Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tell the Part YOU played in Ben's Story

As I focus in on writing the conclusion of Ben's story (I think there will be 2 or 3 more parts), I've had on my mind the number of people who have told me that they felt led to pray very specifically for one particular person, or outcome, or just one part of the larger picture. 

While thousands of people prayed for Ben's safety, some missionaries in Tegucigalpa told me that they felt led to pray specifically for me (and I have needed those prayers). A number of people from all over the world have said that they were fervently praying that the heart of the kidnapper would be softened. Some - a  surprisingly large number - prayed that these events would lead the kidnapper to turn to God and change his life. Many people have shared that they found a particular scripture that seemed to somehow be the passage for this situation, and they prayed and meditated on that scripture throughout the hours when Ben was being held.

If you felt led to pray in any particular way during Ben's kidnapping last week, and you'd be willing to post about it in the comments here, I'd love to hear it. I absolutely believe that what we've experienced is much more than a story of a little boy being kidnapped and then returned to his family - it is the story of a miraculous answer to prayer . . . and if you prayed, then you are a part of the miracle, and therefore part of the story! 

Thank you all, again, for praying for us! And thanks for commenting . . . I'm looking forward to reading what someone else writes, for a change, LOL.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I prayed for Ben's safe return and for your family in general, not knowing you had also been kidnapped. I have focused my prayers also on the kidnapper, since I was led to Christ through the ministry of Nicky Cruz, a former gang member turned evangelist.
Solana in Vermont

TaMara Sloan said...

In the mornings I go for a walk from 5:30-6:00. On that Tuesday morning, I lifted up prayers while I walked. I prayed specifically for you, Trish, and your peace of mind. I prayed for Ben's safety. I also prayed that God would soften the heart of the kidnapper, that he would see fit to let Ben return home, and that God would be able to use this in his life to come to know God.

Laurie Matherne said...

My prayers centered on peace for you. I did pray in general for Ben's safety, but I kept feeling led to praying that you would be at peace, a supernatural peace that passes understanding. I kept praying at different intervals throughout the ordeal.

Anonymous said...

Immediately said a prayer for Ben's safety. Told my husband and son what I had just learned so they could pray and share. Notified prayer intercessors at the church we worship with. Shared post on fb and asked that all would pray. Some of those shared as well. At work, I told my co-workers and invited them to pray as well. Continued to pray as the day went on as I couldn't get Ben and your precious family off my heart. Didn't break down and cry until I read Ben is free!

sdje said...

At first I prayed--"took a knee" right then and there. For Ben's safety, for your heart, that he would be found or released unharmed. Then my "Martha" side kicked in and I shared it on FB--generally at first and then with details later. What touched me was the overwhelming numbers of friends who "liked", commented, and shared it to their walls. We were "on this" round the clock. The collective joy we all felt when we found out Ben was free--well, you could touch it, actually touch it. And that FB "share" was the fastest of all. Praise, praise, praise!

Susan Jones Engelhardt

Anonymous said...

Somehow, I had missed any emails or facebook posts until just about 5 hours before we heard that he was released. The odd part was, after I heard, I started recieving "reply all" emails--but the oringinal email had never come into my box. I was horrified, of course, and prayed immediately for safety. As I continued to pray, I found myself praying for Ben not to be permanently traumatized by this, that any ongoing fears and "post stress" would be healed. It seemed an odd prayer even to me, as I know he was still being held. In the days following, I wondered if the Holy Spirit led my prayers in such a way because so many others were already praying for his safety and release. I also felt led to pray for Allen in the days following--that he would not feel any guilt or helplessness. Trish--I have been praying for you throughout--not many mothers have to endure such an event! I also had a lot of thoughts and wonderings outside of my prayers--where was Kirstin? I know they are close, and I hoped she was still in country. Where was Rachel? Not too easy to be on one's honeymoon and be hit with such news. I had just spent part of my run praying for Rachel's transition into a cross cultural marriage on Saturday (I thought that was her wedding day)--looks like God was ahead of me on that one, too!! Much love to all, Jane McSweeney

Denise said...

Tuesday morning, I was running late and needed to get to work. I headed for the door and then felt compelled to go back and check my email - something I really didn't have time for that morning. But that's when I received your email asking for prayer. I was stunned, horrified and grief-stricken all at once. I could barely read the entire email because I began weeping (something I don't normally do.) Even though I'd never met Ben, it felt like it was MY child who was in danger. I wondered if I'd even be able to function at work. But another family was counting on me to watch their autistic son, so I finally left for work and I prayed for Ben's safety all the way -- and my own because I just could not stop crying and it was difficult to drive. For the half hour drive, I prayed that Ben would not be afraid and that he would find peace and remember Romans 8:28 - that all things work together for good for those who love God.
(One other thought that continued through my mind is that perhaps this incident would move the authorities to allow the formal adoption to be completed. I have no idea why that came to mind or if these events would in any way impact that situation. But I prayed about it anyway.)
I could not get the image of Ben's smiling face out of my mind. I prayed throughout the day that Ben's captor would not harm him and that Ben would feel peace and not be afraid and that he would be smiling like the picture in my mind!
Later I also prayed that God would provide a way for the kidnapper to return Ben safely so that the kidnapper would not feel the need to act rashly. (This prayer arose after a conversation with Jim in which we could not imagine any scenario in which a happy ending would come about.) However, we knew that God could bring a miracle and resolve this situation for His Glory. And that's the prayer that God answered! Praise His Name!

Pam Llewellyn said...

Jane McSweeney -- Kirstin and Boo/Bethany were driving my father (Trish is my sister, so her father also), my daughter, and myself back to San Pedro Sula to catch our flight back to the States. I've been holding the story from my point of view (limited as it was, but still interesting!) while Trish has been processing and writing.

Lara Yurman said...

You don't know me, but my sister (Cheri Steele) posted a call for prayer in the afternoon, and I prayed immediately Later, just before bed, I saw here next post, an update that you had been released, but Ben was still being held. This post included Ben's picture. I prayed again, for your peace of mind, for Ben's safety and for the kidnappers' hearts. That night was sleepless for me. I often have insomnia. I couldn't get Ben's face out of my mind, and so I prayed for him, and for you literally all night long. I'm sure you didn't get any sleep that night either, and I can only imagine how heart wrenching the experience was. I still weep at these updates. Praise the Lord!

Anonymous said...

I heard through a friend on FB and I posted on our homeschool yahoo loop. Many sent their prayers back to me. One thing that struck me was that I was praying for the 'practical'...that you could raise the money, that Ben would be safe, that all would end well. I saw others praying for what some would deem 'impossible'...that the kidnappers would be rendered powerless and that Ben would be set free! I, like others, am waiting to see just how all this played out...but I learned that I want to pray like some of the women who emailed me...I want to learn to pray the 'impossible'!!!

Kristin said...

I am a friend of Mindy's from your home school network. This is what I wrote to her on learning that Ben was freed. "I had prayed for division in the ranks and that they would fight among themselves and that one of them would let him go. However God answered, he did. Also prayed that Jesus would be with Ben as He had been with the 3 men in the furnace. Looking forward to hearing how God worked. So thankful. Rejoicing with those who rejoice. Yahooooooo."

Kathleen Grieve said...

I don't remember specifics of all of my prayers ... they were almost constant after hearing what had happened. I know I prayed for Ben's return, for his safety while with the kidnapper, that God would soften the heart of the kidnapper, that somehow the kidnapper's time with Trish and with Ben would ignite a desire in him to know Jesus, for overwhelming peace for the entire family, for wisdom for Allen, Russell, and the authorities who were looking for Ben and for God's will in the whole process.

stephanie said...

When the initial article and request was posted on SL, I prayed for the safety of your family, Ben's situation (knowing he couldn't leave with you, if such a need arose), and that His work there through your family not be thwarted. When I learned of the kidnapping, I began praying for Ben's safety, your peace, your family, when I had the sudden urge to pray for the kidnapper - that he would not want to keep Ben or harm him. The scene in the Gladys Aylward book flashed to mind - when she walked into the middle of the prison riot, so vulnerable, but God was with her and the prisoners were calmed. I'm not sure if that image came from God or if that was the image I was using to communicate my prayer...I don't know. It was a comforting reminder that even in the middle of seemingly impossible and dire situations, God is still in control.

Traci said...

We prayed that Ben would feel calm and not afraid. We also prayed that the kidnapper would see Jesus in Ben and not want to hurt him in anyway. We prayed for peace for those who know and love Ben.
(friends of the Waits)
Traci in North Carolina

Kristin said...

I am being thoroughly blessed as I read what others prayed. And I can see how so many of them were answered in the part of the story we know so far. Love how God moved in all of us to pray.

Anonymous said...

I did not know what was going on until after. That being said, I have many people in my life that are going through a rough time right now. In desperation, I sent a prayer to God basically saying "Please heal and strengthen anyone who has touched my life and needs it!" I believe this situation fit that description!

Anonymous said...

I am a friend of Robin Murphy and I prayed for your son (she was careful to not post too much info, so I didn't know his name) and his safe return and emotional recovery once he was returned (I am a social worker so I think of this in these situations). I also prayed for supernatural peace for the entire family and all close to the situation, in response to someone named Pam, who had breakfast with you guys and was supposed to fly back, posted on Robin's status what her feelings and concerns were. Praise God for His precious provision.

Pam Llewellyn said...

Trish, I will write my portion of the story later, but I did want to tell you that before I'd learned about the kidnapping, I'd briefly logged onto FB and saw a posting asking for prayer for "a friend and her son" who were kidnapped this AM. I had a momentary, fleeting thought of "that could be Trish and Ben", but then thought "of course not, I just saw them a while ago. How could somebody in the US know about that and not me, if that was the case?" So I said a quick prayer for that unknown someone and her son -- only to find out a short time later that it WAS you and Ben. So, I was praying for you even when I didn't know it.... :)

Lois Dean said...

Hi Trish, I prayer walk our neighbourhood Mon, Wed, and Fri mornings with a neighbour from 7am to 7.30am. As we set out at 7.00am on Weds Aug 14th ( Honduras time Tuesday 3pm Aug 13th) I told my friend about your situation and she straight away prayed fervently that the kidnapper would have a change of heart and release Ben unharmed.
Lois Dean

Anonymous said...

I read a cryptic message about 'Bucket Boy' on my fb feed and my heart sunk. I have been off SL for a couple of yrs but went back to get more details and to pray with our community. Dh and I prayed that night for you and for Ben's safety and speedy return, the next morning the kids and I prayed, our teens just spent a week in Honduras, the country has been in our prayers for the past year as they prepped for trip, so it kinda hit home though they don't 'know' B. They kept asking if he was home throughout the day and as they asked, we prayed again. I was in constant prayer and checking fb for updates. They were shouting and dancing when I reported he was found. Your family continues to be in our prayers. - Jessie in LA

Anonymous said...

First of all, I just want to say that when I heard about Ben, it affected me more than most stories do. It just grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go. I prayed for wisdom and peace for everyone involved, and that if any harm was intended toward Ben that it would be prevented and that he would be completely protected. I also prayed for the heart of the kidnapper and that Ben would sense that God was with him and that he was not alone. I prayed that Ben would know how much he was loved, but somehow, I think he might be getting that idea. :) S. Lippold

Anonymous said...

One of my Facebook friends posted a prayer request. We didn't know the details, but on the way to VBS I told my three boys about your son's kidnapping. As soon as we walked into VBS, my boys talked with the pastor and told him that they wanted everyone to pray for you and for Ben, in particular. My boys were very concerned that Ben feel God's peace and that he be protected, so that's what the Vacation Bible School prayed for. Until we heard that Ben was released 35 children in Dowagaic, Michigan were praying for you and Ben. Then, when we heard that he was released, the prayers changed to thanksgiving. God is good!

Anonymous said...

Dear dear Trish,
My heart is rejoicing at God's goodness to you and Ben and all of your family. Reading your posts and the comments and prayers has done my heart good. I too prayed for Ben and put out posts on FB(which had to be modified/taken down because it had too much detail to start) but continued with general updates after that. I also asked our friends at several churches to pray and missionary friends from around the world, and the entire Kairos Outside community from NE Florida. I found out later that one of the church ladies had sent Ben's story to all the churches in our diocese and they were ALL praying! So many people have asked me for the whole story and I am directing them to your blog.
When I first heard about the kidnapping I was overcome with sadness and fear and was not able to pray with any conviction although I was praying. At some point I felt God ask "Where is your faith?" and I felt He meant are you trusting in the outcome of this situation or in ME? Once I turned my focus and trust on Him I was able to pray boldly for Ben's release, protection, provision, and for the rest of the family and those looking for Ben. I joined a friend Susan on the phone and she specifically prayed that God would confuse the kidnappers' hearts (we assumed there were more than one) and that Ben would be allowed to just "walk away unharmed." I am so curious to see how God answered that prayer. We love you and your beautiful son!!
Beth Orange Park Florida

Anonymous said...

I prayed the minute that I saw it posted on Facebook. I kept him in prayer for the remainder of the night. We lifted him up in prayer at the men's prayer service at my church. I believed that God was going to return him alive. And I certainly was not alone. This kind of prayer can move mountains. I rejoiced upon hearing his safe return. All glory to Jesus Christ! What an amazing testimony! Power of prayer indeed!

Rich in New Hampshire

Anonymous said...

As soon as I read that 'a friend' of a friend was in a 'grave situation' - I think that's how the first post I saw was put, the words, "Our God is MIGHTY TO SAVE!!!" just shouted in my mind! (And since my own faith had been faltering recently, that certainly wasn't MY idea - it was the Holy Spirit, through and through.

So, when I learned the specifics of who and where, I was confident- He is mighty to save!!

I did pray for Ben to be at peace and wise, and definitely felt moved to pray for the salvation of the kidnapper. I could just see Bucket Boy's joyful face - brought to mind from so many years ago- and I felt so strongly that his joy would shine through to the kidnapper. (The episode of him with the butterflies was just the sort of thing I could imagine- and I pictured him singing ?!

I'm part of a secret prayer circle on Fb, and we all prayed through the night. We prayed that you would sleep - and you did!

Kris said...

Trish, I was one of those who was compelled to pray for the softening of the kidnapper's heart, in addition to Ben's safe return. When we found out about the kidnapping, we were 1 day into our vacation in West Virginia, up in the mountains. I wasn't planning on checking my email that much while on vacation, but was compelled to check it the evening we arrived at Snowshoe. The email had come through to my account only a few minutes before I opened my email, and my heart started racing as I read it aloud to Chris. Normally someone who jumps into action, I felt so helpless to do anything but pray. After talking to you on facebook, where I sent you Psalm 16:8, I fell onto the hotel bed and cried. I remember saying "Ben must be so afraid." Chris and I immediately held hands and began to pray - him aloud, me within myself (I was sobbing too much to say a word). Chris prayed for Ben's safe return, and for the kidnapper's heart, acknowledging God's will regardless of the outcome. Throughout the next day, I continued to pray while taking in the gorgeous mountains, and was struck by the similarity to the Honduran landscape. It made me feel a little bit closer to you all. While Chris and I were out walking, I was struck with the assurance that Ben would be released. I said aloud to Chris, "Ben's going to be released; I just feel it." I took a nap that afternoon and had a nightmare that the opposite outcome played out (too horrible for words). I thought in my dream, 'this is not how it happens'. I woke up and still felt the same assurance. Even with the hunch, I was still overjoyed to learn of his release.

Molly Glasgow said...

Trish, I saw the FB post from Sharonne at The Foundation. Immediately, our family of four stopped what we were doing, joined hands and prayed for peace for each of you and Ben, for the kidnapper to see Jesus in Ben, and I thanked God for Ben's safety and quick release. Being a mom too, my heart was aching for you and I still can't imagine how you must have felt. I didn't sleep well that night and prayed for you and Ben to be able to sleep as I tossed and turned, again thanked God in advance for his release. We all continued to pray as a family until we "heard" the good news on FB, and again thanked God for his safety and quick release. Hallelujah!

Anonymous said...

I received word of the kidnapping through our homeschool group. The details were sketchy, but we didn't need to know details. I posted the prayer request on FB as a prayer request involving a child in urgent need. As I prayed for Ben's safe return and for peace and strength for his family, God impressed it upon my heart to pray specifically for a couple of things. I too prayed that God would soften the heart of the kidnapper and the he would come to know the Lord as a result of this experience. I also prayed that God would help Ben not to be frightened and that he would one day look back on this experience as a great adventure. In addition, God impressed upon my heart the story of the Old Testament warrior, who when faced with a seemingly impossible battle, was shown the multitude of angels that were protecting and fighting for the Lord on his behalf. I asked God to show Ben and his family the protection that was around them even in the midst of this dangerous situation. I asked that God would allow the angels of protection to be real and evident to Ben and to his family in order to strengthen their faith and real and evident to the kidnapper to let him know that he was messing with servants of the most high God. Throughout it all I prayed for peace and protection that was beyond the natural ability of humans (especially a worried mother. With everyone else, I praise the Lord for answered prayer!

Melissa Guzman said...

I work nights now as RN (my how things have changed since Guanaja, huh?) Anyway, I worked the night before and usually sleep until at least 2 oclock the next day. Well, I kept waking up. 9:30 a.m....10:00..couldn't figure it out. Finally, I had stomach pains so badly that I got out of bed at 11:00ish to go downstairs. I switched on FB and instantly saw your message. Stomach pains instantly gone (weird, huh) and just began pleading with the Lord to bring Ben home safe. I also felt very led to pray for YOU and YOUR HEALTH and your blood pressure specifically...so God uses RNs to think about such things. I shared your story and instantly had friends praying with me from all corners of the US. That evening, when we found out he was FREE, I was driving and had to stop the car with the kids in the back because I was sobbing with relief. The next thing was so cool to me...Our "theme song" for when we were with MTW that we played behind our slide show was "He Reigns" by the Newsboys. As soon as I had gathered myself and started driving again, that song came on the radio. Coincidence? Not at all. Love how God reminds me He has been with your family as well as mine all the time. And never have I sung that song louder to Him. -Melissa Guzman

restoltz06 said...

I, too, heard about this on FB from a friend & immediately went into intercession! It was so heavy upon my heart. I even had our whole intercessory team pray on Tuesday. We too prayed for peace for your family, & that Ben would be unharmed & not traumatized. We prayed for the kidnapper's salvation & that there would be such a strong Holy Spirit conviction fall upon the kidnapper, that he could do nothing else but return Ben safely!!
We even prayed this incident would bring Honduras back to God!! Psalms 46;10," Be still & know that I am God" is the verse we kept hearing & praying.
We were thrilled to hear God had answered our prayers & brought Ben home! I so love the unity that came in the Body of Christ, as His people, from all over the world, bombarded Heaven on Ben's behalf!! Looking forward to hearing the rest of your story!
God bless,
Rebecca Stoltz
Indiana

Heaventaste said...

Dear Trish:

As I am sitting here reading the account of Ben's Story, my eyes are just filling with tears! Isn't God SO faithful and true! So MUCH of His Grace and love all over this situation! Thank you Lord Jesus!

I learned about the Kidnapping through a mutual friend, in LaGrande, Oregon...on her FB Wall. She was asking for prayer for Ben and yourself. I started praying as I was doing dishes and I had worship music on. My two little boys were playing in another room, and I was just me pouring out my heart to the Lord. I could feel and sense the urgency to pray and I could only imagine the horror you were experiencing as a mama. I felt lead to pray that the kidnapper's heart would be softened. That He would fall under the Lord's conviction and let your little one go.

As I was praying, I saw your little boy COMPLETELY covered by feathers. It was like he was wearing them:) they were so thick! And then, my vision changed as God slowly "zoomed" me out of the picture. I saw that the feathers were part of GIGANTIC wings and your boy was completely covered by them. I mean, so covered, that I couldn't see him. But I know he was there, HIDDEN, SAFE under the Lord's wings.

I later found out from my friend in LaGrande that Ben had been wearing a necklace with part of scripture from Psalm 91. I had told her about my vision and she said to me "Marla, do you know what is in Psalm 91?" I said, "no." She said, it's the psalm that talks about being hidden under God's wings in protection.

My heart leapt! After I got off the phone with my friend, I went and read the entire Psalm! My eyes filled with tears. I knew that Ben was going to be safe and not harmed. That he had the LORD specifically hiding him in the spiritual, physical and emotional places, protecting him, and sheltering him during this event!

Glory be to Jesus!

Merry said...

From the very first moment I heard about the kidnapping through a friend on FB I began to pray for Ben and your whole family. The scripture the Lord brought to my mind is from Psalms chapter 35 the title above this chapter is:
Prayer Asking To Be Delivered From Enemies. In verses 4-6 it says: 4 Let those be put to shame and brought to dishonor Who seek after my life; Let those be turned back and brought to confusion Who plot my hurt.5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, And let the angel of the LORD chase them 6 Let their way be dark and slippery, And let the angel of the LORD pursue them.
So my specific prayer was that the Fear of the Lord would fall upon the kidnappers and that they would release him swiftly. I prayed that the Angel of the Lord would chase and pursue them and they would be so afraid that they would release Ben.

Joanna Daniels said...

Wow! Reading this has made me cry even harder than I did when I heard that Ben had been kidnapped. As an adoptive mother of two Honduran children and a former missionary in Honduras your story touched my heart from the very beginning. I can't say that I was lead to pray in any certain way but as I thought of you and your family, I did pray and pray fervently that He would turn this into a story of blessings while protecting Ben and comforting you and your family. I shed plenty of tears on your behalf and they are still falling tonight as I read your story. It just hits so close to home...may the Lord continue to bless your work and your family. I am overjoyed that Ben is HOME!!!

we3ernes said...

Trish,

I don't know if you remember "talking" to me last fall when we found out that my husband was going to be stationed in Honduras at Soto Cano. At the time we were investigating whether we could live locally and you encouraged me in my efforts.

It turned out that we wouldn't be allowed to live in Comayagua. Well, we could live there, but my husband wouldn't be allowed to live with us and we wouldn't be allowed on base except to visit on occasional weekends.

In the spring my daughter and I moved to Texas and helped my husband move down to Honduras. We were there visiting him when I found out (through a mutual friend on Facebook) that Ben had been kidnapped. I felt terrible! Here I was, just a couple of hours away from you, and I could do nothing to help! I did tell my husband immediately so that he would have a personal interest in case anything came through official channels.

My husband, daughter, and I prayed off and on throughout the day for your family and for Ben. I was so relieved to hear that he had been released. My daughter, Noelle, is Ben's age and I can't even imagine what you were going through that day. We have kept Ben and your family in our prayers since then. Praying for peace and a return to normalcy.

Jen

Anonymous said...

I learned of your need for prayer on a Homesteading website and by one of the moderators on her Facebook page. I am in Ohio and immediately started praying for Ben and your family. So glad everything turned out the way it did. God bless you and your family!

Lisa R. said...

Hi! I've been dealing with insecurity in the power of prayer and God has recently done many things to continually remind me that there truly is power in prayer! I read about you and Ben from Grateful For Grace soon after it started and kept checking throughout. I didn't have a specific revelation to pray, but you see, I felt strongly to pray that the so many belever's who had heard the call and were praying would all have answered prayers!!! To restore faith in many and to know that when so many children of God lift something up in prayer then there is tremendous power there and God will answer!!! After reading all of these responses, I'm so humbled and thankful that we were all part of this together and I was called on to pray for so many! Praise God!!!