Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Look and be Amazed

During my first couple of weeks here in Sierra Leone, the Lord has gently leaned in and said to me, “Look and be amazed.”

All I have to do is look, really. He is doing something that many would not even believe if they heard it. But I’ve seen it, and it truly is amazing.

I have had the privilege of spending my first few days here with a wonderful team of people I go to church with in Atlanta, including my “papa” in the faith, and 2 girls I’m friends with. The team left to go back home on Monday, but while they were here last week, we had a conference at the church in Brigitte.

Brigitte is the village that the orphanage is being built in, and where I’ll eventually move to. There are about 1,500 people living in Brigitte, and most are a part of a tribe of people called “Timne.” Most of the Timne people, both Christian and Muslim, have dabbled in witchcraft. Some more than others. One of the pastors here said that about 99% of the Timne tribe have demonic attachments.

These are the people the Lord has called me to love.

The good news is that a foundation of freedom and healing has been laid in Brigitte already. This past week, we partnered with the Lord in setting people free of demonic attachments, physical illnesses, sinful habits, and patterns that only led to death.

One woman brought her daughter to us every day for prayer. Her daughter was 2 years old, and looked like a newborn. She had very little strength or ability to move, and had never even crawled before. So we prayed every day for the Lord to release His healing power over this child. By the end of the week, she was crawling.

Her proud mother went back and told her neighbors about what the Lord had done for her daughter. She was just one of many who spread the news of the Lord’s goodness and healing power to her community. 

These neighbors made their way into church for the very first time, and wanted us to pray for them, too. They wanted God to heal them like He had healed their neighbors. They not only received the healing touch of God, but they also received Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

When the Good News of Jesus enters into a community, people are attracted to it, and find themselves wanting to be around the people who carry the presence of the Lord.

One of my favorite moments of the trip so far was when a woman brought her children to us so that we could pray for God to bless them. I prayed for each of them individually, blessing each of them with a specific verse that I felt the Lord speaking over them.

When I finished praying for the 4 children, I turned around, and saw about 10 more kids who had come to receive a blessing. So I continued asking the Lord for a specific verse to pray over each child. After blessing 15-20 kids, it was time for me to go, but I still had about 10 more kids to go. They just kept coming. In blessing the children, I got a small taste of what my purpose is in being here.

I got another taste one day while we were stopped at a gas station. I was sitting in the back seat, thinking about how tired I was (just being honest). Before I knew it, a man had come over and stuck his baby through the open window right in front of me. It was as if the man had come over to my window expecting me to pray for his child.

So, of course, I placed my hand on the baby, and prayed blessings on her spirit to know the Lord. The man seemed pleased, and walked away with his baby. As we left the station, he waved goodbye with a big smile on his face.

Even as I’m writing, I’m thinking, “Was that even real?” That’s when I’m sure that it was totally the Lord.

I guess when the Lord said, “Look and be amazed,” He really meant it.

“Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” – Habakkuk 1:5

Sunday, May 13, 2012


I had a dream the other night where I was at the airport frantically filling out papers, trying to get everything ready before my plane was supposed to leave. I felt so scattered and hurried, and then Jesus and the Holy Spirit came on the scene, and informed me that Jesus was coming with me. He didn’t have everything together yet, either, so the Holy Spirit was helping us get everything worked out.

What if I told you that my dream is coming true?

Last week, I was emailing with our missionary contact in Sierra Leone, asking him a few of the many questions I have about living in Africa. He was asking me questions, too, and wanted to know when I was planning on moving back over there. Then he said, “Please don’t say in the fall. Elections are in November, and it’s not safe to be here then.” He told me that he takes his family back to the States every time the elections happen, because it can get pretty dangerous when/if riots break out.

When he told me this, it threw me off a little bit as I started thinking about the timing of it all. It doesn’t make sense for me to make a 3 week trip beginning next week, come back here, then go back to Sierra Leone, and then come back again when the elections happen, and then go back again after the elections are over. (Whew!)

What DOES make sense is for me to go over there, stay until the elections, come back home for the Holidays, then go back over to Sierra Leone for good.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m moving to Sierra Leone on Wednesday.

And that’s why I feel like my dream is coming true. I feel pretty scattered right now, as I’m trying to get everything done before I leave. But the good news is that Jesus is coming with me, and Holy Spirit is helping us get everything together before we leave.

The presence of the Lord is always Good News.

I plan on living with our missionary contact and his family for the next 4 months as I adjust to life in Africa, learn the language (Creole), get to know the people, and get settled in my role there. I will then come home in September, before everything gets messy in Sierra Leone, and then go back for good in January-ish.

They should be laying the foundation of the orphanage in the next few weeks, and it should be completed by the end of the year. When I move back to Sierra Leone in January, I’ll plan to live in the orphanage, and raise the children who live there.

Even though this is so sudden, and I feel a little scattered, I KNOW that it’s right. I'm excited about coming into the calling on my life to be a mother to the nations ... starting next week!

Right now, I have enough funds to get me started over the next few weeks. But I’m going to need all the support I can get as I begin life in Sierra Leone. If you’re interested in supporting me financially as I live in Sierra Leone, here’s how:

You can write a check to “Lifegate International,” and put “Maribeth Ward – Africa” in the memo line, and send it to:

Lifegate International
1860 Ridgedale Dr.
Snellville, GA 30078

Or you can go to, and use their paypal account to make a donation. If you donate online, be sure to email to let them know that you want your donation to go to me, because there’s not a place to specify where you want the donation to go on the website.

Your donations will all go to me directly, and they will be tax deductible.

Please please please be praying for me as I make this big transition. And pray for my family as they adjust to the idea of me living so far away. And pray that the Good News of Jesus permeates the country of Sierra Leone.

I praise God for each of you. Be blessed.