Truth be told, revivals rarely start in one place or with one person. They are slow and steady growing, blowing-on-embers stories of many faithful followers of Christ who feel a burning in their souls. And they begin to pray. And obey. Sometimes for years. Sometimes never seeing the fruit of their prayers in their lifetimes.
But revivals start small before they blow up big.
This past Saturday, we invited two new friends over for dinner, Geoff and Kriss Whiteman. They have lived most of their lives in Wilmore––Geoff went to grad school at Asbury Theological Seminary (LMFT, ThM) and Kriss is currently finishing her Ph.D. there.
Friends who were RIGHT THERE in the midst of the revival! We wanted to know everything.
I’ll admit, I’m a skeptic by nature. A positive realist, I call myself. I’ve seen a lot in ministry. The so-undeniable-it-can-only-be-God and the flat out bizarre and even inappropriate. But skeptic though I am, I still brim with hope. I crave more of God in my life and our world, and I have been hoping with everything in me that what is happening in Asbury is real.
At our dinner table, Geoff and Kriss told me a story that hit me in my heart in the deep places. It’s a story and photos they gave me permission to write about. It’s a story that makes hope spill out of my soul so much that I want to share it here with you.
It’s the story of a man from Malaysia with revival in his soul. Here is his story, word for word as it was shared with me.
HongToo Leow — Missionary to Wilmore
I want to share my true story as how God led me to Wilmore to pray for revival. I will try to be as honest as I can so that I will not take credit from God and I am sure God knows my heart.
August 2015: My wife and I came to Asbury Theological Seminary and as a visiting scholar from Malaysia Bible Seminary until early June 2016.
February 21 2016: I received a Revival Dream in Wilmore. I came from a conservative Church which I preached against dreams and visions. I humbled myself to test this dream to see if it was from God. So I shared this with Dr. Robert Coleman, my respected Evangelism professor back in 1990-1993 Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and he told me that God may use me to start a revival in the USA or in Malaysia. I also shared this dream with my professor Dr. Craig Keener, a highly respected New Testament School, I asked him if I should take this dream seriously. He responded that I should. With their affirmations, since then I kept praying daily for this revival to be fulfilled.
December 2017: While my wife and I came to Asbury Seminary again on holidays. This time God spoke to me clearly, asking me to come to Wilmore, praying fulltime for revival in person here in Wilmore.
September 15, 2019: I came to Wilmore first and then my wife followed in November that year. We settled in Wilmore and my praying for Revival officially began. I spent a couple of hours praying for revival, seeking signs that will sparkle the revival. During these periods, sometimes I was disappointed, frustrated, going through “motions of praying”, and also a bit lost what I was doing here in Wilmore.
June 2020: God spoke to me clearly that I should carry signs (signs of repentance, call to revival etc) while walking-running almost everyday on North Lexington Wilmore Kentucky for about two years. These signs got attention from Wilmore residents, calling them to prepare for revival.
May 2022: We received an urgent call to serve homeless New York City after praying for 2 years and 8 months full time in Wilmore. Actually I started praying for revival since February 2016. So then all together is about 7 years. I felt my call to pray for Revival has not completed. God told me that He will not send revival while I was still here.
God has promised me that after we leave Wilmore for New York City, He will then send revival so that I may not be prideful or take credit for this revival. We did not know when God was going to do it. But after 8 months, revival came to Asbury University Chapel. Glory to Triune God, God the Father, God the Son Jesus and God the Holy Spirit alone, amen and amen.
Revivals can start from anywhere. Missionaries can be sent from anywhere. (At Modern Day, we have missionaries from all over the world sent to all over the world!)
How is God calling you to be faithful today? What are the small acts of obedience He is asking of you that will join with others’ acts of obedience that will produce great things in His kingdom?
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” Matthew 25:21
At Modern Day Missions, we celebrate all the ways God is moving on the earth today that produces prayer, unity, righteousness, repentance, freedom and salvation! We celebrate what God is doing at the Asbury Revival in the same way that we celebrate how God is reviving your heart in your place of life, family and ministry.