Summer 2017

Prayer at the Border

From the memoirs of Dr. Glen & Jane Reeves, former Area Coordinators, Creative Access Nation

While traveling between countries in a creative access area to attend a conference in 2002, my wife and I and our co-worker Carla were required to pass through two guard posts. The first post was from the country we were leaving, and the second from the country we were entering. Our cab driver, who spoke only Russian, and I (Glen), who spoke only a smattering of Russian, did well with the guard at the first post.

At the second post, I handed our three passports to the guard, who took them up the stairs into a guard shack. A couple minutes later he returned to say Carla’s passport was invalid. Sure enough, the passport had an issue date of May 2002—and an expiration date also for May 2002. The guard promptly went back upstairs to fill out paperwork that we were attempting to cross the border illegally. I followed him and tried to explain in broken Russian, “There has been a mistake!” “A mistake is a mistake,” he replied and continued to fill out the papers. I tried to argue with him, but he continued to write on the form, completing it in triplicate (meaning, he filled out the form three times).

I knew the word for “fine” in Russian, so I thought this could be cleared up if we just paid the fine. He brightened up and said that was a good idea. When I told him I would need a receipt to claim the expense when I got home, he went back to completing the forms. As he wrote I noticed he was getting more and more nervous. He was smoking, and it wasn’t out of enjoyment. Another guard with an AK-47 came up to see how it was going. They said something I didn’t understand, and the guy with the AK-47 laughed; the guard writing did not laugh.

The guard was becoming visibly upset. Finally, after about an hour, he grabbed the papers he’d been completing, tore them up, stamped the visas in all our passports, and gave them to me. I thanked him and prepared to leave. The guard opened the gate without looking at us and we traveled through. We were so glad we would be joining the conference.

Our biggest surprise was yet to come. Back in the U.S. when Carla returned home, a lady from her church in Modesto, CA, asked her if anything special had happened from midnight to two a.m. on a particular day in May. Carla asked her why. She said, “I couldn’t get to sleep, so I went downstairs to work on a quilt. But I felt impressed to pray for you. Afterwards, I felt everything was okay, and being really tired I went back to sleep.”

During the time she stated, it was noon to two p.m. when we were trying to cross the borders. God had awakened this woman to pray for us so we could get through and do our work. He watches over us to complete his will for our lives, and uses the prayers of the saints, even when they don’t know why they should pray.

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