The post I promised about what God has been doing in our lives is so long that I have divided it up in two posts. The first one concerns Tent Revivals 2011 and the second concerns Tent Revivals 2012 and God Providing a Tent!
Tent Revivals 2011
Wow! What a summer! The Summer of Tent Revival. We set the tent up six times in four different states. We put it up the first time on June 4th and took it down for the last time on August 20th. We had Tent Revivals in Tulsa and Miami, Oklahoma, Weir, Kansas, Elkton and Ruckersville, Virginia and Waynesville, Ohio. In each one of these places churches, Pastors and communities came together to worship and God faithfully met us there.
We saw several folks come to the altar under the tent seeking Christ and finding Him there. Each revival we saw people come to service that previously had not been in the habit of going to church. In some cities we had folks in the services and even in the altars that had never been to any of the local churches. Odie said repeatedly, “It seems so easy to worship and to feel the presence of the Lord outside under the tent” and that feeling was echoed by several folks in every revival.
God answered prayer and met with us this summer. He saved, healed and encouraged and we are very, very thankful that He did. God honored His Word as He always does. He is faithful, dependable and true and some folks encountered Him for the first time under the tent this summer. That makes the miles, work, sweat and tears worth it all.
There is no way we could have conducted these tent revivals on our own. There are many people responsible for the success of these meetings. We praise God for the local Pastors and their churches that felt a burden for tent revival and asked us to come into their area. We are thankful for the visiting Pastors and churches that faithfully attended and participated in each city. We are especially grateful to our friends and families that prayed, worked and contributed financially. May God bless each of them for their efforts.
There is no way possible to thank the Millikins properly for their contribution to tent revivals this summer. Bro. Jimmy and Sis. Shauna devoted over four weeks of their busy evangelistic schedule to support our ministry and share our burden. They brought years of experience in evangelism, their hands on knowledge of tent revivals and their passion for souls and jumped in head first to help us. I will forever be indebted to them for joining with us. What an encouragement and blessing they were and continue to be this summer. Our family will never be the same after becoming firmly attached to the Millikin family during our Summer of Tent Revivals.
Bro. Eddie and Sis. Tina Deane were also gracious to help us in the tent revivals in Virginia. They handled all of the logistics and carried a lot of the burden for those two revivals. Bro. Deane conducted the services there and did a fabulous job. God used the Deanes in those meetings and we appreciate their efforts so very much.
My dear friend, Bro. Chris Whiffen from Haines City, Florida, loaned us his tent, chairs and platform for the whole summer. I tried for nearly two years to buy his tent but he kept telling me it was not for sale. From the very beginning he offered to loan it to me so finally I accepted his offer and it has been a great blessing to us. His 30x40 tent, nearly 100 chairs and sturdy platform have served us well. Thank you, Bro Whiffen.
Most of all I am thankful that God allowed it all to happen. In fact, it sure seems to me that He directed it all from the very beginning. In the spring of 2009 I thought I felt Him directing me to devote a whole summer to tent revivals. I began to sincerely pray about it right then. I also began looking for a tent, chairs and all the extras needed and in June of 2009 I felt like asking the Millikins to be a part of the tent revivals if they could. After prayer, they accepted and everything else fell into place and the rest is history. God gave us the strength, provided the finance and moved in lives by His power. Praise God for His leading, direction, protection and blessing. It has been an amazing summer!
Well, what now? I honestly did not even stop to seriously consider what the next step would be until we started our tent revivals in June. I guess I figured we would have our Summer of Tent Revivals and then go back to one or two outdoor revivals a year along with our regular schedule of revivals. But even during that first tent revival at Hilldale Church in Tulsa I began to get invitations for tent revivals that I could not possibly fit in this year. That has continued all summer. We now have more invitations for tent revivals that we could possibly squeeze in next summer and fall.
Pastors are telling me they are hungry for revival in their neighborhoods. They are eager to take the message of the Gospel outside the four walls of the church. Their churches are ministering in nursing homes, jails, homeless shelters or on the street. They are bussing in children, feeding meals or providing clothing. They see a need for outreach and a tent revival in their community seems like a logical step. I love churches that are reaching out and I want to be a part of that.
We began to genuinely contemplate having tent revivals in 2012 and I knew I needed two things if I was going to do it. I needed a tent of my own with a the capability of expanding for bigger crowds (And the appropriate chairs and all the stuff that goes along with a tent.) but secondly and most important I needed divine direction. Even though I began to plan next summer I knew I needed God to speak to me. Little did I know that we would receive both of those things in one miraculous event.
In the next post I will tell you what God did to answer our questions. God is truly amazing.