Randy Clark, founding director of Global Awakening (globalawakening.com), leads short term missions in the power of the Spirit worldwide. His personal stories are in his books Lighting Fires and There Is More. The stories here in this article are stories of what happened through the ministry members on their teams and others who were blessed by their ministry. For over 20 years Randy has been leading teams and equipping people of faith to minister just as Jesus told us to, and as Jesus taught his followers to do.
Jesus was, of course, the world’s best at short term supernatural missions – constantly travelling, as Paul and his teams did later.
This article is reproduced from Chapter 10 of Randy Clark’s book Supernatural Missions (Global Awakening, 2012), “Power Evangelism in Short Term Mission Trips”. See bookstore on www.globalawakening.com
What is the place of short-term missions in the big picture of world evangelization? It is not meant to replace long-term mission efforts, but to be in cooperation with them. Those who go on short term mission trips and minister in the power of the Spirit often return home with a new passion for what God is doing in the earth. Such trips can also benefit the ongoing work in the field, by impacting large groups of people through evangelistic meetings, bringing impartation and refreshment to the host pastors and churches. By seeing what God does through short-term missions, we may engage in his overall plan in a strategic way.
The Effects of Short-Term Mission trips on team members
1.) The “Vicious Downward Spiral” is reversed
2.) Full-time missions service
3.) Connections are created between local churches and the host country leaders or churches
4.) Vision is created for International Ministry
The Effects of Short Term Mission trips on Receiving/Hosting Groups:
Apostolic Impartation for Pastors
Power Evangelism in Short-term Missions
The Effects of Short-Term Mission trips on team members
1.) The “Vicious Downward Spiral” is reversed
Several years ago I ministered at a large Vineyard Church in Champaign, Illinois. I had known the pastor for many years and was shocked at the change of atmosphere in his church from the last time I had ministered there some years before. The church had continued to grow numerically, but there was a noticeable difference in the people’s expectation for God to move in their midst. I felt such a spirit of grief that I found it hard to speak.
Later, when I met with the Pastor Happy Leman and his staff, the executive pastor asked me a very important question. This question would change the way I looked at inviting people to come with me to minister in other countries. Prior to that time, I felt somewhat awkward inviting people to go with me, as if what I was doing was self-serving. But, after this question I have never felt that inviting someone to go with me to the nations was self-serving. The question was, “What do you do to keep your expectation for healing high?” The executive pastor continued, “Our doctrinal belief hasn’t changed since you first met us years ago. Then, what we believed doctrinally we expected to happen in our midst. However, since then, though our beliefs have not changed, our experience has not matched our beliefs. As a result our expectation has dropped. With the dropping of our expectation, our experience dropped, and we see less than before. Now, we are caught in a vicious cycle. Each year it seems like our experience is less, and our expectation drops even more.” He then asked the question, “What do you do to not get caught in this vicious cycle?”
I responded, “I have to go somewhere where there is an open heaven- where there are apostolic leaders who are getting a break through, and minister in that context for a couple of weeks twice a year. During that time I will see more healings than most pastors will see in a lifetime. This builds up my experience and causes my expectation for healing to remain high.” This is what I have been doing for 17 years, and it not only works for me. I see it affect the people who come with me as well. They have their faith raised for healing due to their experience of seeing so many people get healed and seeing God use them to bring healing to people.
I have had several pastors from various denominations come with me to the nations who were so discouraged that they were looking at the want ads in the paper. They felt like they couldn’t continue in ministry unless God refreshed them and touched them. They were “burned out”, discouraged and depressed. I watched these men be touched by the Holy Spirit and saw them experience a whole new zeal and energy for ministry. Depression was broken off. Hopelessness was replaced with faith that God would use them. One of these pastors was 60 years old when this happened to him. The years since then have been the most productive, most exciting and most fruitful of his entire 40+ years of ministry.
Why are short-term mission trips important? The kind I am talking about, the team is the ministry team. They gives words of knowledge and pray for the sick to be healed for hours every day. This is important for the creation of faith that God will use the team members. “This experience changed my life” is one of the most common responses we get on our evaluation forms.
2.) Full-time missions service
Two pastors who have taken more people with me to the nations are Tom Jones and Tom Hauser. When they first started going with me on short-term ministry trips to the nations, Tom Jones was pastoring one of the largest Church of God Cleveland, Tennessee churches in Florida. Tom Hauser was on staff as the Executive Pastor of one of the larger Vineyard Churches on the East Coast in North Carolina. Their churches developed not only a strong openness to the Holy Spirit but also a strong commitment to missions. Both of their churches would have several people leave their secular jobs and become missionaries after going with us on short-term ministry trips. Tom Jones had a total of 6 people become missionaries in 10 years. Tom Hauser had a total of 8 people become missionaries in 6 years. He has seen around 160 go on short-term mission trips. Also, his church helped establish two orphanages and plant 73 churches in Nepal, India, Costa Rica and the US. It is true that there could be other factors contributing to this outcome, such as the fact that both churches were deeply committed to renewal and the outpouring of the Spirit in Toronto. But, when you compare the percentage who went on trips to the percentage who didn’t go on trips in relationship to going into missions or other mercy type ministries, I believe the variable is sufficiently removed to give us a better indication of the effects of the trips.
This is not just true for my ministry trips. I have a spiritual father, Cleddie Keith, who was for many years in the Assemblies of God denomination, and who took people from his church on ministry trips with him. These trips were very similar to mine in that the people were expected to be the ministry team and pray for the people. He has taken several hundred on short-term mission trips. During the last 17 years since the beginning of the renewal, which he was very committed to, over 30 people have gone into missions or full-time ministry from his church.
3.) Connections are created between local churches and the host country leaders or churches
People we took on our first few trips to Mozambique to work with Heidi and Rolland Baker of Iris Ministries, became a great blessing to their ministry. Many of these pastors and businessmen continued to provide support to their ministry. Terry Inman’s Assembly of God church in California has been supportive with finances and with people going to serve. Alan Hawkins, pastor of a Charismatic church in New Mexico, has made several trips to minister with Iris Ministries. Tom Hauser has made many trips and has sent several couples and individuals to work with Iris since his first trip to Mozambique. On our first trip, we had people from Australia and the United States with us. Two of the people came back as full time missionaries within one year of that first trip.
What I hadn’t expected though I should not have been surprised, was how my own interns and students from our school would be sent to help Heidi and Rolland. Will Hart and his wife Musy, were recently married when they led a trip for me to Mozambique. I received an email from Heidi. “Randy, will you give Will and Musy to me? I am in need of them!” I told her of course I would and that if they wanted to go, I would bless them. They went and spent three years serving Rolland and Heidi after Will had already spent three years serving me. In Mozambique, they would have their first two children, born at home without a doctor or midwife. They only had a book to read. Then Jean Nicole, another one of my interns, went and became a missionary with Heidi. He married another Iris missionary named Teisa. Today, they are working with Iris South Africa. On my last trip to Mozambique, I took Timothy, a young intern of mine. He is very bright and graduated first in his high school class. He loved our time in Mozambique and wants to move back there with his new wife. The two plan to help Heidi and Rolland as Timothy continues his theological studies.
One of the most exciting short-term ministry trips we do is to Brazil in July each year. It is called the Youth Power Invasion. Each year 125-200 youths from America, ages 13-29, join with several hundred youths from Brazil. We spend a week teaching the youth in the day about how to preach, heal the sick, receive words of knowledge, and lead ministry teams. At night the youth divide into 4 groups and go with me and other key leaders to conduct services for healing and impartation in the local churches. The second week our key speakers come home and the youth lead the teams. They often see up to 8,000 healings during those two weeks! Many of the young people are so impacted that they quit their careers or schooling to take two years to be trained at our Global School of Supernatural Ministry in Mechanicsburg, PA.
From my trips to Brazil, I know of many families that have continued to go to minister on their own in the country. From Tom Hauser’s church and Tom Jones’ church, several couples and individuals have gone as longer-term missionaries. From our Global School of Supernatural Ministry we have people who first went to Brazil with us that are now going back long term (five students from our current class and two from a former class including a 74 year old student.) The five students are going to southern Brazil to start a Global School of Supernatural Ministry and hope to have 5-10 other classmates join them next year. The older woman went to be a missionary with an Indian tribe that is in revival as a result of our team going to minister near the reservation where the Baileys work (see chapter 1). This tribe continues to reach out to the other tribes of the same dialect in the region.
Our ministry works with apostolic leaders around the world. When we first started the Global School of Supernatural Ministry, we sent out a letter to ask the apostolic leaders what they needed most. Their response was a school similar to ours that could be conducted in their country. Presently, many of our students between their 20’sto 70’s desiring to go and start ministry schools in Brazil, South Africa,Thailand, England, and India.
Others who went with us to Brazil have gone back to begin orphanages and to work in the favelas (slums) with the poor. Several others who first traveled with us are now taking their own teams into Brazil and other Latin American countries.
On one trip we took with us veterinarian Frank Pak and his wife Robbie to Ukraine. When I wasn’t able to continue coming into the country on a regular basis, the Pak’s picked up where I left off. They have made multiple trips to serve the church including medical trips, trips to work with drug addicts and trips to strengthen the pastors and churches. They now lead their own teams from the church they attend.
In 1996 I led my first team to Russia and continued for about three years to take large teams there. Russ Purcello, pastor of a large independent church in Tennessee, went with me. He had been involved in taking many mission trips to Honduras but had never felt a burden for Russia. However, when I shared about the trip, he felt he should go. Since his first trip, he has continued replicas of my meetings in almost every political region in Russia. God touched him so profoundly that for more than a decade, he and his church have been going into Russia to strengthen the young pastors and leaders. He has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into his efforts to strengthen the churches in Russia. After my initial three-year commitment to Russia, the door was opened wide for me to work more in Brazil. It was such a relief to see Pastor Purcello continue the much needed training and impartation to the leaders and pastors of Russia that I could no longer reach.
These stories are just some of the fruit from the connections between the local churches and the host church or leaders. Some of these missionaries have received substantial help including hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, that came through their continued connection with the pastors and wealthy businessmen that went with us. When they saw what was being done, for example by Iris Ministries in Mozambique, their hearts and wallets were opened to the Bakers and the work in Mozambique.
4.) Vision is created for International Ministry
Almost all of the people I have mentioned in the above paragraphs had no vision for international ministry or mission work when they first went with us to the nations. But, for the majority their first trip touched them so profoundly that they made several trips as finances could be raised, and some ended up either starting ministries that reached out to the world or to a local country. Most began these in the country they visited first or the one they visited most on short-term trips with us.
The Effects of Short Term Mission Trips upon the Receiving /Hosting Group
1. Apostolic Impartation for Pastors
Most of our International Ministry Trips are focused on encouraging, equipping and imparting to pastors and leaders who are related to national indigenous apostolic leaders. The exception is Mozambique where Rolland and Heidi Baker are not indigenous, although they are apostolic. (The reason I now use “ministry trips” rather than “mission trips” is because the implications of mission traditionally seem more paternal, when in reality, some of the places we work are far ahead of much of the Western Church.) I will be sharing what some of these leaders have told us regarding the value of our ministry trips to their leadership.
Brazil is where we have conducted most of our International Ministry Trips. We have averaged about 5 trips per year with about 70 days a year in Brazil by either myself or one of my colleagues in ministry. No other nation has received so much time and resources invested into it from our ministry.
Why have we made so many trips to Brazil? First, when I first went to Brazil, I had already made several trips to Argentina where I worked with Dr. Pablo Deiros and Dr. Carlos Mrarida of the Baptist denomination. Also, I had been working with Omar Cabrera Sr. in his denomination, Vision de Futuro. When I made my first trip to Brazil I told a friend, “I feel like the revival in Argentina has peaked and is diminishing in power. I feel like we are catching the beginning of the wave of revival in Brazil, and I want to ride it to its end.”
Second, I believe Brazil will be the number one missionary sending country in the world in this century. A few years ago, I heard C. Peter Wagner remark that Brazil is the country most in revival. I believe that wherever revival is the strongest is where you will see the most missionaries sent out. I wanted to have a part in this revival by equipping and focusing the revival upon the nations with an emphasis of sending forth missionaries.
Third, around 1999 I was in Toronto just after traveling to Sydney, Australia. While there I had worked with Pastor Frank Huston who was a great apostolic leader, especially for the Pacific area, and was also very prophetic. I was in a season of trying to determine from God what was next. I wanted to know if there was anything God wanted me to know. I had asked God to give Frank a prophecy for me in Sydney, but he did not have one. But, when I was in Toronto, Frank called me out and gave me this prophecy: “As God has used you in Toronto, in the near future God is going to use you to birth revival in six nations. Four of those nations your feet have ‘not touched yet.’” A few hours later, I met with delegations from Korea and Brazil inviting me to come to their countries. I definitely believe Brazil is one of those six nations.
Fourth, as I mentioned earlier, Brazil seems to be the land of my anointing. It is definitely the land of my greatest favor. I went there not knowing how to speak a word of Portuguese, not being part of a denominational heritage connected with the country, and not knowing a soul in Brazil. Today, 11 years later, I have spoken in more churches in Brazil than in the United States, including some of the largest in the nation: Pentecostal – Assemblies of God, Quadrangular Four Square), new denominations that are Pentecostal/Charismatic in nature, Methodist, Baptist, and Nazarene. Most of these churches are over 1,000 in average attendance and some have 8,000, 12,000, 30,000 and 60,000 in just one local church. What have the key leaders of these denominations and churches said to me about our trips? In what way were they beneficial to their churches?
1. Belem – Quadrangular
In Belem, located near the mouth of the Amazon in Northeast Brazil, we worked primarily with the Quadrangular denomination. I was invited by Pastor Josue Bengtson, who is over the Quadrangular Church in that region. They have a total of over 30,000 members among many churches in the city of Belem. His son, Paulo told me, “You are the first American that my father has invited back.” When I asked why, he told me that most Americans his father had invited were proud and boastful. But, our teams were humble. Paulo also told me that he believed their churches had grown rapidly recently due to two main reasons: their commitment to cells and the impact of our trips upon their leaders. He told us that our teams really encouraged their pastors and leadership with not only the teachings on equipping, but also the experiences of impartation that their leaders received through the Holy Spirit in our ministry.
2. Maua – Baptist
Pastor Silvio Galli is the pastor of the Living Waters Baptist Church in Maua, Brazil. When we first came to his church, it had about 300 members and was a small church down a dirt road. It was a traditional Baptist Church, but Pastor Galli was open and desperate for the power of the Holy Spirit. When we first ministered in his church, the Holy Spirit fell powerfully. There were many healings including some of the members of the staff. The church building was too small for the crowd. People were outside listening through the windows, in the hallways and were packed in to 140% capacity. Pastor Galli was very excited about what God was doing in his church.
Three years later we revisited this church. I was surprised when we pulled up to the church. It was not down the dirt road. It wasn’t the same little building that would barely seat 300. Instead, it was right on a main street in the city. The building seated about 1,500. They had multiple services to accommodate the 3,000 weekly attendance. He told me that the rapid growth had come because of two main reasons: one, the implementation of the cell system, and two, the impact of the Holy Spirit upon the congregation. This congregation had experienced a significant corporate impartation during our meetings. There were many healings and more continued after we left. They truly received an impartation to move in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Six years later we returned to the church. The church building had once again relocated to a building that would seat over 2,000 people. The church had grown to over 14,000 in 6 locations with 9,000 at the main congregation. Again, the power of God came mightily. Pastor Galli again told me that our last two visits to his church were significant in the rapid growth of the church. This time only ¼ of his church could come on each of the 4 nights due to the limitation of the building. On the third night, we had a noticeable increase in the miraculous. On this night blind eyes saw, deaf ears opened and tumors disappeared. One paralyzed person walked and talked after a stroke had taken both abilities away. A cast was cut off the arm of a woman who had been in excruciating pain. All the pain had left her after she heard a word of knowledge about her condition. Knees with no cartilage were healed, and pain from childhood polio left. Movement was restored to an ankle and many other things happened. The following night, a man who was paralyzed from the neck down from MS and couldn’t even move a finger, got out of the wheel chair and walked. There were so many healings. The pastor again told us that the three visits to his church were a major part of the reason for the phenomenal growth of the church.
3. Joinville – Quadrangular
We visited Joinville in the south of Brazil, where we ministered to the Quadrangular denominational leaders. The main overseer was so discouraged that if the Holy Spirit didn’t come powerfully upon the other pastors during our meeting, he was going to resign his position. He didn’t resign because we had a wonderful visitation of the Holy Spirit. On one of the nights, a man came with such horrible neuropathy that he couldn’t lift his feet from the floor but could only shuffle his feet with the aid of a walker. While he was being healed that night and began to walk, his doctor told me, “I am his doctor. He can’t do that. He hasn’t been able to walk without a walker or pick up his feet in years!” Another man was healed of a substantial heart problem. Deaf ears were opened and blind eyes were healed.
Just as importantly the pastors and leaders experienced a powerful impartation and left the meetings encouraged by this fresh visitation of the Holy Spirit. Some received gifts of healing and greater faith for operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Manaus is a city in northern Brazil located 1,000 miles into the Rain Forest. We first ministered there in September 2001 with Pastor Rene Terre Nova. He was one of Cesar Castellanos’ original 12 in the G-12 movement. Outside of our ministry and the ministry of Heidi Baker, he does not allow anyone to speak that is not in the G-12 movement. We have made 3 or 4 visits to his church over the last 11 years. As I mentioned earlier, his church was disfellowshiped by the Baptist denomination after the Holy Spirit visited it with healing and manifestations. When the church left the Baptist denomination, it had an average attendance of 700. As of our first visit, it had grown to 25,000 in only 7 years.
I will never forget that first visit about a decade ago. At the time I had only seen a few deaf people healed in my whole lifetime. However, in one night we experienced an amazing outpouring of the Holy Spirit connected with a manifestation of nature. The building did not have walls yet. We began to see rain falling and wind blowing inside the building even though this was not happening outside! Within a few minutes, we had 8 deaf people hearing. On our second visit we had over 40 deaf people healed. The church had grown to 40,000 in one congregation. This time the walls were built, but the main doors had not been installed. Once again the rain and the wind only occurring inside the building were supernatural signs of the visitation of God. Wind blew chairs down in the building when there was no wind outside the building. On our last trip, we had a lot of angelic activity. We saw about 9,000 people healed the last night. The church had now grown to 60,000.
The associate pastor, Aaron, told us that the people of the church had nicknamed our teams, “The Wonderworkers.” They could not believe the people who traveled with me were not professional healers who traveled with me everywhere we went. This was even after I had specifically told them that only about 1/10 of the ministry team were ministers. The other 9/10 were people just like them who had paid to come and pray for the sick and minister in Jesus’ name.
5. Sao Paulo
I want to end this section on Brazil with the first place we went in Brazil. It was a pastors meeting for about 1,200 pastors and pastoras (female pastors) in the state of Sao Paulo. I taught for three days. The meetings were very powerful. Our team of 11 was small in comparison to what they would later become (30-200 with an average of around 70). No one on my team was a pastor. On the second day, I lost control of the meetings. So many people were being healed during the sermon on healing that the noise from the excitement of the crowd was drowning out my voice. Even with proper sound amplification, people were unable to hear me.
The last day, I emphasized that we were passing the baton to the Brazilians to do the ministry during ministry time and that they would be the ones to give words of knowledge. My team would only be coaching tonight. After a time of impartation, they were released to minister themselves the things our team had been doing.
During that trip Pastor Dirceu had been overseeing setting up special meetings for the Quadrangular denomination. The next time I visited, he told me that the few days with our team were the most impacting on the Quadrangular denomination that he had seen in his life. He told me, “Your ministry has impacted our pastors more than anyone else’s we have brought to Brazil.” I asked him, “Why? How were we different?” He responded, “It isn’t that you are more anointed than others. We have brought some of the most famous ministers in the world to minister to our pastors. They are powerful men of God who preach powerfully. But, when they left, we were the same. When you came, you told us how you moved in the gifts of the Spirit. You explained to us how to receive words of knowledge. You told us we would be able to do so. You told us God would impart these gifts to us, and when you prayed for us, He did.” Pastor Dirceu also told me that he had heard of many testimonies of pastors who had gone back to their respective churches and had seen many healings, whereas before they had seen few if any when they prayed. He said, “When you and your team left, we were different.”
B. Mozambique – Pastors’ Conferences
Next to Brazil, there probably isn’t another country that I have been so committed to serving as Mozambique. For many years we sent two teams a year to Mozambique. I knew that my job description, given to me by God in Toronto, was to be a “Fire Lighter, Vision Caster, and a Bridge Builder.” When I was leaving Mozambique after my first visit and was about to make my first visit to Brazil, Heidi said to me. “Randy, when you get to Brazil, don’t forget us. Tell the Brazilians about us. They already speak the language, and it is easier for them to adjust to the culture than for westerners. Tell them this is not the Macedonian Call- this is the Mozambican call.” I was faithful and during my first years of visits to Brazil, I would often use illustrations about Rolland and Heidi. God used this to open the door for Rolland and Heidi to visit some of the greatest churches in Brazil.
Short-term ministry trips are one way of cross-pollinating between different streams in the revival. Casting a vision for Mozambique and building a bridge between Mozambique and Brazil has been one of my primary goals on these ministry trips. It isn’t enough for me to be used by God to “light the fire” of revival in countries. I am to also cast vision for God’s purposes and build a bridge between networks, denominations, countries, and mission sending and mission receiving countries. I am to communicate the truth that missions follows revival, and that missions is one of the greatest evidences of true revival.
1. Beira – Heidi and key leaders – “thousands of churches and millions of people.”
During my first visit to Mozambique, I preached at three pastors meetings arranged by Rolland and Heidi Baker in Maputo, Beira and Chimoio. I do not like ministering in Mozambique. The primary reason is that I don’t feel needed there and feel intimidated by my translators who often have raised the dead. Rolland and Heidi have encouraged me to continue coming because of the importance of the connection between our ministries. When Heidi visited Toronto for her second time, I was ministering there. As I was preaching, she ran to the front and knelt to pray in response to the message. I knew her name and said to her, “Heidi, God wants to know- do you want the nation of Mozambique?” To which she responded, “Yes!!!” I then said to her, “God is going to give you the nation of Mozambique. You will see the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, and the dead be raised.”
The Spirit of God hit her very powerfully immediately following my prophecy to her. Then she heard God speak to her, “Hundreds of churches and thousands of people.” She replied, “How, God? How can this be? My husband Rolland and I have started four churches in seventeen years and it has almost killed us.” God spoke to Heidi a few other things during those seven days and nights as the experience continued. He told her to gather 12 men together and prophesy over them everything that I had prophesied to her, which she did. In just a couple of years, they started over 200 hundred churches. When I visited her for the first time at their Beira base, the Spirit once again fell upon her as well as Rolland and the main leaders who were present. I could tell by the look on the people’s faces that this was not normal for Heidi in Mozambique, though it was normal for her when she visited the Church in the Western world. This time, she went into a vision and saw ships coming with food and supplies and heard the Lord say, “Thousands of churches and millions of people.” She told me that this was easier to believe than the first word of hundreds of churches and thousands of people. Because God had fulfilled the first word, Heidi now had faith for Him to fulfill the second word. These types of experiences are of great value to apostolic leaders in other countries. It helps establish them in the purposes of God and gives them faith to attempt what was given to them in a prophecy or vision.
2. Chimoio – Mountain Vision
We left Beira and went to Chimoio. When we arrived, Heidi preached the first message. Her message was powerful. Everyone was lying on the ground, prostrated in prayer. I could find no room to lie down, since the floor was covered with the bodies of the saints in prayer. I leaned up against a wall and began to pray. I was very much aware of the fact that I was going to be translated from English into Portuguese and from Portuguese to the local dialect. I began to pray, “Oh Lord, I have not come half way around the world to give a teaching. God I must hear from you. What do you want to say to these people? Oh God, I want to see; I want to see; I want to see into the spiritual realm; I want to see!” Suddenly, I thought I might have seen something. I said, “God, what was that? Did I just see something?” I had had a brief mental picture in my mind’s eye, like a daydream picture. I thought I 218
had seen a man standing on a mountain looking over a great amount of land. He was asking the Lord, “Lord, do you want me to go into this land?” I had an impression that the answer was “yes.”
I have never been a seer, and mental pictures were not something I had much experience with. After the meeting I asked Supresa, one of the key leaders of Iris Ministries, to translate as I interviewed Johnny, who had raised the dead. Supresa would soon begin to raise the dead, and has since raised several of them. On the way I asked Supresa if he had open visions, where he wouldn’t see anything except what God was showing him. He told me he did. This intimidated me more.
That night while I was preaching, I gave an invitation for men who had been on a mountain asking God if they were to go into this land to come forward for prayer. About seven men came forward. A few of them were key leaders in the movement, and another two had actually been on a mountain a few days earlier fasting and praying. During this time these two men had seen a vision of a ball of fire moving through the sky and hovering over Chimoio. They heard God tell them to go to this building (the one we were meeting in) and there they would find their overseers. These men eventually became powerful leaders in Iris’ ministry.
In addition, Heidi told me later that she had been praying for months asking God who was to go into the Muslim northern provinces of Mozambique. God gave her the answer that night. Sometime later, I found out that this story was on the webpage of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. It was called, “The Mountain Vision.” How funny! What started out as a very weak “I thought I might have seen something,” was now called the “Mountain Vision.”
3. Pemba – Mrs. Tanuecki
During another trip to minister in Mozambique with Heidi, she invited me to a pastors conference. After preaching and ministering I was once again very much troubled by what seemed to me my own inadequacy. I went to Heidi and told her that I didn’t want to come back to Mozambique. I said, “You don’t need me here. These people are more powerful than I am. They pray better, and they can communicate the gospel better than I can to their fellow Mozambicans. They are raising the dead; what can I do for them?
Heidi stopped me and pointed to a woman in the crowd named Mrs. Tanuecki. She told me, “That woman over there has been involved in raising several people from the dead, but when you touched her and prayed for her, God took her into a trance. She is still in the trance. We do need you to come with your teams to Mozambique. You carry a special grace, a special anointing.”
Later that day, Heidi had four people pray for me, all of whom had raised the dead, and a few of them had raised three or four from the dead. It was a humbling experience, but one for which I was very grateful. I want to receive an impartation for raising the dead.
As with the section on Brazil, I want to end this one on Mozambique with my very first night in Mozambique and the fruit of that meeting. I was exhausted by the time I arrived. Heidi said, “You might want to rest for half an hour to an hour. Tonight, I want to take you to the dump where we minister to people and then into the city. I also want you to lead devotions with my staff before we leave.”
I was exhausted and didn’t feel like leading devotions for the staff. When we met I asked them, “Why are you here? Tell me your story.” I was shocked to hear that every one of them had been touched either in Toronto, or by someone from Toronto who was carrying the anointing. They were from Israel, England, Canada, United States, and Australia. I began to realize how impacting the Toronto Blessing was upon missions, at least in Mozambique.
While in Maputo I interviewed many people. I remember interviewing the only nurse on the base. At that time there weren’t any doctors on the base and this nurse was working long hours. She was a pretty blond from England, but she was exhausted. She was planning to go back to England in the near future after having fulfilled her commitment. A few days later, I preached a message called “Spend and Be Spent” from 2 Corinthians 12:11. At the conclusion I saw this nurse come forward weeping, touched by the Holy Spirit. She committed that day to stay longer in Mozambique.
Also, I learned quite some time later that on that same day, there was a person on our team from Nebraska named Betty. She too had heard God speak to her about coming back and helping Heidi. She would later return and serve as Heidi’s personal assistant and in other positions for some time. She had no special training or cross-cultural education. She did, however, have a heart that had been touched by the Holy Spirit. Our short-term ministry team had not only impacted the missionaries working in Maputo; the missionaries, in turn, had impacted our team. Those who came to “refresh others” had themselves “been refreshed.”
On my next trip to Mozambique, I was surprised to see several of the people who I met on my first trip who also had been visiting for their first time. They had returned to become part of the crucial leadership team. One man, Steve Lazar, was an educator from Australia. He would begin a school for Iris that would become the #1 rated primary school in Mozambique. Also, from that first trip, several couples from my team would go back as full time missionaries to work with Rolland and Heidi.
I would like to conclude with a strategy God gave me to help Rolland and Heidi. I believed that I was to take the pastors of the largest churches I had relationship with to Mozambique with me. And, I knew that I was to not only invite pastors, but also very successful businessmen. I wouldn’t have to say anything about helping Rolland and Heidi, and I knew that Rolland and Heidi wouldn’t either. I knew that when these pastors and businessmen saw what God was doing through Rolland and Heidi and saw their hearts, they would begin to help them. I had heard God correctly. These people would become some of the strongest financial supporters of their ministry.
C. Russia – Moscow – Pastor’s Conferences
Years ago, I was attending a conference in Kansas City when I heard Terry Law share about his experiences in Russia. At this meeting an offering would be taken up for Bibles for China. In this one offering, $1,000,000 was raised. I had an impression that one day I would lead my worship team to Russia and they would sing in Russian. My church was just getting started and had less than 100 people in it at the time. A few years later, I had an impression from the Lord, “Ask me for $100,000.” I knew it wasn’t for me personally, but I did not know what it was for. I didn’t need to know to obey. I began asking the Lord for $100,000 dollars. This was around 1994.
On Sunday January 1, 1995, I was preaching and told my church, “We are to go to Russia.” I told them that we were to take the anointing that had fallen in our church in 1993 and in Toronto in 1994 to Russia. I said, “I need the worship team to go with me. I now know what the $100,000 is for. We are going to do a Catch the Fire conference in Russia. Begin raising the money, and if you can’t raise enough, I will help you. Oh, another thing- you can’t sing in English. You have to learn Russian and I don’t have a clue how this will happen!”
About a week later I was conducting meetings in Melbourne, Florida where another revival had broken out when I went to preach. This one lasted six nights a week for about eight months. While there, a young man in his early 20’s named Keith Major asked me to pray for him. I asked him, “For what?” He said, “About going back to Russia. My wife and I were among the leaders of one of the first churches started after the wall came down. That is where we met and got married. I want to go back, but don’t know what to do.” I said, “I will pray for you, but could you and your wife eat with me after the meeting?” He said they could.
During our 3:00 a.m. meal, I asked his wife Iwona, “What did you do in Russia?” She replied, “I taught English speaking people how to speak Russian.” Long story short, I asked them to move into the parsonage of my church and to spend time training my team how to sing phonetically in Russian. I also asked her to translate our songs into Russian. This took about a year, but eventually the team and I made it to Moscow, ready to do the first Catch The Fire – Moscow. 222
1. Models for new forms of worship
The Berlin Wall hadn’t been down for long when we first went in the fall of 1995 for our “spying out the land” meetings. Then, we returned in the spring of 1996 with a full team of musicians. I hadn’t any idea how far behind the Russian Protestant churches were at this time. It was like stepping back into what I imagined the American church worship experience looked like in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Many of the songs were American songs that had been translated into Russian. The worship was led by someone who was more of a “song leader” than a worship leader. And, the instruments consisted of a piano and nothing else.
On our “spy out the land” trip, a Russian leader told me, “We Russians are not like you Americans. We will not fall down, we will not laugh, nor will we become drunk in the Spirit.”
The time had come for our meeting and the musicians were on stage. The Izmaillovo Hotel Civic Center was filled to capacity- 1,000 pastors, church planters and worship leaders had come. The $100,000 required now had grown to $130,000 for this event due to inflation. My worship leaders Bob and Kathleen Balassi, my associate worship leader Gary Shelton, the whole worship team and some special musicians from Nashville had all come to help us. In addition to the keyboards, two acoustic guitars, an electric guitar, a bass guitar, asaxophone, a flute, a harmonica and drums were the wonderful vocals of people who once sang in bars with their own bands. We also had a voice major who was so good that she had received a college scholarship and even sang in the Sistine Chapel in Rome for the Pope.
During the first song, the Russians sat there as the team sang the song once through in English. The Russians had no expression and showed no joy. But, when the second time through the English words were pulled off the overhead, the Russian words were put up and the team switched into Russian, the place exploded. At once the Russians rose to their feet, learning the new contemporary worship songs. People shouted, twirled, waved, fell down, got drunk, shook and did many other things. They were not like us Americans. They were more abandoned to this new instrument-filled experience of worship! You could see people taking their video cameras, looking up at the words, and then down to the guitar necks to get the chord progressions. A year later we went back to do a larger event. We had worked on getting the music onto a CD recording to give to them. But, it was already too late. We were told that those songs had gone all over the country. Another fruit of this event relating to worship was what happened to one famous Russian Rock and Roll singer who was newly saved. He had laid his guitar down, not seeing a way it could be used in church. When he saw our team worship, God called him to become a worship leader. He immediately was catapulted into being one of the most famous worship leaders in the former Soviet Union. He would later work with a church in Ukraine.
2. Models for small groups
We also taught about small groups at this meeting. We encouraged them to consider small groups as a way of discipling the new converts. This was an important part of the fruitfulness of our ministry there.
3. Models for Philosophy of Ministry
While there, we emphasized a new kind of leadership- servant leadership, which exemplified humility rather than an authoritarian model. I was very much aware of the typical image many people had of American evangelists who were loud, braggadocios and proud. I have tried to offer a different model wherever we have gone in the world.
4. Impartation – Boris and Oleg and the South African Church Planter
The most important thing that happened at the Catch the Fire – Moscow was the experience of impartation that so many of the pastors experienced. Later, I would learn of two close friends from Ukraine that had come to this meeting: Boris, who was the Rabbi for the largest messianic Jewish congregation in the world in Kiev, Ukraine, and Oleg, who had become the bishop of the protestant churches in Nikolaev, Ukraine. Both men had become overwhelmed by the mighty presence of the Holy Spirit and had returned in the “power of the Spirit” to their cities. I later would meet them and hear their stories, visit their congregation and minister with them many times.
Also, a year after Catch the Fire – Moscow, I met many young pastors who had received gifts of healing at our meeting. They told me many testimonies of healings, miracles, blind eyes that saw and deaf ears that heard. They were very excited and very grateful.
Almost 14 years later, I was ministering for a South African apostle, Nevel Norton. While in his church ministering to his network of pastors, I met a South African pastor, Hugo V. Niekerk, who was touched at the Catch the Fire – Moscow 1996 while he was a missionary. He had since planted over 200 churches in Russia. He told me how powerfully he had been touched in that meeting and how it had impacted his ministry and his faith. Only heaven really knows the fruit of such meetings.
This was also the meeting during which Russ Purcello was touched. Through him, we have been able to continue to impact churches across Russia. As I shared earlier, he continued to go back every year offering other cities what he had seen us do in Moscow. This American pastor has been used to powerfully affect the Protestant Church in Russia.
D. India – Pastor’s Conferences
Krishnagiri –pastor who prayed for woman in a coma, and pastor who promised healing.
In January-February of 2010, I led a team to Bangalore and Krishnagiri, India. Bangalore was predominantly Hindu, but Krishnagiri had a strong Muslim presence. A young apostolic leader named Ravi invited us to come. The focus of the first meeting was equipping about 2,000 pastors. The second meeting had about 600 pastors, but also had a small crusade with 5,000-9,000 people. We decided to expend most of our money on the pastors’ meetings rather than on a larger crusade. There were many spectacular healings, miracles and salvations. No one had ever conducted a healing crusade in this city. A Hindu school with 700 students and teachers were curious and sent a delegate to the meeting asking if we would send someone from our team to tell them about Christianity. A small team was sent, and they prayed for many who were healed. All the students, teachers, and administrators prayed the sinner’s prayer to receive Jesus and some were filled with the Holy Spirit. Afterwards they were concerned about how they would be persecuted by family for accepting Jesus.
The same day, three Muslim women came to the pastors’ meeting, which was held in a public hall. They sat outside the hall, but because the doors were open for ventilation, they could hear everything. At the lunch break, the mother and her sister came and asked to be set free from demonic problems. The daughter, who looked to be in her 20’s and wearing a Berka allowing only her eyes to be seen, had leg problems. The mother was set free from the demonic attack and the daughter’s legs were healed. That night the husband/father came with them to the healing meeting. He was one of the first healed through a word of knowledge. When the invitation for salvation was given, this Muslim family was among the very first to come forward to confess heir sins and commit their lives to Jesus Christ. I have since heard that they are on fire for God and telling others about the great healing power in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. And, God is using them to heal many, including key leaders in the Muslim community.
One pastor at our meetings went straight from the impartation service to a woman in another city who had been in a coma for about a year. When he laid hands on her and prayed, she came out of the coma. Another pastor that week had promised a Hindu teenager who was crippled in his legs that if he would go to the meeting, he would be healed. The boy went with the pastor, but was not healed at the crusade. The pastor was beside himself, since he had promised healing and did not want to be a poor testimony to the Gospel. He didn’t know how to explain the lack of healing to the family. However, when the boy woke up the next day, he could walk. During those 4 days in Krishnagiri, the blind saw, the deaf heard, the lame walked, the terminally ill were healed. The pastors were greatly encouraged.
A few months after these meetings, the apostolic leader from Bangalore and Krishnagiri came to our headquarters and told us about the fruit that continued to happen. The pastors were not seeing many healings before the event, but they were now occurring regularly. Two people had been raised from the dead and over 90 Muslims, including several leaders, had been saved after being healed. Greater prosperity had come to the city in the form of job opportunities offered by the government. Even the land was impacted, as mangos began to grow once again after many years of little to no growth.
We have made two short-term mission trips to Phenom Phen, Cambodia. Both were to pray for the pastors and leaders that the apostolic leader, Sophal Ung, had gathered together from all over Cambodia. The second trip also included pastors from Vietnam. There were many who were healed and who received impartations that equipped them to see more healings and more success in their own ministries. Sophal and his wife Debra are very excited about the fruit of those meetings. They continue to invite us back, hoping our schedule will allow another visit with them.
In 1995 I prayed and prophesied over a Baptist pastor in Norway named Leif Hetland. During the prayer, I told him, “I see you in a dark place. All around you is darkness, but behind you is light. And, I see a multitude of people following you out of the darkness into the light.” The power of the Holy Spirit knocked him to the floor where he shook for 2 ½ to 3 hours. He got up and by the next week was operating in many gifts he never had before. Every person he prayed for was healed. However, he didn’t yet understand the prophecy I gave him. The next year he had his neck and back broken. While recuperating from the injury in traction, he was meditating on the prophecy and realized he was not to remain a Baptist pastor but was to go to unreached people groups. Since then he has led 850,000 people to the Lord in Islamic countries as of March, 2010. This has been done by conducting healing meetings as many Muslims believe in Jesus because of the healings they see. Also, Leif has started over 2,000 Lighthouses of Love in these countries, which focus on healing, deliverance and restoration of lives. God is using him throughout the Western Hemisphere, Africa, Asia, Middle East and Europe. Great healing miracles take place in his ministry even as he endures serious pain from his own injuries. The anointing that led him to the nations has resulted in him being away from his wife and four children for up to 200+ days a year. He even has had threats against his life including several by the Taliban. However, nothing has prevented him from continuing to preach the Gospel and heal the sick.
Juan Aguilar is an apostolic leader in Mexico City. I took two short-term missions teams with me to minister to his leaders. On each trip the power of God came upon the pastors and leaders. During the first trip, several key leaders in the Baptist denomination were powerfully touched and began to see much more of the power of God in their ministries. Also, many other pastors from diverse denominations and apostolic streams were empowered.
In 2009, I took a very small team to Queretaro, Mexico to minister in another apostolic network of pastors. We taught them how to receive words of knowledge and how to pray for the sick out of a place of dependence on the Holy Spirit. We had a special time of impartation for over 1,000 pastors and leaders. Then, we had a service where we prayed specifically for the terminally ill, blind, deaf and/or crippled. The day after I left, they did it again and saw many healings, some miracles and 11 blind people healed. The pastors were so excited because there had previously been very little healing in their ministries. They exclaimed, “We did receive an impartation!”
One of the miracles that occurred at this event was the healing of a woman who had cancer resulting in a urostomy bag for her urine. She was accompanied by her daughter, who had cancer in her breast. Both women were healed of their cancer and the woman no longer needed a urostomy. Somehow, her organ was reconstructed and was working normally. She was able to go to the bathroom normally before she left the building instead of the urine flowing into the bag.
During this meeting a Baptist pastor came up to me at the end of the meeting and asked to be prayed for by the laying on of hands. I prayed for him and his wife. They fell down, but there did not initially appear to be a strong anointing. They were resting quietly on the floor without much trembling or shaking. However, the longer he was on the floor the stronger the anointing became. About an hour later, I saw him being helped from the building by two men since he was unable to walk. He shook the whole next day, and it was quite noticeable to all who were there. The following day, now two days after the impartation, he ministered in his 10,000 member Baptist Church. He was helped to the pulpit by two deacons. As they tried to help him, the Holy Spirit knocked all three of them to the floor. He was going to pray for the church to receive an anointing, but before he could say, “anointing,” the Spirit came upon him and his church. When this happened over three-fourths of the 8,000 people in attendance fell to the floor or shook under the power of God. And many other manifestations of the Holy Spirit occurred that day in his church. The early service didn’t end until about 4:30 p.m.
H. Argentina – Story of Baptist Church Planter out of Del Centro Baptist Church, Marcello Diaz
About 15 years ago, I went to Buenos Aires, Argentina. While there I ministered at a large pastors’ meeting in a Baptist Church- La Iglesia Evangélica Bautista del Centro. This church was the first Baptist Church in Argentina. At this conference one young pastor, Marcelo Diaz, had been prayed for several times. Near midnight he came to me and asked for one more prayer. When I prayed for him, the power of God knocked him to the floor. I sensed an urgency to tell him to pray for everyone in his new church that he was starting in the area. When he did this the next day, everyone he prayed for was healed, including a woman dying of cancer. The community named this new church plant the “Healing Church”. Today, it is one of the largest churches in that area of the city.
The most important aspect of the short-term mission trips that our ministry has is the impartation pastors receive, the encouragement that God can and will use them for healing, and the activation of the gifts of the Spirit in their lives and ministries.
I am grateful to know that I am not only leading short-term ministry trips into many countries, but also are so many other pastors who first traveled with me and are now taking teams themselves into many countries. Our network, the Apostolic Network of Global Awakening is only 4 years old, yet already, we are in 1/3 of the countries of the world. Not only are pastors who traveled with me taking teams into the world, but so are itinerate ministers. There has been a real multiplication of effect and a multiplication of countries we are reaching every year. We, or someone in our apostolic network, are taking short-term ministry trips to almost 50 countries a year where people are healed, delivered and empowered to more effectively reach their communities in the power of the Holy Spirit.