Revive Kentucky—With God All Things are Possible
Story by Carina Constancio
Photos by Ken Myrick
It was a trip that should have been impossible. During the summer of COVID-19, mission trips were not supposed to take place, but Pastor Roger Stahlhut of Calvary Chapel Downey, CA, and the Revive America team from Downey still felt called to bring the Gospel to the small town of La Grange, KY. The entire Revive La Grange team of 30 from several states split into different groups to evangelize door-to-door in the streets and neighborhoods of La Grange. They used a spiritual survey and shared tracts, copies of The Jesus Film, and copies of the Gospel of John Despite some rejection, many in the town 20 miles northeast of Louisville were receptive to the Gospel and made decisions to follow Christ. Revive America is a non-profit based out of CC Downey that has brought evangelism teams to more than 30 cities over the years.
On the first afternoon of the mission, Roger’s wife, Cindy, noticed two well-dressed women about to enter a building. “I felt the Lord say, Cindy, go over and talk to them about Me. I responded that I didn’t think they wanted us to talk to them, but again He said, Go over there now. So, I did,” Cindy recalled. After she shared her testimony with them, both accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior right there on the sidewalk. Cindy added, “It was God who spoke to them. He had their hearts prepared and ready. All we did was take the step to do what God asked us to do, and that is to share the Gospel.”
Team member Quinn Jackson recalled meeting a couple from Spain with a dark countenance on their faces. Although the couple did not speak English, another Revive member who spoke Spanish shared God’s Word with them. Quinn watched the darkness lift from them. He related, “I didn’t know what was being said, but I knew God’s Spirit was there, and I began to weep as I knew salvation had come to that couple. The Spanish speaker in our group confirmed they wanted to receive the Lord—it was beautiful and glorious. How our King is so merciful to His people!”
When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus … said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:25-26
Doug Sanchez (right) shares the Gospel with a working man during the Revive La Grange, KY mission trip this summer.
Lost in Religion
The groups talked not only to unbelievers but to many with a deep-rooted “religiosity.” Roger noted that many of the people in La Grange consider themselves to be Christians, currently or at some point in their life, although they are not active in their faith or do not attend a church. “The town was very religious … but what about the relationship? When we fall into religiosity, we begin to leave our first love. The danger of that is that we begin to let other things get in the way,” he explained.
Even professing Christians seemed to be uncertain if they were going to heaven. Ariana Goulding encountered a woman named Ruby, who said she was a Christian and teaches her family about Jesus—but does not go to church after a bad experience. When Ariana informed Ruby about Calvary Chapel La Grange, Ruby seemed interested and said she would consider going to a service. Through God’s Word, prayer, and encouragement, the Revive La Grange team was able to bring Christians assurance of their salvation and eternal destination in heaven.
Deicy Quirez (left) lifts up team member Cindy Stahlhut in a prayer for healing. Cindy’s husband Pastor Roger Stahlhut led the team of 30 to La Grange.
“The theme for our mission was ‘Divine Appointments,’” said Manny Chacon.
Karen Ardon and her group passed a man sitting outside on his front porch and decided to ask him the questions on the spiritual survey. When they asked Charles, a Christian, if he needed prayer, he told them something he had not even told his family yet: He just discovered after a scan that he has a lump in his left lung. The group prayed for Charles to be healed and for the courage to tell his family. Afterwards, Charles felt encouraged, strengthened, and ready to talk to his family.
Ariana and her group talked to a man named John who seemed to have all the “right” answers at first, but questioned that Jesus is God and did not believe in the Trinity. Further conversation brought out that his son had died, his house had burned down, his wife had gambled away their money, and then they divorced. Interestingly, he had prayed the night before [to receive Christ] while watching a Christian program; Ariana’s group came to his door the next day, solidifying his decision to follow Christ and encouraging him in his new relationship with Jesus.
Taking a break from the heat and humidity after knocking on many doors, the team stopped to eat at a local restaurant. Pastor Roger was able to minister to one of the waiters, who decided to give his life to Jesus. The waiter kept coming back between customers to ask questions about his new faith. A short time later, the restaurant manager came to their table and gave his life to Jesus, too. The Revive La Grange team was able to pray in the middle of the restaurant and be a witness to many inside.
Shirley Metz and her evangelism partner met Patricia, an older woman in her 80s, and asked her questions from the spiritual survey. Patricia was hard of hearing, and masks made it impossible for her to watch their facial expressions and to read their lips. However, none of them gave up. Shirley marveled, “My heart rejoiced when Patricia agreed to pray to receive Jesus into her heart. The power of the Holy Spirit worked beyond her [difficulty] hearing, beyond words muffled behind a mask, and beyond physical weakness from standing so long. I look forward to seeing Patricia in heaven.”
Pastor Roger and Pastor Jeff Morris of Calvary Chapel La Grange baptize Xavier Hernandez in the name of Jesus.
“Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:38
The Revive La Grange team established a testimony of love both for each other and for those they ministered to, according to Calvary Chapel La Grange Senior Pastor Jeff Morris: “The laborers sent out from Calvary Chapel Downey … brought with them a boldness to share the Gospel despite a culture in chaos … in a state steeped in denominationalism. They brought with them a deep love of the Lord, a wonderful heart to worship Him, and an immovable commitment to fulfill the Great Commission. We thank our God for the [entire] team, their hearts, their joy in serving Him, and their commitment to present Jesus with boldness.”
Carina Constancio is a student at Colorado Christian University.
Pastor Roger reviews mission trip details with his team.
All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version.
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