|Mary Craig Ministries|
|Home Page > News and Views > Message of the Month|
The Obedience of Faith
Lessons from the Mission to Mozambique
June 5, 2006
Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
Sunday, May 28th, Susan Smith, Stephen Craig, and I joined the Maputo International Christian Fellowship for worship. Rev. Steve Chaloner spoke on faith, its purpose, its pacesetters, and its paradox. After the service, Pastor Jon invited us to their Sunday evening prayer service and gave us permission to call Mozambique to repentance and resurrection, release the prophetic words to Mozambique, and to lead the group in prayer for the nation.
I thought about the sermon on faith, and how we were living out another God story. Monday we would be going to Casa das Formigas (House of Ants) [The national language in Mozambique is Portuguese], a residential home to some 500 children. It all came together because Betty Patten, on our MCM Board, was in Los Angeles on business. There she had lunch with Don Howarth, a former boss. Don mentioned that his daughter Aimee was doing missionary work in Maputo, Mozambique in fact. Betty came to attention and mentioned our mission trip and desire to find a place truly needing help and funds. Don emailed Aimee who emailed Betty and me and then Lynne Schmidt, a missionary friend in Maputo. Lynne emailed me the phone number of a woman in Machava (just outside of Maputo). The woman's name was Delci dos Santos. I called Delci's number (011-258-21-4307-12) and voila, we had contact. When we arrived at the hotel in Maputo, I called Delci and she arranged for a driver to transport us to Casa das Formigas. The driverís name was Simione.
Faith. I like Warren Wiersbeís definition: True Bible faith is confident obedience to Godís Word in spite of circumstances and consequences. Its purpose is to please God, for without faith it is impossible to please God. We have to believe that He is, and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. The pacesetters of faith in Hebrews 11 demonstrate faith worshiping, walking, working, waiting, warring, and winning, whether or not they were delivered from difficult circumstances. They trusted God and endured, some seeing the fruit of faith and others not, at least not in their lifetime. These are the witnesses who give evidence that what God has promised, He will do. Thatís the paradox. We are to believe and obey God whether or not we see the fruit. Itís why at MCM we measure success, not by results, but by obedience. Did we do what God asked of us to the best of our ability by Godís grace? Did we trust God for that grace to obey through faith which works by love?
Delci inspired us. In 1989 she came to Mozambique. Her Presbyterian church back in Brazil sent her to open a Bible school. She opened three, but civil war raging around her made her sorrowful over the situation of the children. One boy was asleep on the floor, hot. Delci thought, "Maybe he needs food." She heard God, "What do you have in your hand?" She had only $100, but with that small beginning, God started something. She began giving a few children a glass of milk and some butter. Pray. Six helpers came. By the third year there were 100 children receiving food and some clothes. Pray more. Money came in to buy land. Delci says she was the first Brazilian missionary in Mozambique doing this kind of ministry. She went back to the churches in Brazil. Pray, pray, pray. One man gave $3,000.
Then on Saturday, February 21, 1995, 30 children came for Sunday School. One of them was Simione. Why House of Ants? One day there was no rain. Delci was praying as she continued to give soup to 250 children. "They look like ants," she thought. She remembered Proverbs 30.25:
The ants are a people not strong,
yet they prepare their meat in the summer.
"Who will keep them? Who will prepare for them?" God called Delci to the task and to live a faith-walk that would require her to trust God every day to provide for these children. Today there are 500 children who come to Casa das Formigas where they are fed, clothed, schooled, and given a measure of hospital care.
Children encircled us when we arrived. They sang for us and followed us from building to building as we looked at the sleeping quarters and saw classrooms for English, computer, art, sewing, quilting, shoe making, basket weaving, and other crafts. A bakery on the compound produces 1,600 bread rolls per day.
Delci didnít know it, but in addition to the large suitcases and duffel bags filled with clothing, toys, and supplies, we also brought $800. With no public school in Mozambique, the school bill was due, and God used us to supply that money. All who gave to MCM towards this mission were used by God in answer to prayer for these children. He drew us all together to this moment to help. The streets are just clay dirt, the houses are plain cement block, and the children sat on the floor, in hallways, everywhere. They were happy. They didnít seem to catch on to the miracle provision occurring daily at House of Ants, a provision in which we had the privilege of partaking.
As Delci says, "Each time we receive a new child my heart is torn. Sometimes I look at them, how they smile, have energy, want to learn, without thinking about what life is like, how they eat, dress or how school equipment arrives in their hands. When I think about their stories and how they manage to make sense of their circumstancesÖ thanks be to God that they do not need to think because this same God raised up people to think for them and to look after their futures." Simione has seen it. He has now graduated from Bible College and teaches at House of Ants in addition to being a driver.
Revolution to gain freedom from the Portuguese and tribal civil war have contributed to the poverty in Mozambique. AIDS orphans abound. 40% of the population is 15 years of age or younger. The average lifespan is 43 years. In the English class, the students practiced on us. They asked us our names and how old I was. When I told them, they were astonished at how old I am! (over 43, ha) When they asked what I did, I was able to share the gospel with them and encourage them to learn to read their Bibles.
Thank you all for your prayers and love offerings for this work of God. We could not pursue the calling of the Lord without continual support, both spiritual and financial, from people like you. Be encouraged as you consider your gift to MCM this month and share in bringing others to help and hope in Jesus, whether through the ministry of Craighouse, the Barnabas Project, or world missions. You will be blessed!
Sixty nations ago, God moved me out of my comfort zone to go where He would send me to be His witness and to carry His message. MCMís call is to bring healing and restoration to the Body of Christ, to prepare the Bride for His return, and to call in the nations to repentance and resurrection as He directs. Whatever our calling, we are drawn out of our comfort zones to believe God in spite of circumstances and consequences, in this life, through death, and on into eternity. It takes endurance and the patience of waiting. It takes the grace of God and a little spirit of adventure. Often we go out, not knowing. We walk by faith, not by sight. We trust that a covenant-keeping God will provide, protect, pity our frame, preserve, and pursue His enemies to their destruction. Along the way, we are strengthened by the testimonies of others, by their witness before a watching world. And we go on, to the next day and the next, in faith.
To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
Walking with you,
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org for more on the prophetic words for Mozambique. Order from our Catalog section using PayPal. Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays, grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests. Be blessed! We love you.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud
Of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin
Which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience
The race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus,
The Author and Finisher of our Faith, who for the joy
Set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is
Set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For
Consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against
Himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your mindsÖ
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved,
Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God
Acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
For our God is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12.1-3, 28, 29
here to make a donation
Mary Craig Ministries is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
|Copyright © 2006 Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.|
|ïBack to MCM News and Views|