Christ declared in John 7:37 that whosoever is thirsty should come and drink and from within him, springs of living water will flow. The paradox is that a very thirsty person finally becomes a source of water by being touched by the Holy Ghost. The psalmists indicated in ps. 42 that as the deer pants for rivers of water so their souls thirst for God. It is desire and thirst that drives revival. It overcomes all barriers until one reaches God. A touch of God leads to a touch to others. The revival story of springs conference and generation is a function of thirst, commitment, prayer, evangelism and pursuit of Christ likeness in the character of the revivalists. It is the desire of God to cause revival through people and not angels. It is also his desire to use ordinary believers to cause the nations to know him. This revival story is meant to remind us that we are designed for nations. We are not to be village heroes. We are promised nations as our inheritance (Ps.2:8), we are further mandated to reach the ends of the earth with the Gospel (Matthew 28/Mark 16). While Jesus was leaving the earth he left a great inheritance to reach more people as He was doing (John 20:21) and finally he empowered us to do exactly that; reach out to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). The day of Pentecost was one of the great days that the apostles were not only empowered but also preached in their inaugural sermon with a conversion of 3000 souls.
During one of the seasons of revivals, a story similar to the one of Philip and Nathaniel occurred to me. It was in December 1999 when I was invited to attend a conference at Katheri High school. This was to be a life changing meeting in many lives. Despite many obstacles to attending this meeting, I managed to attend the meeting. The move of God and the ministry was serious, focused and very powerful. I contemplated getting saved again because I perceived a God who is more able than I had experienced. This meeting triggered a great desire to seek God.
After one week of impartation under Ev. Bonface Mwendandu (ROLFI), Pst. Charles Nyabuto (Grace for All Nations), Pst. Stanely Mutegi (JEC) and Ev. Paul Kirimi (God’s Army Empowerment), I was called for an evening revival that was held at full Gospel Churches, Katheri. This was to be the game changer in revival. I was challenged by a team of sister that was praying and fasting while people were feasting during December festivities. I made a decision out of the desire I had picked that i will also seek God for my life and for his church. This became the demarcation between my religious life and revival movement. I began a fast of three days along Kathita River that flow from Mount Kenya through Katheri village to Tana River. On the third day around 6:30 PM, I felt a burning sensation on my face that later spread to the entire body. This stood as a mark of revival in my life.
I later left this cold region of Katheri with the warmth of revival. I made decisions of seeing the revival I had seen to spread wherever I went.
On arrival I met two brothers with similar passion at Kajiampau. We began praying every evening in a dark small PCEA church. This prayer was later to birth revival in the land. We passionately prayed for revival and God who is impartial responded by revival not only in the church where we were praying but far beyond. This prayer grew into overnight prayers and whole day meetings. Individuals would enter to solitary places for prayer and fasting, and for sure what we asked, we received; revival.
On 12th of February, 2000 we held our first revival seminar at Kajiampau. This meeting had mixed feelings because neither the listeners nor the ministers knew what would happen. We pleaded with God to show difference of the revival seminar from other ordinary meetings. About 25 young people gather for this meeting. Change began by filling people with the Holy Ghost and genuine turning to Christ. The seminars continued with a minimum of one per month. They started being held in different venues and denominations. I recall one that ran for two weeks; one week in EAPC Igarianyaga and one more in PCEA Kajiampau. Churches came back to life with rejuvenation of prayer, fasting, preaching and the fear of God. Revival as saturation of God among people happened. Schools started inviting ministers from the revived team to minister to them. Great testimonies came out of these invites. I recall a Sunday service at kajuki High school where the power of God descended on three quarters of the congregation during an opening prayer. Nturiri High school, a girl who had left school because of poor high sight received her sight. She felt things similar to scales fall out of her eyes. The hallmark of this revival was in filling of the Holy Ghost.
The commitment of the believers grew drastically. A team of brethren walked for 18 hours to take the Gospel to Kamwathu, near Marimanti. A brother (now a pastor) walked from Chuka town to Kathwana (about 30 KM) in anticipation of a mission. He slept in a bush when the fatigue became unbearable. In the following morning he arose a joined a team of missioners that was to walk more than 20KM to a mission. A small team of sisters (two of them are now pastor’s wives) used to walk for about 30 kilometres to a prayer mountain. They would spend the whole day fasting and praying. The church work was done with gladness without complaining.
Training is central to any revival. Specialised trainings were organised for small groups. The remarkable one is the intercession training that was done by Pst. Anderson (Senior Pastor, GAN). The team was trained on the principles of prayer and were taken through practices in fasting and prayer. This bore great prayer warriors.
This conference is one of the many conferences that God has moved heavily. This meeting is held every 26th to 30th December. This meeting was born from the revival seminars. It is a meeting with an international focus.
A few key lessons were learnt in this revival:
- Revival requires focus
- Revival is sustained by holiness.
- Prayer and fasting is central to any revival.
- False teachings are a threat to revival.
- Commitment and desire are strong drivers of revival.
- Training is a major pillar of revival.
- United leadership uphold revival for generations
Pst. Eliphas Gitonga, Senior pastor/Gospel Across the Nations