In Mark 11:24 Jesus instructs, “When you pray and you ask for something, believe that you have received it and you will be given what you asked for.”
Again in Mark 9:29 He says “Because of your faith, it will happen.”
Notice the sequence of events. Faith first, fulfillment second.
Rick Warren commented on this by saying, “You say, ‘Wait a minute! I’ve got to thank God in advance before I get it in order to get it?’ Yes. If you thank God after you’ve got it, that’s gratitude. When you thank him in advance, that’s called faith.”
It was this kind of faith that I recently witnessed in a young, 13 year old girl named Lida. Lida is one of the five children in the Camibarte program who will be entering high school next month. Although public education in Ecuador is free, the schools these five students would attend are notorious for high numbers of teen pregnancies, drug use, and low academic standards. The dream of any of the Cambiarte kids to attend a private high school has been just that—a dream. But that is exactly what Cambiarte is about: Inspiring dreams, creating futures. These students had the courage to share their dream, and they all started praying. Jose and Teresa Jimenez, pastors and leaders of the Cambiarte afterschool program, shared their prayer with the Cambiarte board on a Monday evening, and it was agreed upon that we would commit to raising the necessary funds for these five students to attend a private, Christian school. Just three days later, before a crowd of more than forty people, including many members of the church as well as the short-term mission team that was serving that week, Lida and her parents stood in the front of the church and with joy overflowing into tears, they thanked God and generous donors for allowing their daughter to attend a Christian high school. At first, you might think, “Wow! They raised the scholarship funds in just three days!” Of course, that would have been possible with God and definitely praiseworthy. However, the truth is that the need hadn’t even been made public yet. What Lida and her parents shared was the kind of authentic, all-in kind of faith that Jesus referred to in the gospel of Mark. Some might call it bold, brash, or borderline arrogant. I call it inspiring.
The second part of Mark 9:29 is just as true as Lida’s faith. “It will happen.” If you’re reading this, you are invited to be part of the realization of a dream! You have the opportunity to be an instrument of blessing. On behalf of Lida, Jordy, Sheila, Bridgett, and Evelyn, we thank you in advance! Logistics: The tuition at Bethel Christian School is $80/month for 10 months. The school has agreed to give a $20/month discount to any kids from the Cambiarte program. The Cambiarte scholarship fund would cover $30/month. The families will be asked to pay $30/month. (Families will be evaluated on a case by case basis to see if they qualify for greater financial assistance from the Cambiarte scholarship fund). The total of scholarship funds needed for the upcoming school year is 5 x $300- $1500. Thank you for making it happen!