Faith Versus Fear
Here are excerpts of reflections sent by Pastor Marion E. Criddle & a couple of members from the short-term mission team from Rivers of Joy Church. They were serving in Kenya as the current pandemic was evolving.
“Historically plagues have troubled the land on a pandemic level. There even seem to be a pattern of 100-year return. There was the bubonic plague of 1720; cholera in 1820; Spanish flu in 1920; and now coronavirus. One news headline makes the statement, “Is it Just a Coincidence?”
In Deuteronomy 5:29, the Lord reminded Moses, “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” Fear as used in this verse is reverence for God more than being afraid of God. God is looking for “true worshipers”—those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. I’m thankful to Almighty God for putting such an Abundant Life Crusade (ALC) Team together. We were able to maintain our Faith despite the various challenges from beginning to the end.
“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
(2 Tim 1:7)
There were threats of the Locust invasion coming into the area where we were to minister. Praise be to God we experienced a modern-day Passover. The people of Nakuru where we ministered saw them passing over in the air, but they eventually landed 300 kilometers away—Hallelujah! …
Even before the Locust news, we were challenged in various ways about getting visas. Different one’s payments wouldn’t be accepted and we had to find a work around; one application was rejected; all were delayed until 2 days before we were scheduled to leave and even the one who experienced rejection from Tanzania, was delayed longer than the rest for Kenya. But in spite of it all we exercised Faith versus Fear.
The most unsettling news for family and friends was the threat of the coronavirus. We had no travel restrictions before we left the US. Kenya had no reported confirmed cases while we were there in early March, until the day we were leaving. Despite the travel restrictions (none of which we experienced), we made it home safely and we got through Customs in record time for the 20 years we have been making these ALC mission trips.
Glory be to God for the messages and workshops by the team. We ministered from the theme: “Living in the Fullness of Time,” based on Galatians 4:1-7. God’s desire is that none should perish and on Sunday morning 34 souls accepted Jesus as their Savior! To God be the glory. It was Faith not Fear that enabled us to be His instrument to cause His people and His Kingdom to be edified. Thank you God!
by Dr. Marion E. Criddle
With all of the perils happening, the locusts in Africa; 5 earthquakes within a 24-hour period in America; at the same time the coronavirus pandemic going on throughout the world; God made the way. As we went on the mission trip to Kenya, God protected us from the plague of the locusts. He also opened doors for me to be able to get my visa which was being held up and/or denied. Along with many other challenges along the way, God made the way.
by Gwendolyn Harrison
In light of the uncertainties and threats of the Coronavirus attacking societies worldwide, Father God gave us many opportunities–in our preaching, teaching, testifying, and conversing with the people of God–to witness to the powerful genuine love, grace, and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. He used each of us to speak boldly regarding the times and how we must be aware, prepared, and committed to doing the will of God, without fear or anxiety, knowing that His will is that none perish, but come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). We saw the Lord’s will fulfilled on Sunday, the last day of the Family Conference Mission, when 34 souls (the very young and old) gave their hearts to Christ to be saved by faith. That alone made it all worth the trip and any inconveniences we may have had to endure.
by Pastor Gladys B Dates