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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Indiana Revival Report: Days 47-50

Fourteen baptisms on Day 48, nineteen on Day 50. As Kyle says, when you're doing discipleship, you're going to have a lot of baptisms. One boy had his leg in a cast, so the dipping was a little creative. It's interesting to see some who got baptized a few days earlier, now administering baptism.

Day 47 was the regularly scheduled training night, but Gary and Tony had finished their course, so Kyle did some training on how to pray for healing. This mostly involved about a fourth of the audience coming forward for prayer. But beforehand, Monica stood up and testified how she had come into the meeting in a wheelchair three weeks earlier, unable to stand up without intense and lingering pain. Heather (who flew in from Germany for the first week and still hasn't left) shared how she and at least a dozen others had "prayed relentlessly" for her until Monica finally got the faith to respond to their repeated urgings to "stand up!"  When she finally did, she proceeded to walk all the way up the aisle.

Heather has been in contact with her ever since, and even drive the 3 hours to see her. Monica met her at the door dancing! There weren't any spectacular results this night, other than a 28-year old woman who ran to the front and threw down a pack of cigarettes and a lighter, declaring that for the first time in 16 years she was free of her addiction.

Day 48 included a touching video of Bill Lantz, whom Kyle and his team had prayed for weeks earlier, just before Bill was hospitalized for his terminal illness. But that week, he was released to home hospice care, and Kyle was invited back to pray for him again. Kyle told him that God was keeping him alive until he was ready to say "Yes" to Jesus, to which Bill responded, "You're scaring the heck outa me. Does that mean I'm going to die today?"

Basically, yes. Bill did give his life to Jesus, and by the end of the next day he was in heaven.

Day 50 started the wind-up to the Day of Jubilee on Wednesday. A record crowd filled the overflow, and a cry went out for more children's workers. Kyle began a 3-part series on growth, based both on the first half of Acts 16 and a vision his sister Jeanette had about hair follicles. His cousin was back from Canada to paint another picture, this one slightly abstract to illustrate "Breaking out of your box." Kyle urged the audience, and specifically his brother Shannon (manager of Ace Hardware in Middlebury), "Don't go back to your box."  There are still over 200 names of contacts waiting for discipleship, which will kick into gear beginning on Day 53. Here is what was sent to REVIVE's email subscribers:

When Old Becomes New...


What do we do when we have new patterns of living, of walking in the Spirit, of eating together, and of frequent worship in community? Today is Day 50 of Revive Indiana.  On Day 52 we will March Forth and we will move into yet another phase of life. For me, the last week has been a flurry of activity in itself and I am tired. When we have lived with this revival for 52 days, the new can become old.  But as God changes our lives, we wonder how these changes will carry forward as we return back to our old lives. Here are some ideas to make this transition:
  1. Don't Go Back at All. Some of you may look at what it means to go back and realize that if you do go back, you will lose everything you gained. For you, it may be important to find a new job, a new place to live, or moving to a new community. Ask God what new thing He has for you and earnestly seek it. 
  2. Go Halfway Back. If you are married, live honorably in your marriage vows. If you have minor children, be the parent God asks you to be. But even within these commitments, there is space to make changes as God invites you into new things. Perhaps you will make some radical shifts in your social life and hobbies. Don't automatically start
  3. Embed in a New Way. This may be the most difficult choice. We have all kinds of triggers around us that remind us how we used to be, and shame can shut us down and temptation can pull us back. But perhaps you can shift all the parts of your life to effectively live differently where you are.
No matter which direction God leads you, don't just go back. Don't go back to the old habits; binge watching, eating or drinking. At the core of all of these changes is a continued attentiveness to God and the Holy Spirit's guidance to have everyday encounters with people. Remember the joy that has been given you and continue to engage in activities that feed that joy. Intentional practices of prayer, worship, gathering with believers, and going out into the streets together will sustain and support your continued joy. 

We also need places to cross over and gather with believers from other churches. Last night we gathered with about 60 people from variety of ages and churches to have ice cream, worship, sharing, and games at Clinton Frame. We will continue to do that each Sunday at 5 with a continued welcome for everyone to attend. Perhaps there will be other ways these kinds of gathering will continue on a regular basis. Revive Indiana will have monthly gatherings in April and May with a week long outreach effort in June. Pastors will continue to meet every other week for fellowship and prayer. God has brought us great joy by bringing us together. Let's live in that joy.

John M Troyer
Pastor of Youth & Young Adults

Clinton Frame Mennonite Church

Friday, 27 February 2015

Indiana Revival Report: Day 46

Baptisms are being held every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. Kyle took the day off to celebrate his oldest daughter's tenth birthday in Dallas, so he didn't do any of them. He encourages whoever is discipling the believer to be the one to baptize him, so there were a lot of females baptizing females. He'd also encouraged people to reach out to their own family, so there was an elderly Puerto Rican candidate whose relative had led him to Jesus. Due to his frail physical condition, he was provided effusion in the place of baptism.

As I had predicted, a local government official was brought in to speak--the mayor, having been invited by his ex-next-door neighbor. His response to the request to share prayer requests for his city was a 20-minute prepared speech that hit on every single one of the Democrat talking points. What would Jesus think about a family losing their house because one of its members didn't have a health insurance, etc. But the striking thing was that, after basically apologizing for being a politician in a room full of Christians, he admitted that he considers himself to be a Christian, then reeled off a long list of offices he has held in his church; some of which he had to give up to serve as mayor, but--not to worry, said his pastor, Phyllis--he was serving God and the church through the government.

I note that this is a pretty solid chord struck whenever a Democrat speaks to a crowd of Christians. Republicans, on the other hand, tend to harp on the need to bring America back to its Christian roots. Democrats would respond that in their opinion, America is never more reflective of true Christianity than when it is being led by--let's face it--unbelievers.

What this revival really needs is for the local sheriff to stand up and say that due to their efforts, his deputies have a lot less to do. That hasn't happened yet, but when it does, I hope that even the mayor would be grateful. He didn't mention that none of the deputies in this county earn what any liberal would consider a living wage--something the sheriff is trying to change, but hasn't been able to push past the Republican-controlled county government.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Turns out we were never at the brink of war with Iran, after all

Taking a break from my coverage of the Indiana Revival, I return to a topic which I covered heavily a few years ago: Iran's impending production of nuclear weapons, and the likelihood that Israel would attack to forestall it. This scenario made it into Joel Rosenburg's thriller The Tehran Initiative. But it turns out to have been largely based on Israeli misinformation: Netanyahu knew that Iran wasn't that close to having The Bomb.

 According to Spy Cables – a cache of hundreds of leaked secret intelligence papers from all over the world, published by Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit in collaboration with the Guardian newspaper – at the time of Netanyahu's statement, Israel's intelligence service concluded that Iran was "not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons," estimating that Iran had 100 kilograms of uranium enriched to a level of 20 percent.

It's a bit ironic, that the Telecommunications Revolution which has made it all the easier for the government to spy upon its citizens, has also made it a lot easier for citizens to spy upon their government.

And thus the History books continue to be rewritten, with yet another version of the story.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Indiana Revival Report: Day 43

The long-suffering staff at the fabric and variety stores have found themselves visited again and again by Revive teams. Generally they follow the policy and shop at the store first, so it's been good for business. But the ecumenical spirit exhibited by Revive has been a trial for them. The lady at the fabric store keeps a pile of 1 Corinthians 11 tracts ready to hand out to any woman who attempts to pray for her without being religiously covered.

This week is a big push to share the gospel at several of the biggest RV factories in the area. Workers haven't all been receptive, but the Revive team is there for the ones that are.

Saturday, Kyle was invited to the home of an Amish woman who had been fasting the whole 33 days. And she was there that night. That morning, an Amish woman had given her life to Christ right in the morning meeting.

Saturday Kyle also unveiled Revive's discipleship book, containing 52 Bible stories with study questions. It's hot off the press and will be first used for following up on the hundreds of contacts from these 52 days.

Attendance at the evening meetings, still always over a thousand, is no indicator of the level of interest. Churches as far out as an hour away are opening their doors for simulcast showings of the meetings, with people driving another 40 minutes farther out to attend them. Among the various venues where the evening program is being live-streamed are the jails in Elkhart and South Bend. A congregation of ex-Amish in Parke County, several hours away, have been coming one vanload at a time after hearing about the meetings on a visit to Valparaiso. And of course, people are tuning in to one of the 3 radio frequencies or the internet livestream, which also carries the morning meetings. Audios or videos, respectively, of all evening meetings are archived at either maplecitychapel.org or clintonframe.org.


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Indiana Revival Report: Day 37

A humorous incident happened Tuesday when a team took to the community to pray for people. The usual procedure is to ask the Holy Spirit to guide the team to a Divine Appointment, then poll the team members to see where the Spirit is leading. If all are in agreement, that becomes the battle plan.

Just to give an example that was shared publicly, G. was clearly led to pray with a specific woman at 3:30 on a specific day at a specific Dairy Queen. She would have shoulder-length red hair and glasses. So he put his team together and showed up the the restaurant a half an hour early. The place was virtually deserted, with only one male customer present. As each customer walked in, the team looked up eagerly to see if it was The One. But as time passed, no one materialized, and at 4:30 the dejected team left the Dairy Queen. G. shared the results of the failed mission with Kyle.

The next night, the story came out, and this is how it unfolded: Kyle stepped down from preaching to tell G. in amazement that right there in the front of the auditorium was a woman with shoulder-length red hair and glasses, wearing a Dairy Queen uniform! G. approached her, and it turned out that she had in fact passed by his group on her way to work in the back, but with her red hair up and concealed under a net. She sensed what they were there for, and was in no mood to be prayed for, so she hurried to the back hoping they wouldn't corner her. G. had been so focused on customers that he'd never thought to examine all the workers! So she got prayed for anyway, just a day later, once the conviction typical of true revival compelled her to the meeting, still in her work clothes.

Okay, so back to Tuesday's adventure, involving a not-quite-so-disguised redhead:

O., the team leader (wearing both jeans and dangly earrings, which she admitted wouldn't get her past the door back at the church she grew up in), felt that God was leading them to pray for a red-headed woman at a clothing store. As they made a wrong turn on their way to the location assigned to their particular team, all agreed that this was God's way of redirecting them. R. (sporting a minimal beard and a wedding ring), like O., had flown in from out of state to join the outreach. He had the car turn around when they passed a fabric store. "That must be the place!" L., a local woman who sometimes purchases fabric at the store to make her own dresses, pointed out that there were two stores next to each other, so the team split up to cover them both. O. headed for the fabric store with L., whilst R. and the rest of the team took the variety store. When they tarried long, O. and L. headed over to see what was taking them so long.

Sure enough (or was it 'close enough?'), there had been a Mennonite woman behind the counter at the variety store, her red hair neatly pinned beneath a transparent cap. When R. (a former Mennonite himself) offered to pray for her, he was taken back by her response: She wasn't about to have any man pray for her who was wearing jewelry! Rather than remove the ring, R. called L. over, on the grounds that she was at least as plainly attired as the proprietress. L. proceeded to pray for her, thankful along with ex-conservatives R. and O. that the team had included at least one currently conservative member! For his part, R. realized that having a Mennonite background isn't always enough when it comes to being able to connect with a Mennonite!

Despite her initial reluctance, the red-haired proprietress ran out as the team was getting ready to drive off, and handed each of them a CD of a capella music she'd pulled from her discount rack--implying, perhaps, another sore point between her and Revive INDIANA.