MUSTARD SEED SIZED FAITH
READ: MATTHEW 17:15-20
“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, move from here to there, and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” (V. 20)
The mustard seed is very small at 1-2 mm but can produce a tree 2,700 times it size, 2.7 meters, upon reaching maturity. In short, locked within this relatively small seed is the power to create a much larger object. Seizing on this thought, Dr. Ben Carson, a former Secretary of HUD, established a Mustard Seed Housing Initiative. This program sought to improve conditions in blight and poverty infested neighborhoods by building new homes and investing in families. These families, through help with housing, employment and education, were the small seeds of change that could ignite a spontaneous combustion of hope and transformation in areas where the future was defined by making it to the next day. When I was actively engaged in Community Policing, we used a similar Mustard Seed Model by establishing small police outposts in high crime areas. The dedicated officers assigned to these outposts helped establish a bond of trust and faith with the community fueling a spirit of hope and cooperation that resulted in safer neighborhoods.
Although not identified in terms of Mustard Seed Ministry, I have witnessed the work of two Urban Promise International programs in Malawi, Africa exhibit the power of mustard seed sized faith as described by Jesus. Cornerstone Ministries and Rays of Hope were founded by dedicated Malawian’s who came to the United States and were trained in leadership and development skills through UPI’s Fellowship Program. Returning home to a country plagued with many problems resulting from its continual poverty and lack of economic development, the Directors of these two seedling programs and their staffs, began the dedicated work of producing change in their communities. Working with limited, and at times uncertain funding and other essential resources, their faith has produced major impacts. Cornerstone High School now enrolls 225 students; runs an elementary tutoring and feeding program for 200 elementary aged children; and conducts a summer camp for 300 children. Rays of Hope has trained over 5,000 teachers; runs after school programs serving 1100 students; and provides 260 students with secondary school funding and mentoring. Despite the current economic downturn where the currency of Malawi has been devalued by 44%, Cornerstone and Rays of Hope continue moving forward by embracing “Mustard Seed Sized Faith Power!”
PAUSE FOR REFLECTION AND PRAYER
Cornerstone and Rays of Hope, through unwavering and unyielding faith, are setting in motion the domino effect of educational change that is steadily moving mountains in Malawi. How much faith do you have—it only has to be the size of a mustard seed to work wonders!
Dear Jesus, stir my faith so that I can face, conquer, and move the mountains of my life.
You’re Brother in Christ,