Evangelistic outpouring in Reading
In just over three weeks of mission more than 1,000 people have prayed to give or rededicate their lives to Christ
In a statement on 9 June documenting the dramatic recent events, Baptist minister Yinka Oyekan, of The Gate (formerly Reading Community Church) said more than 700 people had prayed to give or rededicate their lives to Christ in the first 10 days of a mission outreach. This has now swelled to more than 1,200.
Yinka explained that the church had been working with evangelist Tommie Zito on an outreach called Awakening in the UK - Encounter At The Gate. Starting on 29 May, the church has been hosting outreach training and prayer gatherings morning and evening. In between members have been hitting the streets to pray with people and share the gospel.
Since then Yinka has regularly been updating his Facebook page with news of dozens of encounters and new converts.
'It is not like anything I have ever seen or experienced before,' he explained. He and Tommie have called this move “The Turning.”
In a more recent post (20 June), Yinka speaks of bringing “The Turning” to new towns and cities.
I am beginning to believe that this current outpouring, "The Turning", could be God's own cultural revolution, If we steward this well, I believe that we could see over 1,000,000 people prayed for on our streets with many giving their lives to Christ. Conservatively if we mobilise to bring this outpouring to the over 1000 cities and large Towns (and hopefully villages) in the UK we will change the consciousness of the nation from being unsure about Christianity to being open, supportive and embracing if it. It will affect our moral values as a nation, and bring a fire into thousands of churches.
The activity was weclomed by Lynn Green, General Secretary of our Baptist Union, who was invited to The Gate on 12 June. She explained the word she had received from God that led to Beacons of Prayer, and how she sensed that He would first move in Reading. This in turn led Lynn to meeting up with Yinka around 12 months ago. Her message to the congregation can be viewed here.
In his first statement, Yinka explains that 15 years ago he was given a prophetic dream from the Lord about revival. 'I saw a river flowing like a waterfall onto the street from the roof the church building we occupied at the time, above this cascading river was the cross.' Leaders in Reading have been meeting every week to prayer for revival.
In recent weeks he has had what he 'can only describe as the manifestation of that lucid dream - I began to see angels everywhere.'
Following Tommie's arrival, all he was hoping for was 'cultural shift in the church', and maybe 10 people added to the church. However, 'I did not see what was coming', he continued. 'We are finding that hundreds of people are happy to pray to give their lives to Christ on the streets of Reading.'
He writes that it could lead to 'full blown revival' in Reading. Other pastors in the town have begun to get involved.
Yinka believes what's happening in Reading is transferable, as it's 'not a technique, it is not a program, it is not a church growth plan but something Holy from the Lord.'
It is simply the empowering of ordinary believers to be able to share the gospel on the streets and that is where the power to transform our cities lies. If we will humble ourselves, not try and control it and allow the Holy Spirit to flow we will see incredible things on the streets of every city in this nation.
Giving 'huge and eternal thanks' to Jesus, he ends by inviting people to contact him via Facebook should they want to bring Tommie and his team to their city later on in the year. He believes there will be 'a grass roots movement of the Holy Spirit. It is not about superstars it is about ordinary people filled with an extraordinary God.'
"Unprecedented" openness to the gospel reported in Reading as 1,200 make commitments to Christ (Premier)