Posts Tagged ‘Feeding scheme’

Last week Saturday I went with 3 other people on a street outreach.  What we do is go into the inner city of our town and hand out tracts, Bibles and speak to people in the street and try to help those who need help.

We came across some people who were in terrible circumstances and referred most of them to the shelter in our town that is managed by a group of churches from different denominations.  It is from this same place that we have the feeding scheme, they hand out food packages, there is an overnight shelter for the homeless, facilities to bath and wash your clothes, they hand out clothing and blankets to those who are in need of it, they shelter women and children who need to get away from abusive family members and they have people who draw up resume’s and they try to find work for all the resume’s they have.

I want to talk about the last couple we came across just before we went home.  They were both elderly, but how old exactly is difficult to say because they really looked bad.  Like beggars, or bums, but they were not entirely homeless.  They live in a wooden hut in the back of what was once a normal stand with a house on it, but the house has been converted into a commune and a lot of small rooms have been built on the stand and there must be at least 20-30 people living there, if not more…

I came to them a bit later than the rest of our group as I talked to a young boy of about 8-9 years first, but when I came closer all I could hear was a lot of screaming, shouting and swearing.  All coming from this couple and they were shouting at the other 3 people of our group. 

“I don’t want to hear anything from this God of yours!  I don’t believe in God!  God is not good, how can He be good if He caused the Tsu.nami in Ja.pan!”  They kept shouting things like that, on and on.  Eventually I was able to get a word in edgewise just to say it wasn’t God that caused all these bad things.  That got their attention, when I said it was all caused by the devil, the man started shouting louder again.  They were upset and mad at God for being in their terrible circumstances.  They were blaming everybody they could think of for the situation they were in, God, the president, the government, us, Christians in general, everybody except themselves.

It was obvious that they were drunk.  The man more than the woman, and it was just before noon.  Eventually we were able to talk a bit with the woman, but the man kept on swearing and shouting.  We women just ignored him, and the man in our group said later he was standing there praying silently.  We asked the woman if she knew about the feeding scheme as they said they were hungry.  They did, they were there once, but they are mad because they say one of the men who volunteer there said he would pick them up and bring them every day as they think it’s too far to walk as they both have problems with their feet, but he never came.  I don’t know what the situation was, I know this man, I haven’t spoken to him about it, but I cannot imagine he would promise that as he is not there every day.  He is a business man who volunteers when he has a chance.  The other days of the week he attends to his business. 

After speaking to this woman for a while one of the ladies with us (H), realized she knows this woman.  H has been helping out the people in our inner city for years now and it was her idea to start the shelter, and with the help from some other people and different churches they were able to get it started less than a year ago.  She was involved with other Christian organizations years ago and this woman used to work for one of these organizations that used to hand out food packages to those in need.  She was fired though because she stole the food packages and sold it to buy alcohol.  This woman did not admit this, H told us about it later.  She and H talked about people they used to know and we eventually left promising to bring them food and some shoes.  H took it to them about 30 minutes later.

All afternoon I kept on thinking about these people.  They were in a terrible situation, I agree with that, but they weren’t the worst off I have ever seen.  Both of them receive a small state pension, and they should be able to pay rent for the wooden hut with it and buy some food and clothes at least.  I have seen a single mother with 2 children live in similar circumstances, and the only income she received was the same small state pension, that this couple earns, but because she is one person she gets half of what they do, and with that she had to pay rent, buy food and clothes for 3 people, and pay school fees.

The husband kept shouting at us, “Why don’t you go buy me some bread, I’m hungry!”  He is expecting others to give things to him.  He doesn’t ask, he demands, and I wasn’t with when H took them their food and the shoes, but I wonder if he even said thank you.  They live about 1 kilometre from a place that will give them food and clothes for free, but they do not make use of it, because they refuse to walk there.  I looked at their feet, and to tell the truth I could not see much wrong with them, except for them being dirty… 

They have an income, their rent should be less than half of their income and they should be able to afford food, but they are hungry, and drunk.  The closest shop that sells alcohol is further away than where we hand out food, and I wonder how they get hold of their alcohol.  It seems alcohol takes preference above food and clothes. 

It may sound like I’m being judgemental here, but I’m not – I’m stating what I saw and heard.  My heart aches for these people that they are in this situation, but the thing that is the worst for me is that it is all so unnecessary.  They don’t have to live like that, but to change it they will have to stop blaming everyone else and start to take action and responsibility for themselves.  We can try to help them, but somewhere they must try to help themselves too.

I think it’s because their situation was so bad, and how much their lives that have been messed up, that made me see how we give power to the devil to do bad things to us.  It’s not so easy to see your own mistakes.  It felt like my eyes were suddenly opened and a lot of things that I have learnt just suddenly came together.  I could see clearly how these people’s sins, their attitude, the words they say, their actions, their drinking, their unforgiveness, their fear, strive in their lives, how all of that gave power to the devil and how they allowed the devil to do a lot of bad stuff to them. 

All they think off, is that God is doing it all to them.  They don’t know God and that He loves them, but that is something I have learnt.  God just wants what is good for us; He wants the best for us.  God loves all of us, so much, that He paid the ultimate price, so that we can come to Him.

John 3:16 (NIV):  16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV):  11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

They don’t know that God does not punish us, because Jesus took our punishment upon Himself on the cross.  They don’t know that God is not like a human parent – who is fallible.  Humans punish each other, to teach someone a lesson, but God does not work that way.  God does not even allow bad stuff to happen us, we allow it!  That is what they did – by her own actions this woman lost her job, and probably by their own actions of drinking they also can’t get another. 

I wrote a post a while ago about fear and how that give the devil power to do things to you.  But we give the devil power in other ways too, like I mentioned earlier.  God has given us the 10 commandments for our own good, not just because He wanted to impose rules on us.  All of those commandments are there for a good reason.  So the reason God does not want us to sin is because it is bad for us.  Through sin we allow bad things to happen to us.  It not so that God can punish us when we sin.  

Even other things like forgiveness are there for you and not for the other person.  If you have an unforgiving heart you do yourself damage, most of the time the other person doesn’t even know you are mad at them!  Jealousy and envy make you feel bad, it eats into you and can make you a nasty person no-one wants to be around.  It doesn’t do any harm to the one you are jealous about, unless you act upon that jealousy.  But most of us don’t act upon it – we just let it simmer inside us. 

I still haven’t worked out exactly how it works in my own life.  I don’t have all the answers yet, for instance, I still haven’t figured out how I gave the devil the power to kill our babies and cause my miscarriage, like I said it’s not so easy to see your own faults, but I do realize that it must have been my fault.  I know it’s not God’s fault because God wants to bless me and love me.  I have learnt so much about who God is and what He wants for us, that I know it cannot be Him. 

Actually the opposite of what I’ve told you is also true.  If we live obedient lives it cannot go bad with us. 

Colossians 3:12-15 (NIV):  12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.   15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Deuteronomy 28:1-4 (NIV):  1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands that I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.    2 All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: 3You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.    4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock— the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.”

Psalm 91:9-15 (NIV):  9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.   11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.  13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.  14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”

Isaiah 54:17 (NIV):  17 no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me, declares the LORD.”

Psalm 37:4 (KJV):  4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Now, don’t you rather want what the last 4 scripture’s promises?  I know I do, and now since I’ve seen this situation, it’s much easier to resist temptation.  I just think of the bad things I might be allowing, and the blessings I’ll be losing out on…


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Yesterday I was at the Feeding Scheme again, and I heard some very sad news… There is this one guy (G) who is also a volunteer and he has had a long hard battle with cancer so far. The first time he was diagnosed with it was 24 years ago – he was 37 then… Over the years the cancer was in his mouth, in the surrounding sinus cavities and some glands. He has had a lot of operations to remove the cancer and as a result he lost most of his teeth, and there is even a hole in his mouth to some sinus cavities that does not want to heal and close up. Earlier this year he was diagnosed with Prostate cancer and he had to get something implanted in him that would radiate the area. The doctor’s said they caught it early and he would be fine.

But a few weeks ago G told me that something was wrong again on his blood tests and that he needs to go for scans and a lot of other tests again. Yesterday when I asked him about it all he said that the cancer is back again in the same area in his mouth and that his oncologist said that he cannot get any radiation treatment in that area ever again – he’s had too much and it’s done too much damage already… Chemotherapy will also not help, as it’s proven to have no success rates with that specific type of cancer… The only other option is another operation. It will be his 5th operation for this year alone. The problem is that if they should do another operation he will lose most of his soft palate, and he will not be able to speak or eat (not that he can eat now – he has to liquidise everything he wants to eat). He will most probably also lose some of his cheek and his face will be maimed. If his mouth heals well, he might be able to get a prosthesis and then he might be able to speak, but as he already has a gaping hole in his mouth that does not want to heal, he is very doubtful that that will happen. G thinks he will have no more quality of life left.

He has mentioned before that he is just absolutely tired of all of this – tired of going to the doctors, doing tests and getting bad news again and again… He even said he wish he could move to a country where euthanasia or mercy killings is legal, because he found the suffering because of the cancer almost unbearable… I did mention faith healing to him, but he interrupted me. I get the idea he is not interested in it…

Yesterday he told us about how difficult it is for him to be social – most of our social gatherings are around food, and he is so self conscious about eating in front of others, not that he can eat anything that is usually at any social gatherings… So he avoids all such situations. He says he has a very poor self image (I couldn’t tell), he has grown a beard to hide a lot of scars, and you cannot really see he has very few teeth. He’s had to suffer in other ways too – his wife left him after 31 years of marriage for a “richer, better looking and healthier man”.

Even though I could see he was very upset about the news (the tears were brimming in his eyes) he still tried to be positive. He told us how thankful he is for the time that God has given him so far. Initially, 24 years ago, they told him the maximum time he had left was 10 years, they didn’t know of anyone with that kind of cancer that lived for longer than that. He does give God all the praise and glory for doing such a miracle that he is still around today. At that time it was incredibly hard for him to hear because his 3 sons were still young. Today he is grateful that God gave him the chance to see his sons grow up; his youngest is about 25… He also said something very wise – he said that a lot of people stop living when they get bad news and give up, instead of living life to the fullest until the last moment…

Let me tell you this guy has been a rock to me – he’s been so supportive about my mom’s cancer. He’s lent us Christian books about cancer to help my mom, he has given advice and been there to listen to my worries, and I just hope I can be supportive to him too. One thing I’ve realized lately is that there are certain things in life where money, or doctor’s or anything else you can trust in, is of no help to you. The only One we can trust in is God. There are situations where we are totally helpless and hopeless without God… It’s also made me realize that we need to make the most of life – enjoy every moment we can. Time is a precious commodity, once it’s gone, it’s lost forever… We cannot get it back.

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What I’m going to say in this post is very hard to say.  I’m being honest here about stuff that I sometimes don’t even want to admit to myself, let alone all of you reading this, but I feel I need to get it out there so that you can get a better picture of who I am and what we have been through and what we are still going through.

This past weekend was bad.  I was in a really foul mood, I snapped at poor DH a lot, but he was not the only victim and I’m ashamed of myself…  I thought the first few weeks after the miscarriage would be the worst, but I haven’t come through it yet like I thought I would.  I think I was in shock, and that reality is only now sinking in…

These last few days I haven’t felt like eating, or seeing anyone, or doing anything, except maybe sleeping.  I know I’m getting depressed again.  I’m also worrying about a lot of things, but mainly about finances.  Can we afford another IVF, and how long should we try, or should we maybe just give up altogether?  So far I’ve avoided talking about finances as I thought it would not be appropriate, but it’s becoming an issue now and I would not be truthful if I did not discuss it.

Throughout our married life we have never been well off – both DH and I do not have any experience that ensure a job that will pay a comfortable salary, and since DH was let go from the Police for post traumatic stress disorder it’s been even tougher. (That’s the reason we are not even considering adoption – who would give a baby to someone that suffered from post traumatic stress disorder?)  My poor DH has tried his best to provide financially for us, but he just cannot get a job – any job. (Mostly due to lack of qualifications, but also due to employment equity)  The only qualification he has that is worth anything is one he got 12 years ago for being a SAP consultant, but nobody has ever wanted to give him a job in that field so he has no experience – and what are the chances after 12 years?  Even though nobody wants to employ him he has tried his best to provide for us by being self employed – he is on to his 3rd business by now, but it’s going slow (due to the current economic climate).  I worked at a major SA bank for 14 years and it was almost always very stressful with very long working hours, for a relatively small salary.    So three years ago DH and I decided that I can quit so that we can try in earnest to get pregnant.  It had to be done like that as I would never have been able to get time off for FS appointments.  Definitely not for more than one month in a row, and the biological clock was ticking. (Here’s perfect proof that relaxing does not help to get you pregnant!)

The only reason this was even remotely possible was due to the fact that we sold our farm for quite a bit of profit.  We didn’t buy another property and have since been renting.  So we have been using those profits to fund our fertility treatments and have also been living of it.  Unfortunately it’s not a bottomless pit, and even though we have been living frugally, it has diminished considerably.  Yes, I know, not the wisest decision we’ve ever made, but we did not anticipate the credit crunch and we had faith that DH’s business would have taken off by now. 

We have made so many sacrifices to try and get pregnant – we don’t drive any fancy cars, and have never done so since we got married.  We have not spent a lot on furniture (we are still borrowing a couch from my parents and have never bought one since we got married, and it seems we won’t be able to do so for quite some time yet), we only buy clothes whenever necessary and then on sale or at the cheapest shops, we don’t go out often and we just buy the necessities when we buy groceries.   The only thing we have splurged on was a vacation to Mauritius two years ago, but if you take into account that we went camping on our honeymoon, I think we deserved it (we also got it on a special deal with a lot of discount!)  Even our wedding was a low budget affair – where we paid for almost everything as our parents could not really contribute. 

So it seemed to me that we just cannot get a break:  Most of our married life I was terribly unhappy in my job and DH has been screwed over by our lovely government as his case still hasn’t been settled by the compensation commissioner and it does not look like it ever will be (so we cannot even rely on a small pension). When we tried to make a better future for ourselves we spent R40 000 twelve years ago on his SAP qualification (it costs more than R200 000 now) but nobody wanted to take him seriously because he was a policeman or take a chance on hiring him (No one has much respect for policemen here in SA, even though they have the worst jobs ever: they put their lives on the line, they have to watch their buddies getting killed in action, they have to work in terrible circumstances and get to deal with corpses daily in cases of murders, suicide, and even digging dead babies out of trashcans) My DH has even offered to work for free as a SAP consultant for 3 months just to get some experience, but even that was not accepted… It feels like the only good things that have happened was that we met each other and got married and that we bought 2 properties for very low prices and managed to improve those and sell them off at a decent profit.  But since I quit my job, we cannot show a reliable income so we cannot buy another… 

You all know our TTC history by now, so you know that we have not had much success there either…  It made me despondent and it feels like we are taking a huge gamble by doing another IVF.  The success rates are rather low for the amount you are spending on it – If it was for something else we would not be so keen to pay any money towards it, especially if you take all the past failures into account.  I’m tempted to think that the next IVF will result in another pregnancy, but I’ve read too many true life stories to know that it doesn’t always happen like that… And I’ve learnt the hard way that a pregnancy does not guarantee a baby…

Sometimes it all just gets too much to handle, and then I just feel like giving up, that there is not much point in my life and that’s it’s not worth living… The only reason I have not given up hope completely is because of my dearest, darling husband.  I love him so much – he is such a loving, caring, patient person who tries his best to look after us and provide for us, in spite of all the adversities, and then he puts up with all my crap as well.  So yesterday afternoon I decided that I had to do something about my mood.  I spent the whole afternoon in Bible study, looking for comforting pieces to read on the internet and later just praying…  I did find some comfort, but I could just not settle down.

I feel so guilty, because I know that although I think we have it tough it is still nothing compared to other people’s struggles.  At least we have our health, food to eat, clothes to wear, a roof over our heads and the support of our families.  I’m still very fortunate to have been able to go for fertility treatments and for so many of them as well… If I close my eyes I see all the hungry people queuing for food at the feeding scheme I volunteer at, and how cold they are now in the winter time.  A lot of them are also homeless and they carry all that they own everywhere with them, and that is not much…

This morning during my Bible study I finally got comfort in the following scripture:  2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV):  16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

I forget very often what it is all about – it’s not about our lives here on earth and how much money we have or how many kids we get, but it’s about our salvation and where we will be spending eternity.  I often take my eyes of the big picture and think only of the smaller picture.  I get selfish and I want to satisfy my own desires and think of nothing else, and when I don’t get my way I wallow in self pity.  I’m not proud of that, but I’m glad that I finally feel a bit better and I cannot wait to meet my darling babies in heaven…

Ps.  Read this if you have lost a baby and are not sure whether your baby is in heaven.

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Yesterday morning during my Bible study I read the following verses and it really touched my heart.  Acts 12: 2-12 (NIV):  2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.  3 When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.   4 After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.  5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.   6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.  7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. Quick, get up! he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.  8 Then the angel said to him, Put on your clothes and sandals. And Peter did so. Wrap your cloak around you and follow me, the angel told him.  9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.  10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the Iron Gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.  11 Then Peter came to himself and said, Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating.  12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.”

My reference Bible explained the above passage like this:  “Why did God allow James to die, but he rescued Peter in a miraculous way from prison?  Life is full of difficult questions like this.  Why is one child physically disabled, while another excels in sport?  Why do people die before they have reached their full potential?  We cannot answer these questions in this life, because we cannot see what God sees.  He decided to allow all kinds of wickedness on earth for a certain time, but we can follow Him and trust Him, because we know that He promised to defeat the wicked once and for all.  We also know that He will help us to get through the suffering we have to endure in the mean time, and He will do it in such a way that we will grow strong because of it and that He will be glorified in the process!”

Then last night at church the minister showed us a music video by Declan Galbraith called, “Tell me why”.  I have never heard this song before yesterday, and I also don’t know Declan Galbraith.  Wikipedia says this was his first single and it was released 10 days before his 11th birthday on December 9, 2002.  Please have a look at it, you will be amazed:

This made me think of something someone said to me, just after I was born-again, and at that stage I did not know how to answer that person.   She said:  “When I stand before God one day I would like to ask Him why He allows so much suffering and bad things to happen in the world” 

There are things that we have no control over and we can only trust in God to help us with it like the above examples, but there are a lot of things that we blame God for that we can actually do something about.  Today I know that it is not God that allows all the bad things to happen.  It’s us, we humans that allow it, and a lot of the time it is caused by wicked people!  What are we doing about poverty, famine, disease, war, orphans, the destruction of our planet etc?   It just the easy way out to blame God.  We always think that somebody else must do something about it.  But somewhere, someone must take responsibility and start to change the way we act and see things.  These problems are not just some nameless person somewhere in a third world country’s problems – we need to open our eyes and ears and become aware of all the problems around us.

 I never knew how many homeless people there were in my own home town. I never knew how many people there are out there, who are desperate to hear the gospel, and they do not know where to go to church and do not even own a Bible.  I never knew that there were so many hungry and poor people that are totally taken advantage of mere kilometres from my own home.  I’ve met people living in small rooms in total squalor and their only income is a small state pension and they have to hand that full amount over just to pay rent for a dark and dingy room, with no windows, no heating, and barely big enough to hold a bed.  They have to share a bathroom with about 10-20 other people in the same circumstances.  They are sending their children (who live with them in that small room) to school without any food, because there is nothing left after the rent is paid.  A lot of these people have no way of earning an income – a lot of them are disabled, or they never received a decent education, or they have made some bad decisions in the past and have a criminal record.  I only found out about all this when I ventured out into our town centre to reach out to people in need. 

What can you do to make a difference?  How can you help out?  What are your talents or your passion?  Please don’t say you cannot make a difference.  If everybody just started out with one project and sacrificed an hour of their time a week and spend a little money there will already be a huge difference.  I’ve mentioned before that I help out at a feeding scheme in our town.  We get food donated by Pick ‘n Pay – bread, meat, vegetables etc that they cannot sell anymore because it is close to the expiration date, but it is still edible.  Anything from 50 -100 people, sometimes more, are fed 4 days a week from one of the churches in town.  They get a decent cooked meal, with loads of bread and sometimes even cake and doughnuts, and it’s enough food for the whole day.  We have more than enough volunteers now, and the food is also getting more, so we are hoping that we will soon be able to hand out food 5 days a week.   Quite a lot of churches in our town have come together, despite being from different denominations, and made this feeding scheme a success.  Now they are looking at opening an overnight shelter for destitute people, abused women and children, prostitutes, and basically anyone who is in need of food and shelter.  They are looking into a skills training programme, to help them out of their dire circumstances. 

So I’ve seen with my own eyes that we can make a difference – now if everybody could just come to the same realisation and forget about themselves for a little bit and reach out to someone in need! 

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Psalm 37: 3-5 (NIV):  “ 3Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.    4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:

I must say that I did mention this in my previous post, but I think I did not give it the attention it warrants:  The polyp I had was 5mm big on Monday 12 April 2010.  The doctor really had trouble measuring my lining, because of the polyp.  Yesterday it was so small that you could almost not see it on the scan.  Now for many it might not seem significant.  For me it’s a huge victory!  You see I’ve had a lot of polyps lately – the first time I heard of polyps was about 2 months before my first IVF.  I had to have a Hysteroscopy to have it removed.  I didn’t worry about it again.  Last year May I went back to the same FS, and he found another polyp.  I was not happy with his opinion and I decided to see someone else.  That is how I got to my current fertility clinic.  When I got to see my new FS there was no sign of the polyp – the FS said it must have shed with my period.  In the following months with the treatments that I got I had another 4 polyps excluding the one I had this month.  Never with any IUI or previous IVF cycle did the polyp get smaller during my cycle.  It either shed with my period afterwards or it had to be removed by Hysteroscopy, except for this cycle.  It is surely a miracle in my eyes!  Praise the Lord!

What is the difference?  I realised that I do not have to accept it – I prayed several times a day about it.  I asked God to either remove it completely or to “neutralize it”, but to ensure that it will not interfere with my embryos and their implantation. I still insisted yesterday that the doctor do the ultrasound guided transfer, but I certainly did not expect that the polyp was almost gone, although I believed with all my heart that it was possible.  I just didn’t expect such a clear sign, or proof of our Almighty God’s healing power!  Lately I got the message so many times that there is such incredible power available to us through Jesus Christ.  We must just make use of it, by asking in the name of Jesus Christ, and pleading His blood over our troubles – it is there for us to use and it’s your loss if you do not take advantage of it.   I got proof that it does work!

1 Kings 17: 3-16 (NIV):  “3 Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan.    4 You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.    5 So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there.    6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.  

The Widow at Zarephath  7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.    8 Then the word of the LORD came to him:    9 Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.    10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?    11 As she was going to get it, he called, And bring me, please, a piece of bread.    12 As surely as the LORD your God lives, she replied, I don’t have any bread— only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it— and die.    13 Elijah said to her, Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.    14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.’    15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.    16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.

In the above scripture the Lord feeds Elijah when he cannot do so himself, because of the severe drought in the country.  First it’s through ravens and later through a widow.  I’ve read a lot about widows recently in the Bible and my reference Bible explains time and again how vulnerable the widows were in the biblical times.  They had no way of supporting themselves.  They were reliant on their children or the church to support them.  If neither of them supported them they would have died from starvation.  Can you imagine what Elijah asked of her?  He asked her to take all that she had and make him some bread and she had to give it all up for a stranger.  She was obedient and acted in faith and God rewarded her for it.  She didn’t have to worry about food again until the end of the drought.  Just like this widow we must trust God – we must trust that although circumstances might seem dire and you might not be able to see a solution for your problems that God will provide.  He loves us.  We are His children, and He wants to help us, we must just ask.

I met someone earlier this week (I volunteer once a week at a feeding scheme we have in our city centre and we give out food to unemployed people); this man was one of the hungry there.  He spoke to us so beautifully that we asked him to minister to everybody there.  He asked us all:  “Why don’t we see miracles like those in the Bible anymore?  The answer is easy – we do not have a good enough personal relationship with Jesus and because of that we do not realise the power that is available through Him.  Our faith is not good enough.  We go to church and practise a religion.  We do what we do out of selfish reasons – we want to receive our message and go home and live our selfish lives.  We can do so much more for our neighbours.  We must walk in love with each other.  We mustn’t do any of this because we want something in return, but we must do this out of gratitude for all the blessings that we receive daily from God.”  This man made a huge impact on everyone there, not just us volunteers, but also to all the hungry people.  The Holy Spirit was working in people’s hearts!

What I’m trying to say here is that I got the same message from different sources last week (books, TV and people):  I must trust God, believe He can help me, pray and ask Him to help me in the name of Jesus Christ, and see how good He is!  Hallelujah!

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