Sitting in the green room at the studios of the local affiliate of Trinity Broadcasting Network, Pastor Bryan Thomas was prepared to offer some Godly counsel on marriage. As he waited, it seemed the Lord began to speak to him distinctly about his home of San Antonio.
As a native San Antonian raised on the eastside, Pastor Thomas loves the beautiful city where he was raised, attended public schools, and graduated from college. He met his wife Sharon and was married in the Alamo City. They began a family and now have raised three children in this special community.
In Luke 19:41, as Jesus came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city, He began to weep. He wanted to draw each person in this beloved city to Himself as a hen gathers chicks under her wings. But Jerusalem was not willing. And He wept!
In all the natural beauty and rich culture of this beloved city, what does Jesus see as He views San Antonio? Amidst all the splendor and richness, Jesus sees the hurt, drugs, poverty, crime, abuse, trafficking and neglect. He sees the powerless, the helpless, the weak, and those without a voice.
Jesus loves the people of our city enough to call His church to go beyond the four walls of their campuses, to step off the curbs, and literally invade the four corners of the city. Jerusalem was not willing. How about San Antonio?
Instead of Jesus weeping over this city, the desire of Pastor Thomas’ heart was for the Holy Spirit to SWEEP over San Antonio! To sweep over S.A. with His glory, presence, restoration, peace, and power!
From these thoughts and desires came an idea for church unity through community service leading to city transformation called “SWEEP Over SA!”
Bryan and Sharon began hosting gatherings over dinner in their home to share the vision with friends they met over the years who responded with nearly unanimous support and encouragement.
At the very first meeting, it was determined that prayer had to be at the center of the work. A prayer leader was selected and meetings began to occur on Friday nights at River City Christian School on Blanco near Oblate.
As defined by its leaders, SWEEP Over SA! has the potential to be a powerful movement of the Holy Spirit through the lives of Christ-centered individuals, from all walks of life and denominations, who believe God wants to heal, transform, and draw people of this city to Himself.
- S – Serve
- W – Witness
- E – Evangelize
- E – Encourage
- P – Pray
…for the residents of San Antonio on September 11-13, 2015
Among those who have come into unity with SWEEP are Habitat for Humanity, Joshua Initiative, The Justice Foundation, and Daily Bread Ministry in addition to nearly 150 area churches!
To join SWEEP, churches, ministries, groups, or individuals can register their planned activity in unity with others who have already committed by going to the event’s website, www.sweepoversa.org Participants are not required to engage in service activity all three days—it may be for as little as one hour sometime during that week-end.
Among the many activities scheduled include a Youth Flash Mob at local malls, coordinated by Elyon Media. However, others are simply delivering breakfast tacos to first responders or prayer-walking their neighborhoods.
Whatever is done as an expression of God’s love for this city will be blessed!
To celebrate all that God has done, a praise and worship activity is planned for Sunday, September 13 at Alamo City Christian Fellowship on IH-35, 6:00-8:00 PM.
The leaders of SWEEP are clear that this is not about hosting an event or engaging in a three-day campaign. It is really about a move of the Spirit that is already taking place as Christians surrender to His Life moving in and through them! As such, SWEEP will continue beyond the dates set for this inaugural event!
So join now or join later—but unite with many others in seeking Him to SWEEP Over SA!
Mr. Gene Hildabrand is a lay leader and member of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio