All praise and honor for the starting of this ministry goes to God. This ministry was created by His divine guidance, by His divine plan. You see, I never intended to become a prayer warrior. God obviously had other plans!
It all started in September 1995. I am a grade 7 teacher. One of the things that frustrated me about being a teacher was that my students could never find enough information in the public library. God led me to buy a computer and to set up my first website, “The Homework Doctor”, a website designed to help students with their homework. Even though this website is no longer available, it provided me with experience in web creation and HTML. I now see that was God’s way of introducing me to the power of the Internet!
I soon began receiving newsletters containing inspirational stories that illustrated God’s truth. I felt it was a shame that those stories were not available all in one spot, so that others would enjoy them too, and God gradually began impressing upon my mind to publish these illustrations into a site called “The Sermon Illustrator” (www.sermonillustrator.org).
Little by little, through the workings of the Holy Spirit, I became convinced to start a newsletter, dedicated to prayer. Initially I received heavy resistance from Christian webmasters. They all told me I was wasting my time. I even had a pastor/friend tell me he saw no need whatsoever for a prayer ministry on the Internet. I wasn’t even convinced I really wanted to do this, as I never would have seen myself becoming a prayer warrior. None of the less, God’s Holy Spirit kept working on me until a traumatic event in my life brought me face to face with real suffering. My father-in-law passed away in December 1998, leaving my mother-in-law alone and in despair (she lost her mom just a few months prior to this tragedy!). After this, I felt compelled by divine guidance I had to start the Answers2Prayer newsletter, for I knew that there were many more desperate people out there! People who might just need a catalyst to bring them to the One who could make a difference in their suffering.
The Answers2Prayer newsletter started out with 20 subscribers and was published once a week. The subscriber list didn’t grow much over the first 6 months, and I praise God for this, for this was the time God used to teach me what to do and how to do it. Then, quite suddenly and without any advertisement, prayer requests started to pour in. I soon felt God’s Spirit compelling me to publish our newsletter every day. I resisted, but that same week at church, two members (they had no knowledge of my dilemma) approached me and suggested that I consider publishing the newsletter every day of the week. Bingo! I didn’t need a Mac truck to run me over that time to realize God was REALLY serious about making Answers2prayer into a daily newsletter!
By June 2000, the work was getting too heavy for me. The ministry was spreading so fast and I couldn’t keep up, but God, in His marvelous ways, began trying to convince me that I needed to branch out and have volunteers help me. I was VERY resistant at first. I couldn’t see how this would work. I couldn’t (and didn’t want to!) let go. It took weeks for God’s Spirit to finally bring me to the point that I Could just give it all back to Him and leave it in His hands. I am ashamed to say that I was my own worst enemy!
As of now, September 2, 2001, Answers2Prayer is has 17 volunteers and more than 2100 subscribers. There are now hundreds of Bible Studies being conducted over the Net through our ministry. People are being prayed for and encouraged, necessities are being provided for the needy, and we are in the process working on a way to be able to deliver Bibles to those who don’t have any. All of our dedicated volunteers come from different church affiliations, but we all feel called by Jesus. He is the one uniting us so that we can reach out to those who need help! Our goal is not to push anyone into any church denomination, but to encourage each other to get to know our Lord and Saviour as a personal friend.
I don’t know where the Spirit will lead us next, but one thing is for sure: God is our guide. He knows where He wants us to go, and He provides us with all our needs so that we can go forward in His work!