As we discard our 2014 ‘shoes’ and prepare to put on the new 2015 ones, we would like to share a little bit of ‘Morning Star’ history which demonstrates God’s unfailing faithfulness to us over the last ten years.
Following a trip to several Younglife camps in Colorado, ten years ago, I began writing emails to nearly 120 people whom I’d met on the trip. All had expressed interest in finding out more about Africa. One year later, only a few were writing back. I was really discouraged, but God brought to my mind an encouraging story:
After a huge storm, a bunch of people walked onto a beach and noticed hundreds of starfish washed up onto the shore. An old man began picking up the starfish and throwing them back into the sea. As quickly as he did this, the waves would wash more onto the sand. One onlooker went up to the old man and said, ‘What’s the point, old man, look how the waves are throwing them back onto the beach?’ Scarcely looking up, the old man said, ‘Each one makes a difference’, and continued throwing the starfish back into the sea. When he paused and looked up, everyone on the beach was busy tossing starfish into the ocean.
When you guys sat ‘in the gap’, between the boulders, for the last photo before you left ‘Morning Star’, few of you were aware of the miracle which was conceived over ten years ago. God threw one ‘starfish’ whom I’d met on my Colorado trip, onto the shores of Africa. Norma and I shared the ‘Green Island’ vision with him and before he left, the three of us sat for a photo in the same gap between the boulders and prayed that God would send more ‘starfish’ to ‘Morning Star’. God has answered our prayer and sent us hundreds of ‘starfish’ over the last ten years.
In 2014, we were blessed with our third group of 30 young folk from Johnson’s Ferry Baptist Church’s college ministry in Atlanta, who built two elementary school playgrounds; another 30 from the American Foundation for Children with Aids, who also constructed two playgrounds; a group of tag rugby enthusiasts from the Tag Rugby Foundation in the UK, who introduced over 400 kids to the ‘gentlemanly’ game of tag rugby and finally a small team from Sunset Presbyterian Church, in Portland, Oregon, who built a playground and decorated two school classrooms. We also had several volunteers stay on with us during the year: Jami, Claudette, Shea, Kelly, Landon, Michael and Katherine from JFBC; Agnes and her two children, ‘Art’ and ‘Marula’ from Switzerland and also Ruth from Switzerland. They all added their gifts and blessed the community around us. We praise God for His faithfulness in sending us ‘starfish’, each of whom has enriched our lives in a very special way and enabled us to expand the scope of our ministry.
Over the last ten years, Norma and I have repeatedly witnessed God’s faithfulness through sending ‘starfish’ to us on ‘Morning Star’. We also want to acknowledge the faithfulness of each one of you who has come here and blessed, not only us, but His precious people who live in the under-privileged community around us. As you put on new ‘shoes’ and prepare to ‘step into 2015, we pray that you would walk ever more closely with Him and be mindful that ‘One makes a difference’.
May our precious Father bless you for making the trip to Africa. You have already made a difference.
In His Name
Chris and Norma
‘When you did it for the least of these, you did it for Me’ (Matthew 25: 40)