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From Chris's Heart

March 2008
From Chris's Heart
by Chris Harris

Since Nick and I were married it has been our desire to be found working within Godís will, both in our personal lives and also in the lives of the churches where we have been called. There are times when we are pretty sure we are there, and then there are times when we know that we know you are there. I was thinking about this the other day and realized something very interesting. I thought I would share my thoughts with you, straight from my heart.

I have noticed that in the churches where we have served, almost every time a situation arose where there were hard decisions to be made and difficult situations before us that God would show up and provide finances for us as a confirmation that we were doing the right thing. I think of the time at First Church when Classen Hall needed a face-lift. Nick got a letter from someone he didnít even know and this man gave and then gave again. Before we knew it the money was there and the project turned out much nicer than we ever expected.

Then there was that devastating moment in time when we lost our church building in the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building and we lost everything. We had no place to preach, no music, no childrenís ministry, and our people were scattered all over the city. God in His infinite mercy began to work. People began to look at us with favor glasses and the finances began to come in. Our Senators and other people in authority began to fight for us and more money came in, $7,000,000.00 in all, and three years later we moved back home and our decision to stay on the corner of 4th and Robinson was confirmed.

When Nick made the decision to retire, a little earlier than we had planned, we wondered if it was truly Godís will for us. It wasnít long before the vision for Ariel Academy began to take hold and we decided to step out in faith and immediately the decision was confirmed, overwhelmingly with all the finances we needed.

Now, once again, I am watching in total amazement what God is doing. Nick and I have been in love with a small mission in Tharaka, Kenya for over 20 years. In our early years at First Church we were asked by our dear friends Cal and Linda McCarter to help them build a house which their family could live in while they attempted to feed African children. First Church did just that. The church raised the money and we sent 11 men to build the house.

Over the last several years much has been done by the faithfulness of precious people in Tharaka. But about 9 months ago we heard that Tharaka was in trouble and Nick and I wondered if we should involve both Ariel Chapel and Ariel Ministry. We believed in our heart it was the right thing to do and we stepped out in faith and shared it with the Chapel and others.

Once again God began to confirm our faith by financial provisions. We have been able to build three school buildings with windows and cement floors, feed, cloth, medicate and educated 37 Aids orphans, feed over 200 children a day, provide health care for new moms and a place for ministers and women groups to meet together once a month for fellowship. We have also now completed the Bill Gaskins Memorial Tabernacle and Worship Center.

When will we ever learn that you cannot out give God? Not only have we been blessed at the Chapel, but Ariel Ministry has also been blessed beyond words. I am so thankful for His faithfulness and to those of you who have chosen to join God where He is moving. We love you all!

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