The Benefits of Being Covered by Prayer

As I count down the final days before my mission trip to Africa, one might think I would be nervous. After all, earlier I started having panic attacks. I am definitely outside my comfort zone with this adventure for many reasons. Travelling in a huge truck over rough terrain is daunting. If it rains, the roads will become muddy. We are going to be camping. Many of the people we will meet have never seen a white person. The food will be unfamiliar. It is impossible for me to control the sanitation of the water or the food that will be packed for us. There are countless other things that have caused me to lose sleep. But I’m now in the period that I like to call “the period of prayer.” I feel confident, excited, and hopeful. And I know this is not because of my faith. It’s because of you and your prayers. Many of you have already started praying for us, and I am grateful.

a woman is praying to god with hope

Some of the ways God has answered your prayers this week is by providing VBS material featuring people of Africa that included language written in Swahili. I’m a librarian with skilled researchers available, but I came up short. I’d given up and was resigned to using a children’s Bible written for children of color. On Monday evening, my sister reconnected with a friend who has travelled on many mission trips to Tanzania. She discover he had the material we needed. Lifeway discontinued a line of posters featuring people of Africa. However, they gave him the material in PDF format with permission to reproduce it for mission work in Africa. Talk about a needle in a haystack? The material is being printed on laminated posters for the team “Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy!” Psalm 126:3


Another resource God provided this week was language help. Our library recently subscribed to a service called Mango Languages. While reviewing the tutorial yesterday, I discovered it includes Swahili, and there’s an Ap. for my phone. I had a sheet of common greetings, but I wondered about the pronunciation.

I serve a God, who meets my every need. Thank you prayer warriors. God has answered your prayers. Please keep praying for our team. “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive it, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22

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Shelia Stovall is a Southern, small-town librarian, and has an understanding of what women like to read. She is a member of ACFW and is currently the Treasurer of the Middle Tennessee ACFW Chapter. Shelia is a member of the Ky. Public Library Association and the American Library Association. Her short story, The Barber’s Sanctuary, won the fiction division of Kentucky Monthly’s sixth annual Writer’s Showcase in the November 2013 issue. Shelia is a weekly columnist for the Citizen-Times, based in Scottsville, Ky. Shelia’s Southern, small-town roots have given her an understanding of community and women's friendships. Her writing deals with difficult contemporary issues, but there’s always a thread of hope amid the calamity. Shelia is passionate about African missions and has traveled to Africa annually for the past four years. Community service is also important to Shelia, and she has volunteered as a crew chief for five years at Camp Habitat, (a Christian youth service camp that partners with Habitat for Humanity).

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