There is something significant about the power of a story.
Follow me, because hidden in these next few lines are principles that apply to to all of us. I want to tell a story about a team of young, broke pioneers and I would like to start with a few quick facts.
In 5 years this team:
- Saw 100's saved on the east coast.
- Saw 100's saved internationally.
- Reached and broke through with the simple gospel, on 40+ universities in the Northeast including all 8 Ivy League Universities. Creating family and planting seeds of awakening.
- Selflessly led out 100's of multifaceted, large, medium and small events. From gatherings of over 2,000 in attendance, to raw revival trainings for university students, to all-night living room worship gatherings.
- Reached 30+ nations with the simple gospel in 5 years.
- Trained over 500 young people in the culture of revival, in schools longer than 3 weeks.
- Launched 3 couples (all pregnant with their 1st babies) long-term overseas into the Middle East and the Hymalayas.
- Loved the poor consistently in one of the hardest neighborhoods in America, inspiring initiatives that continue to bring love and mercy to those families to this day.
- Recruited, trained and launched leaders that are currently expanding grassroots awakening domestically and abroad. In innovative and creative ways.
Broader factors to this story:
- All of this occurred before a movement was understood or popular.
- All of this happened with young people, led by people under 30 years of age in an atmosphere of pioneering and innovation.
Why is this story important now?
This story is important for us now because in it are gems of agreement with God in the midst of human inadequacy. It is a story of God encountering the raw "yes" of willing young people - A remnant who took responsibility to represent Jesus to their generation.
As with any pioneering venture, the story would not be complete unless I also told how this team fought through tremendous headwind, resulting in many sleepless nights, seasons of confusion, and spiritual fatigue. I know that is true for me, and I know that is true for others.
This is a story about our team: Fire and Fragrance Harrisburg. Affectionately known as: The Harrisburg crew.
The truth is, our Harrisburg team was a beautiful chorus of yes's to God in a generation of no's that has catalyzed something beyond what we could understand as we lived the story. We had no idea how hard or how significant this assignment would be. We simply packed our bags and landed in a city we had never been to before, with a completely impossible assignment: change the world. And a philosophy that we could if we started by wholeheartedly seeking God in prayer and worship, creating initiatives to spark revival on the Northeast college campuses, and pioneer training schools for young people that would infuse them with the culture of revival.
God spoke to Natalie and I in a significant way when we first arrived in Pennsylvania with the our team in 2010 that this Harrisburg season would only be for 5 years. At year 4 in the midst of the testimonies listed above we began to pray as a couple, "God, do you really want us to leave now?? It seems like there is a lifetime of work that we could do in this one inner city neighborhood alone, not to mention the Ivy League campuses!" Then while out for 21 Project in 2014 Natalie and I had a clear word from the Lord that the West Coast was next for us, because God wanted us to consolidate with our California team for a national breakthrough and that we would understand later. So, with no money, no car and no house, we left Harrisburg in a borrowed van on word of the Lord for California. We first left Harrisburg to come for 90 days to give all parties involved the chance to make sure it was right that we stayed, which it was. This made us officially living in California January 2015, 5 years after starting Fire and Fragrance Harrisburg just like the word from the Lord said.
Why am I sharing this?
Because now, come January 2016 that consolidation for a national breakthrough is proving right and these pioneering acts of courage by so many (more than just the Harrisburg crew) are about to be seen in a much clearer and broader way than ever before.
Honestly I have been enjoying California so much, I haven't thought much about these east coast stories and for those who know me, I don't speak much about them. Yet, God is jealous for the story of "yes's" to be told.
I feel even now, at 4:13am, writing on my iPhone with 3 sick kids in bed that I am reaching for revival. I believe these testimonies of Fire and Fragrance Harrisburg are parables. The importance of remembering His story in your story. Tell what God has done because in doing so you are creating a world of faith for others to join you in. As we remember, it's His power working through us, often in spite of us, but through us nonetheless, that we will be emboldened in 2016 to never stop saying: YES.
A more family focused update will be coming soon!
A "Yes" is growing across the nation in 2016. Here is how:
In summary 2015 in California has been crafting initiatives and building media that will launch in 2016. Here are 4 different initiatives we will be apart of this coming year:
Carry The Love: 200 Campus Tour
Jesus’ love ends all hate, discrimination, depression, and loneliness. It cuts through to the coldest hearts and brings life. Our campuses need His love! We are coming together across the nation to Carry the Love of Jesus. This is a gospel movement that can’t be stopped and you’re a part of it. It’s not about one group, it’s about all of us.
Over 200 Campuses across America are joining in this movement this spring semester; joining together in July on the Mall of D.C. at the Together 2016 celebration. It starts for us here!
AzusaNow: Stadium Gathering LA Coliseum
There are times which Scripture describes as "full" — periods of unusual ripeness in which God unleashes His prophetic purpose across the earth. Such days of faith and expectation often come during periods of crisis or widespread uncertainty. For 15 years, amidst massive cultural decay, Lou Engle and TheCall have sought to proclaim the bold, uncompromising message of consecration to Jesus. Like John the Baptist, we have cried out, "Prepare the way of the Lord!"
Yet the last statement of John was not "Prepare the way," but "Behold the Lamb!" If there was truly a John Movement, then a Jesus Movement is surely coming! Believing that decades of globe-spanning prayer have saturated the heavens, we will boldly ask God for the rain of revival on April 9th, 2016. We will consecrate an entire day — 15 hours — for the purpose of unity, miracles, healing, and the proclamation of the gospel. Our rally cry: Come, Holy Spirit! Instead of 120 in the Upper Room, we seek to gather as many as 120,000 in one place and one accord to simply exalt Jesus. And for inspiration, we turn to the most powerful expression of revival in modern times: the historic Azusa Street Revival of 1906.
Together 2016: Generation-defining gathering on the National Mall in Washington DC
Together 2016 is the day our generation will meet on the National Mall to come together around Jesus in unified prayer, worship, and a call for catalytic change.
CR Movement (Circuit Riders)
A grassroots movement is spreading... Live the Lifestyle. Coming in January, a significant update for the CR Movement. Stay tuned!