Prayer Moves Bureaucratic Mountains

When Nigerian customs officials seized 16 cases of religious books destined to be given to pastors at a conference, missionaries for Charlotte, N.C.-based SIM knew a miracle was needed. The officials placed a hefty tax on the books, making it virtually impossible to get them in time to distribute at the conference. The missionaries asked God to make a way for the books to be released.

When they visited the customs office for a "last-ditch effort" to negotiate for the books, an official pulled one of the books from a carton, read a letter explaining that they were for 300 pastors, and promptly ordered the missionaries to take the books away.

Emboldened by the way God answered their first prayer, the missionaries again asked God for help in obtaining an additional three and a half tons of books stuck in neighboring Benin by a transportation strike. The container reached the Niger border and was waived through almost immediately by the same customs officials. "Normally it takes days, even weeks, to clear a container," Connie Knowlton said.