RESTORE, A New England Convocation took place on Oct. 12, 2016.
About 1,000 people gathered from the 6 New England states and around the nation on the final day of 10 Days.
You can watch the full video, recorded by Brandt Gillespie and PrayTV. RESTORE video Please see a brief written summary below.
On Oct. 12, I was up early and feeling a surprising surge of energy, I headed to the Northfield Campus. The campus, founded by DL Moody and famous for its conferences, its girl’s school, and as the birthplace of the Student Volunteer Movement, has been mostly empty since 2005. The current ownership, the National Christian Foundation, had opened the doors and allowed us to “pitch a tent” for 5 days of 24/7 worship and prayer and then to use the Auditorium on October 12 to host a culminating gathering.
As I arrived, strains of sweet worship greeted me. The Jesus Tent, brought with a large team led by Michael Thornton from North Carolina, had been humming round the clock for four days at that point. The four days had been power-packed—the spiritual atmosphere had been prepared. We were getting ready for about 1,000 people from around New England to join us. First things first: We cleaned the bathrooms! Thankfully, several good friends had come early to “help with whatever was needed.”
Provision and Generosity
As Roberto Miranda and I discussed the flow of the day, we marveled at how God had provided for everything we needed without us having to ask. We had been asking God to make it clear to us if we should take an offering on that day—since everything we needed had been paid for to within $10 of our need, we decided that was our sign and we didn’t take an offering.
So many of God’s people had given so much without seeking anything in return. When I thanked them, they all told me the same thing, “it is an honor to serve.” People were acting like Jesus, laying down their lives, serving at their own expense because “Jesus is worthy”. If you’ve never been in an environment like that before, I can tell you, it’s not something you want to miss. This is the way to live life and these are the people you want surrounding you.
That morning, people began to arrive from all over New England and even New York. Workshops, campus tours, and the worship tent were all well-attended. Chef Bob Rynning was feeding hundreds of people for free at what felt like a New England church family reunion. I bounced around to the different areas of the event, from parking, to the Auditorium set-up, to the food line. Everywhere I turned, were the smiling faces of old friends, often people that I hadn’t seen in years. Even a couple that had come by earlier in the week to complain about the noise had arrived to say….”thank you.” The day was delightful and sunny with the finest colors of a New England fall on full display. God was smiling on us in every way!
My good friend Christ (rhymes with “wrist”) Otto had built a full-scale model of the Ark of the Covenant that we had set-up under the tent. As a prophetic act, they marched the Ark from the tent and into the Moody Auditorium, stopping every six steps to declare “Holy, Holy, Holy”. As the Ark entered, the auditorium became a sanctuary and a holy hush fell on the place for several minutes.
About 800 gathered in the Auditorium as Zenzo Matoga led us in spirited worship. We heard reports on God’s activity in each New England state, reminding ourselves that in a region thought by many to be spiritually “hard”, there’s actually an incredible amount of spiritual life happening. Roberto Miranda gave a message of hope in God even as politics and culture seem in many ways to be headed towards a “nervous breakdown”. We concluded by taking communion together, and then by a corporate blessing with all the pastors and other ministers on the stage together!
As we concluded and said our goodbyes, a young man, who looked like a teenager, came up to me and boldly offered what he sensed from the Lord during the event. To paraphrase: “Something was opened today, something started today, but I saw that it’s not going to end or be interrupted. It’s going to keep going. This is just the beginning of God’s presence moving on this campus.” I appreciated the boldness of the young man, and the word. Amen, let it be Lord!
Local Newspaper Article on Restore
October 12, 2016
New England Convocation: 3 - 6:30 PM - worship, prayer, and reports from around New England with worship by Zenzo Matoga, founder of United Night of Worship.
Historic Campus Tours: 11 am, noon, 1 pm
Historic Campus Tours will meet first at the Round Top grave site. Tours will be led by Paul Jehle, Historian & Executive Director, Plymouth Rock Foundation, www.plymrock.org.
Gathering at the Tent
11-2:45 pm - Join us here for ongoing worship and prayer. Program schedules and other information, such as local meal opportunities, will also be available at the large tent near the Auditorium.
11-11:45 pm Emmanuel Haqq –
"C.S. Lewis: Chiefly on Prayer"
Using Lewis’s book, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, and other meditations on prayer, we will explore the life-changing role of prayer for revival among God’s people. (CSL Study Center)
12-12:45 pm Emmitt Mitchell –
“The Moody Center: Vision and Hope”
With an overarching goal of preserving D. L. Moody’s legacy, The Moody Center is seeking to offer ways for visitors to the campus to learn more about Moody. Come and hear more about the vision and goals of the Center and the collaboration with National Christian Foundation in the use of part of the Northfield campus. (Hibbard)
1 – 1:45 pm Christopher Lucey -
“PRIME: Innovative Missions (Moody and Today)”
Prayer, Research, Innovation, Media and Engagement – Come discover how this framework can help release Holy Spirit-inspired strategies, enabling anyone to contribute in one (or more) of these areas in a unified effort to help support ministry to the unreached.
2-2:45 pm Tom Savastano –
“Sustaining Revival: As Moody Did”
Revival historian J. Edwin Orr characterized the latter half of the 19th century as 'a single period of revival and awakening, followed by an expansion of the churches scarcely paralleled in history.' We will examine ways in which D. L. Moody influenced this revival and how they may apply to sustaining revival today. (Hibbard)
The C.S. Lewis Study Center
Located at the corner of Moody and Main Streets, the Study Center will be open from 10 am to 3 pm, offering a self-guided exploration of the historical impact of the Northfield campus and work on Christianity in America. Specific events are as follows:
10-11:00 am Pre-event Coffee & Donuts - meet and greet
11–11:45 pm Emmanuel Haqq – workshop "C.S. Lewis: Chiefly on Prayer"
1:00 pm Guided Study Center Tour
2–2:45 pm Peter Weis, Archivist for Northfield Mount Hermon-informal Q&A regarding historical display and evangelist's Bibles
We wish to thank all who have had a part in providing this context in which to worship and pray. We particularly thank National Christian Foundation for opening the campus for this gathering.