It’s hard to know where to begin posting the things that I’ve already written so instead, I decided to dive in with something Winkie wrote for the project. Back in 1995, when I had quite a few stories already collected, I had a sense that there was something missing. Something was needed to tie them together.
At that point Winkie was coming to the States for longer periods of time and although he came and went from Lindale a lot, we saw and spent time with him and Fae on a pretty regular basis. So one day I gathered everything up and took it over to the Pratney’s house. Placing a stack of print-outs on the dining table I looked at him and said,
“Help me Obiwan Kenobe. You’re my only hope.”
Yes, I actually said that.
Winkie was traveling and speaking a lot and had loads of things he was working on, but nevertheless he said he would have a look. I didn’t hear from him about it for a while, but when I did what came back was amazing. He had sorted the whole into sections, each of which contained a certain kind of story, and had written introductions to each section. In these intro’s he added his own commentary and observations on the principles and significance he saw there.
Today I would like to share the first bit that Winkie wrote. I think it’s important because, although it is about Agape Force, it’s also about the Jesus Movement as a whole. While I am working on this phase of the project, here in 2019, I want to remember that we were a part of something happening that was a lot bigger than we were and that what we saw and did and experienced did not spring forth from nothing, but was part of a tsunami of what was not just a revival, but an actual awakening. Winkie called it a “visitation.”
Teenage Ministry In A Visitation Of God
A generation ago, young people all across the world experienced a visitation of God. This awakening among the young touched the Church, college campuses, the street and the culture. In an explosive era of escalating crime, drugs, immorality and street violence some dared to be the most radical of all. Many major ministries today owe their growth and influence to what God did among these extreme edgers of the Kingdom. Events and Divine advents of that tumultuous time deeply affected the shape of the Church in the latter part of the 20th Century.
Yet many of the wonderful tales of that time remain untold. It is like that even in the Bible. We always have only a tiny part of the picture of what God did when He found a young person He could trust with His glory. Gideon. Samson. Esther. Deborah. Ruth. Jeptha. David. Joshua. Mary. John.
How can I say more? says Paul. Time would fail me to tell (of those heroes for God)...who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouth of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong... (Heb. 11:34)
The things you are about to read happened to ordinary teenagers and college age young people. Few of them ever got their pictures in the paper or were written up in magazines, even Christian papers and magazines. Few were famous or talented or clever. None of them ever dreamed what would happen when they gave their lives to God for His service. Most of them came from very ordinary towns and very uneventful circumstances. But for nearly two amazing decades they experienced the astonishing adventure of going out on a limb for God. And now, at the very edge of the next Millennium, God is beginning to do it again.
This is the story of ordinary young people with an extraordinary God. What He did for them He can do for you. These are the records of what Jesus can do in His world when He finds someone who loves Him more than their own life, and serves Him with their whole heart. Here are some of the untold tales of an era from those who were young then, here for those who with honor will carry the torch for this next generation.