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This is Kevin's story. Kevin is from ZImbabwe and had been emailing Dr. Craig requesting prayer concerning his critical situation in London.
I sent in my passport and supporting documents to the UK immigration authorities in June 2004 in order for them to extend my student visa. Being a bona fide student at a genuine educational establishment, I expected this to be a routine exercise. When I submitted my papers, the acknowledgment letter sent to me indicated that my application should be processed within 13 weeks at the very latest.
When the 13 weeks elapsed, I did not worry. It was common knowledge that because of operational inefficiencies at the main processing centre, some applications took longer than the intended time. In the meantime, I prayed to the Lord and trusted everything to Him (or so I thought!). I expected my passport to turn up anytime in the post but nothing came through. As the days went on, I began to wonder what was happening to my application. When I moved houses, I informed the processing centre of my new address, expecting this to jolt them into working on my application but no response came from them, and nothing turned up in the mail. I prayed and fasted but nothing seemed to happen. When I made enquiries by phone, the response I always got was sorry, there is a backlog of applications, yours is in the queue. I wondered why a normal application for a student visa extension should take so long.
I intensified my praying and fasted, but still I got no response. The postman diligently delivered everything else except this passport. When the days kept on moving and I saw no answer to my prayers, I began to wonder whether God was really listening. I held a part-time job which helped me greatly but during the summer of 2005, the company shut down the unit I was based at. Without my passport, I couldnít take up alternative job offers as I couldnít prove my identity. Bills started to mount, the passport wouldnít turn up and I began to question whether God was really hearing my prayers. I had done everything I could possibly do. It crossed my mind that probably the fault was with me; that maybe there was something I had done or was doing that certainly didnít please the Lord. This thought created even more confusion and clouded my mind. I still prayed, but they were prayers laced with unbelief. I still believed that God was going to pull me out of this pit, but my attitude was slowly becoming tainted by bitterness. And as we all know, the Lord simply cannot work where there is unbelief or bitterness.
I went on the internet one afternoon in the hope of finding someone in ministry who could join me in prayer and perhaps shed some light on this very difficult trial. I believe it was the Lord who directed me to the Mary Craig ministries website. After reading the articles on the site, I wrote an e-mail in which I explained the situation I was going through. I asked Dr. Mary Craig to join me in prayer and enquire of the Lord regarding the times I was going through. Dr. Craig wrote back to me concerning the word of knowledge that the Holy Spirit had revealed to her. The Spirit had revealed that the Lord was fighting the battle on my behalf and that the enemy could not succeed. However, first to be dealt with was my unbelief, which I had allowed to develop and erode my faith.
I immediately accepted the message and repented of my unbelief, asking God to forgive me of my sins. The message was truly uplifting and I felt much encouraged to know that after all, this trial wasnít an accident. God had always been in control. And I thought I had faith! The brethren at Mary Craig ministries held me up in their prayers and I kept in contact with Dr. Craig. In June, God set up a wonderful miracle where I got to meet with Dr. Craig in London during a stopover on the way back home from a mission trip to Mozambique. We had a powerful prayer meeting during which Susan Smith, Stephen Craig, Dr. Craig prayed for deliverance from ancestral curses and satanic blockages. The Spirit also revealed what the work the Lord was doing for my family and for my country Zimbabwe. I got home hours later and weary but greatly encouraged in the Lord!
One morning, I heard a knock outside my door. I had been praying into the early hours of the day, so I wasnít so keen on getting up to answer the door. When I did get up eventually, I discovered the postman had left a note for me saying there was a parcel to be delivered but no one had answered the door. When I went for it, I was overjoyed to see that it was my good old passport! satan had actually wanted me to be deported from the country, cutting short my studies, but evidently, God had not allowed it. True to His word, the Lord had not allowed the governments of man to prevail over Him. I felt tremendous joy. God had delivered me.
With hindsight, I can say that I have learned a lot more about faith during these 11 or so months of my trials than during my entire Christian walk. In the past when I had called upon the Lord in times of need, my answer had almost always come immediately. But now the Lord had led me through a time when He had hidden Himself from me and waited to see what I would do. Walk away, because God hasnít answered your cry according to the deadline you were facing? Grow bitter and remorse and start accusing the Lord of deserting you, despite His word saying I will never forsake you nor abandon you? (Hebrews,13 vs 5, 6). Or be like the Psalmist, hang on and trust Him and every word He has said no matter what happens (Psalm 46 vs. 1, 2). When God put me to the test and hid from me, I failed His test. My faith wavered. It is only by His grace that He still delivered me.
I had been taught about utterings of prophetic insight and Words of knowledge and I believed that God does use them for the edification of the Church and also to help individuals who were facing difficulties. I sort of expected a stranger to walk up to me one day and with regard to the trials I was facing, just tell me "thus says the Lord..." I learnt that while the Lord can communicate in such a manner, we should not seek assurance greater than that given by the Word of the Lord, which is His Bible. Now I know that my assurance comes from the word of the Lord and any words of knowledge or insight are welcome, but they will add on to what the Lordís word says about my situation. God has given us His word in the form of the Bible and He doesnít mind us holding Him accountable to His word. Above all, I learnt that faith means holding on to what the Lord says despite what the physical situation appears to be. And that faith also means believing in what the Lord has said, no matter how long it takes in coming to pass. Amen.
Kevin's Story, Part 2
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