Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever
believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be
condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they
will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up
snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt
them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get
well. (Mark 16:15-18)
One more week and I will get onto the plane that will take me to my
"Promised Land" of Mali. A nation God loves, and people Jesus died
for. God has a plan for that nation, and He is looking for those who will
respond to the cry coming from His heart, "Whom shall I send? Who will
go for us?" (Isa 6). He longs to pour out His Spirit in Mali, for the
whole earth will be full of His glory. He longs to penetrate the darkness
with His glorious light; He longs to bring hope to the hopeless; He longs to
replace death with life; He longs to save those that are perishing; He longs
to set the captives free; He longs to have children and friends that will
above all love Him and do His will, advancing His kingdom in the earth.
There is a great harvest in Mali; a country where half the population is
under 15. The task is great, more than any human could carry. But God is
great, and nothing is impossible for Him! Pray that He will send workers into
the harvest! Those that would not love their lives unto death, but care only
about HIS purposes! Where are those who are willing to lay down their lives? Where
are those who are willing to pay the price? Where are those that care more
about HIM than their own comfort? Where are those who will hear His heart cry
Mali is still one of the poorest nations in the world. Only 50 years ago, it
was known as the "bread basket of West Africa" because of its
agricultural riches. Today it is being ravaged by droughts that have ruined
lives and reduced cattle, as well as occasional floods that have destroyed
much. Yet, Mali has great potential. It has been a model democracy for the
past 12 years, and the current president was just elected head of the African
Union (modelled after the EU). God not only redeems people but also the land,
and He can bring an end to droughts and floods and the increasing
desertification (see the town in Guatemala on the TRANSFORMATION video), when
they turn away from idols and from Allah to serve the one true living God.
I feel led to share with you a vision I had nearly two years ago. I saw a map
of Mali - the top half is in the Sahara desert. And I saw the heart of Jesus
over the country, and it was beating with love for Mali. Then His heart was
pierced and His blood started running over Mali, in all directions until it
covered the land. And wherever the blood flowed, the country turned green and
fruitful, even in the Sahara desert.
For more facts about Mali, as well as my vision and what I'm gonna do, click here.
ARRIVAL IN BAMAKO
So far I've really not known many details about anything, which simply has me
rely on the Lord even more, which is wonderful. I can totally trust Him, and
since this is all HIS work and HIS idea, there is nothing I have to worry
about - besides, it would not do any good anyway.
So I thought I might not even know where I'd stay in Bamako before leaving,
but a week before my departure, I do know now.
The school director, Alassane, offered me to stay with him and his family
until I find a place to live. Alassane has two wives and seven children. Polygamy
is not unusual in Mali. Three wives are considered the optimum, but few can
afford that. Some have asked me whether the school is Christian - no, it's a
secular school, but it is safe to say that most would be Muslim and the rest
spiritists (often they are both).
So, I'm thankful that Alassane will be picking me up from the airport and
welcoming me into his house. I have no clue what his house would be like,
since I don't know the capital. So, I'll jump right into the adventure upon
my arrival, and I have been praying that I would be a reflection of Jesus
while being there, for opportunities to share and opportunities to pray for
healing and see the power of God touch lives.
Alassane will also help me find a place to live in the neighborhood of the
school, as well as with the visa, and other stuff. Thank you Jesus! I pray
that he will meet the living God!
I know the Lord has prepared the perfect home for me in Bamako - please pray
that I will recognize it, and that it will cost a minimum. I'm still a few
hundred dollars a month short in my budget, so it's hard to say how much I
would be able to afford. And I'm a few thousand dollars away from the goal I
felt the Lord had given me, which should cover a car and some furniture to
put into my new home. Another chance to see the mighty hand of God move!
When I arrive in Mali on Thursday, September 18, I have less than two
weeks to get everything organized before school starts on October 1. It is
going to be a challenge to teach 50 kids in a classroom with only a board -
no books, no notebooks, no photocopies... It will be an opportunity to make
use of all my creativity again :-)
I have now been in Vienna for over two weeks, and I have to say it's very
different from last time in May/June/July. Last time I knew it was temporary,
this time I returned from Kansas City "for good". Somehow Vienna
feels much more like home than last time, and so does my church here, Vienna
Christian Center. It's been a great blessing being able to attend many
services (there are 6 a weekend), and to also get to share about Mali in
every congregation and be blessed by them through prayer and giving. There
are people here who will stand with me in prayer, as many of you are, and
many in Kansas City are. I miss Kansas City, but I've been very focused on
the task ahead which helped with not looking back. It's time to look forward,
and to expect much! How we tend to restrict God! The only restrictions God
has are those we put on Him (hey, that would make a good quote).
So, my last week, as the first two, is filled with meeting people, running
errands, and preparing for my departure. Please pray for a smooth journey
next Thursday. Pray for favor wherever I go (I can only take 24kg with me -
that will take a miracle!), and that He will prepare the way before me. Pray
for a good time with Alassane and his family, and that everything can be
accomplished (visa, house, car?, internet connection). I've also been
informed about a women's retreat my first weekend in Bamako which I'm
considering now; my first Monday in Bamako is the Malian independence day.
I want to say one last word before I leave for Mali, which is important to
me. Over the years, I have considered the task, counted the cost, and known
it was worth everything. Right after I gave my life to Jesus ten years ago, I
adopted C.T. Studd's motto as my own: "If Jesus Christ be God and
died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him."
How true that is!
Going to Mali is not without risks. I'm a single woman going to a Muslim
country. Just a few weeks ago 13 people died in Mali in a clash between two
Muslim groups. Health-wise we are much more protected now than missionaries
were a hundred years ago.
There is only one thing I want to say - and this will be true whether I die
this year of in fifty years. I only have one wish. Whenever I die, I pray
that I would be good seed in the soil, and that an army would pick up my
mantle and fulfill the great commission in Mali, so that the world would know
that Jesus has come to Mali!
With these words, I commit myself to the living God who will take perfect
care of me, and who will give His angels charge over me. I'm definitely not
going alone! Please pray that I will stay close to Him, and that I would be
bold in speaking His words and doing His will (I'm really a coward).
I'm including my prayer card so you can print it out and remember me. If you
want to commit to praying for me regularly, I'd love to add you to my prayer
cover e-mail list - just let me know.
May you rest close to His heart, hear His whisper, feel His breath, and dive
into His loving embrace.
Ask of Me, and I will make the nations your inheritance. (Ps 2:8)
until Sep 18 Tel. (+43)(0) 676 / 517 4008
Dr. Claudia R. Wintoch
Catch The Wind Ministries
P.O. Box 11962
Kansas City, MO 64138
Talk to me online - I'm "healing2thenations":
In the US:
Mail checks to Catch The Wind Ministries
IMPORTANT: Don't write my name on the check, but add a note that it's for me.
Bank name: BA/CA
Bank number: 12000
Account number: 509.101.468.00
Online (it will say Glory Webservices):