A hopeful phenomenon in Kentucky

It's about time we had some good news:  an unexplained something that has absolutely nothing to do with spy balloons or UFOs has broken out at a private Christian university in Wilmore, Kentucky.  It began last Wednesday and has continued nonstop.

The supernatural mystery of revival has come once again to Asbury University, and the pictures coming out on social media are truly inspiring.  It's said to be attracting students from other institutions, including the University of Kentucky, Purdue, Georgetown College, and more.

Asbury University describes itself as "grounded in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition" and rooted in the teachings of John Wesley.  It's also no stranger to revivals — its website documents eight revivals at the college since 1905.  Coincidentally, most of them have occurred in February.

"Right now I think we've reached over 120 hours of non-stop worship, praise, confession, testimony and scripture reading," said Alexandra Presta, executive editor of The Asbury Collegian.

Presta spoke with CBN News, trying to explain the phenomenon:

No one expected it to happen; this was literally just the Holy Spirit choosing that day and this group of people.  [There's nothing] overly special about Asbury or the students or any of us ... but the Holy Spirit just chose to fall down and touch our hearts.  People have asked "Was this planned?"  We're like no, this was purely God moving and keeping people here and bringing more, and continuing to cross state lines and even the country.

Presta said revival has caused the student body to grow a stronger feeling of unity, as students take the time to check on one another — sharing prayer, worship, and tears together.  On the flip side, their "second home" is seeing more people from outside the college and "a lot less familiar faces."  Because of this, and with guidance from university leadership, there were new prayers offered against spiritual warfare and "making the space safe for everyone involved."

CBN journalist Billy Hallowell said people are watching what's happening with this revival not just in America, but around the world.

Presta responded that it's been "mind-blowing" to have people from as far away as Brazil and Italy reaching out for information on the divinely inspired gathering:

One thing that has been laid on my heart recently is that ... God is not limited to this campus or this town.  Some might feel led to come [here], and by all means ... we want you here, we invite you here.  But at the same time the Holy Spirit that's here is also with you, wherever you are — so it's just really important to recognize that.

Under a Facebook posting referencing #asburyrevival, an attendee named Tanya Ortenzi Holt documented her personal experience at the event:

We didn't do a poll of denominations, but we've heard of Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Anglicans, Christian Church and non-denominational Christians present, worshipping and praying together in unity, regardless of their differences[.] ... We didn't ask each other's church denominations; we didn't stop to go through a checklist of doctrinal beliefs to make sure we agreed on enough things before we prayed.  We didn't analyze each other's appearance, or demand certain formulas for prayer[.] ... We joined hands and prayed with total strangers.

Lexington station WLEX reported that "God is transforming lives" at Asbury, with every person in attendance seemingly there for a different reason.  Some are praying for a "better world," while others are praying for strength to overcome hurdles or to give thanks for those they've overcome.  Others, according to a university spokesperson, "are coming to Christ for the first time and hearing the gospel for the first time."

With so many Americans wondering exactly what God does have in store for us, the revival seems to be sending a much-needed message of comfort to his people: "It is the Lord who goes before you.  He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed."

Susan D. Harris can be reached at www.susandharris.com.

Image: SermonIndex.net via YouTube, CC BY 3.0 (cropped).

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