The night of my Colorado book launch was absolutely one big celebration. Of course I'm thrilled that I finished the book, that the long path of research, writing, editing, design, and production has come to a conclusion and that the proverbial "fat lady" sang that night. But, the best part was that it wasn't just a celebration of the completion of my book, but rather of the great work that the book shares about.
With a crowd of over 60 like-minded people, together we had the chance to revel in the 25-year prayer movement represented in "The Prayers of Many".
Friends, past co-workers, and prayer warriors came out of the woodworks to connect and reconnect over this project of which they all had some vested interest. It was an extraordinary time to revel in the parts played decades ago and how they laid the foundation for the current work and will continue to influence the future trajectory.
While no church, no movement--save for the Moravians--can claim constant prayer in mission, Cherry Hills Community Church is an excellent example of how the waves of prayer that come can make a movement revive and even thrive over the 25-year course that is charted in the book.
An exceptional diversity of mission agencies and organizations showed up to reflect on their part of the story and how they still have a heart to see the Chantik come to know the Lord, not the least of which was our host, WorldVenture.
Harold Britton, an advocate for "The Prayers of Many" and Director of Church—Missionary Relationships at WorldVenture facilitated the evening with all the passion that his organization represents. WorldVenture is a tireless advocate and agency for work among unreached people groups and the perfect local partner for the book.
I was thrilled to do a reading of one of my favorite vignette stories from the book - The Odd Sheep. The crowd responded as I suspected, with as much emotion as I did as I read. The story is of a man risking death to know more about Christ.
After I shared about the book itself, Pastor G., from the book, walked us through what it was like to be on the inside of a prayer movement for such a highly resistant people group over such a long period of time. He shared the struggles and joys of the effort. It was so insightful as he said, "If we knew what we were getting into, we probably wouldn't have done it, which is likely why God didn't tell us in advance." Pastor G. was passionate and vulnerable and inspired us all.
Following Pastor G. as he reflected on what has been, we had the privilege of hearing from the Chapter 7 missionary, Bob (which is his code name). Bob shared an unbelievable vision for the Chantik people and all unreached people groups. As experienced long-term missionaries, Bob and his wife Becca, have the practical experience along with the God-given vision for how to advance the Kingdom among unreached people groups and it is by supporting, training, mobilizing, and empowering the majority world Church to do work among people who aren't very culturally different from them.
This launch was an outstanding way to kick off a book that is filled with stories of the Lord's work around the world. I'll be sharing the story of The Prayers of Many to churches and groups around the country and media tour later this summer and year.