TGAF III - Wild Weekend
TGAF III has passed us by. After a short break, it is now time to begin to prepare for next year. Each year The Great American Fast is held on the first weekend of September. But what about the memories? So much took place in such a short time. We were blessed by the preaching of Missionary Neal Hendrigsman, Dave Iseminger, Larry Richmond, and Rick Vincent. The several prayer sessions were equally as powerful.
We began Friday night promptly at 6:00 p.m. with a time of self-examination and confession to prepare ourselves for the rest of the weekend. This was followed with a hymn-sing and time of fellowship. Pastor Jim Swanson of Faith Baptist Church in Queens, New York took charge of the singing and was accompanied on keyboard by Emilee Iseminger. The time of fellowship was great to see some old friends, and make some new ones. We then had a prayer session where we were encouraged to break into small groups of two or three with someone we had not met before. This time was used to pray for personal needs.
The first preaching session was next. Rick Vincent of The Least of These Ministries spoke first. Rick has a remarkable prison ministry unlike any I have seen before. The tracts that he uses in his prison ministry are designed and written by inmates after they come to Christ. Each one presents the Gospel logically and powerfully. These tracts are distributed throughout America's correctional facilities.
The Least of These Ministries also has an in-jail Bible college. After these men are led to Christ, Rick takes them through a Bible college study and prepares them for ministry on the outside. Anyone who would like more information on his ministry can contact him through theTGAF website.
Saturday began with a message from Missionary Neal Hendrigsman. Neal's main thrust is Bible translating and publishing for the people of the 10/40 window. He serves under WorldView Ministries. From www.worldviewonline.net - 52 nations are classified as restricted or hostile to the gospel. 45 of them are in the 10/40 WIndow. Over 4 billion people are in these nations. Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam dominates these nations. Our burden is to penetrate the darkness with the light of the gospel."
Did you grasp what that means? Two thirds of the world's population does not have the Bible in their own language. Consider being a part of this vital ministry.
"Next up was the first prayer session of the day. At this time, we focused on the 28 states and 12 countries that are represented by TGAF. To sum up this lengthy prayer time, we prayed that God would light sparks of revival in your state or country and that revival would spread through you.
Next on the morning agenda was Dave Iseminger. His time slot was scheduled for 12:00 p.m. Normally that could be hard as it is the noon hour, but nobody was thinkling about food as he continued to hammer home the need for revival in our beloved country.
Dave's ministry is also unique. Dave travels throughout the country helping to bolster or resusitate dying churches. Churches that otherwise may have had to close their doors are given a second life through the service of the Isemingers.
The fourth prayer session was geared toward ministries represented by TGAF. Those full-time workers that were present were asked to give a short testimony and explanation of their ministry, and then as the Holy Spirit led several would pray for them and their needs. Ultimately we prayed that as these servants returned to their ministries, they would take revival and the fire of God with them.
The first preaching of the afternoon came from Pastor Larry Richmond of Anchor Baptist Church from Ledyard, Connecticut. We were challenged to live a holy life. After all, isn't that what revival is all about - simple obedience.
Next on the schedule - free time. For the past 21 hours of our waking time, we had given ourselves to prayer and the Word of God. Now it was time to take it in and make it real. It was a time to casually walk the campground and be alone with God or perhaps a nap was needed.
The closing service came all too fast. We were treated to a short musical concert given by Daniel and Alischa Richmond. The expert blending of violin, keyboards, and voice was such a blessing. Pastor Swanson once again took charge of the singing as we closed out The Great American Fast III. God allowed me the blessed privilege of sending the people off with some scriptural thoughts before we went our ways
But before we went our ways, there was something else that needed to be taken care of - breaking fast. The ladies of Lifegate prepared and served the meal 24 hours from when we started. The previously empty dining hall was now met with folks who had just spent 24 hours with the Lord. The food was received with thanksgiving after an intense spiritual workout. God is faithful.
The once quiet dining hall was now in full operation. Salads of all kinds, ham and turkey sandwiches, drinks, and, oh yes, desserts were all on display. Physical hunger, yes, but we were filled to the brim spiritually.
God was and is good. Those of you who fasted and/or prayed with us from across America and the world - thank you so much. This is not a time to quit, but to pick up the pace. Keep on keeping on. If you have not been with us this year, we need you as we prepare for The Great American Fast IV. Get involved. Make a difference for the glory of the Lord!