A story from the NMI Prayer Vision Journey Team
April 04, 2012
A group of 35 NMI leaders from the U.S.A., Canada, and Trinidad and Tobago traveled recently to Sri Lanka and India to pray and partner with locals in a Prayer Vision Journey. One stop was to pray during a JESUS film showing on a tea estate in Sri Lanka. The village square was immediately adjacent to the temple.
The equipment was set up, with the screen attached between an electrical pole and large bamboo rod. The skies were gray and cloudy. The glow of lightning and sounds of thunder rolled over the central square as the film began. Many of the team prayed that rain would not dampen the evening and keep people from watching JESUS.
Many team members sat on rocky steps of humble homes surrounding the village square. As the film began, the sound system amplified the story of JESUS in the Tamil language. The JESUS film team pointed as homes on the side of a hill turned on their lights and stepped outside to see the source of the sound. They began watching JESUS that night.
About halfway through the showing a light rain began. Several of the visiting team members went to prayer, asking God to stop the rain.
"The rain only increased and we sensed God saying that He had the situation covered and was doing something greater," noted Ann Baldwin, a member of the global NMI office team who was with the group.
Rob North, also from the global office team, said he remembered thinking, "Oh, Lord, please stop the rain. We are all getting wet and very few have an umbrella; what if people leave to get out of the rain?"
"By the time Jesus was crucified, it was raining heavily, but few people left," Baldwin added.
The visiting Prayer Vision Journey team did not know that it had not rained in this area for three months. The priests and followers of the local traditional religion had been praying for many days and weeks, making sacrifices, wailing and crying out for rain to their many gods. In fact, earlier in the afternoon, some of the village's women had been in the village temple beside that very square, pleading with their gods to send rain.
It was not until the scene in which Jesus was nailed on the cross that the heavens broke loose and rain began to pour down over the gathering.
"When the rain came during the crucifixion of Christ, the villagers said they now knew that Jesus is the God who hears and answers prayers, that He is the God who brings the healing rains so needed by that village," Baldwin said the group was told.