In 1904, God sent a great revival to Wales. The church there was dead and lifeless and the culture marked by ungodliness. Within just a few months, more than 100,000 people were saved. Today’s equivalent would be 30 million Americans coming to Christ in six months. Police in Wales were left without anything to do. Taverns were closed for lack of business. Mules in the mines had to be retrained because the language of the miners was transformed by Christ.
Today, Christianity is at a low ebb in Wales. Less than 2 percent attend church. Mosques are cropping up throughout the region. Women wearing burkas are seen everywhere on the streets. The world has come to Wales, and the future looks very Muslim if something dramatic does not happen.
Last week, it was my privilege to visit Wales to see a group of GO Students from Oklahoma pour their lives into plowing and planting seeds of the Gospel in the hard soil. These students spent a week in intense training and ministry. According to Southern Baptist leaders there, our young people have advanced the work tremendously in the last two years.
London is the city where some of the greatest preachers and evangelists of history have served. It is the city of C. H. Spurgeon, who was probably one of the greatest preachers and pastors in Christian history. Today, London is a city of the world. Churches are empty. Every religion under the sun has found root there. The peoples of the world have come to London. The British people themselves are very hardened to the Gospel.
Into this environment GO Students plowed and planted the Gospel of Christ. They experienced persecution and rejection. Nonetheless, they demonstrated the love of Christ to the people around them. They witnessed and discussed the Gospel with people from countless backgrounds.
In Wales and London these young people learned how to use prayer as a powerful tool for tearing down the strongholds of darkness. I walked with them and watched as they touched people with love and prayed over hard soil as if to plow the hard ground for future seed planting and harvest.
This summer, 251 students left Falls Creek to “carry water to the desert.” Who are GO Students? They are young people who last year sat in the tabernacle and heard the call to take the Gospel to the hard places. The Spirit of God placed a call on their lives. They saved and sought support from friends, churches and associations. This year, they saw the call become reality through spending a week in London or Wales, serving as missionaries.
I asked our missionaries in the UK whether these students were making a difference. Without qualification or hesitation, every one of them stated that our students helped set their work ahead in very significant ways.
I wish you could have heard the prayers, singing and excitement expressed by our students. More than that, I wish you could have experienced their heartbreak at seeing in real life the darkness of a lost world. You would have been so blessed to hear and see these young people shining the light of Jesus into the darkness.
Falls Creek is not just about an experience in the Arbuckles—it is about fulfilling the calling on one’s life. GO Students is just one way these young people moved beyond sitting and listening to being on mission for Christ. It all began at Falls Creek.