Last time, we read about Lorraine and Ali’s journey towards overseas mission. We talked about how ‘it’s best when goodbye means hello‘.
Lorraine’s enthusiasm for the ministry she and her husband set up shines through in this description of Maranatha Christian Outreach Ministries. As I read it, I loved seeing how Lorraine’s understanding of God and His relationship with us has shaped her creativity and the structure of the ministry. Unity, structure, prayer, expansion… their story could be your story. How do you use your creativity to direct people towards Jesus? How does your family motto celebrate God’s love? How does your Instagram reflect what you know of God’s design? How does your business plan incorporate some of the wisdom you’ve read in Proverbs?
Maranatha Christian Outreach Ministries.
We are working with two local churches in the Kailahun District of Sierra Leone, West Africa. These are the two churches which we had the most dealings with during our time in Kailahun. As we thought and prayed about how to set up the ministry we felt that we didn’t want to give funds just to one individual or organisation and there were a number of people we wanted to include, we know that the bible talks about unity and how God commands a blessing where there is unity:-
Psalm 133 1:3 Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.
So we talked to two of the people we wanted to work with and asked them if they felt that their two respective churches would be able to work together, they both said that they believed it could work and would speak to their pastors. The following day they both returned saying that their pastors would be supportive of the partnership and they were very excited.
So we set about writing a constitution and putting things in place as we only had a couple of weeks before we had to leave.
We now have a team of people who meet regularly to plan and pray and once a month they go out in to the rural villages. On the Friday night they show the Jesus film in the local language and preach the gospel then on the Saturday they spend the day in the village preaching and teaching and talking to those who respond. All those that respond are followed up and invited to attend their local church on the Sunday morning. Regular follow up is arranged and the two churches take it in turns to do this.
We left Kailahun at the end of May the first outreach was on the 8th and 9th of July and there were between 200 and 300 people attended and over 80 responses to the Gospel message, many attended church on the Sunday and the following Wednesday they had a meeting in one of the churches which 28 of the new Christians attended. The team were very excited and encouraged so much so that one of the pastors offered to pay for the next mission. This thrilled us and encouraged us more than you could believe, as from our experience it is very unusual for local people to give when “whites” are involved, we saw this as confirmation from God that He was really going to pour His blessings out on this ministry and that we had heard right.
The second outreach has now taken place in a village called Ngeigor and we are waiting for an update report on how it went. Communication is very difficult and we only have contact currently with one person via email and He struggles to get internet access so we wait in anticipation.
SO MUCH WITH SO LITTLE
Currently all this is taking place with our very small monthly gift and we are managing to do so much with so little but we could do so much more. Kailahun is right on the border of both Guinea and Liberia and so is located in an amazing place to be able to take the Gospel across the borders and believe me our team is wanting to preach to the whole world. They are so excited and so full of enthusiasm, they want to win the world for Jesus.
We would love to be able to increase the amount of money we can send and are asking you to pray and see if you feel the Lord may be prompting you to help us. If so please get in touch and we can talk. Please visit our website and look at our vision for moving forward. There is so much more we would like to do discipleship training, pastors and leaders training, conferences and possibly church planting if we come across communities where there is no church. All we know is God is in control and we are excited to see how He can multiply the small seeds we sow. We did say that we always have to say YES to God.
Footnote: When we felt the Lord saying that it was time to leave Sierra Leone I was really quite numb. We had waited for 15 years to go and then after only 18 months we were all finished, I didn’t really understand. We had learned a lot and had a great experience and loved our time there but it was so short. It is only now that I am starting to think that God needed us to be there at a certain point in time for us to meet the people we did and for him to tell us to set up Maranatha Christian Outreach Ministries. He knew we would say YES as He has been testing us and training us up to this point. Wow what an absolutely awesome God we serve.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
What is God asking you to do right now? Are you a YES person when it comes to God or do you make excuses: I cant, I will do but not yet, I can’t afford to. There is always an excuse. God will not ask you to do anything that He is not going to provide for. He has everything available, ready and waiting just for you to say YES.
Say YES to God today, no conditions just a straightforward YES you will never regret it and He will not let you down. He will supply everything you need to do the things He is asking of you and your life will be so much richer for saying YES to your loving Father in heaven. Always remember He doesn’t actually need you. He can manage quite well without you but He would much rather work with you because it’s a great way to get to know you better.