Partners together in mission

Empowerment and enabling may be overused buzzwords in the business world, but they are used for God’s glory says Paul Springate in his role as prayer coordinator to Bryony Pannell, a SIM UK doctor working in Africa.

‘The role of a prayer coordinator thrills and encourages me'Paul Springate

Paul Springate and SIM UK missionary Bryony Pannell met at the Harnhill Centre of Christian Healing in Cirencester where Paul was the warden and Bryony was learning the skills to prayer minister others. 

As part of his role, Paul planned and designed publicity materials for the centre — skills God would put to good use when Paul became Bryony’s prayer coordinator.

As Paul explains: “When Bryony retired from her role as a GP and felt called to the medical mission field, she mentioned not having time both to do her role as a medic along with all the other calls upon her time and be able to put together and distribute a prayer letter. 

“Having heard from her initial trip to Malawi how powerfully God was using her; sorting out her regular prayer letter and distributing it seemed a small way of supporting the exciting ministry that was happening through her.

“So, working my way through the vagaries of Pages on an iPad, the use of a group email app and a bit of cut and paste, I can enable Bryony to get on with her calling; supported by the prayers of wonderful people who pray for her.” 

Through the wonders of new technology, Bryony sends her text and photos to Paul, who then “melds it together” into a PDF that within the hour is in nearly 100 people’s inboxes. “We can also respond to urgent prayer needs regarding situations that have just happened within minutes of the original message,” adds Paul, who says he loves being able to enable to support a ministry that he ‘could never do’.

 “Two of the great buzzwords of the present are empowerment and enabling and being a prayer coordinator allows these two themes to operate in two directions — empowering and enabling Bryony to function effectively and securely through as much prayer as one can achieve, and empowering others and enabling them to pray by supplying information and guidance,” he explains.

“The role of a prayer coordinator also thrills and encourages me in my own faith in seeing what God can do through someone who is so available to him. To hear from Bryony about the effectiveness of both medical and prayer ministry opportunities continually stirs my head to worship — I love it.”

‘So much happens in a short time in Malawi’

I wasn’t a likely person to be called for mission as I was terrified of flying and wasn’t really a traveller. So right from the beginning, I was dependent on prayer and on God answering," explains Bryony Pannell.

“I so appreciate wonderful friends who pray for me and am so grateful we have a God who answers. It has increased my faith and my awe of God.

“I find writing prayer letters difficult, as so much happens in a short time in Malawi, and I find it very hard to know what to share. 
“Once I’ve managed to decide on topics for my prayer letter, it probably takes me two or three hours to write, so it made a huge difference when Paul started putting my prayer letter together and distributing it. 

“I used to have difficulty trying to attach photos and I took ages trying to send it to everyone, not helped by poor internet. Now I just send Paul the writing, WhatsApp him the photos and he does the rest!” 

  • Bryony Pannell, who is sent by Southam Road Evangelical Church, Banbury, shares her faith working as a doctor at the Partners In Hope clinic, Lilongwe, which specialises in treating AIDS and HIV patients.

Please pray

  • For Bryony to know God’s guidance in splitting her time between the UK and Malawi.
  • Give thanks that the role of a prayer coordinator encourages Paul in his faith.
  • Praise God Bryony and Paul share the desire to see Jesus made known.
    By Kerry Allan