We have been praying for the Next Great Awakening Concerts of Prayer event on November 10-12, 2021, at the Community of the Cross, Black Mountain, NC. It will be a prayer mountain prototype, “Concerts of Prayer,” to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which could lead to the next Great Awakening. This outpouring of the Holy Spirit that we have been praying in has already started to happen! The Spirit was poured out upon a group of Chinese students at the Community of the Cross for a Chinese Exousia event. Here is the report of what happened.
The Chinese Exousia event took place from November 2 through 5. In the most wonderful ways, the Holy Spirit was poured out at the Community of the Cross with a group of Chinese from New York and even online from the United States, Canada, Taiwan, and China.
This event was a gathering of the Double Grace Dunamis Theological Seminary in NY, students, and faculty. They drove the 13 hours from New York to the Community of the Cross. Other students in the seminary came from even further away, including Canada, Taiwan, China, and the USA, over the internet. It was just amazing!
A Vision to Equip Chinese Christians
Did you know that in 2019, Presbyterian-Reformed Ministries International’s (PRMI) Dunamis Institute, in partnership with Grace Christian Church in Flushing, New York, founded a seminary for equipping church leaders in the power of the Holy Spirit? This is the fulfillment of a 20-year-old vision that Rev. John Chang and I have had of providing a suitable context for equipping Christians from the entire Chinese world in empowered ministry. Initially, we intended to establish the seminary in China, but those plans were thwarted by the Communist Party’s oppression of the Church in China.
Double Grace Dunamis Seminary
The name in Chinese is 雙恩靈力事奉神學院 紐約, or in English, it is the “Double Grace Dunamis Seminary –New York.” Of course, putting together Dunamis with a seminary is a remarkable and rare combination. It represents putting together Word and Spirit and systematic Biblical Reformed theology with the power of the Holy Spirit.
The term “double grace” was originally based on the two congregations that helped found and funded the seminary. It does not suggest the “second blessing,” but the Chinese fondness for doubling words for emphasis conveys the idea that there is a lot of God’s grace!
This seminary model, which combines the Dunamis Project teaching on the Holy Spirit in an academic but practical setting, fits well the passion that the Chinese have for education and practical instruction. The core curriculum is the PRMI Dunamis Project. To the standard six units, a seventh has been added. This is Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit. All these materials are in Chinese and are taught by Chinese teachers. Materials are in manuals, and most are on video for global distribution. To these foundational courses are added other classes such as basic theology, how to read and study the bible, and do church planting. They are also planning advanced courses on deliverance and inner healing.
The Seminary Launch
We launched the Chinese Dunsmis Seminary using the facilities of Grace Christian Church in Flushing, New York, in 2019. The idea was to start small with the congregation members and build a core faculty with students from the NY area. (There is a considerable population from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China right in that area.) The practical and spiritual support base for the seminary was the congregation of Grace Christian Church under the leadership of Rev. Dr. John Chang.
Rev. Chang is a past president of the PRMI Board of Directors and the past President of the General Synod of the Reformed Church of America. Over the years, he has equipped the leadership team through multiple tracks of the PRMI Dunamis Project. Not only has this trained many leaders who are able to be the faculty of the Dunamis Seminary, but they have also founded five Chinese-speaking congregations in the New York City area. Those who have been through Dunamis also provide prayer teams and take part in evangelistic and teaching missions.
The Challenges of COVID
However, the Covid 19 Pandemic shut down those carefully laid plans of starting small with our own local people. We had to move the classes entirely online. Suddenly, not only have people from the local area been signing up, but somehow, without any advertising or web presence, word got around. We have students seeking admission to the Dunamis Seminary from Canada, Taiwan, and from all over China.
The hunger is so great among the Chinese for this equipping that combines sound biblical teaching, theological integrity, and the empowering work of the Holy Spirit that they were desperately seeking us out and begging to be admitted as students. It was just word of mouth for many, and for some, we have no idea how they found out about the seminary. It must have been the Holy Spirit!
Exousia at the Community of the Cross
Altogether, 22 faculty members and students made the 13-hour pilgrimage to the Community of the Cross. An additional 15 to 20 joined online via Zoom. Those in China and Taiwan had to stay up all night to take part. Their commitment was remarkable! They came hungry for Jesus and the equipping in the dance of cooperating with the Holy Spirit. And Jesus met them!
We provided the basic teaching on spiritual leadership, which is part of the Exousia program PRMI offers to equip leaders. We got off to a good start with significant manifestations of the Holy Spirit and the possibility of evil spirits taking place on the very first day. This galvanized everyone’s attention and focused the teaching. The next few days were just amazing as the Holy Spirit moved in our midst.
Many received and started to grow in applying the gifts of the Holy Spirit as well as anointing for different forms of ministry in the Kingdom of God. It was so exciting to watch people receive gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially prophecy and tongues. They were then most eager to join in praying that others would also receive these power tools for ministry.
In addition to systematic teaching and growing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, a lot of one-on-one and corporate prayer ministry for inner healing, physical healing, and deliverance took place. Jesus was moving in our midst, healing up His wounded servants and getting them ready to step into their next spheres of ministry. Many who came were spiritually dry or just lacking joy. The working of the Holy Spirit and their growing deeper relationships with Jesus was reflected in their radiant smiles. The joy on their faces was confirmed by the testimonies of God’s work and the wonderful worship that took place.
Community was Formed
It was so much fun! They really formed into a community. Several of the students had never met each other in person as they had just taken the courses online. The delicious smells of extraordinary Chinese cooking came from the kitchen at the log house at the Community of the Cross. I think there must have been a culinary competition going on! Each day the different work teams cooked their favorite dishes from the various parts of China that they had come from. It was amazing!
This Exousia event was critically important. The Chinese Dunamis Seminary faculty and students were integrated into the ethos and teaching of the stream of the Holy Spirit embodied at the Community of the Cross that goes back to R.A. Torrey and to Archer Torrey, his Grandson who was born in China. While Cindy and I and other PRMI leaders have been up to Flushing, New York, to participate in the Dunamis Tracks, it is a very different experience for them to come to this set apart holy place of the Community of the Cross. Here they could be more integrated into this movement of the Holy Spirit that is embodied through PRMI. This event was part of the Community of the Cross fulfilling its founding vision and purpose of being “A place of encounter with Jesus Christ for Prayer, Equipping and Sending.”
Visiting the PRMI Prayer House
It was especially exciting to me to watch their reactions to the Prayer House. They were blessed to see the progress being made and most exciting as it has been the people from Taiwan and China who, over the years, have given generously to buy the land and build the buildings at the Community of the Cross. They have given the Prayer House its own Chinese Name. The main prayer room is called “the Mu En Tang,” which means the immersion in God’s Grace. The big meeting room and the entire Prayer House have been christened in Chinese as “the Immersion in Grace Prayer Center.”
Preparing for the Next Great Awakening
Let me explain the big picture of how this meeting is so important and a part of our preparation for the Next Great Awakening. In the world today, there are great rivers of the Holy Spirit that are advancing the Kingdom and moving to fulfill the Great Commission in the Power of the Holy Spirit. One of these rivers is taking place among those people who have been influenced by Confucian culture. Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China are part of these rivers, but also included are Korea and Japan.
These are all people who use chopsticks. And this brings to a powerful vision that John Chang and I had while we were in South Korea. At a large gathering of Korean pastors who were in a prayer group, one of the Korean leaders said that he had a dream but did not know what it meant. He had seen a huge hand holding chopsticks. As we all prayed into it, John Chang suddenly stood up and said I have the interpretation and a word that may be from the Lord. And I did too! We had both been given a vision of thousands of hands all holding chopsticks.
The People who use Chopsticks
I had just seen the hands, but the Lord spoke through John Chang saying, that He was calling and anointing a vast army of people who use chopsticks to advance the Gospel to the ends of the earth and also back to Jerusalem along the old silk roads bringing Muslims to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
This connected with many visions that have already been received, starting with a move of the Holy Spirit in the 1920s in China that has become known as the Back to Jerusalem movement (傳回耶路撒冷運動). The word continued to come from John that the role of the PRMI Dunamis Fellowship International was to work for the John 17 unity between the different groups of people who all use chopsticks. We were called to work to heal the century’s old hatred and conflict between Koreans, Chinese and Japanese so that together we may take part in advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the Community of the Cross with the faculty and students of the Double Grace Seminary is part of this great movement of God which is mingling with the outpourings of the Holy Spirit that have been taking place in Korea and Japan. For the last fifty years, PRMI has played a strategic role in igniting these outpourings. As we look to the future, as we are faithful to Jesus Christ, we anticipate an even greater move of God that will be a part of the Next Great Awakening.