Where Two or Three Gather
At the end of 2019, we heard the news about a virus starting to spread, and then, months later, the pandemic hit, forcing many to go into their homes and distance themselves from others to ensure health and safety. As a missionary who travels quite often, I asked God, “What is going on, and where is my place at this time?” I sensed Him saying, “Focus on community and friendship.”
But how could I be a part of the body and fellowship with the community without being physically present? Matthew 18:19-20 came to mind:
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
I kept thinking, “For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.”
I knew that this was an invitation to pray for the nations; the cogs in my mind started turning as I thought about ways I could do this and grow friendships along the journey. I began by emailing our international friends and missionaries living in foreign countries and praying for them as they would send requests. This was a good first step, but I was still praying by myself, and the invitation of Matthew 18:20 was to pray together.
Then, when I started working with SEAPC in 2021, the team decided to initiate weekly and bi-weekly prayer video calls with SEAPC’s friends in the nations… and I was chosen as the point person. My heart jumped at the prospect! I started with just four nations a week, each so different from the other. As we continued to connect, I felt friendships beginning to grow. The calls became one of my daily joys, and, praise God, testimonies began to unfold with them.
One of my calls was with a gentleman named Chung Nung. He and his wife, Dim, are some of the most grateful people in the world and are house-parents to 173 kids in Yangon, Myanmar. I met Chung Nung briefly at a Friends Around the Table gathering but had never had the chance to talk to him intentionally. On one of our prayer calls, Chung Nung asked if we could pray for his high blood pressure. He began to explain the difficulties he and many people in Myanmar were experiencing due to the civil war in his country, which is ongoing to this day.
As we began to pray, I remembered Matthew 18:20, believed that Jesus was indeed with us, and imagined Him touching Chung Nung’s heart. We ended the prayer with joy and said goodbye. The following week, when we video called again, he greeted me with his usual big smile and shared, “Mercy, I have a praise: I no longer struggle with high blood pressure!” He informed me that he felt better and believed God had healed him as soon as we finished the previous week’s prayer call. He kept track of his blood pressure for the rest of the week, and it was perfectly normal! He didn’t have to rely on his medication. We were both amazed and felt our faith level rising as we praised God. That day, we went on to pray for peace and protection over the children, and a week after that, Chung Nung marveled that they had felt a supernatural bubble of protection and peace over the whole campus, even as war raged around them.
For the past nine months, Chung Nung and I have met every Friday morning to praise God for the many blessings He has brought and pray for more of His glory to reveal itself to the nations. I have truly seen power and friendship through gathering together like this in agreement and unity in Jesus’ name. He is truly with us and will never forsake us.
I now talk to nine countries a week on video calls, email countless others, and I have been privileged to hear many testimonies from our friends in the nations: kids walking out of wheelchairs, people healed of tuberculosis, others of covid-19, financial provision, people coming to Christ, and many getting baptized. These reports have come not just from Myanmar but Brazil, the UK, PRC, and plenty more.
Prayer can be a challenging invitation, especially when you don’t hear testimonies reported back, but I have confidence that whenever we gather as friends to pray, Jesus is with us. We get to experience life with each other and fellowship with Jesus, no matter what.
Friends, I challenge you to think and pray about Matthew 18:19-20 and what those verses might mean for you. If they speak to you, I encourage you to find one or two people who will commit to praying together weekly, whether in person, on a video call, or by phone. There is wonder-working power in gathering in Jesus’s name.