If you know me even a little, you probably know about the Remedy, but people have been asking if I am going to blog about it, and I think it is totally worth blogging about, so here is the story of the Remedy.
To make a long story short, I was called to Concordia (though I didn’t want to go), got there, hated it, went to Chi Alpha, fell more in love with the Lord, and He changed my heart for Concordia. The ministry at Concordia does not hold the Bible as the authoritative word of God, there were many incorrect things about God being preached, and students were not being reached. So one Monday night in the middle of November of my freshman (junior) year, 6 of my Christian friends and I got together in a room on campus and just worshiped the Lord and prayed for an hour. I brought my guitar, 10 packets with 70 worship song lyrics in them, and played whatever random song came to my heart or if someone asked for one. We started praying that God would take over our campus again and that truth would break all religious barriers that had been built by humans. We decided to meet every night at 10-11 p.m. to worship and pray. If we met a Christian, we invited them to come. Within a month we had about 15 people come. I was so excited, you have no idea. After Christmas break the Lord blessed us and we doubled to 30 students coming. Can you imagine the excitement of the first people that started praying, and then seeing us multiply like 5 fold?! We felt revival coming. By the end of the year we were about 50 students strong, meeting in a lounge of a dorm.
James Baldwin and Mark Del Greco (my BROTHERS!!!) helped me so SO SO much. They came early every week, set up all our sound stuff (which was a small small sound system from First Assembly that we were very grateful to have!!!!), and set our powerpoint machine (thanks to First Assembly again – your my fav), and then they would pray and calm me down and verbally instill strength in me. My first year I was not the greatest leader. I kept complaining, “I am this little freshman girl, I can’t be leading this thing..” James was so great. He kept reminding me that I am an answer to prayer and this is my calling and I am really good at it. Bless him.
That summer I stayed in Fargo and prayed much over where to lead this ministry next. By the end of the year, we sang songs for about 40 minutes, then I would let people have the opportunity to share whatever was on their heart in front of the whole group, and then we would break into small groups to pray over one another. This whole event was also called “Monday Night Worship”. Many people actually loved that name and didn’t want to lose it because it was simple and stated what the night was.
In the summer though, God pressed upon my heart to give the ministry a name. I went to a pentecostal senior high camp (fun!!!) and the evangelist continually asked us if we would be “The Remedy” for our generation. It struck my heart. I wanted Monday Night Worship to be “The Remedy” for bringing Biblical Truth back to the campus. I also had prophesied over me a few times that I had to be feeding my ministry bread. Bread is the word of God. So I felt confident that God wanted there to be a student speaker each week sharing some simple Truth in the Bible. The whole “sharing time” after worship was sweet, but sometimes people would say really weird things, or talk way too long, and it was just too complicated.
Started in the lounge in the dorm September 7th. 50 people came that first night. This is INCREDIBLE because it was all by word of mouth and Facebook. The college would not allow our group to become an organization because we were not ELCA, so we couldn’t hang up flyers or ever reserve a room to meet in. Week two we had like 60 people, and the next day I got an email from the dorm kicking us out. 60 people worshipping probably shook up the dorm a bit to much from 9-10 p.m. Monday nights. We went to a lounge in the gym area, and got kicked out. So we went to the music building, and then within 4 months grew to 125 people and then we got kicked out of the music building. SIDE NOTE *Every Monday morning me and a few people went around campus to find a large room that was available that night. There was a beautiful recital room in the music building that we met in. If someone signed up to practice, we would track them down and ask them to leave. Once we confirmed where we were going to be that night, we spread it all over Facebook and by word of mouth. Is this not the hands of God on our campus!?!* So then we went to the science building. Then got kicked out of there. Then we went to an old gym, and was able to stay there for the rest of the year.
Yes, this blog is going to be incredibly long, but I don’t really care. I want to share some of my favorite highlights with you to show how God moved.
1. First year, the sharing time after. We had heard some INCREDIBLE testimonies of how students had just gotten saved and then found the Remedy, or how God just spoke to them and called them back to Him though out the service. What an honor to hear and be a part of that!
2. Provision. In two years, we ALWAYS had a room. We always had a sound system, and we always had a projector. Even if we forgot a chord to our projector, God provided another one. There would be nights were we would lose our room at 8:00 pm (Remedy starts at 9:00), but then God would open up another room in the same building. He always, always provided. This grew my trust in the Lord so much. He is faithful to provide!!
3. Charles speaking. I will never forget the night my friend Charles spoke. Charles is so great, he is from Africa and is married and just like loves being married and loves God and loves music and soccer. I asked him to talk at the Remedy and he said no. So I made him talk. I always met before with each speaker to make sure they were going to talk about something legit, and I sat down with Charles and asked him what he was going to talk about. He talked for a straight hour. I told him he only had 15 minutes. So he condensed, and he ROCKED the place. Seriously. I remember after he talked and everyone broke into prayer and I was in the back of the room and as I walked to the front I heard people saying “Oh my gosh, I am so passionate and excited about God right now!” or “I am so on fire for God!!” God used Charles that night to set a greater passion in our group for Him.
4. Samantha leading worship. So one Monday night I was INCREDIBLY sick. I shared a bed last year with one of the greatest worship leaders ever, Samantha Nies. I asked her to lead worship and I would back her up. It was honestly a little hard for me to let her lead because I knew everyone would wish she was leading worship every week instead of me!! haha oh my pride. Anyways, Samantha led the song “How He Loves”. Every time that song is played in a worship setting, it completely rocks people. I don’t know why more churches do it. Anyways, after that night, so many people came up to me after and God had just touched their heart from that song. So many people came up and told me “Rachel, I forgot how much God loves me, and how it changes everything.” And then Josh Skjoldal talked, so the night was epic to say the least. ANOTHER SIDE NOTE *Worship at the Remedy was so great. We actually had it pitch dark, with just the powerpoint on. We wanted there to be NO distractions. I lead worship with Anthony Eddleston singing and playing violin, and if we had a piano in the room, we would have a piano player, and sometimes we would get someone to play a djembe or something. Simple. And powerful. There was so much freedom in that room. You think lutheran’s cant sing and clap and shout and jump in worship? Well you are wrong. I have seen many of them do so.*
5. Cardboard testimonies. This was the most stressful day of my life. I decided really late to do cardboard testimonies, so that afternoon I went to like 4 grocery stores to get cardboard boxes, and finally found some (thank you ghetto Sunmart). I got like 20 students to write something on one side of the cardboard that they struggled with, and then on the other side flip it over and show how God redeemed that. This is a natural tear jerker, especially when the last person that went up is all like “cancerous tumor in back for 2 years” and then on the other side “completely healed”. After that I went up and gave the gospel message, but when I got up there, I saw like 40 people crying. I didn’t really share the message fluently that night (attenders, remember me telling you how much we all suck? hahaha), but people got really touched and moved by God. Praise Him.
6. Flood night. First year, there was a HUGE GINORMOUS flood in Fargo. The Monday night that we all had off from school to sandbag, we decided to have worship anyways. We sang relevant songs like “God of this City” and “Overcome” and after we all got in a circle and encouraged one another and prayed much over our city. Super powerful encouraging night. Mark Del Greco – I will always remember you sharing psalm 29:10 and talking about it. So good.
There is a billion more but I will stop for now. Maybe share your favorite testimony if you attended :) It would bless my heart. If you want to see what it was like, I have a dvd of the last Remedy I led.
The Remedy was one of God’s tool for revival at Concordia. The beautiful thing I learned about revival is it never has to end. So it will keep going, and I am excited to hear and see how God moves in the next few years. Concordia has stolen a piece of my heart, and I will always be praying for it the rest of my life.