By: Karen Suvankham, Adventist Mission, and Adventist Review
How does an elementary school go about reaching the cities of the world? Forest Lake Education Center in Longwood, Florida, United States, has mapped out a plan to pray during the 2019-2020 school year for the more than 570 cities worldwide that have a population of a million or more.
Seventh-grade teacher Rosalee Taylor said she was watching the 3ABN television network during the summer of 2019 when she heard a Mission to the Cities advertisement for a free prayer map. The ad directed her to the Mission to the Cities website, where she found the offer repeated.
Her request for a map read: “What a wonderful idea to pray for our cities. I would like to use the prayer map ministries with my students. My students can pray for the youth in those cities and learn about the people of those cities.”
After that initial contact, however, Taylor’s idea quickly grew from having the students in her classroom pray to having the entire student body pray. The prayer map, which is laid out to look like a subway map and organizes the cities by the divisions, or regions, of the General Conference, fits with the school’s existing plan to celebrate the diverse cultures of the world through the theme, “The Family of God.” It also fits with the goal of the school’s director of spiritual enrichment, Joy Uzarraga, who was looking for a way to increase the prayer activities of the school.
When Uzarraga heard Taylor’s idea, she worked out a plan to have each grade level pray for one or two of the divisions of the General Conference, which, on the map, are made to look like subway lines, with cities representing the stops along the way.