Friday, October 28, 2016

Reflections on Hartford...A New Awakening

I returned last week from a mission trip to Hartford, Connecticut. The last time I was in the northeast was with middle schoolers during their spring break on a mission trip to Brewster, New York in March of 2012. It was bitter cold if my brain is functioning properly. I must say my return visit was picturesque and filled with warm fuzzy memories.

I'll not soon forget the faces I met in the grocery store, the hotel and especially the street. We are proud of our hospitality in the south, but I was pleasantly surprised at being treated with kindness and respect everywhere I went. People were generous with smiles and warmth.

The day spent frying chicken for fifty people with Elaine and Paulette is a day I will treasure. We had a makeshift kitchen behind the hotel on a picnic table, as well as hotplates and slow cookers in a meeting room. As we worked in our outdoor kitchen, it began to sprinkle rain. The radar showed the entire region covered in green and Paulette began praying. The rain stopped. The green on the map never lifted. We fried 107 pieces of chicken and the rain never amounted to anything more than a few sprinkles, even though radar painted a different picture. We were exhausted by the end of our lonnng day but I wouldn't trade a minute of it. We were meant to walk in relationship with people through this life and this day was special in more ways than frying chicken.

I'll not forget praying for people on the street in downtown Hartford, on one of the busiest corners, in one of the worst neighborhoods. People are hungry for people who care. This was my own personal highlight, as well as the relationships I made with those on the trip.

I'll not forget Anderson University students praying for, giving out water to, and connecting with the citizens of Hartford and the surrounding area. They have a heart for ministry, students, the unloved, the broken. They gave their time during their fall break from classes to love on people 1000 miles from home who don't have a relationship with the God of the universe. There is a generation of young adults coming along that excites me. God is moving people. He is not finished if we are willing. He will work in and among those who will say "yes."

It was a unique joy to be part of the first service of The River Church of Glastonbury, Connecticut. Several of our group worked tirelessly preparing the sanctuary and grounds for the service while others spread throughout the town prayer walking and sharing information about the church. Pastor George Lim and his wife, Janelle are passionate believers in Jesus Christ and desire to minister to people in this community.

We traveled to Enfield, Connecticut where there's a rock laid and dedicated to the memory of Jonathan Edwards and the revival that sparked the Great Awakening. We gathered in a circle and sang "There is a Fountain," and then prayed for revival in our country, churches and personal lives. As we finished singing and unlocked hands, several people had stopped to sing with us.

And then we return to the real world of home, family and politics. I fall into the black hole of Facebook with everyone else and give way too much time and attention to the junk found in its trap. It's bad, very bad, and yes, I want Jesus to come back, but that would be a quick fix. And then a lot of people would die without Him; people I just prayed with on the street in Hartford, Connecticut. Who am I to say, "Come Lord Jesus?"

Yes, I'm tired of living in a fallen world; I'm tired of living in my fallen world with my pain and brokenness. But, thanks be to God He has the answer. It's not time. There are people who need Him and we must tell them.

No political candidate will ever dig us out of the mess we're in. E V E R. It takes individual people. You and me. One on one relationships, taking someone by the hand and telling them there is a God who will not vote for Trump or Clinton, but for them. He has a plan tailored just for you, and me.

"I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord..."
Jeremiah 29:13

It was timely for me to go to the northeast just before a major election. At one time, I saw them as enemies because they were traditionally liberal. Now, I see them as friends and in need of my Jesus. Won't you join me in praying for them? We are ONE nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


  1. Sounds like God worked in many ways on this trip. Our country needs revival desperately. Thanks for sharing another great post!

    1. Yes, he certainly did Laura! I was privileged to be part of a great team! Thanks for your words of encouragement! :)