A fire is starting at Point Loma Nazarene University. On March 26, 2023, a total of 35 people were baptized. Students gathered on Sunset Cliffs and crowded garbage beach to worship the Lord and support their peers who were made new through being dunked in the ocean.
The baptisms were a result of Kamp Love. According to their website, Kamp Love is a weekend retreat centered on camping, connection, community and Christ.
Dunk day started right after the campers returned to campus. Several people who did not attend camp came to support as well.
“It was so cool,” said Hannah Rench, first-year education major who got baptized that day. “I was literally speechless. Every time someone went under, I would just start crying.”
Kenzie Lopez, first-year dietetics major, was also baptized and said that you could totally feel that the spirit of the Lord was there.
“It was so unreal. It felt so moving and the energy was so different,” said Lopez. “It felt like a community and that Point Loma was getting back together again.”
Rench said that she had every single person who was a big part of her faith journey in the water with her.
“It was such a special moment,” said Rench. “I read the other day that God purposefully places people in your life at the right time. I don’t think I would have even gone to camp if it wasn’t for those people.”
Lopez said that seeing all the baptisms was unexplainable joy. She also said that she felt supported by her community and loved.
“It felt like heaven on earth,” said Lopez.
Bode Horton, a first-year communication major, was also baptized.
“It was super amazing and super encouraging to see so many peoples’ lives transformed by the gospel. It was super cool to see the unity that came out of it,” said Horton.
This event sparked a revival at PLNU.
Lopez said that the first week after camp, there was an energy on campus, and she could tell that there was a revival coming. She said that even her friends who did not attend camp felt the energy and were moved by it.
“I hope it’ll continue to be like that because I think Loma needs the community and revival and on fire feeling for the Lord,” said Lopez. “I truly believe that each and every one person that was there, was there for a reason and to spread it.”
Ryan Cummings, a third-year media communication major has also seen the Lord working throughout his years at PLNU, but especially this year.
He said that he has been praying for two and a half years that the Lord would move here. Cummings said that he has loved seeing people have one-on-one encounters with the Lord that leads to them being changed by the Holy Spirit.
“Suddenly, I’m talking to all of these people that I know, and they’re talking about God with an understanding of His intimacy, and that is so blowing my mind,” said Cummings.
Horton said that before camp, he felt that a lot of people were settling for lukewarm Christianity, where it was a part of their lives but not super important. He has noticed that now, peoples’ lives have been transformed because of what Jesus did and how God has been moving since then.
“I’ve heard so many crazy testimonies of healings, like physical healings, mental healings or people being healed from addictions,” said Horton. “There’s big excitement for God and this super strong hunger for God that wasn’t there before, and now, all of the sudden, everyone is getting super hungry and passionate about Jesus, which is so cool.”
Jazmyn Collins, a second-year Christian studies major and psychology minor, has also been praying for revival at PLNU. Last year, she gathered in the prayer chapel with different groups of people, and they prayed for a fire to start in the incoming classes.
“I’d say the process has been at God’s pace,” said Collins. “He’s always bringing revival. We’ve seen the prayers being answered.”
Cummings’ pastor at Light Church Downtown said that every big revival has been preceded by a prayer movement and a movement of repentance.
Cummings said that the week that his pastor talked about this topic was the same weekend as the 24-hour prayer session, where people gathered at one of the students’ houses to pray and worship the Lord for 24 hours.
Then, the next day at house church, which takes place at his home on Sunday nights, there were people vocally repenting. In one weekend, there was a prayer movement and a movement of repentance.
“What revival is, is the love of God. And when we say revival, I think it just means that you see that happening to a lot of people encountering the love of God,” said Cummings. “You can encounter the sweetness of the Lord every single day, and he wants you to encounter that. You don’t need a camp experience. That thinking is great and those kinds of things are so awesome, but the Lord wants to meet you every single day in that way.”
Kamp Love and the baptisms on the cliffs are just the start of the spark for revival that God is starting at PLNU.
“People are so in love with Jesus, and it’s obvious,” said Collins.
Written By: Isabel Cheeseman