by Brad Phillips Every now and again, I like to rummage through some old pictures of PPF ministry activities and remember how good God has been to us through the years.
Recently, I ran across several early photos of refugees arriving in Southern Sudan from Darfur. They were on the run, severely discouraged, and starving. Most had no shelter. This was the community of Jaac in 2006.
One of the old pictures I found was of a man who looked very down-trodden. He was dressed in rags and huddled under a tree, holding a tarp over himself and a little baby trying to stay dry. At first glance, he looked like just another refugee from Darfur. But this guy was no ordinary refugee. His name was Morris Malual, and little did I know that within a couple of years, this man would be a leader of hundreds in Jaac.
Today, Morris is a pastor of the largest church in Jaac. He's a major leader in the community. He leads a group of pastors representing 15 churches spread over 100 square kilometers. Morris also started the first school in Jaac, which initially met under a tree outside his church building. And he was one of the first graduates of a PPF-sponsored 500 hour Bible-training class for pastors.
Seeing Morris today and where he was just a few years ago is a good example of how man looks at the outward appearances, while God looks at the heart. If I was a betting man, I would have said in 2006 that Morris did not stand a chance.
But God, who is rich in mercy, decided "I'm making that guy one of My leaders." And He did.
Morris' story should encourage all of us. When we are frustrated with where we are in our lives, we can think of examples like Morris and realize that God can very quickly take seemingly hopeless people in a hopeless situation, and raise them up. With God, all things are possible. Because of God, we should never give up hope.