Meeting the President and a Soulful Connection
The e-mail below was written by Lindsey Yeskoo, the wife of Paul Yeskoo, a Christian who is serving in Shanghai as a Foreign Service Officer, and details her experience of meeting the President when he was in China a month or two ago. It underlines why we need to be faithful praying for the President in particular and all our national leaders.
Dear Family, It is a dull, polluted Monday morning here in Shanghai, and we await news of President Bush's safe arrival back in Washington DC. He just left here less than 12 hours ago. Everyone is breathing a sigh of relief that no terrorist incidents occurred here over the past days. Security was tight, as you will have seen on TV.
On Friday afternoon, a crowd of 600 consulate/embassy staff plus families were invited to a reception in the Atrium of the Shanghai/Portman complex at 3:15 pm, to meet both GW and Colin Powell. We waited a LONG time (due to all the security we had to go through), but our anticipation outweighed our tired bodies and sore feet. [We had left the house just after 10:30am in order to do all this!] Finally, Bush was announced, and it was SO INCREDIBLE to see him walk in with Powell and take the podium before us, especially with all the recent events. Quite emotional for us all, actually.
He gave a tremendous, candid yet heartening speech, and then was escorted down to the floor to meet the crowds. Everyone was of course behind a tight rope, and there were Secret Service men and security everywhere. There was no way he could meet all, but he sure did a great job of shaking hands with as many as possible.
Colin Powell followed immediately behind him; he did not seem so engaging, surprisingly. Maybe the Secretary was (understandably) tired and distracted after his previous trips to Pakistan and India. Anyway, the three kids and I were in the very front row, and had an extraordinary experience with President Bush.
Bush came along and shook Chris's hand first, noticing that he was all dressed up, and said, "You're looking sharp today, boy!" Chris was SO PROUD and SO PLEASED at the recognition (if only GW had known what a struggle I'd had to get him to wear a jacket and a tie!). Then he shook my hand and I told him how much we value his strong leadership at this time, that we are 100% behind him. He went on and took the girls' hands and talked to them.
Then I leaned over and mentioned that we pray for him every day. He stopped dead in his tracks (a definite security NO-NO; the SS men got REALLY antsy). He searched my eyes as if to see how much I really meant what I was saying. Then he gave me the most amazing and unexpected personal response, Paul said for a good 20-30 seconds.
He told me what the effect has been on him, waking up every day of the crisis and knowing within himself that he is being faithfully prayed for. He almost pleaded with me not to give up, but to persist with it, for this is only the beginning. Then he looked me even more squarely in my eyes, and gave me a very personal and specific series of instructions about the very things he most needs prayer for, on behalf of himself and the nation.
He urged me that the threat against America is very great, and that one of our focuses in prayer to God needs to be "the shielding of America" and wisdom for him as he leads the country through this time. I don't know why, but as I looked straight back at him directly into his face, he let me see for those brief moments a tiny part of the agony he himself is going through, and the weariness.
He finished the conversation by putting his hand on my right shoulder, almost as if it were the close of a commissioning, but affectionate too in a brotherly sort of way. People were pressing in at this point and almost knocking the four of us right into Bush. Many of them were the Chinese staff who work for Paul, w ho would not have understood ANY of that conversation; but others caught snippets and came afterwards to ask me WHAT we had been talking about.
The President moved on. Needless to say, the whole experience was unforgettable. I cannot begin to tell you how deeply it has affected me. Certainly, I do not think I have ever prayed for a leader or government or nation (or world!) so extensively as I have done since then. It was really quite an unusual and unexpected and powerful encounter."
What a blessing to have a professing Christian as President. Please take a moment after you read this to pray for him. He truly does have the weight of the world on his shoulders. Pray that God will sustain him and give him wisdom and discernment in his decisions. Pray for his protection and that of his family. After you have prayed, send this to everyone on your e-mail list. Our President needs Christians around the world to be praying for him. As this makes the e-mail rounds, eventually there could literally be people praying for him 24 HOURS of every day.