Reproduced from Renewal Journal 12: Harvest
Thousands are getting saved and
God’s miracle power touches people
Argentina has been basking in Revival for almost 15 years. And I don’t mean the type of Revival where 3 people or even 30 people get saved in one meeting. I am talking about a Revival where thousands are getting saved and where God’s miracle power touches people.
Charisma Magazine has reported that during the last decade, the population of Latin American Protestants grew from 18.6 million to 59.4 million. That represents a 220 percent increase, nine times the growth rate of the general population. Secular researchers calculate that 400 Latin Americans convert to evangelical Christianity every hour.
The revival is transforming the religious landscape. In Peru, a Protestant church is planted every eight hours. In Rio de Janeiro, one new congregation is born every day. Brazil’s largest denomination, the Assemblies of God, has grown tenfold since 1980, to 15 million members and 90,000 local congregations.
The fastest growth has been among Pentecostal and charismatic churches. Less than 2 percent of the Protestant population at the end of World War II were in Pentecostal churches. Today, about 66% of Latin American Protestants attend a Pentecostal church.
1. Change of Plans
Claudio Freidzon recounts: In 1985 I had a vision of God in my room. It must have been two or three in the morning. I was asleep. Suddenly, God woke me up and showed me a vision on the wall, right before my eyes. I saw the picture of a public square in the district of Belgrano (within the same city of Buenos Aires). In the vision, the square was filled with people who were celebrating in an evangelistic campaign similar to the ones that Carlos Annacondia held. And the Lord said to me: “This is your new field of work.”
God showed me that he wanted me to reveal his glory in that place, and that he wanted to move us away from the place where we had worked for so may years. When I mentioned this to my wife, she did not understand it immediately. Now that things were beginning to go well in Parque Chas, ought we to move to another district? Nevertheless, I was sure of what God had showed me. It was a difficult situation, and a highly challenging one. While my heart was pondering over these things, hundreds of men and women whom I had never seen before (but whom I would meet later in that square) walked around lost, hopeless and without God in this world. Daniel Perotti and Sergio Marquet (called “the Frenchman”) were among them. At present, thanks to the tremendous change that God operated in their lives, they are two of my associate pastors.
I went and had a look at the public square I had been shown. A sign said “Plaza Noruega”. There was a crowd of drug addicts sitting around on the floor. I began to take measurements of the place, and to find out where I would get electricity for my evangelistic campaign. Someone in the neighbourhood watched my movements, came up to me and said: “Look here, I don’t know what you are going to do, but I hope you will clean up the square, because here we have the worst of them. This is the meeting place of the worst kind of drop-outs in Belgrano. Last week they killed a man…” I prayed to the Lord silently: “Father, are you sure this is the square you showed me?” The man went on: “This is the territory of “El Francés” (the Frenchman), a dangerous man.”
A violent battle raged within me while he spoke. On the one hand I had the comfort of my little flock which was beginning to multiply, and on the other the great challenge of the unknown. There were also difficulties in finding an evangelist willing to preach in that public square.
All the preachers I invited were unable to accept for various reasons. God wanted me to do the job of an evangelist! That evangelistic campaign in February 1986 was historical. Great signs and wonders followed the preaching of the Gospel. That is how the “King of Kings” church was born in the Belgrano district. I have never repented of having obeyed that vision!
2. A New Time
1992 marked a new era for Claudio Freidzon’s ministry. In that same year he received a visit from Pastor Werner Kniesel, who was well respected by him. Actually Kniesel is a Pastor in the city of Zurich (Switzerland) in the church called “Christliches Zentrum Buchegg” (Christian Center Buchegg) having one of the largest congregations in Europe. He knew Claudio from their student days at the Seminar. When Claudio told him of his many ministerial activities, this man asked him: “How much time do you dedicate to listening to the Holy Spirit?” That question would change his life. He suspected that God had something else in mind, for him and he needed to know God more intimately, a new relationship with the Holy Spirit. Pastor Ibarra, a great man of God with a great sensitivity to things related to the Holy Sprit, was always a great blessing for Claudio, even though they didn’t see each other very often. In those days he shared the great blessing that the book Good morning, Holy Spirit by Pastor Benny Hinn of the Christian Center in Orlando had been for him.
Claudio Freidzon reports: God greatly blessed me through that book, so I decided to visit the United States in order to share a time of prayer with brother Benny Hinn. Pastor Benny Hinn’s testimony, and his relationship with the Holy Spirit, were a great inspiration for my own life. Betty and I went to the Christian Center in Orlando with great expectations. The atmosphere of that worship service was charged with glory, and worship went up to God in a deep and magnificent manner. I did not want to miss the smallest detail of that moment. All I longed for was to be with the Lord, to meet him and to get to know him. When Pastor Benny invited me to pray with him on the platform, I was amazed. He did not know me personally, but the Holy Spirit guided him to pray for me in a marvellous way. It was all part of a plan from above. God had planned new times for my life and ministry. As the years went by, Pastor Benny and I have cultivated a beautiful friendship. I love him and respect him. Whenever we meet together we feel the affinity of being united by this same passion: “to know the Holy Spirit more and more, and to be guided by Him.”
While seeking after him, the Holy Spirit came upon Claudio in an extraordinary way. A glorious atmosphere surround the services, and the presence of God began to manifest itself in the church as never before. Without inviting anyone nor promoting what was occurring, it began to be known that something was happening at 2547 Olazabal Street, in the “King of Kings” Church. Pastors came on their own to receive the fresh anointing that transformed their lives and taking them back to their first love. The Holy Spirit came with such power that many laid on the floor under the presence of God for hours, others rejoiced in the Spirit, others cried when the Holy Ghost touched them and others left “drunk” in the presence of God. God led Claudio Freidzon to recognize his powerful and sovereign hand, producing fruit in many lives and renewing a devoted life in Christians. The work of evangelism and edification was spread over the radio and on television. In the course of days, hundreds of pastors visited the “King of Kings” Church in large numbers to receive the fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit. Many came with their whole congregations. For weeks at a time, on occasions, there were lines hundreds of meters long of people waiting to get into the church. Many traveled from far away places by hired buses to receive more from God.
3. Large Crusades and International Ministry
This situation prompted the church to rent the indoor stadium “Obras Sanitarias” (seating 6,000 people) in order to provide a solution for the lack of space. In addition to the weekly meetings in the Obras Sanitarias Stadium, a crusade was called in the largest indoor stadium in the city: the “Luna Park” stadium.
Attendance went beyond the capacity of the stadium. Two meetings were held on the same day; 15,000 attended each, while over 25,000 unable to get into the facility, filled the streets. The police had to cut off traffic on the avenues and streets around the stadium because of the crowds of brothers waiting to get inside. The biggest crusade in Argentina was held on 9 April, 1993. Over 65,000 people packed the “Velez Sarsfield” soccer stadium. Brothers and sisters from all denominations, from many far away places in our country came to seek the face of God on a historic Good Friday.
The ministry of Claudio Freidzon began to spread outside the borders of Argentina. Ministers and Christian leaders -even as teams- started to travel from all over the world to Argentina to receive God’s touch.
Claudio Freidzon has written a book called Holy Spirit I Hunger for You, which to date has been translated into six languages: English, French, Japanese, German, Czech and American English. Many Christians around the world have been inspired by this book to develop a deeper and more personal relationship with the Holy Spirit.
More than a million and a half people to date have been reached by his ministry in a personal way, through crusades, conferences, special events and meetings in churches.
Source: Claudio Freidzon’s website at http://www.reydereyes.org.ar/
Reflections on the Argentinian revival
By J. Conrad Lampan (missionary pastor from Freidzon’s church to the USA):
As I see it there have been three major steps so far in the outpouring of the Holy Ghost in Argentina. The three steps have to do more with the way God wanted to manifest himself to us rather than what we did in order to have revival. We cannot schedule revivals. We just pray and let him be God !
The first step or manifestation was through the ministry of Carlos Annacondia. He was raised by the Lord to a ministry of power with great manifestations of the Holy Spirit in healing and in casting out demons. A highly powered ministry aimed toward reaching the lost. Brother Annacondia says that he is not a good preacher, but the Lord gave him a heart for the lost and also gave him the power to reach them and fill their needs.
Now, this first stage of manifestations of God could be seen in Brother Annacondia’s ministry but the church as a whole seemed to be unaffected. I mean he preached to multitudes and ess is not enough. We love to have power. We need his power. But we want to have his power and keep our own ways. He is saying now: “I will give you power, I will use you, I will bless you … but you must be holy.”
The great secret behind this scene is that we should stop looking for power, stop looking for manifestations or miracles. We should stop trying to be holy on our own efforts and stop trying to sanctify people; that is the work of the Holy Ghost.
If we start to search for the person, the blessed Holy Ghost, if we come close to him and he becomes our friend and our master, our companion and our Lord, we will have all what he is.
Preparation for revival includes prayer and action. This has been true in all revivals. Churches in Argentina prayed for revival and prayed for the unsaved people. God cannot stay inactive when a lost soul is being prayed for!
Preparation included other people like Alberto Scattaglini taking some unusual “risks” among evangelical circles inviting a not known preacher. Or people like Ralph Hiatt planting the seed from which many of the most outstanding pastors in Buenos Aires came forth. Or that first “hit” in Argentina back in 1954 with another unknown preacher Tommy Hicks.
Can God heal a barren land?
About four years ago a group from our church in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Iglesia Rey de Reyes, Pastored by Rev Claudio Freidzon) started a mission work in a Northern province in Argentina among some of the Indian tribes still living in that area. They worked among those people helping them spiritually and materially.
Our missionaries preached the Word of God to them and also gave them medical assistance, clothing, food, and seeds. The native people stared at them strangely: Soon they discovered they were intending to have the Indian people cultivate a barren land. Now what would those people do with seeds in a barren earth? Nothing would grow in that earth, only some weeds dare to show up there.
Our missionaries then decided that the best thing to do was to pray to the God that promised to heal the land.
They took some handfuls of earth in a bag to Buenos Aires and brought it to the church that have sent them on that missionary work. The church prayed for that earth laying hands on the bag. We prayed that God would heal that land and restore it to produce food for those people. Later on they took back the earth to the missions place and spread it all over the area in the name of Jesus.
The next thing the missionaries brought to the church was a basket full of ‘first fruits’, all kinds of crops, from the barren land that was healed by the power of God.
Source: Global Revival News, Argentine Revival
See also, Renewal Journal #11, “Standing in the Rain” by Brian Medway.
(c) Renewal Journal 12: Harvest, 1998, 2011.
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included in the text.
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