Stepping out on Faith

2 Corinthians 5:7 says, "for we walk by faith, not by sight."

Many times, the Lord has asked me to step out on faith, when I could not see the why or the how. In those times, not only has the Lord carried me through, but He has always blessed my weak steps of faith. When God prevents me from seeing the end result of a situation, I am tempted to try and write my own ending. Most of the time, if I look at my outward circumstances, the end result is sure to be ridden in failure and impossibilities. In these moments, I am reminded why the Bible says that Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith,” (Hebrews 12:2). Without the Lord, my worries of failure would probably be accurate. I can praise the Lord that I am not the author of my faith. My faith comes from the Lord and He is the one writing my story and making the impossible possible.

When I look at all that encompasses New Hope Church and the New Hope Schools, I am amazed at what the Lord did from one step of blind faith. Today, 15 years after New Hope School was started, the Lord is still requiring us to “walk by faith, not by sight.”  

About 4 months ago, I received a call from Sarah. She told me that she had been feeling a push to start feeding all of the children at the school. Already knowing the current financial burden that is on Sarah and the school, I wondered how this was going to be possible. The school barely has enough income to pay the teachers each month, let alone feed two meals a day, to all 700 children. At the time, I did not realize the severity of the situation, as I was still in America. Kenya had been facing a drought that had caused the cost of food and other goods to rise. Food was more scarce than normal and many children were suffering from hunger. Sarah did not know where the money would come from, but she stepped out on faith and began preparing meals for all 700 children. When she called me, she did not know if the money would be there. I looked at the finances in New Hope Fund and calculated how much was available to send to help Sarah feed these hungry children. Thankfully, because of the generosity of so many people, we had enough to send $1,000 to get the feeding program started.  

For the rest of the school year, Sarah continued to provide meals for all of the children. Monday through Friday, children are given breakfast and lunch. Those that can pay for meals, pay a small amount, but those that cannot pay are able to eat for free. Since the start of the feeding program, the children are visibly healthier. The attendance has significantly increased and children are more consistently in school. It is very hard for a hungry child to be motivated to come to school and learn. Now, children come to school without having to worry about trying to learn with an empty stomach.

The school is now on break until January, Sarah and I have been concerned about the well-being of the children, that depend on the school meals. We have decided to start meeting with the sponsored children twice a week. We will be meeting on Wednesdays and Sundays. On Wednesdays, the children are going to have time to play games and sing together. There are a significant amount of students that are Muslim children so we hope that we can use this time as an opportunity to share the Gospel, through preaching or a Bible study. At the conclusion of these activities, we will feed the children a meal. Our second meeting will be on Sundays. The children will be invited to attend church and eat a meal, after the service.

The Lord is using so many people to expand the Gospel here. It is the greatest honor and blessing to be used by the Lord. Thank you to everyone that has been willing to share a portion of the blessings God has given them. It is truly making a difference in the lives of many children. I pray that we can all step out on faith, in any circumstance that the Lord gives us. The Lord never fails to fulfill His promises.

Please continue to pray for us, as there is a lot of walking by faith ahead of us. We are still prayerfully considering God's timing for the start of an orphanage. 

Ashley Lawson