Reaching across the expanse of denominations and directly into the hearts of women is just one of the goals of Revive, a newly organized women’s ministry in the Edmond/Oklahoma City area.
Founders Cynthia Huffmyer and long-time friend, Carol Cutler, began praying and brainstorming about Revive in 2007. What started one year ago with 20 women meeting in Huffmyer’s home later grew to a meeting of 65 at the Edmond Library. In February of this year, their dream became reality when Revive blossomed into a full-blown conference of 200 attendees at Metro Tech’s Springlake Campus.
“I truly believe people want a purpose greater than themselves,” Huffmyer said.
Revive is bringing women together, challenging them to make a difference in the community by helping the poor. Citing Galatians 5:13, “…through love serve one another.” Carol Wright, Revive board member, explained that women of all denominations can unite to help those in need.
“One goal of Revive is to break down denominational barriers and bring Christians from many denominations and churches together in unity to focus on what needs to be done—serve the needs of the poor,” Wright said.
Huffmyer, who was named Edmond’s “Spiritual Woman of the Year” in 2002, has been ministering for nearly 30 years. Cutler, one of Huffmyer’s mentors, has a 30-plus-year career in the ministry and has been a teacher-leader of Bible Study Fellowship for 16 years. She has also written a book entitled God Illumines My Darkness.
Some of Huffmyer’s inspiration for a women’s organization came from the hundreds of women who sit in Bible studies each week. She wanted to encourage them to take the teachings out of a church setting and put them into practice.
During their first conference, the women of Revive highlighted seven local ministries and connected women with each in order to help garner further support for each group’s individual needs.
One such organization in need of support and highlighted during the conference was Whiz Kids, a tutoring and mentoring program for inner-city and at-risk children. Revive Vice-President and Whiz Kids Director Masie Bross said that after the conference, 95 people volunteered from just one attending church. Of that number, she believes 60 will take on the task of tutoring children in the program.
“That means Revive has put 70 inner-city kids into the life of a caring adult. It’s amazing,” she said.
Wright explained that the women willing to volunteer their time and services often have different talents and gifts to offer. Whether it is finances, prayer or time, the women involved with Revive each contribute in their own unique ways.
The goal of Revive is to connect women in local churches with organizations working to help the poor.
“We believe the result will be the positive transformation of our city when that power of coming together for the common cause of meeting needs and serving others is accomplished,” Wright said.
In 2009, Revive plans to add seven more ministries while also continuing to work with the seven they included this year.
“We foresee having thousands of supporters focusing on the needs of these wonderful ministries that are doing a great job, day by day, in the ‘trenches’ with the less fortunate in our area,” Wright said.
Members of Revive hold tight to the words in Isaiah 58:10, “And if you give yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness.” Cutler and Huffmyer are encouraged and inspired by such verses and they have passed this vision on to others.
Not only are they gaining in the number of volunteers, but they have also drawn the attention of at least one political figure. Congresswoman Mary Fallin.
Although it may seem a little early to be thinking of expansion, Revive volunteers would love to see their vision continue to spread beyond the boundaries of the central Oklahoma area.
“We believe we have been called to serve our community. However, we also believe as God blesses this ministry it will become a model for other cities to follow,” Wright said.
For more information on Revive, visit www.reviveministries.com.