University of Central Arkansas: Praying Up a Storm
By Rusty Wright
Chi Alpha at the University of Central Arkansas has garnered significant media coverage in Assemblies of God circles, and justifiably so. you have read about this ministry in Today’s Pentecostal Evangel or seen video from U.S. Missions.
Chi Alpha campus pastor Matt Carpenter and his wife, Kiki, serve in Conway, home of the UCA Bears. They have seen God changing lives and enlarging the borders of their campus ministry. Much of what has happened appears to be a response to prayer.
Matt explains, “God placed it on my heart to set aside a room in our offices and corporately seek after God 24 hours a day for a week. I presented this to the leaders.” He had 25 or 30 student leaders then, so corporate 24/7 prayer would require daily shifts of about 2 hours per student. Surprisingly, by the end of the week, students did not seem worn out or feel overcommitted. “They couldn’t wait to pray more,” Matt recalls. One week became 2, 3, 4, and eventually 5 weeks during the remainder of that semester.
“We saw God do more in that 5 weeks than in the previous 2 1/2 years on campus,” Matt remembers. He says people became filled with the Holy Spirit and delivered from lifelong strongholds. Meeting attendance climbed from 125 to as high as 450. Students began to initiate their own ministries. Lives were changed.
Today’s Pentecostal Evangel tells of Cale Mills who, though outwardly successful, struggled with guilt over a dark secret. Cale had been addicted to Internet pornography since adolescence and contemplated suicide. “By the world’s standards, I looked like someone who had a great life,” he toldTPE. “But I hadn’t yet had a personal encounter with the Spirit of God.”
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