Reni prayer letter
30 August 2013
Remember the carefree days when you were running through the golden harvest with excitement in your brightly colored dreamcoat of God’s promises? His faithfulness covered you like a rainbow: you, Daddy’s favorite child, and the whole wide world flung wide open in front of you! And yet, the day came with its dark thunder clouds when you were stripped of that coat of dreams and were thrown into the hole of disappointment and doubt. Peter sank into the tumultuous waves. Job cursed the night when it was announced that a little baby boy Job was born. Elijah asked to rather die. Jesus just kept quiet. Like a sheep in front of his shearer.
There is a time when God will fulfill His promises. He is asking of us to believe. And to hold on to Him, no matter what. Just like in the case of Abraham who was almost a hundred years old: “On the appointed time… Sarah will have a son!” He who promises, is also able to make good on His promises. But we begin to murmur. We complain about the wind and the waves or the desert sun. We feel sorry for ourselves. We become disappointed. And we allow fear to pin us to the desert sand.
Beloved, let us pray for one another. That we will keep on holding on to the One who promised never to leave or to forsake us. May He enlighten our eyes to recognize His faithfulness even in the smallest things so that thankfulness will rise up in us like a song of jubilation! Because that is when our dreams will come to pass. At the appointed time. It was Him who gave us those dreams! Just ask Joseph.
This week we visited a home where hope hasn’t been for the longest time. A place where nobody knows the sound of laughter. Where nobody dreams anymore. Aliona and Ira are two sisters who grew up in an orphanage. All their lives they had only each other. Now Aliona has 4 small children and Ira 3. They all live together in a 2 room house they are renting until next spring. Ira is trying to calm her crying newborn baby, Ivan. I pick him up, trying to pacify him: he is soaking wet!
Petya (12) is sitting in the corner. For 3 years now he has been living in an orphanage, only seeing his family 2 weeks a year. The authorities decided his mother can’t look after him. I can see the pain in his eyes, but he tries to hide it with a smile. But it is little Nastia who is stealing our hearts. She is cradling a tiny little doll in her arms. Lovingly and tenderly she lies her little baby into the huge pram, naturally displaying so much emotion and care that she had never seen with her blank-eyed mom who is holding her baby brother emotionless. She is a lovely little angel and I can feel my heart breaking. We do know that Father God has dreams for each one of these little children. But if you look at the circumstances, you feel like giving up. All you can see is broken windows and cracks in the walls of the tiny little house.
Please pray for Aliona and Ira. That they may meet the living God and that he will turn their hearts around. He is the only one that can fill them with love and hope. Pray for little Petya and the road to healing that he has to walk. Please keep all of these 7 little treasures in your prayers. 4 of them will be attending our day care center.
1 September is the day the new school year begins. Children will be going to school and students to university. In ‘n country where people lost hope and stopped dreaming, each single one of them is in need of Jesus. Please pray for our children and students to make a difference. If they will not disciple the world, the world will disciple them! Pray for all the new little children whom father God will be bringing to our kindergarten/day care center. Keep praying for those as well who have been in our care for a couple of years and will be entering the wide wild world now: pray that the seeds that were sown will grow and bear fruit!
Beloved, please pray for us as a family, that we will keep standing in this hour. There are attacks from every direction: health, finances, emotions… Last week Benjamin had the most terrifying symptoms (I will spare you the gory details!) When we looked it up on the internet we were advised to immediately take him to a hospital, which of course was not really an option… We prayed. Our Doctor was faithful: the symptoms disappeared and in no time he was himself again. Then came Ivan’s turn. And then Michele and myself….
Musia (Mary)’s knees… please keep on praying: she is in much pain. She is so faithful in interceding and praying for the sick. She should have had a double knee operation ages ago, but there are no finances. But it is written: when we do not have silver or gold, we have the Name of Jesus!
Would you also pray for each and every one of the little children in our care and that God will give opportunities and strategies to reach their parents as well. May every single seed fall on good soil. En may they bear fruit that remains.
Please keep on praying for the head of our local gynecological and maternity ward, Marina – we have been praying with her just the other day and she was so open and receptive.
I walked past a woman who once was a member of our congregation. She was talking on her mobile phone and I just smiled friendly in her direction. There were tears in her eyes as she handed me the telephone. It was her daughter, living in Odessa. Years ago she came to our youth group, but eventually fell away, got married, got divorced… She told me that the Lord found her again and that she was attending a congregation in Odessa. She thanked me over and over again for everything we taught he which she understood only now. She said how much she loved us and that she was praying for us every day. This time I had tears in my eyes as I continued walking, only to be stopped by the woman sweeping the streets: she recognized my voice. Years ago her daughter came to the Lord in our congregation. Now she was a married woman with 4 children of her own, serving the Lord as pastors in some faraway village. My cup was running over. Just when I started murmuring that I cannot see any fruit on our labors! Please agree with us in prayer for every single person who heard the gospel. For the many who fell away (we just heard that the person who caused us so much persecution, heartbreak and even split the church some years ago, left his wife with 3 little children and is living with another woman “whom he loves”). Please agree with us for everyone in whose heart the seed is lying: brown and dormant. Yet it will rain at the appointed time. The life-giving water will drench the dry and scorched earth. The life of God will supernaturally and sovereignly bring to life that which once was dead. A tree will spring up which will be bearing fruit in every season!
We want to close with the following excellent quotation concerning disappointment and discouragement from a book by Francis Frangipane: “I have known many who were running well toward their destiny. The future God had for them seemed close enough to taste. Then they became disappointed in someone or something. By accepting a demonically manipulated disappointment into their souls, and letting that event germinate and grow into a disappointment with God, their appointed destiny went dormant. Hope deferred has made their heart sick. It is here, even in the throes of disappointment, that the righteous must learn to live by faith (see Hab. 2:1-4).
Listen well my friend: Satan will stop your destiny if you accept the power of disappointment into your life. Disappointment cuts us off from our vision, and without a vision people perish.
Are you carrying disappointment in your heart? Renounce it. Forgive those who may have let you down.”
All that remains to be said now is amen!
Love in Christ,
The Potgieter family.