Richard K. MacMaster and Donald R. Jacobs masterfully recount the genesis and on-going life of the East Africa Revival in “A Gentle Wind of God: The Influence of the East Africa Revival” (Find on Amazon).
The significance of this revival for the vitality (vigour in the Latourettian terms) of East African Christianity cannot be overemphasized. Furthermore, the revival bridged the gaps between continents–from East Africa into Europe and North America. The influence of this revival continues in waves of revival in Africa and in the hearts of revival Europeans and Americans who heard revival teams visit their churches and towns.
The revival message was simple, yet profound. MacMaster and Jacobs summarizes it as follows:
Come to Jesus with your sins; repent and be cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ; live in the immediacy of the presence of Jesus, and walk in open fellowship with the brothers and sisters; absorb yourself in the Word of God by life-changing Bible study; allow Jesus Christ to do good deeds through you by the enabling of the Holy Spirit; and witness with word, life, and action that Jesus Christ is the head of the individual and of the body of believers (21).
This message was undeniable Jesus-exalting. Through this message, the revived one found the unity of brotherhood in the cross that was the opposite of colonial inequalities and native jealousies. Rather than resulting in hollow revivalism, the revival leaders avoided systematizing the revival in lieu of encouraging a persistent, humble, and “weak” walk with Jesus.
Much more can be said than the summary above, many individuals shined with the glory of Christ’s love that could be mentioned. These details will come later. I intend to continue studying this revival and attempt to uncover the many waves and ripples of this revival up to the present day. “A Gentle Wind of God” is an excellent treatment of these ripples especially among the Mennonite church. I desire to see how other denominational missions were affected as well as national believers. To repeat, this is not to say that “A Gentle Wind of God” is lacking, no, it is an excellent, historical yet touched-by-fire, account of the revival.
Please continue to comment on this revival; hearing from Africans, and Americans, missionaries and laymen about this revival is a great encouragement! It is amazing how this revival transcended race and hierarchy, looking only to Jesus.
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