Thursday, 24 May 2018
Wednesday, 16 May 2018
While at a community Bible study, Rogério, who can neither walk nor talk, motioned to me that he would like a pen and paper. He made notes from all that was being taught and then wrote ‘If God, why do I suffer so much?’ As we minister to those most marginalised in Mozambique we are confronted daily with suffering. We can’t help but ask why some people suffer so much. The disciples in John 9 thought they understood why the man was born blind, however, Jesus explained that ‘it was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God may be displayed in him’. John Piper contends that sin in the world is the cause of suffering in the world, but specific sins in the world are usually not the cause of specific sufferings. Often we look back and are keen to know the cause, however, Jesus points us to future purpose; 'so that the works of God might be displayed' (John 9v3).
Consider the lives of Job, the song writer George Matheson or Corrie Ten Boom … and you can add to the list! Each one suffering in ways we cannot begin to imagine, however, out of their deepest pain has come the strong conviction of the presence and love of God. This brings us much comfort and strength for our own journey.
OMS founders, Charles and Lettie Cowman, served their Saviour passionately and mobilised hundreds to give themselves for the furtherance of the Gospel. They saw God do great things. Then, suddenly, Charles was stricken with poor health. They had to return home and were unable to continue in their prominent leadership roles. They were left asking why? They believed whole-heartedly that God would heal him and yet over time his health continued to deteriorate. Through this time, Lettie penned the world-renowned devotional 'Streams in the Desert’ offering comfort and encouragement for almost a century. Lettie's journal for the last months of Charles’ life was uncovered many years later and then compiled into the book entitled ‘The Story Behind Streams in the Desert’. As a caring, devoted wife, she describes her bewilderment at God's delay in healing her beloved husband. Eventually she came to accept that something greater than healing was being accomplished. Through this crucible of suffering, she said that 'the waiting time is a training time' and that 'more is being planned for by God than has been prayed for by us.’ 'I know nothing of what God is doing, but He does and I rest in Him' and 'I'd rather walk in the dark with God than go alone in the light’. Through much anguish and struggle, their faith was being fortified and their only option was to rely completely on Him.
While on earth we won’t fully understand but we know that the life of Jesus is the supreme source of comfort for the suffering and we have the sure hope that those who know Him will one day be completely free of suffering. Christ deals with our pain. Praise His name.
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
and feel the promise is not vain,
that morn shall tearless be.
O cross that lifts up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
and from the ground there blossoms red
life that endless be.
‘Pain is for a moment. The life Jesus offers is endless.’ Lord, help us bring this hope in Word and deed to a suffering world.
at 4:11 pm
Thursday, 1 March 2018
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
I want to introduce you to my sister in Christ Arcenia (left of photo). She is a member of our Nkateko group. Arcenia loved to make the Christmas stars. While we were in Ireland in the summer we received news that Arcenia had suffered paralysis down one side.
Upon our return to Mozambique I visited Arcenia along with Michelle, who arrived in Mozambique a month ago. When we arrived at the house we were welcomed in by member of the family. Arcenia is mother to 4 children. Her husband is one of the leaders at the Khongolote church. He was born with albanism. When we walked into the dark room Armenia was lying on the floor on a mattress. We greeted and chatted. As I knelt on the floor beside her she told me of what happened. It seems like one day she woke with this paralysis. Before this, Arcenia seemed to be a strong and healthy young woman. Now she cannot walk. She has little or no sensation down one side of her body and her face is also partially affected. During the conversation Arcenia said that she was sorry her husband was not at home when we visited. She said 'If we all stay here we will all die of hunger'. Her husband, even though his eyesight is limited, is training to be an english teacher at University and teaching english to children to provide income. My heart ached for her. She asked about the possibility of getting a wheelchair from Helping Hands. We listened and prayed.
The next sunday I was delighted to see Arcenia arrive at church in her 'new' wheelchair. I was so encouraged as the wheelchair seemed to meet her needs perfectly with adequate support. We praise God that He provided that wheelchair in Ireland even before Arcenia needed it. She was wheeled up to the front where she worshipped God. Later her husband preached on how we need to praise God in the midst of our difficulties. In the course of the sermon he motioned to his wife and proclaimed that she was his, he loved her and would stand by her. What a testimony in a country where people with disability are not valued.
I ask you to join with us in prayer for Arcenia! May God use this difficult situation for His Glory. We pray that if it is in His will that He would heal Arcenia.
If you would like to find out more about Nkateko or purchase products please see our blog and Facebook page. (www.nkateko.co.uk; https://www.facebook.com/nkatekotlc/)
at 3:36 pm
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Monday, 2 May 2016
We praise God for His provision in making a way for 13 wheelchairs to be taken to Northern Mozambique. Currently it is not safe to travel by road to the North of Mozambique as there is political unrest. However, our friends, Daryl and Leah Burnette were sending containers to the North of Mozambique as they are moving there to minister. We asked them if they would have space for wheelchairs and they kindly agreed. We pray that these wheelchairs will reach those that most need them. We praise God for the cooperation of a Wesleyan pastor in Nampula who has a heart for this ministry.
at 3:13 pm