Well Chandler and I hit the ultimate driving experience last night. After coming upon Lake Roosevelt east of Phoenix, and taking an evening sunset swim (Chandler talked me into it, but then, being the first in, I had to talk him into the water!), we decided to stick with our plan for following the road less traveled, which turned out to be the Apache Trail, a 31-mile stretch of Arizona state highway 88 literally cut into the side of a mountain and a dirt road the whole way with numerous one-lane bridges. It took us over two hours to go 31 miles. Yes, that’s an average of 15 miles an hour. Of course there was no indication of this on the map and no sign at the beginning for how long this was going to be — just a sign that read “Pavement Ends.” Yes, it certainly did. Talk about the road less traveled … we met one car in two hours, and that was during the last half mile. We knew that because we stopped him and asked him how much farther we had to go.

There are a number of you on a rough stretch of road. Many of you had no warning this was coming, and no one you might meet on the way out who can tell you how much longer it’s going to last. We know you because of our prayer ministry, and we are so honored to be able to walk along with you and share a little of your burden.

To help with these burdens, two of our Prayer Warriors have volunteered to head up a prayer pillow ministry providing a hand made pillow with the person’s name printed on it and a loving message that they are being prayed for by those who care. Others have come on board to help with this project, and in May, 47 prayer pillows were sent out upon request. Here are just a few of the people who have received them.

Donna is a house manager for More Too Life, an organization for victims of human trafficking. Having just opened a safe house that accommodates four women, four prayer pillows arrived just the other day.

A citizen of the Catch put her prayer pillow in a sterile bag and took it into surgery with her. “The prayer pillow calmed me down going into and after the surgery.”

“Yeah, I received the pillow,” Chandler told us after he requested a pillow to be sent to him at his treatment center. “Please tell the prayer pillow makers that I prayed my first prayer on it last night.” (And later) “Hey, can you ask the makers if they would make a prayer pillow for my three friends here at Cathedral? David wants a blue one, Thor, a black and white one, and Jaylen wants a gold cover with crosses.” (While not offering custom tailoring, exceptions were made for these 3 boys ages between 15-18.)20160522_184359

And pictured here happily hugging her own pillow is our dear friend Melissa, who, as long as we have known her, has been dealing with a rare incurable disease that carries with it a huge amount of pain. She cherishes her pillow and the prayers it represents that tell her she is not alone.

This isn’t magic or superstition, it is tangible proof that someone is personally praying for you by name. And that’s a pretty big deal.

Shar’i, our volunteer in charge of the prayer pillows (It takes more than you would think to make them, write on them, and package and send them) explains why she and her husband, J.J., do it. “We felt the tap on the shoulder months ago, and wanted to make certain we were hearing what we thought we were hearing. When we realized it was a go and we needed to step-up, we did. I mean I remember a man named Jonah, a town called Nineveh, and BIG whale!  So PTL and let’s get started.

“On a personal note,” she added,  “I don’t imagine there are too many people that do not have friends or family members on drugs or alcohol. Many have gays or homosexuals in immediate family or close friends. We have or have had all of it in our own immediate family.  We still have a gay daughter and daughter-n-law. We believe that we should love them all and let God do the heavy work. We do not condone, or condemn. We listen, love and respect. We do not judge, as we too are sinners.”

You may be going along rather smoothly, but you never know when you might come upon that sign: “Pavement Ends.” That means a rough road ahead, and you’re going to want some help. It can happen to anyone of us, anytime. We’re here to tell you help is already on the way.

About Our May MemberPartner Campaign

This is the first of June and we are happy to announce the following new MemberPartners who have signed on during the month of May!

Hofferber, from Washington
Alma, from Alberta, Canada
Roger, from California
Chris, from California
John from Illinois
Elizabeth from Illinois
Chan from Hong Kong
Burt & Edna from Illinois
Dave, from Arizona
Brien, from California
Lyn, from Tennessee
Dana, from California
Laquita, from Texas
Nancy, from California
Bob, from Pennsylvania
Peter, from Connecticut
Annette, from Maryland
Paula, from Alabama
Barry, from Florida
Priscilla, from New York
David, from Texas
Cynthia, from Texas

Priscilla, David, John and Cynthia have all sponsored new MemberPartners who want to be involved but don’t have the funds right now. Lisa and Paula have both upped their monthly amount to help with the costs involved with the prayer pillow ministry. The rest are new or returning MemberPartners. WE ALL THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Our Catch board of advisors have asked us to continue our campaign until midnight Friday to make up for the three day weekend, not wanting to take attention away from the contemplation necessary for remembering the fallen soldiers.

Speaking of Prayer Pillows
Shar’i and J.J. have offered to make a prayer pillow for all new MemberPartners for yourself or a designee of your choice. All we need is a name and address and we’ll get right on it.

Our goal is 100 new MemberPartners. Shar’i and her team are ready to be put to work on all those pillows. They are eager to help further the work of the Catch. Click here to sign up.

God bless you all!

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