“I see evidence of a rising spiritual tide, a spiritual revival among young adults. This is not a time to despair. A new generation of His faithful followers is emerging.”
That’s the observation of Christian author, journalist and preacher J. Lee Grady who travels the world as founder and director of The Mordecai Project, a ministry that seeks to address the global abuse of women and girls.
He writes in Charisma News that while many young people in the West are rejecting faith, others are embracing it on missions to Africa. He found them achieving huge success in teaching the Gospel in Christian-majority (63%) Tanzania, including on the mostly Muslim island of Zanzibar.
“When I arrived I was greeted by a young leader named Ben who directs the work of Overland Missions on the island. Ben is only 27, but he and his wife, Kelsi, lead a team of church planters and evangelists. Most of the people working with Overland in Zanzibar and Tanzania are in their 20s and 30s,” he discovers.
Ben told him that: “The vision God has given us for Zanzibar is to see God redeem what the enemy has twisted. This nation was once the centre of the slave trade, Islam and darkness, but it will be transformed by a move of the Holy Spirit into a sending nation for the Gospel. Our vision is to see revival sweep through the islands and spark a missions movement to surrounding unreached peoples.”
The author encountered that fire, passion and hope in other young missionaries: “I met Alex, 31, a German-Russian guy who has a vision to raise up 1,000 church planters from his base in northern Tanzania. I met Lena, 33, who is bringing the Gospel to prostitutes in Zanzibar. (She’s now running out of room in a rented hall because so many women are attending her Bible studies.) I met Rodrick, 35, an African American who left his home in North Carolina to win souls in Zanzibar. He’s now speaking Swahili and wearing colourful Tanzanian clothes as he shares his faith.’
“During my three days on the island, I preached at an Assemblies of God congregation in a rural area near the capital. The church has struggled in the past because of persecution, but now they have run out of room, and most of the people who attended the Sunday service are teens or 20-somethings,” the author rejoiced.
In Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam, Mr. Grady met a pastor named Margaret who is 38 and a mother of two young children. She leads a Pentecostal Holiness church on the outskirts of the city, with plans to open a primary school soon and reach the next generation with the Gospel.
“When I meet people with the passion of Ben, Kelsi, Alex, Lena, Rodrick and Margaret, my heart is filled with hope for the future. The global church is not in retreat. Yes, there are huge challenges in this crazy world. But even though many young people in the United States have rejected faith, a spiritual revival is rising among young adults,” he declares
The author explains that Overland Missions led by Dr. Philip Smethurst in Florida, is deploying hundreds of young people all over the globe. Mr Grady notes that while some aging denominations are struggling with stagnant growth and seminaries are shrinking, new churches are emerging to attract younger students and train them for evangelistic missions.
He sees a comparison with the story of Elijah: “Many Christians today have a gloomy outlook amid many negative trends like the breakdown of families, rising crime, financial instability, the war in Ukraine and a widespread rejection of traditional values. If you feed on a steady diet of mainstream news broadcasts, you might be tempted to hide in a cave. That’s exactly where Elijah was hiding in 1 Kings 19 after the confrontation on Mount Carmel.”
“He was in despair. He had lost hope for the future. Yet in that dark moment the Lord promised Elijah he’d leave 7,000 in Israel. God was reminding Elijah that He had a remnant of faithful servants prepared to bring change. I believe God is shouting this over us today. This is not a time to despair. A new generation of His faithful followers is emerging. God has prepared a remnant of radical Christians to finish the work of Jesus,” Mr. Grady proclaimed.
Photo: Facebook – Overland Missions