28 August 2012

To the widows we go!

Wanted to share a testimony.  All from my perspective and just bragging on my God and His goodness.

Last week we had a team here from Virginia.  Sweet people.  They served our children and staff with the love of Jesus they brought with them.  One of the things they wanted to do that one of the team members had done last year when she was here, was to meet with a group of widows in our village.  Lemme tell you about these sweet ladies.  There's a group of widows that formed their group about six years ago.  I've known about them since starting Mattaw and have always had a special place in my heart for widows.  I had visited them years ago and really wanted to meet more regularly with them but it just wasn't the timing for it.  I might not know a lot when it comes to full time ministry, but this I do know, to always rely on Holy Spirit to guide into any place of meeting peoples needs.  If He hasn't sent ya, don't go.  A need does not constitute a call.  Just as Jesus said 'i only do and speak what I hear the Father saying', so it should be our desire.  I remember Claire being an infant and thinking 'if only I had the time, i could go be with more people'.  Glad I got over that quickly and did enjoy the time I had with her as a baby.  My how she has grown and still am learning to take days to stop and enjoy her and Elisha, knowing these days don't last long.  Anyways, here's my mama heart rambling on.  Long story short, our focus has always been the children and making families at Mattaw, investing in this vision.  But God began to expand that last year, that we would start going out and that He would use those within the Mattaw family to reach those around us and beyond.  This year we celebrate five years of having children living in a family at Mattaw.  Thank you Jesus!  Our vision God gave us has always been to bring in and build up Kenyans that would raise the children and then even be the hands and feet of Jesus to those around our region and beyond.  This year we are seeing that.  Imagine, God does what He says He will do!  Thank you Lord.  It's so exciting to see our house parents step into the more of what God has called them to.  Will get to that in a minute.

This group of women formed because they had the same thing in common: they're all widows living in the same area.  They are some of the most God loving precious women I know.  To sit and hear their stories, you'd be amazed what they've lived through.  But they still stand to worship Jesus and praise Him and Him alone.  So encouraging to go and sit and be around and yet they ask us to share with them an encouragement.  Only Jesus.  So some of the ladies on this past team wanted to meet with this group.  I was thrilled to go but wasn't sure if I should.  Our head teacher, Dorcas, sent me a text insisting I go.  So I drove our group of ladies out into the village to one of the widow's homes, just kinda being along for the ride (and yet driving).  The women usually meet in the afternoons but we could only meet in the morning.  Usually there's around 40-50 women but that day about 25 showed up.  We knew those that are to be there, God would bring.  The four ladies I took all brought a good word of encouragement from their life and the word of God.  One had been widowed twice and another went through a hard divorce, so to relate across cultures in that way was so meaningful for the Kenyan women.  One is a grandmother of many and gave a word of encouragement from a grandmothers perspective which every woman there is a grandmother, many are great grandmothers.  Then at the end we were planning to close.  Dorcas told me the widows requested if I could pray for the sick, as I had done last time we met together.  (which had been awhile, like a year)  It was way past lunch and I knew our visitors were hungry.  Then one of the widows got up to share a testimony, then another and another.  The power of their testimonies hit me.  From then on, time was no longer on my mind.  Was going to apologize to our visitors, but really why would I be sorry for just honoring Holy Spirit moving in our midst?!  The Kingdom of heaven was there.  I got a strong word to share with the women about the power of their testimony.  I was shaking and got all blotchy from Holy Spirit falling like that.  No hiding Holy Spirit!  Ha.

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death"  Revelations 12:11

"For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy"  Revelation 19:10

There's so much to a testimony of what God has done in ones life.  When we give testimonies in a public meeting of what God has done in our life, we are confirming in the spirit realm so when the devil comes against us with lies, he has no power.  Our testimony becomes a prophetic declaration that inspires faith for others needing healing or a breakthrough.  It suggests that if God can do it for them, He can do it for me.  Just talked a bit more about the Kingdom of Heaven and how it's not not in word but in power "1 Cor 4:20.  And how people will come with a "form of godliness although they deny its power, avoid such men". 2Tim 3:5
1 Cor 2:4 "and my message did not come to you with persuasive words of wisdom by by demonstration of the Spirit and of power"
We recalled what Jesus has done for us and "by His stripes we are healed" Isaiah 53:5  The word healed in this passage also means, eternal life in heaven, delivered, protected, peace, and wholeness.  I felt we needed some reminders of the Truth of God's Word before praying healing on these women.  Then I thought to myself "God, I believe your Word and believe that you want all these women healed.  You also say you will confirm the gospel with signs, wonders and miracles.  We've brought up and shared your gospel.  Trusting you to do what you say you will do."  So with that, the women began to worship and we all prayed.

I forgot to mention, our house mom Joyce came with us.  I'm so thankful Dorcas has discerned in the spirit that she needed to come with us.  As I began to pray, I grabbed her to come and translate, knowing her desire is aligned with God's desire to see the sick healed.  Slowly she was the one leading the women as Holy Spirit would show us.  One by one we prayed on them and see the healing power of Jesus touch them ALL.  It was beautiful and at one point I had to stand back and give God glory and say THANK YOU Jesus, you do what you say you will.  One was healed of pain in her knees, she ran around after the meeting praising God.  Some, Holy Spirit would give me or Joyce a word of knowledge or picture to show what was going on and Jesus would come and deliver and/or heal them from what we saw.  One was delivered instantly of a demon that came through another wife of her late husband cursing her.  I've done ministry like this and seen and heard of many many different healings and deliverances but this day was different for me.  There was no contending, Jesus just came quickly and healed and delivered, not one but all.  We were all on fire.

And I was so thankful to have my friend Christy there too.  She has a huge heart for widows (which is why I brought her) and she too has testimony from those she prayed with and was blessed just to see the love of Jesus so tangible amongst a group of widows.  She's a missionary living in the same neighborhood as we do and has been drawn to Mattaw, so we enjoy seeing her often :).  That's a side note.

Anywho, another woman had come in at the beginning of the meeting.  I thought she was just a grumpy old lady.  Turns out she was suffering from malaria, typhoid and brucelosis.  Good reason to be grumpy!  But when we bound up that spirit of infirmity and released healing in Jesus name, BAM, she got healed.  It was amazing to see her entire demeanor change so quickly.  What a happy and joyful woman she actually is!  She later got up to testify and spoke of how her headache she had for weeks was completely gone.  YAY GOD.  Another was healed from trauma in her life seven years ago which is the same time her face and arms began going numb.  The anointing fell, broke the bondage, healed the trauma and instantly she started to have feeling in her face again.  Glory to God.  The stories go on and on but there's a few to brag on what a powerful and loving God we serve.

Afterwards the ladies from the team had brought scarfs from America to hand out.  What a precious and very fitting gift to give.  You'd think it was Christmas from the excitement of the women.  Healing's from Jesus AND head scarfs... just what every widow needs in a remote African village :).


A few of the women on the team handing out scarfs

Here's the woman that was healed up of malaria, typhoid and brucelosis. 

And this woman I could sit and listen to her stories all day long.  She's one of the oldest, maybe in her 90's?  No one knows.  But full of life in Jesus.  

The woman on the right is one of the ladies from the team.  She out of us all could pull off the scarf on head look.  She's the one that is a grandmother herself.  We gave her the name "sho-sho" which is grandmother in their tribal language.

They asked us to have tea after.  Although it was late, we had to honor their request.  We walked back in the house to find they had actually put their money together to go and buy us soda and bread.  This is a HUGE treat in a village that was so far out.  It was very humbling to receive.  

All this shared to give glory and honor to God.  He is who He says He is and will do what He said He'll do.  Can't wait for our next meeting together!


NeNe said...

Beautiful! Thank you Jesus!

Anonymous said...

I just read this story tonight for some reason. I always love reading your stories of how Holy Spirit is moving amongst all of you! Thank you for sharing these with all of us! Our God is so amazing. I stand amazed in His presence!


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