‘The Lord set people free’ at Missions Conference revival

Former Prayer and Worship team member reflects on the baptisms and spontaneous praise at the 2023 conference.


Jenn Makmur//CHIMES

Met By Love worship leads students in song during Missions Conference.

Karly Pridmore, Guest Writer

What a joy it is to reflect on the past few weeks on our campus here at Biola. Missions Conference, an annual Biola-wide conference, celebrated one hundred years of the Student Missionary Union here. Missions Conference has been such a pivotal experience for students during their undergrad at Biola. With the delay of the Missions Conference experience for most Biolans due to COVID-19, seeing how this set-aside week has impacted our student body is beautiful. 

As someone who was a part of Missions Conference on the Prayer and Worship team during spring 2022, there is a joy that comes with getting to experience it differently than the previous year. On Wednesday, March 22, students gathered in line, anticipating the first session with great expectations for the week. As I began talking with those around me in line, there was a hunger for the Lord that was stirring from freshmen to seniors who were not required to attend. During the breakout sessions and evening session on Wednesday, it seemed as though students were excited yet still getting their bearings for such an environment on Biola’s campus. 

Though Wednesday was full of many impactful moments, different activities and exploration of different ways to get involved in global and local missions, there was something unique about Thursday. The hunger which stirred all day Wednesday was brought to fruition through the move of the Holy Spirit on our campus, which ignited in such a tangible and beautiful way Thursday. From morning session to night session, students were locked in, hearts in awe, and truly set on fire for the Lord. Rachel Closs brought the word on Thursday night’s session, driving home the realities of what it looks like to truly walk in obedience and total surrender to the Lord’s plan. Her testimony inspired students across the gym to publicly confess their deep need for the Lord. It was a tender moment to witness students repent of their sins, rededicate their lives to Christ and then receive prayer from peers within their community. 


Shortly after, a call for baptism seemed to be prompted by the Holy Spirit’s move on our campus. Over one hundred and fifty students gathered in the murky waters of the Talbot East reflection pool, while forty students spontaneously felt the call to publicly declare their faith. There was testimony after testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness before students’ time at Biola, but especially a more profound marking from the Holy Spirit from this week’s Mission Conference. It was a moment of weeping and rejoicing, as the student body came together to pray over those being baptized. Students even came forward to receive prayer for suicidal ideation, struggles with OCD and similar issues. The Lord stepped in through the power of the Holy Spirit and set people free. 

In my three years here at Biola, I have never quite seen unity like this. Moments of reverence and awe continued as students went from being baptized to worshiping Jesus throughout the entirety of the night. Not only was Thursday such a beautifully impactful day, but the rest of the week and even the weekend as well — there was a weight of reverence as students longed to linger in the presence of God. Missions Conference 2023 was nothing shy of exceedingly, abundantly more than we could have ever imagined. Praise the Lamb for how students continue to embrace one another and pray for one another as they are set on fire for the movement of God in our student body.

This letter to the editor first appeared in print on May 1, 2023 in the Chimes Magazine Vol. 2, Issue 4 edition.

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