On Monday, 2/21/23, my wife, brother, sister-in-law, and I felt prompted to go to the Jesus outpouring that was happening at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. We drove the 2 1/2 hours from Nashville, but the chapel was closed. That was our Spirit-led challenge. We were immediately tempted to get frustrated and disappointed, but God gave us inner peace.
As we were walking to the chapel, we met a family of four (a college-age man and woman and their parents) with beautiful accents. They had driven from Atlanta and were also tempted to be disappointed. However, instead we two sets of strangers prayed together and felt an immediate connection as the Holy Spirit moved in our hearts. About that time a young Lee employee drove up in a golf cart and asked if He could pray for us. He jumped out, prayed from his heart, then drove on.
After our prayer time together, we started to walk away in different directions. Suddenly I was prompted to ask them a question. I turned and said: “We were at the Asbury revival for two days a week ago, do you mind if we pray over you and impart the blessing that we received there to you?”
The father’s eyes grew wide, and he said: “I’ve been praying that we would meet someone here at Lee who had been to Asbury and would pray over us and impart what they received there.”
We said, “May we lay hands on each of you one at a time and pray over you.” They all eagerly said yes. We started with David, the son. He was very shy but hugged me after we prayed. Then we prayed for Tiffany, the daughter. As we prayed my wife began to get prophetic words for her and tears came to her eyes. Afterwards, she and Tiffany embraced. The mother began to rejoice and clap and said that those words were exactly what Tiffany needed to hear.
As we started to lay hands on the mother and father, they both knelt in the damp grass. After we prayed over them, they both jumped up and began to hug all four of us. They thanked us profusely and after a few minutes of awe and celebration at what God had done, we began to walk away again.
Once again God’s Spirit prompted me to turn around and speak to them. I asked, “Where are you originally from.” They said, “Nigeria.” I felt led to say: “Welcome to the United States of America. You may have felt unwelcome at times, but God wants us to welcome you.” They all smiled, began to hug us again, and told us that David was about to become an American citizen. This time instead of heading in different directions, someone said let’s all go to the chapel and see if anyone is there.
We got to the chapel and there were four people standing outside talking (who didn’t know each other). A women came over and began to talk to us. She was overflowing with the presence of Jesus. She was a student at Lee when the 1970 spiritual awakening happened there. With tears she began to tell us how as a young college student, the living Jesus had transformed her life and how she has felt and been led by His presence all these years. Then she began to pray for us.
The other three people came over and joined in a time of powerful, Holy Spirit inspired prayers. Afterwards a man began to prophesy over Tiffany and confirm what my wife had gotten for her. She was deeply moved.
Suddenly two women walked up. At first, they seemed disappointed, but then they pulled out flags that looked like flames of fire. They put praise music on a phone and began to dance and wave the flags in the Spirit for a long time. A few of us danced with them.
Then a middle-aged man and two college-age guys walked up. They had driven from Tampa to Asbury and stopped at Lee on their way home. They were aglow with God’s Spirit and began to tell us how God had blessed them at Asbury.
After our “revival” at the Lee chapel, we decided to walk across the campus toward a steeple we saw on the other side. It was a beautiful Church of God worship center. We walked in and asked if there was any place we could pray there. They sent us up to a “prayer tower” on the fourth floor with a beautiful 360-degree view of the campus and the surrounding area and asked if we would like someone to pray with us. We said yes.
In a few minutes a woman came in and introduced herself as “Pastor Ruth.” She was overflowing with Jesus and welcomed us with His love as she took the time to get to know us as individuals. Then she began to pray a tender, Spirit-led prayer, full of Scriptures and words of knowledge. We were all in awe at how God was speaking through her.
When we left the church, we decided to go into the Student Center. We got coffee from a Starbucks there and sat and talked about what we were seeing God do. When we left the building, my brother had disappeared. We waited for him a while. I finally went back in, and he was talking to a young man named Obidiah. I tried to hurry them up and Obidiah asked my brother to pray for him.
After the prayer my brother and I walked outside to our wives. Suddenly Obidiah walked up and begins to talk to the four of us. He is 29 and from Murphy, North Carolina. He had driven to Lee five days earlier to experience the spiritual awakening happening there. He shared amazing testimonies about what he had seen and heard the past five days. Then we all prayed together.
After an amazing day of Spirit-tailored revival we went to our Air B & B and basked in the glory that we had experienced on the Lee University campus. What a beautiful day!
We also celebrated what God had done on our way to the campus. We stopped once for gas and a man who looked oppressed and discouraged was slumped over by the door on a stack of firewood. After the rest of us had gone into the building, my brother asked him if he could pray for him. The man said yes and then had tears in his eyes as my brother prayed.
When we all got back in the car, my brother told us what happened and said he wanted to give the man some money but didn’t have any cash. His wife looked but only had a twenty. My brother (who can be very tight with money) said that’s okay. He took the twenty and gave it to the man. The man smiled a beautiful, bright smile that touched all of our hearts.
Before we went to the Lee campus we stopped at a meat and 3 restaurant and had lunch. An 80 year-old man named Larry walked by and my brother started a conversation with him. We told him we were going to the Lee University awakening. He got excited and began to talk about how wonderful it is that God is pouring out His Spirit.
We talked while we ate and eventually prayed for Larry. He left the restaurant but quickly returned while talking with His wife on the phone. He wanted us to tell her our names and encourage her. She soon was sounding joyful as we all enjoyed each other’s company in Christ. Larry asked us if we could take a picture of the four of us and send it to him so that he and his wife can pray for us by name. After that we had high expectations for our Lee University visit.
On our return trip to Nashville, we were driving through Tracy City and my sister-in-law yelled, “Stop! Go back! We have to go back.” She had spotted Dutch Maid Bakery and Cafe and said she had heard great things about it and wanted to go in. So, we did.
As they looked around, I began a conversation with the owner. I told her we had just been to the Lee College looking for the spiritual wakening, and she suddenly got excited. She said, “That’s what we all need!” She began to excitedly talk about Jesus. Soon the four of us were gathered around and she began to tell us about a terrible tragedy she had experienced and how God had brought her through it. She was full of joy. Eventually we all joined hands and prayed for her. Then she prayed for us as we all were thrilled and empowered by the presence of the risen Jesus.
I love seeing God in strangers! As a Jesus-freak college student I sold Black History books door to door. Numerous times a day as I was showing my books, the conversation would somehow shift to Jesus. I would close the books and interact with my brand-new brothers and/or sisters in Christ as we would pray and rejoice together. Check out my blog post: Experiencing God in Strangers.