Sharing God's Love At Easter
Dr. Claudia R. Wintoch
April 25, 2004

 

 

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Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. (Mark 16:20)
Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice. (Phil 1:18b)
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How I long to do as the disciples did preach everywhere, and see signs and wonders as the kingdom of God is breaking into the here and now. We are told to walk in the same anointing Jesus walked in, to do His works and bring glory to the Father. For a king's glory is the great number of his subjects (Prov 14:28). He does not want anyone to perish, but everyone to bow his knee before Him while they still do so out of their free will, because they have been captured by His love and want to serve Him for the rest of their days. Beloved, time is short. How many have not heard the good news? How many have not had a chance to say either YES or NO to the King of kings? How many would say YES if they only heard? What if God gave us an answer to that question. What if He showed us the person down the road, the person we pass on the street all the time, the person in that store we frequently visit what if He showed us that person would say YES if only somebody TOLD them? What would our response be? What would our response be if we say the hundreds of thousands of precious people all over this world who are ready? Who are ready to say YES to the King and surrender to Him? Would we act, would we live differently? Would we wake up from our spiritual slumber and complacency, leave our comfort zone and self-centered satisfaction, and GO and TELL them? What would the body of Christ look like, if everyone did? I think the great end-time harvest would come in very quickly, and Jesus' return would be hastened.

Here I am in Mali, desiring to be one of those people who are His reflection, His hands and feet, mouth, eyes, ears and heart. To be a light-bearer, leading people to our King of love and mercy. The King of Kings, Creator of the universe, the only Lord, Lord over sickness and death, Lord of justice, who is slow to anger and abounding in love, and who will do anything to reach the lost and dying, He will use anyone abiding in Him and walking in His Spirit to bring His kingdom to earth right now.

The Easter weekend was such an occasion to advance His kingdom in Mali. What a better time to share His love with the Malians!

Easter Party

It was 7 p.m. and the first few people arrived. I had nicely arranged the furniture on my porch, to accommodate as many people as possible, since many of my students had said they'd come. The afternoon was spent cooking two different dishes something Malians don't normally eat and would be an interesting cultural experience for them, especially the students. Now everything was ready, as a few of my neighbors and the school director walked in. Simeon was already here, as was little Aisha (7) one of the first friends I had made. I prayed aloud, thanking God for this celebration of His death and resurrection, for the friends that had come, and the food He had provided. The Muslim school director and his friend, as well as the neighbors who are in the Unification cult, listened and watched me intently. Then we had some food and talked with each other. The director couldn't stay long, but students soon took his place. All in all, five of my students showed up, three of them catholic, the other two Muslims. And two of the neighbor's kids also showed up out of curiosity, sharing in the blessing.
After everyone had had his share of food, I picked up my guitar to sing a song ABOVE ALL POWERS in French; a song that speaks of His crucifixion and love. After that, I read a story that illustrates what God has done for us. Everybody listened intently, as the story reached its climax. They were all captivated, wondering what the end of the story was, and it seemed to impact them. After that, I shared another story illustrating what God has done through us by giving His only son, and then I shared the gospel and how it has changed my life. Unfortunately one of the students interrupted me in a very rude way, and I never got to finish what I had to say. However, Christ had been preached and because of that I rejoice! Seeds have been planted, and it is God who waters them and makes them grow.
The catholic students were very interested and talked with me for a while, wanting me to show them certain things in the Bible. Especially one of them, Simon-Pierre, was so open. He wanted to keep the song I had sung, and asked me if I had a book for him to read. So I gave him "Passion for Jesus" by Mike Bickle which he is reading right now. The other day after class he came to me with a couple of questions, and I invited him to come to the Friday night meeting to find answers. Please pray he will come and give his life to Jesus!

Servant Evangelism

I had purchased six tins of powdered milk to give away. Everyone needs milk (and that kind is the only one there is), and it's expensive. One tin costs 2.7 EUR (3.3 USD). I was already overjoyed at the thought of blessing some people that day. I had spent a great time with the Lord in prayer, and was full of anticipation. There is nothing I like more than going to the people, loving them and praying for them. Simeon joined me in the last half hour of praying, before we left the house. We started walking towards an area where there is one house next to the other. Lord, which house do you want us to enter? We walked into the courtyard and greeted the people sitting there two women and a man "A ni wula." And I continued in Bambara, "Do you speak French?" They shook their heads. So I continued in Bambara, telling them we were Christians, and that we were celebrating Easter that weekend, and we would like to show them God's love by giving them a gift. They looked surprised, and offered us chairs to sit down. I opened my bag to reach for a tin of milk, on the top of which I had written in Bambara, "Jesus loves you. God bless you." When they saw the tin of good-quality milk, they looked even more surprised, and passed it around among them, thanking us at the same time. Then I said in my still rudimentary Bambara, "Jesus is alive today and still heals today as He did back then. If there is anyone sick here, we would like to pray for their healing." The lady shared that her son was in hospital with meningitis right now, and she would love us to pray for him. So we did. They were so thankful, as we said good-bye.
Five more times we walked into a courtyard to be Jesus to the people, blessing them physically and spiritually. We prayed for a back, cough, malaria, and paralysis after a stroke. Some of the sick were present, others were relatives. But always people were overflowing with thankfulness. Sometimes we stayed a little longer talking, and sharing a little more of what Jesus said and did. But always we were received with love, and never rejected.

Now we need to go back to those same people, build relationships and find out how people are doing physically today. Simeon also loved the outreach, and I'm glad he also wants to do it regularly. It was a powerful afternoon, and it made me wonder, who was blessed more the people or us. May the gospel of the kingdom be preached all over Mali, the lost be saved, the sick healed, and the oppressed set free!

This outreach was an important step forward and upward, releasing more of the plan of God to be known, enabling me to look forward and prepare for what lies ahead, especially after my summer in the US and Austria. Once the much-needed car is provided for, we will be able to go into the villages around Bamako to reach even more people.

And we are now praying for a property we can build a simple structure on. That will allow people touched by God's love, those we pray for, and those who need prayer, to know where to find us.

At times it overwhelms me when I think of what lies ahead, and the enemy is also trying hard to thwart God's plan, but as long as I stay close to Jesus' heart and look to Him for everything, I'm in a safe place, and I can do everything He wants me to do. Please pray that I will remain in Him at all times!

I know that He will provide what is needed to make His vision for Mali a reality. I'm curious and excitedly looking forward to how He is going to release the finances. Like a little girl I'm looking up to my Father, watching Him do everything.

Please, join me in what has been my most fervent plea to heaven send the laborers! Whether a husband, or a partner in ministry, or even people who can come for three months, or one month! Everyone is welcome!

What else?

School School is slowly drawing to a close. One more week of classes, and then two weeks of finals, and it's over for this year. I've always loved teaching languages, and in spite of frequent frustrations with students and the system, I've come to love my students and teaching German. I'm gonna miss them. However, at this point it looks like I'm gonna teach there again next year to get a visa.

Simeon Please pray for Simeon. He has been growing quickly, and it has been excited to watch him. God is frequently speaking to him in dreams, and he is getting more of an idea of what God has for him in the future. Right now, he is going through character refinement and adjustment of his beliefs, and needs much prayer. Please pray also for me for wisdom and patience and unconditional love and forgiveness.

Summer Five more weeks and I'm leaving Mali to go to Kansas City. I'm looking forward to this break right now the heat in Mali is nearly unbearable. I'm expecting many things from this summer in Kansas City and Vienna, and am praying for many divine appointments. I know it will be a time for Him to set things in place and equip me further for what is ahead. At this point, I don't know yet where I'm gonna stay either in Kansas City or in Vienna.

Quick overview of important dates:

May 14 last day of school and my birthday
May 19 Alice, my French colleague, leaves Mali save her, Lord!
June 1/2 traveling from Mali to Kansas City
July 14/15 traveling from Kansas City to Vienna
Aug 24 traveling from Vienna to Kansas City
Sep 28/29 traveling from Kansas City to Mali

I'd like to see many of you during my vacation, to share personally and show you pictures, but most of all to be a blessing to you. I miss many of you, as life here can be rather lonely at times. That's why your emails are so very precious.

As I leave you for today, I want to pray this beautiful prayer over each one of you. I pray that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, and that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Eph 3:17-19)

All for JESUS,

Claudia

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

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Dr. Claudia R. Wintoch
s/c Ecole Biya
BPE 2165
Bamako
Mali

Tel. (+223) 220 0311

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