Rain forced the cancellation of many of the early performances that helped build nationwide interest in her performance
Carrie Youngkin’s show Youngkin Live has been around since April and played in New York, Los Angeles, D.C. and Austin, Texas, among other cities, but the 29-year-old evangelist struggled to drum up enough support in the southern part of the country for her final stop: southwest Virginia, a region where US evangelical leaders and politicians have not been nearly as active.
A conservative delegation led by Steve Scalise, a former Republican congressman from Louisiana and the current House majority whip, tried to persuade Youngkin to continue on with the tour. As a group of representatives offered assistance with funding, rehearsals and housing – and despite a plea from Scalise to continue on to Virginia Beach – Youngkin ultimately decided to cancel.
Then Hurricane Florence struck.
“I got one hour of rehearsal with a hundred people so I could walk around the show,” Youngkin said. “I couldn’t do what I normally do. I was going to run faster, jump higher and wrap around corners faster than I ever have.”
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The cancellation will disappoint many of Youngkin’s fans. Starting in April, the up-and-coming evangelist toured across the US, testing the viability of her semi-truck-sized truck with a clever multimedia presentation that mixed well-known gospel songs with a script that urged unity in the face of systemic racism and political influence by corporations and Wall Street.
On Saturday night, hundreds of spectators stood outside a one-hour show at a One Mississippi cultural center. Many of them were young, many were black and all were there to watch Youngkin’s sellout show.
Youngkin, a born-again Christian, urged the attendees to remain faithful through rain, storms and despair and warned that in the darkest moments of our lives, when everything seems so bleak, only Jesus Christ can give us strength.
She told the story of her conviction that God’s Grace is real and powerful and there will be a greater reward for all of us on the final day.
“His sacrifice is perfect and powerful and His life is glorified,” she said. “Is that what you want?”
Some people want guns in their church, she said. Some want to love everyone, not just their immediate family. Others want to be proud of their mothers and fathers. Some want to think about God, but not too much, and others have no clue about God.
“God knows who you are, and no matter what it is, he is yours,” she said. “I am His messenger. I am His voice, the Truth.”
No matter what your situation is, Youngkin has advice for you, she said. It’s what Jesus wants.
“It’s not you,” she said. “Jesus loves you so much, you don’t know. I know Jesus loves you.”
Because these are important issues. Because we still have an uphill battle.