Some years back, Corinne and I were enjoying lunch after sharing at a church in Montana, when a gentleman from the congregation came up and sat down next to me.
“I have something to show you,” he said as he laid his well-used Bible on the table. He leafed through the pages until he found what was he was looking for; he slid an old photograph in front of me. I was surprised to be looking down at a very old prayer card.
Prayer cards are a part of being a missionary. Every few years growing up, our family would put on some fancy duds and get our picture taken. In the days before Photoshop, the result was a prayer card with the photo in which we all looked the least awkward.
What struck me in this instance was that the photo I was staring down at was about 20 years old. I expressed my surprise that he had such an old prayer card of my family in his Bible.
“I’ve prayed for your family every day since I received this prayer card,” He responded.
Knowing that prayer warriors are beseeching God’s blessings and provision on us and our ministry is humbling. I’m still amazed by all the encouragement we receive as missionaries, but the little notes letting us know that people are praying for us are precious. I am convinced that prayer is the fuel that powers ministry in Hungary. I believe prayer makes all the difference. I know this first hand.
When I was eight days old, I stopped breathing. Had I not been in my mother’s arms, I would have passed away—labeled as a Sudden Infant Death Syndrome baby. Fortunately, mom was not only holding me, but noticed that I was quiet and blue. My grandfather, who happened to be there, sprang into action, got me breathing again and drove me in his truck to the hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. The diagnosis was bad: spinal meningitis.
A plastic box is where I spent the next few days of life. Tubes ran in and out of my body. The doctors informed my parents that I would probably die within the next few days, and if I did survive…well…my brain had already suffered damage.
That Wednesday, several of the churches in Wilmore, Kentucky took up the prayer request. We still have a letter from Wesley Duewel, then president of OMS, sharing that the OMS missionaries were praying. The next day my fever broke, at eight days old, I had survived a disease that kills many adults. On top of that, the damaged portion of my brain? Completely healed.
As you can imagine, when people tell me that they are praying for us, praying for the team and our ministry, I take it quite seriously. Prayer changed my future as a child, and it powers our ministry now. Your prayers are critical for us. Thank you so much for making the difference for us. Thank you for interceding on our behalf before God.