’…seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ Matthew chapter 6 verse 33. – the story of Iris Floyd de Nascimento
‘The verse that was given to me shortly after I became a Christian was …’seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things’ (and He is talking about, food, clothing, housing, etc.) ‘will be given to you as well.’ That verse proved true in my early Christian life, proved true when my husband left me and proves true now, every day. God provides. We do not need to worry. I feel that the only thing we need to worry about is maintaining our walk with God, our relationship with Him and not to get side-tracked by all the things that happen to us. The rest is ‘peanuts’ to God. They are relatively unimportant. I realised that nothing else matters except walking with Him, pleasing Him and knowing the presence of God. If we feel there is something that we need and He does not give it to us, it is because it was not best for us.’
The words above were spoken by Iris in her later years. Here is her story:
I was brought up in an orphanage. My mother went off when I was 2 years old. My grandmother looked after my sister and an aunty looked after my brother. I had minimal contact with my father. At about the age of 11, I was taken out of the orphanage. I always had a feeling of not belonging anywhere.
I heard the Gospel* in the army and at the age of 18 I became a Christian. I was bowled over by the fact that God loved me so much. How could He love me who was so unlovable? I felt nobody else loved me, but when I started seeking Him, He gave me the love I had missed.
The thought of missionary service was born in my mind from that moment, the moment of my conversion.
I met my husband in Africa. The biggest, most traumatic event in my life was when he left me after 3 years of marriage. The bottom fell out of my world. I returned, alone, to England. At that moment I did not know what to do. I booked into a London hotel and prayed through all the tears- “God, show me what to do!” I remember during that night in the hotel that God was with me. It felt like I was in a dark tunnel and I could not see the other end of it, but in the middle of it, God was with me. I returned to Southampton and got a nursing job. I felt that I had scuppered my missionary career with a broken marriage but that I should try to rebuild my life and keep myself available in case God wanted me to go back to Africa. At that time there was a series of Christian lectures at the University. It was during one of those I felt that God was saying to me “What are you doing here, Iris!” I later went to see the lecturer to share my situation. I felt like a piece of flotsam, washed up by the tide. After that meeting, I felt more positive about going back to Angola. That night God met me in my bedroom and confirmed to me about returning to Angola; I was full of rejoicing. I had never slept properly since my husband left me but after God met me that night, and from then on, I slept. God had healed me. God was with me, He put me back on my feet and sent me back to Angola. It took 2 years but, He did it. It felt that life had begun again - a new beginning.
Whilst in Angola as a missionary I worked as a nurse and midwife. Many amazing things happened such as wonderful answers to prayer. God helped me on many occasions with clinical decisions I had to make.
Angola was at war for most of the time I was there, yet He protected me, even when I had to travel very near the war zone; and when, on one occasion, I was manoeuvring a car in the very middle of a gun battle.
God has been good to me all my life. Even being brought up in an orphanage was a blessing because in leaving England I did not need to leave any member of my family who was reliant on me, I was free to go. I was ready to adapt to whatever was ahead of me.
Iris has found that God really has provided for all her needs and He can do that for you- ‘seek Him first’.
*Gospel – The good news that Jesus Christ, the perfect Man, died in our place to earn forgiveness for us so that if we ask Him, He will forgive us for all the wrong things we have ever done, he will help us to live to please Him and welcome us into Heaven when we die.