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Faith that Acts- Mary Katherine Shipp

July 17, 2014


Sweetwaters. Who would’ve thought, even now, almost two years later, just saying that name would bring a big smile to my face as I remember my time spent in this sweet South African state.  When I think back on the seven days I was there, one thing that stands out to me is the faith I saw that was being lived out daily among circumstances we in the States would think were less than ideal. I remember being inspired by Tabitha Ministries, a partner of Restoration Hope, as the Lord showed me during that time that real faith was trusting, grateful, and strong—only a mirror of the faith I was living out in my day-to-day life. That realization has forever impacted my faith in Christ.


        (Pictured: Mama Gail, executive director of Tabitha Ministries)


These people truly live out faith in Jesus - and only Jesus.  I remember the prayer wall Mama Gail, who is the executive director of Tabitha Ministries, had in her office.  This wall was filled with pictures and words of different prayers she had prayed over the years. What caught my eye was that she marked the ones the Lord had answered, and that was most of them. A specific image that sticks out in my mind is when the Lord gave Mama Gail a vision for an orphanage and she drew that vision on paper-- a vision that turned out to be the exact floor plan of the orphanage they would buy years later. Is that crazy or what?  


I saw some crazy prayers up on that wall; ones that I honestly read and immediately thought how I would have never prayed for something that big. Maybe that’s what made me realize how small I was making God out to be… the same God who has names like Alpha, Omega, Almighty One, Abba Father. Ridiculous, right? I remember asking Mama Gail one time how was her faith so strong, and I’ll never forget her response when she said, “You have to BELIEVE He WILL and He CAN answer your prayers.”

I mean, sure, I prayed a lot, but it wasn’t often that I prayed big and actually believed He would answer those prayers. It made me think of Matthew 17:20 that says, “Because you have so little faith.  I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.” This verse had a whole new meaning to me after experiencing the faith of Mama Gail because I really think this lady could move a mountain with the amount of faith she has. After meeting her, all I knew was that I wanted faith like that.  The Lord really used Mama Gail to show me that with faith nothing is impossible and that He richly rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

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