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A Father to the Fatherless

May 7, 2004

Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,

If your life has been touched by the grace of God, you will find out sooner or later that your "wanter" has changed. You have new desires in your heart—like the desire to read the Bible and pray, the desire to know Jesus and share the gospel with others, the desire to be holy as God is holy, and the desire to take up the cause of the weak and oppressed.

James says that a person who trusts in Jesus, a person of faith, will demonstrate that faith in his/her life choices. He says, "Yea, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." (James 2.18) And he also says, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." (James 1.27)

On August 4th to 12th a MCM mission team will be heading to Livingstone, Zambia and Zimbabwe to carry the anointing and gospel of grace to the peoples there and to call the people to repentance and resurrection. In addition to strategic spiritual warfare, we will be ministering to the Ebenezer Childcare Trust, an orphanage housing and caring for 54 orphans inside and 48 orphans still living on the streets. I want to tell you about this remarkable work of God to encourage your faith and to encourage you to participate as a mission sponsor.

Ranji Chara and her doctor husband were introduced to me through Rev. Doug and Pat Blue, AOG missionaries to Madagascar. MCM supports the orphanage in Madagascar along with other organizations to whom we tithe. This is the story of Ebenezer Orphanage.

Ebenezer was born in the heart of God. In 1996, the Lord appeared to Ranji in a vision where she lived in Singapore. In that vision she saw hundreds of children, all singing. The Lord spoke to her, "Today I call heaven to witness that I will restore all your fortunes to you. I will withhold nothing of all that I have promised, planned, and purposed for your life. Trust in My word and it will be to you according to your faith. And you shall call it ‘Ebenezer, saying thus far, the LORD has helped us.’"

Through the years, God revealed to her that it was going to be an orphanage. Ranji responded with her arguments and tried to back out, but she finally answered God’s call to move to Livingstone. She and her family just decided to go—with no job, no furniture, no money, nothing.

Ranji writes,

On the 1st Feb. 2001 we crossed the border from Botswana and came to stay with a friend for 2 weeks. Those were the hardest 2 weeks of our lives. IT SEEMED LIKE GOD HAD LOST OUR ADDRESS. Nothing seemed to be happening, and we tried to knock at every door, and they were all SHUT. My daughter is an accountant and my husband a doctor, but no one was interested in their applications. But by His grace, I stubbornly stood with my faith. I would wake up 3.00 a.m. every morning and prayed.

And not only that, I also prayed and encouraged the friends we were staying with, since they were not real Christians. This touched them so much that towards the end of the 2nd week, they both came to me and said, "We want to know your God, you are in a big mess, with no job, no finances, no home and still you encourage us, we want to know your God." I had the joy and the privilege of leading this whole family to Christ and they are strong up to today. Praise His Holy Name!

However, things did not look good for Ranji and her husband. Just as they decided to move 500 miles (800 km) away to stay with other friends with the hope of sustaining themselves, two Singaporean teachers emailed them, "We will pay your rent, go and find a house." So they found and rented a house with the provision from their friends. Another friend from Sweden whom they knew from Botswana told them to start an orphanage, and that she would help. Thus began the Ebenezer Orphanage.

The orphanage began as a feeding program. Ranji and her family got children from the streets and brought them to church, taught them Bible stories, and gave them a meal. Soon after, they hired a worship leader. The children were homeless, but as money came in, they rented first one home and now four homes. 33 of the children are double orphans (both parents deceased). 21 are single orphans (one parent alive). One child lives with "a wicked stepmother and his real father. He is treated very badly at home."

Most of these children are orphaned because their parents died of HIV/AIDS. The youngest child, now 5 or 6, was out on the streets at 4 years old. His name is Davis. He knows his mother is dead, but talks about an aunt who treated him "real bad." On the streets he was given glue to sniff by other street kids. He also used alcohol and was an addict by the time he arrived at Ebenezer six months ago. Ranji’s husband treated him for many days to neutralize the effect the drugs had had on him. He says now, "Call me Pastor Davis because I am going to be a pastor."

Ranji also tells us another story. Last May, Livingstone's mayor asked her to come with him to visit an abandoned family of children. Thinking the children were grown, Ranji took some food with her, but when she arrived, she found four small children living in a broken down shack. Months ago the mother had died and relatives had buried her, but they left the children to fend for themselves. The ages? 14, 12, 9, and 7. They are small and stunted. All four now live at Ebenezer Orphanage, attend school, and try hard to forget their troubles. Their names are Naomi, Mercy, Crispin, and little Grace.

Grace is a grieving child. She is being counseled, but doesn’t play with other kids and is out of touch. The children are on special nutritional food "with daily eggs and milk and other high protein diet." Through prayer (and much more is needed!) Grace is responding—slowly. As some children rushed to talk to Ranji and show her their books, Grace was the last one to come. She held her book out to "Mom," and Ranji fussed over her and hugged her. Little Grace responded with a teeny little smile. All she wants is her real Mom, but Mom has gone away and little Grace doesn’t understand.

Ranji wrote me, "Tell your friends over there that there are hundreds of "Graces" … all over Zambia because of this epidemic that has hit this land." She is referring to the AIDS epidemic, which has created nearly a million orphans in Zambia. But God cares and placed His desire to be a Father to the fatherless in Ranji’s heart.

What are Ranji’s hopes and dreams? She says, "one day to have Ebenezer Village, to get land and build our own homes, perhaps a small farm, to put up a school and a clinic where hundreds of orphans can get health care and education." She tells me she needs a mobile health unit because there are many villagers suffering untold agony without any medical facilities whatsoever. "Our dream is to go to those villagers with health care and the Gospel, and perhaps some will be saved and healed!!!"

Ranji, Dr. Chara, little Grace, Davis, and all these other children need your prayers, your tokens of caring, and your encouragement. And frankly, if you’re looking for top R.O.I. (return on investment), then consider giving to MCM and designating your best gift for the Africa mission. It doesn’t get much better than this. God will repay. You can help by:

  1. praying for the orphans and the staff at Ebenezer Orphanage
  2. praying for the MCM mission team/trip to Africa
  3. writing a letter/card of encouragement to the children that we can take with us to Africa (ages 5-18)
  4. giving a donation of money for trip expenses and shipping costs or giving a gift card from either Target or Wal-Mart. (We’ll be using the gift cards to buy new underwear and socks, combs, toothbrushes, etc.)

Pastor Jim and I are excited about this. God has connected MCM to Ranji and Dr. Chara and the Ebenezer Orphanage that we might bless them through our World Missions Outreach. We thank you in advance for giving or doing whatever God leads you to do in support of this work. God bless you!

By His grace,

Mary Craig

Defend the poor and fatherless:
Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Deliver the poor and needy:
Rid them out of the land of the wicked.
(Psalm 82.3, 4)

To support the MCM mission to Africa and/or Ebenezer Orphanage in Zambia, click here for where to mail donations. If you would like more information, please contact Mary at [email protected].

Copyright © 2004 Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.

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