World Mission Committee
Diocese of Fort Worth
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
Equipping The Saints
Prayers of thanksgiving for Martín Cordova for his leadership as Director of La Gran Familia. Thank God for the positive, Christian, nurturing, and structured atmosphere at LGF. Please pray for safety and security of those most precious children, youth, and employees of La Gran Familia in this time of severe unrest in Cuauhtémoc. Pray for God's angels to surround the alberque and Cristo Rey Anglicana in order that no harm come to them that love Him. Ask these things in Jesus name.
Your Prayer is Needed
The fabric you see here was commissioned to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our relationship between the Diocese of Ft. Worth and the Diocese of Northern Malawi. It has the Official Seal of both Diocese, This 43" x 76" limited edition custom print fabric is available from the World Mission Committee email Kristi Heffron at firstname.lastname@example.org
Team from Christ The Redeemer visits Malawi in June
Our Companion Relationship continues to grow strong as teams take the time to visit and deliver our love in person.
La Gran Familia
6 Reasons Why Higher Education Works at LGF
By Glenn Polhemus
Twenty Eighteen will mark 20 years at LGF. We want to spend the year celebrating all of our achievements. We will be retelling stories of some of the children from the early days of LGF and where they are now. Additionally, we will officially mark our 20 years in October with a dinner celebration.
Tom and Fran Gregg have been supporters of
LGF for a long time. It began many years ago with the donation of a “highly used” Ford pickup for Fr. Greg Spinks, our founder. Fran recently wrote that they support LGF because “we are seeing former street children graduating from high school, college, and graduate school and working. Wow!!!” My first reaction was that Fran was getting carried away, but after musing on her statement, I decided she might be seeing things more clearly that I was.
So far, LGF has generated the following college graduates:
1 Masters in Business Administration
2 Registered Nurses
1 Bachelor in Engineering
Presently we have:
1 in Medical School
1 studying Architecture
This summer we will have three more entering the university who have lived at LGF since they were in pre-school.
Here are the 6 reasons why higher education is working at LGF. God has provided us with the following:
1. Vision - Fr. Greg emphasized that the only way out of the grinding poverty in which our kids were born is through education to the highest level each can achieve.
2. Financial Stability - LGF has developed regular income to provide education through a strong donor base and investments in the United States.
3. A Building - In 2013 FECHAC, a cooperative of corporate donors in Chihuahua gave a large part of the $4,000,000 pesos needed to construct our new building that has a dormitory, class rooms, a library, and computer lab. We also received gifts from Alsuper, a Mexican grocery chain, and OXXO, a chain of convenience stores in Mexico and the state of Chihuahua.
4. A Superior Staff - Martin Cordova has assembled a fine group that cares for the 40 children. They treat their work as ministry, not jobs.
5. Tutors – We have a staff of five tutors who work with the kids five hours a day for six days a week. Three are teachers in the local school system.
6. Inexpensive Schools – We send our students to the best private high school in town, La Salle. This costs about $682 dollars per student per year and the University of Chihuahua in Cuauhtémoc for about $525 per student per year. Compared to U.S. schools these are huge bargains. By using the gifts God has provided for LGF, our children are encouraged to excel scholastically. They are probably pushed harder to do well in school than even the “rich kids” of the city. It is gratifying to see the results!
Our marvelous tutors!
Reprint from LGF January Newsletter
What I learned about God in Malawi
By Marlee F., 8 years old
In Malawi there was a lot to see and do, but I learned a few things on the way too.
For starters, God’s beauty is shown all around the world, but it’s shown especially in Malawi. Malawi is the most wonderful and gorgeous place I have ever been to (and our family likes to travel).
I also learned that even though we’re not worshipping the same way, we’re worshipping for the same reason. When I heard their singing and saw their dancing, I knew they couldn’t love God more.
Another thing I learned is God is something different to everyone. To them God is a provider of food, health, and protection. After being in Malawi, to me God is a ruler and protector of his people, doing everything for them. I now see God as a helper in my life and a connector between me and the people of Malawi. He connected our hearts through our worship together, and now that has changed my prayers from being mostly about me to mostly about them. I really enjoyed our visit. The people especially made it great, with their kindness and hospitality. I want and would love to go back.
Marlee, at a primary school on Likoma Island, shares dance moves with the school kids. (See them “dab!”)
Marlee with Fr. James Mwale’s daughter, Juliete (age 9) center and her friend. Fr. Mwale has been St. Laurence’s Centurion Priest Partner for many years.
Malawi Memories by Avery F., 10 years old
The time that I spent in Malawi was amazing. I learned that Malawi is so different from America but also similar. I learned that even though we are so far away from them, we do the same things as them. We go to church, play sports and have fun together, just the same as them.
The people in Malawi all go to church with a smile on their faces. They very happily sing and dance with the love of God in their hearts. They walk home from church laughing and talking. I never saw a frown in all of Malawi, only smiles.
God showed his love to me through the people’s smiles and laughter. I think God let me go to Malawi to learn about Him in a different way than I am used to. He loved me enough to show me the way He made other people and teach me that He made us all in His own image. Even though we’re different, each one of us is a child of God. Now I have so many friends in Malawi – friends in Christ!
Avery and Fr. James Mwale.
Avery helps distribute notebooks to school children.
Avery plays soccer with a local men’s team in Malawi.
Avery’s Top 10 Memories in Malawi
Love One Another: Reflections on a Mission to Malawi
by Sydney F. 12 years old
"The less fortunate will never have what they need until we, who are a little more fortunate, realize how little the less fortunate require to be happy." - Dr. James Castleton, MD
After returning from a two-week mission trip in Malawi, I reflected on this quote when thinking of the people and how little they require to be happy. In observing the people we met, it seemed that they all woke up every morning with a smiling face and made the decision to be happy with what little they had. But what about me? What do I require to be happy? I had to think about that.
In my time in Malawi, I came to appreciate the African lifestyle. There are many things about it that should be adopted into American culture. For example, the people in Malawi don't rush around all the time. They go through their day in a calm manner and take time to have real conversations with people. Their lives are so different – and they have so little – yet spiritually they are so much richer than us. If you're walking down the street in America and a woman stops you and asks you to come over to her house for tea for two hours to get to know you on a Sunday afternoon (when you already have other stuff to do), you would probably laugh in her face and walk away (hypothetically speaking). But any person in Malawi who has many more things to do in order to just survive, would accept the invitation with open arms. That is one major difference between Malawi and America. Why? Because in Malawi, people prioritize relationships with people over work.
Sydney distributes paper animals to kids at Mfula.
Bishop Fanuel shows Sydney how to tie a wrap skirt.
Sydney (12 years old)
That made me think about my life and my priorities. To be honest, I realized that I complain a lot about stupid things. The people in Malawi would give anything to live like us, with a real roof over their head and guaranteed food on the table every day. Kids there consider it a privilege to go to school (something which I complain about constantly) because very few families can make the huge sacrifices it takes to pay for school. Kids in Malawi want clothes and shoes that fit and don’t have holes in them – simple things that we overlook. We need to be more grateful for the things we have in America. I need to be more grateful.
While in Malawi, I got sick and started running a high fever. I was incredibly disappointed when I couldn’t go with our mission team to the local schools or attend the Mother’s Union Conference. All I could think about was the experiences that I was missing, and it made me sad. But as I look back on my time of lying in bed for three days with a wet sock on my head (there are no cold compresses in Malawi), I realized that God was trying to show me what it was like for these people when they get sick. For people in Malawi, sickness does not mean skipping school to lay in bed and watch TV while eating chicken noodle soup like it does at home. For most people in Malawi, there is no doctor, no medicine. Americans are so blessed.
Now that the mission trip has ended and we’re back home, what does God want us to do with what we’ve learned? There are going to be many different things that come into play when trying to help the Malawian people. First, the Malawi people are already happy so that's not what we are trying to accomplish. With that being said, we should try to make their everyday life a little bit easier – a little bit more comfortable – by making sure they get enough food to eat, have clean water, and get medical care and an education. Most importantly, while making their life easier, it is so very important that we preserve the incredible thing that is the Malawi culture. Their culture is so happy, so focused on their faith, which is something amazing and something that we want to preserve.
Compared to the people in Malawi, we have been given everything. Luke 12:48 says "from everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded."
We are required to help them. We have been entrusted by God to help them. So what is God demanding from us? That we love one another as He loved us. Nothing more, nothing less.
God has shown me incredible things on this trip. I'm so blessed to have gone to Malawi. They have so little and we have so much, and yet who are the happier ones? My challenge going forward will be to remember not to get too wrapped up in this crazy American life. The Malawian people have taught me that I need to slow down, prioritize people over busyness and choose to be happy in all circumstances. To do that, I will need to keep my life centered around God. Beyond that, I’ll wait to see how God decides to use me in His plan to show His love to the people of Malawi (and maybe try to make their lives a little easier in the meantime). Will you join me?
La Gran Familia
A Mission Organization of the Diocese of Fort Worth
Bishop Jack L. Iker