Here is why this is close to my heart...
1) Because people are close on God's heart, so they should also be close on ours. Some of these students have been around for the summer teams for years on end and a few of them even came out to Arizona last year. God is working here! Pray these students want to take more steps towards Christ! How cool would it be in heaven to be able to meet someone you could be praying for now?!?
2) The people on this team are primarily staff and students involved with the Navigators in both Arizona and California. What a cool opportunity for God to stretch and grow each of the team and encourage them to trust Him above all.
Along with that, the woman who has discipled me this past year is on this team as well... Sarah Short has been nothing less than a prayer warrior, mentor, encourager, challenger and amazing friend to me in my senior year at ASU. I just served one week with her at a Christian music festival called spirit west coast (you can read more about it on her blog here), and now she is off to spend two weeks serving in Russia. Though commiting her summer to God, she has lost much financial support this past year due to the economy and her funding increased. Here is a copy of prayer requests she wrote in an e-mail both for her and for the trip...
--For travel safety for our team & for unity amongst our team. Pray that the Russians would see Christ through how we love and relate to one another (John 17)
--Pray for us as we teach English—pray that the classroom discussions would draw the Russians out and lead them to ask deeper questions about life.
--Pray for the evening personal belief discussion—pray that the students would take an interest in attending these optional sessions and for them to seek truth.
--Pray for the gospel to advance in Russia; we want to be instruments for God’s use, so pray that we would know and follow His leading.
--Pray for spiritual protection during this time.
--For me personally, would you pray for my energy to press on? The last 3 weeks have been intense, and I don’t want fatigue to be a hindrance. Pray that I can engage deeply with people and know God’s strength.
Would you join me in praying for this Russia team? Also, please pray for my friend that God would be faithful in providing her fundraising so she may return to ASU in the fall on time and serve other women just as she served me this past year. Your few minutes spent praying for God's joy to be spread in Russia are not in vain! God won't give us the nations unless we remember to ask! Thank you for YOUR hearts following after God's! Press on dear friends!