The Jesus Tent is sending a revival in North Carolina and transforming the community by touching individuals and families.
The tent was brought to Greenville by Mike Thornton of the Global River Church because he observed that wherever the tent goes, revival follows. Having gone to other places like Wilmington where the tent had been set up, he realized that tent revivals usually shared a common ingredient: the love of God displayed through the unified action of His body, local media outlet The Daily Reflector reported.
"The idea that an actual city can be transformed ... by love, being expressed through unity ... I feel like that's the catalyst," Thornton told The Daily Reflector.
"Transformed people are what transforms the city, so if the people in the community step into transformation, they transform their cities," he added.
Thornton decided to set up The Jesus Tent in Greenville in partnership with worship leader Matthew Lilley of The Burn 24/7 movement for a non-stop 80-hour worship and prayer event called Ignite Greenville.
Lilley has pioneered day and night worship that has spurred revival in the city.
"We've been seeing God move in amazing ways here in Greenville for years now," Lilley said on a video posted to Facebook. "The churches are coming together. We're seeing the city transformed, crime rates go down. God's moving among the students."
Lilley believed that through Ignite Greenville, God would answer their prayers for the city and launch Greenville into a "new season."
The 80-hour worship and prayer event ran from May 4 to 7 at The Jesus Tent outside Third Street Education Center.
The result? Many people coming to Christ in repentance, being set free from patterns of sin in their lives and receiving hope for a better future.
One individual that was transformed by her encounter with God at The Jesus Tent was 22-year-old Chanielle Peele, who only went to the event because she was being "nosy."
"I went to be nosy," she told The Daily Reflector. "Basically we went over here because we had a lot of problems, issues, in the household."
Peele recounted how a woman who prayed for her seemed to know exactly what had happened to her and what she was going through. The woman's prayer brought a sense of healing to her emotions.
"She just knew. She said you've been abandoned, rejected," Peele said. "She just knew what what was going on in my life. It made me feel so good, it made me want to cry."
However, she wasn't the only one who received prayer. People went to visit her home to pray for her family, especially her grandmother who was bedridden from diabetes complications.
"She had everybody get on their knees, it's like 10 of us in there," she said. "We never done that in our family. ... It was a blessing for them to take their time out to come over there and pray because she couldn't get out. They wanted her to feel like we come to you."
Aside from receivng prayers, Peele and her family were also given food.
In just a short time, Peele already observed a change in her family. She said they have stopped "talking trash to each other" and the negativity in the home has lessened.
"People (are) waking up saying good morning ... more positive energy. It's like the house has been changed for the last few days. It's exciting and it's a good feeling," Peele said.
On the last day of the gathering, Thornton shared his personal testimony of how Jesus helped him to break free from his addiction to drugs, which carried with it the "fear that I battled and the shame that I battled." He said he wanted people to find hope and know that they are never alone and that God loves them.
"People need to know that they are not alone, that God desires to be very involved in their life and no matter what you've come through or been through, no matter how great it is, how bad it is," Thornton said. "God's not afraid. .... He's love. His love provides us with everything we need."