We started off Saturday with worship led by Sara Groves and sharing by 3 field directors (Chennai, Kenya, and Bangalore.) It is inspiring to hear their stories of courage and God’s answered prayer. It also spurs you on to continue the prayers for the people and staff of each country.
We then began to go to the country specific prayer rooms. You spent 40 minutes in each room listening to the country director share and then in prayer. Each prayer room also had a gift from the country to remind you to pray for the people and staff.
We first went to Zambia and heard about illegal property grabbing of widows and orphans and sexual abuse of children. We prayed specifically for 2 cases. For this room we prayed in groups of about 7. I was able to meet the director and she asked for us to visit while there in November—she said it really encourages the staff.
We then missed a meeting because I thought Rwanda was next but I got my scheduled mixed up and all the rooms were full…a good thing…full rooms of prayer…We hit lunch really quick and came back for our regional church mobilization gathering.
Next up was Rwanda. I have read alot of Rwanda and was very interested to hear from someone first hand. Again it’s illegal property seizure and sexual violence to children. We prayed for reconciliation and forgiveness for the people of Rwanda and for counselors for the aftercare programs. This time we prayed in groups of about 10-15.
Greg and I split up for the next group. He went to government relations and I went to Guatemala. In Guatemala, the cases are sexual violence. Less than 1 % are ever prosecuted. In the last 3 years the IJM staff is responsible for over 1/2 of the arrests (and they only work in Guatemala City). For prayer time, 3 tables were set up. I first went to the table of the children & women they represent. You held a picture, read the specific request and prayed. In a bit the director read a scripture and I switched to the next table which was IJM staff pics with requests…prayer, scripture and then to the Guatemala government table and prayed for wisdom for each of them.
We then went to Cambodia where sex trafficking is fought. We prayed for the girls, investigators, and Cambodian police and wrote letters of encouragement to the staff.
The below gift has special meaning. In Cambodia there is a saying that men are like gold…if they get dirty they can be cleaned and wiped off but they are still gold. But women are like a white cloth..if they get dirty, they are stained forever.
The scripture on the white fabric is 1 Peter 1:18-19 The TRUTH about being cleansed...those women can be cleansed and redeemed!
For you know that is was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
We then went to Honduras and heard from one of IJM’s casework alliance partner ministries..In this room we heard about cases and requests (translated from spanish) and then 3 or 4 people would volunteer to pray.
We ran and got dinner and then came back for our evening worship and prayer. We heard from the IJM VP of Investigations and 2 field investigators in person and by many others by video .They shared their heart and how hard it is in the field for them and how to pray for them. They put themselves in danger—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They see the victims, the brutality, and remember the faces of the ones that they couldn’t save at that time. Their heartache was tangible. I am so thankful for courageous men and women who step to do the hard work of helping to free men, women, and children that most of society has deemed worthless.
I am so thankful for their (and their family’s) sacrifice. We also heard stories from them of God’s miraculous intervention. At some points God intervened in such ways that the entire audience broke out in laughter because it was so way out there. Just like God –to do things that we never would have thought of!
During this time, the investigator would share how we could pray and the audience was to gather in groups of 2 or 3 and just pray right then and there. Greg and I prayed with a precious Chinese brother from up north. God knit our hearts together without even knowing anything other than each other’s name! After praying with someone for an evening, it’s bound to happen! We stayed afterwards and shared our stories and prayed more. We left exchanging information to keep in touch. God is good.
Sunday morning concluded with more worship and praise to God for what He has done over the last year in Kolkata. (this was the focus prayer of last GPG) God has been doing amazing work there! Prayer DOES make a difference! As one of the directors said…”It is the means by what God’s power is brought into the situation”
Also...While waiting for one of the prayer rooms to start...one of the field directors said to another that he couldn't believe all these people here to pray and how encouraging it was to them. I pray that the encouragment stays with them for quite a while.
They asked at the end of the weekend that this time together to not be the pinnacle of our prayer for them but the beginning. Amen.
I am going to share soon some of the worship songs we sang this weekend. Songs that focused on rescue and redemption by our Lord.