The Power of a Retired Pastor’s Prayer Ministry

The Power of a Retired Pastor’s Prayer Ministry

By Andrew McChesney

Many elderly Seventh-day Adventist pastors return to their native villages when they retire in Papua New Guinea and spend their last years at home and with family. Not Okanama Kevi, a veteran pastor from Ura village in the highlands of the South Pacific country. His life became even more busy in retirement as he felt called by God to start a full-time prayer ministry.

Pastor Okanama’s name became known across Papua New Guinea as word spread that God answered his prayers in a special way. Adventists and others began calling him on his cell phone and knocking on the door of his family hut in a mountainous forest. He compiled a long prayer list to raise to God every morning and evening.

One day, a business owner and pastor from another Christian denomination came to Pastor Okanama’s house. The visitor, Ricky, lived in another province and had heard about Pastor Okanama’s prayer ministry while visiting the area on church business. Ricky arrived at the house with his heavily pregnant wife.

“Please, can you pray for my wife?” Ricky asked. “She is past her due date, and we are very worried.”

Pastor Okanama anointed the woman with olive oil and prayed for her. Two days later, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. The next Sabbath, Ricky showed up in the Adventist church with his wife and all six of their children, including the newborn girl.

Pastor Okanama, who oversaw the church’s baptismal class, immediately enrolled Ricky and his wife. Their five older children, ages 8 to 12, also began to study the Bible. After several months of study, the couple and their five children were baptized in August 2017.

“Now Ricky has left his church and his work as a pastor,” Pastor Okanama said in an interview at his home. “He is a faithful member in our church.”

Ricky, who owns stationary and rental car businesses, called Pastor Okanama to his place and asked him to dedicate his work to the Lord. The pastor did with joy.

“He is a fruit of my ministry,” said Pastor Okanama, 66. “Through this ministry I have prayed for many Sunday pastors.”

Andrew McChesney is editor of Adventist Mission. This story was initially featured in Adventist Mission and is being reprinted with permission.To read more inspiring testimonies from Adventist Mission, click here.

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World Church Prayer Requests

September 9-16, 2018

PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for our church members who are in the path of fires that continue to rage in California, British Columbia, and other locations around the world. Pray for rain, and for God to intervene.

PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for a youth center ministry in Budapest, Hungary. They meet in a basement once used to hide dozens of Jews during World War II. Pray that it continues to be a place of refuge and life as it serves young people in that city.

PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for the multiple ministries serving the city of Hanoi, Vietnam from the church’s new seven-story Life Hope Center. The building houses a bookstore, health-food store, foreign-language school, music school, health center, ADRA Vietnam headquarters, and meeting halls for two congregations.

PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for the upcoming 4th Quarter Day of Prayer and Fasting on October 6th. Our prayer focus is on praying for “the least of these.” Please pray that those who participate in this united prayer effort will be transformed by the experience. For information and prayer materials, click here:

PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for the upcoming Annual Council meetings that will be held in October. Pray for the leaders of our church and for a special measure of the Holy Spirit to give wisdom and clarity as issues are discussed and decisions made.

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