Author: Loyd Jenkins
“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
We held another fun-filled hygiene kit packing event with lots of kids, good energy, and people buzzing about. One of the objectives was to pack 14,000 hygiene kits that were to be shipped to a partner out west for poor families on Native American reservations. The other objective was to engage a community of volunteers to glorify Christ by serving people in need, people they would never meet. Near the end of the packing event there were shouts of excitement. They exceeded their goal by nearly 1,000 kits. That was something to cheer about! Now it was time for the pictures that we ordinarily take at the end of the event—when we pray for the boxes we’ve packed.
The lively youth spilled into the warehouse and came around a tall row of International Aid boxes stacked high onto skids. These were the boxes of kits they packed. I readied myself with the camera—shutter speed, aperture, focus.
Now usually I don’t think much of anything when I’m behind the camera, in order to keep myself open to catch things on film I might otherwise miss. So I was the oblivious, the invisible third party that viewed what was going on around me objectively through a lens. But this time something was different! I was struck by something that moved powerfully that day in the warehouse.
Just as Jake, the youth leader, gave instructions that we were to pray for the items and boxes, I saw the kids turn and begin to put themselves in position of prayer. I, myself, got into position and then moved the camera over my face. As I looked through the viewer to take my first picture, I saw something occur in the most simplistic fashion.
A single hand came into frame and pressed against a box stamped with our International Aid logo next to it. There was something about that simple movement that impressed me the very moment my finger memorialized what I was seeing onto a digital image.
“They are praying!
….not for the boxes they packed
….not for the things inside,
….not for being able to reach or exceed a goal,
and not for the safe arrival of the items.
They are praying…. for the people that were in need of those things.”
I pulled my face back and saw one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in a while. Nearly 50 middle school kids stood in fervent prayer, completely surrounding the row of product—some with hands outstretched onto the boxes, some with hands interlaced over their heads.
It was so profound to witness God’s people engage in an act of love for strangers—people they would never see or imagine whom they were—and hear them pray for God to bless those families in need. This was the love of God in action and it had unfolded in a warehouse in Spring Lake amidst a group of children for several long minutes. What amazing love God has!