By Jacqi Ballough
Three days before Hurricane Irma was supposed to hit us, we received an email from our brothers and sisters in Christ on the other side of the world: India.
They had heard of the magnitude of the storm, which was deemed catastrophic by the media and headed our way, and they immediately took action. Wanting us to be assured of their prayers, they planned to fast and pray the day before the storm and encouraged us with scriptures of courage, strength, and protection: (Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 31:24, Deuteronomy 31:6).
Having been consumed by our hurricane preparations, I was not only encouraged by the email but also humbled.
The Lord had placed these amazing people in our life approximately 13 years ago. A man named George, whose daughter had received our operation Christmas Child box, contacted us via email as a thanks and praise to God for the box of gifts. We cultivated a relationship between our families through prayer and email correspondence until one day I learned of their ministry with orphans, specifically where young girls were being sold and discarded. I was overcome with tears and a burden to help. I prayed for God to send me if he so chose. Miraculously, a small group of us were on our way to India to meet our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and see if there was anything we could do to help.
Now, 5 years later, here they are praying, fasting, and petitioning God fervently for us to the point of tears. Talk about divine intervention! I am in awe of the body of Christ, His Holy Spirit, and His church working, bearing one another’s burdens.
Once the storm had passed, we sent a praise email to George stating the Lord faithfully protected us and thanked them all for upholding us in prayer. They responded:
“We praise God, who hears our prayers and answers. While fasting and praying for you on Friday, …many were touched and felt the intensity of the Hurricane and rolled tears from their eyes. Not only we, but your tears, and many more knowingly or unknowingly have prayed for you, all the praise be only to our Dear God, Almighty and Powerful, who has control over the storms, who has all authority over His children, has saved you from the devastation of Hurricane Irma…
We all express our Thanks to our Dear Lord, where in the scripture He states, “those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting (Psalms 126:5).”
Father help me bear the burdens of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, near and far, the way our friends in India have demonstrated. Thank you for utilizing them to be an example for us. Thank you for miraculously bringing them into our life. I pray their faith grows ever stronger and shines as a witness to all nations. I pray that we grow in our fellowship, prayer, and petition and that your Holy Spirit continues to faithfully bind us together throughout all of life’s storms no matter the physical distance between us.