Photos submitted by Trinity students
THE INTERESTING MYSTERY
“I find it an interesting mystery,” stated Shuji Go (MDiv’ 26) “that even though we live in a wonderful time when God’s presence is no longer confined to a specific place like the temple in Jerusalem, still, it is undeniable from history that sometimes God pours out His presence especially powerfully in certain locations.”
On February 8, a regularly scheduled chapel at the small Asbury University transformed into a two week long revival when the students continued worshiping past the planned time and all the way into the night. As the news spread nationwide, encouragers and skeptics alike flocked to campus to see it for themselves.
As the revival at Asbury University continued on, twenty-seven students at Trinity felt called to go and participate. They made plans to drive down together to Wilmore, Kentucky, and approached the experience with a mix of excitement and caution.
“Through reading about various revivals in the past, I learned that oftentimes revivals spread when people visit from different areas, get touched by the Spirit and go back to their places,” explained Shuji. “So, I was very excited that a pretty big number of students ended up going down to Asbury!”
While planning their trip, Trinity students noted the need for support on their own campus, but they knew they would best be able to give back to their community after experiencing the revival, and so they set off faithfully. “In the darkness, light is visible,” explained Kaz Okaya (MDiv ’23), “In the midst of trouble, the voice of the Lord will be heard.”
“Even though we live in a wonderful time when God’s presence is no longer confined. . . it is undeniable from history that sometimes God pours out His presence especially powerfully in certain locations.”
When Trinity students made it to the initial location of the revival, they were amazed to see the thousands gathered there. Worship had spilled from the chapel onto the lawn and into local churches.
Kaz decided to attend a service at the First United Methodist Church, which is located near the University and is the church home of many of the students. “The first thing I heard when I stepped foot into the chapel was an Asbury University professor’s earnest prayer.” This prayer expressed gratitude for God sending so many to Asbury, while also requesting that he keep the Asbury students safe and give them peace of mind. “May you accept the complexity of what is happening right now without hesitation,” the professor added, “and make each decision with love, while faithful in your work.”
This experience gave Kaz a unique perspective on the revival. As he listened to the first sermon, he heard an Asbury student explain,”We’re witnessing the mountain top experience right now. We are seeing a vision that is indescribable and unexplainable, just like what Peter experienced on the Mount of Transfiguration.”
“It was a wonderful sermon,” Kaz explained, adding that he realized in the end that “the ‘mountain experience’ given to us is not to escape reality, but to lead us to the path of bearing the cross of Jesus Christ.”
Exchange student Nadine Betz also attended some of the revival, and stated that “God is here in a sweet, tender, moving way.” Having only spent three months in the United States, Nadine was extremely moved by the opportunities that she has found. “It was a gift to be here and experience God’s presence; it’s so sweet and strengthening.”
Nadine also believes that God can continue revival in our personal lives and wherever we go, whether that will be “in our rooms, praying on our knees, in our little apartment, in the woods, in our church, in the streets. . . Jesus is here.”
Similarly, Shuji noted that “worshiping at Asbury made it experientially clear to me that what touches and moves hearts towards Christ is really only God’s own hand and nothing else.” While the messages he heard were good, Shuji realized that their strength did not just come from the words being spoken, but from how the Holy Spirit was working there.
“It was a gift to be here and experience God’s presence; it’s so sweet and strengthening.”
SUPPORTING TRINITY STUDENTS
Back on Trinity’s campus, students continue to gather together to provide support and encouragement through events such as the weekly prayer gatherings. For the past week, TEDS students have been gathering in Waybright for open worship and continually offering prayer for those around them. Their experience at Asbury was extremely meaningful, and the hope that they received there has spread to the richly gospel-centered community at Trinity.
“God sent me back with the peace of the spirit that surpasses all understanding,” stated Daniel Owen (MDiv ’26) “and I felt very grounded and renewed through this trip and by worshiping as a community.”
“I would like to always remember this blessed experience,” Shuji said. While not neglecting other aspects of ministry, he realized that “the top priority should be earnestly seeking the Lord in prayer, asking Him to pour out His Spirit and do His mighty work.”
Reviah Kim (Psychology ‘22 and MATS ‘25) explained that while she was so glad to have gone to Asbury, returning to Trinity’s campus reminded her of the strong history and faithfulness of our staff, students, faculty and alumni as they have consistently lifted the Trinity community in prayer throughout the years.
We are so thankful for the many ways in which these Trinity students have supported each other and the community here as well as their eagerness to worship and have fellowship with the broader Church.