The other day I drove to a local coffee shop in my car and sat there to read. I got a black coffee for $2.50 and had all the free water I wanted! (Coffee shop water is better than normal water!) As I sat there I got onto my Facebook. I had a new message from my good friend Enock who lives in Malawi. We had an ongoing message going and he was answering how I could be praying for him.
"I think we need prayer now, more than ever before. Please continue praying for the nation as a whole, the hunger situation is worse this year but God has been faithful!"
Wait... what?! Y'all have less food and things as a whole aren't looking too great but God is faithful?! That hit me like a brick.
He continued: "We believe He will continue to be faithful for Our Valuable Children (OVC provides food for the children in the communities). Also the water shortages and electricity cuts are just making life more expensive making it worse for people in the communities. But amazingly We keep seeing more of God now more than ever before as well! So just continue praying that as we believe Him for all these, that we may see Him more and more because that is the end goal of all. To know Him and be known by Him. Thanks in advance for your prayers brother"
WOW. I was reading this in shock. I was sitting in the coffee shop with all the things I "need" and yet I so often turn from God. If I walked out to my car and it didn't start I wouldn't be thinking, "Thank you God! May I turn to you more and more."
But here my brother is across the world where the power is being cut off, the water is restricted, and things aren't looking too good on the outside. But he says he wants to know God more and to see Him more. That's because He trusts in the gospel and God has shown Enock that He will always provide!
Somebody Cares is the ministry in Malawi that we partner with while there! Enock works in the OVC department of this ministry. This ministry, through the help of God, is able to feed thousands of kids every day. (Also, the cost to feed a child for a year in Malawi? $50!!) So Enock gets to see these children grow because of this food! Before the ministry stepped in that was not the case!
Over the past three years I have been blessed to spend about 6 weeks working alongside this ministry. They are a well oiled machine carrying the gospel out into the world! There are about 30 staff members, each knowing their purpose and position in the ministry. Within the ministry they work with youth, children, widows, women, pastors, farmers, counselors, and many more. They face heavy situations, but they're able to trust God because every single day they have seen Him come through.
Day in and day out this staff cries out to God to help. They know He is the one provider and their only hope! Everyday they come to work early to do a devotion together. They set their eyes on Jesus and then go out to show that love! It is so beautiful! They love the people around them and it really shows what the church should be all about!
God Is Love Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:7-12 ESV)
With the staff in Malawi I have seen this love being perfected.
In Matthew 21 Jesus went to the temple. We see a different side of Jesus. He comes in and sees people buying and selling and benefitting for themselves. Jesus flips tables and flips out! He flips the normal practices of these religious men and really flips the script. (Alright, I'm done saying flips.) He says that His house will be called a house of prayer. Not a house of making money and forgetting the people in need. No, a house of prayer. After that the lame and blind came into the temple and He healed them. Jesus came in and took out what was not supposed to be there. Then after that the true ministry began!
I think majority of the time I get distracted and lost in this world. I look out for myself and try to make my life as comfortable as possible. Honestly I skip praying too. When I sit down and think about that it breaks my heart.
So I sat there in the coffee shop and I prayed for Malawi, for Somebody Cares, and for my own heart. Sometimes I hear a story and see something and my heart tells me that not even prayer could help that situation. How false that statement is. Prayer breaks down walls and brings us in direct communication with the Creator.
The gospel is not about perfection. It is about us realizing how we really are wounded and weak. We need a savior. When I take my eyes off of myself and put them on Jesus is when I truly see the beauty in others. So my hope is that we can become a house of prayer. We could link arms and pray for really big things and even smaller things. No matter the size, I hope that we will trust God to bring it through.
My name is Andrew Berry! I am just living my life chasing after Jesus and trying to point others to Him.