By Brian Koonce
DIAMOND – K’Dee Kissel was confident God would hear her prayer, but who knew that it would take a detour through a Pentecostal church 330 miles away in Arkansas?
The journey of more than 100 prayer requests began at the annual horse whisperer event hosted by First Baptist Church, Diamond. The event has become a yearly highlight for the church, drawing upwards of 1,500 people.
“We normally give away about 300 cowboy Bibles, have buggy rides, games and roping dummies,” said Pastor Ron Crow. “This year our GAs (Girls in Action) wanted to do something and one 11-year-old girl, K’Dee, came up with the idea of prayer balloons.”
Just before the horse whisperer took to the arena to break the young horse, the girls gathered prayer requests and tied them and the church’s contact information to more than 100 yellow, helium-filled balloons.
“We’d never done anything like this before,” Crow said. “We didn’t know what would happen but we were hoping and praying that we would hear that someone would find the balloons and join us in prayer.”
They released the balloons at seven that evening. A few balloons floated alone, and one bunch got caught in some nearby power lines.
Three days later, an e-mail popped up in Crow’s inbox with the subject line, “Yellow Balloons!” It was from a member of a Pentecostal church in Swifton, Ark. Near Jonesboro, Swifton is 330 miles away as the crow – or balloon – flies.
She wrote: “When we came out of church this morning, your balloons were just landing in our church yard. We feel like they were sent to us on purpose, so we planned our service around them tonight. We had a circle of prayer around them and we will be praying over them daily.”
Not only that, the church’s pastor took the balloons to the local newspaper and asked the entire town to pray for the specific requests on each balloon.
The bunch that had been tangled in the power lines might have been lost to all but God, but just as the church was turning off the lights and wrapping up after the event, a gust of wind blew them loose. That cluster, delayed by two hours, took an entirely different route and ended up in the hands of River of Life Assembly of God in Bellefonte Ark., nearly 150 miles west of Swifton. They, too, took the balloons’ prayer cargo and prayed over them.
“We all believe God sent them to us for a reason,” said another e-mail. “I prayed for Bob to find happiness and next to me was one that asked for Paw Paw to walk again. Another on my row was about a 36-year-old guy with bone cancer. Whoever the Lord laid that on their hearts, we were honored to be a part of it.”
Crow said that the GAs, not to mention all of First Diamond, realized that prayer can involve many people and cross many lines, including denominational ones.
“The more prayer there is, the more power there is,” he said. “God can use simple things to do great things!”