Stories of hope
When the world is scrambling for security and peace, the followers of Christ are called to "always be prepared to give an answer" for the hope we have in the God of redemption. (1 Peter 3:15)
Find inspiration and courage from the real stories of hope and testimonies of crisis-turned-opportunities to witness.
Papa Jörg, an intercessor-evangelist in Hamburg Germany, is praying for ‘Ahmad’. Ahmad is a friend of an Iranian believer that Papa Jörg led to faith in Jesus and regularly prays for. At the beginning of March, Ahmad passed out in an Iranian hospital of a lung infection and was put on a lung bypass machine. It turned out he had COVID-19. The Iranian doctors said there was nothing else to be done but pray—so Papa Jörg prayed. For 17 days Papa Jörg recorded his prayer for Ahmad over WhatsApp and sent it to the Iranian believer he led to faith. On the 17th day Papa Jörg received a message that Ahmad was recovering. On the 19th day Ahmad was cleared to go home, healed of COVID-19. “Do the Iranian doctors know that we Christians prayed for Ahmad?” Papa Jörg asked. “Yes”, replied his friend, “I sent your voice to him every day, and Ahmad’s sister told everyone”.
Papa Jörg's Prayer
Helping My Neighbor
“Last night I put a note through the letterbox of all my neighbors to offer help to anyone who needed it – shopping, collecting prescriptions etc for anyone self-isolating or vulnerable because of Coronavirus. Today I received several appreciative text messages from neighbors saying they were ok but grateful for the offer. But just now I received the following message that makes this crisis a reality on my doorstep and brings it all so much closer to home:
“Hi Ben: I am a A&E Paediatrician and also manage healthcare at a young offenders prison! I just want to say that I just read ur letter and to say thank you as it’s such a nice and kind gesture. I am currently on isolation as I have COVID -19 and now my younger son is showing symptoms of being unwell too😔. We are doing ok. Maybe tomorrow I may ask of you to pick me up like 3 things and pop cash on door step or whenever is convenient for you. Once again thank you and God bless. X. “
I am off shortly to buy whatever my neighbor needs. We will avoid contact – she will send me a list and find a safe way of reimbursing me for it – but it’s a small way of helping someone in need.”
Our local church offers a dedicated phone number which you can use if you need help. You can ring or leave a text between 9am and 9pm. Someone will reply within 3 hours. There are three things available which you can request:
- Practical help, someone who will do shopping, collect a prescription, post a letter.
- Someone to have a chat with. If you just feel that you need someone to talk to about ordinary everyday things we have people available. They are not counselors but they are good at talking and listening.
- Prayer. If you need someone to pray with you we have a team ready to do this. This is a confidential service.
Just Call or Text
In Sri Lanka, we are getting churches to form Neighborhood Crisis Response Teams. Such teams would be entrusted with seeking out the weak, the elderly, the differently abled, the sick, the daily wage earner, the poor, the vulnerable individuals and families and assist them with counsel, aid, provisions, medicines, access to medical facilities and the purchase of necessities. We also have a hotline for this.
We believe that such simple acts would go a long way in making life easier for those who are affected by this crisis.
At church in Orlando, they are igniting a rhythm of united prayer called ‘7:14’. Jeanette, a senior pastor says, “No matter where we are at, we pray at 7:14 AM & 7:14 PM. The verse we’re using is from 1 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
United Prayer '7:14'
From Bethlehem, Madlein, a lecturer, pastor and mother says, “Media is becoming a means of ministering, helping us to connect with students and people stranded at home.” She adds, “We want to learn lessons after leaving this hardship. God is calling us to slow down & be more attentive. The Lord is raising more Deborahs in this season, to have a key role in victory over despair and fear.”
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