JULY 17, 2006

Awesome Prayer

(We have received permission to reprint Missionary Dick and Bev Young’s prayer letter which refers to ABC’s worship service last Sunday. Pastor George Van Alstine)

This morning at our home church in Southern California we were given a warm send off for our trip back to Uruguay this coming Wednesday. The send off was especially warm and quite emotional because it was centered in a time of congregational prayer.

The Pastor asked that three people pray for three needs right at the spiritual and practical focal point of the congregation. First, he asked for prayer for Lebanon because a member of the church who works with World Vision had been in Beirut this past week when the attacks and bombings started. He had managed to take several taxis through Lebanon, Syria and into Jordan where he finally got a plane out and arrived in California Saturday afternoon. All were especially concerned for this dear brother and for the needy country of Lebanon as terrorism, bombings and the threat of all-out war have been the constant themes presented on daily world news. Secondly, the pastor asked for prayer for Uruguay and for the Young family. Our daughter, Lynette, had just arrived from Uruguay on Thursday for a few weeks of rest staying with her sister and brother-in-law who are also members of the church. With Bev and myself heading back to the ministry in this needy place, Uruguay was also on everyone’s mind and heart. Finally, the church itself had just sent a short-term team to Ghana and was receiving communications from the team about the needs and open doors in Africa. That was the third need that was to be covered in prayer.

What was so awesome to me about the prayer time is that when the Pastor asked for three people to pray for peace in Lebanon, for the spiritual void in Uruguay and for the team in Africa, three special believers spontaneously offered to pray. First Gloria prayed in Spanish for Lebanon—all sensed, if not with complete language reception, the heart of this dear lady as she pled for peace and justice in the Middle East. Then Jean prayed in Arabic for Uruguay and the Youngs. In this language, so similar to the Hebrew and Aramaic spoken in Bible times, we heard a heart poured out as the needs of Uruguay were lifted to the Lord. Finally Mayuto prayed out in Portuguese for the team in Ghana. I doubt if someone could have planned or choreographed such a harmonious and heart-lifting time of prayer if they had weeks to put this together.

I don’t know if all present experienced the same deep emotions that ran through my soul during the prayer time, but all did accompany the prayers with faith and a few heart-felt “amens.â€? Very seldom in a local church during a normal Sunday AM worship service have I experienced such an awesome example of the universal Church of Jesus Christ lifting its collective voice in petition and praise to the only power in the universe that can actually bring to bear the forces of heaven on the very real needs that God’s people presently sense are so important.

So as you join with us in daily prayer for Uruguay (as well as many other needy places around the world) remember that you are not alone. There is a worldwide symphony of voices and hearts raised to our Heavenly Father accompanying YOUR prayers. The same God in heaven, who puts those very needs on our hearts, is also pleased to answer and show us his goodness in so many ways.

Sincerely in Christ,
Dick and Bev Young


We have had a fantastic week in Kumasi, before returning to the capital city of Accra on Saturday. We spent mornings at the Amazing Grace Preparatory School, growing very attached to the children. After lunch and a rest, we visited different areas of interest in the afternoons: the king’s palace, the cultural center, walking around town, etc.

Friday was “Speech and Prize Giving Dayâ€? at Amazing Grace, a very special day of celebration. The local chief came as a guest of honor, along with the legislative representative. Tom Stricklin gave the Keynote address, as a Board Member of the Adom Partnership.

When we left on Friday several of our group were in tears. Saying goodbye to our new friends was very difficult. The kids on our team immediately started plotting a return trip in a couple of years, and we haven’t even left the country yet!

The one break from the routine we had established came on Wednesday, when we traveled to the village of Drobonso to visit the work that World Vision is doing there. We were completely unprepared for the welcome we received. As we stepped down from the bus, we were led to a cleared area where more than 500 people were waiting to greet us. We were escorted to the seats of honor. Some of us went as a delegation to greet the chief, a very formal occasion. Meanwhile, Robert and Tom were cheered when they broke out into a dance, which the village children joined. A program of speeches, cultural dancing, and recitation of poetry and Bible verses by the school children followed. It was a wonderful day in which we received a gift of hospitality like no other.

Some notes of interest:
At the Amazing Grace School, a soccer game between the USA (our team plus the Inter-Varsity team that is visiting also) and Ghana (teachers at Amazing Grace) brought a lot of joy to the spectators and athletes alike. One fiercely loyal Ghanaian fan fell silent when the US got the first goal. But he assured us the game was not over, and he was right. The final result was a replay of the World Cup match, with Ghana beating the US 6-3. One highlight of the game was a goal scored by Carla Cunningham.
Proposals for marriage, or inquiries of interest have now been received by most of the single team members, including Sarah Oberholzer who is only 10. Her suitor said he would wait for her.

Pastor Connie Larson DeVaughn
(e-mailed Saturday, July 15)

(The Team was scheduled to attend church in Accra on Sunday, July 16, with Pastor Connie preaching. Then on Monday, visits to slave dungeons at Elmina and Cape Coast; Tuesday, de-briefing, shopping, packing and departure for CA. Arrival will be Thursday afternoon.)

The Ghana Team will have much to share when they return this Thursday (July 20), so we’ve arranged for them to debrief with us while all their memories are fresh. This Sunday, July 23, the Sunday School classes will meet together at 9:30 AM, and the time will be given entirely to the team. Don’t miss it.