Where do I even begin...
August was a very busy and exciting month filled with revival and family fun. As I process all that I witnessed and experienced, I am in awe once again of how God moves.
"Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honour before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it." (Jeremiah 33:9)
reviveOHIO | Darke County | Shining a Light in the Dark
"Light in the Dark" painted during reviveOHIO "kickoff"
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:46)
I flew down to Greenville, Ohio in Darke County on August 6th for a week of revival with the Time to Revive team. What we experienced was NOT normal. It will be a mark in history that is making the name of Jesus the NEW normal in this community and is spreading. We saw the Holy Spirit pour out mightily on families being restored, on the youth through the sports teams, on the courthouse and the judicial system, in businesses; all through the Body of Christ uniting as one and using their feet to carry out the mission. We experienced Bible stories in real time, scripture came to life! We saw things you hear about in history happen before our eyes. Story lines only God can write.
It was INCREDIBLE! More than what we could have dreamed or expected.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us," (Ephesians 3:20)
Personally I experienced another level by walking with the Lord than I ever have before. My conclusion, keep hungry for more of God. Walk in expectancy of a mighty move of God. He is faithful to those who seek. The more we step out in faith, trust in Him... the more we see Him work.
BULLSEYE State | Ohio
"Bullseye" painted day 3, reviveOHIO
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (Hebrews 12:2, MSG)
Before heading down to Ohio, I fasted and prayed for what the Lord wanted me to express through my art. Often times I receive simple images and journal them. Most of the time I do not know what they are for or when to release them, but this was a very clear image I got. A target. Arrows in a target. Day 3 of reviveOHIO, I kept seeing this image again. (I didn't know the state flag looked like a bullseye!) I had an amazing encounter that day where a woman told me, "Ohio doesn't know who they are...they are experimenting. They need to focus." As she said this, I could see arrows flying into the centre of a target. The Lord told me they need to FOCUS on the simplicity of the Gospel, focus on me. The bullseye. After I painted that evening, a woman came up to me and was so excited of the bullseye image. That day her and another intercessor were prayer walking in the town centre and the Lord spoke to them about Ohio being the bullseye state of what He is doing. And later a man told me the Lord spoke to him about 3 main areas being targeted in Darke County, unity, youth and sacrifice. And when I painted the three arrows, he felt such confirmation in what he heard. I love how the Lord weaves confirmation through people. There is something special happening in Ohio!
"Cultivating Transformation ii" painted day 1, reviveOHIO
DIGGING FOR TRANSFORMATION | Partnering with the Tools we've been given
The Church came together in this community in a BIG way...they dug in together and saw incredible growth. Here are the stats from the Time to Revive team over three weeks in Darke County:
- Number of disciples matched – 570
- 363 of those 570 accepted Christ
- 1,086 teams of 4 were sent out! Believers going out in UNITY
- Lives of believers changed because of going OUTside their comfort zones and watching the LORD move
- Number of baptisms – 146
- Number of students who accepted Christ – 244
- Number of businesses that opened their doors to share the Gospel – 24
- Number of high school teams that we went to – 33
- EVERY DAY we prayed at the courthouse
- 23 churches worked together for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in UNITY and in HUMILITY, AMEN!
YOUTH | SPORTS TEAMS
There were SO many amazing testimonies and stories unfolding while we were there, it was incredible. One of the most amazing was the Greenville High School Football team, the "green wave." An open door was made for Kyle and a team to go share the Gospel with the team, 35 young men stood up accepting Jesus and their Lord and Saviour. WOW! It was like watching the movie "Woodlawn" in action. 13 of those guys were baptized during one of our evening services. But it didn't stop there... after the team took charge and began sharing the Gospel with their rival team and other sports team all over the region. Now that's revival! New believers taking action to go share the new life they now have in Christ with others, immediately. Football teams, basketball, volleyball, marching bands, track and field, cheerleading, baseball, and it keeps going... The doors began opening and the wave continues. Glory to God!
"Flying Formation" painted Day 6, reviveOHIO, Darke County
FAMILY RESTORATION | HEARTS OPENED
Another huge area of breakthrough in Darke County were the stories of entire families coming to Christ and being restored. The first week we witnessed in live action during one of our evening services, through a series of people and encounters, a whole family coming to know the Lord. After supper a couple of guys took leftover pizza's out on the streets to give away and pray for people, they encountered a group of individuals on a porch of a house. After talking and sharing, all the people accepted new life in Christ. One of the guys came back before service was over and reported of the good news, said the names of these individuals and a mother in the crowd began weeping and jumping for joy! It was her son, who has been battling heroin for years, that she has been praying for... then the father took the leap of faith and accepted Christ after the service because he saw his son do it. Words can't describe witnessing this incredible story of new life unfold right before our eyes. (Watch the video to see it in action)
The family restoration only started with that... another HUGE family in the County came together in a mighty way throughout the weeks we were there. It all started with Kyle encounter a girl on a porch and snowballed from there. Words can't describe the amazing story the Lord unfolded on the final day our team was there with this entire family coming together. The heavens opened and the Glory of God poured out on them. Literally, it rained during the family being baptized. Check out the video of this story...
"They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. (Acts 16:31-33)
UNITY | The Church working together as ONE
We saw incredible unity of The Body of Christ coming together in Darke County. Going out into the harvest and working together with the same mission, all in our own unique giftings.
"Cross-pollination" painted day 4, reviveOHIO
1. a sharing or interchange of knowledge, ideas, etc., as for mutual enrichment; cross-fertilization.
2. the transfer of pollen from the anthers of one flower to the stigma of another flower by the action of wind, insects, etc.
We are in a cross-pollination season of time. God is waking up the church to realize we all need each other, the entire body of Christ unified, to do what we were made for; to advance and grow the Kingdom, the garden of life. We are the worker bees partnering with the Holy Spirit to do what we were made for, to go out and pollinate together, expanding the garden in our sphere’s of influence. We are made to cross-pollinate.
“Bees, butterflies, insects, and the wind help cross-pollinate various plants, including plants that grow our food.
Without this cross-pollination process which creates a “network” of shared resources, in this case pollen, we would not have what we have today. Bees land on one flower, gather up some pollen, head to another flower and redistribute some pollen from the first flower into the second, then gather more pollen from the second flower and head toward a third flower. It’s all about cross-pollination to produce good fruit.
If there is no cross-pollination, there is no fruit. No fruit, no bountiful harvest.
This one essential process is necessary to create a harvest.”
THE FRUIT | Sometimes it isn't what you expect | Let Go of the "Normal" embrace the NEW Normal
On my second trip to reviveOHIO, I was praying ahead for images and a picture of tomatoes popped in my head. I wrote it down. The second last day there, I heard the Lord tell me to pay attention to people in prayer time, in testimonies, etc. that I would hear His confirmation for what to paint that night. All day I heard the word "fruit," it was clearly highlighted to me all day. Knowing I was to paint fruit, I then asked the Lord for a picture of what that fruit should look like. The image of tomatoes came back. I kept thinking of all different fruits, like apples, oranges, pears, etc. Images buzzing through my mind, and feeling no peace. The tomatoes kept coming back. I had a conversation in my mind with the Holy Spirit, "those aren't fruit, they are vegetables" Why do I keep seeing the tomatoes, I thought. I felt nudged to look them up. So I did. I googled tomatoes and sure enough.... they are FRUIT. (I may be the only one out there that didn't realize that... haha) And they grow on a vine....AND they are the Ohio state fruit to top it off!! Wow. I heard the Lord say, "sometimes the fruit isn't what you expect." Isn't that the truth we often forget. God can move how ever He wants. This idea that the fruit needs to look or be a certain way, whether it be our idea of what is revival, how God "should" move based of what we think it should be or have been told in the past, etc. We can't put the fruit of a new move of God in a box.
"Tomatoes" painted day 19, reviveOHIO
The next morning after painting the tomatoes, during prayer time, a gentleman shared how he was greatly encouraged by the painting because of a dream his friend had about a tomatoes field, they have been praying into for 5 weeks. Seeing the painting he felt as though God is answering their prayer.
This is what he wrote to me:
"His name is Ishmael, that is what he does (having visions and prophecies)
his dream was a huge field of tomatoes and his eyes couldn't see the end of it.
Tomatoes were red and ready but standing on one end, he could see a handful
workers who seemed discouraged and didn't know what to do. He had sadness that they were going to be rotten. So he asked; "where are the workers and why nobody is doing anything?" Before he woke up he said to himself; "There must be a factory before the harvest begins" We are very sure the harvest is ready and the workers are few and don't know what do.
Our calling to this city has been a big journey and we want to thank you for your coming here. It was a great encouragement to see a step to what God has been speaking." (written by Makombe Theoneste)
This greatly encouraged me as well. I had no idea a guy had a dream of a tomatoes field 5 weeks before... Often times I have no clue why I am painting what I am. I'm just learning to take a risk and go for it. After-all, I am only a tiny piece of a huge puzzle. The Lord is always faithful to confirm, most often I hear cool stories of how the art speaks to someone after. It is all part of the process. Through the process of hearing, having faith and stepping out in obedience, then will we see the fruit of what God is doing. We all have a part.
After the first week in Ohio, we had a phrase, "the NEW NORMAL." We saw God move so powerfully in areas we didn't expect, it is becoming the new normal. Seeing youth come to Jesus, seeing families being restored, witnessing so many baptisms, the churches working together, the fruit was plentiful. And it will continue to grow!
"Step Out" painted day 18, reviveOHIO
Through obedience to STEP OUT in faith, leaving our own agenda's behind, we will see new fruit. It's time to step out.
I could go on about our time in Darke County, Ohio....wow, it was amazing! If you want to see and read about the other paintings I did, please go to my website to view them....
And it doesn't stop here. Revival is spreading in Ohio. Because of Darke County, 3 more communities have already set dates: the first is Auglaize County, Oct. 9-15, then Dayton and Miami County after.
I'm excited to see what's next. Thank you for reading my update. Please feel free to share with others. If you want to come and see what God is doing in Ohio, please check out the website and register... would love to see you there.
(To see all videos during reviveOHIO, click here)
Bless you friends,