LEWISTOWN - The Global Day of Prayer has spread through Mifflin County churches over the past three years.
Just as the first Pentecost celebration began with a small group of Jesus' followers and quickly multiplied throughout the world, the Global Day of Prayer started with a few Christians in South Africa who felt called to seek God's repentance and prayer.
At the turn of the millennium, they called for people to unite across the world to pray for their cities and nations; and in 2009, two women from Big Valley decided to join the international movement and began a local Global Day of Prayer service.
In the past three years, the service has extended to churches throughout Mifflin County, organizer Gloria Kauffman said.
The ecumenical event sparked a new fellowship with local pastors whose churches participated in the Global Day of Prayer, Kauffman said. Pastors and other church leaders have begun to meet monthly to pray and encourage each other, she said.
"Walls are coming down," Kauffman said. "Jesus is the common denominator, and we all are working toward the same thing."
Last year, the community joined 220 other nations to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the event.
This year, the local churches are organizing a Global Day of Prayer service from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 12 in the Indian Valley Middle School, Reedsville.
Local pastors and church leaders will guide the group in prayer, and the River Church Praise Team from Juniata County will lead worship.
"They are excited about uniting the churches in Juniata County," Kauffman said, emphasizing that the service is not exclusively for Mifflin County churches.
At the same time as the service, Charity Kauffman will lead children through prayer stations featuring missionaries from other countries. The children will walk to the different stops and pray for the countries and the missionaries who serve there. A nursery also will be available for young children.
At the end of the service, the children will join the adults in a closing worship processional, Kauffman said.
An offering will be taken to pay for the cost of the event. Any additional money will be given to a local agency in need.
Leading up to the Global Day of Prayer, which is celebrated every year on Pentecost, Kauffman encouraged believers to engage in 10 days of constant prayer. Some churches are organizing their own prayer times during the 10 days, she said.
A time of prayer also will be held rain or shine at 2 p.m. this Sunday at the Boat Access in the Lewistown Narrows.
Prayer guides are available for 20 cents per copy at the Locust Grove Mennonite Church in Belleville or at Friendship Bookstore in Burnham. Contact Pastor Max Zook at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church at 935-2164 if interested.
New this year, the Global Day of Prayer organizers have prayer points available online that are updated daily. To visit the international ministry website, visit www.gdopusa.com.