Sunday, January 11, 2015

What if He were YOUR father??

This past week, my best friend Valerie and I were driving back from the GYC convention in Phoenix Arizona. I'd just recovered from a bout of food poisoning (picked up incidentally at a VEGAN restaurant), and still wasn't feeling real strong when we stopped at a gas station near Flagstaff to fill up.

While stopped, an older scruffy looking man hobbled over and asked if we'd give him a ride up the road to where his truck had broken down. He was carrying a gas-can in his hand. I eyed him a bit skeptically and then looked in our back seat, which was stuffed with lots of food and traveling supplies. "Ummm….I'm not sure if we have room…" I began. He quickly turned away.

I did feel sorry for him, but not sure if I was sorry enough to give him a ride. As a single girl, I've pretty much made it a stipulation NEVER to pick up male hitch-hikers, at least not unless there are already men with me in the vehicle. There are just too many strange things that happen these days. So I was uneasy with the prospects of helping the elderly man, although he didn't look like he would hurt a flea.

Meanwhile my best friend Valerie, who was sitting in the drivers seat, begin to pry my conscious.

"What if that was YOUR father?" she asked. "Wouldn't you give him a ride?"

"Please don't try to manipulate my emotions!" I responded sharply, maybe a bit too sharply. "I don't give rides to men!"

There was a pause. "I really think we should help him, Mel! He doesn't look like he could hurt anyone."

By this time, we had pulled away from the gas pumps and were waiting for the traffic to clear so we could get out onto the main highway. The old man, who had asked for a ride, was now crossing the street just in front of us, carrying his gas can as he headed down the road. Due to the heavy traffic, I had time to think and finally said, "Okay, I'll clear the back seat. You can stop and pick him up."

A few seconds later we were able to get out on to the road and we pulled alongside him. He was walking the same way we were going. We opened the door and he crawled in, painfully it seemed. Then it was that I noticed his breathing, coming in short tight gasps.

"Are you okay?" Valerie asked him.

"I'm having an asthma attack. I forgot my inhaler in the truck…" he responded between quick gasps. Indeed he was looking quite pale, and his eyes were filled with fear. Maybe fear that he might not live to get that inhaler? I don't know.

In just a few seconds we pulled up to his broken down truck. It wasn't even 500 feet up the road. An old lady was waiting. He hopped out of our van and immediately went looking for his inhaler which was in the front seat. Ahhh, the relief on his face when he put it to his mouth. He was going to live!

As we pulled away, we were both silent, but tears began to blind my eyes. As we drove, I cried more and more. Valerie reached over and gently wiped away the tears from my cheeks.

"What are you thinking, Mel?" she asked with concern.

Finally I spoke. "I just didn't realize how hard-hearted I sometimes can be! I'm really not a very kind person, at least not like I should be." The tears continued to spill.

"If we hadn't stopped and picked up that man, he might have passed out right there beside the road. He was soooo desperate to get to his inhaler so he could breath, and I didn't want to help him."

"We didn't know he was having an asthma attack…" Val responded gently.

"I know, but God did. And that's why He picked us to help, and we almost missed the opportunity due to my hard-heartedness. But at least you were listening to His voice…" my voice trailed off.

What made the whole situation even more cutting to my heart was that GYC speakers had offered many powerful messages about reaching out to those in need during the Dec. 31-Jan. 4 convention. I'd been deeply moved to tears several times as I had re-committed to do more for the hurting and needy. Many other young people had responded similarly. But agreeing with a sermon about helping those in need and then facing a scruffy man on the street who had a need was two different things. Oh for strength to put more of the gospel into work boots!

The reality of the whole situation and how we had stepped in during a time of critical need was on my mind for awhile.

Still crying and looking for more reassurance, I texted a close friend who I know to be very caring and generous with those in need. "I'm so selfish." I wrote the words painfully. "I want to be more kind like you."

Although my friend didn't know why I'd written the above words, his response was deeply profound.

"All of our natural inclinations are of self, Mel. Recognizing that selfishness is even more difficult than overcoming it. Because we have to recognize it first, but once we do, Jesus helps us overcome it. So don't be too hard on yourself."

Wow! Just what I needed to hear.

Thank you Jesus, I prayed softly. Thank you for helping me wake-up today to how horrible of a person I really am when it comes to reaching out to those in need. Help me to be more kind and willing to help those in trouble. I have an aging father, and I hope someone would also reach out and help him if he were in similar need. 

"By all that has given us advantage over another,—be it education and refinement, nobility of character, Christian training, religious experience,—we are in debt to those less favored; and, so far as lies in our power, we are to minister unto them. If we are strong, we are to stay up the hands of the weak." Desire of Ages, p. 440

Later that day, with still many miles to cover between our location and home, I called my dad to see how he was.

"I am just returning home from the dentist. I had a tooth pulled today," he began to tell me, after our greetings. "However, I made a mistake in calculating mileage and I ran out of gas. What made it so difficult is that it's sooo bitterly cold here right now in Arkansas. But thankfully someone stopped and gave me a ride to the gas station and back."

Wow! I could hardly talk.

"Are you serious?" I asked him. "You ran out of gas beside the road?" As I repeated his words, Valerie's eyebrows rose with a knowing expression. I knew what she was thinking.

Thankfully my dad was taken care of and already on the road headed toward home by the time I talked to him on the phone. But the lesson we'd just learned with the older man needing a ride was now even more firmly embedded in our mind.

Valerie had asked me, "What if that was your father needing a ride?" Unbeknownst to her or I, my father did need a ride. But just as God had sent Val and I to take care of someone else's father, so He also sent someone to take care of mine.

Needless to say, I don't think either one of us will ever forget that old man that we picked up beside the road that day, or the lesson God taught us. In fact, looking back now, we wish we'd done more. Like offer to fill up his whole tank with gas, and maybe give him some food from our liberal supply. He looked like he could have used it more than us. But as we've reflected on the situation we've talked about ways we can reach out more effectively and compassionately in the future…like maybe putting together pre-packaged goodie bags with some non-perishable food items and religious literature that we could easily pass out the window to that homeless person standing at the light. There are many ways we can help others, if our hearts are soft and we are willing.

However, the strange coincidence doesn't stop with my father running out of gas. Two days later, Valerie's father was also stranded beside the road in the cold, only this time with a flat tire. And this time, no one came to his rescue. Instead, he had to walk until he found a place to call for help.

Once again, we both realized God was trying to re-emphasize to us how important it is to be willing to help someone in need.

I'm not advocating that we start picking up every hitch-hiker out there. As single woman, we probably still won't be picking up old men asking for a ride (unless God tells us too), but we are praying God will help us be more open to reaching out to those in need, at least in some way…

Although we don't know the background of the beggars on the street, every person we meet asking for help is someone's father, someone's mother, someone's brother, someone's sister…and most of all, they are God's child.

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matt. 25:40

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The MOST AMAZING gift: What Chloe taught me about giving!

I met sweet little Chloe, a six year old girl, at one of my speaking engagements in Northern California last spring. I had just completed a series of Sabbath meetings on prayer at her church, and throughout my entire presentation she had paid attention taking in every detail and every picture.

Although no offering appeal was made, when my presentations were over, Chloe decided that she wanted to give me a special gift to help with my ministry and work. So with the approval of her mother, she brought me a jar of specially saved up pennies and small coins. "Here is something for you, Miss Melody," she told me eagerly as she handed me the jar of coins. "I want to give you this to help with your ministry." I couldn't believe her thoughtfulness as I knew those precious coins had taken awhile for her to save up and came from the deepest generosity of her heart. I hugged her tightly, and not long after we went outside to snap this picture together.

Later when I got back to the place where I was staying, I counted the coins. The sum amounted to $6.40. That's not much in the adult world, but believe me, this was one of the biggest gifts I've ever received financially because I knew the heart behind the gift. I was so touched that I brought the money home and put it in a special container. I couldn't bare to spend it, but began praying with thanksgiving over that sweet little offering, asking that God would bless it and multiply it many fold for His glory, just like He multiplied the widow's "TWO MITES" for His own glory.

Well, God has done just that. In the eight months since I received that gift, God has multiplied those coins many many times for me. Yes He has!!!

Just a little back-history: I haven't received a normal paycheck for almost four years. However, I've not once lacked, or failed to pay one of my bills. In fact, I continue to stand amazed at how God keeps providing for my daily needs and keeps giving me exactly what I need to live, pay my expenses and keep up with ministry and travels. What's even more amazing to me though is that He has not only generously continued to provide for my needs, but He even sent me the funds, just when I needed them this past year, to fly to TWO overseas weddings that I really couldn't bare to miss: One of those weddings was in Romania, and the other one was in New Zealand. Don't tell me God doesn't care about the desire of our heart!

However, above and beyond the financial blessings that I received from Chloe's offering being multiplied (God actually multiplied it OVER a thousand-times these last eight months since I received it) is the lesson that Chloe taught me that day. It really doesn't matter how small and seemingly insignificant our gift might appear as long as we give it with our full heart. If we give with our heart, no matter how meager the offering, God cannot resist. And His blessing will be upon it.

As we enter the Christmas Holiday season, how should we approach the concept of giving?

To be honest, I think my favorite part of the Holiday is having an extra excuse to GIVE. To me, there's no joy like creating a special gift for someone you care about, or taking painstaking effort to put together a special holiday package for those people in your life that you want to make happy, or for those in need. Cooking goodies, sweet treats, listening to Christmas carols, going Christmas caroling, and sitting by the fireplace reading stories…these things are blend together to make many precious memories.

However, the ONE who deserves the best gift of all is our Heavenly Father. But what can we give someone so great as He when we have so little? Do we even consider this in the Holiday rush of looking after loved ones?

I expect we've all had those times when we long to do something special and great for God, but we feel like we really don't have much to offer. We look around at what others are giving and think, "What I have to offer God is nothing in comparison with them! My talents, my resources... They are so little. How could they matter to God??" And so we timidly hold back. But you know, God's not looking for great resources or talents or magnificent gifts. He's looking for the heart behind the gift giving. THIS is what is most valuable in His eyes. And if our hearts are really seeking to give all to Him, then even if we only have "two mites" to give (like the poor widow from Mark 12:42, and like my little Chloe who gave her all with that jar of coins), it will be more valuable in the sight of heaven than ALL the pompous gifts of the world combined.

However, I believe that the best gift we can give is OURSELVES!!! That's the gift that matters most. Are we willing to give Him ourself this Holiday season?

Consider what Inspiration has to say about the widow who gave her ALL:

"It is the motive that gives character to our acts, stamping them with ignominy or with high moral worth. Not the great things which every eye sees and every tongue praises does God account most precious. The little duties cheerfully done, the little gifts which make no show, and which to human eyes may appear worthless, often stand highest in His sight. A heart of faith and love is dearer to God than the most costly gift. The poor widow gave her living to do the little that she did. She deprived herself of food in order to give those two mites to the cause she loved. And she did it in faith, believing that her heavenly Father would not overlook her great need. It was this unselfish spirit and childlike faith that won the Saviour’s commendation." – Desire of Ages, p. 615. 
Soooo….even if you feel like you don't have much to give the Lord this Holiday, don't hold back. Remember it's the heart and motive behind the giving that really counts most! And as History will testify, sometimes the GREATEST GIFTS come in small packages, like the gift of a baby born a couple thousand years ago in an obscure stable in Bethlehem.

One of my favorite verses says:

"It is more blessed to give than it is to receive." Acts 20:35

God gave us His ALL!! Now what will we give Him?

Happy Holidays and love from my heart to yours!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Intro to my book, Daring to Ask for More

If I told you there was a divine key to success in life and ministry, would you go after it? If I told you that this key is more valuable than all the resources at the disposal of magistrates and kings, would you desire it? What if I told you that this key would open up a whole new world of life and endless possibilities? Would you listen?

Amazingly, this divine key is already in our hands. Indeed, it’s been in our hands from the very beginning. The problem is, while we talk a lot about it, most of us haven’t yet discovered its true power. To illustrate what I mean, let me tell you a story.

Alexander the Great was a mighty conqueror and king, and although he lived long before the time of Christ (around 300 B.C.), his reputation still lives on today. As history tells us, he conquered all of the “then known world.” In fact, it is told, that when he reached Asia, he realized there were no more countries to conquer, and he actually wept.

Besides being a great conqueror, he was also a compassionate ruler. Every year he set aside one day that he called “compassionate day.”

As the story goes, on this special day of the year, he randomly se- lected different people across his kingdom whom he allowed to come and make special requests. They could ask for whatever they wanted or needed. And he would grant their requests. Most people asked for food, clothes, money for medicine, and so on. However, one year, there was a man who dared to ask for more! Speaking through the king’s spokesman, this man shared his request. “Can you please tell the king that I want a large palace?”

But before he could continue, the king’s spokesman inter- rupted him with irritation. “What impertinence! Don’t you see all these people asking for food and medicine? How dare you to think that you can ask the king for a palace!”

But the man continued earnestly, “I want the palace to include a large banquet hall where I can host a celebration, because I have lots of friends. And I want the palace to be well furnished, and I want a special meal prepared.” 

But the spokesman stopped him again, as he was get- ting more angry. “I will not ask the king for this! This is the most outrageous thing I’ve ever heard!”

At this point, King Alexander saw the commotion. “What does the man desire?” he inquired of his spokesman.

The spokesman reluctantly turned toward the king and came forward, whispering in low tones that only the king could hear. “King, I’m afraid to tell you this. I can’t believe how unreasonable this man is, and I know you will be upset. But he’s asking for a palace. Not only does he have the audacity to ask for a palace, but he’s asking that you’d make a large banquet hall in this palace, because he evidently has lots of friends. And he wants the whole thing to be fully furnished and supplied with food. I’m so sorry. I know this is such an unreasonable request, and I tried to get him to ask for something more reasonable, but he persisted.”

King Alexander paused for a moment, then with a large smile on his face, he turned toward the petitioner and enthusiastically replied, “Request granted!”

The spokesman looked at the king in astonishment. “How can you grant such an outrageous request?” he asked in shock.

The king replied, smiling, “You see, all these people are asking for food, for medicine, and for mundane things. They think that’s the only thing I can give. But they don’t need a king to give them these things. Anyone with extra resources could do these things for them. But this man . . . THIS MAN . . . He’s the first man that’s really made me feel like the king I am. For only I can grant such a request!”

The Bible tells us, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20; emphasis added). Why do we so often settle for superficial blessings when we serve the King of the universe? Why do we settle for living life three inches below the water-line, barely surviving spiritually, when God is longing to give us so much more?

We are living in the last days of earth’s history, and if the gospel is going to go to all the world and Jesus is going to return, things can’t continue as they have been any longer. We need a much deeper spiritual experience than we have yet imagined possible. We need a much deeper prayer life. We need a much deeper faith in God’s Word. The reality is that we have settled for being spiritual dwarfs when God is calling us, modern-day Israel, to become spiritual giants standing in the gap, interceding for the lost.

Unfortunately, Satan knows the power that there is in God’s Word. He knows the power that there is when we pray. In fact, he knows better than most Christians the unlimited spiritual possibilities that are within our grasp if we look to God in faith. Because of this, he will do anything he can to keep us from genuine faith-filled prayer! At the sound of fervent prayer, we are told, “Satan’s whole host trembles.” They tremble because they know they will suffer loss.

Because of Satan’s hatred for God’s Word and true earnest prayer, he’s created a maze of deceptions to counter God’s work, and he’s been all too successful. I will take some time in this book to talk about some of these subtle deceptions creeping into modern-day Christianity and how we can avoid them. I will also talk about what it means to have true faith, and how we can become so firmly grounded in God’s Word that no storms can blow us over; and how we can pray with bold confidence knowing that God is hearing and will answer our prayers.

My fervent prayer is that this book will launch you on the most incredible journey you’ve ever taken—into the endless frontier of spiritual possibilities that God has waiting for you. I encourage you to keep your Bible near so you can look up the verses I reference. His Word will be our foundation, launching pad, and the fuel with which we move forward in successful prayer and ministry. As I’m sure you will soon discover, God is just longing to pour out His Spirit and just longing to do so much more in your life than you’ve ever imagined possible for His glory. And the key that opens the door to all these possibilities is within your grasp! It is prayer, faith-filled earnest prayer, for we are told, “Prayer and faith will do what no power on earth can accomplish.”

So with Bible in hand, let the journey upon our knees begin—the journey of faith—as we humbly and audaciously dare to ask God for more!

To learn more, visit:

[Note: This book was released in October of 2014. It is available online, from Pacific Press Publishing Association or at your local ABC.]

Monday, June 23, 2014

Melody's Ministry Updates

Well… it appears that it's been AWHILE since I wrote anything on this blog! Obviously I've been too busy to keep it up, and most of my sharing now is via Facebook. However, I think some updates are in order.

This past winter I went to Bangladesh/Nepal and what was suppose to be a few weeks turned into almost 2 months as I extended my stay. What an amazing experience, teaching my kids Bible classes, and continuing to mentor and love on these precious children. It was very hard to leave, especially my two adopted girls.

When I returned to the USA, I was only home a few days before leaving for our next ARME in California. This was our 20th event! Wow, how the last five years have flown.

After that, I got to spend time with friends at Weimar before taking a speaking appointment in Northern California.  And that's how my spring has been. Traveling, speaking, oh…and don't forget writing! One of my biggest jobs this spring was editing my book Daring to Ask for More, which Pacific Press has agreed to publish.

As of June 6th, the editing process was officially completed and now Pacific Press is working on the final details. A true miracle how all this has come together. My book will be released sometime this coming October 2014. (More on that later!)

In the meantime, travels continue. Just got back from 10 days in Romania where I gained the inspiration for my NEXT book. LOL! You think that after having just completed one it would be enough. However, I was at a friends wedding and during this trip read a book on single hood that some friends had recommended. It was LESS than inspiring though, and so I got inspired that maybe (after over 20 years of waiting on God) it was time to start writing my own book on the topic of single hood for my fellow single sisters. So we will see where this new project goes. (Stay tuned for more updates on this project!)

This next week we will be hosting our 21st ARME event here in the Ozarks of Arkansas. Another huge answer to prayer to have this in my home state. After that, I'm off to Colorado and then Idaho and possibly Canada once again for more speaking appointments. God is blessing and the adventures don't stop, but God is leading me one day at a time. All I can say is God is good, all the time, God is good! I have so much to be thankful for!

So that's my updates in a nutshell! ;-)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Good morning, my Love!

I'm not married, but I can imagine if I was, waking up in the morning would be to me like greeting the morning sunshine. I wouldn't be rushing out of bed to check my e-mail, make phone calls, or get started working on projects...I wouldn't even be rushing to get in my morning jog. I would linger...enjoying being in the presence of the one I love. I would enjoy praying together, and together planning how "we" would go about "our" day...

So it hit me a little while back....why should it be any different with my "Heavenly love"? Why do there always seem to be a thousand other "lovers" begging for my immediate attention when I wake up each morning....why is it easier to push time with my "Heavenly love" to the back burner while I take care of necessary appointments, start my laundry, make breakfast, deal with pressing business? Why am I often careless and so willing to put my "Heavenly Love" and His needs to the side, while I take care of the needs of others FIRST. In fact, it's kinda funny....because in the past I've often justified myself in doing this... after all, it's not just "my business" I am taking care of... it's HIS business too. (After all, I pretty much work in full time ministry!) So He shouldn't mind that it's taking me a little longer to get back to my devotions or time with Him...right???? easy we can rationalize easy HE can be pushed away!!!

So...thankfully God is patient and tender....and He's been drawing me back to himself and reminding me... If I wouldn't treat an earthly love this way, how can I treat Him this way?? (Melody - Let's keep your priorities straight!) So with His help, I'm recommitting my heart and time to Him....and learning to keep first things first - no matter what is on the agenda. I don't answer the phone, check my e-mail, or even start working on ministry business UNTIL I have first said "Good morning" and spent some quality time with Him! After can we say we are truly "in love" if we aren't making that "love" our first priority...??

"An intensity such as never before was seen is taking possession of the world. In amusement, in moneymaking, in the contest for power, in the very struggle for existence, there is a terrible force that engrosses body, mind, and soul. In the midst of this maddening rush, God is speaking. He bids us come apart and commune with Him. "Be still and know that I am God." Many even in their seasons of devotion fail of receiving the blessing of real communion with God. They are in too great haste, with hurried steps they press through the circle of Christ's loving presence, pausing perhaps a moment within the sacred precincts, but not waiting for counsel. They have no time to remain with the divine teacher. With their burdens they return to their work. These workers can never attain the highest success until they learn the secret of strength. They must give themselves time to think, to pray, to wait upon God for a renewal of physical, mental, and spiritual power. They need the uplifting influence of His Spirit. Receiving this, they will be quickened by fresh life. The wearied frame and tired brain will be refreshed; the burdened heart will be lightened. Not a pause for a moment in His presence, but personal contact with Christ, to sit down in companionship with Him - this is our need." Education, p. 260

I think so often...we get stuck in the trap.... "Well, I'm doing this for God." But God says, first... "No - I don't just want your efforts, I just don't want your sacrifice at the altar... I want YOU! If I don't have YOU....nothing else can matter."

"The Christian life can only be explained in terms of Jesus Christ, and if your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of you - your personality, your willpower, your gift, your talent, your money, your courage, your scholarship, your dedication, your sacrifice, or your anything - then although you may have the Christian life, you are not yet living it." ~ Ian Thomas

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Melody's Heading Overseas again…

I'm taking off for Southeast Asia!

Dear Friends and Readers, 

I'm heading to Nepal and Bangladesh for the next 6 weeks. Please pray for me while I'm overseas. I've pushed myself over the limit so am currently struggling with a bad head-cold which I'm hoping will not worsen during the next 24 hours of travel. Bangladesh has had some political struggles and uprisings this fall, so it's not as safe to travel here as in times past. But I'm not worried as I know that God is with me and He will take care of me! However, I still appreciate the prayers.

I'm taking 6 suitcases with me (4 pieces more than normal) so praying that I can get them all on the plane without paying an arm and a leg per extra piece. I would appreciate prayers for this as well. I'm taking lots of supplies, Bible and teaching materials, sanctuary model kit, warm clothes for the children, toys for Christmas, special food the kitchen asked for, and much more and have over-expended myself in the process. So if any of you would like to help me cover expenses for this trip, just e-mail and I'll tell you how. Some of you have already given funds toward this trip. Thank you soooo much! 

Some may question why I'm taking so much stuff…the reason is that it's hard to get a lot of this stuff overseas. I asked the founder how much extra luggage she takes when she travels and she said like 15 bags!!! Wow!! So I'm only taking 4 extra bags! But since I'm traveling alone, managing all my luggage could get interesting. So I solicit all the prayers I can get during this journey. 

Once I arrive in Bangladesh, I will be there a day then I travel for 5 days to Nepal to speak to church leaders about the power of United Prayer. I will be doing prayer training there. So pray about this as well! ;-) There's a lot that I need to be thinking and praying about between here and there!

If you wish to reach me personally, you can e-mail me at:

I'm expecting great things from God on this trip! It will be an adventure, but I'm praying that God will use my feeble efforts to make an impact for eternity. I'm praying He will do this for all of us actually!

“The Lord is disappointed when His people place a low estimate upon themselves. He desires His chosen heritage to value themselves according to the price He has placed upon them. God wanted them, else He would not have sent His Son on such an expensive errand to redeem them. He has a use for them, and He is well pleased when they make the very highest demands upon Him, that they may glorify His name. They may expect large things if they have faith in His promises.” Desire of Ages, p. 668

Thanks again for the prayers and to those of you who have written and let me know that you are praying. It means a lot. 

I will return end of January 2014. If I'm able to post anything between now and then, I will, otherwise, I will e-mail Chelsey and ask her to post. 


PS: Attached are pictures of my last trip to Bangladesh. This will be my 4th time to visit this country! It's one of the poorest and most populated countries in the 10/40 window. But even here, Jesus has people shining as lights for Him. I'm privileged to get to spend the next 6 weeks in this part of Asia!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Praying for Rain 2013 - Annual Council Full Report!

Last year, when my friends and I took 21 days to fast and pray for our church leaders at the General Conference headquarters in Maryland, we received so many blessings and answered prayers that we were asked by General Conference leadership to return again this year. To God be the Glory!

This year instead of just praying together for 21 days, I decided to ask prayer partners from around the world to join our prayer team for 3 months in advance of the yearly Annual Council meetings. I was hoping for at least 50 prayer partners, but God blessed and we had almost 115 join from all parts of the globe.

For this prayer challenge, although we could not all be together, we decided to agree in prayer. We divided up the names of the Annual Council delegates (some from the different church Divisions around the world and some from the actual General Conference headquarters - there are 470+ delegates all together), and we began to pray over them name by name from our respective locations around the world.

Some team members prayed together over their names. Others prayed independently, yet knowing they were in agreement with the prayers of their brothers and sisters. Over these 3 months, many shared how this "Praying for Rain" prayer initiative has encouraged them, inspired them, and also grown their intercessory prayer life. And that's the whole point… that we would all grow to be greater prayer warriors, standing in the gap for others. However, others shared how this 3 months has also brought them some rather large spiritual attacks. (I'm among those, which just convinces me more that we are on the right track and the enemy is NOT happy!)

Pictured below is some of our prayer team, with our Indonesian friends Irene and Arlaine, along with Elder Wilson and his wife Nancy.

So WHY did we do this?

This is not a new idea. Exodus 17:12 shares how Joshua along with Israel was compelled to go to battle against the Amalakites. Moses was up on a hill above interceding for them during the battle with his arms up in intercession. However, his arms grew heavy and he could not hold them up. When his arms dropped the Amalakites began to win the battle, but when his arms were raised the Israelites prevailed over the Amalakites. Since he couldn't hold up his arms, God sent him supportive intercessors by the name of Aaron and Hur to help hold up his arms, and as a result, Joshua and the Israelites won the battle!

Because of this simple story, I have been inspired that we need to do more of the same. As God's people, we need to support and hold up the arms of leaders in prayer, just like Aaron and Hur held up Moses arms.

We aren't battling against the Amalakites, but we are in a very REAL great controversy battle of significant importance. It's a supernatural battle, not of flesh and blood but between the power of God and the powers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places (See Ephesians 6!) It's a battle over YOUR soul and over MY soul! God's church is under fire. And unless God's people stand up, the devil is going to take many captives. Many will be forever lost!

This is a side note, but have you noticed that most of our praying today is centered around self…our needs, our wants, our desires. Of course these things matter to God! Praise the Lord, He cares about each little tiny detail of our lives. However, He's also looking for people who can get outside themselves and pray and wrestle for others.

God is looking for "Intercessors" to stand in the gap. Ezekiel 22:30 says, "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD."

We are told by the pen of Inspiration: "Prayer is a heaven-ordained means of success. Appeals, petitions, entreaties, between man and man, move men and act a part in controlling the affairs of nations. But prayer moves heaven." Prayer partners, did you catch that? …PRAYER MOVES HEAVEN!

It's time to pray…it's TIME to see Heaven moved, the Holy Spirit poured out, and the work finished, so we can go home! Jesus is waiting. He's waiting for you and me!

So let me share an over view of how God blessed at Annual Council this year.

  • Last year we had a large onsite prayer team of eight. This year I (Mel) hoped for a larger team yet. However, most of those planning to attend were not able to come for various reasons. But God reminded me that it's not numbers that make the difference, it is Him! And thankfully, He brought me just the teammates I needed. Also this year, as already mentioned, we had a HUGE prayer team behind the scenes supporting us in prayer. PTL! 

  • When we arrived, Janet Page (GC Ministerial Secretary for prayer and Shepherdess International) shared how much our prayers had impacted the security personnel from last year. We were encouraged to hear this as we had made it a habit to pray with them every morning at 3 a.m. when we came in last year. Initially some of the guys had been resistant to this. However when we arrived the first morning at 3:30 a.m. this year, our security man was already waiting with his request for us, before we even offered to pray for him. I thought that was neat! I saw some real tough hearts (or what seemed to be) soften as we reached out to them in prayer. We know that God cares about Revival and Reformation for all, and we wanted to see everyone impacted by our prayers from the bottom up and from the top down, and so this was a real praise report to begin our time there at the GC this year.

  • Each day our goal was to walk through the entire General Conference building, praying for each department and all those that worked there. We would stop and sit down only once we got to Presidential as we took more specific time to pray for Elder Wilson and his family, all his Vice-Presidents and their families, and all the Division presidents and their team. This whole walk through prayer time took over 3 hours, and could have taken longer, but we tried to be finished before people started coming into work. 

  • As we walked the General Conference building the first morning this year - praying for the GC staff and leaders and for God's church, we began praying again that God would wake up His people (literally get them out of bed!) and help them have a conviction of their great need of a closer walk with Him. Later this very morning, I read a post on RBHW about a person in our time zone that had been awakened at 3:45 a.m. THAT VERY MORNING of the first day we had started praying this prayer. They shared, "I woke up at 3:45 a.m. with an overwhelming conviction of my sins and my need of repentance. I got out of bed and fell on my knees and wept in prayer, then I opened my Bible and wept some more…" As I read this testimony, I felt like God was giving us evidence that He had heard our prayers and this was just a glimpse of what He was doing in the hearts of many individuals in answer to our prayers. PTL!!! 

  • That first weekend we were at the GC, Ted Wilson, Michael Ryan (Vice President), and Jerry and Janet Page (GC Ministerial) had asked us all to pray for the Urban Mission Conference that was occurring the first weekend we were here. (Sept. 27th-Oct 1st!) Well, God REALLY blessed! 

  • Friday night of this conference, G.T. Ng, executive Secretary for the worldwide church, gave a powerful talk sharing about God's call for us to work the cities and about all the "lost pearls" there, just waiting to be found. Very convicting!! Sabbath morning, Mark Finley taught the Sabbath school lesson, the final lesson of the revival and reformation study series, then during Church Ted Wilson spoke. His message was titled, "It's Time" and he too shared how God is calling us to step out and reach out NOW to our lost brothers and sisters in the cities. It was very powerful! Sabbath afternoon they had another program with many powerful testimonies from around the world, on what God is currently doing in the Cities. These testimonies were all broadcast LIVE on the HOPE Church channel.

    After a powerful weekend of testimonies and conviction, the meetings proceeded for the leaders to discuss how to implement what the Bible and SOP has called us to do in reaching our lost brothers and sisters in the cities. Again prayer made a huge difference as our leaders were united in how to move forward. While the task ahead is daunting (and everyone recognizes it will be impossible except by the power of the Holy Spirit), the meetings were a great success with a good plan underway. 

    The final morning of the Urban Mission Conference, Pastor Derek Morris gave a powerful devotional challenging people to seek for that Holy Spirit outpouring of Acts 1:8, as only by this can we have what is needed to accomplish this work. He challenged everyone to be willing to step outside of their comfort zone and follow wherever God calls. There were many tears, and when he made the final appeal, most of the audience went forward. The Urban Mission Conference meetings ended later that day with a time of praise and prayers, followed by a communion service, and all the leaders circled the room holding hands as they prayed. Some were in tears. And it was very obvious the Holy Spirit was present.

  • The unity in the meetings was beautiful. Elder Wilson told me later personally how much God had worked and blessed during these meetings, in the documents written up, and in the unity of everyone in attendance, and he knew it was because of all the prayers. So we praised Lord for this. Thank you everyone that was praying!!

  • Also, the "Mission to the Cities" launch this past summer is continuing to bear fruit. Delbert Baker (one of the Vice Presidents) shared how he was having a meeting in another church in NYC a couple weeks after Ted Wilson's evangelistic meetings in Manhattan and they were preparing to baptize another 30 people. That Sabbath as the day for the planned baptism started, a man walked in and wanted to be baptized that day. They began to explain he would need to study etc. He said, "No, I know all the teachings of this church already." He had attended all the Manhattan meetings Elder Wilson had preached and was convicted but did not make his decision for baptism. However, he had been struggling with conviction for these last few weeks and this Sabbath morning the Lord woke him up feeling he must find the nearest SDA church that Sabbath and get baptized. He looked in phone book and came to this church where Elder Baker was just finishing their meetings and planning a big baptism that day. He was baptized before the day was over!!

  • There are many other reports of ongoing follow-up meetings and new centers of influence and outreach meetings going on in New York City as a result - PTL! So those of you praying for New York Conference, God is at work.

  • We also heard and saw many testimonies from how God's work is going forward around the world. It was so inspiring to see cities and people and Division leaders that we have been praying for these past 3 months (and last year as well) sharing enthusiastically how God is working and blessing in their Divisions and areas of ministry. 

  • Day three at the GC, my prayer partner and I were asked to go start an all-night prayer at the local Indian church. I was very tired and not feeling up to this assignment, but once I got up to speak to the congregation and began to share, God gave me incredible energy and I felt no tiredness again until my time with them was over. As Susy later reported, "Wow! Amazing! God blessed the all-night prayer in big ways. Over 80 stayed throughout the night and they were so convicted by the time of United Prayer, and burden bearing prayer (praying for each of them) that they shared they want to do this a lot more." All I can say is, Praise the Lord for leading and blessing and giving Chelsey and I strength to help out with this when we were already so sleep deprived. 

  • Every morning during these first two weeks before Annual Council, the GC asked different Division leaders to lead the united prayer time. It was beautiful to see the different division leaders lead and the heart-felt convictions expressed in prayer. Some of the very leaders who haven't seemed that interested in these times of prayer in the past were now actively involved. (More answered prayers from last year!)

  • As we were praying for deeper conviction and repentance for our leaders, God was also taking our prayer team deeper. One evening prayer session (we were in the GC building praying for several hours both morning and night) our team just cried together as God brought different things to our hearts that we needed to lay before His throne. It was beautiful and we knew that before God could work for those we were praying for, He had to take us deeper. And He did! This time of prayer cannot be explained. It can only be experienced. So only those that were there could truly understand. (Last year we had this same experience on day 10! This year it occurred on day 7!)

  • One day Pastor Jerry had shared with me a specific request for some specific individuals. However, I had to keep this request in confidence so was not allowed to share with our prayer team. What is so amazing though, is that during our next prayer time, Susy prayed for these specific individuals exactly what Pastor Jerry had told me to be praying for them. She had no idea of the need. She was just praying, but it showed me that the Holy Spirit was truly praying thru her as He told her what to pray. Later, over the next few prayer times, Chelsey and Julia also prayed for these specific individuals similar prayers just as Pastor Jerry had told me to pray, again evidencing that they were in tune with the Holy Spirit's promptings. It was so amazing that it literally made me cry as I realized that, while I couldn't tell them what to pray for as I had to keep confidence, God was telling them what to pray for! It was amazing! (They still don't know the prayers they prayed that were so specific at timely, and they don't know which leaders these prayers were for, but God used them, and I know answers will come in response to the prayers the Holy Spirit inspired them to pray!)

  • Day 10 was our second Sabbath at the GC. Rather than praying specific prayers, we went into the building early (before anyone was up!) and walked and sang praise songs thru the whole building, praising God for hearing our prayers and for what He was going to do. It was beautiful. We actually did this both of the last two Sabbaths that we were at the GC as it was a nice change from our usual intercessory prayer. (See picture below of our last Sabbath of Annual Council, singing "Jesus is coming Again" outside Elder Wilson's office. It was just after "Boss Day" when we took this picture, and obviously some of his staff had enjoyed decorating his office door with all the special things he does!)

  • Also on this second Sabbath (day 10), some of the Division leaders had asked to join us for prayer, so in the afternoon we had a special prayer meeting and invited some of them to join. Many wanted to, but couldn't because of other commitments. However, Pastor Ratsara (Division President of Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division) as well as Pastor Biaggi (the Euro-Asia Division President) and his Executive secretary and their wives joined us for this prayer time. It was powerful! And it was inspiring to hear their sincere earnest prayers as they pray for strength to reach millions in their respective divisions. 

  • It's also been soooo inspiring to hear how God has answered some of the prayers we prayed last year. One of the African Divisions has really been struggling in the area of tithe. Well, this year we got report how God has increased the tithe in this specific Division from 23% to 103%. Amazing!! Even the GC treasury department can hardly believe it! This is a direct answer to prayer and has come as a result of the division focusing on revival and reformation and on more prayer. PTL!! 

  • Another division leader from one of the European divisions shared how he is amazed to see what God is doing in his division…things that he would never have imagined 3-4 years ago, God is NOW doing!!! He sees Revival and Reformation happening in Europe. So praise the Lord, and those of you that are praying for Europe, keep praying! God is working. We may not see the answer for 3-4 years, but He is working! Not one prayed is wasted! :-)

  • The Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division leaders shared how they've started a Bible study small-group campaign, hoping for about 4,000 small groups to start up. Well, God has been answering our prayers for the SID, because so far they have almost 50,000 small groups of active Bible studies going. What a testimony! Let's ask for more! :-)

  • While our 21 day Prayer initiative at the GC was starting, the Northern Asia Pacific Division were just finishing an evangelistic campaign in Tokyo. We've been praying for them, and one of our prayer teams has been praying for this region for months. Well, God blessed. Over 60 people were baptized from this campaign (which may seem small, but is actually highly unusual). As a result of the success and interest shown, the church leaders in this dry territory NOW FEEL like revival and reformation is starting to reach them in Japan. We praise the Lord! Keep praying for Japan!

  • The last Sabbath (during Annual Council itself), Elder Wilson spoke again, this time focusing on the topic of how we can illuminate this world with God's glory by spreading the love of God. It was powerful and moving and deeply convicting. At the end, he even gave a personal appeal, and asked us to get in groups and to pray. The Holy Spirit was leading and it was so encouraging to see how Elder Wilson, our church president, believes in saturating everything in prayer - even his Sabbath sermon, never mind it's being televised LIVE around the world. I urge you to watch the full message linked below at the end of this prayer report!

  • This is on a personal note, but I (Mel) have to say, I've really been blessed and inspired at how humble and down-to-earth our world church president Elder Wilson and his wife Nancy are. I just have to share this with all of you, that may not get to know them personally as I have, that they are truly genuine blessings from God to our church at this time in history. Not only do I see Christ's spirit and kindness flow thru Elder Wilson in meeting after meeting as he interacts with his colleagues and even some that treat him rudely, but he and his wife  love young people, and older alike. I see this expressed in the genuineness they show to EACH PERSON they interact with. It's not for the cameras either. I've been around them enough now to see this is how they are, even behind the scenes when no audience is watching. These guys really love God and their love for people is reflected. When the Oakwood College singing group came and performed during Annual Council, Elder Wilson was eager to greet the kids and mingle with them. It was really inspiring to watch. To provide a special music here and there, he and his fellow friends sang their own musical piece - almost sounded like the King's Heralds. It was amazingly good! :-) When we visited Elder Wilson's home church where he and Nancy attend (it just so happens that my cousin attends there too), I could tell that they were soooo happy to be back with their home church family where no one was clamoring for pictures or autographs. They joined us in a small 8-person Sabbath school group, and as we talked and discussed the lesson, they were so genuine and down-to earth. On a humorous note, Chelsey and I got a little crack up when we left church that day. We unknowingly had parked right beside them. And the car they had driven to church was soooo old (probably from the 80's) that it wouldn't even start on the first try when they tried to leave after church. They just looked at us and laughed and tried again. This time it came roaring to life. And away they drove through the falling autumn leaves. (The way they smiled and laughed with each other, you would have thought they were out on a date!) Not long after I got a text message from Nancy asking if we'd been taken care of for Sabbath lunch as we had driven out right after them. I had to smile. "To think that she was worried about us when this was their only free Sabbath in all the Annual Council hubbub and they had such a full schedule!" (We'd actually turned down other invitations as we needed to get back to an afternoon prayer meeting at the GC, but we had food in our rooms, so we were well taken care of!) But just the fact that they cared -- after all, we're just the prayer team -- spoke volumes. But the plain truth is Ted and Nancy care about people. And it's real. 
  • I have to say, for all the judging and finger pointing that go on in certain groups of our church, I'm ashamed. This man of God and his dear wife, may not be perfect but they are genuine and they are trying to do what God has called them to do the best they can, and each year I work with them (this is the 4th year now) I respect them more and more. They don't put on any airs. They drive older vehicles and live in an older home--one they've actually owned for years and years, and most of all, they genuinely want to see Jesus come back soon! They aren't worried about getting ahead in this world or taking advantage of their status…there just want to go HOME!!! (Shouldn't that be our goal too, above all else?) I've included a couple personal down to earth pictures below of Elder Wilson, Nancy and their family. I love this family dearly and I firmly believe that God has raised them up to lead this church for this time!! However, the devil is NOT happy with what God is doing, with how true Revival and Reformation is sweeping thousands under Wilson's leadership, and with how God's work is moving forward. If ever we needed to pray for someone in leadership, we need to be praying for this family for they have a huge responsibility at this cross-roads of time and history. It's very obvious Jesus is coming soon, and I'm honored to stand behind such godly leadership in todays church. 

  • Back to Annual Council: One afternoon during Annual Council, they had a "Great Controversy Thank you Service" praising God for how He has blessed the Great Controversy Project this past year. The goal last year was to distribute 50 million GC's throughout the world. (Big goal, right?!) However, so far our church and its members have distributed over 142 million Great Controversies, and some with very popular exposure. So the word is going out. PTL! As part of this service, they had a family come up and share how their ENTIRE FAMILY had been brought into the church this last year as a result of this project. We know it's just a representation of the thousands and thousands of others that have been impacted by this powerful book! To close this "Praise Service" they had us circle the room as they had a dedication prayer, and then we sang "To God be the Glory." It was powerful, and I think the angels were singing with us. (Pictured below are the Great Controversy books in it's many different translations around the world, along with pictures of this "Thank you praise Service." If you haven't read this book yet, you need to get a copy! Read REVIEWS here.)

  • One morning during Annual Council pre-meetings, I (Mel) was asked to come into the Presidential committee to have a short devotional and lead prayer. This ended up being for all the Division presidents and their teams as well as the GC Vice-Presidents, and Department heads at the GC. (About 80 of our top high-ranking church leaders in total!) Elder Wilson was chairing the meeting and had Pastor Jerry Page introduce me. I'm not usually nervous, but for some reason (smile smile) I was really feeling nervous this particular morning. However, it was really neat, because God reminded me that since I meet with Him every morning (and He's not the ruler of a Union, Division or world church, He's the ruler of WORLDS and Billions of galaxies) that there was no reason to be nervous. ;-) So God calmed my nerves, and He REALLY blessed our time together…PTL… In fact, He blessed so much so that Elder Wilson talked to me later and asked if I'd do the same prayer time again for the opening business session the following Sunday. Again, praise the Lord! (See pictures of these two prayer times with presidents and leaders below!)

  • During the pre-meetings for Annual Council, Pastor Ratsara (president of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division, one of the fastest growing divisions in our church) found out that his wife Denise (who has been struggling for 2 years with metastatic cancer) was rushed to the hospital having breathing problems. Things didn't look good. As a result, he made an emergency trip home. We surrounded him in prayer before he left. It's obvious the enemy is angry at what he and others are doing and is trying to cause pain and distraction from God's work by attacking the families of those in the field. It was with great heartbreak that we learned that two days later, Denise died. (See my previous blog post for these details!) Thankfully Pastor Ratsara made it home to be with his wife 12 hours before she died. Since her death, his sister has also died. So he's had TWO family funerals within 2 weeks. However, he told me that both have been small "revival services" that God has really used to convict people of their need of Him. So Pastor Ratsara's courage is good. However, please continue to pray for him and the Ratsara family during this difficult time.

  • Another Division leader, Israel Leito was also absent from Annual Council this year. Elder Leito is president of the Inter-American Division, the largest Division in our church. His son was having a serious health crisis and was not sure if he would live. Thankfully, from the last reports we've heard, his condition has seriously improved and it looks like he will survive. Please continue to pray for his family.

  • Our prayer teammates Irene and Arlaine from Indonesia, also got to share how God is working in helping them build centers of influence to reach the secular masses for Christ. Their testimony was especially inspiring, and we could see first hand how God has been answering their prayers. (To read more of this amazing testimony and report, please download their latest news letter!)

  • Throughout our time at the GC, we got reports from the different leaders of how God specifically worked and blessed in many different committees and board meetings with different issues addressed. I can't share many of these details here as these are of confidential nature, but it was so encouraging to see that God was at work in every detail and in every meeting. And over and over again, Elder Wilson kept telling us how much the prayers were making a difference for all of them! PTL!!! 

  • Janet was away speaking most of the first 2 weeks we were at the GC, but when she returned, she told us how she felt the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit as soon as she walked into the General Conference building. She said it was much more obviously felt than before she left. Again, we praise God for hearing and answering our prayers…both that of our local prayer team and that of the many MANY behind the scenes praying for us and with us. God is good!

  • One very special testimony during our 21 days came toward the end from a GC employee. Every day as we walked the building, we were praying that God would convict the staff (every single one of them) and take them deeper in their walk with Him. If they aren't committed as they should be, we were praying that they would be convicted to go deeper. If they weren't walking with God, we were praying that they would seek for reconciliation. One day this woman came in and shared how she had only been with the GC about a year, but hadn't been walking with God or attending church. However, during the last couple weeks she had been convicted to make her life right with God again. She also shared how she was compelled to come into the prayer room and what a difference it made for her. Again, while this is just one testimony, we took it as a sign of what God is doing in many hearts…and even though we won't know most of these testimonies until we get to heaven, we know God is working behind the scenes on the hearts of His people. Praise the Lord!!!! 

  • Another GC staff member shared how they too, since we had come, had felt increasing conviction from the Holy Spirit to deeper repentance. They knew we were praying and they believed that God was working on their heart because of our prayers. PTL for this testimony!

  • Janet shared how some of the leaders and their wives (from the different divisions) had said that their time at Annual Council this year CHANGED THEIR LIFE!!!! They were going back to work as new people for the Lord. Wow! Now if that isn't an answer to prayer, I'm not sure what is. We kept hearing from the leaders that they couldn't believe how everything, even the business meetings were soooo spiritual. How everything was continually bathed in prayer. (I've seen this growing more and more over the last four years that we've been attending Annual Council as a result of Elder Wilson's influence!) And isn't this the way it should be? After all, this is God's work. It's not a secular field! Yes, God has called Elder Wilson and his team to our church for such a time as this. I just praise the Lord for the revival and reformation they are leading that is catching fire all around the world.

  • Once the official Annual Council meetings started (about day 14 of our 21), each morning before the meetings began, our team led a time of united prayer. In contrast to the past, this year we had many MORE leaders making it a point to come early and attend these prayer times. That was so encouraging, especially seeing some high profile leaders in attendance that we'd prayed for previously to attend. And the prayers they prayed were so sincere and heart touching. I could really see how God has been working on their heart and leading in their lives this past year. This was so encouraging!

  • One representative from the South Pacific Division told us continually, "Those morning prayer times are just the absolute best time of the whole Annual Council!" We just had to smile. Of course, we know what God is doing, and prayer is where the true power is. 

  • Also, many of the wives of the Division leaders got on board with the power of prayer and came often to the prayer room to pray. The girls from the Euro-Asia Division I got especially attached to. Such sweet woman and so on fire for God. I'm really excited to see what God is going to do in answer to the prayers they prayed this year.

  • One of the mornings for worship, Cheri Peters gave a very convicting talk. Cheri shared how she had come out of the drug world, and for the first 10 years that she went to the SDA church, no one even talked to her! (Can you believe it???) Evidently, church members just didn't know how to relate to a former drugee street girl. Now of course, she has a world-wide ministry reaching thousands, and she is a sought after speaker. However, as we embark upon a new mission, in reaching the cities, she shared her burden for our church, and that if we are going to be more effective in reaching those in the cities, we need to learn how to accept them, love them, and help them heal. Many of us were soooo convicted about our inadequacies as a church to reach those in the cities that we were moved to tears. I was almost crying before Ranela and I got up to lead the prayer time for the group following her message. However, God's Spirit was really there and it was what our church needed to hear. Ranela and I shared, in response to Cheri's talk, how if we are truly going to be effective that we all need to be re-converted daily…today…our own hearts need to be broken. We then led the group through a three-part prayer of deeper repentance, and supplication. God blessed! 

  • During this year's Annual Council, they also gave us a preview of a new 26 minute video on Creation (one of the projects embarked upon last year to counter the Evolution tendencies occurring around the world). It was powerful! As you can see pictured below, the Adventist world church leaders even spent time praying to dedicate this movie "Creation: The Earth is a Witness" after we all got to view it. This inspiring resource will be made available for distribution and outreach events worldwide. Another answer to prayer for God's church in the battle for truth. Now pray that it will touch and convict many hearts that we have a Creator God!

  •  Another special thing that happened this year was the 10th year Anniversary of HOPE TV. To celebrate this occasion at Annual Council, they dedicated and opened their new network in the Philippines. Pictured below is president of HOPE TV, Brad Thorpe along with his wife Kandus as they share this joy with Elder Gulfan, president of the church's Southern Asia Pacific Division.

  • The testimonies could probably go on and on. We believe God answered our prayers in a tremendous way. As Ranela says, "The Annual Council was a smashing success, at least from our viewpoint. It was evident that God was there!" Many of the leaders expressed the same. Of course, we know many of the biggest answers to prayer are yet to come! While we saw many evidences of God working, we believe the majority of the answers to prayer were experienced in the hearts of our leaders behind the scenes. These answers cannot be measured but will be seen only in eternity. Of course we are still praying for greater spiritual breakthrough and a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit for our church and leaders. We know God has promised more. And we know that even great spiritual battles lie ahead. So it's not time to take a vacation and celebrate, but rather to dig in deeper, and to pray more! But we are thankful for what God is doing and how He is working even behind the scenes where we cannot see, and we are thankful for how He did bless at this year's meetings.
A Thank you Note from Elder Wilson

Here's an e-mail I received just a few days ago, and was asked to share:

Greetings, Jerry, Janet, Melody, Stanley and many others.

Thank you so much for your tremendous prayer assistance before and during the Annual Council. It was a wonderful blessing to have so many who were praying for the International Urban Mission Conference, the pre-meetings of the Annual Council, and the Annual Council (AC) itself. It was very obvious that God blessed in response to prayer as part of revival and reformation during the AC. The wonderful effects of the various prayer teams were realized as we saw so much support for many items at the AC including The Great Controversy Project Thanksgiving Service, The Creation Project, It's Time---Mission to the Cities document and commitment, and so many more items. Thank you for lifting up the church world leaders in prayer and having people in the auditorium praying during the meetings. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you to bring blessings to the church and the mission of proclaiming the three angels' messages of Rev 14 and the fourth angel of Rev 18. Please thank those who participated in this very special spiritual prayer support for AC as we proclaim God's Word to the world in anticipation of Christ's soon coming. Even so come, Lord Jesus. 

Regards. Ted 

(Note: Again for those that don't know, Ted Wilson is the president of the world-wide Seventh-day Adventist church of almost 18 million members.)

I don't know about all of you, but I love my church! And I love those that work here…how can I not when I spend so much time praying for them??? And I'm sincerely convicted that if we prayed more for those in our lives (both leaders and laity, family, and friends) there would be a lot less hurtful elbowing and bickering over insignificant issues. As a result of increased prayer, there would be a lot more miracles occurring in our lives and in our church today as we prepare for Christ's soon coming.

Jesus is coming soon and I don't want to be part of the problem, problems that hold back His return… I want to be part of the solution that hastens the day. In fact, you and I may be small and insignificant no doubt, but we can light candles, candles for God's glory; Candles that will help others find their way out of darkness into the light.

What we and our 115+ prayer partners have been doing over the last few months may seem rather insignificant when you look at the big picture. And in worldly measures it is. And the devil keeps reminding me how small and inadequate we all are for the mountains that lie before God's church. But I have to keep reminding him that it doesn't matter how SMALL we are. What matter is how BIG our God is!!!! And not one prayer from the least of His children is EVER prayed in vain. Not one!!!!!! Only in eternity will we understand or realize what God has been able to do because we were willing to pray! But the spiritual battle is far from over…greater battles are ahead. So let's not stop. Let's keep praying!

Right now thousands all around the world are joining together, praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. God's church is waking up and coming to life. What an exciting time and day to be alive. We get to see history happening. We get to be part of it's making! And not one prayer from anyone prayed around the world has been lost. Each prayer is adding up…

I love this statement, written over a hundred years ago to our church:

"When the Third Angel’s Message shall go forth with a loud voice, the whole earth shall be lightened with His glory, the Holy Spirit is poured out upon His people. The revenue of glory has been accumulating for this closing work of the Third Angel’s Message. The prayers that have been ascending for the fulfillment of the promise, the descent of the Holy Spirit, not one has been lost. Each prayer has been accumulating, ready to overflow and pour forth a healing flood of heavenly influence and accumulated light all over the world." July 19, 1899

Isn't his powerful? Doesn't this just breath LIFE and HOPE to our prayer lives??? It should!

My teammate's have shared a few of their testimonies and how this 21 day GC prayer initiative has impacted them in the previous post below, and I encourage you to read these testimonies and pray about how God is calling you to start prayer circles for your own home church, home conference, or community of believers. You may feel small, just as we do…but remember it's not about YOU! It's about following the call of your God. And if He calls you to pray…He will answer your prayers, if you are only willing to wrestle and persevere.

Of course, this "Praying for Rain" prayer journey WILL CONTINUE!!! Until we see the full complete outpouring that we are praying for depicted in Joel 2, we will not stop. We will keep asking for more! Until the literal outpouring of the Holy Spirit falls so we can be empowered to finish God's work, we must not give up, but keep asking God for more!

If you've been inspired and would like to join our world-wide team, please write me at:

And a special THANK YOU to the following 115+ prayer teammates and prayer partners from around the world for being part of this past 3 month prayer journey! Let's not stop praying!!!!

Kim, Karin, Amie, Stephanie, Cheryl, Teri, Elise, Carolyn D., Raluca, Roman, Melissa, Jackie, Ruby, James, Ranela, Gemalli, Lelilani, Heather, Chelsey, Ursilyn, Millicent, Dorcas, Shirley, Juanita, Melinda, Raja, Mark, Peggy, Kimberly, Staci, Robin, Mychelle, Dawn, Skhu, Penny, Leanne, Hephzi, Beulah, Lalitha, Sucilla, Ketty, Rachelle, April, Michelle M., Ann, Kristin, Bo, Arlaine, Gem, James, Irene, Laura, Calvin, Vickie, Suzy, Curla, Hope, Julia, Judy, Jeannie, Dorothy, JoDee, Michelle A., Nora, Shaina, Shail, Denese, Maylene, Andrea, Judy, Angela, Sophie, Rita, Simone, Filipe, Mary, Delores, Twyla, Marisa, Carolyn A., Anderson, Cameron, Jozsef, Steven, Hannah, Chuck, Randy, Anne, Brittany, Carol S., Alice, Justin, Steve, Mike, Lani, Patricia, Alex,Trevor, Zach, Leah, Mark W., Timothy, Shanter, Dawn J., Yolanda, Jill, Beverly, Steve, Greg, Ralph, Susan, Daniel S., Sherry, Darrel, Beverly, David, Sylvia, Daniel M. and many more!