Editor’s Note: Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other. Thank you Lindsay for being willing to share your story of God’s amazing ways with us! What a wonderful follow up to last week’s post! Praise Him!
“Then he turned to his host. ‘When you put on a wedding banquet,’ he said, ‘don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of righteousness, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.” Luke 14
This Sunday I saw one of the most amazing miracles that I have ever seen in my entire life–and I sobbed the entire way through it.
For months before I came to Mozambique, Jesus had been speaking to me about him feeding the five thousand in John chapter six… and this Sunday, I saw that miracle come to pass before my very eyes. In church, the Holy Spirit instructed us to have communion. It was an interactive sermon on John chapter six with five loaves and two fish and three baskets. Heidi’s twelve spiritual sons began to break the bread and hand it out and in my spirit I could feel that we were about to witness something great.
As they passed out the bread to over seven hundred people (large pieces as well, because no one was to receive a small portion of Jesus’ body), it was instructed for the international (Iris students) to break and share their bread with at least two people from Mozambique. I sat there with a large piece of bread and broke it and handed it to three mamas and one young boy named Juma. We also split the large piece of fish that we received and then waited for Holy Spirit to come.
That was when it hit me. I was sitting there among the poorest of the poor. We were on the ground with bugs crawling on us and dirt on our bare feet, most of those around me had swollen stomachs but joyful eyes as they held the precious bread in their hands. You see, the bread of Jesus’ body is precious to them because for most in that church it was the only meal they would eat that day. I was surrounded by blind widows and children with missing limbs and I realized so suddenly–as if this veil was lifted from my eyes–that this must have been very similar to the crowd that Jesus was with on that very day.
And I finally understood: to love the poor is to love Jesus. To feed the poor is to feed Jesus. To give water to the poor is to give water to Jesus. To take off your shoes and give them to one who does not have is to do the same for Jesus. To lay down your life for the poor is to lay down your life for Jesus. If you ever want to find Jesus, find the poor. He is among them and he shines through their eyes. I have experienced no greater satisfaction in my life than when I was sitting there with broken bread and fish among these children of God. I knew then that I was not just among the poor but I was sitting with Jesus himself and we were talking together, we were sharing in our meal together, we were laughing together and we were crying together.
As the bread was passed around, broken, torn, ripped apart, much like the precious flesh of my Jesus, the miracle began to take place and the baskets began to fill up instead of empty out. In fact, the more we handed out, the more the baskets began to overflow until by the end the baskets we were using were overflowing onto the ground and every person in that church was satisfied.
That might be hard for some of you to believe, but this is the truth. There will always be enough. When we surrender all, Jesus surrenders all to us.
After the food multiplied, Heidi called up those who wanted to receive Jesus and masses of people came running, most of them children. Heidi then pointed out to us that most of these children are accepting Jesus today also because they received actual bread. When it comes to the poor there is a greater impact when you bring the Bread of Life and bread in the natural. She then asked those who were actually hungry right now to raise their hands and every single child on that stage rose their hands and I began to weep uncontrollably.
You see, in my last email I wrote that hunger ignites a response from God, which is fully true, but I also think it ignites us to respond as well. When we are hungry, we have to do something. Hunger is a driving force unlike any other and I have asked God to make me as ravenous as a fire, as hungry as a grave, as thirsty as a river.
I am hungry for more hunger.
I know this email is long, but when you have had the blind and the lame weep over you as they pray for you, it is a hard thing to describe what Jesus does in your heart. I certainly don’t have all of this figured out, and that is okay. I don’t know how to live a life that is fully surrendered and that is okay. It is impossible for me to sustain the heart of Christ in my flesh which means that I am bowing down and He is rising up. It is impossible for seven hundred to be fed on what little loaves and fish we had, but because it was impossible that made it 100% possible. Because then it is all God and nothing to do with me.
Jesus, I have so much to learn.
Lindsay has been a missionary since her early teens. She lives in Arizona but is currently in Mozambique with Harvest School (Iris Ministries). Learn more at http://www.irisglobal.org/missions/harvest/
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