Many came to faith in Christ through Revive Anchorage, a week-long outreach held in Alaska.
Story by Carina Constancio
Alaska is known as America’s Last Frontier— beautiful, lush greenery, blanketing snow-capped mountains spanning the landscape for miles. On the Southern edge of the peninsula, the Revive Anchorage Team, led by Pastor Roger Stahlhut of Calvary Chapel Downey, CA, gathered. Men and women arrived from Calvary Chapels across the country: Oregon, North Dakota, California, and as far as Virginia. Over the course of the week they distributed 2,000 Gospel tracts in Anchorage, shared the Gospel personally with 240 individuals, and witnessed 20 people come to faith in Christ.
A Heart for Revival
The vision for Revive Anchorage came to Pastor Roger through Psalm 11:3 which asks, If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? “I responded to the Lord, ‘Rebuild the foundations,’” recalled Roger, “and that was the driving force of going to Alaska.” An annual outreach, Revive shares Christ in a different location each year. Pastor Roger explained, “The heart is always the same, to see God revive His church, be a support for a local Calvary, and bring forth the Gospel.”
Once in Alaska, Roger taught the group how to share their testimonies and use a ‘spiritual community survey’ as an evangelism tool—asking people questions about their beliefs in order to share Jesus. They also assembled packets to leave on people’s doorknobs: flyers, invitations, and a Gospel message.
During one outing, a team member encountered a young boy, telling him, “We’ve come to share Jesus.” The boy responded that he had everything he needed and did not want God. When the team member asked him, “When you die, where will you go?” he replied, “I will go to the ground and become a cat or a dog.” A Revive member sensed the boy’s sorrow and said, “I can see you have everything, but I can see that you are empty inside. You need Jesus.” The boy was willing to listen, and after hearing the Gospel he prayed to receive Christ.
Later in the week, the team met a young lady named Diana. Half of her family had been urging her to become a Jehovah’s Witness, while the other half of were Christians praying for her salvation. Roger shared the Gospel with Diana; she gave her life to the Lord, and came to the church service that night.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end and with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints– and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel… that in it I may speak boldly as I ought speak.
As individual teams shared with the community, a group stayed behind to pray that people would be open to the Gospel and for Revive members to be filled with the Holy Spirit. They contacted those who responded to the Gospel by phone, inviting them to the evening service. Pastor Roger’s wife, Cindy Stahlhut, sensed the power of prayer softening people’s hearts. “We went into a complex and there were two ladies that we [talked] to, and they listened right away and opened their hearts to Jesus,” she recalled, “That’s when it was confirmed to me how important prayer is.”
At the end of the week the Revive Team hosted a park outreach. They set up tables, prepared food, sang worship songs, and shared their testimonies with anyone who came by. A woman from Calvary Chapel Anchorage put on a magic show, drawing people in to hear the Gospel.
The team was given a large water trough in the bed of a pickup truck for baptisms. After receiving the Gospel message earlier in the week, a man named Xavier came to park to be baptized, making a public confession of faith in Christ. The youngest of the team members, Will Walworth, a high school student from Calvary Chapel Downey, also was baptized. He remarked, “An opportunity like this gives you insight … [about] what real Christians are like; they love [each other]. [It] was a great experience, getting out and making bonds [with people] and sharing Jesus.”
Many found spiritual revival and boldness in sharing the Gospel through the trip. As Joseph Gan said, “The reason I went [on Revive Alaska] was I needed refreshing. I love the people I [was able] to speak with and work with.” Siamlu Cox shared, “My favorite part [of Revive] was being able to take the Gospel right to people’s door. When you’re able to tell someone about Jesus at their doorstep it’s great.”
The final day, team members gathered at a Denny’s Restaurant for breakfast. Pastor Dave Hansen of Calvary Chapel Louisa, VA, suggested they have communion. The team broke out in worship to the Lord, thankful for the hundreds of lives impacted. Roger concluded, “We glorified God; we do this [communion] in remembrance of Him and all that He has done for us, and as I look back on what He did there in Alaska for us as a team—His team—it was just beautiful.”