Evangelistic Harvest in Iowa Rooted in Prayer

Celebration volunteer leader credits wife’s legacy of faith as his inspiration

Evangelistic Harvest in Iowa Rooted in Prayer

Celebration volunteer leader credits wife’s legacy of faith as his inspiration

For Mike Schreurs, the Iowa Celebration with Will Graham in October was an answer to prayer that spanned more than two decades and covered thousands of miles of intercession and supplication across his home state.

In the fall of 1999, following the gentle prodding of his wife, Linda, the couple began spending their Saturday mornings prayer-walking inner city neighborhoods throughout Des Moines.

Those Saturday morning sidewalk prayers continued weekly over the next five years as the couple, clad in purple shirts with the words “Prayer Patrol” stitched across their backs, faithfully prayed for passersby.

“Motorists would turn their cars around in the middle of the street and say, ‘Would you pray for us?’” Mike recalled. “It gave us an experience nearly every Saturday to just follow the Holy Spirit and speak to people and share God’s love. We prayed for prostitutes. We prayed for gang members. We prayed for imams. We prayed for the police.”

Then Linda had another idea.

“You know, I think we’re supposed to go and pray for every one of the 99 counties in Iowa,” she told Mike. He was less than enthusiastic at first. But after curiously accompanying his wife to six county courthouses in northwest Iowa over a weekend in July 2005, he was all in.

“And we prayed that the rules, the rulings and the judgments and decisions that were being made in those courthouses from that point on would be righteous and that each county would be cleansed from anything that would be unrighteous,” Mike said.

Over the next year, Mike and Linda made about 20 weekend excursions praying for revival in every county-seat town throughout Iowa. Recalling those days, Mike, 75, cherishes the memories of his 46-year marriage that was cut short by Linda’s death in 2018 following a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

“I’d just hate to think what it would have been like if it weren’t for her, and her influence and her love,” Mike said. But most of all, he’s thankful for a prayer of repentance that launched his faith journey as he and Linda knelt beside their couch in their living room.

“My wife and I both came to know the Lord on December 19, 1973,” he said. “Before then, I didn’t know how to live. I didn’t know how to love. I didn’t know how to understand a relationship that was so much bigger than me.”

At the time, Mike was a 27-year-old local television producer working overtime on weekends directing the broadcast of a Wesleyan church worship service. After about five months of producing the church’s television broadcast, Mike’s jaded perspective on life began to change. “These church folks genuinely just loved on me,” he said. “And that love had its impact even though I don’t know that I cognitively understood. But I knew that my heart was being softened.” 

So, when the church’s pastor visited their home and invited them to receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord, Mike and Linda, who both grew up Catholic, readily agreed. They joined the church, and for the next 21 years, the couple grew in their faith and service for the Lord. 

Shortly after joining the church, Mike launched his own television production company through which he directed and produced commercials and local programming, including about 10 segments of NBC’s “Today” show when Barbara Walters and Tom Brokaw hosted the broadcast from Iowa and several other states. And in 1980, he founded Strategic America, a marketing and advertising company, headquartered in Des Moines, that specializes in helping national and global brands communicate effectively on a local level.

While growing a business and raising three daughters together, Mike said, Linda taught him by example the power of prayer and fasting. The couple completed five 40-day fasts that ignited in him an insatiable appetite for God’s Word. Since 1997, he has read the entire Bible more than 70 times.

“Daily Bible reading is like taking a shower,” he said. “It cleanses me every day. And it shows me the character of God. And through the revelation of His character, it allows me to gain wisdom.”

God’s Word has also been his source of strength and encouragement in the wake of Linda’s heavenly homegoing. And even though she’s no longer alongside him in person, her godly influence still permeates his thoughts and actions. So much that when Donna Johnson, a family friend, suggested they inquire if Will Graham would be available to lead an evangelistic outreach event in Iowa, she prefaced the question with an answer: “I know what Linda would say, if she were still here.”

“I know what she’d say too,” Mike replied. “And now that you’ve planted the seed, how am I supposed to say ‘no’?” And that’s how the planning for the Iowa Celebration with Will Graham was conceived—just six months after Linda’s death.

As the Iowa Celebration’s leadership chairperson, Mike said, his financial support represents an eternal investment that yields priceless dividends through a harvest of souls for God’s Kingdom. “The church came together across racial and denominational lines. People who in any course of a normal flow of my life I would not have met, I just fell in love with them,” he said. “I could sense the joy of the Lord in their lives. The Body of Christ became more real to me than ever before.”

He also knows that Linda is rejoicing over the hundreds of decisions for Christ as nearly 300 churches partnered for the sake of the Gospel. “We’re all part of the same team,” Mike said. “And the team is to feed the world with the Bread of Life.”

Above: Mike Schreurs, leadership chairperson for Will Graham’s Iowa 2021 Celebration, with Donna Johnson, prayer co-chair of the Celebration.

Photo: Ron Nickel/©2021 BGEA

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