Northwestern alum directs international prayer event
BY NANCY CAWLEY ZUGSCHWERT
When you ask Nancy (Roszhart ’87) Lindgren to pray for you, be prepared. She may not only pray, but also involve an extended prayer network of hundreds of thousands of people in countries all over the world. Well, at least that’s what she did one special day last fall.
Lindgren began her powerful prayer journey by joining Moms In Touch when her daughter Jessica, now a University of Northwestern sophomore, went to kindergarten. Moms In International (MITI) is a worldwide community of praying moms with groups in every state and more than 140 countries. Their mission is to impact “children and schools worldwide for Christ by gathering mothers to pray.”
Lindgren said the experience of praying for her daughter and her school “Changed my life. Through Moms In Touch I’ve learned to pray and have learned who God is. I’ve seen God answer prayer in my kids’ lives. I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.”
Her involvement grew beyond weekly prayer meetings at the school. After the 20th anniversary celebration of the organization in 2004, several women in MITI came up with the idea to celebrate 25 years with a worldwide call to prayer. “Our gatherings usually found about 1,000 women coming together,” explained Lindgren, “but we felt called to invite the women of the world to come together on one day.”
Thus began the plans for Arise! Cry Out!, an event based on a Scripture passage from Lamentations 2:19. Lindgren became the chair of the entire event. “We decided to have a live event in San Diego (MITI’s headquarters) in October 2009 where we would tape a special four-hour event,” Lindgren explained. The event featured prayer, worship and speakers, including MITI founder Fern Nichols and former NFL player Miles McPherson.
Surrounding the live event, MITI groups from around the world signed up to host an Arise! Cry Out! gathering on November 14, which would utilize the DVD recordings from the San Diego event.
The logistics for such an endeavor were staggering. In addition to pulling together the live event with hundreds of participants, they had just a little over one month to produce and ship enough DVDs from the San Diego meeting—including translation—to meet the requests from over 1,600 host sites in 92 countries. Lindgren was amazed at how many obstacles they had to overcome to produce the DVDs.
At one point, lightning struck and knocked out power at a critical point in the production process. “It was one thing after another. We prayed that thing through; it was a miracle to get the DVD done.”
“In one country alone we had 37,000 people participate,” Lindgren noted with awe. “We’ll never truly know how many were involved, but we do know there was a 24-hour wave of prayer for children and the schools they attend.”
MITI founder Nichols shared that Lindgren’s role was vital. “Her leadership was donned with graciousness and love. She went above and beyond as she tirelessly prayed and worked, worked and prayed. It’s hard to describe in words the tremendous asset Nancy has been to Moms In Touch International as a regional coordinator, a state coordinator, chairman of a worldwide prayer day for children and schools, and now as a liaison for our multicultural groups. I am very grateful to the Lord for this praying mom.”
For Lindgren, the personal sense of purpose made it worth all the hard work. “Even coming to Northwestern, I always felt God had His hand on my life for something specific,” she reflected. “Maybe this was it. I’ll never know until I get to heaven, but it was worth laying my life down for two years and giving it my all.”
And don’t expect her to stop praying because the event is over. Lindgren is also the leader of Northwestern’s own Moms In Touch group. She is passionate when she says, “Praying for our kids is the greatest thing we could ever be doing. God hears our prayers and responds.”