By Lynn Green
Most evenings during my School of Evangelism (SOE) outreach in Greece, I used to hike into the hills and pray that God would allow me to see true revival. In the months that followed, my heart began to wander. I returned to the U.S. and considered leaving YWAM for good. Then Loren phoned and invited me to join him in the American Midwest. So along with a young musician couple, I arrived at a tiny Pentecostal Church surrounded by Iowan pig farms.
photo by David Sturts
The pastor arranged for us to lead a youth meeting for twenty or thirty young people. Afterward we invited the teens to come have a snack with us in the house next door. At the end, we gathered in a circle to close in prayer with the nine remaining teens, and discovered they didn’t know what we meant by “praying.” I encouraged them to say whatever they wanted to say to God, which led to periods of long pauses punctuated by insignificant prayers. Everything changed when one girl began to cry and prayed out, “God, I have no right to speak to you after all the things I’ve done wrong.” Another teen prayed out, then another, and another, until all nine were weeping under the conviction of their sin. I hadn’t even spoken to them about repentance, but they repented until eventually their crying turned to tears of joy as they began thanking God for His cleansing freedom.
photo by Whitney
They came back to our little house for lunch the next day, towing friends behind them and eagerly asking, “Can we pray now?” We saw the same deep conviction and repentance of the previous night, and after school that afternoon even more teens showed up. We told the pastor, and that led to more meetings at the church in the evenings. But the deepest work was happening at the little house next door; every time we prayed, the conviction of the Holy Spirit fell. This revival among the town’s teenagers continued for three weeks, culminating in a final meeting with over a thousand young people, 120 of whom gave their lives to Jesus that night.
Eventually I lost touch with all those young people until forty years later when someone spotted me on Facebook and asked, “Are you the Lynn Green that was in Eagle Grove, Iowa in 1970?” After a few more messages, one thing led to another and Marti and I agreed that we should all gather together for a 40th anniversary reunion. Although several couldn’t attend, those who did told us stories of evangelistic groups that formed after we left Eagle Grove; since they couldn’t be called Youth With A Mission, they became Youth With A Message and went from campus to campus leading people to Jesus. They all continued serving God, and many developed fruitful ministries.
photo by Russian Village Ministry
I believe all this happened because I asked God to let me see revival. But the real hero in those amazing days of 1970 was a local woman handicapped by multiple sclerosis who prayed by name for every young person in Eagle Grove. During our reunion weekend, everyone agreed without hesitation that this dear woman prayed the windows of heaven open over the teenagers of the town.
For me, this story serves as a lasting illustration of God’s ways. We had the privilege of being at the right place at the right time, and the privilege of being the answer to the persistent prayers of a godly woman who prevailed day in and day out. It showed me that when we really trust God for revival and continue to ask Him for it, He is more than willing to answer.
About Lynn Green
Lynn Green and his wife Marti first came to England and began the work of Youth With A Mission here in 1971. From 2004-2011 Lynn was YWAM’s International Chairman. He continues to convene YWAM’s global leadership meetings, and focuses much of his energy on international leadership development.
In past years Lynn has been much involved in serving other movements and organizations, including Challenge 2000 (the DAWN movement in England), and “March for Jesus”, of which he was a founder. He is currently a trustee of CARE Trust. Lynn also directed the “Reconciliation Walk”, when thousands of Christians prayerfully retraced the route of the First Crusade, thereby helping to defuse 900 years of bitterness between Muslims, Christians and Jews.
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