Youth are spreading renewal to colleges in the Northeast
A student "awakening" that began last fall at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) shows no signs of stopping as it heads into its seventh month.
The nightly revival services began Nov. 11 when a prayer meeting broke out in an IHOP Bible college class led by the school's provost. The gathering lasted for 15 hours, and since then people from around the world have flocked to IHOP's headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., to attend the services.
Participants, including 30,000 online viewers from 188 nations, share testimonies of physical and emotional healing, as well as a deeper awareness of God's love.
"I feel like we're on ground we've never been before," said Wesley Hall, provost of IHOP's Forerunner School of Ministry. "We're seeing people crying, convicted and laughing, [as they experience] creative miracles and emotional healings."
Bailey Gaul, 21, attended the Nov. 11 service and was skeptical at first. "I was ... offended at what was going on with the laughing and shaking," Gaul said. "Wes came in manifesting the presence of God and giggling. I was offended."
But when Gaul received prayer, she said she felt as though she was experiencing the love of God for the first time.
IHOP student Crystal Camacho also doubted that the revival was genuine at first. "I had a critical, judgmental spirit," she said. "I closed my heart to what was going on."
But after a friend testified of being set free from pride and religion, Camacho decided to give it a chance. "My eyes got healed, and I was set free [from pride]," she said. "I didn't have to wear glasses after that."
Last spring, Camacho and Gaul joined several hundred IHOP students in carrying the awakening to college campuses in the Northeast. "We held a 40-day Daniel fast and invited college students across the nation to join us in Boston," said Sarah Sun Kim, executive vice president of IHOP.Â
From March 1 to April 9, several teams of students hosted 24-hour prayer meetings followed by weekend services in Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire. Kim said 200 students attended an "awakening" service hosted by five evangelical college ministries. "There was massive deliverance from immorality and sexual sin," she said.
Gaul ministered to a girl at the service who had been molested by a cousin. "I walked her through deliverance, and as I prayed for her she broke out in joy," Gaul said. "She didn't like being touched but she hugged me when the service was over."
Camacho preached to more than 300 students at Harvard Square. After she preached, she met a young woman who had just been ridiculed for her stand for purity. "I was just praying this morning that God would send someone to meet me," the girl told Camacho. She attended services that evening and was filled with the Holy Spirit.
IHOP students also saw miraculous healings. "This guy was limping on a crutch across Harvard Square," said Michael Cho, 25. "Everyone on the square was staring at him because he was in so much pain. I prayed for him and then asked him how he felt. He said he felt really good and starts walking carrying his crutches. We have 50 to 100 visitors screaming, "˜Jesus is alive!'"
IHOP founder Mike Bickle expects the student awakening services to go on indefinitely. "I had three prophetic dreams in 2008 and 2009 about revival and I knew it was going to hit us," Bickle said. "I'm in the boardroom for a couple meetings and we started getting texts that revival was breaking out. Finally after the 38th testimony, I left the meeting and stayed for three hours in the service."
Bickle has told Charisma that IHOP is one of many places God is visiting and that "many other places are soon to receive a visitation of the Holy Spirit."
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