GREENVILLE — While Twitter, Facebook, or texting are a quick, convenient means of sharing ideas, people can sometimes overlook the significance of connecting with others face-to-face, in real time, without the distractions of “multi-tasking” technology. A genuine smile, listening ear, good advice and friendly conversation are gifts that are given from the heart, and many people find themselves seeking them out a Sunday morning at church — or even a Saturday afternoon car wash.
Last weekend, Time to Revive-Ohio (Darke County) hosted its annual $1 Car Wash, inviting members of the church community to get out their buckets, hoses and soapsuds to wash cars at the North Town Plaza parking lot in Greenville. Members of Time to Revive-Ohio (TTR-Ohio) ministry teams greeted drivers warmly, handed them a New Testament Bible, discussed the “Good News” of Jesus, and asked if they would like prayer, while waiting in line to get their cars washed by local youth and adult volunteers. Then, afterward, each driver was given $1, as a special blessing.
“There is a problem in society today…we don’t listen to one another well. Jesus responded to needs,” said Pastor James Reynolds, minister with TTR-Ohio. “Love, listen, discern and respond. When Jesus went out, he listened to people. We just try to copy what Jesus did.”
Time to Revive-Ohio was first introduced to the Darke County community in 2016, through the outreach efforts of STAR 88.3 (Fort Wayne), which desired to see revival take place in the sister community they serve in western Ohio. Having created a positive impact in Indiana cities like Fort Wayne and Richmond, Representatives from STAR reached out to Time to Revive, inviting the ministry to partner with them in Darke County, Ohio, just across the Indiana-Ohio state line. STAR 88.3 Early Morning D.J. Naomi Cantrell was asked to get a group of local Ohio pastors together in Greenville.
“We kept hearing about the issues here, in Ohio — broken homes, addictions, alcohol, drugs ,“ explained Cantrell. “In 2016, the radio station asked me to call a group of local pastors together, to see if they would be interested in bringing ‘Time to Revive’ to Ohio. Now, it’s five years later since we first got started. People’s lives are being changed. Just recently, someone was thinking about committing suicide, and one of our teams asked to pray with her — and it saved her life! People are still going out in teams and changing lives!”
Among the many churches and ministries representing TTR-Ohio at last Saturday’s event were Emmaus New Testament, Trinity Wesleyan (Greenville), Ansonia Church of God (Ansonia), EUM Church (Greenville), Living Waters Ministries (Versailles) Russell Road Church (Sidney), Radiant Lighthouse Church, Cornershack Ministries (Greenville), First Assembly of God (Greenville), and Greenville Church of Christ.
“We are always raising up new leaders. We want to train those who have a heart for the community, and have a desire to share their faith, but maybe are a little shy about what to say or do,” explained Pastor Reynolds. “ We provide the leadership and tools to be effective — knowing how to listen and how to pray.”
Time to Revive strategy is simple, following the pattern set forth in Scripture: Love the individual, Listen to him or her, Discern how the Holy Spirit is working and leading, and Respond accordingly, through prayer, sharing the gospel, or providing tangible help or support. People who are interested in participating in TTR-Ohio’s outreach are encouraged to contact the ministry, which provides discipleship, training and encouragement.
“It’s brought me new life… I am a little shy,” said Sharon Oswalt-Ropp, member of Living Waters Church in Versailles. “I’ve gained some boldness. I love going out and praying for people!”
In addition to washing cars, TTR-Ohio also brought its “Mobile Baptismal” on site at the parking lot, for those who felt the call to be baptized. At least two people were baptized at last Saturday’s event.
Also in attendance at the TTR-Ohio event were Russ Ward, and his wife, Rochelle, of Dirt Racing Outreach (DRO), a ministry which reaches out to racing enthusiasts, fans and professionals within the sport. Ward, a former race car driver and mechanic, travels around the country sharing the Gospel to those who may not be able to attend church due to the schedule of the race season. When travelling, Ward uses his “Romans Road” Sprint ‘7’ Camaro as a conversation-starter about the Christian faith, and encourages race enthusiasts, both young and old, to get behind the wheel.
“I couldn’t have dreamed of a better ministry for myself,” said Ward. “I’ve been a racer, mechanic, and a fan. For God to put me in a ministry within a sport that I love was great!”
Dirt Racing Outreach will be at the World 100 Weekend at Eldora Speedway Sept. 8 to 11. For more information or questions, contact Russ Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 419-544-7014.
To connect with TTR-Ohio Missionary James Reynolds, call 937-621-3422, or email email@example.com, or visit Time to Revive Ohio on Facebook, or visit www.timetorevive.com/locations/Ohio/about.
Carol Marsh covers community interest stories and handles obituaries for Darke County Media. Have an event to share? She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 937-569-4314.