From Saturday, several women and two men begin gathering at the home of Linda Blessing in Port St. Lucie, Florida to engage in what Blessing called a “prayer battle.” By Tuesday morning the group which originally consisted of three men and two women increased to fourteen, 12 women and two men. For three days and three nights they prayed for the rescue of the 12 young soccer players, and their coach from Thailand’s Tham Luang Cave.Prayer WarriorBlessing, a deacon at a Pentecostal church in Port. St. Lucie, and a self- avowed “prayer warrior” said she had praying for the boys and the 25-year old coach since news first came on June 23 that they were missing after heavy rains entrapped them in the cave where they entered out of curiosity. “When I heard the boys were trapped and couldn’t be found I began praying privately with two other church sisters. I believed they would be found, and they were ‘Prayers began to be answered Like the rest of the world Blessing, who is originally from Aruba, the joy of the boys being found soon turned to anxiety. After they were found by divers on June 2 it was reported that the cave was flooded from the torrential rains, making it difficult to rescue them.“I knew that the good Lord didn’t allow those boys to found, bring relieve to their parents, then leave that cave to die, no, not my Lord. So I stepped up the praying. I needed a prayer battle. I needed help, so I called several church sisters and brethren to gather at my home over the past weekend to pray and fast for God to give strength and wisdom to the many rescuers to free the boys. Then Sunday morning God began answering those prayers.”On Sunday morning, news came that four boys were rescued from the cave, on Monday four more, and finally on Tuesday came the report that the other four boys and the coach were rescued.Blessing, could hardly speak to CNW on Tuesday morning, as her voice racked with emotion. Crying loudly as she spoke she kept repeating, “God is god, God is so good. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord.”A rebirthShe sees the rescue of the boys as their rebirth. “It was like they were locked in the womb again and have been reborn. I hope we get a chance to learn what happen to these boys and the coach as they continue with their life. I feel they’ll be specially blessed after this. Prayers recued them.”A team of some one hundred Thai, US, British and other international engineers, rescuers, divers, and medical personnel toiled and planned since the boys and their coach were found to rescue them from where they were found some 2.5 miles from the cave’s entrance. The team delivered supplies, food and medicines to the boys, while plans were made to rescue them. The rescuers were challenged by time, trying to beat the approaching torrential Monsoon rains in Thailand. At one stage it was suggested the boys and coach may have to stay in the cave for four months until the rains ended.The recue each set of boys took some 10 hours each day. Divers swam under water some five-hours to reach the boys, who could not swim, fitted each boy in scuba suits and diving equipment, tethered each boy to a diver, and swam mostly under water to get out the cave.Rev, Allan Prescott, a British Anglican priest visiting Miami, told CNW on Tuesday morning, “This is truly evidence of the power of prayer. A lot of people were praying for these boys.” Then the reverend quipped, “I just hope God also hear us Britons praying that England wins the World Cup.”
Ex-Black Stars handed, Michael Essien says Olympique Lyon played a major role in making him a “senior player” at a very young age.Essien joined the French Ligue 1 side in 2003 where he stayed until his big summer move to Chelsea in 2005.While at Lyon, the Ghanaian international won two league titles, and two Trophée des Champions.In an interview with 3news, the former Chelsea star praised the French league team in their ability to nurture young talents into mature players.“It moved me from being a young player to a senior player at a big club, so, it helped me grow up and feature on the big stage.”“I gained a lot of experience in a short space of time.“I think the set-up of the club as a whole and the longevity of the president [has helped], there has been continuity and they also know how to develop good players.“The two titles and Champions League games will be my favourite memories.”Since making the move from Lyon, Michael Essien played for clubs Chelsea, Real Madrid, AC Milan Panathinaikos, Persib Bandung and Sabail in Azerbaijan.Essien, 37, recently announced he has left Azerbaijani club, Sabail, and is without a club at the moment.