Judy Nugent works with The First Village, a local church she was led to start in an apartment complex just across the street from her after several encounters with her neighbors, like a man who had just been released from prison and another walking away from drugs. The name is inspired by Luke 9:6. The First Village meets twice a week – to pray and to share Jesus’ Love with one anoother. Judy attended this year’s CCDA National Conference as a prayer team member. She shares a few examples of ways she saw God work powerfully through the prayer team ministry.
This was my first experience with the CCDA Conference. When I first heard about it I thought, I’ve been to so many conferences, I don’t have time for this, but then I was asked if I wanted to be on the prayer team.
Prayer is such an essential part of anything you do, and I struggle with my prayer life just like anybody else. I thought this would be good discipline for me.
The first or second day I was on duty, a lady came in [to the prayer room]. She was very distraught. It crossed my mind that maybe I should get a counselor here, but in walked a lady without a “Can I Pray For You” t-shirt on [the identifying t-shirt of prayer team volunteers]. She walked directly over to the [distraught] lady and knelt at her feet.
She began to pray this soft, gentle prayer. She prayed for this lady and ministered to her. I was just in awe of this. That was the only time I saw her, and she never came back to the prayer room to pray for anyone else.
For the Sunday morning worship service, I asked some people from The First Village if they would come with me because I knew they could get in [without paying the conference fee]. Three wanted to come, and one came but didn’t want anybody to see her because she had a lot of tattoos [and was afraid she would be judged]. So she was in the back and had her head covered up.[But when] Dr. Perkins began to speak, she jumped up and ran out in the hall, so I ran out.
She said, “Miss Judy, I know him.”
I said, “What do you mean?”
She said, “When I was 8 years-old, he was my pastor.”
I just thought, oh she’s just confused.
We went up afterwards, and, sure enough, she and Dr. Perkins talked and it turned out that he had indeed been pastoring when she was 8 years-old at this church in Jackson, Mississippi. And here she was now, 25-years-old [and in Indiana]!
We also had a very unique experience with the on-site prayer walk. I wanted to go to the city council building because I work with guys who have been incarcerated and have to go to court.
The man leading our small group went to the city council building and asked the Latina lady at the information booth if we could pray for her, but [instead] she wanted to come pray with our team.
As we stepped out of the building, there was another Latina lady who saw our “Can I Pray for You” t-shirts and walked up to us. She was waiting for the bus and was very burdened about her situation. It felt like the Lord had sent her over here.
Out comes our [new prayer volunteer] from the information desk, and she talks to the other lady and ministers to her, praying in Spanish. We sensed the Spirit moving!
I saw with my own eyes what God can do because I could just sense the presence of the Lord, not only in the prayer room but in the entire conference. I’ve been to a lot of conferences but I’ve never experienced that before. And maybe it wasn’t the CCDA Conference, maybe it was my personal journey deepening, but whatever it was, praise the Lord.