“People were dancing and praising God for His provision!”: Jemima Ooi on how Salt&Light story triggered a miracle
by Tan Huey Ying // December 12, 2020, 3:02 am
"We felt so surrounded by the body of Christ when the Salt&Light story was published. Just when our hands began to feel weary, God sent us help in the most amazing ways. It's been like living a miracle!" says Jemima Ooi, seen here providing food rations to locals in Kenya. All photos courtesy of Jemima Ooi.
The Covid pandemic brought most of the world to a standstill. But for some others, the lockdown became a race against time.
Jemima Ooi is a 32-year-old missionary who works with war and famine-afflicted communities in several African countries like Kenya, Rwanda and the Congo.
“I could feel the boundaries of my faith expanding as my heart saw more of Him.”
In these countries, many were already living hand-to-mouth before the pandemic swept across the globe. But with Covid measures in place, widespread food shortages meant that mass starvation loomed.
Her story is one of 35 powerful testimonies in the book Salt&Light: Inspirational Stories of Faith at Work.
When Salt&Light ran her story in June this year, Ooi was working non-stop alongside local pastors and community elders to get as much emergency rations to as many people as they could.
By faith, Ooi was providing food and other basic supplies for more than 20,000 people.
In a fresh interview with Salt&Light, Ooi gives readers a glimpse behind the scenes of God’s remarkable work in Africa.
(Read here for more behind-the-scenes peeks from other profiles featured in Salt&Light: Inspirational Stories of Faith at Work.)
Can you update us on your story since it was published six months ago?
Jemima Ooi: This month marks the 10th month we’ve been feeding and sustaining our refugees and communities in East Africa. The numbers remain high with many more losing jobs and joining our fold.
But while the situation is still uncertain and dire, we’ve seen God provide so faithfully.
I feel like my faith has entered into a new normal. We have no excuse to ever doubt that He will see us through. It’s been like living a miracle!
Many families have been added to the Kingdom because they saw God loving and caring for them.
Others have commented that, if not for God, they would have died of starvation.
It has been a season of total dependency on Him, for us and our people, and the reality of God and His heart for us has never been clearer.
What were some of the reactions to your story?
We felt so surrounded by the body of Christ when the story was published.
Just when our hands began to feel weary, God sent us help in the most amazing ways.
“Our people had never witnessed provision of such magnitude.”
One reader saw the footage of one of our refugee settlements and realised it was in Kenya, where he had close links with a manufacturer of cooking oil/fat and soap.
Within two weeks, a 10-tonne truck carrying hundreds of boxes of cooking fat and soap arrived in our refugee settlement!
Our people had never witnessed provision of such magnitude – people were dancing and praising God.
I used to say that water and soap was not a given in our areas … I stand corrected – our Father sees to all our needs.
We had also removed cooking fat from our rations list earlier, so that we could spend more on staples. Yet God re-included it to demonstrate His immense kindness.
He doesn’t miss a beat!
Personally, this was a huge answer to a prayer I had uttered, somewhat wishfully.
In the thick of feeding thousands of families, I remembered whispering to Jesus one night: “Jesus, if only You would send us a supplier, that would really help our costs …”
And He heard me, He always does.
God used that story to bring about more provision for the vulnerable.
What are your takeaways after reading the book?
This book captures the deeper experience of a heart’s communion with God. Every story is a journey filled with vulnerability, depth and emerging conviction of His love.
“One cannot read this book fully and walk away unchanged.”
I got moved over and over, reading how people connected with God in the midst of pain, grappling with brokenness, or while staring down impossible odds.
God becomes so real and accessible with all these “witness accounts” of Him.
One cannot read this book fully and walk away unchanged. I could feel the boundaries of my faith and existence expanding as my heart saw more of Him revealed within its pages.
What is your hope for anyone who reads these testimonies of faith at work?
That we would read between the lines and behold a loving God who pursues us with His all; that our hearts would be stirred into deeper connection with His.
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Three profiles from the Salt&Light book step out of their stories to give readers a glimpse behind the scenes
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