Prayer Makes a Difference


I heard about Cross America from my sister who lives in Greentown, Indiana.   Recently we spent some family time together in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  My daughter and I flew there from Texas, and my sister’s family drove from Greentown, Indiana.   I noticed a silver cross on the instrument panel of their car.   I asked about the cross, and she told me someone had sponsored the Greentown, Indiana zip code, and she received it in the mail.  She told me about the mission of Cross America and Terry Merrell (the Founder of the mission).

Terry and I graduated from high school together, and our mothers also went to school together.  I remember when Terry was very sick in the hospital as a teenager and how I prayed that God would make him well.  I remember going with my parents to the hospital in Indianapolis to see Dayton and Janet Merrell (Terry's parents), and I remember their faith.  I remember Dayton asking me, “Is there anything that you want me to tell Terry?” I said, “Yes, tell him I hope he feels better."  Dayton paused and looked me in the eyes and said, “Anything else?”   I’m sure he was expecting more than a “feel better”.  I said, “And I’ll be praying for him."  I believe that was the first time I told someone I would be praying.  Prayer makes a difference.

After looking at the Cross America website, my daughter and I decided we needed to see the facility on our next visit to Kokomo, Indiana. We did a tour before heading back to Texas.  I was drawn to the map of the United States, the red areas that have been sponsored and the massive amount of white still waiting for a sponsor.   I picked up an envelope and sponsored a zip code in Arkansas.  I prayed that those crosses would lead people to Christ.

A few weeks later, I had a dream.  Terry (still a teenager in my dream), my daughter and I were sitting at a table.  Somewhere in the dream, Isaiah 46 was mentioned.  The dream finished with me hugging the teenager Terry and telling him how proud I am for what he is doing.  When I woke up, I wanted to first read Isaiah 46.   Verses 3-5 state, “Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born.  Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He Who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.  With whom will you compare Me or count Me equal?  To whom will you liken Me that we may be compared?" (New International Version).

What a powerful reminder of God’s love and to trust Him through everything.  I then began my daily prayers, my list of “please and thank you”.  I am in the process of selling my home, and I told God that I plan to tithe from the proceeds of the sale…….when it sells.  God said, “Do it now, sponsor your zip code, people need the cross."  My response: “People do need the cross here.  Ok, I’ll do it tomorrow in memory of my parent’s wedding anniversary."  Response: “Nope, do it today." 

I don’t have those loud and clear moments often, so when I do, I listen and try to be obedient.   Spending time dwelling with God has helped me know His voice.  Prayer does make a difference.

That same morning, I sponsored the Allen, Texas zip code.  I wanted to remain an anonymous donor because it wasn’t my idea to give.  I give all the glory to God.   I received a phone call from Crystal at Cross America asking me how someone almost 1,000 miles away from Kokomo, Indiana came to sponsor a Texas zip code.  I told her my story, and she asked that I share it with others.   I will continue to spread the mission of Cross America and will encourage others to sponsor.  Giving God all the glory!

Anita Bontrager

Cross America
Cross America Community Center Hours
Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Sunday: CLOSED
Call at (765) 780-3090
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Cross America Facility
Facility Address
840 Daniel Drive
Kokomo, IN. 46901
Doubting Thomas
Doubting Thomas Hours
Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Sunday: CLOSED
Call at (765) 780-3094
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