Opportunity In The Midst Of Disaster?
Dr. Claudia R. Wintoch
September 10, 2004



If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen. They will devour what little you have left after the hail, including every tree that is growing in your fields. They will fill your houses and those of all your officials and all the Egyptians-something neither your fathers nor your forefathers have ever seen from the day they settled in this land till now. (Ex 10:4-6)
What the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten. (Joel 1:4)

Throughout the Bible, we see plagues of locust that destroy everything. In Deuteronomy - God's promise chapter of blessings and of curses - God is very clear on the curses for turning away from Him: "You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it." (28:38) And, "Swarms of locusts will take over all your trees and the crops of your land." (28:42)

While Mali was never "God's country", this is exactly what's happening there right now (as well as in other West African countries). Even as I write these lines, I cannot help the tears, as I've been burdened by this situation for weeks now. And yesterday I received a plea from Mali that broke my heart.

When the locust swarms come, you find 10,000 locust on one square meter - imagine!!! In some parts of the country, they have devoured everything. All people have is what they harvest - but now the harvest is destroyed. No harvest means no food, nothing to sell, and nothing to sow for the next harvest. No feed means a death sentence. When a whole community loses everything, they have no means of getting help and face starvation.

These past few weeks I've felt the stirring in my heart to go feed the hungry - with natural food as well as spiritual food. The need is so urgent! All it takes it to load up a car with bags of rice, take the Matthew video along, preach the gospel, pray for the sick and hand out the food. And I can tell you that in the core of my heart I'm convinced we will do it. I'm right now getting the equipment together - all I still need is a projector. And of course the one thing everything depends on - a car. Without a car, we cannot do anything. For that reason I'm storming heaven to release the finances in the next two weeks before I return to Mali.

As mentioned, I received an email from Mali yesterday. It was from Alassane, the school director. It was written in big letters to underline the urgency. He informed me and others that the village where he grew up is one of the affected ones where people have lost everything, and that they are in danger of starvation. It was a plea for help to save those people.

What if that is also God's door of opportunity? An opportunity not only to feed the hungry, but to preach the gospel. Alassane is a devout Muslim, but facing that serious situation I'm believing for them to give me the freedom to share.

PLEASE pray for this difficult situation, that God will be glorified and His kingdom advanced!

For such a time as this!

I'm very excited about the things ahead, while at the same time being apprehensive because it's all so big and I'm going back alone.

However, I've kept in touch with Simeon. He lost his job a month ago and is eager to "just work for the Lord". There is also a piece of land we might use temporarily to start "having church".

But right now, my heart is stirred for the hungry, and I'm praying I can make a difference and bring the love of Christ!

I need all of you to stand with me and hold up my hands. Please pray for fruitful remaining weeks in the US.

May His kingdom spread in Mali!



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

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

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