 NIV 6 "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
HEBREWS 6:10 NIV 10 "God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them."
ACTS 20:35 NIV 35 "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: `It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"