In 1988, Karen and I attended a class at a church which was of another denomination other than our own. During the course of the class our fellow classmates learned that we were from an AG Church. This sparked many questions about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts of The Spirit. We learned that many of the people in this baptist church had received the Baptism, but they had no idea what to do with. We felt the Lord was calling us to ministry for a season and so became members of this church in order to minister more effectively.
During this time Karen, having a heart for prayer, became part of the prayer ministry and began praying over prayer requests and when the Lord laid it on her heart, began sending out notes of encouragement called Prayergrams. These are notes of encouragement that are sent out as postcards or notecards. Karen's Prayergrams were predominantly scriptures the Lord had directed her to as she prayed over the prayer requests.
In January of 1990 we felt the Lord directing us back to our AG homechurch. In our absence, our home church had begun their own prayer ministry and Karen quickly became a part of it. Within a few months Karen was asked to head up this infant ministry and told just to "keep the status quo." Those who know the Lord know that the status quo is never an option for Him. A ministry that does not move forward dies and this ministry was dying. Karen set out to revamp the ministry and she and I set about designing Prayergrams for the ministry. We received permission from the pastor to have them printed professionally and the Prayergram ministry of ou homechurch was born.
Karen quickly found resources that allowed her to reach beyond the walls of our church and pray for people around the world. Prayer requests from the church body always received priority, followed by missionaries supported by our church and those of the Assemblies of God in general. Karen branched out through e-mail and quickly built a prayer base of prayer warriors around the world. These prayer warriors would forward prayer requests to her and would in turn pray for those she forwarded to them. We would put inserts in the weekly bulletins to allow the church body the oppotunity to pray for all of these.
Unfortunately, this became an area of contention with some of the members of our church who felt the prayer ministry should concentrate only on the local church body. The pastor informed us of the complaints, but then told us he would handle it and keep doing the work God had given us.
However, within a year the church board let this pastor go and brought in a new one. Late in 1997, this same pastor told us he felt the prayer ministry needed to pull back to minister only to our local church body. We prayed long and hard about this until we knew what the Lord was speaking to our hearts. With all due respect,we told this pastor we could not in good conscience do what he was asking us to do. Whereupon he shut down the prayer ministry altogether.
We had been building a group of web pages for our church's prayer ministry and wrtr looking into getting them online. With this new development we began redesigning the pages to create a completely separate and nondenominational ministry. We tried to find an appropriate name for the new ministry, but nothing seem to fit. Then Karen's dad suggested we call it Caring Hearts Prayer Ministry because he knew how much we cared for God's people. This struck an immediate chord in both of us. Since both our names begin with "K" we decided the name should be Karing Hearts Prayer Ministry and we created the double hearts and dove logo that our pages bear.
The ministry went online just after Christmas in 1997 with Geocities. Two years later we moved the site to Bravenet.
One thing has remained the same throughout the ministry's history. Karen's prayergram ministry has continued to reach out to God's people around the world. Over the years she has received feedback from many to whom she has sent prayergrams. The correspondence comes from around the world, providing a crosssection of our society. Everyone from Presidents, Vice Presidents and Governors to missionaries on the field in the far corners of the world.
One letter, in particular, has always reminded us this is God's Ministry, not our's. It came from a missionary couple and stated they were preparing to leave the missions field. They felt no one cared and doubted God even knew where they were or what they were doing...in the midst of these doubts Karen's prayergram arrived. Their letter asked, "How could you possibly know what we were going through?" It went on to say that because of that one prayergram, they were staying in the field. The truly amazing thing about this Karen had sent prayergram three months before they received it. God held on to it until it was truly needed It truly shows ...there is always a plan...
There have been times in the ministry's history when Karen has questioned the work...times when months would go by with no feedback of any kind. At those times I have pointed to the binders containing the letters and reminded her, "God Kares".
Blessings from our home to yours,
Kim and Karen K.
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