Can I tell you a quick story? A missionary serving for 18 years in Belarus had a dream. She wanted to spend a season sitting before the Lord with like-minded believers in corporate prayer. She wanted to go deep in studying the Scripture. She wanted to learn how to understand the times and grow in ministry impact. She knew that receiving training through the International House of Prayer would be a game-changer, but she couldn't leave her ministry to relocate to Kansas City.
The same is true for countless believers across the globe. Some lack the economic means, some cannot leave the communities in which God has placed them, and others simply don't have the flexibility to be part of a traditional university experience.
Meanwhile, we've all been shocked by events this year that have literally transformed the nations, and even the Church, at a pace and to a degree I've never seen in my lifetime. At the beginning of the year, our community took part in the 40-day Jesus Fast with hundreds gathering in the Global Prayer Room to focus on our one priority, Jesus. Next I knew, as COVID-19 became a pandemic, our students and interns returned to their hometowns and our prayer room was limited to a handful (in compliance with government regulations). Yet I am beyond grateful that 24/7 prayer with worship never ceased. God kept us going through this most difficult challenge. Still, I believe the Lord is continuing to sift and sort. More trouble is coming.
HOW DO WE ACCELERATE IN THE MIDST OF A CULTURAL STORM?
However, escalating trouble is not the focus of my email. This is because something wonderful and surprising is happening only God could orchestrate. As society shifted this year, I sensed the Lord saying that IHOPKC was also shifting-never away from our primary mandate but rather into an acceleration of all we've done these past 21 years. As such, with darkness escalating, maintaining night-and-day prayer will become harder, not easier. It struck me and my leadership team: Now is the time to hasten the raising up of intercessors, prophetic voices, worshipers, and kingdom laborers.
In the midst of the pandemic, we began to see the Lord in His brilliance unfolding new beauty. When our students and interns had to return to their hometowns, we had to decide whether to shut down our entire training or go 100% online. As we prayed and considered, we realized that not only had culture changed but technology had dramatically changed as well. We took hold of revealed opportunities, and God showed us that it was now fully possible for students to be physically distant and yet relationally very close. When our students began experiencing transformative heart connections despite being fully online, we saw that raising up tens of thousands in the forerunner message came down to technology and finances-not location.
INTRODUCING THE IHOPU GLOBAL CLASSROOM EXPERIENCE
I cannot overestimate the size of this shift or its potential for the prayer movement. In response to everything that's happened this year, we have marshaled our resources to find and forge a new generation of wholehearted lovers of Jesus who would be end-time messengers of His soon return. This fall we launched the Global Classroom Experience with the tagline: "24/7 prayer now has a 24/7 classroom."
More than a Zoom meeting and far more than an online school, we are utilizing industry-leading technology and equipment to break down barriers of location, language, economic resources, and schedules. These advances especially liberate internationals, non-English speakers, and those in developing countries to join. In fact, training in seven major languages is coming soon! Additionally, we have upended the traditional classroom model to boost interaction and engagement. In essence, we're pioneering an education system that blurs the line between local and remote. Our goal: Wherever you are, it should feel like you're here. Faculty mentoring. Life-impacting friendships. It's better than I ever thought possible-and there is much, much more to come!
But to raise up thousands who will advance 24/7 prayer on the earth, one final thing is needed. Remote students need to deeply and quickly connect. And that connection needs to come in two forms: technological connection to the Global Classroom and relational connection with teachers and fellow students. In fact, studies show that experiences within the first few weeks of university dramatically impact four-year retention rates. That's why we've created a connection point to fit this need. It's a welcome kit we're calling the "Launch Box."
This Launch Box is how we're throwing our arms around new students to welcome them into our family! It contains everything a student needs: a headset with microphone; a tablet preloaded with Zoom; a digital library including multiple Bible versions, commentaries, and the books needed for their first two years of school; and of course access to the Global Prayer Room livestream. It also includes International House of Prayer gear to ensure that students connect emotionally and build a sense of school spirit. In fact, the moment the students receive their Launch Box and connect online, they will effectively be in the classroom, in a manner so impacting, relational, and dynamic, it's probably unfair to call it remote.
LAUNCHING A GENERATION
This is precisely where you come in. We've already installed the first wave of necessary technology in a handful of classrooms, which allowed us to launch the Global Classroom Experience this fall! Yet to accelerate the launching of a generation of new end-time messengers starting, we need to stock and ship 1,000 Launch Boxes over the next year.
Since IHOPU is perhaps our most trusted vehicle for raising up end-time messengers, look at a Launch Box as a person being shaped into the image of God for such a time as this. The cost of each Launch Box is approximately $650. Imagine the return on that investment! Think back to a life-changing experience you had in the Global Prayer Room, streaming from home, or attending Onething, IHOPU, or an internship. Would you give a similar impact to a student longing to grow in intimacy with Jesus and ready to be trained to proclaim His beauty and glorious return? Would you help raise up 1,000 more wholehearted lovers of Jesus?