I’m in Quito, Ecuador.
For the past 17 years I’ve taken students (and adults to help me) on two-week international mission trips.
My friend Steve Goley, with Big World Ventures out of Tulsa, Okla., actually puts the details together for me (flights, ministries, hotel, translators, etc.) so I can simply concentrate on loving and ministering.
My main job is to speak each evening. When everyone comes back to the hotel, we have a hot meal and then an evening service we call FUAGNEM: Fired Up And Going Nuts Every Minute!
Each summer we see more than a thousand people give their lives to Christ through this ministry. We collect their information and give that to local pastors who want to disciple them and get them involved in their churches.
May I confess something?
I’m exhausted. Just finished speaking at a camp in VA
and barely had time to repack and do laundry before flying overnight to Quito. Part of me is longing to be home.
In my own bed.
With my two dogs, Obie and Amos.
But I’m here because it’s right.
For the past 17 years it’s been right.
It’s my chance to see God move in big ways.
And more than making an impact in another country . . .
the real reason I do a missions trip each year is for our students.
Most teens view their relationship with Christ as a feeling—
and it’s usually how they feel when their hands are in the air
and they’re swaying to praise and worship music.
This is Christianity, they think.
This is what it means to love God.
Sometimes I wish we’d just stop all the music and teach students there are other ways to worship.
Before you condemn me, please hear me out.
When we enter a relationship with God,
It’s something that’s so sacred
it transcends our understanding.
It can’t be contained in how I feel when my hands are in the air
And I feel the beat of drums swelling in my head.
In fact, it has nothing to do with this.
It’s beyond that!
It’s saying, “I won’t renounce” when the machete is at the throat of an Iraqi Christian.
It’s making time to read the Bible . . . daily . . .
no matter how tired we are or how much we have to do.
And it’s praying constantly.
It’s trusting God for what we can’t see.
It’s weeping before Him and yearning until our hearts feel raw from praying for genuine intimacy with Him.
It has nothing to do with my favorite chorus.
And on these trips . . . I see our students go beyond the music.
I watch them push deeper than the excitement of an overseas trip.
I see the light go on in their eyes as I speak to the group about living in radical obedience to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
And I hear their confession. I see their growth.
And we have revival.
Revival. Not a word we hear much anymore.
Most teens have never heard the word.
And when they experience it, they don’t know how to label it.
They come to me with tears running down their cheeks saying,
“I’m a Christian, but I’ve never been challenged like this.”
“I don’t hear stuff like this in my church back home.”
“I’ve never been challenged like this before.”
And I wonder what IS being preached in many of our churches.
Or if many are simply places to feel good.
And I question if most teens who think they have a relationship with Christ really do have a genuine relationship with Him.
So I do this trip every year.
Because I love revival. And I love introducing teens to revival.
And I love hearing them testify. Many don’t even know what a testimony is. They learn quickly.
And when I watch a teen lead someone to Christ . . . it’s amazing how his confidence soars! Nothing is impossible, if one can lead someone to God! Sharing our faith is a definite confidence booster.
And by the end of the trip, to see how worship has completely changed from feel-good music to truly being in awe of our Creator God . . . to being speechless before Him . . . to grasping even a bit of His power . . .
Well, that’s why I’m here.
And missing my own bed is a very small price to pay.
Share with me your thoughts on how YOU experience genuine revival. And why do you think many churches no longer have revival?