My official title is “Director of Prayer and Celebration”. If you have seen SIM’s website, stationary, logos and other publications, you’ll see not too far removed the motto, “by prayer”. In fact on the sign by the front of the driveway of our offices, it states, “SIM USA By Prayer Since 1893”. This is a very true statement. The founders of SIM began the vision of reaching the interior of the Sudan region in 1893, “by prayer”, relying on God through prayer to provide all that was needed to reach this area for Christ.
When Tami and I served with SIM short-term in 1993 (20 plus years ago!), teaching for one year at CCS, we were greeted by the staff “We have been praying for you!” This attitude of prayer has always been evident in our time with SIM, and it is something to behold.
So when we were approached with the idea of serving in the US office as the Director of Prayer & Celebration, there were, already in our minds, big shoes to fill. There already existed an awe-inspiring attitude of prayer in the mission, but to lead this is a huge task. It has proven to be just that! I serve with a Prayer Team of 7 others.
Because prayer (a dependence on God) envelopes all that is done in SIM, from recruitment to treasury, my job is spread throughout the office. Charlie also leads the prayer and worship times, teaches sessions for both the adults and teens for our training times on the SIM USA campus.
One of the regular responsibilities I have is leading and overseeing the morning chapel times. Every morning SIM USA begins the day in prayer for our 800 missionaries and ministries. (Read more about how we pray around the world on the last page of the SIMGlobal Newsletter.) Monday and Friday we meet in our different departments to pray together. Tuesdsay-Thursday we meet all together in our chapel area.
We meet at 8:30 am to celebrate God’s grace and goodness to us and to lift our needs to him for the different fields SIM works in around the world. When missionaries come through the office for debriefing and meetings, we often times ask them to share about their term, the struggles and joys, and we gather around them to pray for them and their needs whatever they may be. This is a great time for us to hear of what God is doing around the world!
In chapel we have prayed with a doctor who shared his heartache when the host government where he ministered seized the hospital and no longer welcomed missionary and local Christian staff. We embraced a young missionary who had just received a phone call sharing that his new wife, who is from another country, was denied a visa prohibiting her from coming to the US. She was to have attended the July SIMGo training course.
We also have the privilege to be involved in some training sessions of new missionaries, using what God has taught us during our time in Bolivia.
The bonus of this is we are able to see some of our SIM Bolivia family as they come through the office and renew relationships with them! We so thankful!
From Benin to Bolivia, to the SIM USA office, the air that ministry breathes is prayer. The power to change minds and hearts rests in the power of God and we lay hold of that power as we approach our God “by prayer.” Jesus has torn the veil and we can access the Father through the Son, in the power of the Spirit. Praise God – all this comes from and leads back to Him!
As in any ministry, prayer is needed. As we serve in the capacity, we ask for your prayers. Our job is to:
1. EXPAND prayer support for the 800 SIM USA missionaries and ministries.
2. ENGAGE Christ’s church to pray for missions and gospel advancement.
3. ENCOURAGE a culture of celebration and dependence on God in the SIM USA office and beyond.
When we are active in this, we enter a battle that we can not see (Ephesians 6:10-18).
We humbly ask that you pray for Tami, Austin and Caris and myself as we serve in this capacity. We are daily aware of the battle around us, and we can be easily weary (can I be honest?) We are in need of people who will lift our “arms” up amidst the battle (Exodus 17:12-13).
We firmly feel that God has lead us to this ministry and has “shaped” us for this. We are humbled that God has brought us to serve in such a capacity within the mission that has supported us so well as we served in Bolivia.
Thank you for your on going support, interest and investment in our lives and ministry as we all strive to train and support missionaries “By Prayer”!