My husband and I recently moved from Texas to a house perched on a pine studded ridge in Maine. Multiple reasons for this relocation exist, the most pressing being the sudden loss of my parents and a cascade of need falling from that event.
In my good moments I rejoice in my parents’ immediate entrance into the presence of their Lord and Savior. In my grieving moments, tears flood my eyes as memories fill my mind.
In my practical moments I wonder why my Dad never re-glued many of the beautiful wooden chairs scattered throughout their home. I feel particularly vulnerable now as I sit, barely breathing, on a wooden spindle chair with an exposed rung. What kind of glue would ease my growing chair anxiety?
I recently looked at the yearly cycle of ABH work and contemplated another kind of glue—the glue that holds our year together and keeps us bound to fellow believers in Tanzania.
This year ABH adopted the phrase, “It takes a village to reach a village,” coined by our digital marketing coordinator. Annually, certain members of our working village here meet African villages in Tanzania to lead conferences and deliver bite-sized books in person. Eleven months of the year, however, our villages remain separated by distance, both carrying on the work of God.
The ABH village works to raise books from infant ideas to fully completed manuscripts through development, line editing, translation, formatting, and printing. At the same time, we create reports, handle administration, take on speaking engagements, pray daily together, and scale the mountain of support raising as new conferences and our next book drop peek over the horizon.
In African villages, pastors and church leaders continue practicing the study of Scripture (supplemented by ABH books), teaching village members, and leading others into the kingdom of God. Songs of worship abound and sounds of prayer raise the roofs, whether comprised of wooden sticks or plastic tarps.
What glue holds all of us together as we wait for that next face-to-face encounter, when conferences again come to life and new books swell the meager libraries of our African brothers and sisters? What permeates and binds these yearly cycles carried out miles away from each other?
Prayer! Prayer to our Father, through his Son, amplified by the Spirit. With prayer comes strength as the Spirit binds us together, keeps us humble, and prepares the way for our next village-to-village connection.
I shift my weight gingerly, wondering if the squeaks in my chair indicate a sudden trip to the floor. I chuckle. I may pick up glue at the hardware store this weekend. In contrast, the glue of prayer holds critical significance. It represents our invitation into the Father’s throne room. It brings us salvation when we pray to accept the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. It binds our global villages together as we carry out the work of the kingdom each year.
With my glue I may repair every chair in the house, but I know in years to come the wood will work loose and some child or grandchild will face the same dilemma—unsteady chairs. The glue of prayer, on the other hand, holds through time and even withstands death. This glue grips through eternity, for it originates and rests in the hands of our eternal Father God.
Let’s grab hold of—and rejoice in—the wonderful power of prayer.