Chance. Coincidence. Happenstance. Those words don’t exist in the vocabulary of Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains.
“Because our chaplains pray each morning for God's direction, we don't believe that we ever accidentally stumble into a meeting with somebody as we’re ministering in the aftermath of a disaster,” said Jack Munday, international director of the ministry. “Those encounters were put in place by God. We call them ‘divine appointments.’”
And those divine appointments have been happening for more than a month now in New York and New Jersey following the impact of Superstorm Sandy in late October.
Take, for instance, the recent experience of chaplains in Nassau County, N.Y., where the chaplains have been reaching out to hurting survivors since Oct. 29.
Lower East Side churches and volunteers distributed 5,000 coats, scarves, boots and other winter supplies at the schoolyard at PS 34 in New York Saturday, in the shadow of the power plant that darkened lower Manhattan during Superstorm Sandy.
The only Manhattan location is one of 11 regional hubs created by a unique partnership between American Red Cross, Somebody Cares America, New York Christian Resource Center and local faith-based groups that collectively distributed 50,000 coats and more last weekend to communities most directly impacted by the storm.
“We are delighted to see the Red Cross partner with us in this way,” one of the organizers, Pastor Rick Del Rio from Abounding Grace Ministries, said. “Though power has returned to Lower Manhattan, the lingering effects of the storm are still being felt. What better way to warm the hearts of children and families during the holidays, then by warming their physical bodies first.”
Lou Engle's movement, TheCall, is gathering in Switzerland next month, and he's urging the nation to participate in intercession and fasting.
TheCall Geneva will convene at various locations Dec. 8-12 with a goal to invoke spiritual transformation.
Engle, co-founder of TheCall solemn assemblies, is part of the leadership team at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mo. He wrote in an email: “We want to alert you—the faithful fiery praying friends around the world—to join us on this strategic day. God is orchestrating a convergence of believers including modern day reformers from around the world to join us specifically on December 8th for 12 hours of fasting and prayer.”
GOD TV is to air an extraordinary live broadcast this weekend featuring Steve Hill of the Brownsville Revival of the 1990s and Nathan Morris of the current Bay Revival, together with pastor John Kilpatrick, the host of both spiritual outpourings.
Revival Reunion, happening at the Mobile Convention Center in Alabama, will be broadcast exclusively on GOD TV at 9 p.m. (EST) Friday and will also feature worship led by Lindell Cooley and Lydia Stanley Marrow.
The Brownsville Revival ran from 1995 to 2000, attracting more than 4 million people to Pensacola, Fla. Often televised on GOD TV, it was characterized by passionate salvation messages from evangelist Steve Hill, a call to holiness from Kilpatrick and worship led by Cooley.
A daughter of the Azusa Street Revival and Mission, 93-year-old evangelist Verna Linzey, preached on the baptism with the Holy Spirit at another revival and mission in Los Angeles called Global Covenant Church, where a new move of the Holy Spirit erupted.
An awakening occurred and five Filipinos and Americans burst into speaking in tongues as the Holy Spirit moved and gave them utterance while Linzey was ministering on the stage. The mission is pastored by the Rev. Alice Tanaka.
This was the third time the mission invited Linzey to speak. The services are characterized by a lack of structure and an earnest quest for an encounter with the Holy Spirit as those who arrive at any hour seek the Holy Spirit. The services go on for up to three hours as they wait on the Spirit.