Father’s Day 1995 The Lord Himself did a mighty work when He poured out His presence in Pensacola Florida during the Brownsville Revival that resulted in the nations being reached with mighty testimonies of His Glory and many coming to Salvation through Jesus Christ. Steve Hill was the Evangelist who labored alongside Pastor John Kilpatrick night after night as thousands of souls repented for their sins and wept in the sweet presence of Holy Spirit. Jeri, Steve’s wife was also there night after night responding to the call to grow ever closer to the Lord.
In a recent conversation, Jeri talks about how when her and Steve where evangelizing in South America, they were laboring day and night. This was long before Brownsville was on anybody’s grid. Evangelizing during the day, church services during the night. A lot of people don’t understand “the work” of ministry, they just think it just happens. As Jeri explains, “it’s a matter of stepping out, opening your mouth, handing the track, praying with them, whatever they would allow you to do, you just did it.” Steve and Jeri immersed themselves into the culture as they both were able to speak Spanish after moving to Costa Rica and living with a family, asking them to teach them, and correct them regarding their Spanish.
So many people are afraid of just “getting out there”, afraid that they will make a mistake or say something wrong. Jeri recalls one of her first encounters after only be saved for two months, she was in the city amongst the people handing out tracks. A man comes up to her and says, “okay, just don’t give me a track. Tell me what it means to you…for forty-five minutes I shared my testimony with him and what God had done in my life. He took the track that I had and said, ‘thank you’, and he walked away.” Jeri thought there was more to do wanting to know if she could have prayed for him. That next Monday, in a Teen Challenge meeting, people were standing up and sharing testimonies. One man who gave his testimony stood up, who turned out to be same man that Jeri had just shared her testimony to. After telling all those who were listening about the young girl that he had met, and that he wanted to know what the track meant to her, he took the track and walked away. As he was walking away, he told the crowd what he said to the Lord, “God, I want what she has”, and he gave his heart to Jesus as he was walking away. As he was finishing his testimony in the Teen Challenge meeting, he pointed at Jeri, “that’s the girl right there, would you stand up”. Jeri was shocked, “it works”, she told herself. As Jeri plainly says, “we’re supposed to have a passion for God, and a burden for people.”
Revelation 12:11 declares, “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death”. There is power in the simple truth of sharing your stories of what God has done in your life with other people. If you’re dead in Christ, you’re not worried about yourself. Your yes to God matters so much to God. There are so many people want to give their everything to God, but they totally feel held back because their spouse is not following the Lord. Jeri talks about how powerful your witness is when you are committed. “God is powerful to keep a marriage together, even when they aren’t seeing eye to eye. So, God doesn’t want them to give up on that person, because they are just as important to God as going out and doing something else for God.” Even too, when children come along in a family, that may change how ministry looks, but it doesn’t have to stop ministry. Jeri continues, “in the beginning I took Ryan out on one hip.” When the Brownsville Revival started, Steve and Jeri had a three-week-old baby, “so I would be back in the nursing room quite a bit, but the whole time I was so on Steve’s page because I wanted to see people get right with God, so even if it was Steve doing it, or if it was me doing it, it was being done”.