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Author Interview: Sarah Baldwin

I'm so excited to share an author interview with Sarah Thomas Baldwin. She was my campus pastor when I attended George Fox University over a decade ago. She now serves as Vice President of Student Life at Asbury University and recently recounts her eyewitness experience as a leader on campus during the outpouring the students experienced in February of 2023. Her recently published book with Invite Press is a gripping retelling of the day-by-day unfolding from overnight worship service to hosting the nations in a tiny college town within a span of days. I couldn't put the book down! I was blessed to get an early reader copy of the manuscript and zipped through it between nap times, bedtimes, and potty training since my homeschool community responsibilities had just wrapped up. Having coordinated various events in my life I was struck with the ease the team at Asbury was able to flow with an unexpected move of God on their campus and all the logistical nightmares that unfolded with the thousands of visitors that descended upon their little campus. To hear how they sought the Lord with each decision and stewarded the sweet presence of Jesus through all the things that were thrown at them was inspiring, and truly a testimony in and of itself. The story was an encouragement to me as a leader and someone who loves to learn how other leaders have stewarded revival. You can grab a copy of her book on Amazon here. I remember watching the outpouring spread across social media around the same time as mine and Riley's first book came out and it did not feel like a coincidence. It's truly a wonderful encouragement to hear first hand about the event many of us watched pieces of unfold online. Sarah sweetly agreed to answer a few of my questions about the book and you can find our Q&A below:

Was this the first book you've ever written?

Yes! and it was an unusual experience. I felt as though the Holy Spirit gave me the book.  I had sense that this was the book God gave to me to write.  It felt as though I was pregnant with this story and it had to be told! 

What is your hope for readers to take away from the book?

I hope people experience a fresh sense of the presence and love of God! The outpouring is for everyone! I hope people are renewed in the Holy Spirit and also encouraged that God is still moving.

What was the hardest part about writing this book?

The story I was trying to tell is huge! It is so much bigger than me.  As soon as it was done, I felt as though it didn't even scratch the surface of the experience! 

I loved the unity of the generations depicted in your retelling of the story what would you say are some of the sticky points in our culture right now that make it hard for the generations to be in unity like you saw at Asbury in 2023?

We are very divided politically, religiously and culturally.  Usually, our divide in theological or political perspective gets in the way of worshipping together. But Jesus is the gravity that pulls us together.  When we come to the foot of the cross, desiring to be filled with the Holy Spirit, surrendered to Jesus, we recognize our need for God and need for each other. The cross is the beginning of unity.  The cross does not divide, it calls us together in recognition that we need a rescue plan.

What are some of the things you see in Gen Z that give you hope for the future of the church and our country?

Gen Z demonstrated a receptance and hunger for God.  They responded to the simplicity of the gospel.  Gen Z showed us humility, repentance, conviction and challenged us to want more of Jesus.

Now that the book is done, do you think you'll write another book in the future about Asbury or something else?

I loved this experience of writing! It was joyful for me and I am eagerly wanting to write more! I am praying about the next thing that God has!

If you could prepare your readers for what they were about to read or give them a special kind of glasses to read the book through what might the lens or forewarning be you'd like to prepare a reader with before they start the book?

What a wonderful question! I would say:  ask the Holy Spirit to reveal more of the love of God to you!  I would also say to be ready to say Yes to Jesus!

Will the book be available in multiple formats? (e-book, audiobook)?--

I hope so! I am praying for next steps! Pray with me for multiple translations and an audiobook!

------ Make sure to grab a copy here!

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