Global harvest for RICE movement as it hits streets
Young people on knees in prayer for their friends
“The harvest is ready,” says Steve Chong, founder of the RICE movement of mostly Asian young people. “The hunger for God to send revival is like nothing I have ever seen before.”
Chong is talking to Eternity after visiting Christchurch, Vancouver, San Francisco and Perth as the RICE movement connects globally. During those events, hundreds have come to Christ, but Chong says “Probably the best thing is that I am seeing in these cities is young people on their knees in surrender praying and calling out to God.”
“Prayer like this seems to have skipped a generation.” – Steve Chong
RICE will hold its large-scale rallies later in the year, which as previous Eternity stories show, bring many young people to Christ. Chong’s latest meetings are aimed at getting young people to bring their friends to the rallies, but many have been saved in these pre-rally gatherings. It’s like God won’t wait for the rallies, Chong suggests.
“Prayer like this seems to have skipped a generation,” Chong says. “I feel like my grandparents’ era had this longing. But it is back again with these youth. They want God to move – and if he does not, we do not have heaps of hope. So it is part desperation, which is good as it comes out of a place of humility.”
Chong uses the term “West-Asian” to denote the core of RICE’s support base – young Asian men and women growing up within a Western society.
“We hope that we are bringing a sound and a song that will be our battle cry.” – Steve Chong
Another RICE initiative is its soon-to-be-released first song. “We’ve never written a song in 18 years of the movement, but God is raising up creatives and our first one is about to be released. We believe it captures the essence of the best of the West and the best of the East, so we hope that we are bringing a sound and a song that will be our battle cry.”
Street evangelism, a mainstay of historic revivals, is being adopted by RICE with the tag #stagetothe streets. “For so long it has been about the big evangelist on the big platform – which we still love – but everyone has a responsibility to evangelise so we don’t wait for the stage [rally]; we have been taking it to the streets.”
“If you only have Christian friends you are doing something wrong.” – Steve Chong
The desire to move out of the rally halls and into the streets was summed up at the Perth meeting by Pastor Jonathan Quay, recorded by Chong saying “I think a lot of the time we can come forward to events like this and it is all too easy to raise our hands and sing the same songs we know … one of the big mistakes the church has made is to make it all about this – that we have got a multi-million dollar auditorium, a bright LCD screen, and as long as you are comfortable in that chair you are part of church. … This is the biggest lie … can I tell you the truth? If you only have Christian friends you are doing something wrong.”
RICE is growing as a movement with new local leaders for RICE Sydney as Chong moves into a global role. With growing support from a rising generation of West-Asian entrepreneurs, and at 18 years of age, RICE is growing into maturity.
Rice rally tickets are now on sale at https://ricemovement.org/rally/