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Posted by: In: Missions 01 Oct 2018 4 comments

Blog posted by Twila Crawford

 

 

This morning I awoke grateful for another day, but a bit sad and disoriented, thinking I was late for something.  Ever have one of those times that it takes a minute for you to wake up enough to realize you really are in your home and not somewhere else?  My disorientation was due to me just arriving from Guatemala.

 

The CUMI team of 10 people went to love and minister among some of the most humble and amazing people. We were there to minister to the Achi Tribe of people now re-located in Rabinal and Pacux. They are survivors, or children of the survivors of the 1982 Rio Negro genocide, one of five that took place.  To say this outreach was impacting in our hearts and souls was an understatement.

 

From the first moment to the last, as they shared their stories, they had a captive audience. They stole our hearts! The torture and trauma they went through, the human soul is unable to grasp and was never meant to carry. Click To Tweet

 

Yet that is not what captivated us the most.  It was rather the constant phrase on their lips; “gracias”, always accompanied with a gentle hug and smileNever once did I hear them complain.  As they told their stories they gave God glory for their lives.  Only as we met with them individually or in the personal conversations did the gravity of what they endured come to the surface in tears.

 

BEING JESUS TO THE LEAST OF THESE

‘Banners of Love’ Guatemala is the ministry we served through:

  • Prayer Counseling.
  • Feeding programs for young and old.
  • Ministry to:
    • Malnourished children and their parents.
    • Church leaders
    • Local leaders and their staff
  • Participated in the annual Celebration of the grandparents who survived the massacres.
  • Repairs made around the ministry house and yard.
  • Filters of Hope, Tuscaloosa, AL provided over 40 water filters towards helping the people in this village have clean water. (More filters coming soon)
  • Sharing the gospel and our testimonies on the radio, reaching others locally as well as nationally.

We all worked together with ‘Banners of Love’ team and accomplished more than we could ever imagine through the power and love of God.

TENDER MOMENTS SHARED | A HEART CRY HEARD

Jan Hicks was sharing a story about her eyes being drawn to a flower lying on the ground during the Guatemalan Independence Day Parade.  As her eyes were drawn to the flower, without a word, one of her spiritual sons picked it up and placed it behind her ear.  A touching moment for both of them, knowing it was a God hug.

As I heard this story my heart turned to the stories of the Achi people and this is the poem that developed inside of me:

Heart Cry of a Trampled Tribe

As the parade music resounds,
I spot the little red flower lying there on the ground,  

Beautiful crimson petals all around.

Seems a bit normal, un-profound.

 

Yet as the parade passes by,

I could hear a faint heart-cry…

Of a people of a tribe.

 

We are trampled don’t you see?

Our babies dashed against the granite stone,

Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters all,

Wiped out in genocide….

Another people their fate to decide.

To fulfill their own desires and selfish pride.

[A dam they wanted and for this, we died].

 

Justice, justice was the cry…

Why, oh why, did they all have to die?

A response arose from a faraway place…

The Creator responded outside of time and space!!!

On that hill, the King of Justice hung,

On a cross, blood running crimson…

Crying out equally loud: come, come by Achi and Kekchi

People.

 

Justice served: Redemption today in your land is heard.                                               

-Jesus

 

 

PRAYER

Father,

Thank you for your love for all peoples everywhere. Thank you for the privilege of getting to be Jesus’ hands and feet among the Achi Tribe as well as here at home.   Continue to show them who they are in you:  LOVED and FREE.  In Jesus name.  Amen.


Posted by: In: Events, Missions 15 Oct 2017 2 comments

Although we were quite busy, what a great adventure Brenda Stuart, La and I had these last 2 weeks as we ministered in Tennessee. The worship at every event ushered the presence of God into the atmosphere.

Our trip began with a three-day conference at Vineyard Church, Milan. We encountered many testimonies of how God changed hearts: men and women who were able to forgive those who hurt them and see their offenders in a new light as wounded people themselves. People in need of spiritual healing and freedom came forth in a steady rhythm.

One particular lady was dealing with the pain and shame of her 17-year-old stepson being arrested that very morning. He was involved in a gang and had taken the life of two others just a couple of days before. It was indeed a heart-breaking, very scary situation for the whole community. She witnessed that the Lord replaced the feelings of fear, pain and uncertainly with peace, safety and security.

Women of Hope

Our next meeting was at Hope Recovery – Women of Hope in Medon where I was asked to teach the final chapter of Crossing2Freedom. What an honor! A chapel service followed and the Lord made a way for me to pray over everyone there; some spouses and visitors came as well. As I anointed with oil, Holy Spirit brought healing to the hearts of those who just days before witnessed an intensely traumatic experience when one of their own ladies, almost 9 months pregnant, had an amniotic embolism (blood clot) taking her life immediately. Her baby lived a day and a half. Both were buried together just days before. Seeing God release HIS peace and love in that serious place of grief and trauma brought tears of joy to my eyes.

A private home meeting followed with a precious group of men and women who had completed the Crossing2Freedom curriculum. I handed out their Certificates of Completion and then heard the testimonies of Jesus’ healing power in their lives.

Oh to be changed by Jesus….now that’s total Freedom!

Private Ministry, Paris Landing Women’s Ministry & More

Besides some private ministry at different times of the day and night, the following weekend (Thurs. – Sun.) was spent at Paris Landing, a beautiful facility located on the Tennessee River. We met a couple times a day for teachings and assignments. God taught us about ungodly beliefs and how to change our brains to accept the truth of who we are. It was all women, although the ages ranged from 8 to 70+ years. Wow! How delightful to see those little young eyes attentive to the lies of the devil that they do not have to believe and the mature ones recognizing what to get rid of.

Licensing & Ordination

During that weekend, Ronald Michel and Loretta Pemberton were recognized for their years of service as we Licensed and Ordained them under our ministry umbrella. What an asset they will be in TN and beyond!

I hope this gives you just a glimpse into this 2 weeks of my life and the Christians United Ministries Team Jesus. We love what we do.

You make it possible for us to continue.

Some of those places we travel are unable to provide the financial resources needed for us to bring them the ministry opportunities they need, but because of your giving hearts we can pour into them by providing the Crossing2Freedom books and releasing a representative of CUMI to go each week to pray with and teach them how to live life to the fullest through Jesus Christ. We are blessed.

Many thanks as you continue to sow into great Kingdom soil!

Jan Hicks , CUMI
President and Founder

Posted by: In: Faith, Missions 05 Sep 2017 0 comments

Influence Defined

Influence – What does this word mean to you? Is influence about DNA or family heritage, or does environment play a greater part in shaping us through influence? Maybe we’re a culmination of all of these.

Meeting Mateo

On a recent trip to several Mexico orphanages/shelters, I had the incredible privilege of meeting an adorable little boy named Mateo (Matthew). Mateo had been at one of the shelters for a year and the director guesstimates that Mateo was approximately three years old when he arrived, making him four when I met him. Mateo’s story touched me deeply and he was the cutest kid ever.  When police found Mateo, they phoned the boys shelter and asked if they had room for a two-year-old boy.

The director of the shelter shared her recollection of Mateo’s arrival with me. She remarked, “Mateo was so malnourished giving the appearance of a two-year-old, but we quickly realized that this bright little boy was in fact a three-year-old based on his developmental markers.”

Mateo, found living on the streets, was abandoned by his parents who authorities now believe were both drug addicts and no other relatives could be located.

A Natural Born Leader

He has done very well at the shelter; he is now the size of a healthy four-year-old boy.

He is exceptionally intelligent and “a natural born leader” according to the director.

“However,” she shared, “we were initially met with the challenge of teaching Mateo appropriate speech.” Our team looked at her with confusion. She went on to share that as a “street kid” Mateo had been taken in by older street kids who took care of him and he came in “talking like a gangster.”

We laughed inside but realized the challenge that must have been and the words he must have said. Can you imagine?

The Influence of Environment

I kept thinking of Mateo and how he had been influenced by his environment. How, at three, Mateo had seen things and heard things that were showing up in his mannerisms and his speech.

This inspired me to look at and question my own life – my accent as a southern woman, the slang words I use that I heard my parents use and now my children and their children use them as well, the foods I enjoy and the people that introduced me to them, even the social behaviors I find acceptable based on my life experience.

See, Mateo didn’t try to talk like or behave like a gangster, he simply mimicked the examples he had in his life, in his daily surroundings.

How should our behavior and speech be?  Should we display behavior and speak words that we know dishonor Jesus?  Rationalizing that, “we’ve always heard that or said that?” Should we yell at our children or spouse because that’s what we saw growing up? Should a man believe his sole job in his home is to provide financially because it’s what his father did? Should we follow traditions that are no longer relevant in current times? Should we share our dislike for the new music at church because “it doesn’t sound like church music should sound?” Should we dislike a certain “neighbor” because our parents did? Should we accept things on TV or in music that don’t line up with our values because “times are changing and that’s become the new norm?”

Our Ultimate Influencer

As followers of Christ, Jesus should be our influencer. Our words and mannerisms should look like Him and bring glory to His name. People should want to know our God based on our life and our love. We should question the influences in our life and ask how they line up with God’s Word and His character.

Ask God to make you an influence to those in your life. Strive to live a life that looks like Jesus. We can change, grow, and develop into who HE desires us to be. I want that in my life. To say I’m there would not be true, but I’m surely not where I use to be and I know I can ask Him daily for wisdom and guidance to be like HIM and HE is faithful to respond.

What, or who is your greatest Influence?

It’s a great day to evaluate and make intentional decisions to make forward changes in life.  I sure am.

Bless you, Jan Hicks

Scriptures for Meditation


~ Proverbs 7:1-4 

1Follow my advice, my son; always treasure my commands.
Obey my commands and live! Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
Tie them on your fingers as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.
Love wisdom like a sister; make insight a beloved member of your family.