Thursday, November 15, 2007

Trust

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

This is the very first Bible verse I learned as a new Christian. It has stuck with me all these years and has always served me well in times of questioning myself, times of confusion and times of doubt.

But it's truth has hit home to me in new ways over the past few months as we've made a life-altering decision. And it has me thinking about to what degree I actually do trust God. I mean, it's one thing to say it. It's another whole thing to actually take that leap and jump off the cliff.

Many of us have gone through things that have been devastating. Cancer. The death of a child or husband. Financial ruin. Things that cause us to fall to our knees and make us realize that our only comfort can be found in God.

That's not the kind of trust I'm talking about. I'm talking about when you have a choice and choose to do what you never thought you would do, what doesn't make sense, what seems crazy. I'm talking about feeling as though God has called you to do something that seems absolutely impossible - and yet you KNOW it is of God.

It doesn't have to be as dramatic as moving to the other side of the world. It might be something as simple as choosing to submit to your husband. Or beginning a ministry that you feel God has laid upon your heart. I'd like to share with you the story of a woman who has done just that.

Carmen Morris is a member our my church. Several years ago she saw a news report on child trafficking and child slavery in West Africa. She was deeply burdened, as most of us would have been. But most of us would have offered up a quick prayer and gone on about our lives.

Carmen isn't most people.

She earnestly prayed that God would show her what she could do. And you know what? God answered her. (Why does that surprise us? Why do we forget that prayer is meant to be a conversation, not a monologue?) God told her to build a school for children who are at risk of child slavery. In Benin. West Africa.

Now, mind you, Carmen's a single mom, formerly on welfare. She had no contacts there. No funds for this huge project. And yet, she pursued it. She didn't allow that still, small voice of God to be pushed to the side as many of us do. How often do you feel that you are supposed to do something, but don't do it? I do it all the time.

Not Carmen. She travelled to Benin, managed to meet with government officials, and was given by the government land to build the school on. Sanctuary of Moses was born. I don't know the whole story. But I know that hundreds of children have found sanctuary in its truest sense at the school and sanctuary village that Carmen has founded. And her faith and action have been truly blessed. I'm sure there are many stories of God's blessings on Sanctuary of Moses, but I am privy to one of them and I'd like to share it with you.

Each year during our church's VBS, we select a ministry to receive the children's donations. In the past we have chosen a local after-school ministry in an impoverished area and a camp for disabled children in Nicaragua, among others. One year, we raised over $11,000. This past year Sanctuary of Moses was chosen to be our recipient.

We set a high goal. Carmen was in the midst of building a village that would offer a safety net of protection for up to 200 children who would otherwise be in danger of being sold, often by their own family, into slavery. The goal of trying to raise enough to dig a well for part of the village was set. Cost: $20,000. And this would only be one of 4 that were needed for the village.

Throughout the week, it wasn't looking good. We were raising an incredible amount of money, but nowhere near what we hoped. After the last offering was taken, the total came up to $16,000 - an amazing number, but not quite enough. Following the end-of-the-week party, an anonymous individual approached Carmen and donated the balance necessary to reach our goal. Additional donations came in over the weekend and raised the total to approximately $22,000. A miracle in and of itself.

But that's not all.

Remember that I said the plans called for 4 wells to service the village? Well, upon digging the well that the VBS money provided for, there was found to be enough water that it could service the entire village on its own, a staggering savings of $60,000!!!

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that when we step out in faith, even against amazing odds, God will honor that and make things happen we can't even imagine.

A DJ from our local Christian radio station had a saying that I love.

"God doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called."

If you think that God is calling you to do something, step out in faith. Trust Him. He will bless your efforts.

(If you would like to donate to Sanctuary of Moses, I can vouch for their sincerity and the amazing ministry there. You can follow the link here to find more information.)

2 comments:

ValleyGirl said...

What an awesome illustration! I'm going to print out that quote, hang it somewhere so I'll see it all the time, and if you don't mind, it'll probably creep into a post or two of mine!! This was a great post, Lori! Exactly the inspiration I needed this morning!

Robyn said...

What a great story!! I so love stories that involve stepping out on faith to do the impossible. I've had that happen a time or two in my life. The rewards of obedience are unbelievable. Thanks for sharing this story! What an inspiration!

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