Friday, July 25, 2014

St. Louis Mission Trip: Prayer Walk

Yesterday a group of leaders and students had the amazing opportunity to go on a prayer walk around the neighborhood we were working in this week with some of the families we were helping. We didn't really know what to expect on the prayer walk, and we didn't exactly know what we were doing; but we felt God calling us to pray for His city. Before we started walking one house owners we were helping, Leslie, told us some of the struggles the neighborhood was having. She said there is a lot of violence in the area and how the school her children went to lost it's accreditation and now she has been struggling to find a school where her children feel accepted.

 Leslie asked us to pray for peace in the neighborhood; that God would make himself present and shine His light on the people she is surrounded by. When Leslie told us this, these lyrics came to my mind:

          "If you gotta start somewhere why not here?
           If you gotta start sometime, why not now?
           Through the fog there is hope in the distance.
           From cathedrals to third world missions.
           Love will fall to the earth like a crashing wave.
           Tonight's the night,
           For the sinners and the saints.
           Two worlds collide,
           In a beautiful display."

I really felt God calling us to pray for His children in that neighborhood. In an area with so much hurt, pain, and suffering God was allowing us to love on every person in every house we were going to walk past. As we were walking through the neighborhood we stopped at a few different places to pray as a group for different things we saw or felt God saying to us. I felt God present in the way He was speaking to us through prayer. Students who never talked were praying on street corners for people they didn't know and never met.
Towards the end of our walk a car with a husband and wife pulled over to ask what we were doing. We told them how we were on a mission trip working on repairing houses and had some extra time to walk around the neighborhood to pray. The woman in the car, Bertha, told us she had lost her leg and was on her way to the doctor. We ended up holding Bertha's hands and praying with her from outside her car. When we finished praying Bertha had such a huge smile on her face and was so appreciative of us taking the time to pray for her. I really felt God telling me that our group didn't just come to St. Louis to repair homes and do yard work; we came down to build relationships and to show people that God's love is more powerful and meaningful than anything else we could ever experience.
Right before we went back to our work sites our prayer group stood together on the corner to hold hands and pray one more time before we left. Leslie closed us in prayer and I have never been more moved by a prayer before this. The Holy Spirit was moving Leslie and we could all feel it; it moved through all of us and I felt God laying His hands on us and everyone in the neighborhood. He has not forgotten any of His children.

-Gina Ellis 

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