Kathleen Durham spoke to Madison, a senior at Asbury University, about her experience of the revival that started after a morning chapel service on the 8th February 2023
Going to chapel is part of my normal schedule, so on February 8th, I got up, got my coffee and went to chapel. It is common for me to check-out during the service, and I definitely did that day. I went to my classes, but a couple of hours later we heard singing above us. Our classroom was below Hughes Auditorium where we have chapel.
After my class I went to see what was going on, and there were so many people in the chapel, hands in the air, praising God, crying. They had never left after the morning service. It was the love of God shown to me. I was standing with a friend in the doorway of the chapel, and I turned to him and said, ‘I don’t know what this is, but I want it.’
Clearly everyone there was in the present moment, and I had not been present for the last couple of months. It was the first thing that felt real to me in a while. I am a sceptic, and I have to intellectually believe, but in that moment I felt there was something to this, and I needed to pay attention.
Why do you think this is happening?
I don’t know, but what I do know is that people have been praying for this constantly. I have heard of people praying for decades for revival here.
What do you hope will be short and long term impact will be?
I hope that people approach a relationship with God with more authenticity. When you go to a Christian institution, you think of all the rules, and all the chapel services you need to go to. That doesn’t make you a Christian or make your faith stronger. This outpouring has opened up a conversation with Christianity that is more profound that what people started with. People had a rigid approach to Christianity before, and this outpouring has broken the walls down.
I would say, whether you believe it or not, God is working!
What would you say to a cynic?
I would say, whether you believe it or not, God is working! It’s been so cool to see all the people coming from overseas and different states of America. I got the privilege of interviewing random people for Asbury’s Ambassador magazine and the stories were awesome. Everyone was just so joyous. It was so uplifting and encouraging to walk out and be surrounded by a huge community of love and like-minded people.
Can you share your most interesting conversation you had?
I walked up to this family and I said, ‘Where are you guys from?’ They said they had booked to come a year before as their daughter was a prospective student, and she was looking at Asbury.
I said, ‘Well, this is the perfect time to have a tour and visit the University!’ I remember when I toured the university, the only reason that I came to Asbury was after I went into Hughes chapel. I never felt like I belonged anywhere, but being in Hughes moved me to tears, and that’s abnormal for me. I didn’t have a plan in life, and I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere, until I stepped into Hughes chapel. That’s why I came.
Just because Asbury was chosen by God to start this awakening, doesn’t mean that Asbury is any greater than any other place or any more capable.
Clearly, people have been flocking to Asbury. But everyone’s watching from around the world. What would you say to them?
Just because Asbury was chosen by God to start this awakening, doesn’t mean that Asbury is any greater than any other place or any more capable. I think, that revival or an awakening or outpouring, whatever they’re calling it can happen easily anywhere. It’s just about getting your heart right, and praying for it.
I’d say, take this as an encouragement that God is still present, and he’s still working. Take it and run with it. The God of all eternity is here. And he’s moving people, and he’s encouraging people. It’s an act of God and you kind of have to believe for the rest of your life after being part of this.