I’ve been asked to talk about what’s going on right now in my university, Asbury, to hopefully shed light on the revival that’s broken out here.
If you don’t know me, then my name is Tyler and I currently study here.
I came here last year for education and crazy stuff has been going down in my university recently (I don’t know if you’ve seen it, it’s been all over social media).
I’m going to be really careful with what I say… I want to be really articulate to make sure that I tell the truth as closely as I can.
So, let’s start off with what happened before day one of the revival — which was actually Tuesday night before Wednesday’s chapel service.
they always stay back and intercede… this revival was not started just on a whim like that.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we have chapel service in Hughes Auditorium. On Tuesday night, I was doing rehearsals for the gospel choir that sings ever so often.
After the rehearsal is done around 9pm, they stay back another hour or so to intercede for the chapel service the next day.
And they always do this. They always stay back whenever they’re worshipping in chapel the next day; the night before they always stay back and intercede for the next day’s chapel which is really something I want to emphasise: this revival was not started just on a whim like that.
People have been interceding and praying for chapel services to really impact people and really do something for them.
So fast forward to Wednesday morning, Rev. Zach Meerkreebs — a really cool pastor — spoke about embodying love and what that means in the Christian context.
It was a good message, but the real thing that really kicked off the revival was after the fact.
We normally do a song after the message, like an altar call for people to respond to the message. It usually lasts around 10 minutes, a bit after service — but this one lasted like an hour.
After the main part of the chapel was done, people stayed back. I was in the sound booth mixing the sound and was surprised to see 30 to 40 people staying back in the chapel even though our service was technically over.
They dismissed everyone but people were staying back and really responding to the message so I felt a responsibility to stay there and mix the audio. Technically I was working overtime, but it was fine — it’s for the Kingdom.
So I stayed back, and I left after an hour. I shut down the system and told them: “Okay, no more mics.”
But to my surprise, people came back even after lunch — even after the audio system was shut down.
They continued to pray, continued praising and praying. It was entirely a student-led thing where people were asking each other to come back to chapel, confess, repent, praise, pray with a small band on stage without amplification or whatever.
At 2pm that day, there was at least 100 people there. And then when it got to the evening, and more people showed up and not less — that’s when you knew that something big was going on. Maybe revival is on the way.
By 9pm that day, even more people showed up. People stayed in the chapel overnight; there were still people on stage, going up to sing worship songs. People were still there and it crept into the next day.
As the weekend approached, hundreds and hundreds of students begin pouring into the chapel just to worship and take part in the “revival” that is going on right now (who knows?).
So 24-hour chapel service becomes a thing. It dies down during the night and in the early morning such that not many people are there, but in the evening, afternoon and night — tons of people show up and the headlines begin popping up.
Throughout the weekend, news goes around about this revival that’s going on in this small university somewhere.
The things we heard and saw
So this is where I want to get into a bit of the impact: what actually went down during the revival, some testimonies that I’ve been hearing and then I’ll get into some of my personal thoughts.
I’ve heard a testimony of a girl stepping away from suicide. Two weeks ago, she tried to end her life. Then she came to revival, got prayed over, cried, wept — and now she’s doing a lot better.
It just shows how powerful God’s presence is during this time.
Other things I’ve heard:
- Freedom from addiction
- Prayers of healing
- Tumours being healed
- Injuries being healed
But most importantly, there’s a lot of new people coming to Jesus from all over the country right now.
Being in a hall with more than a thousand people (I’ve been there for a lot of hours), with people screaming their lungs out in order to praise Jesus — it’s insane. The ground shakes, and it’s hard to not get moved by that.
Literally, the balconies up here? A few times, it was literally like wobbling under the weight. They had to ask you to stop jumping on there, and to come down if you want to jump, because those things are not meant to hold like 500 people jumping all at once.
This just gives you an idea of what it was like throughout these past few days.
I know it’s probably not anything new that you haven’t seen on social media, but the line to get into Hughes Auditorium that I saw today while driving out to get some food stretched all around the block — probably 200-300 meters away from the entrance.
Asbury’s administration is very, very vigilant that this movement is not hijacked by a different spirit — not the spirit of pride, of hubris, of the prosperity gospel.
They wanted to really focus on Jesus. So one example of that, of them not really wanting that much publicity on this event, involved Tucker Carlson.
Carlson, a very popular conservative news reporter actually wanted to do his show here. Asbury actually said: “No, don’t come here. We want it on the down-low and we’re kind of trying to wind it down now.”
And Carlson later on his show said that’s actually pretty admirable, for a small college to say no to more limelight and free publicity.
What I’ve gained from this experience
So, let me talk a bit about what I personally have gained from this.
To be honest, I’ve not been feeling emotions that strongly from this revival as I think some of my peers have. But, personally, just being able to witness so many of my friends get impacted and changed by this revival is blessing enough.
On the first day of the revival, a few of my friends were like “this is such cult-like behaviour” or “this is so cult-ish”. People were texting me all the time, trying to get me to talk about this revival thing that’s going on.
But when they themselves went in there and experienced the worship, they got really touched by it. A few of them got back to reading the Bible. They’ve been in there worshipping when previously, they weren’t really that strong in their faith.
So just seeing that emboldening of the soul is really encouraging.
For me, an aspect of growth that I think I’ve seen throughout this revival is getting to worship and actually meaning the lyrics that I’m singing.
For the past year since coming here, I haven’t truly meditated on the words and the lyrics I’ve been saying out loud.
But during this revival, there were moments when I could just sit back and listen to lyrics and truly meditate on what it was saying and the message that it was bringing to my heart. It’s sort of like a soul realignment that I think I had.
Being in a place where a thousand people are screaming their lungs out, being able to sit there and ponder the words that are being spoken and treasure it and take it to heart and try my best to apply it in my life — that is where I’ve found the most growth.
Another main blessing of mine throughout this revival, was the ability to serve and support the revival movement — it’s been so interesting to see how the support structures spontaneously blossom around the movement.
This is one example of it: on February 13 you could see people just waiting outside the hall because they couldn’t let too many people in there because of fire safety hazards and stuff like that.
The administration got together in a day and made an entire line so they could properly direct people inside and stagger the incoming crowds of people.
Another blessing was having the privilege to work on the sound crew for this revival.
Day in and day out, night in and night out — we were just trying to support this thing. It’s not really that tough of a setup, but there were just a lot of moving parts to it.
It’s a really simple setup: just a cajón, a guitar, a piano and a couple of vocals. There’s nothing fancy — no fog machines, auto-tune or whatever.
It’s just people there doing their best, staying up late at night to try to support this revival movement as it continued throughout the days.
Again, the university has handled the situation really well. They leave space for the Spirit to move while making sure that the thing is not hijacked by a different spirit, so to speak.
Of course there have been some downsides here and there. Mob mentality is a big worry right now; students skipping classes and making excuses for homework.
Personally, I think that’s quite a cringe thing to do… Don’t use revival as an excuse to skip all your homework and procrastinate.
At the end of the day, you don’t need a big event like this to have a revival in your own heart.
But overall it’s been really positive. The administration have been really tactful and careful in their speech and how they portray this to the public because there are a lot of forces in the media trying to make this a very controversial and divisive thing.
I think they’re really focused on making sure this thing is focused on God, on the message of the Gospel, of glorifying Him and making sure that no other thing, experience, emotion or feeling is being glorified — but instead it’s focused on who truly deserves it.
Time will tell
At the end of the day, you don’t need a big event like this to have a revival in your own heart. You don’t need a big event like this to pop off, go there and then start to repent. You should just be repenting daily.
The lasting impact of a movement like this comes down to taking action in our individual lives.
So that’s what I think our main takeaways are: constant intercession was really important and also these “big things” are actually not the main part of a Christian’s life. The day-to-day actions are probably more important.
The lasting impact of a movement like this comes down to taking action in our individual lives.
And also lastly, the power that students and young people can have on impacting an entire nation and other people is impressive.
So I hope that gives you some idea of what’s going down here in Wilmore, and it encourages you that one of your own Malaysian kind is here experiencing it first-hand and garnering what I can from it in order to bring back some lessons.
- What about Tyler’s sharing stood out to you?
- What does interceding look like for you? Who or what is God leading you to pray for?
- This week, pray for renewal and revival over Singapore. Ask that the Lord would move in this land, stirring hearts towards repentance and the Gospel.