Change the City, Change the World – Let’s Change St. Louis Returns Pt. 1
I grew up in a little suburb outside of St. Louis. A small community surrounded by other small but historically old neighborhoods just outside city limits. After high school, I moved to larger more populated cities further away from the St. Louis city center. When I found Jesus at 29 years old, I heard Him ask me if I would move back to the area where I grew up.
I wondered why God would want me to move back to a place that seemed so tiny and insignificant. When I asked God, I saw dreams of the city burning but then restored. I saw buildings that were once vacant sprawling with life and the grand visions of the entrepreneur business owners within.
I shared these visions and others like them with my wife, Megan, prior to our marriage. I told her that God wanted me to move back to the area where I grew up and that I wanted to step out in faith and go. Megan was from another part of town nearly thirty minutes from where I was talking about. She had never heard of where I wanted to take her. I was essentially asking her to move away from her family and start a life in another part of town based on what I was hearing from God.
Megan, who has always been my battery mate when catching my visions, trusted that God was going to lead us in the right direction. In August of 2014, we purchased a home in the neighborhood I grew up in. A month before we would be married and she would move in herself. The week I moved in, Michael Brown was shot and killed by Darren Wilson – the location of which was about two miles from my new house.
God sent me to a place that would soon be surrounded by unrest, riots and race tension. A place that while little and seemingly insignificant was now the talk of the national news media. The eyes of the world had turned towards St. Louis. The first part of my earlier dreams started to unfold in front of my eyes and I quickly started to understand why God wanted me to come back. Now the question would become, why?
I remember being very excited when the national ministries started to come to town, I thought that their presence would provoke the unsaved to find Christ. I had faith that the Ferguson unrest would quickly become an epicenter for the love of Christ and result in an extremely high number of salvations, signs and wonders. While they did help in the short term, my faith went unfulfilled as I saw all the national ministries pack up and go back home after the heat of the moment died down.
I struggled in my understanding of what was happening to restore the city of St. Louis. After all, that was the second part of my dream, and if God could predict the destruction of a place that seemed unlikely wouldn’t the just as unlikely restoration of that same place also happen. What was taking so long? If the national ministries, their big budgets and thousands of volunteers weren’t having a lasting effect, what would?
My dreams continued. I saw a sweeping cloud of the Holy Spirit over the city. A rain that would pour the living water of Christ over everyone and everything. I had a vision of 20,000 souls won for Christ in one day. My faith reignited to believe something was about to happen. I was on fire with purpose when my ministry, Testimony House, held our first St. Louis revival event in 2015, believing it could be one spark, of many, that would precede a massive change of the spiritual temperature and move of God in our city. The revival was great, souls were won, but the fire didn’t stay lit.
Tomorrow, in part two of this essay, I will share why I think the fire went out, share my attempts to rekindle it and tell you why I think now is the time for St. Louis to the lamplight on the hill.
How would you like to see St. Louis changed? Share your comments below.
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