Faith for Provision

It was 1998. Brendan wanted to take me to India, my first trip with him to the nations. He had been to India many times and wanted to introduce me to his friends there. Brendan wanted to bless me for looking after our children and home, while he travelled. He was wondering if it was the right time to go.

We had just moved house from one end of Northern Ireland to the other with nine children. We were still settling into our new home and getting a feel of our surroundings. It would mean getting visas and booking flights, and believing God for the provision.

One evening our family were relaxing watching a nature programm on television. It was about wildlife in India. The Brahmaputra is a river that winds across north India. The lush grass along it’s banks supports some of the biggest animals in the world. Wild buffalo, elephant, rhino, tiger, deer and many other species co exist. The documentary showed a large family of otters chewing on fish. They lay on the bank of the river in the sun contented with bellies full. There is plenty of food and space for all the species. They are not jostling each other for space. There is an abundance of water and food.

He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures. He gives food to the wild animals and feeds the young ravens when they cry. (‭Psalms‬ ‭147‬:‭3-5, 8-9‬ NLT)

At this time we were in transition. We had just moved from a town house with its restrictions for a large family to a broad place, a bungalow with large garden on the edge of town. We had taken a leap of faith. The documentary was an encouragement to me that as God provides for the wild beasts in Northern India will he not provide for me and my big family. We had more space in our new home, for our growing boys. There was plenty of room for them all.

I reassured my husband to go ahead and book the flights for India. I had faith that God would supply all our need according to his riches in Glory. His bank is not broke. Heaven is not running out of gold. The streets are paved with gold. He is looking after all peoples and nations. Is it difficult for him to look after our family? He provides even for the animals, will he not also provide for us.

The documentary encouraged our faith. Brendan needed further reassurance. He asked a friend to pray. He responded and said God gave him the word, Thomas. This was a word of knowledge, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Brendan researched about Thomas. He was one of the disciples of Jesus and it is thought he went to India.

The Holy Spirit confirmed I should go to India. Brendan went ahead and planned the trip to India. Friends looked after our children while we were away. God looked after all who were away and all at home.

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The Fellowship of his Sufferings

Philippians 3:10 
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.

When Pastor Thampy from India visited with us recently, he shared stories about following the call of God in his life.  He was kicked out of his home when he chose to believe in Jesus and share his message of forgiveness to those around him.  He went for days without food.  The leaders in his town didn’t want him there either.  They spoke to his landlord and told him not to rent the room any more to Thampy.  He was kicked out of his town.  He was doing what Jesus told us to do.  Go and tell people the good news.  

This was just the beginning of his forty five years serving God.  He has been kidnapped, threatened with death, maligned, accused and beaten.  When his wife met him, God asked her, “Was she willing to suffer for the gospel?”  She said yes.  They have both suffered in their service for God.  But their ministry has borne fruit, fruit that has remained.  They have established Churchs, schools, orphanages, homes and bible schools throughout India. 

Thampy is not afraid to face people who do not believe in Jesus.  He talks to them to convince them Jesus is the truth.  He is anointed to evangelise the poor people who have not heard of Jesus in India.  They listen to him.  When God sends one to a people he will equip that person to get the job done.  No sacrifice is needed to please Jesus.  Some of the people in India offer their children as a sacrifice to their gods.  They are seeking forgiveness for their sins.  They can find no relief. only more pain and broken hearts.  Jesus became a sacrifice on the cross to forgive our sins.  All one has to do is believe in Jesus, receive the Holy Spirit and walk in freedom from condemnation and guilt.  

Thampy and his wife are an example of a couple who are willing to deny themselves and obey God’s calling on their lives.  Pastor Thampy has know the resurrection power that has rescued him from troubles and has know why it means to share in the sufferings of Christ.  God has delivered him out of many situations when he could have died.  He didn’t die but is staying alive to declare the works of the Lord.  As a result he and his wife pray for others and the resurrection power moves to deliver from demons and bring healing and salvation to those who are hungry.  

Many Believers think signs and wonders, like Jesus did when he was on Earth are not for today.  But Jesus said to go and his disciples will do even greaters works than Jesus did himself.  Go with Thampy to the tribes of India and you will see the signs and wonders.  Demons come out of people.  Healings  happen just like Jesus said.  They get filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues.  One’s mind will change.  

Thampy prayed for a friend of ours who was suffering from cancer.  He had been living on puréed food for months. He was failing.  After the meeting he had tea and a piece of cake with no ill effect.  He continues to eat well.  I believe he is healed from cancer and the doctors will confirm it soon.

Family Friday. Their Angels see the Face of my Father in Heaven.

Brendan and I were visiting with a family in India.  It is exciting travelling along a road in India.  You have a variety of vehicles and animals all trying to avoid each other.

On the back of a lorry we saw the caption “One plus one equals one”.  It is an advertisement to promote population control in their country.  With Brendan and me, one plus one equalled fourteen.

We were telling our hosts about our journey and laughing about the caption on the lorry.  This family had four children.  We were sharing about our fourteen children.  The mother called Josey, told us about family traditions in India.

When a mother gives birth she is cared for by extended family and servants.  Josey visited with her daughter when she gave birth for six weeks.  The new mother was not allowed out of bed to do any work.  Her energy was preserved to feed her baby and recover from the delivery.

In those six weeks Josey pampered her daughter, bathing her in essential oils and herbs.  She cooked special energy giving meals.  The Chinese give nursing mothers ginger soup, which helps the mother’s body recover.  When the baby was fed by mum, Josey would care for baby till the next feed.

I commented ” I am due twenty one months of essential oil treatments!”

Josey went on to tell me that in most families  every baby is given a servant to help the mother look after him.  What a great help for any mother.  Who wouldn’t mind  having lots of children if there was all that help available.  The husband didn’t seem to be involved in the child care in India.

My husband helped me rear our children.   As more children were born the older children helped the younger children.   When I returned from hospital with a new baby my children gathered around me and baby.  They wanted to nurse their new sister or brother.  Each baby was prayed for and welcomed into our family.  There was room made for each one in our hearts and our home.

An angel was assigned by God for each baby.  “See to it you don’t despise one of these little ones who behold the face of my Father in heaven.”

We may not have had servants to help but God assigned an angel to help.  Imagine a heavenly messenger arriving in our home with each new child.   We treated each child as a gift sent down from the Throne of God in heaven.  Each one was special and had a particular destiny in this world which I believed God would help them accomplish.  Each child was blessed.  Who would not want a gift from God?  The policies of the nations are preventing people receiving gifts from God.

My oldest daughter was studying for her A levels.  Beside her desk in her bedroom was a baby’s cot.  She studied while her baby brother David slept.

Mary looked after two brothers in her bedroom, while she studied at night.  She was strict with them and would not take any messing.

The young children loved to go to Hannah’s room.  It was the warmest room in the house.  Hannah allowed the boys to climb into her bed, if they awoke early.  They could keep warm under the covers.  On a Saturday morning they would spent hours playing games there.

Our youngest daughter used to go up to her sister Ruth’ s room.  She would tug at Ruth to get up and change her nappy.  If Ruth didn’t respond, her wee sister, whom she loved, would climb up and sit on Ruth’s pillow.  She eventually got her big sister’s attention.

Everyone loved to lie in on  Saturday mornings, when there was no school or work.

It wasn’t easy for my husband.  He laid down his life for his family.  He did not have interests that took him away from the family.  If we did have recreation we did it together, a walk on the beach or forest, a drive along the coast, going for a swim or working in the garden.

I don’t think it was a tradition in India, Ireland or China for the husband to help rear the children.  That task was left to the women.  My husband is one of a kind.  He has modelled a different tradition for his sons.

I often reminded myself of the Psalm 121 when I got weary.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. (‭Psalm‬ ‭121‬:‭1-2‬ NIV)

God gave us our children and he is committed to help us look after them.

Back to Life after Long Flight Home

I have been speaking in Slovakia about how God cured me of cancer.

It is always good to get back to home territory,  and hear local accents on the flight, the last leg of our journey into Belfast.

Each country we visit has its different lifestyles, climate and culture. In India one has to adjust to the hot temperatures and it is often difficult to sleep at night. All meals are cooked with some kind of curry.

In Slovakia a lot of the diet consists of fruit and vegetables. A good place to go if one wants to loose weight.  Olive oil and butter are not needed. So one can cut down on calories.

In Canada one can put on weight because of the abundance and variety of food. The one thing both of us look forward to when we return to Ireland is a Fish Supper. We go into Belfast and stop off at our favourite fish and chip shop. We don’t worry about the calories.  We just love the taste of freshly caught cod and crispy chips. Suitably refreshed we know we can have along sleep when we get home.

 

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How Giving to the Poor Brought Healing to Me.

My husband brought me to the accident and emergency department in my local hospital when I told him I was bleeding.
This is now four years ago.
I was examined there by a doctor from Kerela in India.
He asked my husband and daughter to come into the cubicle to talk to us all about the examination.
My daughter is a doctor herself and was very nervous about what he was about to say.
She feared the worst.
I was numb and was willing to go through the process the doctor advised.
Instead of talking about my condition the doctor addressed my husband and said, 
“Don’t I know you?”
“No I don’t think we have met before.” 
“Are you the man with the big family?”
“Yes I have a big family.”
Mary and I were perplexed.  “Why is he not getting on with talking about how he can help me?”
“Ah I know where I have seen you before.  My mother has a book written by you.  There is a picture of you and your family on the back page. That book is in my mother’s home, back in Kerala, India.”
My husband has written two books for a lady in India.  Her work reaches out to the poor.
Brendan and I looked at each other.
We knew God was with us in that hospital cubicle.
In our time of distress a doctor remembered Brendan.
That book has helped raise money for orphanages and poor people in India.
The doctor, a stranger remembered Brendan.  God remembered too.
He was reassuring us he was with us.
Psalm 41 says 

Blessed is he who has regard  for the poor and needy. I will be with him in trouble. The Lord will raise him up from his sick bed.  V 1 and 3

We were in trouble and I was on a sick bed.
We all smiled despite our present dilemma.
The doctor proceeded to tell us that he found a mass of tissue inside my back passage when he examined me.
My daughter quizzed him to get more information.
He answered, “It is a firm mass.”  My daughter knew it can only be cancer.  She did not voice what she thought.
“I will make an appointment to get a colonoscopy.  I will ask for you to be seen as soon as possible.”
We thanked the doctor and walked out of that cubicle, silent, anxious but comforted that God was with us in our trouble.
We would face the future together.
Four months later I knew I was healed from cancer.
God is faithful.