Do you remember several months ago when we announced that we hoped to send a small team to West Asia this fall, COVID-pending? Since then, the pandemic and other circumstances have allowed a [very very] small team to take shape, and in two weeks Megan W. and I will travel to West Asia.
The primary purpose of this trip is relational: our friends there are as pandemic-weary as we are and have endured difficult circumstances. They are eager for visitors with whom to laugh, pray, walk, drink tea, discern, and share stories. One of our outreach priorities is "refreshing the workers," and that is exactly what we hope our visit will do. We'll begin our time in a lakeside village during the olive harvest. Then we'll travel to the capital city to encourage our friends there in their studies and ministry.
We will be walking on land that Christians prayed, worshiped, lived and died on for over a thousand years in the early days of the church. As we do, we'll be adding our prayers to theirs, intertwining our lives and concerns with those of the faithful saints who came before us. It's a profound way of participating in the "communion of saints" across time and space, and we want to take you with us!
So...how can we pray for you while we are there? Please email me any prayer requests: firstname.lastname@example.org. Megan and I promise to carry them with us, hold them confidential, and pray them often. It will be a joy and privilege to pray for you in this place so saturated with the prayers of the ancient church.
Any prayer requests are appropriate and welcome, no matter how small they may seem! However, the story of West Asia suggests a few particular points of prayer you may wish to consider:
The book of Revelation contains letters to seven churches scattered across West Asia, words of comfort, encouragement, and rebuke. What are your prayers for the church today? (Could be for Incarnation, the American church, the Anglican Church, and/or the church worldwide.)
We will visit a place where the first worldwide gathering of Christians came together to wrestle with theological questions and divisions. How can we pray for areas of questioning, conflict, struggle, doubt, or disillusionment in your faith or your relationship to the church?
The places we go will be places where Christianity once thrived, then declined. Christians are now just a tiny minority in that area, and they have seen much sorrow, loss, and hardship over the years. Are there areas of sorrow, loss, or hardship in your life that we can pray for?
Finally, just as we will pray for you, we would love for you to pray for us. We will try to write a regular(ish) email with updates and requests while we're away. Would you like to receive this email? Let us know and we'll add you to the list!