Tent revivals. It’s part of what we’re doing now.
Yea, we love it. Yea, it’s pretty awesome. Also, it’s brought a lot of change to our lives. We were a family of 7 traveling in our RV for ministry. Now we are a family of 7 traveling for ministry with 4 other families – making a total of 26 people traveling together! We have found like minded friends and family, and they have a heart to see God meet us under the tent, transforming lives.
What is a Tent Revival?
I guess you could call it a Jesus party. It is a celebration of Jesus, we celebrate who He is and the transformation that He brings to the lives of those who seek Him. When this happens, we become revived! It doesn’t matter if you have known Jesus your whole life or if you’ve just had your first introduction – when you encounter Jesus, and let Him into the dead parts of your heart, they become alive! It’s the best thing ever! We want everyone to know Jesus and the power of His love, and our hope is that people will come into our tent and experience this revival for themselves!
Change was in the air
We felt a change stirring in us in 2020, even before covid. We didn’t know exactly what it was, but something was going to change for our ministry. We didn’t want to stop traveling, but were willing to be stationary if that was where God was leading. He was leading us into something different, something bigger than we had done before. Was it the time for tent ministry? Yes.
God had placed this desire in our hearts years ago, and I suppose it was just there, in the background, waiting for Him to say “Now.” We had participated in tent revivals here and there, and even put one on with a rented tent back in 2019. In October 2020, we helped out at a tent some of our friends had set up with their church. It was a cold, but wonderful time, and while there we all talked about what it would look like if we did more tent revivals as a group. We also made a trip to DC in October to attend a Let us Worship event, and my sister, her husband, and kiddos bought a class C camper and came along (It was awesome). Here is the story of that adventure. Did we know that those moments would be a picture of what was to come? Not really.
Through a series of events, confirmations, and financial miracles, we bought a beautiful 48×91 tent in March 2021! We also were able to get a trailer to house it, a portable stage, and all of the equipment necessary to hold a tent revival. Since we have started, churches and individuals have donated chairs, a baptismal, and a couple giant fans. God is continually meeting every need that might come up.
Life is different now
Our life is different now, in so many ways. But that’s ok, our family has grown to anticipate and at times, love change.
How is our life different?
The main difference in our life is community. We had it sometimes, like when we would be around extended family for holidays and other get togethers. Or when we would be at a church for about a week or so for revival services -church people are so kind to us, adopting us as one of their own. When we return to an area seeing familiar faces is such a joy, and those moments have brought us a glimmer of community.
We love being able to just take off and go wherever we please, but if I’m being completey honest, life on the road, with all its excitement and adventure, and short moments of community, can get lonely. Even if you are traveling with a family of seven, it can get lonely.
But we’re not lonely anymore, not even close. Each of our kids has at least one buddy. There are 5 families now that travel on this adventure and of those we have 11 adults and 15 kids/teenagers! It’s like our own traveling homeschool group!
We knew that we would need help to do tent revivals on the road, but we didn’t anticipate what a joy it would be to have our own traveling community of nomadic believers with us.
A Nomadic Community
Generally speaking, we have 9 days of tent ministry and 5 days off. 9 days include 1 day of setup, 1 day of outreach, 7 services in 6 days(2 on Sunday) and 1 day of tear down. Our 5 days off include the driving to and from the tent location, doing church ministry, some of us work other jobs, and taking care of our home base(mowing lawn, etc). Looking back now, I can see how those 3 summers we spent working with the county fairs selling shaved ice prepared us for this sort of existence, but that is another story for another day…
So, while we are in the midst of tent revival, all 5 campers are parked (hopefully) within sight of the tent. I thought that we would have a lot more down time and that we would have to come up with things to do while we were not ministering. Most of us homeschool year- round and it seems that by the time we are done with our studies for the day, we have anywhere from 1-3hours to eat and to make sure our families are ready for evening service. It doesn’t leave a lot of time for exploring the area, but we have found some productive and entertaining ways to occupy that free time.
We’ve tried to organize meals for us to all eat together, which seems to work best on the setup and tear down days. There is something special about sharing a meal with friends, and I love when we can make it happen.
We tend to have our best hangout time after services. So many wonderful things are happening during the tent revival that we love to get together and talk about it afterwards. It also becomes an opportunity for us to keep our hearts soft towards each other – living and working together can provide opportunities for offense. Friendships grow deeper when we make sure we are quick to forgive and open to communication. We are all working towards this goal.
Our youngest kids are doing what kids do best. Playing. I love to see them having a grand time running wild and free. I’m also seeing my 11 yr old step up and help out with the littles.
The teenagers have found an ally with our worship leader, who has expressed the desire to teach them music. With that, my oldest three kids have grown leaps and bounds, singing and playing on the worship team and learning how to flow with the Holy Spirit.
Along with our tent revival community we have had some very welcome part-time helpers. These are young adults that come out of their pure love of Jesus. They have brought a freshness with them that is truly a blessing to our group. I have heard statistics that say the younger generations don’t care about God. But there is a group of young people out there, bold and fervant, and although their numbers may be few, they are all-in and unstoppable.
Meet our Families
In no particular order, this is our traveling community.
The Eckart Family – Matt and Nadine and our 5 kids. Our ministry is Kingdom Pursuit Ministry and this is the blog that tells all about our traveling adventures – 7Nomads.
The Davis Family – Our Worship Leader/Psalmist Isaac, his talented wife Brittaney who does the video recording but can bring down the house with her amazing voice. They have four hilarious and adorable kids, all with beautiful musical giftings of their own. “Isaac and Brittaney” that’s what we would have said if you would’ve asked us at any point since we’ve heard them who our 1st choice would be for a worship leader.
The McCormick Family – Jonathan and Cyndi both bring the Word in a powerful way and flow in altar ministry. They have such a heart to reach the lost, and their warm friendliness and sense of humor drew us in from the beginning. I love to see them flow in the giftings that God has given them. They have three beautiful kids who bring curiousity and excitement with them wherever they go.
The Fitzcharles Family – Jeremy and Celia (my sister and her husband) and their four kids bring some much needed physical assistance to our crew. Jeremy is in charge of our tent setup and tear down and Celia brings some added fire to the group, she has a heart for evangelism and never meets a stranger. Their four kids are a big help around the tent and I love seeing them grow deeper in their faith.
The Sawyer Family – Tom and Lisa (my mom and dad) are in retirement, but have no interest in slowing down. Instead, they have chosen to come with us and help. Dad is our resident handyman and loves to solve problems and fix things. Mom has decided to adopt all the kids as her grandkids and makes sure that they all get plenty of love. They love making new friends and are very welcoming when people come in to the tent.
We love these people, I’m so glad God brought us all together.
Life is Good Under the Tent
So yea, life is good under the tent. I wouldn’t have guessed that this would be my life, but I love it. Thank you for reading along about our newest adventure, I hope you all are enjoying your own adventures!