Sermon #3: Feed My Sheep - Malawi
Mag. Claudia R. Wintoch
March 14, 2003


How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" (Rom 10:14-15)

 A few years ago, Jackie Pullinger (powerful missionary to Hong Kong) got up to speak at a conference. Her first words were, "When I am in a worship service like this, and everyone enjoys God's presence, there is something else I hear. I hear the sound of thousands and millions of people out there crying out. Those who do not know Jesus, those who are hurting, those who have no hope." (paraphrase) Do you also hear that sound? Do you hear the cries of millions of people who have never heard the gospel, and who have no hope of anyone telling them the good news? They cannot call on Jesus because they have not put their trust in Him. They cannot believe in Him, because they have never heard of Him. And they have never heard because no one has gone to tell them. Where is the church? Where are those commanded to go and make disciples?

 There are 6 billion people on the earth today. One third of those call themselves Christians, one tenth are born again Christians. So, 1 out of 9 people are a believer, i.e. 8 are not. Today, there are 10000 unreached peoples without a church, i.e. 2 billion people. For every unreached people there are 650 churches. Yet, where is the church? How come we have not been able to fulfill the great commission to go to ALL peoples yet?

 After Jesus' resurrection, He asked Peter whether he loved Him. After Peter's answer, Jesus replied three times, "Feed My sheep." What did that mean? He had to preach the gospel, teach the people, the sheep and those-to-be. They can only believe if they hear. The previous verse in Romans says, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Rom 10:13). The word salvation means redemption, healing, deliverance and prosperity. People cannot be redeemed, cannot be healed, cannot be delivered, cannot prosper, if they do not know the truth. When I was in Mali, it broke my heart to see the sick, and see missionaries giving good advice instead of telling the truth about the healing power of Jesus, and obeying Jesus' command to heal the sick. Instead, the hurting Malians went away with their sickness. It is those pictures that keep coming up before my mind, that fuel my passion to bring God's healing power to the hurting and the lost.

 Jesus said to His disciples, "As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." (Mt 10:7-8) Do we preach the kingdom? Do we heal the sick? Do we raise the dead? Do we cast out demons? Do we cleanse lepers? If not, why not? We are surrounded by the hurting, by those who have not hurt. I want to be one who does the works Jesus did.

 At the International House of Prayer (Mike Bickle) I have many opportunities to pour out and pray for people. I mentioned the conference last time, where I prayed a lot for healing, and I continue to do so at weekly healing services. Last Sunday, I prayed for a girl who was about 18 years old. She told me she was totally deaf in one ear. I spoke to the ear, commanding it to open up, and suddenly she said excitedly, "speak into it, speak into it..." I did, and she was able to hear me. The Lord healed her. Praise God! She said she'd go and make a phone call with that ear - which was proof. I'm hoping to see her again.

 What must be our motivation - besides simple obedience to God - is compassion. Matthew says about Jesus, "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." (9:36), and He healed them all. Jesus' heart broke for the hurting, and it moved Him to action. We must know God's love, His heart, and allow His love to flow through us. At the recent conference, I felt that compassion as I looked at the hurting people lined up for prayer (see my last mail). My heart broke as I could feel their pain, and His love started flowing through me to bring healing to them. Let's see people, and the hurting, with God's eyes, and have God's heart for them. Jesus' compassion always moved Him to action.

 That action was not only healing, but also provision. He had compassion on them being hungry and gave them to eat (see Mt 15:32). The church in our day has widely failed in providing food, clothes and shelter. Yet, God loves the poor, the orphans and widows. He loves to provide. We as Christians should reflect our generous, giving God, being the most generous people on the face of the earth. Yet, Muslims give a lot more than Christians. While they finance the construction of mosques in every village in Mali, famine has left people without food, endangering their very life. This is the first time I have heard such serious reports from "my" region in Mali, and I wished I could do something to help.

 In Malawi, over 3 million people are in danger of starvation, and the situation is similar in Mozambique. Heidi Baker works in both countries, having established 5000 churches in the past few years, seeing people healed and the dead raised regularly. Not only that, the Lord is still the same as yesterday so that multiplication of food occurs in her ministry regularly. Why not in Mali also? They have not heard, so they weren't able to believe, so they cannot call on the God who multiplies food.

 The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord (Hab 2:14) - but how will that happen? By us going, by us carrying God's glory to the nations, and doing the works Jesus did.

 MALAWI with Todd Bentley & Heidi Baker - June 1-12
 Todd Bentley heard the call of the Lord - "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" (Isa 6:8) and answered, "Here am I. Send me!" The Lord is still asking that question, looking for those who will respond. In June, Todd and Heidi will be working together in Malawi, holding a crusade with an expected attendance of 100,000 people a day. And the Lord told Todd to also feed them natural food three times a day, not just spiritual food.
It is such a joy and honor for me to be part of the team going to Malawi with them. Remember how I mentioned the deposit due within a week last time. At the end of the week, someone approached me in church saying Holy Spirit had talked to them, more than once, to give me the full deposit. Wow! Awesome God!
 Next I need to purchase my plane tickets (since I'm coming from Austria) which are $1300. I'm believing the Lord to provide that money quickly as He did with the deposit, so I still get a place on the planes. Could it be that you are called to sow into Malawi? To sow into healing, deliverance, salvation? To sow into people's lives being saved from starvation? May you hear His heart and do His will.

 CATCH THE WIND - Bulgaria March 5-19

 The CTW team (including my best friends) has been in Bulgaria for over a week now, and the Lord is moving powerfully, working through His vessels to bring healing and encouragement. What a joy it is to call them daily and receive updates of what the Lord has done this day. I invite you to check out the NEWS page on our website.
 As you can imagine I have been pretty busy with being the homebase for them, and in addition, I am taking care of Duane & Dawn's kids, Faithful (10) and Josiah (8). The Lord has truly been my strength in this time, and I have even found an unexpected joy and sense of fulfillment in taking care of those wonderful kids, even when challenging.

 HEALING CONFERENCE - Rodney Howard-Browne

 The team comes back from Bulgaria - together with a Bulgarian pastor-couple - just in time for the healing conference at our church. Rodney Howard-Browne - pastor Steve Gray's personal friend - will be our special speaker, and I'm looking forward to the meetings. If you live around here, it's March 20-23, the seventh anniversary of The Smithton Outpouring.

 Let's get ready for what is coming upon the earth - we need to make a choice whether to live wholly for the Lord or not. The times of compromise will soon be over. Darkness will fill the earth, while God's glory will also shine brighter than ever before. We need to be pure and holy, transformed into His image, walking in the Spirit, knowing His voice, and doing what we see the Father doing.

 May you know how wide and long and high and deep is His love, and be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Eph 3:18-19).

 Send me a line when you have time.

 In love with HIM,


Ask of Me, and I will make the nations your inheritance. (Ps 2:8)
Mag. Claudia R. Wintoch
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