Monday, March 25, 2013

Thoughts from John 15:7

heat“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

As I read this verse I am challenged in my previous misinterpretation of this scripture. I confess my misunderstanding may lie in the first part of the verse which is a conditional statement. “If you abide in Me” and IF His “words abide in you” are crucial to this result of “it being done”. Our ‘abiding’ and personal relationship with Christ is key and His ‘Word’ must be something living and breathing in our daily lives. When we know who Christ is and what His words are (the Bible) and if our belief is active in them both, I believe what we ‘desire’ will be what Christ desires. I believe our words will be His Word.

Claiming a knowledgeable yet inactive faith and expecting God to give you a new Mercedes, wealth or fame is unfortunately a message being exported from our Western culture. This verse does not make God a magical genie waiting to grant our every wish. We must ask ourselves, “Who are we abiding in and if His Word is abiding in my life?” I believe if this first condition is met, what we ask for and the ‘desires’ of our hearts will align with that of Christ’s.

Do I desire what Christ desires? Does His words resonate and nudge me to ask for the things that would please His own heart?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Planting Together for a Greater Future

Early this morning work began at the Magbenteh Polio Camp in Makeni. The Tree of Life class is required to do one community project in order to receive their certificate for the class. The class chose to plant moringa trees at the polio camp that will one day benefit the community. We showed them two kinds of ways to plant moringa. The first way, is to plant a single tree that will provide shade, flowers, and future seeds that can be used to continue to plant. We also showed them how to plant an intensive garden that consists of over 200 hundred seeds planted closely together. This kind of planting allows the community to harvest moringa leaves every 6 weeks to make moringa powder. This powder is then used as an additive to their regular foods to combat malnutrition and prevent other kinds of sickness.

I was humbled and excited to see everyone there working together and playing various roles. Just as the Bible says, some prepared the soil, some watered and others sowed the seeds. We even had Matilda and Aminata serving as supervisors from their wheelchairs. The community as a whole was excited about the potential of these seeds and what it could mean for their community. It was especially encouraging seeing them pray over the garden before we planted the seeds asking God to bring a good harvest.

I am so proud of my class and look forward to the coming days of teaching them the final 8 lessons left in our class. The rains have already began to come, so we are trusting God for a bountiful harvest – not just the moringa, but also in the hearts of everyone in the class. Please continue to pray for our classes here in Makeni and Freetown. Pray that hearts would be changed as the Gospel is preached and that physical wellness will improve as these communities begin to put into practice the knowledge they are learning. God bless.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

James 1:17

images Every now and again I would like to share some thoughts and writings from my journal. It is in these times I find comfort, peace and truth. I hope they will be an encouragement to you.

“Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”  -James 1:17 (NKJV)

Lord, You are a perfect God of goodness and love. You desire to give us ‘good’ and ‘perfect’ gifts. The question that lingers in my mind is, “Who defines ‘good’ and ‘perfect’?” Some people may say that wealth is a good gift from God, and they in fact may be correct; however, if the love for the wealth corrupts the heart of the man or his love for money trumps his devotion to the Father of lights, then I believe this good gift has been transformed to a curse due to the everlasting corruption that resides in the hearts of men.

God is the one who defines ‘good’ and ‘perfect’ and that does not always mean these gifts will be immediately gratifying or even something we believe may be good for us. Often I think back to how my parents disciplined me. At that time, I did not see what they were ‘giving’ as good or perfect, yet it has resulted in who I am today and instilled within me principles that have benefited my life.

I think about Job and how God allowed Satan to give trials and take everything from him with the exception of his life. Job lamented during this process, yet in the end the result was the glorification of God and the  proof of Job’s unwavering faith was in a good and just God. Lord, despite my opinions of what ‘good’ and ‘perfect’ is, help me to know that what comes from your hand will ALWAYS result in a good and perfect thing. Help me to look to what you define ‘good’ and ‘perfect’ is, despite my own simple mortal mind’s opinion.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Magbentae Hospital in Makeni

MGB Hospital I am learning day by day that what I perceive to be the best things for my life are in fact the things that often are road blocks to greater opportunities. Many of you are aware of the trials that have met me recently over the last few months. God has been faithful in guiding, encouraging and sustaining me during these difficult times. I am grateful to him for his faithfulness and that he “has not forsaken me.” Just as  soon as a stone is removed from my path, the journey becomes easier and a little more encouraging. That is where I am.

This past week I had the wonderful privilege to meet with a woman by the name of Vivian who is the CFO/Administrator of the Magbentae Hospital here in Makeni. Viviana invited me to come and see the hospital and was especially excited when she discovered that I was a nurse. Viviana is a breath of fresh air and, it is obvious that she has such a passion for the work she is doing here.

Tomorrow I will be meeting with Viviana and her Manager, Andrew, concerning the Tree of Life ministry. The hospital has a feeding program for malnourished children and Viviana is so excited about the potential moringa may have for this program. I have also shared with her that I teach the Bible and community health. I do not know what tomorrow’s meeting will hold, but I am asking you all to pray that God will open another door for the message of TRUTH to reach another area of need.

The hospital has lots of land and they have expressed an interest to plant moringa trees to support their patients and families. I admire the Hospital and their perseverance through hard times. They are a private hospital and depend on paying patients to sustain themselves. They are doing a wonderful job and I am looking forward to our future partnership together.

Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. Please continue to advocate for us through your churches, facebook, friends, families, etc. Know that you all are partners in the work here and I could not do it without God using you all to sustain me here. Much love….