Archive for May, 2007

Prayers That Avail Much Goes Traveling (Part V)

May 30, 2007

Prayers That Avail Much Goes Traveling

Jesus Loves the Little Children
(Part V)
By Germaine Copeland and Lane Holland

It was November, 2006, and the prayer team and I were preparing for another day of touring. Rising early, as is my custom, I open the drapes. The tree just outside my widow is awash with the rain that heaven is pouring down, and I make mention of you in my prayers as I watch the raindrops dancing on the paved courtyard below.

My prayer turns to the people of Morocco, and I pray for God to rain down His righteousness upon this nation, I give thanks to the Lord Almighty because He is compassionate and gracious; slow to anger, abounding in love. Meditating on the goodness of God I become conscious of how much He loves the children of the world and realize that the work here in Morocco is not finished. More than 50 years ago two brave American women came to the Middle Atlas Mountains in North Africa to interact with the people and tell them about Jesus. Through a series of circumstances the Holy Spirit revealed that they were to open their doors to unwanted babies. The Haven continues today as a safe place for Moroccan children.


The Children’s Haven

Lane writes:

“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world…..” so the song from Sunday School goes. It was never more evident than when we spent time with the children in The Children’s Haven and the Village of Hope in Morocco. I believe God gives special grace to those who lay down their lives to serve the most vulnerable among us, and this was most evident among the workers who have given their lives as a gift to these children.


Lane and child at The Haven

In both The Haven and The Village of Hope we are privileged to see lives that have been transformed by compassionate love. We were the recipients of hugs, giggles, questions – “Do you have a dog?”, “You wanna race with us?”, “I’m six, how old are you?” We were also inspected from a distance, peered at around corners, and followed as we are given tours of the two facilities. I watched the children as they watched us, and could only marvel at the sense of family and support that has developed among them. In each facility there are couples who have taken on the responsibility of parenting a group of children.

They may have anywhere from six to eighteen children in one home with ages ranging from several months to adolescence. Some of the children are related, but most come into the ‘family’ alone as a result of abandonment. The miracle is to watch as care and love shapes the life of a child into a productive member of their society.

Christ left a model for us to ‘bless the children’ in the narrative found in the gospel of Mark:

    “And they brought young children to Him, that he should touch them: and His disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God…..And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them.” (Mk. 10:13-14;16 KJV)

The workers at the Haven and The Village of Hope actualize this passage by providing a safe environment. They also bless them with education and mentoring. They bless them with touch, and listening ears, and arms that enfold them when they are troubled. They bless them with words of encouragement and hope. The names of both facilities do exemplify their mission for the children we met have a safe haven and a community of hope.

One translation says that Jesus was ‘pained’ by the response of his followers to the children that were being brought to Him. As I remember the faces of the children and hearing from the workers what their lives would have been like if these homes were not available caused me to think if we have ‘pained’ the Lord in our neglect of the least among us.

As I write this piece I am remembering the conversations with some of the workers who envision so much more that will be done as others come alongside to help expand their vision. They have an enthusiasm and energy that is infectious to the observers that if the heart is sensitive, quickly become participants. The options are prayer, service and giving.

I encourage you to visit the websites of Village of Hope (http://www.voh-ainleuh.org/) and The Children’s Haven (http://www.macarthurs.net/index.htm) and consider in which way you can bless a young one and gladden the heart of our God.

Lane Holland, M.Div.

As we were leaving we thanked God that He had sent those who are rescuing and loving the children. My soul is thrilled when I view the picturesque pastoral scene; the sheep with their shepherds reminding us of the Good Shepherd who loves and cares for His children; the sheep of His pasture. I pray the people of Morocco will hear the voice of creation itself and call upon the name of the Lord of lords and the King of kings.


Village of Hope

Copyright © Germaine Copeland 2007

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Become an Intercessor

May 30, 2007

Dear Prayer Partner,

The Bible instructs us to pray for one another that we may all be healed and restored to a spiritual tone of mind and heart.  Join our Global Company of Intercessors.  Our goal is the multiplied spiritual power of 100,000 people praying in unified agreement according to the Word of God!

Click here

At the beginning of each month you will receive prayer assignments that will cover every tribe and nation with prayer over a 12 month period. All intercessors receive a discount on all of our products along with weekly prayer points.

Love,

Germaine

Your Prayer Partner

Prayers That Avail Much Goes Traveling (Part IV)

May 30, 2007

Prayers That Avail Much Goes TravelingThe Prayer Team at Work
(Part IV)

By Germaine Copeland

The time has come to leave the nondescript dust-covered village on the edge of the desert. It is late Sunday afternoon and we linger because we don’t know how long it will be before we see our friends again. We continue chatting with each other as we drift toward the van where we say goodbye, and plop into our self-assigned seats for the return trip to Ifrane. In spite of feeling weary no one sleeps; there is a silent agreement that we will stay awake and remain prayerfully alert in support of Andy who is driving. No one is more eager to reach our hotel in Ifrane than he is.Leaving the town behind we follow the same mountainous roadway as yesterday, but now an air of mystery hovers over us; the air which had felt so heavy becomes crisp, clean and clear. In my heart I reach out to touch the star-studded sky where the Lord of host and His army are riding on the wings of the soft winds surrounding us, making our passage safe.

The lights of the oncoming traffic slice through the darkness. Loaded trucks and buses, cars jam packed with people, and careening vans are coming toward us or bearing down on us from behind. We laugh at ourselves to relieve tense moments, and someone declares God’s protection according to Psalm 91, we thank Him for the angels He has assigned to us. God is faithful to watch over His Word to perform it! Experiencing the presence of our Heavenly Father, we prayed a lot on this trip!

In spite of the sounds of the traffic the sparkling magnificent sky inspires thoughts of my God. Just as I settle into the quietness, rain clouds blanket the skies spilling the gathering moisture on us. Continuing to gaze at God’s creation I see a mysterious light playing hide-and-seek with the dark clouds. Momentarily the rain ceases, clouds part and the earth is bathed in moonlight. Nature declares His handiwork. God said, “Let there be Light, and there was Light’ He created the sun, moon and the stars and the clouds that heed His command.”

Silence has now filled the van, and I turn my thoughts away from God’s creation to God’s plan, how He brought us from different backgrounds along different journeys for such a time as this.

There’s Andy, a Navy man, who grew up in a Christian home in Florida, met and married Gail, a Christian Scientist. Andy strayed from his church before returning to the God of his childhood, and Gail became a follower of Jesus. A few years later they gave up their careers to be part of establishing the Kingdom of God for all peoples. As ministries of God they are changing the lives of others through innovative programs that provide practical help for the people of North Africa. After twenty years of marriage God blessed them with a son who leads praise and worship.

Then there’s David, my son, who describes himself as a glorious delivered addict. For 28 years of his life he lived in bondage to drugs and alcohol. Several years ago while in prison on DUI charges he stripped off the old nature as a discarded overcoat and turned to the God who clothed him in robes of righteousness. He now works fulltime for Angel Food Ministries in Monroe, Georgia USA and serves on the board of directors for Word Ministries. The Father is restoring and healing his relationships with his four children and nine grandchildren.

Tall, regal Pastor Lane Holland M. Div. never wandered from her spiritual roots. Having begun her prayer training at the age of five she remained faithful to God through her years as a graduate student and professor at Yale University before giving up a promising career and returning to her hometown where she is in fulltime ministry. She also serves as a Board Director for Word Ministries, Inc.

Clare Fischer, an intercessor for Word Ministries, grew up in New York City where she attended the Catholic Church with her parents and sisters. After marriage her husband was transferred to Virginia where they lived before moving to Marietta, Georgia USA. Through a neighborhood Bible study she was gloriously saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. She is a radical believer and prophet who mentors younger women in the ways of righteousness.

I make up the fifth member of this group. Called to the ministry when I was seventeen, I bargained with God and promised that I would do His will if He would allow me get married and have children first. After marriage and four children, God came for my vow and I returned to the God of my childhood. Here we are together in one mind and one accord driving on a busy, narrow road in the Kingdom of Morocco. My heart sings, “He leadeth me, He leadeth me, by His own hand He leadeth me.”

My musings cease as we pull up before the Hotel. After a late dinner we reclaim our room keys and make our way up the stairs for a much needed rest.

The Prayer Journey ContinuesMonday is cloudy with occasional mist. Our assignment continues. It’s been several days since we crossed the border into Morocco, a nation 10 miles from Spain.

This morning Andy turns off the main road and drives the muddy ribbon of a lane that will take us to the Haven. Suddenly, he stops. A donkey is blocking our way and a young woman is attempting to lead the animal to the side of the road. She prods, pulls, pushes until she moves the loaded animal while young men watch before turning their gaze on us. This is a reminder of something I read somewhere: in Morocco women work; men think. It isn’t unusual to see the women trudging with heavy bundles, while balancing babies bound on their backs.

Andy puts the car in gear and edges by the harried woman and her donkey, makes the slight left turn into the yard of The Haven. It’s becoming the story of our lives, climbing in and out of the van. David and I go inside to check our emails on Annette’s computer while Lane and Clare get acquainted with the children.

Praying for Morocco
David, Germaine, Lane & Clare on the mountain overlooking Azrou Today we are making our second trip to a favorite village, Azrou, where we stroll through the marketplace and have lunch. Andy has been here before and the merchants recognize him. Clare is interested in the slippers, Lane looks at the hooded djellabahs, decides that she can make her own. David and I each see items we want for Christmas gifts. There’s so much to see; Andy helps us negotiate prices before going to the rug merchant’s shop where the brothers show me many rugs, but I’m only interested in the one with the Berber crosses.Many centuries ago they were followers of Christ. Pray that the Ancient Doors of Christianity might be opened once again that the King of Glory might come in.

After lunch we stow the packages in back of the van, Andy pays the young man who watched over it and we are off to fulfill our prayer assignment. Andy drives up the mountain road where we are free to pray. The eerie sound of the Muslim call to prayer fills the air, and the spiritual battle begins. In the name of Jesus we take our spiritual weapons and use them to knock down the devil’s strongholds. We break down every argument that keeps people from knowing you, Father God. We ask you, Lord of the Harvest, to thrust the perfect laborers across the lives of the Moroccan people in the village of Azrou – people who will share the good news of the Gospel. We decree that they will not be able to resist the wooing of the Holy Spirit who is drawing them to the Light of God’s Word. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this! The Holy Spirit moves in and helps us pray! Although we are on our guard we do not allow the barking of the wild dogs to distract us from our mission of prayer. When the dogs retreat the monkeys scurry to safer ground.

A November mist drapes itself over us, and we eagerly seek shelter after the prayer comes to a close. Clare brings our attention to the prophetic sign of light breaking through the clouds a second time. This occurred the first time we visited Azrou after we had prayed. The rain does not dampen our spirits, but we are ready for the afternoon coffee break. Arriving back in Ifrane we prepare for our evening with the Berber family.


Photo by ClareTo Be Continued

Copyright ©2007 by Germaine Copeland

Prayers That Avail Much Goes Traveling (Part III)

May 30, 2007

Prayers That Avail Much Goes TravelingOvernight at the Kasbah (Part III)
By
Germaine Copeland

After early morning coffee Andy, David and I walk back to the hotel where we meet Clare and Lane for the trip to our next assignment. We begin the exciting drive to a distant Middle Atlas village as Lane prays for traveling mercies. Opening my eyes, I notice that the terrain is changing. Spectacular scenery, mountains of rock, shepherds with their goats and sheep, tents where Berber nomads live, streams, small concrete structures, and patchwork fields clinging to the mountain side keeps my head turning. Just when I think its all rock and no more fertile places, I am surprised by a field of olive trees or dates. God’s handiwork is marvelous in my eyes. It is breathtaking!(Later when I saw this picture I had to wonder when they found this roadway so deserted.) Today as we drive the wavy, winding roads, traffic is heavy – coming and going. So many cars, buses, motorcycles, mopeds and loaded trucks (you would have to see to believe it) on this mountainous road. Everyone is in a hurry!

Andy expertly drives through the maze. Time and time again I hold my breath as drivers pass on hairpin curves and veer into our lane. At the last mega second the car in front of us moves out of the middle of the road, and the angels God has assigned to us go into action – the head-on crash is avoided. Whew! Thank God for hearing Lane’s prayer!

David, the front seat passenger gets many thrills and he even offers to drive. In the back seat Lane, Clare and I pray, laugh, offer praise and thanksgiving – and pray again. Everyone is growing more intimately acquainted with many hours of van time.

Everywhere we see grime and dust. Just when you think it can’t get worse, the dust increases. The swirling airwaves take on a hazy color – even Andy’s van is with a strange hue. There’s so much to see. On the edge of the desert I am enthralled with rugged mountains, even a snow-topped mountain, and learn later to my surprise that this desert is only 10% sand. Surrounded by spectacular vistas we drive through this non-descript town to the modern Kasbah, a former private residence, where we pull into a parking lot filled with tour buses.

Checking in I am amazed to hear the desk clerk speaking English, Spanish, French, German or Arabic as the need arises! We decide that we are handicapped with mastery of only one language. (Thank God, Andy and Lane speak English and Spanish; they even understand a little French.) Clutching our room keys we climb the stairs to the second floor where a man is kneeling on the rug provided by the Hotel for one of his daily prayers. The housekeepers smilingly nod to us. (I wonder how long it’s been since I have actually knelt before the Lord, my God, which I was taught to do as a young child. Maybe we have thrown away those acts of reverence in favor of “freedom.”)

In my room I open the curtains and view the desert place where sparse vegetation is scattered among the rocks. I would love to hear where they’ve been and where they’re going; the sheep herders carrying their staffs, the man in his long robe leading his camel, and another man with his roped donkey laden with packs laden . I lift my eyes unto the mountains, which create a backdrop for these passersby and wonder if they ever think about the Creator of the mountains and dessert places where they walk and sleep under the stars.

I pray that they will look beyond the hills to the One who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, marked off the heavens with a [nine-inch] span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance (Isaiah 40:12 AMP). When they meet Him they will come to know the Good Shepherd and then they will understand.

On the drive to this town I saw fertile areas where olive trees, dates and other fruits grow, but now the terrain is mostly rock and dirt with a few flower gardens thrown in. Standing there at the window I remember that Jesus said if we don’t praise Him the rocks will cry out! There is an abundance of rocks, mountains of rocks.

Afternoon TeaA good friend who recently moved to this Middle Atlas town meets us at the Kasbah and with everyone in tow we follow him to his home where his wife is expecting us for tea. Parking along the alleyway we alight once again from Andy’s van and walk to the doorway that is squeezed into the front wall of a tight row of buildings. This is quite different from the place where our friend and his wife lived when I met them in 2004.

The door opens and we are drawn inside. The captivating smile is just as I remembered; her effervescent personality as welcoming and her hug as intimate as the first time I met her.. There are introductions all around. Everyone falls in love with this charismatic lady whose face is radiant with the love of the Lord; the light in her eyes rejoices the heart of others. She and her husband compliment one another; they are a delightful couple!

No one has to remind us to take off our shoes; we are becoming accustomed to this Moroccan practice, especially here. Who would want to leave dirty footprints in this home of love and peace? We are learning to take warm socks with us; the marble and tile floors are cold.

Entering the salon we arrange ourselves on the traditional Moroccan couches. Tea is served, and the conversation is lively and comfortable; it’s as though everyone has known each other for a long time. I don’t think that I can eat anything, but soon I’m enjoying tea and the yummy dessert that has been prepared for us.

Our hosts who love the Moroccan people identify themselves as followers of Jesus. Having learned the culture and language of the people, they are involved in innovative programs that encourage independence and sustainability. They have been actively involved in development work in Morocco since 1999.

The transition from a village where they enjoyed the acceptance of their neighbors is not easy, but now that the change is here they are excited and filled with new hope. They are busy settling into their home, and getting acquainted with the neighborhood. Their new project will empower local non-profit associations to realize their initiatives.

They share their Hope as they work alongside these local development workers. We are united in prayer with them and invite you to join us as we pray that the Good News will act as yeast in existing social networks.

Before we leave their apartment David checks our emails, and we call home. Lights are turned on as shadows deepen and we say our goodbyes. Back at the Kasbah we find a corner in the elaborate dining room where we enjoy a quiet dinner before going to our rooms to prepare for the next day. (The dining room with its low couches and tables reminded me of the 1001 Arabian Nights.)

The Sunday Moroccan LunchSunday morning bursts forth with bright sunshine, and after coffee (of course) we explore our surroundings. The glorious sunshine highlights the mountains, and the surprise rose garden is in full bloom. We take time to smell the roses and take pictures. Too soon it’s time to check out and load the van for the return trip to our hotel in Ifrane later in the day. Andy takes us on a short sightseeing tour before driving to our friends’ home for lunch.

The mouth-watering Tagine along with the best bread you’ve ever eaten is the perfect complement to the camaraderie and fellowship we enjoy. When Lane shares the message, “Thy Kingdom Come” there are tears of joy and healing. After a special time of prayer, the group visits the new offices. The love for the people of Morocco is imparted to us as this beloved couple shares the customs and culture of the Berbers. We have been touched and believe that we have touched the lives of many people.

Pray for the Moroccan people! This exotic and colorful nation is known in Arabic as the Maghreb, “the place where the sun sets.” I recommend a 52-week prayer guide, “Arise Shine Morocco,” that can be used year after year. You may go to http://www.ariseshinemorocco.org for more information.

To Be ContinuedCopyright© 2007 by Germaine Copeland

Prayer Assignments for May 1-June 16

May 30, 2007

Dear Prayer Partner,

Thank you for uniting with us in prayer. It is imperative that Christian believers study the Word and prays daily for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

God loves mankind, and He sent His Son who was slain (sacrificed), and with His blood He purchased men unto God from every tribe and language and people and nation. (Read Rev 5)

Have you signed up to receive the daily prayers? These prayers can be turned into intercessory prayers for others. They will build you up and remind you of the spiritual blessings God has provided for you in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Prayer Assignments for May 2007

For more information on the following continents, nations and tribes go to http://www.gmi.org/ow/. The following is from Operation World 21st Century Edition by Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk.

1: Equatorial Guinea (Africa)– Pray for a government that seeks the good of the people, for repentance and revival, for purity of life and fervency in evangelism in the churches despite the prevailing poverty, corruption and despair, and for full liberty of the Gospel. Include the young people in your prayers asking God to draw them to Himself with cords and bands of love.

2: Eritrea (Africa)-Pray that Christians may be fervent for Jesus and make a significant impact on their nation and beyond, for the maturing and expansion of the relatively small evangelical witness. Ask the Lord of the Harvest to send forth laborers into the fields.

3: Estonia (Europe) – since the last Russian troops left in 1994, Estonia has been free to promote economic and political ties with Western Europe. It joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004. Ask the Holy Spirit to create a hunger and thirst after God and His righteousness, for the Estonian Bible to mold Estonia’s post-Communist culture.

4-5: Ethiopia (Africa)-Pray for a deep work of the Holy Spirit to bring the Ethiopian Orthodox Church to its biblical heritage and to new life.

6: Faeroe Islands (Europe)-Pray for revival, for the Holy Spirit to convict and convince the Faeroes and bring demonstration to them about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment. (John 16:8 AMP) Fiji (Pacific)-Bind the Fijians to a deep work of the Holy Spirit and personal revival; loose thoughts of compromise and ethnic hatred from them in the name of Jesus.

7: Finland (Europe)-Pray that a deep and lasting revival might come to the entire Lutheran church in this nation.

8-10: France (Europe) – pray for a spiritual awakening! There is a need for a restoration to the faith and commitment of martyr forebears among the Catholics and Protestants; prayer challenges are numerous. I encourage you to go to the website http://www.gmi.org/ow/ and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what you are to pray for. (Picture: French farm landscape in Provence.)

11: French Guiana (Latin America)-ask God to draw the people to Himself with cords and bands of love, and move on the hearts of translators to provide a copy of the New Testament for them. French Polynesia (Pacific)-Tahiti is a paradise gone tragically wrong. Once a Christian nation that sent missionaries all over the Pacific, it is now debased by promiscuity, prostitution, alcoholism, drug abuse and the breakdown of family life. Pray for the Lord of the Harvest to send laborers to those young people who are frustrated and looking for answers.

12: Gabon (Africa)-Pray that God will prevail and His enemies be scattered in this spiritual battlefield.

13: The Gambia (Africa)-pray for continued freedom to witness, for Muslins to be open to the gospel and receive truth.

14: Georgia (Asia)-Pray for peace, an ending of Russian interference, economic stabilization and ethnic harmony so that the nation might gain the opportunity to recover. It is God’s will that this nation hears and receives the Gospel.

15-17: Germany (Europe)-the majority of churches have lost their identity, purpose and income. Ask God for a radical spiritual change like Luther’s Reformation nearly 500 years ago.

18-19: Ghana (Africa)-Pray for those in government that they may subject themselves to God rather than human ideologies or demonic influences and seek the best for the diverse peoples and religious groups. You can read about the other prayer challenges at http://www.gmi.org/ow/.

20: Greece (Europe)-Loose prejudice, blindness and fear from the minds of the people; bind biblical renewal and truth to the minds of the leaders of the Orthodox Church in the name of Jesus.

21: Greenland (North America)-pray for renewal, and new life for Dane and Greenlander alike. Grenada (Latin America)-Pray that Grenadian churches might begin to assume more responsibility and initiative in evangelism and church planting. Guadeloupe (Latin America)-Ask the Holy Spirit to convict of sin and bring many to true repentance. Guam (Pacific)-Youth problems are multiplying with estimated 100 youth gangs prone to violence. Pray that God will give YWAM (www.ywam.org) and Teen Challenge workers strategies for reaching these young people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

22: Guatemala (Latin America)-pray for new life in the Catholic Church, and that Charismatics may be rooted in Scripture rather than subjective experience.

23: Guinea (Africa)-Pray that the Holy Spirit might transform individuals, families and tribes, making them models for a truly African Christian lifestyle.

24: Guinea-Bissau (Africa)-Ask the Lord for more national teachers, and that the costs of the Bible Institute run by the Evangelical Church, and support for the students would be increasingly met by national believers.

25: Guyana (Latin America)-pray for all believers to demonstrate te power of the gospel in their unity, ethical rectitude and divine boldness.

26: Haiti (Latin America)-pray for godly leaders who will put first the good of the nation and the addressing of its massive problems; that men and women may be raised up who will reverse the flawed democratic attempts and bring justice, as well as economic and spiritual betterment to Haiti. Holy See (Europe)-Pray that the increasing use of the Bible may mold the lives, doctrines and structures of the Roman Catholic Church; that the Charismatic renewal be a bridge to like-minded Christians in other denominations and not lose their spiritual dynamism.

27: Honduras (Latin America)-pray for the street children who are abused, exploited for sex and most suffer from malnutrition; for the agencies seeking to meet their physical and spiritual needs; for churches to own this challenge.

28-29: Hungary (Europe)-pray for the university students who are open to most spiritual influences, both false and true.

30: Iceland (Europe)-pray for a spiritual awakening for the people; for a surge of new vigor and fervor in the Lutheran and Free Churches.

31-June 16: India (Asia)-please go to website http://www.gmi.org/ow/ to read about the many prayer challenges. The leaders of the nation and its constituent states need prayer: that they might continue to uphold the constitution by maintaining religious freedom, that they may resist growing pressures to pass discrimination laws, that they may be more committed to tackle the serious ills of society.

I pray that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ will grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, 18 By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones). Ephesians 1 AMP

Loving in Jesus’ Name,
Germaine