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Is Anyone Listening?
September 7, 2005
Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, people cry out from the depths of their hearts for help. People are dying. The catastrophe seems only to grow daily, a catastrophe predicted by experts who warned what could happen. The wetlands, the levees, the assessment of the area and surveys which told that about 30% of New Orleans would not leave in case of emergency—ignored, so it seems. And yet as I must tell you all that God did in the nation of Turkey, I sit here wondering, who is listening to Him?
Last January 7th, the Holy Spirit spoke.
Go back to the cradle of civilization. Proclaim Me from the beginning. I am coming on the clouds with the holy host of heaven. You will proclaim My glory to the ends of the earth. You will go to Turkey and to the beginning of it all, and you will proclaim Me to the ends of the earth. I am the Lord and holy is My name. I am and there is no other…
August 17th our team embarked on another MCM missions adventure. Based in Kusadasi, we set out to the locations of the seven churches of Revelation. In each area we saw the fulfillment of prophecy, as for example, Ephesus, which was indeed removed out of its place as the harbor silted up and the populace moved. The indictment to Ephesus—they didn’t maintain their first love. The remedy—renewal only comes by repentance; wake up before corruption devours the whole body. The reward—endure the persecutions, overcome, and you will eat of the tree of life.
While in Kusadasi, we visited with Pastor Mark of the Church of God and with Kate and her husband and their congregations. We gathered at a retreat center for worship. The area pastors wanted to see if they could achieve some sort of unity in their common purpose. It became apparent that various agendas vied for supremacy. There were communication barriers and to top it off, we saw on the compound a dog whose collar was obviously too tight. We were told right away not to touch the dog and to leave it alone.
Later, as the group achieved a minimal level of anointing singing a few songs and praying, Emily on our team began sobbing with the grief of the Holy Spirit. As she did, I began hearing from the Holy Spirit:
This is what the Sovereign Lord says, As you have choked the dog and choked her off from love and touch, so also have you choked yourself off from Me, My touch and love. As you do to Me, so I do to you. I am grieved and you have heard the cry of My grief, yet you do not come before Me confessing your sin, your pride, your unrighteousness, neither ask forgiveness. You do not proclaim My Son’s Blood, honor the sacrifice of My Son, who shed His Blood for the forgiveness of sins. You come with your agenda, your little vision. Unity? It comes from Me. It comes as you proclaim Me, center your agenda in Me. You seek growth, yet you do not plant Me, My Word, My truth in the inward parts. Revival comes as you repent, as you come to Me, a holy God, coming boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4.15, 16). I am He who grants repentance. (2 Timothy 2.25, 26) The heavens are shut because your hearts are shut—to Me, and so I shut up the heavens so there is no rain.
This seemed to be a harsh word to me, yet the pastors in the room agreed that it was "right on." We can learn from this word, I think. We need to look at our agendas, assess our vision, enlarge our vision, and expand our tents, our hearts, to open our hearts up to the heart of God and His agenda. We must hear Jesus from John 21, "Do you love Me more than these?"
As we moved through the seven church areas, Emily, Shelly, and I remarked that the church in Philadelphia had a family as caretakers. Though ruins, the area is fertile. The family brought us grapes, a major crop of the area. Jesus commended that church for its endurance and told it to hold fast that they might be kept safe and receive rewards.
The second stage of our mission had us traveling through Ankara to Sanliurfa (great city) and Harran, a 5,000 year old city and birthplace of the covenant given to Abraham. This city claims foundational heritage to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We went to Ataturk Dam, the largest of a series of dams along the rivers of the region, the Tigris and Euphrates. After praying there and proclaiming the scriptures relating to the Euphrates River, we journeyed into the rough terrain in 123°F heat to find a place where we could get to the riverbank. Though harrowing, we met some tribal families along the way. The terrain was similar to what you see on TV when you see Afghanistan, as we were 15km from the Syrian border. With much prayer and grace, we achieved our goal and spiritual warfare objective for the Euphrates.
It is said that OT prophets Jethro, Job, Elijah, and Abraham lived in Sanliurfa, an ancient Anatolian city, and that early Christians were first permitted to worship freely and the first churches were constructed openly there. Harran is famous for its beehive structures and ancient university. A family offered us hospitality, serving us tea, bread, and yogurt.
As we came to the end of our mission, it became clear that God wanted to do something for the Kurds. We had a Kurdish guide, and God led me to have him represent himself, his family, and the Kurdish people. God showed me that He had seen their oppression and heard their cries, that He was offering them the scepter of peace, and that if accepted, He would give them peace, light, and lead them into the truth of the one, true and living God. As our Kurdish guide understood and extended his hand to receive the blessing of God, the anointing came strong and tangibly. Emily wept and we all rejoiced. We look for God to do great things among the Kurds.
I also felt throughout this mission that God had heard the cries of the animals and that bloodguilt was a major stronghold in the region. I was led to pray for the animals, from donkeys, cattle, camels, horses, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, whatever that they be given supernatural provision of fresh food and fresh water and that God remember the land. God reminded me of His actions concerning Balaam’s donkey in Numbers 22.33 and His laws and ways in Leviticus 26.
All in all, we praise God for a successful mission. God answered our prayers. Shelly witnessed to many Muslims along the way and one woman accepted Christ. Seeds were sown and many requested Bibles in Turkish. Church contacts were established. We thank you for the tremendous support for this mission, from your prayers to your concerns, for financial help, and for the provision of literature and witnessing tools in Turkish.
We touched down at 1:33 p.m. Thursday August 25th just 3 hours before Miami airport would close for Hurricane Katrina’s arrival. Though our area suffered some damage, it does not compare with the damage of the Gulf Coast. We are again reminded of the fury of these storms and the urgency of our mandate to proclaim God and the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations and peoples everywhere.
November 6th we will again be helping the migrant workers of South Florida, this time a Guatemalan community. These people need help. They need school supplies for their children, baby and children’s clothing, clothing, small toys, and linens. Please read the added letter and brochure from David Patten, our Barnabas Project director. The poor are falling through the cracks in America. We need to take up the cause of the weak and oppressed, give them encouragement, and give them tangible aid.
The church in Laodicea was rebuked for thinking themselves rich and in need of nothing when they were poor, wretched, and miserable. Many consider this the church of our time, apostate and in need of chastening and repentance. We need to wake up.
To the uttermost parts of the earth,
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org to order books and make donations through Paypal or credit card. In the area? We invite you to worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays, at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. After the service, join Rev. Jim Craig to discuss the message or have prayer with Dr. Mary Craig. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies.
He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches. Rev. 3.22
Barnabas Project Update
by David Patten
The more we come to understand the Mayan Guatemalan culture as part of our Barnabas Project, the more we realize how little we understand it.
I began to realize this when we learned that not many of the Guatemalans whom we were encouraging to come to our events could read our flyers, which were in Spanish. Apparently, there is a strong pre-literate, or oral tradition among the Guatemalans.
An even greater eye-opener came when I recently met with Mr. Marvin Gomez, a Guatemalan who works very hard to support his family, and who regularly attends a Protestant church in Lake Worth, Florida. Mr. Gomez had offered us assistance at our next event, so I aimed to track him down at the Guatemalan Flea Market. As I drove down Sixth Avenue just east of the flea market, I pulled over to check my directions. I had no idea what would follow.
After glancing at an e-mail, I looked up and saw several young Guatemalan males sprinting toward my car and waving. Behind them were several others. More were coming from the left, jogging or running and waving their hands the way you might flag down a bus. In some areas this might mean they wanted to sell you drugs, or worse. In this neighborhood it meant these men were looking for work, day work perhaps and a few dollars. These people work incredibly long hours under the withering sun, for little pay, no benefits and no Social Security.
I was frankly taken aback by the sudden, overwhelming response to my presence. It was a little bit scary, so I drove away, feeling guilty about leaving a trail of disappointed-yet-enthu-siastic workers behind me waving their arms and jogging after my vehicle. The same thing happened again when I stopped about four blocks up. I decided to unroll the window and seek directions. I must say, the warm smiles and helpful natures—the lack of cynicism or an attitude of entitlement in these meek souls—was encouraging. They headed me in the right direction, and we all repeated a chorus of "Gracias Amigo!" to each other. Thank the Lord that a smile is understood in every language.
I did meet up with Marvin later that morning. By August 29, I received a call from Ishmael Rosario of the Mount Olive Church of the Restoration, a church of about 500 meeting at the Lutheran Church across from the flea market. Ninety percent of their members are Guatemalan and most migrant workers. They are confidant that they will generate 150 to 300 attendees to our next Barnabas Mission thrust. So, let’s all do our part to help!
We’re all set now for Sunday, November 6 at noon at the Smythe Pavilion at John Prince Park. We’ll be working closely with Ishmael to promote the event, and he thanks all the contributors of Mary Craig Ministries. Ishmael apologized for any delay in making contact. It seems his 12-year-old son Joseph was just diagnosed with an irreversible muscular dystrophy type of disease and needs our prayers. Ishmael’s focus on joyfully helping others during a time of personal suffering and heartache truly reflects the heart of Jesus, which triumphs over the surrounding darkness of a fallen world that cannot comprehend His holy light of truth, mercy, and love. Anything you can do to give to the migrant farming community would be greatly appreciated. Read the enclosed brochure. God bless you!
David Patten, Barnabas Project Director
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