Captivated By God In Mali
Dr. Claudia R. Wintoch
May 20, 2004



"You are the salt of the earth … You are the light of the world … it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men …. (Mt 5:13-16)

When you put a little salt in a soup without any salt, the whole soup becomes salty – even if you only put a tiny little bit into it. No part of the soup can say, "not me, I don't want to be salty". When the soup is already salty, and you add more salt, you might not even notice the difference.
When you are in a room and you turn the lights on, the whole room will be full of light. No corner can say, "not me". If you light a candle in that room, you won't notice the difference because the electric light is already flooding the room. But when once again I have no electricity here in my apartment in Mali, and I light a candle, I'm amazed at how much light it gives. This tiny little candle allows me to see and even to read and write. And everyone in the room will see it. Not one person is still going to be in the dark, not one person can ignore that there is light in the room now. For the candle, it doesn't make any difference whether the room is dark or the electric lights are on – it shines just the same way.

We are the salt, we are the light. In the Western world, our light might not be that visible, but take it to a dark place like Mali…

Yes, it is ironic what my French colleague, neighbor and friend Alice said the other day – she had to come to a Muslim country like Mali to find God. She didn't find Him during her year in the US, nor during her year in China, nor in France. And while she was wondering why in the world she came to Mali, she now knows – God longed for her to come to know Him, and He devised a plan to captivate her heart, to draw her and to reveal Himself to her. He drew her apart to a desolate place, with little to do, few people around, much time to think, and where He knew that He had put a light very close to her. A light that would shine into her life, so she could see the truth, see Him who died for her, and who loves her with an everlasting passion. And Holy Spirit starting wooing her, drawing her, captivating her, until on the day of her departure, I had the honor of praying with her, as she dedicated her life to Jesus.

Alice spent 8 months here in Mali, teaching literature at the High School I'm also teaching at. I still remember our first conversation about God, and I remember how God broke my heart for her that day. I nearly started weeping right there in front of her, as Holy Spirit imparted the heart of God for her to me. We need to have that compassion of Jesus, His love, as our motivator – to pray, to love, and share. It's been an amazing journey, watching her over these months. With nothing to do, Alice started borrowing my Christian novels, and loved especially the author Francine Rivers. Seed was sown, and Alice was impacted by the gospel she saw in those books. Many evenings, we would have dinner and talk about God, her asking questions, me sharing stories and testimonies and about His greatness. Alice started reading the New Testament and counting the cost. And God delivered her from cigarettes, shortly before we finally prayed together on her day of departure.

Now she is starting over in Paris, after two years abroad, continuing her doctoral studies. Please pray for her during this significant time in her life!

High School

A few days ago I finished my year at High School, supervising at finals, and grading once again 150 copies myself. Over all, it has been very frustrating and discouraging – for Alice as well as myself, as students simply don't care and don't work (with very few exceptions). Still, I love my students, and I love teaching, and I'm planning on teaching there another year unless the Lord has other plans.
Please pray for Simon-Pierre, a very good student, who is catholic and seriously looking for God. He has started borrowing books from me (the few French ones I have), but so far we've not had a good opportunity to talk longer without being interrupted.

Two More Weeks

Yesterday I "lost" a good friend, colleague, neighbor and young sister. Without her, it's very quiet and rather lonely here in Mali. I have nearly two more weeks here before I myself am leaving, and I'm making the most of that time, getting things ready here and for my stay in the US and Austria, being gone for 4 months.
We have two more Friday meetings left before I have to leave Simeon as well as Emma, and entrust them into the hands of God. I'm thankful that Simeon has come through a time of character refinement and is fully trustworthy again. God keeps speaking to him, and doing a deep work in him. He will keep an eye on my apartment while I'm gone, since I couldn't find anyone to use it during that time.


I'm leaving on June 1, traveling straight to Kansas City, where I'm going to "refuel". I'm expecting this summer to be a significant time on God's agenda for my life, since big things are ahead in fall.


June 1-2 Traveling to Kansas City
July 14-15 Traveling to Vienna
Aug 24-25 Traveling to Kansas City
Sept 28-29 Traveling to Mali

I'm praying for opportunities to be a blessing, to minister, share and preach, and impart God's heart and the vision for Mali.

Please remember to send me a line from time to time – I'd like to dialogue, rather than have a monologue, and also take part in your life.

All for Jesus,


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

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

Tel. (+223) 220 0311

Cell (+223) 636 6727

Talk to me online with msn messenger - I'm "healing2thenations"

In the US/Canada:
Make checks payable to Catch The Wind Ministries

IMPORTANT: Don't write my name on the check, but add a note that it's for me.
Catch The Wind Ministries
P.O. Box 11962
Kansas City, MO 64138


In Europe:
Bank name: BA/CA
Bank number: 12000
Account number: 509.101.468.00

Online (it will say Glory Webservices):