Ascended fathers walking in ascendant faith conform this world to be a City of God. Each accepts seeing possibilities rather than resign himself to enduring impossible situations.
Recently a young couple married. In greeting Verlin on announcing the planned wedding day months ago, the engaged stated, ‘I still remember the banana!’ It took Verlin a moment, but then he remembered. Inciting a shared memory, the man to marry communicated that he chose to accept seeing possibilities rather than resign himself to enduring impossible situations.
The now young husband recalled to mind the illustration of eating a banana sliced into chunks within its peel. For those not in the know, between 2006 and 2013, Verlin illustrated the truth that perceptive faith gets caught, not taught. Among others, everyday bananas got used to demonstrate God’s requirement: faith demands believers to trust God’s Word more than their perceptions based on experience. The faithful trust the counsels from God’s Word more than their personal perceptions based on experience to partake of both special and new continuous blessings.
Typically I, Verlin, told a group waiting for their next meal that I liked to eat fruit salads with banana slices. The problem with regularly enjoying this pleasure was my dislike of the slices browning. They often brown from oxidation before I finish making the salad, and I’m not too fond of the flavor added by lemon juice that prevents said change. I’d then tell the group that God had shown me how to locally obtain bananas already sliced inside their peels for use in a salad. I had brought some with me to share the innovation obtained at a market near them. I would then lift a bunch or two of bananas and offer to share with any who would raise a hand in testimony to trusting my word. Then, on raising their hand in belief that the bananas brought were already sliced inside their peels, I would give that person one banana and eat with them. I typically had from eight to twenty-five bananas available for distribution in one to three small bunches.
Interestingly, I found only one location, maybe two, where I passed out every banana from the bunch(es) I’d brought. Most assemblies only had a few timid receivers who accepted or took a banana. These often confessed that they did not believe but knew me well enough to trust I would not lie to them. Some gatherings had not a single person present who would sufficiently believe my word to raise a hand and receive a freely proffered banana. Often, unbelieving persons hardened in their unbelief, increasing their excuses of disbelief even as I increasingly insisted, pleading that I spoke no lie. They would watch in amazement moments later as I peeled and ate a banana seen sliced into chunks. I even called some up for closer looks. However, none of the naysayers were allowed to join me in the pleasure of eating fresh bananas that day. They had not believed in another seeing the possibility in an apparent impossibility.
The faith that actualizes an act opens doors of opportunity where none seem to exist. It exercises trust in God’s revealed Word to provide solutions that last longer than those earth-based perceptions alone find. This Christian faith started several CHE efforts that multiply others in Cote d’Ivoire today. There remain doubters, but they wax fewer. Like former non-believers in bananas sliced within their peels, unbelievers begin to believe. Those formerly seeing to believe now start to follow those who believe to see.
- √ Today, I took a call from a well-connected pastor. He intends to train fifteen to twenty others in his city to begin separate CHE ministries so they can ably witness in every neighborhood of the capital.
- √ Yesterday, a Liberian diplomat blessed me with a visa. He had previously stated that he hoped to see in his nation “tomorrow” what he was learning to be happening in Cote d’Ivoire “today.”
- √ Wednesday, I sent Debbie to the U.S. to bless our daughter on her reception of a degree. While pursuing a master’s in healthcare management, Cara has seen applications for techniques first attracting attention with CHE for U.S. use.
- √ The day prior, I spoke with a researcher desiring to increase public knowledge about thwarting COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases through lifestyle and dietary changes. He, too, believes God has given into our possession what overcomes life’s most difficult challenges if faith exists to persevere within God-given truths and find appropriate solutions. (Neither of us rejects vaccines. We encourage their use as a backup solution when changing habits lived, and food enjoyed seems unfeasible.)
These represent distinctly new efforts from those of other faithful friends. Others now labor amidst seven denominations, six NGO, five Christian leadership training institutions, not counting additional community spaces like the University. Incidentally, the Scientific Congress attracted business media attention. (Click this parenthetical comment to see the business broadcast on YouTube in French.) Thank you for partnering with us.
One week ago, during a conversation with a parachurch organization’s leader, I shared a motivation that energized Debbie and me in coming to Cote d’Ivoire. At the time, many saw little hope for CHE becoming useful here because of existing dependencies, including the risks of cultural dependency. Such persons did not understand what we did. Fathers reinforce dependent or independent behaviors based on values and beliefs. There is no greater social organizing power than fathers collaborating with others to change their families’ lives. Study the details within human history. You will see that these kinds of organizational alliances create church movements and nations. The poorly formed ones fade like grass over time from corruption, dying slow deaths of bad faith. The leader noted that when his group trained men to be faithful, their churches recruited them for work! I encouraged him with our motivation. He received my word as a testimony to his efficacy as that’s how God regularly works until He reveals an additional plan to create further changes at their appropriate time.
Some teach that there is only one constant of life that exists for humanity: change. Our perception remains different. The constant of life is God’s Word. We all voluntarily align ourselves or eventually get our perceptions changed to realize that each becomes inexorably conformed to The Word. The question is, do we help people choose God’s Way over their own before judgment day(s) arrive(s)?
We formerly carried long sewing needles in the car to be ready at a moment’s notice to slice a bunch of bananas within their peels whenever a teachable moment arose. I put them in the car again today. I prepare. There appears a new generation of fathers to lead their families in testimony to God’s Glory. He does this in many venues, in many ways. Each will accept seeing possibilities rather than resign himself to enduring impossible situations
Prayer & Praise
- ???? Thank the Lord with us for Deb’s safe arrival stateside to participate in Cara’s graduation celebration.
- ???? Continue to pray about the undesired incursion of armed forces in northern areas of this nation.
Verlin and Debbie
Christian Health Service Corps (CHSC) is a mission of dedicated medical professionals who participate in the CHE Global Network. Together, in a loose affiliation of individuals, churches, denominational, and nondenominational agencies, we share God’s Light and Truth through Community Health Evangelism (CHE). Verlin and Debbie accept donor partners to contribute as led to provide support as we maintain residential ministry in Cote d’Ivoire to expand CHE ministries under the auspices of CHSC & Ivorian partners. Tax-deductible contributions by check are to be made payable to the CHSC with Andersons #0118 written on the memo line. Mail to CHSC – PO Box 132 – Fruitvale, TX 75127. Give online via the CHSC @ www.che4a.org (3% fee) or TDF (0% fee).