Alabama: New Hope Assembly of God in Opelika/Auburn is experiencing "New Testament revival," according to Pastor Jon E. Russell. The church has grown from 75 to more than 220 in the past 10 months, with a record attendance of 422 on Easter. According to Russell, the congregation is experiencing God's power in their lives, which in return is producing a passion for the lost. The church has seen more than 15 people saved in the past 3 weeks. "We truly believe this is our finest hour as the body of Christ builds a bridge of hope connecting a dying humanity to a living Savior," says Pastor Russell. Russell says that God has renewed a sense of urgency within the congregation for the lostness of mankind, as well as a sense of unity with the local body. New Hope has a passion for God and compassion for people that is making the difference.
Illinois: Jason and Nancy Damkoehler pioneered a Chi Alpha campus ministry at Illinois State University 8 years ago. They work as volunteer campus pastors while maintaining full-time secular jobs. They report that a Chi Alpha member who is on the football team has been leading a Bible study for football players. By the end of the fall 1999 semester, 37 football players had given their lives to the Lord. In addition, 2 janitors, 25 students and 7 career-age young adults have made salvation decisions through the witness of students involved with Chi Alpha. "Last spring," Jason says, "we had a 'True Love Waits' Valentine's Day outreach on campus. By divine intervention, God strategically located our Student Center outreach table where we were handing out candy and tracts next to the Student Health Services table where they were handing out condoms. As our students were witnessing to students at the other table, the director of SHS approached the table and listened in. He was so impressed that he invited me and our evangelism coordinator, Beth Wagner, to his office to talk more about why we believe in abstinence. During that conversation, we had opportunity to share Christ with this individual. Though he didn't receive Christ, he was so moved that he invited Beth to speak on abstinence to his key student leaders and again at ISU Student Preview Week, which involves every incoming freshman!"