Today (November 11, 2010) is Veterans Day, which is also known as Armistice or Remembrance Day. It commemorates the agreement signed to end World War I. It took effect at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. It became known as Veterans Day when, in 1954 under President Eisenhower, it was expanded to celebrate all US Veterans. If you have served in the armed forces, thank you so much for your service. It mattered when you served, and it still does. Reflecting on Veterans Day caused me to remember and be freshly thankful for some of the “Prayer Summit Veterans” I am aware of. It was 20 years ago, this month, that I attended the first Pastors Prayer Summit for the Pierce County, WA pastors. That event changed my life and is still changing it. At the risk of missing some I should also mention, I want to remember some of those who, with their lives, signed an agreement, not to end a conflict, but to “fight the good fight” of seeing the Church of Jesus Christ experience renewed for greater impact across the Pacific Northwest and eventually, around the world.
Terry Dirks was with Dr. Joe from the beginning. As a staff member of Multnomah, he helped implement and shape the movement until his death in 1999. Joe had given him responsibility to oversee the movement and under his sensitive direction both before and after Dr. Joe’s retirement in 1997, it continued to impact thousands of pastors.
Dick Palmer, a retired dentist (and Navy Veteran) with a great heart and calling to come along side pastors heard about what was happening. He volunteered his time to serve Joe, Terry and the growing movement. The first time I facilitated a summit was with Dick, in February of 1993.
Bob Cryder and Dave Cetti soon became an integral part of the team as did Lee Brase. These men not only traveled and facilitated summits, but they also met and prayed often to help discern how God wanted it to proceed.
Don Stern, a friend of Terry’s from his days in Yakima, was asked to come and join the team. For more than 10 years Don not only provided administrative service, but became well known for his love for Jesus and heart for pastors.
Tom White heard about Prayer Summits, attended one, knew he was called to this kind of ministry, and began facilitating summits in both the states and in many other nations.
Dave Halbert responded to an invitation from Terry Dirks to begin to facilitate summits and soon found himself traveling not only the states, but in other countries sharing the vision and equipping future facilitators.
As the pastors were blessed at summits, there became both a desire and need for women’s summits. Jane Brown (Dr. Joes’ sister) and Jody Mayhew were called upon to provide leadership in this realm. Thousands of women have been blessed because of the groundwork they laid and their ministry since.
These “veterans” planted sees that are still sprouting. They forged a path that many people are still walking. Their stories have produced many other stories. The questions asked years ago are being answered in some wonderful ways. People are still encountering Jesus in personal and powerful ways. They are not only understanding the power of unity, they are walking in that power.
I am grateful to all those “veterans” who have and are still serving the King!