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Chryer Mobial tional Ce Pra Intern Viva
I believe that prayer is as vital to the changing of children’s lives as any feeding centres, foster programmes, or training courses. I believe that prayer is powerful. I believe that we pray to a God who listens, who cares, and who answers. This is why I get out of bed in the morning and look forward to doing my job. When we talk about Viva’s work we say that we are an international charity focused on developing the quality, unity, and ultimately the impact of organisations and projects as they serve children at risk. Our prayers are no different. In fact prayer has played an amazing part in helping to fulfil those goals this year.
Operating internationally: Our World Weekend of Prayer involves more than 3
million people across 89 countries, with growing numbers every year: that makes it one of the biggest children at risk events in the world. All those people, separated though they are by distance, language, and custom, are prepared to unite to change the lives of vulnerable children. Semiyanti Adik, a local church pastor in Indonesia, spoke to me enthusiastically about the weekend: “Knowing that there were all those others praying, some of them at the exact same moment as us, was so encouraging. And you [Viva] have given us these ideas and prayer resources in our own Bahasa, and I know you have translated them also into Swahili, Bengali, German, Chinese, French, and so now many of us around the world can really pray together – each in our own language, in our own country, in our own way, but each to the same powerful God.”
Serving children: Our reports show that over 1.6 million children were involved
with various Viva prayer events this year, praying for their own situations and countries and also for other children across the globe. Solomon Tarfa, from the Du Merci Children’s Development Ministry in Nigeria, told us that when they held their World
Weekend of Prayer event in June “the kids were amazing.They prayed for God to provide shelter for all the homeless children around the world. And then guess what? Only a day later we got a call from a military colonel offering us a gift of 8 plots of land for our orphanage in Kaduna! We had just been renting a small shelter, and now we can grow our work so much.The children they are so happy and thankful to God for this answer to their prayers, and now they see that God does care about their lives and their futures.”
Improving impact: Solomon’s story is not the only one of its kind – all over the
world prayers are being answered and we are seeing lives changed. I recently received an e-mail from Julia Santos, a member of Viva’s partner network in El Salvador, who said “Some of the local leaders had been so difficult and did not want joint events for children because they think that we are just looking for money. But when they saw the prayer events that we held, and saw that so many children and adults were coming together not to get something but in fact to think of others and pray for them, it changed their minds completely! Now we have some very strong relationships with the local authorities.This opens up such a new world of opportunities for what we can do for the children of our area.” Many people have prayed with Viva over the course of the year, and whether they got involved through our prayer diary,World Weekend of Prayer events, the Abundant Life booklet, prayer e-mails, or the prayer pages on our website, one thing is clear: prayer and action go hand in hand. Prayer is one of the most universal, unifying, and powerful parts of Viva’s work, and it has been a privilege this year to see it continuing to influence and bring transformation to the communities where children live.