Friday, December 7, 2018

Answering the Why of the Prayer Room

On Tuesday night this week I got an email from one of our missionaries in Ukraine.

"Hi, Connie - could you elevate the country request about Ukraine Edge Floorball to "high alert" for the next 36 hours? (His meeting is at 9pm on the 5th). Appreciate it! May God intervene..."

One of my greatest joys is being behind the scenes of our JV Prayer Room, working on it every day as an editor, and getting requests like this to bring to the forefront for everyone who "comes in" to pray. 

In the past two years of our online prayer room there have been over 15,000 hours of prayer for the needs of our JV missionaries and their ministries. In just this year alone, there have been 870 prayer requests and over 600 answers to those! 

If you haven't tried it, can I encourage you to? We've made it as easy, and hopefully as enjoyable as possible!

If you click on the picture above, it will take you to the Prayer Room, and there you can simply register your email and then either book an hour sometime when it's convenient for you, or you can just click "Pray Now". I guarantee you'll learn a lot about JV, and have a wonderful time with the Lord as you pray!

And about that request from Tuesday night? I did elevate it to "high alert" so that it showed up first in our country requests section of the Prayer Room.

I also sent out an email to our entire team of missionaries and asked them to boldly pray, and to send messages of encouragement to our JV missionary in need of prayer covering.

For what? Read on for both the request and the answer. You will be glad you did!!

Half of the EDGE floorball league in Ukraine

"We are familiar with the miraculous story of Ezra, who appeals boldly before the kings of Persia and by God's incredible favor gets captives freed, gets permission to do ministry back in Israel and even gets the kings of Persia to fund the rebuilding of the temple (ch. 7). Right now, prayers are needed for our brother in Christ, Andriy, the JV Ukraine, leader of EDGE floorball, who is experiencing his own Ezra moment.

Currently there is a threat against floorball ministry in Ukraine. The new president of the Ukrainian Floorball Federation, TH, is looking to take control over all use of floorball in Ukraine, at both the professional and amateur levels. He wants Edge to fall under the management of the federation, paying taxes to the federation on every player and every team taking part in the Edge league, which right now is around 350-400 Edge players and coaches.

On Wednesday, December 5th, 9pm Eastern European Standard Time (GMT +2), Andriy has a face-to-face meeting with Mr. H at a cafe in Lviv. Andriy needs prayers for wisdom to clearly communicate that our floorball use is a ministry platform for church, and that our vision is that every teenager involved in floorball would hear the good news of Jesus Christ, having nothing to do with financial gain.

Then pray as Andriy plans to clearly share the gospel with Mr. H, a professed muslim, and challenge him to repentance and faith. (Andriy has been studying in a missions program in seminary and has even been reading the Koran and sees the divine intervention of this meeting.) This is not just a need for Edge protection, but also a need for the salvation of Mr. H and the hundreds of teens involved in the sport.

The chapter in Ezra (7) ends with King Artaxerxes praising God and with Ezra's prayer: "Praise the Lord, the God of our ancestors, who made the king want to beautify the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem! And praise him for demonstrating such unfailing love to me by honoring me before the king, his council, and all his mighty nobles! I felt encouraged because the gracious hand of the Lord my God was on me".

May God grant the same favor on Andriy, the EDGE league, Mr. H, and the future of floorball in Ukraine.
THE ANSWER that came from Andriy 36 hours later!

Thank you so much for praying for me, for TH (president of the Floorball Federation of Ukraine), and for our meeting. There are many answers to prayer in the "Ezra-7-type-of-way" that we were asking for. I am especially thankful for the messages and notes; I got one about every 15 min. throughout the whole day. This was a source of God's protection and immense courage, which I felt going into this.

The meeting happened. It was from 9-11pm; TH came in from out-of-town just for this meeting. He had been hearing so many great things about EDGE Floorball that he wanted to meet me in person.

I shared for a long time about the strategy and history of EDGE, emphasizing the Christ-centered, disciple-making ministry that it is.

Mr. H repeatedly claimed "What you do I really, really, really like", and "What you are doing is useful both for God and for the culture of sports in Ukraine; the physical, emotional and spiritual development of the next generation is essential for this nation".

Mr. H said that he now fully understands EDGE and accepts the model. He will not ask for any fees from the EDGE league, at least not for the next five years, when he may revisit the idea.

Mr. H said, "Your league can do what I can't - I will support you in whatever I can." He has already asked me to present EDGE at the national level, before the federation associated with the Ukrainian Ministry of Sports. He wants me to share everything about the league, particularly the Christian side of it, because it is changing young peoples' lives. People are noticing.

Lastly, my wife, Yulia, and I are heading to Prague this weekend to attend the world championship for floorball. TH will also be there, so we've made plans for lunch together in Czech

Thank you again, and we appreciate continued prayers for the EDGE league.

**We give GLORY TO GOD for his answer to our prayers!!**

This is a great example of why we created the JV Prayer Room! Come join us in praying for other needs in the life and ministry of our JV missionaries.

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