We heard God!!!

Written By: admin - Feb• 28•11

“Mom,” Tania said, “God says it’s the woman in the orange sweater.” She discreetly pointed to woman entering a boutique across the mall from us.

Goose bumps ran up my arms and down the back of my neck as I turned to Isela, one of the other fifteen year old girls in our care.  Her eyes widened in surprise and excitement.  She had just pointed out the same woman as well and told me that God said that was the woman they were looking for.

I had just finished speaking at a women’s conference in the capital city of Tuxtla. Fifty women from our church in Arriaga had made the trip with us and I had decided to bring our seven older girls as well.  All seven had either been abandoned or orphaned and their emotional and spiritual wounds ran deep. I had been praying that the Lord would bless them with a revelation of His love and help them to forgive those who had wounded them so deeply. The Lord is faithful. A beautiful young woman was asked to minister in music and in between songs, she gave her testimony.  Poverty, neglect, abuse, rape were the normal conditions of her childhood. As she shared, I thought “Oh, Lord,” our girls are going to be in a puddle any minute now. At the end of her music ministry time, she asked for those who had suffered in like manner to come forward. Several hundred came forward including my seven, little heartbroken girls. Because of the crowd and the fact there were so many women asking me for prayer, I couldn’t get to my girls. I just kept asking the Lord to send someone to each of them as they sought the Lord for the desire and strength to forgive their abusers.  Women were standing, kneeling and lying prostrate as tears of repentance and forgiveness flowed.  I kept my eyes moving over the crowd in search of my girls. Each of them lay in the arms of an older woman as the sobbed over the pain of their past.  There was Isela, who had been abandoned at birth and then orphaned a few years later when her adoptive parents both died of AIDS.  One of my other girls, eyes closed, face turned up as tears slid down her face, was finding a peace she never knew existed.  Repeated abuse from the men her mother brought home had left this small, delicate child wounded and shattered.  I wept as I watched faces being transformed by the love of Christ.


As the service came to a conclusion, several of my girls made their way to me.  They were radiant.  Each had their story to tell as they excitedly told me about hearing God and having the weight of unforgiveness removed. It was joy unspeakable to watch and listen as they described their encounters with the living Christ.

The following day I had promised to take them to the movies to see the latest Narnia release. Somehow an extra ticket had been purchased and as we were gathered at the ticket booth. I told the girls to pray and see if the Lord would show them who he wanted to give the extra ticket to. Several of the girls jumped on the assignment and that is when Isela, excitedly said to me, “Mom, it’s the woman in the orange sweater.”

Tania had been standing in the middle of mall concourse, praying and asking the Lord to show her, when her attention was also drawn to the woman in the orange sweater. Both girls looked at me with wide eyes and asked me what to do next. I looked at them and told them to ask the Lord. Off they went into the store looking for the woman and when they found her, they told her that the Lord loved her deeply and wanted to bless her with the movie ticket. The woman had tears in her eyes as she shook her heard back and forth looking at my girls in wonder.

As they came out of the store, their faces were lit up like Christmas trees! “Mom”, they exclaimed, “we heard God!”

Over the tops of their heads, I watched as the woman in the orange sweater walked out of the store, wiping her eyes. I looked back at the excited, animated faces of my two, spiritual daughters and thought, yes, and God has heard my prayer.

“One, two, three… Go!” I exclaimed

Written By: Tammy Woods - Feb• 21•11

Hundreds of women jumped up from their chairs.  It was a free for all.

I had been ministering at a women’s conference and for this particular session, had felt that the Lord wanted me to minister on the blessing of giving. I had taken the women on an excursion through the scriptures about not only the importance of giving but also on the pleasure of being used of the Lord to meet a need or desire in the life of someone else. As I brought the message to a close I felt like the Lord put something in my mind to do so that the women could get a taste of what it was like to be used of the Lord in this way.

I had asked them to think about what they had in their purse, not necessarily money, but something they could give to someone else in the conference. I then asked them to pray and ask the Lord to show them the person and on the count of three to get up and give whatever it was to that person. It was joyful mayhem.

Two months later and I am still receiving testimonies of what followed after I counted to three.  The following are three short testimonies that happened to our orphan girls.

Rosy (14) Someone placed $1000 pesos in Rosy’s hand. More money than she had ever seen (about $100 USD).  She was so excited, thinking about what she could buy for Christmas when she heard the Lord tell her it wasn’t for her. She looked up and saw a poor woman with a child and took the money to the woman. The woman cried and through her arms around Rosy.  She told Rosy that she had not had any money to feed her children for several days. Rosy returned to her seat and someone else pressed several more bills into her hand. She asked the Lord what he wanted her to do with it. He showed her another woman to give it to. She obeyed and returned to her seat. At that point someone walked up to her and put a beautiful gold bracelet on her wrist. Then she heard the Lord say, “This is for you,   Rosy.

Rosie

Rosie

One of my other girls had forgotten to pack a pair of sensible shoes. After two days of walking back and forth to the hotel, she had painful blisters on her feet. She had prayed and asked the Lord to help her earlier in the day.  When I had given the go for people to give, a stranger walked up to Tania with a shoe box. She told Tania that she had just bought the shoes for herself, but when she prayed,  the Lord had shown her she was supposed to give the shoes to Tania. The woman wasn’t aware of Tania’s problem or Tania’s shoe size. They fit her perfectly. What was more important, Tania was ecstatic that the Lord had answered her in such miraculas way. Her faith has soared.

Tania and Marina

Tania and Marina

One woman from our church in Arriaga felt led to give her last $50 pesos (about $4.50USD).  She blessed someone that the Lord had spoken to her about and then wondered how she was going to eat the following week. When she returned home, much to her surprise, there was food in the cabinet and the fridge was full. In wonder she turned to her husband who explained that the day before a man had shown up at their door to pay off his long standing debt.

I could write pages of these stories and testimonies.  First hand I have watched how God always shows himself faithful tho those who put their trust in Him. In the book of Malachai 3:10-12, God throws down a challenge to the people of Israel when he says,  “Prove me and see if I will not open to you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing , that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

I encourage you to make yourself available to God so that He can use you to be an answer to the prayers of someone else. We serve a living God who is aware of not only our needs but the very desires of our hearts. Be a blessing to someone else today!  God bless.

Tammy Woods

Caring for them is caring for Him.

Written By: Tammy Woods - Feb• 02•11
 
Lupita after surgery for club feet.

God’s love, true love is sacrificial in nature. It chooses for the object of its devotion, the highest good, unmindful of the cost to self. We don’t dare to dream that in any way or stretch of the imaginations to have reached that pinnacle of loving, but we have had glimpses and a few painful experiences when called upon to love in this manner. Lupita was and is a sacrifice of love for all of us in our orphanage. She came to live with us when she was two years old. Her tiny feet were twisted and curled. If she tried to walk, it was on the outside of her ankles. The mother was a poor, tired, used looking woman. Lupita is the youngest of three children. The father of the boys was in prison and we suspected that he knew nothing of Lupita’s birth. The mother would lock all three children in her small house and work all day. The four and six year old boys were left to care for little, handicapped Lupita during the day.

 

When the mother came to us, I was a bit overwhelmed with Lupita’s handicap. How and where would the money come from for us to properly care for her? My fears were soon put to rest as the Lord raised up the funds and the doctors to help this precious little girl. After two years of surgeries, casts and braces and she took her first tentative steps and then walked out of our life.
The mother who had continued to visit every couple of months now wanted her daughter back. She loved her daughter and Lupita’s brothers loved their little sister. So, a long, painful, story short…we eventually had to return Lupita to her birth family. We felt it was God, so we obeyed. Months passed, with little contact. A year went by with only one phone call. Lupita’s mom was working in a hotel in Cancun. Lupita was still walking fine and attending school.

Then this Christmas we received a packet in the mail. A beautiful letter from our little Lupita was enclosed and photographs of her dancing in a school play and walking in her school parade. We were all overjoyed to see her bright smiles and her beautiful little feet. We could tell she was happy and loved.

Being an instrument of love in God’s hands is often painful. But nothing can compare with the joy of being used to bless the object of His affections. His love spills over on us all and even in the pain there is a great joy.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (5) doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; (6) rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; (7) beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (8) Love never faileth.

 

The Right Perspective

Written By: admin - Nov• 20•10

I don’t feel like writing this. I don’t feel like doing much of anything except maybe hiding under my covers right now. The thing is I just don’t have time to indulge my emotions. Can you identify?

The scripture gives us some very important advice and lessons about bringing in to captivity our thoughts, about renewing our mind and about walking by faith and not by sight. One of the most important things I have learned over my years of missions service is that the quicker I can get control over my mind and emotions (by the grace of God),  the more enjoyable my life and my service are. It’s when I feel like I have a right to feel sorry for myself or that somehow I deserve to be depressed that I ultimately get myself into trouble both mentally and spiritually.


Recently, I was asked to give counsel to a young woman. She had a good job, was deeply loved by her parents and was in good health, although she had recently recovered from a badly sprained ankle.


She had fallen into depression and had become dissatisfied with her job and felt her co-workers were unkind and were “out to get her”. The problem was that this exact same scenario had played out before just a few years earlier. She had changed jobs only to find herself in the exact same position but now with a whole different group of people.  As she talked I kept trying to guide her back to her relationship with the Lord.  Finally, she admitted that she had grown cold in her love for the Lord and as I kept probing for the root of her depression, she admitted that she was holding God responsible for her sprained ankle and the months it took her to get full recovery of her foot. She was angry with God.  She was angry about her foot, angry about her job and co-workers. In essence, she felt like she had gotten the raw end of the deal with God.  She wanted to put all the blame on God and take no responsibility for her own actions. She tearfully repented before the Lord as we prayed together.

As I was leading her out of the room we passed our baby nursery. In that moment, I know God spoke to me to take this young woman in to see one our sleeping baby girls. I quietly unsnapped three month old Rebecca’s footy pajamas to reveal her perfect little calf and foot.  The young woman who had been smiling at the precious sleeping baby gasped as I exposed Rebecca’s foot.

“I think you need a little perspective.” I said, as she stared at Rebecca’s leg.

I told her, “This baby was born without a femur and she has no knee. God did not “do” this to her. Nor did he make her mother abandon her by leaving her in a box in the middle of a market. But I want to tell you what He did do for her; he rescued her by bringing her to our home where she will get the very best treatment that we can find for her.  A home where she is loved, nurtured and where she will eventually come to discover Him for herself. When you are tempted to feel sorry for yourself because of your ankle please remember how blessed you are that you have two legs that function.”

Maybe this letter finds you today in a place where you have let your emotions take over your life. And yes, perhaps you have suffered greatly and there are “reasons” for your depression, anger, sadness or bitterness. I just want to remind you that Christ has paid such a tremendous price for you to be able to walk in victory. His promises and his counsels are true and if we put into practice what His word says we can overcome all things through Christ who strengthens us. Even our feelings.


“Making a world of difference, one life at a time”