Brownsville Revival and the Children’s Ministry (2)

Children’s ministry and youth ministry are particularly emerging forces in the revival wave that is taking place around the world. The 1995 revival of the Brownsville Church in Pensacola, Florida not only changed the lives of many adults, but lives of many children were also provoked by God, affecting tens of thousands of the parents. The children of the church not only know God, but also experienced the power of God. They were all trained and ready to undertake the revival and participate in this wave of revival, so that their spiritual potential can be executed and become ministers who are anointed and fully using their gifts, like an eleven-year-old leader, a young musician in a worship group, and a group of seventy five prayer groups of eight to twelve-year-old children. Vann Lane is the children pastor of the Brownsville Church. Because he is convinced that the relationship between children and God is like the relationship between adults and God, he is committed to training children to actively evangelize and participate in ministry. God has also accomplished many great ministries through the prayers of children.

A few years ago, God gave Pastor Vann Lane a vision: a mother pushed a little boy in a wheelchair and entered the children’s church. When he saw it, he realized that the little boy was missing a foot. Vann Lane then said to God: “Lord, I can’t do anything!” Then, in the vision, the little boy went out of his wheelchair. At this time, the Holy Spirit said: “He will see something bigger than this.” Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12 ).

Life testimony 

Sure enough, God did many wonderful things through the children’s ministry of Pastor Vann Lane. In the Brownsville church, there was a 12-year-old child named Jacob Green. God anointed him to pray for the sick and they were healed. There was a little girl who was legally blind who came to the meeting. Although she wore very thick glasses, her vision was still very blurry. Jacob prayed for her and she was completely healed. Although Jacob was little, he set a good Christian example. Every Sunday, Jacob would pray for the sick, and even the adult members of the General Assembly Hall will come to Jacob to pray for them. God was using him greatly.

Some people compare the Holy Spirit’s anointing to a pipe that flows. Many people was entrenched with sins such as: pain and sorrow, bitterness, unforgiveness, or the religious traditions that leads to death. These all cause the pipe to be corroded and clogged. When the Holy Spirit pours through it, what flows out are only drops. When we learn to face our sins and allow God to cleanse us, the pipe will be unblocked and the Holy Spirit can use us to bless others around us. Children are like clean pipes. Unlike adults who have a lot of unnecessary thoughts in their hearts, I believe that God will use them in this generation to become witnesses of life, mainly to stand in the midst of us again, to teach us the truth of God’s mighty power in the kingdom of God. Jesus said: “When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child, will never enter it” (Can be 10:14-15)

Touched by the Spirit of God

There was a little girl named Amy. She began to tremble in the early days of the revival. The person sitting next to her knew that God was touching her with great power and watched her raised her hands to Heaven, kneeling on the ground with both hands and arms trembling and shaking very strongly. After 15 minutes, the woman who took care of Amy bent down and asked her what happened, because in the natural it was impossible for a human being to last for so long. Amy continued to raise her hands to the Lord, and she replied breathlessly. “An angel holds me with his hand and shakes off all my sins!” Concerning the phenomenon of trembling and shaking by the Holy Spirit, we saw the same reaction when prophet Habakkuk, saw the glory of God. “I heard the voice of the Lord, the body is trembled, the lips are trembled, and the bones are decaying; I am trembled where I stand.” (HA 3:16) .

In John Wesley’s diary, there were several incidents of children being touched by God. On July 30, 1987, the diary said, “For the children’s afternoon meeting, I was holding a little hope that the meeting will do some good for them; I was only talking about some of the corruption of natural mam, many children  started to cry. About five or six children couldn’t control themselves and began to cry out loud to God. As I began to pray, they cry even louder. Soon, crying drowned out the sound of my prayers”. Another entry in the diary is on May 24, 1949 (Thursday), “The fifteen or sixteen people felt that they were shot by the arrow of God and fell to the ground. Several of them struggled and cried loudly, almost nonstop, it went on for several hours, and was still struggling, as if in the pain of death. I was watching, except for them, another little girl who was repenting deeply, and so was a boy of nine or ten years old. These two and several other people were brought into the pastor’s home. They were either lying there like a dead man, or had struggled to get up, but soon fell into another loud cry, so loud that we couldn’t even hear the loud chorus. Finally, there were a few who specifically asked me to pray for them. I did and everyone was quiet. But then the storm came again. After Mr. Hicks prayed, Mr. Barry took his turn, but the result was still the same. Some were quiet after being comforted, but the hearts of many other people were still deeply grieved”.

In addition, some girls in the church were lying on the ground, crying and trembling like babies. At that time, God was healing the painful memories of their past hurts and abuses. Many times, the power of God caused the people’s bodies to shake and tremble, removing things from them. He was cleansing and stripping away some of the sins in them, or the harmful sins that others have imposed on them. God was releasing them and setting them free. But this was from God and not through the imitation of man, through the years of revival, there was a price of prayer needed to be paid. When the children were travailing for the sinners, they bent down, weeping, to the point of falling to the ground, sometimes even screaming. Whenever there was such a kind of intercession in the meeting, many sinners would flock to the stage to repent. There were many sinners who couldn’t even stand as they confessed their sins. They had to rely on their brothers and sisters to carry them to the front.

The evangelist Stephen Hill said, “You thought it sounded terrible, but when you hear the crying in hell, that is when you will know what horror really is.” Galatians 4:19 says, “We are in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in us”. Sometimes, when God wants us to pray for someone, we will also personally feel the pain of that person. The selfless intercession in the church had produced many fruits. Charity James, who was only 14 years old when the revival started, would sing “Come! run to the mercy seat” every night during the altar call, then thousands of people would come forward and dedicate themselves to God. Many for the first time, and others were re-dedicating. The chains of darkness and hell were broken. The lives of countless Christians changed and they received new graces and empowerment from God.

Another revival of children in the Brownsville church is the worship team. The Bible mentions clapping, raising hands, dancing, etc. can be applied to children. The Father is looking for such simple worship . Yet a time is coming and now has come when the true worshipper will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is a spirit, those who worship Him must worship Him with spirit and with truth.”John 4: 23~24) There were several Sundays, and the children’s church was immersed in worship. Even when the adults came to pick them up to go home, the children would still not stop worshiping. Every child seemed to be in the presence of God, feeling and hearing Him.

Revival of youth ministry

Another thing worth noting is in the revival of the Brownsville Church was the impact of the lives of many young people. When the revival came, nothing was important any more. All the activities of the church were almost stopped. Young people were no longer involved in retreats, rafting camps, youth gatherings, or bowling. All they wanted was to be closer to God. They all had more hunger and thirst for the Word of God. No matter what they did, they were full of evangelical passion and love for the souls and would ask everyone : “Do you know God? I am not asking where you go to church, but if you really know God?” Because of the fierce evangelistic actions of the children in the church on campus, a strong spiritual battle was raging. Some people began to receive threatening letters and black letters from Satanists, threatening to kill them, but they still witness with boldness, knowing that God is going to do a greater work in school.

There were three unbelieving young people who came to the meeting. Two boys and one girl around 20 years old. One of the boys was walking with a cane because of a knee injury from a car accident on the highway. They came out in response to an invitation from someone who kept telling them about the gospel. But during the whole time, they were mocking the work of the Holy Spirit. It is very dangerous to blasphemy the Holy Spirit. At the end of the service, the minister prayed for the young people who were shaking, trembling, and falling. The three young people sat there mocking. At the end of the prayer time, the girl among the three had burst into tears and shouted at the preacher, “Sir! Sir! You won’t believe what happened!”. The minister asked, “What happened?”. She said, “You won’t believe it! You won’t believe it!” She said, “While we were laughing at you, God healed my friend’s knee!”.

Then the preacher ran over to see the 19 year old boy. A few minutes ago he was a stubborn and arrogant child, but now he cried like a little baby and was running up and down the stairs. Of course, these three young people dared to not believe in the Lord anymore. The people of this generation is eager to see the power of God and the young people want to truly experience the greatness of God.

Some question the revival of the Church of Brownsville asked “can the manifestations of the physical appearance really be from God?” However, God’s way is higher than our way. Just like a person putting a finger into an electrical socket, the human body will inevitably react. So strong is the power of God. When people meet with God, we will also have unusual reactions. It will be different depending upon the attitude of the people. For example, when someone meets God, they become very excited. Some people will tremble and shake to the ground. Some people will have an out-of-body experience and stand still in the same spot for hours, like an un-moving statue. According to Noah Webster’s dictionary published in 1982, the definition of “out-of-body experience” is: ecstasy, fascinated; the soul is out of the body, into the realm of heaven, or went into a vision. These experiences were just as special as those in the Old and New Testaments, especially the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel. Let me explain the following verses, when the Spirit of God comes to the individual, there will be different phenomena:

He received the revelation: “ In the land of the Chaldeans, by the river of Chebar, the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel the priest of the son of Busi; and the Spirit of the LORD ( original text means hand) fell upon him.” (Eze 1:3 , Eze 3:14, Eze: 3:22, Eze 8:1, Eze11:5, Eze 33:22, Eze 37:1, Eze 40:1) eight times, when the hand of God descended on the body of Ezekiel, I began to receive the message that God gave him. He gave him strength: He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and  I will speak to you. As He spoke the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.” (Eze 2:1-2, Ezek 3:24 ) twice, God specifically called Ezekiel with “Son of Man” (93 times) or “Watchman” (5 times); to remind him and the people to not forget that you are weak and small. The hope of their survival is in the hands of God.
into the vision: “The Spirit lifted me up and brought it into the inner court. Unexpectedly, the glory of the Lord is full of the temple.” (Ezek. 43:5, Eze. 3:12, Ezek. 3:14, Eze. 11:1, Eze 11:24) Five times, the Holy Spirit took Ezekiel to another place, so that he can see places that are invisible to the eyes of the people, such as Babylon, which is thousands of kilometers away. He was taken by the Holy Spirit to observe the work of the Israelites in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.

Therefore, it is a common phenomenon for people to have strong physical reactions during the revival. For example, there is a famous girl named Amy Elizabeth Ward. She was an annoying girl who bullied. Everyone knew that she was very bad nor does she deny it. However, God actually worked on her! God pulled her up from the ground when a minute ago she was still lying flat on the ground. She was pulled up by the invisible force with her feet almost off the ground, and then she fell down like a broken doll. (Later, Amy explained  when God pulled her up, she held on to the hand of God and when she fell, God told her that if she did not rely on Him or let go of His hand, she will fall painfully like that). She went up and down several times, accompanied by intense tremors until around three in the morning. After returning home, she continued to tremble for three days.

If you talk to Amy now, you will find that she is a completely different person from the past. Someone asked Amy Elizabeth what significance does the revival mean to her. She responded that the revival made her experience the presence of God and that revival is to know God and hear His voice from the heart. There are many people in the church who were originally gang members, drug addicts, prostitutes, and thieves. This was the most important thing, because of God they had new lives. No matter how God does it, either through shaking, trembling, or falling to the ground, as long as God is changing them and giving them new lives, then let God do it!

For many years, the church has been crying for God’s power to move. Although we have seen the evidence of these revivals, we only have a glimpse of God’s potential. As long as we pray with passion and urgency, “Lord, we want more!”, we will see more. More miracles and wonders happening among us. The glory of the kingdom of God will be filled more on the whole Earth! (Source: Christian Revival Story Collection)