Note from Larry:
The following report if from our friend, Holly Miller. Holly and her husband, Paul, are pastors of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship, Graz, Austria.
As a Revivalists, I often feel the urge to share reports of revival outbreaks from around the world. The reason? God is no respecter of persons! If a person is aware of the fact that He's pouring our His Spirit someplace around the world, it helps create hunger and hope for revival in their local as well.
So... enjoy Holly's report and EXPECT it to happen for you too!
Blessings ~ Larry
p.s. We leave the Rio Grande Valley for Midland, TX within a couple of hours. Please pray for revival at Living Way Foursquare Church, Midland!
Dear praying friends,
We’re so thankful to report that the budding youth renewal here continues to gain momentum! I will be writing more often than usual in order to chronicle the developments and testify to God’s greatness; if this is too much of a good thing for you, don’t feel you must read each detail of every letter. But we do treasure every prayer.
This has a slightly different flavor than the Toronto renewal; it’s like “Toronto with a twist”. Yes, the teens are shaking, crunching and weeping as the Holy Spirit falls on them; but the interesting thing I'm starting to observe is that every one of them, even those who would not have said they were at all prophetic, seem to be receiving a high level of revelation immediately. At least 15 lukewarm teens have radically recommitted their lives to Jesus in the past 2 weeks alone, and the moment they do so they go into vision, hear the voice of God, see angels, etc.
They’re finding instant inner healing as God fingers their most secret hearts and then tells them “I have work for you to do!” Many have experienced clear, detailed visions not just about themselves, but regarding God’s strategies in this outpouring. When they pray they’re making the kind of prophetic proclamations that it took us adults years to get up the faith for. (I'm going to have to retire my beginner's course on how to start to hear God– they're way past that!) Even quite young children are being strongly impacted with revelation; they just take it far more in stride. One 4-year-old was taken up to heaven and “allowed to sit on a throne”... she reported this very matter-of-factly and then went back to playing.
I keep thinking of Acts 2:17-18: And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. and on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.
Last Friday night, again over 30 young people crowded into our little prayer rooms. The leaders report it was a quieter meeting as far as manifestations go, but very deep. Steve talked about taking “the blue pill” from the Matrix film; for any of you who haven’t seen that, it’s the point beyond which nothing can ever be the same again, you are committed and there is no return. And almost everyone in the room ended up saying yes and taking the blue pill of the Kingdom of God. (We’re now thinking of calling our youth center-to-be The Blue Pill!)
On Friday night a girl received prayer who'd been in clinical depression for 9 months. She was on medication, had been attending church only sporadically and hadn't even been getting up regularly for school. God showed her where her depression had come from, she got right with him and she is now glowing and happy. Her parents were evidently so astounded they came to church on Saturday to see what's going on! (Her father is a Baptist elder.)
What happened then on Saturday at our church service was a true breakthrough, even though we’ve already been seeing more among the youth than we’re used to. Yet I believe Saturday could not have happened as it did had it not been for the commitment dynamic of the previous night. During the sermon the kids were packed like sardines in the kitchen. We heard a roar at one point, clapping and cheering (most of these teens were far too "cool" to have clapped and cheered only 2-3 weeks ago), and after the service, as we were having a pretty hot prayer ministry time ourselves, they poured out into the main room and gave testimony:
Near the end of what had been a meeting where nearly everyone was touched by God anyway, one 15-year-old ventured that he thought he had a word of knowledge for healing: a left eye. Another teen confirmed it, so they were going to come out to the main room and ask who needed prayer. But just then a girl who had only the night before returned to church after a long absence and re-committed her life to Christ, said, "That's me!" She'd been steadily losing the sight in her left eye for about a year, and just two weeks earlier the school doctor had tested it and said it was very serious. After two-three minutes of prayer during which the same 15-year-old made a cutting motion with his hand and cried, "Break the chains!" she opened her eyes and could see perfectly!The teens had the word of knowledge and the teens did the praying, so this was a miracle they all participated in and they were stoked! We ended up with a free-for-all, with teens who had before avoided even getting prayer ministry now praying passionately for anyone who was willing, and even (in the case of one radically recently-returned teen) pulling people out of their seats!
I watched this young man (whom at first I didn’t even recognize) shaking, weeping, praying for people with passion, and afterward I asked Erika, “What on earth happened to XX?” She told me he came up to Elias after the Friday night meeting and told him, “For the first time, I was able to forgive.” This is enormous; this teen had walked through life with a huge chip on his shoulder; he was cynical, difficult and took offense at every turn. The reason I almost didn’t recognize him was not just his actions, but his face: where his eyes had been shadowed and cautious, they were now clear and bright; all the hard angles of his face had melted and for the first time you could see his rounded cheeks, his youth and the sweetness of his countenance. YES, LORD!! More of THAT!
I'm now also starting to hear that some teens are telling others about this and inviting them to the Friday night meetings. One youth leader felt led to speak to a stranger on the bus and invite her. Many of the teens had never told anyone, even their friends at school, that they believed in Jesus. Prodigals are starting to return. The teens themselves are calling their friends who’ve dropped out of sight and begging them to come. Almost all who do, get hooked. And some teens that were touched a couple of years ago but cooled off again have become on-fire like never before. We’re starting to have teens from other churches look in. It's developing its own dynamic.
Steve Espamer flew back to Pennsylvania Monday and will stay there 10 days to get things arranged for returning “longer term”, whatever that means. We can’t look too far ahead right now. I remember hearing from Randy Clark how, at the beginning of the Toronto renewal, the leaders would gather in the back room of a restaurant and John Arnott would ask: “What will we do, guys, if this thing keeps going another month, or even longer?!” and as we all know, it’s been as of this writing 13 years! Although we’re not saying this is another Toronto, we can learn by their example what to do in the first stages of an outpouring: Prioritize! Strategize! Keep welcoming the outpouring— but also get some sleep!
I realized a little while ago that God had told us very clearly at the end of last year, “I will pour out My Spirit in the new building.” I assumed, as most of us probably did, that this meant: when the worship center is built (which we are trusting will be in this calendar year) we can expect great things. So I thought we had a number of months to prepare. But he didn’t wait for that— as soon as we remodeled the old house on the property and opened prayer rooms, he showed up! And whom did he use at a catalyst? When Steve came here it was not even with the intention of holding meetings but to stay for 3 weeks with his wife Kathleen, walk and pray, absorb the culture a bit and hear God as to whether this might be a place for them from which to base their future ministry. They’d just resigned the pastoral staff position they'd held for 12 years, to go into some kind of missions. Nobody expected that when he held one teen meeting it would trigger this!
Okay, we obviously find ourselves at a point of destiny and we appreciate —we need— your prayers to stay on track, and to facilitate what it is that God wants to do in us and through us as a church. A word God gave Paul at a recent leader’s meeting keeps ringing in my ears: “I will do great things that will make your heads spin! Keep your focus on Me, or you will become disoriented.” Hmmmmm!
- for Steve Espamer, that Steve’s arrangements at home in order to return on Feb. 21 all work out well, for protection and good health;
- for Steve and Kathleen during their separation, and for God’s creative solutions to this;
- for this Friday night (the 16th) as the teen leaders take over the meeting, that the kids will experience how God shows up and meets them ---with or without Steve;
- for the youth leaders Erika & Elias, Ben & Klara, Stefan and new additions Walter & Ina;
- for us as leaders and us as a church, to stay flexible and humble and useful for anything God wants to do;
- for the remodeling and opening of the teens’ meeting rooms, that the process go quickly and well (and as inexpensively as possible)!
With thankfulness and blessings,
Holly's email: firstname.lastname@example.org