During my time in the US, many people told me that they were praying for us during the kidnapping, and that they shared the prayer request with other people. In some cases, whole college campuses prayed for us, in others, groups on mission trips in foreign countries prayed. I've heard versions of this story over and over . . . that people felt compelled to stop what they were doing, and pray, and share the prayer request with others. And how those "others" felt compelled to pray, and share with others, and on and on. I have never before seen a prayer request spread so quickly to so many people! To have been the focus of all of these fervent, heartfelt prayers is absolutely overwhelming.
As I was reading these earlier Facebook posts, I came across something a friend posted, relating a message she had received from one of her friends. The friend, Mary Beth, is not anyone I know, at all. She had never heard of me before she saw the prayer request. I read this for the first time today, and was so touched by it - partly because it's just so amazing, but also because I've heard many others express similar sentiments! Here's what she wrote:
I just have to share with you that when you shared the prayer request about Ben, I felt something that I rarely feel...absolute confidence that God was going to move. It was like I could see the angels, legions of them, lined up and waiting to move, waiting on the prayers of the saints. I always pray when someone shares a request, but this time I felt compelled to call Ed into the room and for us to pray out loud together. I felt led to share it on FB, call my mother-in-law to have her pray and put it on her church's prayer chain. I was, for lack of a better word, obsessing about this all day today. Not obsessing as in, worrying, but like God wouldn't let me stop praying about it. It was like He was encouraging me to not just knock, but to pound on the door of heaven. I just knew that He wanted to move but that He wanted US to pray for it. Very strange, I've rarely had that kind of faith, that kind of confidence in what God was doing. Normally I'm all, "Your will be done" etc. But this time I was like, "Go God, go get him and bring him home!" I spent around 2 hours on Trish's website and blog just "getting to know" her and her family and their ministry (I figured since I couldn't stop praying, it would be nice to find out who I was praying for, lol! And I wasn't focused on work anyway, so...). What a cool family and what a wonderful ministry. I'm always happy when people focus equipping local people to minister. I was VERY impressed with their financial stewardship as well. I'm so glad that Ben is safe and I can't wait to hear how God made this happen. Thanks for your faithfulness to share the need of your friend! I love you my dear. MB
We're still sort of stunned here by this whole situation. Please forgive me as I keep dwelling on it!