Love Arkansas Massive Gathering

 

On August 29, Circuit Riders will partner with Dr. Nabeel Qureshi of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, and others in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to host a large outdoor evangelistic event called Love Arkansas: The Lift Off. This event will feature music from the Circuit Riders, a Gospel presentation from Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, and hopefully a whole lot of people giving their lives to Jesus and getting plugged into local churches and campus ministries!

On Sunday, as promised, I will release Part 3 of my spring recap. You will have to check it out as it is riddled with incredible testimonies of what God did on tour with us back in April. However, I felt so much joy and excitement on what I’ve been able to help create this August that I had to share it now! 🙂 Let me tell you about Love Arkansas.

Love Arkansas

While on tour in Arkansas at the beginning of March, my friend Zach and I met a college ua-greektheatreleader named Grant. Grant is my age, has an MBA, and leads one of the college groups at the University of Arkansas through a local church. We connected immediately and started dreaming about what we could do at the University of Arkansas together. It took one day to realize the Lord was speaking about a particular place on campus called the Greek Theatre. The Greek Theatre can hold about 2,000 people, is perfectly placed near the center of campus, and is surrounded by dorms. Grant told us he already booked one of Ravi Zacharias’ ministry team evangelists named Nabeel Qureshi to come in August. We told him we would bring a Circuit Rider worship team, help with media and student gathering, and do the event together. The dream quickly became a reality and we have an event called Love Arkansas planned for Monday, August 29th at the Greek Theatre.

We believe God is going to gather anywhere from 1,000 – 2,500 people for this event and that many souls will be saved. A group last year did a similar back-to-school event that drew over 2,000 people! Already, three of the largest college ministries in town are jumping fully on board to see this event happen. It will be simple. The night will kick off with worship from the Circuit Riders, a Gospel presentation and alter call from Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, and a call to love the campus together at the end. We will also have teams of students ready to pray for students and plug them into Christian ministries on campus after they give their lives to Jesus.

Zach and I will be flying out with a team the week before the event starts to lead student marketing teams in spreading the word on campus. It will cost our team about $3,500 in travel to make this event happen. 4 of us are going to lead the event and student teams and then 5 band members will be flying out for the event. The 4 of us who are leading are going on our own dime. For the band members, we are trying to raise money to cover their costs so they can make it out. If Love Arkansas stirs your heart and you feel led by the Lord to give towards our team’s travel costs, feel free to give by clicking on this link and mentioning in the memo that this is supposed to go specifically to Love Arkansas: Giving Link.

If you would like to hear more about this event, feel free to contact me at miles.pennell@yahoo.com or give me a call. I’m particularly excited about this event because this is the first opportunity I’ve had to plan an event of this magnitude along with my friends Zach and Grant. As always, thank you for your financial support, prayers, and encouragement. Let’s introduce some people to Jesus together!

Miles

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Spring Recap (Part 2) – Azusa Now

After finishing the Colorado tour at the beginning of March, we returned home to California. For the following month, we prepared for the iconic Azusa Now gathering. As Circuit Riders, we planned 10 days of outreach leading up to Azusa Now that included street evangelism every day, weekend outreaches at 4 city parks across LA, and three nights of glory-filled worship at South Lawn as pre-rallies for the stadium.

IMG_0689I was personally involved in planning and running an outreach at a park in Hollywood where we partnered with local churches Expression 58 and Radiance House Of Prayer. After walking throughout Hollywood for 4 days and inviting people to come, we converged at the park for live music, free tacos, and a Gospel message. The event was great as we were able to love on the community, involve local churches, and build relationships with people we otherwise never would have met. I will actually be meeting up with a kid who doesn’t know Jesus this next week for lunch who I met at Ghirardelli during our time in Hollywood. After finishing our outreaches, we awoke before the break of dawn to head to the stadium for Azusa Now.

Azusa Now was a gathering spearheaded by Lou Engle and The Call ministry. On April 9, the 110th anniversary of the Azusa Street Revival, 65,000 – 70,000 believers gathered in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (where the USC Trojans football team plays) to worship God, seek him in prayer, and cry out for another revival to impact our nation. The event lasted fifteen and a half hours and it rained lightly for much of the day. Despite the elements, many in attendance stood for most of the day and continued to seek God together. To see clips of this event, go to YouTube and type in “Azusa Now” to see some of the video that was shown live on GodTV.

 

In addition to pursuing both religious and racial reconciliation during the event, one of the defining moments of the event was when we began to pursue physical healing. From the stage, several different leaders across the body of Christ began to call out physical ailments they believed people were experiencing in the crowd. One after another, people began to experience healing from Jesus. These prayers must have lasted between an hour or two until eventually one of the leaders stood up and asked anyone in the crowd who had experienced a physical healing in their body to wave both arms above their head. I turned around and panned the stadium view to see thousands of people waiving both arms in the air! It was shocking to see how many people Jesus physically healed. This experience was a defining moment for me and was something that dramatically shifted our Carry The Love tour as we left three days later to drive up to Montana. Stay tuned for part 3 of my spring recap to hear about the incredible salvations, healings, and other miraculous signs that God did during our tour through Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Eastern Oregon! As always, thank you all so much for your financial support and prayers! I can’t do any of this without you.

Spring Highlights (Part 1)

Hi friends! So much has happened this spring that it is difficult to recap. I’ll try to highlight a few different events and moments that have really defined one of the most exciting seasons of my life. This will only be part 1 as I will post again soon with more!

Mid-February through early-March – Colorado Tour

For three weeks, I helped lead the first Circuit Rider team to ever go to colleges in Colorado. We hosted events at 7 colleges, ran a training weekend, and connected with churches and families across the state. 10+ people got saved during the tour, dozens more were encouraged and lit on fire for Jesus, and even new prayer movements and unity gatherings were started on campuses.

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Team Photo

Colorado was personally a time of stretching and quick growth. It was my first time leading a team to a new region as well as my first time preaching on a frequent basis. I had to rely on God and our team more than ever before. There were a couple nights where I only had an hour or less to really get before God in prayer about what to speak that night. However, each time ended up being incredible and God always moved in the room. In the midst of this, I really learned how capable God is of using us in the midst of weakness. He never let me (or us) down and always gave me words to speak even when I had little time for preparation.

Metro State

One of my favorite nights of this tour was our first tour stop in the Denver area: Metro State. Metro State gathered about 150 people, including all of YWAM Denver joining us. I preached on the importance of living a first commandment lifestyle and pursuing “Just Jesus” in our lives as our primary goal. The room responded with heartfelt worship and a desire to continue to reach others with the love of Jesus.

About two weeks after this event, I heard a great report from my friend Everett who organized the event. He said that he invited a kid he knew who was very apathetic. Everett said he was one of the most apathetic kids he had ever met and didn’t really expect him to come. However, this kid showed up and encountered Jesus in such a strong way that he went back home a different man. The next time he was in a group with other Christians, rather than being the disinterested kid, he actually stood up and began making declarations of who God was and what he wanted to do. This kid went from apathy to becoming a bold leader overnight!

CSU Pueblo

At Colorado State University Pueblo, I preached a message on disruptive faith. This is the kind of faith like Noah had that continues to believe God and step out in belief even when circumstances don’t indicate that anything will happen. Noah spent about 100 years building an ark during a time when it never rained. Another case of disruptive faith is the story of Blind Bartimaeus, who cried out repeatedly “son of David, have mercy on me!” Though told to be silent, he cried out all the more and Jesus answered his plea to receive his sight.

In response to the message, 40-50 students individually asked the Lord what step of disruptive faith he wanted them to take in the following week. One student felt to share Jesus with his coworkers, another actually felt to finally obey the Lord and move to Tennessee. Several students banded together and agreed to begin praying for their campus every other week as well as host a worship night once a month. Now, some of these students will be joining us for 21 Project before returning to CSU Pueblo in the fall to keep pursuing the lost at their campus.

In all, our first tour in Colorado was a major success as we built relationships all across the state and really began to see the beginning formations of a salvation movement on the colleges in the state. We’ll be returning there again in the fall to continue pursuing what the Lord has for the state.

Listen to a Sermon

If you are interested in listening to a message I preached at UCONN, follow this link to listen to it on SoundCloud. This was the first message I preached on tour this spring and is actually only about 30 minutes long. This recording ends by two girls running to the front to give their lives to Jesus after no one responded initially to the call. After the first two, five others ended up giving their lives to Jesus! For whatever reason, we only have it recorded until the two girls ran up. The crowd went wild in response to them coming up front. Check it out and enjoy!

Miles Sermon at UCONN

 

Northeast Recap

Leaving friends never seems to get easier. It seems like a little part of me dies every time I have to leave one region of the U.S. to head to another. After spending three weeks in the Northeast, hosting events at 11 colleges throughout Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New York, it’s hard to leave. The only reason it’s difficult though is because of the deep friendships that were forged and the incredible work that God did in this region. In summary, at least 20 people gave their lives to Jesus, more than that were physically healed, and students banded together across different ministries (and even schools) to see a movement of salvations hit their campuses. Even now students are praying together and planning how they can reach their campuses more than ever before!

I genuinely think that the testimonies of this trip could fill up a book. Because of that, I will try to just write about a few that were very meaningful to me.

UCONN Salvations

The first chance I had to preach on tour was at UCONN. The event drew about 200 people across several different ministries. I preached on the Gospel and what it means to actually encounter Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. After sharing the Gospel, I invited the room to give their lives to Jesus if they had not yet done that. At first no one responded and I began to move on. However, about a minute later, a girl ran to the front to give her life to Jesus. Then, two more followed, then two more! Two girls also gave their lives to their from in their seats but did not come up front. In total, 7 people gave their lives to the Lord and one lady recommitted her life. The rest of the room repented of fear of reaching their campus and sharing the Gospel with their friends and activated into joyful dancing and celebrating Jesus! It was an incredible night; seeing salvations is always the best!

Penn State Healing

At Penn State, as is our custom, we met earlier in the day with student leaders to get to know them. As I was talking with two of them, I noticed a girl about to walk by with a boot (cast) around her right foot. Faith immediately hit me and I approached her. I told her that we had been seeing physical healings taking place at our tour stops and that Jesus wanted to heal her. She agreed to let me pray for her even though she was incredibly skeptical. I simply rebuked the pain and asked Jesus to take away her pain. I asked her how she felt and, with a shocked look on her face, she declared that the pain had left entirely! I then told her that Jesus loves her and is pursuing her heart and that he healed her because he loves her. She and her friend ended up walking off in total amazement at what Jesus had just done.

Binghamton Unity

At Binghamton University in upstate New York we gathered for a Carry The Love event with students from five different ministries. This was the first time since any of the students had been in school that these different ministries had come together for an event. Incredible! Not only did these ministries represent different theologies, but they represented different ethnicities as well. During the night, one student got saved and the whole room broke through into joyful dancing and gratitude to Jesus. The best part of the night though was the After Party. We also gather student leaders for an After Party to try to connect them and create momentum for the continuing work God wants to do on campus. In the After Party, four of the ministries came together and all agreed to begin meeting once a week to pray together and talk about how to reach their campus. There were even girls from different ministries that met one another and almost immediately realized the Lord’s desire for them to be close friends. For the last two weeks, these Binghamton students have met together to pray and they have more hope for their campus than ever before!

Philadelphia Circuit Riders Rising

In Philadelphia, I had my third chance of the Northeast tour to preach. This was the culminating night of our tour and the presence of the Lord was thick in our room at Temple University! Not only was our room packed out with probably close to 100 hungry believers, but these believers came together from 5 different colleges! After one guy radically gave his life to the Lord at the end of worship, I gave a word on the history of the Circuit Riders and what is happening now around America. In response, probably 75% of the room stepped forward to begin working together across their campuses to reach their schools and city with the love of Jesus. Student after student came up to me afterward saying the Lord had done an incredible work in their heart and that it was time for them to step into something new that the Lord was calling them to. Now, only a week later, the student have already met together to start planning out the rest of the semester. They already have a joint worship night planned at one of the other schools and they are beginning to do evangelistic outreaches together immediately. God is birthing real unity and hunger for souls on campuses!

The messages I gave during the tour are recorded and I will post them in the future if this web platform allows it.

Right now, I’m in Colorado with my 2nd tour leg team. We have close to 10 events in the next two weeks. I will do my best to keep you updated! Thank you for all of your prayers and financial support. Even in comparison to our tour last year, God is doing something unlike what we’ve seen before. This tour and the effects it will have will be truly historic. Keep praying for salvations on college campuses and revival for believers. I love you all and love hearing from you too. Shoot me a happy text or something if you ever have a free moment. 🙂

Colorado Prayer Points

  • That God creates family and unity across the state
  • That students have their faith and vision expanded for what God wants to do here
  • That God would save souls!

Miles

Most of the photo credit goes to Naomi Peterson.

Carry The Love Northeast Starts!

As my plane today shot through the air like an arrow, bound for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, I became aware of the similar reality of our teams being shot across the nation like arrows to these campuses. Today the Carry The Love tour starts!

We are going because we know we are sent. With roughly 200 events planned and a projected audience of 25,000+ across the nation, we have the opportunity to speak face-to-face with approximately 10% of the universities in the nation this spring. As Malcolm Gladwell claims in his New York Times best-seller, The Tipping Point, it takes about 10% of a population sold out for an idea to create a tipping point that leads to social acceptance and the spreading of an idea or product. Our hope is that we are approaching a tipping point in students sold out for Jesus on their campuses, radically pursuing him with first commandment love each day and reaching their classmates with that same love.

I love the idea of Believers as arrows in the hands of the Lord (Psalm 127:3-5). The pressure is not on us to hit the mark, but it is on Him to craft us exactly according to plan and then shoot us out to hit our mark. Ephesians 2:10 says “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God truly has formed us according to his will so that we can accomplish the fulfilling purposes he has for us to bring him glory. I sense the Lord’s incredible purpose over these tour stops and his desire to draw all people to himself.

Our first tour stop is tomorrow night as we have a gathering of several colleges in the Lancaster, PA, area. On Friday, we head to Rutgers University in New Jersey. On Monday, I will get my first shot at preaching on the tour as we head up to UCONN. Please pray for us that we would communicate the Gospel clearly and that the Lord would accompany our words with power so that people might get saved and revived in Him!

  • This was an update I wrote on Tuesday but was unable to post. Since it’s Saturday now, we have already had our first two tour stops. I wrote an update for those below. Enjoy!

Millersville College

On Wednesday, we hosted our first tour stop at Millersville College in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. As we setup, our team of nearly 25 felt such expectancy for what the Lord would do during the night. The night started with some powerful spontaneous worship from our worship leaders, Tito and Jessica Tosado. They played several songs with the whole band that had the crowd of 120 pressing into worshipping Jesus.

After worship, Joel Bomberger (a Lancaster native and Circuit Rider) got up to speak. He spoke on the Gospel and the power of Jesus’ love as shown in John 3:16. Love does not withhold, but it gives. Joel said that it is time for the Millersville campus to receive the love that God has for them through the body of believers. He challenged everyone in the room to arise as a revivalist and pursue the lost with love everyday. In response, about 75% of the room arose and declared, “I am a revivalist!” We then moved into a worship response and ministry time.

During the ministry time, a girl came up to me and told me that she gave her life to the Lord when she was 10 but that she hasn’t been living for him since then. She said she wanted to give her life to Jesus! We prayed for her and watched her eyes fill with tears as she experienced the love of God and the feeling of joy that comes from salvation. Two of her friends (already believers) were with her and embraced her, crying together as they celebrated her new life in Christ!

During the ministry time, two people gave their lives to Jesus and multiple people experienced physical healings in their bodies. One girl had been living for the past six months with severe pain shooting through the left side of her body and into her leg. The doctors were unable to diagnose her problem and she was planning on going in for an MRI in about two weeks. Joel prayed for her and all of the pain left her body! She was pain-free for the first time in 6 months! Praise Jesus!

As we left Millersville, the team there had responded to the night by agreeing to meet together every week to pray for their campus and share their dreams about what God wants to do. I also sense that some of the students there will end of coming to 21 Project this summer to receive training on how to reach their campus even more effectively.

Rutgers

Rutgers is the largest school in New Jersey, reaching over 40,000 students. Last night we braved the severe winter weather front hitting the Northeast and hosted a Carry The Love tour stop with Rutgers students. The event gathered about 100 students.

Worship was again very activating for students as some began to raise hands or dance around the room for the first time. Yasmin gave a message on breaking the silence on campus. She stated that no one has ever brought about a change of culture by remaining silent. At one point, Martin Luther King Jr. was a pastor of a small church in the south. However, he felt the call to speak and raised his voice as an activist. Jesus himself did not remain silent when the religious leaders brought the women before him who was caught in the act of adultery. He challenged the leaders by telling him who had no sin to cast the first stone. The leaders walked away one by one until no one was left. Jesus then told her that he did not condemn her.

After the message, three guys came forward declaring that they were ready to give the Lord their full life, not just parts of it. They did not come up for salvation, but rather to commit fully to him and live out of a life of holiness and devotion to them. After we finished praying, they were filled with incredible joy because of their decision!

Finally, we had between 30-40 students come forward at the end of the night to be a part of what God is doing on campus. They also agreed to pray and dream together once a week. The student leaders felt the night was a great success as it filled them with a fresh dose of faith for this semester and reaching their campus.

Today we are snowed in because 24 inches of snow have fallen in the last 18 hours! Pray that we are able to make our next tour stop at UCONN on Monday. I will be preaching Monday and would also appreciate your prayers as well for clear communication and anointing from the Lord. It’s incredible to see how activating the Gospel is! Pray that I would communicate it with power! I love you all so much and hope that hearing what is happening on college campuses in America right now encourages you! Continue to follow Carry The Love at http://www.carrythelove.com and http://www.facebook.com/carrythelove

Miles

Scars and Wounds

I was looking through my computer for a document and this was highlighted to me. I didn’t know what it was, but found that it was something I wrote back in August. I felt the Lord prompt me to share it, so I hope that whoever is supposed to read this is encouraged by it. Enjoy!

August, 2014:

God recently showed me a picture of a surgeon’s work. In the picture, a surgeon cut through the flesh in a person’s arm in order to expose what was beneath, near the bone. Although the skin appeared perfect in health, beneath the skin disease and rot festered.

Everything about us may look perfect, but the scriptures tell us that God searches the heart. He understands the deep things of our soul. God is not concerned with keeping up our outer appearance if our inner self is rotting away. That is why Jesus proclaimed to the Pharisees that they were white-washed tombs, beautiful on the outside but full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean on the inside (Matthew 23:27). In order to expose the death and disease on the outside, Jesus, as the great physician, just cut through the skin that is healthy to expose the filth. What does this do to us as Christians? It makes us lose our appearance of righteousness. It humbles us. However, Jesus says that we are still the righteousness of God.

The same analogy can apply for a building. I recently talked to a man who moved to a house where everything seemed great. However, he and his family were soon suffering from sickness because the house had a sewage problem that made them all sick. This particular man ended up getting out of his lease and moving, but to actually fix the problem, the landlord would have to go and knockout the walls (which looked great) to access the problem. Again, knocking out the walls of a house makes it look terrible, but it allows a builder to get to the root of the issue and fix it. Furthermore, tearing out the walls gives the builder the opportunity to build new walls better than the first!

Many people I have met are obsessed with scars. They think that having large scars are the marks of adventure and look cool. However, no one looks at a gaping wound and says it looks awesome and desirable. But yet, to get an excellent scar, you must first have an excellent wound. How come we are so prone to celebrate the scars of peoples’ pasts (overcoming of addiction, sex, alcohol, etc.) as amazing testimonies, but are not willing to associate with people when they are in the midst of their wounds? Jesus has scars which we celebrate, but it wasn’t his scars that set us free from the law of sin and death, it was his actual wounds. The scars just remind us of how he has overcome.

What if we start viewing open wounds through the lens of future scars? What if we choose to believe that Jesus is healing people and making their open wounds a testimony to overcome the enemy and reach the lost? Don’t shy away from sickness and pain. Jesus said even poisonous serpents will bite us and we will not be harmed. Celebrate open wounds through the lens of faith. We are healed! We will be humbled by the great physician’s work and it will allow us to relate to Christ more fully.