As I shared in my last post, I had originally planned on going through Tennessee first, but the reasoning for my trip flipping occurs during this leg of my journey. It all started in May when one of our guest speakers, a man named Jeff Reid, came to Tokyo. While he was with the school, he told us about these crazy guys in Greenville, SC, who started a house of prayer when one guy posted a sign up outside of his shop saying "Prayer/Free Coffee" along with some other radical stories about their ministry in the area. So good!
But I remember thinking, "South Carolina isn't too far from Mississippi..." So upon return, I reconnected with Jeff about trying to meet up with these guys in South Carolina. In doing so, Jeff informed me that he would be visiting them as well in late October, so I planned my trip to be there then. However, his plans changed, and when they did, so did mine! It lined up that he would be there the night before I left, and he would be the first person I met in Japan for me to reconnect with.
What I realized (and remembered) after arriving in Greenville was I did not come to Greenville for Jeff. I came to meet the Greenville guys. It was a bonus that Jeff was going to be there (not to diminish Jeff at all), but when I first planned on going there, I was unaware of Jeff's plans. I make this point because I absolutely love the people I met in Greenville! I had talked to this guy Jed who is kind of the front man I guess, and we had emailed back and forth. I had already changed my plans on him once, and I was very anxious to not cause him trouble, for he has willingly opened his house up to a "complete stranger." That was until I arrived.
The plan changed once again, and I was supposed to meet them at their new community house they were preparing. I pull up the driveway, and they walk outside as I step out of the car, and an immediate spirit of familiarity hits us, and one would have felt we were long lost friends. I was prepared to share my life with these people! It was amazing how the common bond of Jesus Christ connected out lives to one another in a split second!
I ended up spending three days in Greenville hanging out with Jed, his wife Melodie, her sister Kristin, Jesse, his wife Jill, and Ian, all of which are incredible people! We prayed, worshiped, visited, "settled" (Catan), and even searched out a new range and installed it in Jesse and Jill's house! They shared their time, homes, family, food, their very lives, with me while I was there! I also was their first guest in the new community house, which was being prepared for their new school, the Fascinate Transformations School, which will be starting this spring. Most of them had participated in the Community Transformations DTS with Jeff at some point, and all of them are committed to bringing revival to their local spheres of influence and to America by living their lives in a Christ-centered fashion! That is what community transformations is all about!
I have never experienced such authentic community in my entire life than I did in Greenville for those three days. I believe it is a true return to the early church we see in Acts 2:42-47. Jeff, who is currently based in South Africa with his wife and three children, spoke to us about what was taking place there, telling us about the community house they were preparing inside the township of Masiphumelele. He was saying something like this: we have three regular meetings a week; one on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but then we are constantly gathering to do other things as well the rest of the week, too. But there is not a time when we gather together that someone ends up coming into the house, gets radically touched by Jesus, and gives his or her life to him.
Friends, revival is a reality. It can happen. May we all commit our lives to Jesus and to seeing His name proclaimed on the earth no matter the cost. For I tell you, there is no cost or sacrifice that is great enough to repay Christ for what He did for you and me, so we give it all.
Return to Part 1: Clarkston, GA!
Continue on to Part 4: Cumberland Gap, TN!