By Victor Beshir
John received a
brochure in the church about a missionary trip to
He went to bed with an overwhelming load of contradicting ideas about the trip, and he could not decide what to do. Some friends went on missionary trips before and came back new people, happier than ever. They told John they found life for the first time in their lives during the missionary trip and that they would love to go back again and again.
could have stayed in
In the middle of his thoughts, he witnessed a group of people walking on a high mountain singing spiritual songs. John came closer and asked one of them
“Where are you going?”
traveling to the
“We are not sure of its location, but we have been told that we have to pass many hills and valleys to reach the school,” continued Peter.
“But this is a dangerous journey, the valleys are so deep, and if someone falls down into a valley, he could die,” John said.
“Yes, you’re right. Yet, we know that our Lord Jesus Christ will not let us fall. He will protect us,” answered Peter and started singing with the rest of the group.
John found himself attracted to the sweet spiritual singing, so he joined the traveling group.
He walked with
them during the sizzling hot days and severe cold nights.
Sometime he wondered, “Is attending the
He asked Peter, “Please tell more about the prayer meetings?”
“Prayer in a group is more powerful than individual prayers.
Individual prayers usually last for a few moments and they are mostly not
that deep. But, prayer meetings help
the heart to warm up and be ready for prayers through singing, silence, and the
way you get touched by the prayers of other members in the group.
They also last longer and give the heart a chance to come closer to God.
To reach the
One time they approached a great valley. John looked down, and saw at the bottom of this valley many of his old friends and others he didn’t know. They were all committing different kinds of sins. John started blaming and judging his friends. All of a sudden, he found himself starting to fall into the valley. John cried loudly. Peter and the others hurried to pull him up. They had to struggle to pull him up and he was so scared. Finally, after many hours, they succeeded in getting him back. Paul, from the traveling group, told John
“This is the
bitterly because he realized how judgment is a sinful behavior.
He will never forget those moments when he was about to fall into the
depth of the
He then asked Paul, “But, what do you do to avoid judgment?”
“You learn to pray and this is why we have many prayer meetings all the way to
Now, john became more aware of the power of prayer meetings; they’re not only channels for power, peace, and heavenly help, but they are also a school that helps us see ourselves better and as a result change us dramatically with the grace of the Holy Spirit.
A few hours
later, the traveling group stopped to start a special prayer meeting for those
who were down at the bottom of the
The prayer meeting continued for a long time, longer than any prayer he has ever had. When the prayer meeting ended, he saw from a distance some of his friends that he prayed for running toward the group; they succeeded in climbing up and leaving the valley. It was the power of prayer that pulled them up. God responded to all the heartily prayers for those who were in the valley and He raised them up. Now, John saw the miracle of prayer meeting. He said to himself, “Then, the way to save the world is to pray heartily, especially if a group prayed together.” Later on he remembered the golden words of the Lord Jesus Christ, ‘“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matt 18:19, 20).
John noticed that his heart started to be filled with a sweet warm spiritual feeling that enabled him to mingle with the traveling group and to feel joy that is totally different from any joy he experienced before. Shortly after his friends joined him and he noticed they were all filled with a great power; they were praising God for what He did in their lives and they were ready to do anything for the sake of Jesus.
The traveling group along with those who joined them lately continued to walk until night started with its darkness and cold. Although, the mountain was known for having all kinds of animals and insects, John felt no fear in his heart. Now, John has learned another benefit of the prayer meetings; an overflowing peace of the heart that erased all traits of fear.
the traveling group passed by a small village of very poor people.
The traveling group went around the village to gather children, youth and
adults to give them of the little food they have and to distribute gifts.
John was amazed at how members of the traveling group hugged dirty
children and ate with them and at how they played with them.
He kept a distance until Paul came to him asking him to play with the
children. Hesitantly he joined Paul
in playing with the dirty children. A
few hours later they were ready to continue on their trip to the
When others asked John, “Why did you cry?”
“I was never touched by such a pure love. The gift that this child gave to me is more precious than any other expensive gift; he gave the gift of himself, he give me all his heart,” answered Paul while trying to wipe out his tears.
Leaving the village with a heavy heart, Paul approached John and asked him,
“Do you know why you were touched by the love of the poor children?” Paul answered,
“Because they have pure hearts and they love for the sake of love itself. Above all, it is because you touched Jesus Himself when you hugged these children, as Jesus says, ‘And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.’ (Matt 18: 5)”
John then said
loudly, ‘the way to go to the
After days of
traveling in the mountains, John saw the building of the
“What a strange name for a valley,” said John
“Yes, John, it is strange, but if you know the reason, you will appreciate the name. Evangelism is the service of God where we totally depend on God. Sometimes we try to rely on our education, experience, or intelligence, and this is when we fail drastically. Before joining the school of evangelism, a person needs to learn how to rely totally on God. Without this realization and experience we would be preaching to the people our message and not God’s message, we would be communicating our own ideas and not God’s. Moreover, we waste our time and the people’s time too. God needs those who depend totally on Him and deny themselves and their capabilities. They need to be like a musical instrument in the hands of the great musician where the strings do not do anything except responding to the master musician on His pulling or touching. The Master musician has the great musical notes and any attempt of the strings to intervene with His work would result in out of harmony tones that will not amuse the hearts and souls. ”
traveling group, Paul, and the others reached the
“It took the Disciples over three years with the Master to learn evangelism. As a matter of fact, the Holy Spirit continued the mission of teaching them evangelism from the day of the Pentecost. So, when was their evangelism education over? Actually, it was not over even when the Disciples became very old; they continued to be faithful students until they departed to the Lord. No wonder, some of our students came here so many times to earn not diplomas but to gain a glimpse of the mystery of evangelism through learning how to be more humble, more giving, and have more prayerful life.”
Then, the entire
along with the others
knelt down in deep prayers and with eyes full of tears they thanked God for
granting them such an honor which they did not deserve, to be students for life
All of a sudden,
John opened his eyes and to his surprise he did not see the