Ask of Me, and I will make the nations your inheritance. (Ps 2:8)
Dr. Claudia R. Wintoch
28 November 2005
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (3.John 4)
You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry. (2.Cor 3:2-3a)
There shall be
an army that shall follow after you … Paul said, the people under
my ministry, they are the qualifications for my ministry. They are my
credentials. (prophetic word Aug 2005)
A year ago we did our very first service as a church, baptizing Simeon on his first birthday in the Lord. Yesterday we had our first anniversary, baptizing four young men that have all come to the Lord over this past year. Four sons I'm very proud of. Four sons whose testimonies moved me to tears. Four sons who have proven me wrong when I think nothing is happening or being accomplished. It truly was a special day for them as well as me.
SATURDAY NIGHT PRAYER MEETING
Like every Saturday, my team gathered to exchange and pray – there were Emmanuel, Simeon, Paul and Marie. I asked them for feedback on the past few weeks, the weeks Cliff and his team have been here. I wanted to hear what God had done in them during those weeks, in what ways they've been changed. Every one of them started sharing, and each one of them has been touched by the Lord. Emma has felt the presence and compassion of God like never before and has learned a lot by serving and observing (he came with us to Timbuktu); Marie has a renewed passion for the Word and now reads her Bible daily; Simeon has been deeply impressed by Cliff who he sees as a father and an example to follow; and Paul has been transformed the most, set free and filled with so much joy he cannot stop singing and dancing and praising the Lord. And finally, as I wrote in my last email, Thursday night was MY night that changed me. I'm amazed that the physical as well as emotional and spiritual tiredness is simply gone. Glory to God for all He has done!
After sharing, we started worshiping the Lord, and once again, His presence came and I started singing prophetically. We also went into a powerful time of intercession, of prophetic proclamation over this city and our neighborhood, as the Lord revealed His heart. As the worship/intercession time came to a close, I felt we needed to do something – and Emma confirmed that he'd received the same thought. Even earlier that night I had noticed how far apart we were all sitting as we were sharing. Now I felt we needed to form a circle, holding hands, so we did. I was overcome by the Spirit of God and told them how important unity was, how lacking we were in that area, and then I asked them forgiveness for my words and actions that would hurt them time and time again. While I was speaking, my voice was breaking. When I stopped talking, Emma spoke up and asked forgiveness from the rest of us. Then Marie. Then Simeon and then Paul. One after the other confessed their sins to the others and asked forgiveness, and we forgave. Then we prayed. While we prayed, I felt nudged to do another thing. I told them each to turn around, so as to form a circle looking outward. Suddenly the anointing came on me, I raised my hands, holding my neighbor's, and started praying and proclaiming with authority. In power we would go forward, outside, an unbreakable circle clothed with the power of God.
FIRST ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
All in all about 70 people came to celebrate with us our first anniversary. I welcomed them, and we started worshiping the Lord in Bambara as well as French. Marie, an answer to prayer regarding Malian worship, played the tam-tam and led us in three traditional songs, while I was dancing with the kids, waving flags for Jesus. Then I picked up the guitar and led us in some worship songs in French. Emmanuel, a young man called to be a pastor, did the announcements before handing me the mic to preach. Because of what the Lord had done the last few days, my message wasn't what I had planned, but I spoke on Solomon and the temple dedication, the glory and fire of God that came down that day, and of our calling as a church and individuals to carry that same fire and glory, putting ourselves on the altar of God to be consumed. My heart was burning as I was preaching, longing to see these wonderful people "get it", for them to rise up and be Jesus here and now. I showed them our official papers we just received, and outlined where we're heading, the vision for the coming year. I asked how many people they dared to believe we could have by this time next year – one said 100, another 200.
Then it was time to baptize my sons. Paul was the first one. He gave a testimony that touched my heart – how he had been impressed and drawn by the love I showed, how I had encouraged him and pointed him to Jesus, and how he had dedicated his whole life to Him, who had transformed him, delivered him and filled him with joy. He stepped into the water, and was baptized, then I prayed for him. I had asked the Lord to give me prophetic words for each one of them, and He did. So I prophesied over Paul that the Lord had called him to be a fisher of men, and that many would come to know Him through Paul.
A few minutes ago, Paul stopped by to tell me excitedly about what happened last night (the night after his baptism). When I said good-bye to him last night, I said, may you have dreams and visions of Jesus tonight. Little did I know that He would do just that ;-). Paul told me that he was in his room, door closed, when he woke up around 3 a.m. Suddenly a strong wind filled the closed room and a light came illuminating the whole room. Paul was afraid. A voice from the light/fire called his name several times and told him not to be afraid. Then Paul fell asleep and had a prophetic dream. When he woke up, the fire came back and the same thing happened again. He had another dream. He woke up and it all repeated itself a third time. Jesus himself was in the room and Paul fell down on his knees to worship Him. He couldn't sleep any more, so he started reading his Bible by candle light (they are too poor for electricity), with tears running down his face as God was speaking to him. The dreams were about the future, for us as a church, and him.
Seybou was second. I hired Seybou as my night guard when I moved into the house 13 months ago, and in the course of the months he came closer and closer to the Lord until making the decision to follow Him. Seybou is a very faithful, serving person, and I've been very blessed by him. Over two months ago I sent him to get his wife and two kids, and so all four of them now live on our property. His wife is not a believer yet, but moving in that direction. His 2-year old son has won my heart, and I'm believing for Hama's complete miraculous healing (he was born paralyzed on his left side and can't walk or use his hand).
I was moved to see Seybou in the water, my prayers answered, and hear him proclaim that he would follow Jesus all the days of his life. When he came out, I prophesied that he would be one pointing many to Jesus, and helping people getting out of poverty like God had done with him.
Next came Sekouba, my special son. His testimony also touched me deeply. He shared how he was beaten up by his Muslim teacher, how he was stealing and begging in the street, and then he heard that this white lady was having street kids come every Wednesday, giving them food and clothes and talking to them. So he came, and he gave his life to Jesus. He said that now he has a place to sleep (I put up a tent for him in the garden), and food to eat, and family. When he came out of the water, I prophesied the special plans God has for Sekouba, and that He would use him mightily in the days to come.
The fourth and last one was Hassim. Hassim works as a guard a few houses down the road. He came a few times to movie nights, and one day he simply wanted to become a Christian. I have been encouraged to see how serious he is, and how hungry to learn more and grow. Because of his job, he often can't come to the services, but he's able to make it to the children's program on Wed for much of the time. When he came out of the water, I prophesied that people would come to him to know what's happened to him, and where his wisdom comes from, and that people would be amazed at him, a walking sign and wonder.
Normally the service should have been over then, but I felt the Lord telling me to have communion together, the new baptized ones with the other believers, as a sign of consecration and unity. I called everyone forward, and together we shared the bread and wine. What a precious moment!
The only thing dampening my joy was that Simeon refused to join us. He kept sitting in the last row, entertaining his bitterness, anger and feeling of rejection. Also on Sat night, during the prayer meeting, his true heart was very obvious. Even while the team was here, we've tried to work with him and help him find freedom and healing, but while he is aware of his problems, his heart is closed. Please pray for him.
I gave a certificate and a prophetic picture with a few words to each one of the baptism candidates, before we started the banquet. We all ate couscous with meat sauce, while having a great time with each other. I met a few new people who had come to celebrate with us, most invited by the ones who were baptized.
* DISCIPLESHIP – To help disciple people like Sekouba and Hassim, we're starting tonight – and every night at 10 p.m. – to sit down together for half an hour or so to read a passage, ask/answer questions, and pray together.
* LAND – I've talked with the pastor who knows how to proceed, and we will deposit a request for a plot of land. On one hand, you can just receive one anywhere, on the other you can go look around yourself in different areas. I'd like to go where no other church is working yet. The difficulty with the second option is:
* CAR/TRUCK – It is impossible to move around, look for land, without being mobile. I'm making this prayer request now my top priority. A Toyota pick-up truck costs a minimum of $15,000 (17.000 EUR).
* CHRISTMAS is approaching. We're preparing to have a Christmas party for the street kids, and I'm still asking the Lord what else he would have us do.
* TRAVELS I – I'm planning on a 10-day vacation in January, taking a free flight, to spend a weekend at our sister church in Paris, and then go on to England to a SECRET PLACE conference with Todd Bentley, whose network of ministries I'm also a part of. I'm still praying about taking Emmanuel along – that would require money as well as a visa.
* TRAVELS II – In March I'm going to Austria for my Mom's wedding. I'm looking forward to spending some time in Western Austria, as well as in Vienna, and to sharing with you in person what God is doing in Mali.