Almolonga, the Miracle City, by Mell Winger

Dr Mell Winger, former director of the Bible Institute at El Shaddai Church in Guatemala City, Guatemala, writes about Almolonga, a city in Guatemala transformed by God’s power.

This article is reproduced with permission from Chapter 17 of The Transforming Power of Revival, edited by Harold Caballeros and Mell Winger

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Before and after: two simple words frequently used to describe a city in western Guatemala named Almolonga.  The locals consistently refer to their city in terms of two eras: before the power of God came in the mid- 1970s, and after, when it is reported that 90% of the 18,000 residents became born-again Christians.  The way the people of Almolonga say “before” is reminiscent of how others might say, “in the dark ages.”

After:  The word signals a new epoch for the city, marked by family harmony, prosperity and peace in the Holy Spirit.  The contrast is stark and real to these people who remember how, just 25 years ago, demons, fear, poverty, disease, idolatry, and alcohol dominated their region and their families.

Some call Almolonga the “Miracle City” because of the radical   transformations in many dimensions of this ethnically Quiché society (descendants of the Mayans).  Some Christian leaders say Almolonga is the best example they’ve seen of how intercession, spiritual warfare, and evangelism can transform a community.

Driving into Almolonga, one is immediately struck by the brilliant green hues of the fertile fields spreading throughout this magnificent valley.  Even before the onset of the rainy season, when much of the Guatemalan landscape is still dry, Almolonga remains vibrant and lush.  Hence, Almolonga is nicknamed   “America’s Vegetable Garden”.

Almolonga, Guatemala

A weak church

But it wasn’t always so.  About 25 years ago, the Church was small and weak, the fields were undeveloped and the city was characterized by an alcohol-induced lethargy – the fruit of serving an idol named Maxirnon.  This perverse idol is associated with the vices of smoking, drinking liquor, and immorality.  Maximon is a 3-foot idol consisting of a clay mask and a wood and cloth body.  He receives the kisses of the faithful who kneel before him.  Placing at his feet bottles of liquor purchased with their meagre earnings, they hope against hope that their offering will bring blessing and healing.  The priest   offers lit cigars to the idol, and taking a mouthful of the liquor offering, spews it over the devotees.  The followers leave expecting a blessing, perhaps receiving a demonic display of power, but nonetheless slipping deeper and deeper into an abyss of oppression.

Sadly, his influence is so strong that he is considered the patron saint and protector of many Guatemalan mountain villages.  In addition to serving Maximon, many of the residents of Almolonga once sought the blessing of other idols as well.  Pastor Genero Riscaiché, one of the pastors at Almolonga’s largest church, Mission Evangelical Monte Calvario, notes, “Before, this was a very idolatrous town.  There were many different types of idols.  Many worshipped the silver image of Almolonga’s patron saint, San   Pedro.”

But in 1974-75 the Kingdom of God dramatically started clashing with Maximon and the ruling powers of darkness controlling Almolonga.  Following the pattern of historic revivals, God first began this community transformation in the heart of one of his consecrated servants.  Mariano Riscaiché (no relation to Genero), now the pastor of El Calvario Church, was a typical young man of Almolonga who sought the protection and blessing of idols before he encountered the living God.

At his conversion, Pastor Mariano heard the Lord say, “I have elected you to serve Me.”   He said it was like waking from a dream; his understanding was opened and the promises of the Bible became real.  Pastor Mariano’s burning desire was to see people come to Christ and find freedom.  Then, one by one, his own family was saved.

Power encounters


Jesus is Lord of Almolonga

A new season of power encounters with Maximon began shortly after Pastor Mariano’s surrender to Christ.  Mariano and other pastors in town, such as Guillermo Satey, founding and senior pastor of Mission Evangelical Monte Calvario, saw more than 400 people delivered from demons.  When believers asked a demon to identify itself, “Maximon” was sometimes uttered by the oppressed one.  This mass deliverance was similar to the book of Acts where people burned their possessions that linked them to a past consumed by witchcraft and idolatry.  “Those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them.” (Acts 19:19, NASB).  The eviction of these demons not only brought freedom to individuals, but the spiritual oppression over the city began to lift as well.

The early days of spiritual warfare were extremely intense.  Those being set free were sometimes thrown across the room, and at times coughed up blood.  The Church continued steadfast in intercession, spiritual warfare, and evangelism as the name of Jesus was demonstrated to be the dominant force in this battle.  Pastor Mariano asserts that the enemy had to be confronted directly and boldly.

One of those set free from demonic control was a powerful priest of Maximon named José Albino Tazei.  Many people in Almolonga sought him out to heal their illnesses, foresee their future, and to bless their businesses.  But one night, José, near death after a month-long drinking binge, cried out to God to save him.  At 11:00 pm, José woke his family to share the glorious news of his new-found freedom in Christ.  In repentance, the family burned all of their idols and witchcraft paraphernalia.  The following day José went to the mountains to fast and seek the Lord.

Witnessing this well-known slave to witchcraft come to Christ intensified the Church’s intercession for God to transform not only individuals like José, but their whole community as well.

Before his conversion José would abandon the family for eight to ten days at a time to drink and conduct witchcraft activities for Maximon.  He often left his family without any money for food.  As his dedication to Maximon grew, so did his addiction to alcohol.

José’s oldest daughter, Francisca, grimaces and lowers her voice as she recounts the memory of herself and the other children kneeling before Maximon, burning candies and bringing their offerings.  But quickly she diverts the subject to “after we surrendered to Jesus” and joyfully asserts that God changed everything 24 years ago.  She proudly inserts, “We were some of the first converts during the mid 70s.”

“Before we received Christ, we didn’t have any money, little food, or a decent house, and only clothes discarded by others,” she continues.  “My father started seeking God and fasting.  He began a business and started working diligently.  Now, God has given us a house, a small store, and a calm, hard-working, godly father.”

Francisca recounts, “The church accepted us and didn’t leave us in the middle.  They loved us and visited us, and really struggled with us as we became established in Christ.” This care for new converts is one of the key ways God has used to maintain and deepen the effects of this revival.

As his grip started loosening, the evil one instigated a persecution against the Church.  Some merchants would not even sell food to believers recently set free from the old ways.  Enemies of the Gospel would go into church and do witchcraft to disrupt the services.  The believers suffered under this backlash for years, but one particular incident stands out in Pastor Mariano’s memory.  Six men attacked him, tying his hands behind his back.  They knocked his front teeth out, then one man shoved a gun in his mouth.  Pastor Mariano prayed for God to cover him, and as the Lord’s presence descended he heard the  “click… click… click” of the gun, unable to fire.  Bewildered by this divine intervention, his attackers ran away.

Pastor Genero, a native of Almolonga, describes the early resistance to the Gospel as follows: “If a person from outside Almolonga came to someone’s home to share the Gospel, people would kick them out of their house with sticks, stones, and even shovels.  It was terrible!  They didn’t view the Gospel as Good News, but as something offensive.  Unbelievers circulated rumours about the Church and accused the Christians of being lazy.”  Some of the unbelievers threw stones at houses where the church met for prayer.  Pastor Genero notes, “Many of those who threw stones are now leaders in the church.  Things have now changed, for even the non-Christians respect the Gospel.”

As one who has pastored a little over one year in Almolonga, Pastor Joel  Pérez agrees and says, “Even unbelievers in Almolonga recognize the  marvellous work of God.  These few unbelievers acknowledge that the advances in their society and agriculture are due to the Gospel.  They do not resist the Church now, as we heard about in the early days.  More than once, I have been eating in a restaurant and someone has said, “You are a pastor, aren’t you?  I’m not a Christian, but let me buy your lunch.’”

Since the power of God started transforming the community, crime has taken a definite downturn.  Donato Santiago, chief of police, can sometimes be spotted resting in the shade during market days.  Armed with a whistle, this tranquil brother has seen it all during his 23 years as a policeman in Almolonga.  “We used to average 20 to 30 people in jail each month,” he recounts.”  Crowds would gather just to watch the drunks fight.  It seemed like I had no rest.  I was often awakened in the middle of the night to stop family violence.  Before, we had four jails and that was insufficient to adequately house all of our prisoners,” Donato recalls.  “Things were so bad we enlisted around a dozen citizens at night to help the officers patrol the streets.  But now things are different!  The people have changed their attitudes.  Crime has risen in many places over the past 20 years, but not here in Almolonga.”

What accounts for this dramatic change in the townspeople?  Donato is quick to respond, “The Word of God!  Once people were converted they changed their customs and left behind drinking.  They gained respect in the community.  Day by day the rest followed and joined the church because of the changes they saw in the lives of Christians.  People living with a deep respect for God accounts for the changed attitudes.  Crime and drinking are now viewed by the people as a waste of time and a waste of money.”

The last jail closed in 1989!  Now remodelled and called “The Hall of Honour,” it’s a place for celebrating weddings, receptions, and community events.   In addition to the drop in the crime rate, great societal changes can also be observed by the absence of prostitutes and the number of bars turned into small stores with new names like “Little Jerusalem” and “Jehovah Jireh.”  Before, there was a house of prostitution and people often waited in line to get into the packed bars.  “There was even a custom in which we threw a party and gave alcohol (in small portions) to the little ones,” says Pastor Genero.  In the 1970s, 34 cantinas did a brisk business in Almolonga; today there are only three.  After the bars started shutting down, a new one opened but the owner closed the doors when he met the Lord three months later.   He now plays in a Christian band called “Combo Israel.”


God’s mercy over Almolonga is evidenced in many ways, but one often-repeated display of grace is the incredible number of miracles.  Many have come to Christ through signs and wonders.  Teresa and her family found new life in Christ after she received a last-chance miracle.  In 1984, the incision from her poorly performed Cesarean section became infected.  This gangrenous state progressed to the point where she couldn’t eat; drinking was extremely difficult.

Teresa continued to weaken.  Different doctors each said that she was in a very dangerous state.  Valeriano, her husband, remembers the days of just hopelessly waiting for her to die.  She died about 10:00 pm one night.  Her husband checked for a pulse and placed a mirror beneath her nostrils to see if she was breathing, but there were no signs of life.  For three hours she lay motionless.  Grief stricken, at 1:00 AM Valeriano went to look for Pastor Mariano to make funeral preparations.  As Pastor Mariano and Valeriano were walking back to the house, Pastor Mariano heard the unmistakable voice of the Lord saying, “Do not prepare for the funeral; pray for her.  I will lift her up.’

Pastor Mariano recalls coming into the home seeing distraught people frantically running back and forth.  He grabbed Valeriano and they began to pray for God’s miraculous intervention.  After 10 minutes, Teresa suddenly began stirring.  Her colour returned and she sat up on the bed! Valeriano was astounded at this display of God’s power.  Pastor Mariano began to preach the Gospel to all the neighbours and family who had gathered at the home that night.  And in the days that followed, many believed.

Teresa’s strength was restored day by day.  In deep gratitude, she and Valeriano also gave their lives to Christ.  Now people come to their home to receive prayer for healing.  Remembering her miracle inspires faith when Teresa prays for others; she has witnessed many miracles as a result.  Valeriano now preaches the Gospel and testifies of a miracle-working Heavenly Father.  He joyfully says, “God is the only one who is on our side and only he can do these miracles.”

Just as Vateriano and Teresa’s family opened their hearts to the Gospel after this powerful miracle, in many cases the revival has spread through family units.  Pastor Mariano articulates a truth held dear in Almolonga when he says, “True success is when your whole family comes to the Lord.” Therefore believers seriously fast and pray to bring their family into God’s family.

Families redeemed

Although the women still weave and wear the beautiful indigenous dresses and carry heavy loads upon their heads (like Quiché women have for hundreds of years), they walk in a new dignity – a result of the redemption of the family.  Prior to God’s inbreaking, Pastor Genero recalls,  “The majority of men drank and the homes were disorderly.  Neglect and physical abuse were rampant.  It was common for men to hit their wives, sometimes even with sticks.”

“The family system before was at the bottom,” comments Pastor Francisco Garcia of Iglesia de Dios de la Profecia Universal.  Women were largely viewed simply as servants.  Pastor Genero comments, “Before, the custom was that only the men would study.  We believed that schools were not for women.  Since the Gospel came, we teach that both sexes have the same opportunities.  Today we see some women who are professionals.”

Ramon Cotzoy’s wife recalls the earlier days.  “My husband would sometimes treat me harshly and try to throw me out of the house.  Things have changed.   Now he is a humble man of God.”

Ramon admits that he neglected and mistreated his family prior to surrendering to Christ.  Now he ministers to men in the community and exhorts them to stop drinking and start loving their families.  Ramon observes, “Because the unbelievers see the peaceful example of how the Christian men are living with their families, they are treating their wives better now.”

“Today there is more communication within families and very little abuse in Almolonga.  In the church, we teach a lot on biblical family orientation,” says Pastor Genero.  “Couples solve their problems through dialogue and communication.”

This renewal of family harmony has opened the way for the Spirit of God to span the generations and impact all age groups, including the youth and children.  The youth do not view Christianity as simply something for the older people.  There is a new thrust of youth-motivated home groups with the focus to bring the remaining unsaved youth in the city to Christ.  Pastor Joel observes, “The youth are getting hold of God.  In different churches some of the youth groups even go on special fasting retreats.”

Chief of Police Santiago says, “The parents are taking better care of their children now.” Santiago explains why there aren’t teens loitering around town.  “The youth work hard to buy farm trucks.  This atmosphere of diligent work is the best atmosphere to grow up in.”

Seeing the youth and children cheerfully working alongside their parents in the fields and marketplace evokes a smile in visitors to Almolonga.  Pastor Mariano’s father, one of the oldest men in the city, observes, “Everyone in Almolonga works.  Even the 12-15-year olds fill a truck with vegetables to sell.   They throw themselves into God and into their work.”

Community transformation

This work ethic has produced an economic renewal, an incredible dimension of community transformation throughout Airnolonga.  There is no evidence of the unemployment, the beggars, the drunkards asleep in alleyways, or the loiterers that so often characterize similar places.  In other cities around this region people often appear exhausted with life.  Not so in Almolonga.

The people’s diligence and tenacity have seen this valley come alive with multiple harvests each year.  Celery, leeks, cauliflower, turnips, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, radishes, and watercress thrive under the skilful care of Almolonga’s farmers.  These vegetables are often incredibly larger than the size of those grown in the surrounding villages.  Pastor Joel attributes this agricultural blessing to the Lord of Glory.  He mentioned a time when agronomists from the U.S.A. visited Almolonga to test their scientific principles to produce better crops.  The result?  Pastor Joel says, “The wisdom God gave the farmers of Almolonga produced more than the scientific methods yielded.”

A subterranean stream provides a constant source of water for the farms.  These lucrative products have elevated the lifestyles of many of the believers.  Pastor Mariano’s father was one of the former bar owners who now runs a tienda (small store) and raises vegetables.  He reports that the greatest changes in commerce came in the 80s because the farmers not only quit spending their money on liquor, but they began to incorporate principles from God’s Word, saving and investing their profits.  Before the farmers would farm just enough to support their drinking habit; they had no vision beyond that.

Then God started giving the farmers understanding.  They began to plan ahead and invest in topsoil and fertilizers.  Some farmers have even paid cash for Mercedes trucks, emblazoning them with names like Regalito de Dios (“Little Gift from God”).  Many farmers have now hired others to work their fields.  They are even developing farms in the surrounding communities as they shift from being farmers to businessmen.  Mariano’s father marvels, “We never dreamed of selling our produce outside of Guatemala, but now we export to other nations.”

Church unity

Since this relatively small town has so many growing churches, a question often arises concerning the relationship between the pastors.  Pastor Joel describes the fellowship among pastors as “a tight fraternity of ministers.”  He further notes,  “We have an agenda of prayer and fasting.  We go outside the city to a hill to pray and earnestly seek the Lord …  When we have little things come up or if the enemy tries to interrupt our unity, we quickly restore it through seeking the Lord for more souls to come into the Kingdom.”

Pastor Genero says, “Presently we are strengthening our fellowship.  Years ago there was an association of pastors, but it faded out because of individuality.  This year we have restored the pastoral association again.”  Two Christian radio stations service Almolonga.  Pastor Joel reports that these stations enhance unity by allowing air time for all the evangelical pastors to use for a token price.

Reaching 90% of the city with the Gospel doesn’t satisfy the pastors’ evangelistic zeal.  Pastor Francisco emphatically asserts, “We are applying God’s guidance for the churches to keep growing.  We have the goal to reach the whole town!”

Pastor Mariano believes God is giving the Church insight into the strategies to deepen and extend this community impact into future generations.  His heart breaks when he hears about powerful revivals which were not passed along to the next generation.  To maintain the results already reached in Almolonga, Pastor Mariano’s strategy encompasses a fivefold focus:

living in the fear of the Lord,

maintaining intense prayer and fasting,

building Christian schools,

caring for new converts,

and establishing strong families.

Firstly, he urges his flock to, “always live under the direction of the Holy Spirit.  Live your life in the fear of the Lord as a good testimony.  When we truly live the Christian life, demonic principalities are more easily overthrown.”

Secondly, to maintain the results won through intercession and spiritual warfare, the Church must continue steadfast in prayer and fasting.  Long past the breakthroughs in the 70s, many believers in Almolonga continue weekly disciplines of prayer and fasting.  At El Calvario Church, people are held accountable to participate in prayer and fasting.

Thirdly, Pastor Mariano is taking steps to build a Christian school, which he believes is critical to sustain the revival.  He says that the children not only need an education, but a Christ-centred education taught by Christian teachers.  “Education without Christian teachers can set up a counterattack from Satan by introducing traditions outside of Christianity.  Then all that we have reached [in the revival] can crumble.”

A fourth ingredient to maintain revival is an intentional plan to care for the new Christians.  Someone from the church personally visits the new believers.  They hold special discipleship meetings focusing on basic Bible doctrines.  Deliverance and a clear break with their past life are important.  “We inspire them toward diligent hard work, debt reduction and to live in the fear of God.  New believers are instructed to prepare themselves for baptism.  Fasting is one of the first spiritual disciplines taught to the new Christian,” reports Pastor Mariano.

The fifth and final major focus to sustain the revival’s impact is establishing strong families.  Christians are instructed to only marry fellow believers.  One counter-cultural measure El Calvario introduced in the late 1970s was the concept of letting people decide for themselves whom they would marry.  Today, parents are consulted and there is a process of obtaining parental blessing and approval in mate selection, but the decision rests with the couple.  Before, the parents would determine whom their children would marry.  A courtship period was also unheard of in their culture; now they recommend a 6-month to a year courtship during which the couple gets to know each other.  This has increased marital harmony within the Christianity community.  Consequently, other churches in the community also follow similar plans.

Testimonies of individuals being changed relationally, spiritually, and financially by God’s power are common in Christianity.  But the amazing distinctive of Almolonga is that Christians there tell their testimony not simply as individuals, but collectively, as families and as a people.

Visiting a service at El Calvario Church is a little taste of Heaven.  The church building is one of Guatemala’s largest and most beautiful.  This debt-free sanctuary (seating 1200+) is the gathering place of exuberant worshippers.   Their release of emotions toward the Son of God is noteworthy because culturally these people are generally stoic and very reserved in expressing their emotions.  To watch this passion for Jesus, especially among the youth and children, it is hard to imagine that only a generation back, their families were in bondage to alcohol, idols, and demons.  Perhaps that legacy of suffering explains the great abandon with which they worship Jesus: these people know they have something to celebrate!


See Almolonga stories also in Great Revival Stories and Transforming Revivals

Mell Winger has a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.

This article is reproduced with permission from Chapter 17 of The Transforming Power of Revival, edited by Harold Caballeros and Mell Winger (Peniel Press, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1998). 

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A video called Transformation, including a report on Almolonga in Guatemala and Cali in Columbia, is available from Toowoomba City Church, PO Box 2216, Toowoomba, Qld. 4350.  Ph: 07 4638 2399.  E-mail: 

See also Renewal Journal # 17 Unity “Shapshots of Glory” by George Otis Jr.

Renewal Journal #16: Vision (2000, 2012)

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All Renewal Journal Topics

1 Revival,   2 Church Growth,   3 Community,   4 Healing,   5 Signs & Wonders,
6  Worship,   7  Blessing,   8  Awakening,   9  Mission,   10  Evangelism,
11  Discipleship,
   12  Harvest,   13  Ministry,   14  Anointing,   15  Wineskins,
16  Vision,
   17  Unity,   18  Servant Leadership,   19  Church,   20 Life
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Contents:  Renewal Journal 16: Vision

Almolonga, the Miracle City, by Mell Winger

Cali Transformation, by George Otis Jr.

Revival in Bogotá, by Guido Kuwas

Prison Revival in Argentina, by Ed Silvoso

Missions at the Margins, by Bob Ekblad

Vision for Church Growth, by Daryl & Cecily Brenton

Vision for Ministry, by Geoff Waugh

Book Review: Jesus on Leadership by Gene Wilkes

Renewal Journal 16: Vision – PDF

Revival Blogs Links:

See also Revivals Index

See also Revival Blogs

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals











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The Spirit told us what to do, by Carl Lawrence

The Spirit told us what to do

by Carl Lawrence

Two young women set off to plant churches without plans or training because “Jesus said to ‘go.'”
After we prayed, the Holy Spirit would tell us exactly what to do.
We would keep praying and he would tell us what to do,
and we would do it.
Then we prayed and then he would tell us what to do.
We would do it and keep praying.


Reproduced from  Renewal Journal 12: Harvest

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The Spirit told us what to do

Several high-ranking church leaders from Europe visited a pastor in Hong Kong. The pastor took them to visit some of the Three-Self churches. They found them inspiring, and uniquely Chinese, but they wondered aloud if perhaps they weren’t seeing the real church.

On the final day of their visit, the pastor hoped to show them what they wanted to see. He knew they would not really be satisfied unless they met a real church planter. As it turned out, they saw something incredibly beyond what they ever expected to find in China.

At their last stop, the pastor discovered that two young women had just returned from their mission station for a short visit, so he asked them to come to the hotel late, to meet the visiting church leaders.

These young ladies had both become Christians as teenagers while listening to radio broadcasts, and they each had immediately felt the call to be a missionary. The pastor had met with them and attempted to teach them how to witness right where they were.

“No,” they insisted, “the Bible you gave us says Jesus said to go to into all the world. We want to ‘go.'”

“But,” the pastor argued, “you have only been Christians for six months, and you are so young.”

They replied, “Pastor, we have read everything Jesus said and nowhere does he ask people how old they are. We want to go.”

Smiling, the pastor asked them, “But can you give me an exegesis of the five classical appearances of the Great Commission in the New Testament?” Their disappointed faces made him feel ashamed. “Very well. We need some workers on Hainan Island.”

“Hainan Island, we have never heard of it.”

The pastor said, “It is an island off the mainland. The people there are fishermen. It is very rough. There are no Christians there. For young ladies it might be very dangerous.”

Excitedly they responded, “How soon can we go?”

“Well, I have to go back to Hong Kong and make arrangements. There will be . . . “

They interrupted him, “Oh no, no, we must not wait. Our Lord said ‘go,’ not sit around and plan. We will go to this place – what did you call it?”

“Hainan. Hainan Island.”

They looked at each other, “Hainan, yes Hainan. That is where the Lord wants us to go.”

They had been there for two years and were now back for a short period of time to try to get Bibles and other literature for their new churches. The pastor had not seen them since the day they insisted that they ‘go now’!

After the arrangements were made, he went to the lobby at the appointed time and waited for the ladies to arrive. He watched the bellboys in their crisp, tailored uniforms, and the tourists who attempted to be casual in their designer clothes. Then he spotted the two young women. Oh no, he thought as they walked in.

Their black pyjamas and broad-brimmed fishermen hats stood in stark contrast to the appearance of the sophisticated hotel receptionist making her way towards them.

The pastor moved quickly to intercede. “It’s all right, they are here to see me.” Several people stood staring as he greeted them as politely as possible without drawing too much attention. “Come, we will go to my room to meet some people from Europe.”

Once in the room, the two European church officials graciously greeted them. He proceeded to ask the young ladies questions, interpreting for his guests as he went along.

“Pastor, ask them how many churches they have established on Hainan.”

The women put their heads down and answered, “Oh Pastor, we have only been there two years . . . yes, two years. Not many. Not very many.” Their voices were apologetic.

“How many?”

“Oh, not many, not many. We have only been there a short time. The people were not very friendly. . . Sometimes they became very vicious. Yes, sometimes they told us they were going to drown us in the ocean . . . several men threatened us . . . . Oh my, and because we were so young, even some of the other ladies did not like us. Yes some even called us terrible names . . . so not many churches . . . no, not many. . . .”

The pastor interrupted and slowly repeated the words, “How many? How many?”

There was a moment of silence, then one of the women looked up with embarrassment and anguish, as though confessing to a crime, “Only . . . thirteen. “

The pastor looked astonished and interpreted for the guests, “Thirteen.”

One of the guests repeated the number, “Only thirteen, only – my goodness. I haven’t planted that many churches in my lifetime.”

One of the pastor’s assistants interrupted, “No, Pastor, she did not say thirteen. She said thirty.”

The pastor looked at the two young women and asked, “Thirty?”

“Oh, yes, not many, we have done very poorly. Only thirty . . . .”

The two guests could only mutter, “Thirty churches in two years . . . my word. . . .”

Again the women began to apologize when the pastor interrupted to ask another question, “How many people are in the churches?”

“How many? . . . Oh, not many. . . . ” Again both heads went down, apologizing for their failure. “Not many. “

The process repeated itself until, again, the pastor looked like he was ready to shake them and practically yelled, “How many?”

“Only two hundred and twenty people. Not many, no . . . not many. “

Quickly multiplying in his head, the pastor said, “Two hundred and twenty in thirty churches?”

“Oh, no, in only one, but that one is a very small church, very small. There are bigger ones. . . .”

As the pastor interrupted he heard the numbers repeated by his guests: “Two hundred and twenty is small? Dear Lord, I wish I had some that large.”

“Ask them how many are in the big churches.”

The process began, but with a more reverent inquiry: “And how many in the big churches? You know, the biggest one?”

“Oh, not many . . . .”

“I know, ‘not many.’ But, please, ladies, how many?”

“Oh, less than five thousand. Only four thousand nine hundred . . . . Yes, less than five thousand. We have just started.”

From behind the pastor came the sound of weeping: “Dear Lord, forgive us.”

“What did they do? How did they do it? Ask them what they did?”

When asked, they looked astonished. “What did we do? Why nothing. Yes, we did nothing, nothing.”

“You did nothing? You have thirty churches – the smallest with two hundred and twenty people, the largest with almost five thousand new Christians! And you did nothing?”

“No, nothing. We just prayed.”

“I know you prayed, but what else did you do?”

“After we prayed, the Holy Spirit would tell us exactly what to do. We would keep praying and he would tell us what to do, and we would do it. Then we prayed and then he would tell us what to do.  We would do it and keep praying.”

“Dear Lord, they just prayed . . . and the Holy Spirit told them exactly what to do and they prayed. . . . “

The pastor laid his hands on the shoulders of the two sisters. Behind him his two guests, on their knees weeping, joined as they ‘just prayed’.

Dawn Report, August 1998. Source: Church Planting Canada, the Church Planting arm of Vision Canada. Originally published by Carl Lawrence, The Coming Influence of China. Gresham: Vision House Publishing Inc, 1996, pages 186-192. 1

This article is a chapter in Great Revival Stories


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A 2 Reign of JesusA 7 LionThis article is also an Appendix in

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All Renewal Journal Topics

1 Revival,   2 Church Growth,   3 Community,   4 Healing,   5 Signs & Wonders,
6  Worship,   7  Blessing,   8  Awakening,   9  Mission,   10  Evangelism,
11  Discipleship,
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Contents: Renewal Journal 12: Harvest

The Spirit told us what to do, by Carl Lawrence

Argentine Revival, by Guido Kuwas

Baltimore Revival, by Elizabeth Moll Stalcup

Smithton Revival, by Joel Kilpatrick

Mobile Revival, by Joel Kilpatrick

Australian Reports – Aboriginal Revivals

Global Reports

Book Review: 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity, by Eddie Hyatt

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The River of God, by David Hogan

The River of God

by David Hogan

Pastor David Hogan is the founding leader of Freedom Ministries, a pioneering mission among remote Mexican mountain tribes.  This article is edited from a message he gave at Christian Outreach Centre in Brisbane, Australia.


Between 150 and 500 people a month are being saved


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A new move of the Holy Spirit has started.  It’s been all over the place.  It’s got a whole lot of different names, depending on what part of the world you’re from.  Some people call it ‘The River’, some people call it ‘The Refreshing’, some people call it the ‘Fire of Heaven’, others just call it plain ‘Revival of God’.  I don’t particularly care what we call it as long as we’re in it!

Our work is now so large that I have to take care of it, which means I have to protect it in the way of not allowing any false doctrine to get into it.  Westerners are real ‘faddish’ people and tend to jump into the latest thing for a little while, until it subsides and then people go back into their normal way of life.  Well I don’t agree with that.

I agree with Jesus and going and staying in the flow and allowing it to change you and be completely radical in the Holy Spirit.  You have to do things by faith.  Everything has to be done by faith or it’s sin.

I am responsible to the Holy Spirit for what happens to the people he’s given me.  And I’m not going to jump in just because America jumps in, or just because Australia jumps in, or New Zealand, or England or anybody else.  I’m going to jump in when the Holy Spirit jumps in our work.  Now that’s not to say I’m fighting it, I never was fighting, please understand.  I was not against the Refreshing, the River, the flow, the wind, the fire.  I never was against all that.  Every time I’d come out, or go around the world somewhere, I’d mix with everybody but I was being cautious.

So I went after God.  I told the Lord: “This is what we’re going to do God, and if I’m wrong you can do whatever you want to.  I am not going to preach this Refreshing, this Revival, in our work.  I will not teach one message on it.  I won’t allow anyone that comes from around the world to speak about it in our work till I see you divinely touch us as you have in the past.”

You may say, “You shouldn’t be that strict.  You shouldn’t be that serious.”

Yes I should!  If you knew how hard it is for me to dig those Indians out of those hills, to get them born again, to get churches started, to get it established, then you’d understand why I’m so serious about how I undertake what I do in my ministry.

And it really happened, it really, really happened.


We’ve had over 400 people raised from the dead in our work.  God can raise anybody from the dead.  It’s awesome to watch.

We had a lady the other day, just before I came over here, a 70-year-old grandma, who was dead for about 14-16 hours.  The Holy Spirit touched her and raised her up, but it was after the whole family was brought in.  They washed her for burial.  They set her up on the altar in the house, and the whole town came through and acknowledged her death and gave respects to the people.  Then God raised her from the dead!  Hallelujah!

It’s wonderful.  God can raise people from the dead, whoever he wants to.  And it doesn’t make me any different whether you believe it or not.  It matters that I believe.  It matters that our work believes.  It matters that Jesus is King.

We see the dead raised, the blinded eyes opened, the lame walking, and all sorts of tumours fall off people and every kind of miracle – tuberculosis is healed.  Yes, we get that, we do get that and let me tell you something, that’s the very reason I was so cautious about going into this revival with the rest of the world; because I don’t want our work tainted at all.

Our work has got high integrity.  It’s new.  It’s fresh.  It’s just 20 years old and I want the thing to carry over into the next millennium with glory and honour and victory!  And we will, in Jesus’ name, if Jesus doesn’t come back.

So, I blocked it.  I wouldn’t allow people to talk about this new revival that’s taking place in the world.

People say, “You can’t tell people what to preach.”

I wasn’t telling them what to preach, I was telling them what not to preach.  They could preach on anything but this thing that was going on.  We are stuck up in the mountains.  It’s off the trail.  It’s not a beaten path.  It’s hard to get to.  It’s not an easy thing to accomplish, and so people never would come to see us.

But now we’re a thousand strong and we’ve got every kind of miracle known, so now everyone wants to come!    That’s fine, you can come, but there are certain things you’re not going to talk about.

The work must be protected.  It’s a worthy thing that God’s doing.  But God can do it because God wants to.  God can quicken the dead if he wants to.  I watched him do it, I’ve personally been in on 19 dead raisings and I know.  I have watched people.  We had a couple of girls that were dead for 3 days that were lying, covered in lime and the Holy Spirit brought them back from the dead.  It’s wonderful.  A couple of teenage girls.  They loved it when they got up, spitting that lime out of their mouths.

Remember Romans 4:20: Abraham ‘staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.’

God’s visitation

So, about the new wine.  I was blocking people, not God.  I wanted something that would last.

I visited an outlying village.  It took 4 hours in a 4 wheel drive and then 2 hours on foot, uphill.  It’s very remote.  There’s no radio, no T.V., and no outside influences.  I was sitting up there in this little hut on a piece of wood against the bamboo wall on the dirt floor.  Chickens were walking around in there.

The pastor walked up to me.  He’s a little guy, and he was trembling.

He said, “Brother David, I’m really afraid I’ve made a mistake.”

I hadn’t heard of any mistakes.  I was wondering what had happened in the last few days.  He’s got four little churches in his area.

He said, “It’s not my fault.  I apologize.  I’ve done everything right, like you taught me.  I pray every day.  I read the Bible.  I’m doing it right.  What happened is not my fault.”

I said, “What happened?  Come on, tell me what happened.”

He was trembling.  Tears were running out of his eyes.  He said, “Brother David, I got up in our little church.  I opened my Bible and I started preaching and the people started falling down.  The people started crying.  The people started laughing.  And it scared me.  I ran out of the church.”

That’s what I was looking for.  That’s what I was waiting for, when God came in our work, not because somebody came and preached it, not because I said it was okay or not okay, because I was neutral about it.  I knew it was all right, but I wanted to see it in our work not because I ushered it in, but because the Holy Spirit ushered it in.  And he did.

I got together with my pastors and we made a covenant to do a month’s fast in September 1995.  This was as well as the 3 days on and 3 days off fast that we had been doing that year anyway, so we were ready for whatever God wanted to do.  That year every day at least 365 people were fasting.

God hit me on the third day of that month of fasting, but I continued the fast and on the seventh day he hit me again greater than I’ve ever been hit in my life up to that point.  But we continued fasting for the whole month.

The River of God

Psalm 47:4-5 says, ‘There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God.  God is in the midst of her…’

I found the river.  It’s real.  The Shekinah presence of God has come into our work.  There is a river of God wider and deeper than we know.

The minute you think you are accomplishing something is the minute you should repent.  Find ways to keep yourself humble.  Look for ways to not be a ‘big shot’ and to stay in the river.  We are the habitation of God, Zion, God’s people.  He wants us flowing in the river.

It doesn’t matter what’s around us – bullets, knives, disease, the state of the economy.  It matters that our eyes are fixed on Jesus.  When the Holy Spirit fell on us there was war around us.  Bullets were being fired.  People were dying.

I don’t have words to describe what happened to us when the Holy Spirit fell on us on Friday 27 October 1995.  If you had been there, you wouldn’t have words to describe it either.

It’s an awesome thing I’ve been able to witness.

The river of God is here, and it’s full.  There’s plenty for all.

We were in an awesome time.  I didn’t know how deep we were in the river of God.  I’d been fasting for a month, and I didn’t know what was happening.    So I decided to get my pastors together in each section.  We had groups of about 30-75 pastors in each section.  I went into the most conservative area of our mission first, because I wanted to see what would happen.

At the first meeting, with about 75 of my pastors I got up, I opened my Bible, and I shared one or two verses.  Suddenly I felt, that’s enough.  They’re used to me preaching two hours sometimes, but it hadn’t been ten minutes.

I said, “Stand up.”  And they stood up.

I said, “Receive the River of Life.”

You should have seen it!  It looked like someone was hitting them with bats in the stomach and the head.  But nobody was touching them.  People were lying over benches, forward, backward, all over the place.  I was trying to help, but I couldn’t help.  People were just flying everywhere.  And these were ministers.

So I went through all the sections like that.  I got into one section, and they were glad to see me.  They hadn’t seen me in a few months.  I stood up.  I opened my Bible.  I read one verse about the fire of God, and the people started shaking.

I thought, “Oh God, this is way out.”

So I said, “Stand up.”  They tried to stand up.  Some of them couldn’t stand up.  I just said the word “Fire.”  And the whole place fell.

It was getting more and more scary to me.  But people were getting healed without anybody touching them.

A man in that meeting had been deaf for 27 years.  I didn’t know the man.  He fell over and hit his head on a bench, and fell underneath the bench.  He got up from there after a few minutes and he took off running out of the room.  His ears had unstopped and he was running from the noise!

Amazing conference

After I had been through all the sections, introducing this softly, it finally came time to call all the pastors together from the whole work.  A couple of hundred of our pastors came.  I wish you had been there to see what we saw!  It was amazing.

On the first day there were about 200 pastors there, and the whole church that was hosting us.  That made about 450 people.

The first day was awesome.  God hit us powerfully.  There were healings.  I was happy.  The people were encouraged.

The second day was even better.  It was stronger.  I thought we were peaking out on the second day.  I got there at 8 o’clock in the morning and left at 10 o’clock at night, and there was ministry all day.  We were fixing problems, and God was working through the ministry.  It was wonderful.

But I tell you, I was not ready for the third day.

We were coming in from different areas.  The Indians were all there.  I didn’t know they had been in an all-night prayer meeting.  I didn’t know that the Holy Spirit had fallen on them and they couldn’t get up.  I didn’t know that they had been pinned down by the Holy Spirit all night long, all over the place, stuck to the ground.  Some of them had fallen on ant beds, but not one ant bit them.

I was staying about 45 minutes away.  I got in my 4 wheel drive and as I drove there I began listening on the two-way radio.  Some of our missionaries were already there, and were talking on the two-way radio saying, ‘What’s happening here.  I can’t walk.’

As I listened to them on the radio I felt power come on me.  And the closer I came, the more heat I felt settling on me.  I could feel heat, and I had my air conditioner going!

When I got to the little church, I opened the door of the truck and instantly became hot.  Sweat poured off me.  I was about 300 yards from the church.  The closer I got, the more intense was the heat.  I could hardly walk through it, it was so thick.  I’m talking about the presence of God.  That was 7.30 in the morning!

I walked around the corner of the building.  People were all over the place.  Some were knocked out.  Some were on the ground.  Some were moaning and wailing.  It was very unusual, and I could hardly walk.  By the time I got to the front of the church where the elders were I could hardly walk.  I was holding on to things to get there.  I could hardly breathe.

The heat of the presence of God was amazing.

The people had been singing for two hours before I got there.  At 8.15 on the morning of October 27th, 1995, I walked up there and lay my Bible down on that little wobbly Indian table.  Hundreds were looking at me.  Some were knocked out, lying on the ground.  I could hardly talk.

I called the nine elders to the front and told them the Holy Spirit was there and we needed to make a covenant together, even to martyrdom.  We made a covenant there that the entire country of Mexico would be saved.  They asked me to join them in that pact.

When we lifted our hands in agreement all nine fell at once.  I was hurled backward and fell under the table.  When I got up the people in front fell over.  In less than a minute every pastor there was knocked out.

We were ringed with unbelievers, coming to see what was going on.  The anointing presence of God came and knocked them all out, dozens of them.  Every unbeliever outside and everyone on the fence was knocked out and fell to the ground.  There were dozens of them.

From the church at the top of the hill we could see people in the village below running out screaming from their huts and falling out under the Holy Spirit.  It was amazing.

We always have a section for the sick and afflicted.  They bring them in from miles around, some on stretchers.  There were 25-30 of them there.  Every sick person at the meeting was healed: the blind, the cancerous, lupus, tumours, epilepsy, demon possession.  Nobody touched them but Jesus.

There was instant reconciliation between people who had been against each other.  They were laying on top of each other, sobbing and repenting.

I was afraid when I saw all of that going on.  I looked up to heaven and said, “God what are you … ?” and that was the end of it.  He didn’t want to hear any questions.  Bang!

I was about three or four metres from the table.  When I woke up some hours later, I was under the table.

When I finally woke up my legs wouldn’t work.  I scooted myself around looking at what was going on.  It was pandemonium!  When some people tried to get up, they would go flying.  It was awesome.

We had five open-eyed visions.

One small pastor was hanging onto a pole to hold himself up.  He was there, but he wasn’t there.  He said to me, ‘Brother David, look at him.  Look at him, Brother David!  Who is it?  Look how big he is!  Oh, he’s got his white robe on.  He’s got a golden girdle.’  It was Jesus.

He said, “Brother David, how did we get into this big palace?”

I looked around.  I was still on the dirt floor.  I still had a grass roof over me, but he was in a marble palace, pure white.

I crawled over to look at him.  He was seeing things we could not see.  Another of the elders, a prophet from America, who had been working with me for thirteen years, crawled over and we were watching this pastor who was in a trance.  It was amazing.

The three of us were inside something like a force field of energy.  Anybody who tried to come into it was knocked out.  It was scary.

The pastor said, ‘He’s got a list, Brother David.’  And he started reading out aloud from the list.

I was looking around, and as he was reading from the list people went flying through the air, getting healed and delivered.  It was phenomenal, what God was doing.  And he’s done it in every service in our work that I’ve been in since then.  It’s been over a year.  It’s amazing.  Wonderful.

Rev 22:1 says, “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

I saw that river.  I actually saw the river, its pure water of life from God’s throne.  If I could see it again I would know it.  I saw it.  I experienced it.  I tasted it.

God came because we waited, and listened.  We didn’t jump in at the first sprinkle.  We will keep it through prayer and fasting.

Between 150 and 500 people per month are being saved because of it, just through what the North American missionaries are doing.

Do you really want it?

© Renewal Journal 9: Mission, 1998, 2nd edition 2011
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Contents: 9 Mission

Renewal Journal 9: MissionThe River of God, by David Hogan

The New Song, by C. Peter Wagner

God’s Visitation, by Dick Eastman

Revival in China, by Dennis Balcombe

Mission in India, by Paul Pilai

Harvest Now, by Robert McQuillan

Pensacola Revival, by Michael Brown

Reviews: Building a Better World  by Dave Andrews,  Surprised by the Power of the Spirit & Surprised by the Voice of God both by Jack Deere, Secrets of the Argentine Revival, by R Edward Miller

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An Incredible Journey by Faith by Elisha Chowtapalli

Miraculous autobiography of an ‘Untouchable’ Dalit Indian young man

An Incredible Journey by Faith

An Incredible Journey by Faith

by Elisha Chowtapalli

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1   My Childhood

2   Dalits – Untochables of India

3   Education and Job

4   My Conversion, Theological Studies and Persecution

5   Foreign Land – Australia

6   My Dream for an Orphanage

7   Light Home

8   God’s Miraculous Provisions

9   Ministries and Opportunities

10  Stepping out in Faith

11  Children’s Issues

12  My Dream



My Dear Friend, I take this opportunity to thank you for choosing to read my book.  I am sure that you have read many books so far.  Every book or life story you read has offered something to you.  Now you are about to read another book that has something for you.  Though I am part of this story, it’s not really about me.  However it is about the One who created me, who called me, who guiding me, who gave me the vision, who entrusted me at work and who is using me for His glory in India.  So it is all about my God who transformed my life.

In my life, I never thought that I would write a book.  I didn’t think that there would be something to write as a book about my life.  But God has led me to write my life story to encourage each and every believer to trust God more.  In this book, you are going to read my life from childhood till today.  Especially the last four years have been something different in my life that I never imagined or dreamed of.  All these four years are filled with God’s miracles, miracles and miracles.  You may wonder how these miracles happened in my life.  In this book I am going to share how I am seeing the miracles by trusting God.  I am also going to share with you how God raised me from a remote village in India to show His love to needy children in India.  Through this book I want to bless you, encourage you, inspire you and challenge you to trust God even more.

Do you agree with me that your story, my story and our story is part of the biggest story!  That is God’s story.  So now you are going to read His (God’s) story.  Here I would like to request you not to listen to me, but listen to God and what He is going to speak to you through this book.  I am sure your time will not be vain for choosing to read this.

It is my sincere prayer and hope that God will speak to you through this book to be able to see the need and to take action together to show His love to the orphan, poor and needy children of India.

So without further delay I let you to get into the book.

Enjoy your reading,

Brother Elisha Chowtapalli

Some photos from the book

Orphans in need
LIGHT Home for orphans and poor
LIGHT Home children
LIGHT Home children learning
Meal time
Growing food to eat and sell
Aged care
Tailoring Course – income producing project

Endorsements by friends of LIGHT Home

Elisha’s work in India is astounding and inspirational.  His passion for God and the poor, especially children and old people has led him to many ventures.  Each vision he has is followed up by hard work and determination to give people a better life to be lived.  Elisha’s faith in God has led to the building of an Orphanage for 50 children; a Garden of Eden to feed and support children and old people; tailoring classes for women to start their own business and a Bible College.  He also organizes crusades and conferences for pastors, women and youth.  Over and above this Elisha arranges food, clothing and Bibles for those in need in surrounding areas.  It is amazing what he has achieved in just four years with the help of family and friends, and all have benefitted greatly.  We wait in awesome wonder for the next vision.  Elisha we are very proud of you.

Leighton, Nanette, Christel and Wade White


Perth, Australia

Mine was the oldest face amongst this sea of national and international students all gathered to live and work together for three months to learn about serving God through festival outreach.  If I felt like a fish out of water, gasping to adjust to the cultural shock of being a student and getting to know this mixture of people that I was eating with, sharing accommodation with, and learning all the rules, rules, rules that the hierarchy insisted on – how were these international young people coping?

One young Indian man touched my heart.  We learnt that he was from a very poor Indian village and belonged to the poorest of poor caste system, the Dalits.   Here he was, coping with all this, as well as trying to understand the language, eating foreign food (pumpkin… how could we eat that?) and learning Australian cultural everyday norms, such as flushing the toilet paper down the loo.  Elisha simply watched and learnt, while at the same time listening to God seeing a vision for his own people in desperate need back in his hometown.  No amount of Western comfort and “celebrity status” amongst us could deter him from his goal, “to start an orphanage in my house on 19th August 2007”.  “Orphanage in your house?” I’d say, “What do you own?”  “I am oldest son – my father’s house is mine, two rooms – we will live in one and the orphan in the other,” Elisha would reply with a determined look in his eyes.

And he did.  From these humble beginnings he has established the orphanage and then many programs, to help his people to live a better life.  However more importantly he shows them how much God loves them.  For the Dalit caste people who are told they have no worth in life to discover how precious they are to God, become one of his children and inherit eternal life, it is life changing.

I had the privilege of attending Elisha’s wedding and visiting the Light Home, seeing first hand some of his programs in action.  I cannot describe the joy it brought to see all this first hand, to talk to those who benefit and see hope and dignity restored.  I am sure you will enjoy reading about Elisha’s journey and how God uses those who are willing to step out, no matter how little they have, to help the widows and orphaned.  Don’t be surprised if God challenges you too.

Lyn Haack

Manilla (NSW), Australia

I first came to know Elisha in 2006 when Sam (my husband) & I billeted him while he did a course with Fusion [Certificate III  in Youth & Community Work (Christian)] in Australia.   His great desire was to help his people in India come to know the one true God and to help reduce their poverty by starting a Home for children through which they would know God’s love and get an education.   We promised to support Elisha with this dream and over the past three years have witnessed the incredible work God has done.   By opening their home to needy children Elisha’s parents and family provided him with the initial support his dream needed.  I pray God will bless them abundantly for their self-giving love, faith and trust in Him.

I feel that the Light Home Ministry is doing a great work answering Christ’s command to care for the poor, as well as share the Gospel.   Through humble servants seeking to fulfil God’s plan may the Light Home and associated work continue to prosper and give glory to God.

Julianne and Sam Hoffard


Gippsland, Australia

In July 2008 I had the privilege to be involved with Elisha and a team from Australia in some outreach meetings and some Pastor’s training meetings.  I was left with many impressions about our experience in India.  The most pressing for me, was the size of the harvest about to come, and the labourers needed to bring in the harvest and disciple the nation.  With that in mind, after our time in India I spoke to Elisha about my burden.  He too shared a similar burden.  It was with that in mind we together in July 2009 commenced the Light Bible School.  With 35 students including pastors and leaders we ran an intensive four week long training school.  Elisha was one of the few people I have met in India that has the organizational skills, the financial integrity, the profile, and the standing in the Christian community that would allow me to partner with him in this project.  I am committed to working with Elisha to help provide an annual Bible School that will minister to as many pastors and leaders as we can, in our vision to win India to the Lord.

Peter Dunstan,


Tamworth( NSW), Australia

It’s incredible that God has taken a young Dalit man from working in a quarry earning $1US per day to demonstrating how the Good News reconciles all things to Christ.

Elisha’s heart for his nation mirrors God’s heart in his ministries to the poor, spreading the good news, and feeding the orphans and the widows.  I heartily recommend Elisha and his story to you.

Justin Pagoto


Sydney, Australia

Elisha’s story will inspire and challenge you. God takes the weak things of this world to confound the mighty, and Elisha’s story of God’s grace and miracles among the Untouchable caste of India is a testimony to God’s mighty power. Read, be blessed, and take action.

Geoff Waugh

Brisbane, Australia

From the Foreword

Meeting and getting to know Elisha has been and continues to be one of the highlights of our lives.  First let me tell you how our paths finally crossed.

It was 2nd of May, 2005, as I was laying in my hospital bed, my mind grappled for answers.  Why?  Why God did this happen?  God where was your guardian Angel who was supposed to be protecting my daughter?  I had taken her for a joy ride on my motorbike along the road.  At that time, without warning a truck ran over us.  Anna my precious daughter was dead.  My wife Lynda and I did not even get to say goodbye to our precious daughter Anna.

In the midst of all the questions that raced through my head I had a strong sense of the small still voice saying that this was the beginning of a new chapter and that Jesus the Christ would be glorified.  Anna was now with him. In a strange way I felt a peace and the presence of God’s Spirit was very real.

It was in 1981 at aged 16 years old that Jesus had taken hold of my life.  From the early years I had dreamed of being an evangelist and from time to time had the opportunity to share my faith and see some souls come to Christ.  For the next 25 years I tried to be faithful to God and was committed to being a good husband and father to my two daughters, Miriam and Anna.  Also for 12 years I had worked hard to build a business and the Lord had brought much blessing upon it.  At around age 38 I had begun to ask questions and wonder what purpose God had for our business.  We owned our home, we had a healthy savings account, and we had our superannuation, but I was deeply weighed down with life and was desperate to be free from it all.  I hoped and prayed that God had a higher plan.

It was while I was in hospital that Lynda gave me Anna’s diary.  As I read about Anna’ dream to have a music band called WakeUp, God began to speak.  And I listened as a new chapter began to unfold.  God showed me that I would fulfil that dream.  I began to organize the first WakeUp for Tamworth, my home town.  On 16th September, 2006, we had our first WakeUp meeting.  I preached the gospel of Jesus Christ and many souls were saved.  Anna’s dream was fulfilled and my dream to be an evangelist had just begun.  Our business was now profitable enough to finance the “WakeUp”.

Meanwhile as I got busy saving the world, my wife Lynda went into a very dark place for many months.  For a time she gave up the desire to live and could not eat food; I began to fear that she would die from starvation and a broken heart.  Praise to Jesus the day came when she began to recover.  She was then invited to go to India with a group of ladies who were helping women in poor places to build small businesses.  Lynda’s time in India changed her life.  It was in India as she spend time with Indian women and their children that God began to heal her broken heart.

After arriving home Lynda wanted to take me to India.  I praised Jesus that she had again found a reason to live.  Twelve months later the three of us, Miriam our eldest daughter included, boarded a plane bound for India.

As we were making plans for this journey I made my first contact with Elisha at a Fusion meeting in Sydney.  I was inspired by him and his dream to start a Children’s Home.  Over the next two years I continued to hear news about Elisha through Fusion newsletters.  Elisha was only 26 and had been a Christian for only four years.  I was amazed that such a young person could have such a noble dream.  I was inspired by Elisha’s faith and even more so as in time I watched the dream begin to unfold.

The thing that impressed me most about Elisha is his ability to dream a dream and build on that dream.  Meeting his family and the Light Home Children has been one of the greatest high points of our lives.  Now as I write this I am sitting with Elisha travelling across India conducting WakeUp meetings and church leaders’ conferences.  Many Hindus are coming to be baptized and are receiving Jesus Christ the one true God.  Many Pastors and Church leaders are being challenged and inspired by the Word of God.

I thank you Jesus for bringing Elisha into my life and making this all possible.

Paul Disher


Tamworth, Australia

The last page of Elisha’s book:

I encourage you to seek the Lord and see if He is asking you to help one or more children in our LIGHT Home.  If He puts this in your heart, please do not hesitate to contact us.  You will receive the photograph and testimony of the children you are praying for and supporting.

We have a sponsorship plan.  It takes $30 USD or AUD / €27 Euros / £20 GBP to support one child per month.  With your kind support a kid will have food, clothing, education, medical supplies and above all he/she will get to hear the gospel.  Your help will change in a child’s life forever.

If you support today, if you invest today for God’s kingdom, one day in eternity you will get to see the children and people that you supported present before the throne of grace.  And they will testify that because of this person I came here.  So would you like to hear such testimonies from the children and families!  Then start doing something today. Let us make difference in the lives of needy Dalit children.

GDTAX DEDUCTIBLE GIFTS: We are proud to partner for Project J686N Light Society’s Development Project with Global Development Group (ABN 57 102 400 993), a Christian based Australian DFAT (Dept of Foreign Affairs & Trade) Approved Non-Government Organisation carrying out quality humanitarian projects with approved partners and providing aid to relieve poverty and provide long term solutions.  Global Development Group takes responsibility for projects according to DFAT rules providing a governance role and assisting in planning, monitoring, evaluating and auditing to ensure the projects are carried out to DFAT requirements. Tax deductible receipts for gifts over $2 with a preference for this approved aid and development project will be issued by Global Development Group for project J686N – Light Society’s Development Project Tax deductions apply in Australia, New Zealand, UK and USA.

Contact Elisha and LIGHT Home

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A great gift with eternal value

You can help:

Australian account

Account Name: Anna Disher Memorial Account

BSB: 112-879,  Account Number: 108 998 378

Bank name: St. George Bank, Tamworth

International account:


Beneficiary Account Name:  LIGHT SOCIETY

Beneficiary Account number:  SB16015506

Beneficiary Bank Branch Swift code:  CORPINBB203

(OR) IFSC Code:  CORP0000203

Beneficiary Bank Branch Code:  0203

Beneficiary Bank Address:

23-11-86 N.P Road,




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Missionary Translator and Doctor by David Lithgow

Bible Translation

Missionary Translator & Doctor

Dr David Lithgow and his wife Daphne were Bible translators and medical missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators for over 30 years, mainly in the Milne Bay Islands of Papua New Guinea. These edited selections from newsletters tell a little of their work for the Lord.

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Missionary Translator & Doctor, David Lithgow:

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In one place it seemed that everyone turned to the Lord and was baptized in the sea.

The same happened on two more islands.

Rev. David Kuwab burnt lots of magic paraphenalia which was brought to him.


* Seven sick people were prayed for in Jesus’ name, and all were healed. Other people kept their sick relatives hidden inside their houses, preferring to trust their own magic and spirit cures. No one among these people was healed. This has been a demonstration of the power of Jesus.

* A woman who had been crippled for years got up and walked immediately, and was doing normal garden work in a week. The people here were convinced that Jesus is the Strong One, and this report spread through the whole area.

* The Lord has worked some surprising miracles, like multiplying the one remaining antibiotic capsule for treating an infection to become twelve – enough to complete the cure.

* After the studies and worship services many of the people came for prayer for the Lord’s cleansing from sin, and to receive the Holy Spirit. At Wabunun they came in a continuous stream, many weeping, for one and a half hours.

* The Lord moved powerfully through healing miracles and casting out evil spirits, demonstrating that his power is greater than that of local spirits and magic.

The Word and Work of the Lord

David and Daphne summarise their life together including work in the Muyuw, Dobu and Bunama languages of the Milne Bay Islands:

We had been leaders in the Evangelical Union of the University of Queensland since 1950, Daphne studying Science and David doing Medicine. In 1954 Daphne left for Ubuya Leprosy Treatment Centre near Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea. There she learnt the Dobu language and trained Papuan staff in laboratory work. When Daphne returned, David had graduated and was a Resident Doctor at Townsville General Hospital. We married in August 1957.

In February 1958 we left for Fiji where David was a doctor for the Methodist Mission Hospital serving Indian people. This entailed learning the Hindustani language. Our first two children, a daughter and son, were born there.

David, as the only doctor continuously on call, worked hard meeting physical needs of the people, but had little time to get to understand their spiritual needs. He felt helpless when faced with demon possessed Hindu patients, and could only prescribe sedation.

The work of Wycliffe Bible Translators and Summer Institute of Linguistics (W.B.T. and S.I.L.) was just beginning in Australia. Here we felt was a way of meeting people’s deepest needs – living with them as they live, learning their language and customs, and bringing God’s Word to them right where they are.

In 1960 we returned to Australia, and David found work at the Greenslopes Repatriation Hospital. In the next two years we welcomed two more sons. We became members of Wycliffe Bible Translators and in May 1963 we flew to Ukarumpa, the Summer Institute of Linguistics Headquarters in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

In the first few years while getting started in language work David was also the group doctor. In 1963 an allocation site was found at Wabunun village on a long sandy beach on the south-east coast of Woodlark Island off Milne Bay. Wabunun was home for the children from 1964 to 1972 in their house built of bush materils – split black palm floor, platted bamboo walls, and sago leaf roof. Daphne taught them correspondence lessons until they were 7 or 8 years old, after which they were in Children’s Homes for schooling at the Ukarumpa base.

From 1970 onwards the children all stayed at Ukarumpa for schooling, and we were able to travel around the language area, 150 miles by 70 miles, mostly on the big Muyuw outrigger sailing canoes.

The churches throughout this area had selected young men who came to Wabunun where we trained them as teachers of Muyuw, and sent them back with reading primers and duplicated portions of translated Scriptures. They all achieved some degree of success. Two of these teachers who were barely literate themselves had taught all the young adults to read as well as some of the older folk. They had established the church which worshipped together every Sunday morning – or when they thought it was Sunday, because they had no calendar.

In 1972 the Muyuw New Testament translation was virtually complete, so we moved to Dobu Island to help in the Bible Society project to retranslate the Dobu New Testament into modern Dobu. There the house had a sawn timber floor, bush materil walls and an iron roof.

From 1978 to 1982 we were settling our teen-age children into life in Australia while we worked as the Wycliffe Bible Translators representatives in Queensland. Every year David returned to Dobu to keep the literacy and translation program moving.

In 1978 our doctor advised against David returning to Papua New Guinea because of incipient cancer. It seemed David could expect about another two years of normal health. Our plans were examined closely but there seemed no need to change any of them. We also sought healing through prayer in Jesus’ name. Since then David has had better health then he had before. After such a sentence of death, every day is valued as a special gift from the Lord, and it gives an added sense of urgency to the task.

From 1982 we were at Dobu or Diwala Translation Centre, helping with the translations and doing literacy work. In 1985 the Muyuw New Testament was revised and reprinted. We travelled in S.I.L.’s new 24 foot boat with the minister, Rev. David Kuwab, who had been the main translation helper. We visited every island and village selling Scriptures and hymn books, and re-establishing literacy work where it was needed. Near the beginning of this trip the Lord moved powerfully through healing miracles and casting out evil spirits.

The new Dobu New Testament was dedicated in 1986. It is now used widely alongside the old Dobu Bible. Over 10,000 copies have been sold. As the Lord worked in Muyuw, he has also worked strongly in the Dobu speaking area, leading individuals and groups to renounce traditional magic and to trust in Jesus’ name for salvation and healing.

In 1991 the Bunama New Testament was printed and dedicated. It was distributed by three groups of three Bunama speakers who gave Bible studies from the new Scripture in twenty different villages. In almost every village there were people who sought the Lord’s salvation – older folk, young men, girls, school children. We were amazed at the many different ways in which the Holy Spirit spoke to people’s needs.

Preach the Good News, Heal the Sick, Cast out Demons

David describes a few events on mission patrols:

Muyuw Patrol, 1985

The 600 Muyuw New Testaments, first printed and sold in 1977, are worn from heavy use, tattered and discoloured. Some have lost their cover. People were eager to buy new ones for themselves and their children. Those who had no money traded canoe paddles, shells, ebony carvings, turtle-shell ear-rings, or baskets of food.

The main Muyuw translator Rev. David Kuwab, who is now Superintendent Minister, with his wife Dasel came with us on the seven week’s patrol by boat to all the inhabited islands and villages where this language is spoken. On one island Rev. Kuwab baptised ninety people and married five young Christian couples.

At another island an old man asked if he could take his wife with us on the boat to the next island where they wanted to get strong Papuan magic. Hospital staff had told his wife that the basis of this sickness was witchcraft, so they could do nothing and said she should go home and get Papuan treatment. All Papuan treatments had failed and they wanted to try stronger traditional magic. Rev. Kuwab and I went to her house and prayed for her. We asked if she believed Jesus could heal her, and she said ‘Yes’. So we helped her to her feet and started her walking. Soon she walked unaided doing heavy work in the food garden.

At the Government Administration Centre the wife of the Provincial Member for Health had been bed-ridden for three years. They believed this was from witchcraft. He had employed all the local methods to appease the witches and cure the sickness but she only got worse. He asked us to pray for his wife and we did so. When Kuwab asked if she believed Jesus could heal her he got a lethargic response. Daphne visited this woman to pray with her daily. She was improving, so the Provincial member asked Kuwab and me to pray for her again. After prayer this time, she got up and walked. We noted that she was quite anaemic and gave her iron tablets and advice on diet and encouraged continuing prayer and trust in Jesus. Rev. Kuwab warned them strongly against reverting to Papuan magic.

On our last day at Woodlark a man brought his mentally disturbed wife. Rev. Kuwab had told them to stop doing anti-witchcraft magic and to pray in Jesus’ name. The previous night they had done that and she told us she was now all right. They agreed to another prayer but as soon as Jesus’ name was uttered she screamed and stiffened and talked of bad things put in her abdomen by a witch. I rebuked the evil spirit in Jesus’ name and we prayed strongly. When Kuwab asked if she believed in Jesus she gave a definite ‘No’. I felt led to pray in the Spirit. Kuwab asked her again and she now said that she believed Jesus could save her. She seemed normal, though lethargic, when we left. She did recover.

One day was free to visit another village so the deacon took me there by canoe. We were not able to tell the people that I was coming, so the deacon and I prayed for the Lord to prepare the people. Normally they would have been scattered in the bush, in their food gardens, or at creeks and beaches getting fish and shell-fish; but we found almost all the people sitting in the church. One Tuesday each month they have a devotional meeting. This was that meeting.

They had just finished their devotions so they invited me to speak about the New Testament, hymn book and other Muyuw books. They bought them eagerly. Then the youth leader showed me their study paper on the Holy Spirit from a youth convention and asked me if I could help them understand it. So after a lunch break we went into the church again. I read and explained the Muyuw Scriptures about the Holy Spirit and they responded very positively. Many asked for prayer for the filling and empowering of the Holy Spirit.

There was much sickness in another village, especially children. They have no medical help. I had few medicines suitable for children. We gave them what medicines we had and prayed for all the sick. As in all places, they bought New testaments eagerly. Many people came under conviction of sin, coming forward for prayer for Jesus to cleanse and forgive them.

At the Sunday service at Wabunun, where we as a family had lived and worked for eight years, after Scripture had been expounded Rev. Kuwab invited people to come for prayer for sickness, or cleansing from sin, or for the Holy Spirit. People came forward in a solid stream, some weeping. Kuwab’s own son, now a grown man and getting into bad ways, came forward with bowed head and his father prayed for him. Kuwab had never before prayed for people under such conviction of sin and desiring salvation.

After a Bible study for preachers and leaders the next day more people came forward for prayers. It took half an hour to pray for them all. On the third and final day, after a straight Bible study no appeal was made but during the final hymn people began to come forward for prayer, mostly sick folk who had been brought from more distant places.

West Woodlark Patrol, 1989

We visited the islands of west of Woodlark in October. After two days of rough weather we limped in with a broken rudder attachment. The Lord provided an ex-plumber on the island who had some tools in his village house and was able to fix it.

We really admire the teachers of the English Curriculum Government Schools. Through their work many children become literate in English and Muyuw, but as not all children go to school there are many illiterate teenagers and adults who now want to learn to read. To try to meet this need we trained 26 new village literacy teachers.

Four places with a total of over 1200 people were still without any medical service despite government efforts to get Aid Post Orderlies to work there. We heard that people of one island were saying, ‘You don’t recover if you pray but you will recover if you use magic.’ When we arrived at that island 80 people were sick with malaria, some desperately ill. All recovered with prayer and chloroquine treatment. The people of one island complain more about having no minister than they do about having no medical help. For most, the value of Christian leadership is rated very high.

As well as Muyuw New Testaments and hymn books we took Kiriwina and Dobu New Testaments for sale. We found that the Holy Spirit’s blessings are not restricted to one way of ministry or to one language. People from a number of languages live at the commercial centre for Woodlark Island. The new United Church minister does not know Muyuw but has a powerful and effective ministry through the Dobu language.

The dialect on one island was a mixture of two main languages. There we found the strongest church on all of these islands. However, a matter of concern is a prophetess who is visited by a spirit from time to time and gives confusing teaching, but she has a large following.

After we returned from the Woodlark area Daphne stayed in our house at Dobu catching up with household matters and weeding our yam garden while I did a survey of another area with Peter from Holland. He and his doctor wife are looking for a language in which to begin translation work. Family in-fighting which is worsening, destruction of villages, and criminal activities among some of those people are causing widespread concern. The police recently made a large number of arrests. There are, however, faithful Christians there in the United, Catholic, and Seventh Day Adventist Churches.

On the patrol we had hard hiking in rain and flooded rivers, then sea travel to return. I had been having intermittent malaria and some other problems, but improved during the patrol and returned feeling strong and fit.

Bunama Patrol, 1991

The Bunama New Testament is now with the people, and the Lord blessed the distribution patrol. Of the 600 printed only 40 were left unsold.

I went with the nine Bunama speakers in the distribution team. We spent two days in preparation, praying and studying 1 Timothy, the book we were to use for village Bible studies. Then we set off in groups of three, each group to a different village.

The emphasis was on teaching, and at some stage in most places at the end of a session the team leader or the local pastor would invite people wanting help from the Lord to remain behind. The manifold working of the Holy Spirit was amazing to all of us. Together with the local pastors we prayed in pairs for the people who requested help. Several times the boat captain was teamed with me. Two years before he was illiterate but Daphne taught him from a Dobu primer. Now he reads the Dobu Bible and his prayers were spiritually sensitive and powerful.

Even among the most distant of the dialect groups they understood the Bunama Scripture and teaching quite well and many of them responded to the Lord. They all had individual and different needs, and the Holy Spirit worked in their hearts.

In another place a team leader was hesitant about making an invitation and did so rather tentatively. Later he felt rebuked for his reluctance because many responded. He discovered the agony of soul of one woman who needed the Lord’s help, as well as seeing two boys of 10-12 years who had waited back in the distance but were strongly convicted of their need for forgiveness.

There were failures too. — After church one Sunday a number of people went back inside the church and sat quietly. Too late, the members of that team realised they were probably wanting help. — Often after uplifting experiences, team members and local people would sing all night. This was good for the local people but I felt it left team members unable to give of their best the next day. — Some pastors felt that hospitality required them to give betel nut and tobacco to team members, and most felt that good manners required them to use it. Three of the team members were smokers and most used betel nut to some degree. I feel that this drug can dull a person’s spiritual sensitivity. — When under pressure near the end of the trip I hurt someone by an outburst of anger, and my apology may not heal all of that hurt.

Half of the team members and some of the village pastors are people the Lord had touched in Dobu Bible studies as we have visited these areas in previous years. It is wonderful to see the Lord’s work being multiplied.

All team members spoke clearly against the use of traditional magic and spirit practices. This is a break-through and a key to the Lord’s blessing on their ministry. Ten years ago it was considered wrong to mention these things in church.

In the second week the engine of our boat was getting harder to start, taking up to an hour with the crank handle. So before trying one day we prayed and it started first crank. Next morning a team member prayed for the engine. It started by battery power just with the starter button. It has kept starting that way ever since.

The language used at another village was not Bunama and I was undecided about calling there, but called in anyway. There were lots of people about, and they wanted a Bunama Bible study. A team member led it and made an invitation at the end. I could see six young men hanging back in the shadows and listening from a distance. They responded, each with a strong desire to leave his old ways and be a true Christian. The pastor was away, but his wife was delighted. She told us that those young men had been a heavy burden on their hearts.

Our trip finished on the island where it began. They wanted a Bible study from Bunama New Testament and afterwards several of them bought it. The response for prayer was mainly from men aged 25-30. Some were so moved by God’s Spirit that they could hardly speak.

Woodlark and Marshall Bennett Patrol, 1994

This trip took three months. Revival is now spreading through these islands.

We arrived soon after a mission led by a United Church minister. During the mission at the main population centres hundreds sought salvation through Christ and were baptised in the sea, surrendering their equipment for magic and sorcery. One witch admitted having killed over twenty people, and she collapsed physically as the power of the Lord came on her.

Two local ministers travelled with us on the S.I.L. boat, continuing this ministry to the more remote places. Rev. Bili Wilson went with us to the Lachlan Islands and the eastern end of Woodlark. Rev. David Kuwab, co-translator of the Muyuw New Testament, was with us in visiting the rest of Woodlark and the Marshall Bennett Islands.

The people gave Rev. Bili Wilson and us their full attention for five days so we gave them the Good News and sold lots of Scriptures. They responded in an amazing way. On Friday I gave the main study in the church and invited people during the last hymn to come into the fenced section near the pulpit for prayer. That area was soon full and most of the rest of the congregation were crowding forward. Rev. Bili and the Pastor worked as one team; Daphne and I as a second team.

On Sunday people were invited to give up their equipment for doing magic, so after church the older men brought wood, gum, ginger, stones, and bones and eagerly released it to be burnt. Rev. Bili, using a metaphor, said, ‘If you have any death in your house bring it here and burn it.’ On Sunday afternoon Rev. Bili baptised 18 young adults in the sea.

There was widespread response to the Lord. Hundreds more were baptised in most places, and lots of equipment for magic and sorcery was burnt. Hundreds also sought prayer for special needs. One woman came to Rev. Bili Wilson and said, ‘This is my heaviness – I am a witch.’ Then she collapsed, and two other women held her on her feet while we asked the Lord to take away this evil spirit and give her the Holy Spirit.

We went to another island where the enthusiasm was the greatest yet. Older folk there, as well as the young folk, are very keen for the Lord. There was another baptism of many people in that area. Two leaders prayed for each candidate before their baptism. Afterwards the newly baptised Christians stood in a line and all who wished to do so shook each by the hand and gave words of encouragement or prophecy as the Spirit led. The biggest prayer need of the young people was to learn to read so as to read the Bible and hymn book. We prayed for them, gave them primers, and instruction for those who can read to help them daily in their homes. I also told them that betel nut gums up their brains.

There is a strong Pentecostal church in one island we visited. They had just finished a mission. They all speak Holy Spirit tongues and have no tobacco, betel nut, traditional mortuary feasts or kula trading. Whether they are right or not on these issues, it frees them to worship the Lord with such joy that I have never seen before. Their faces shine with a happy peaceful radiance. When you meet them along the road they talk enthusiastically about the Lord and his return.

They baptised 42 people on Sunday, many of them being United Church followers who will continue in the United Church. The United Church there follows the Pentecostal worship pattern in most ways. I preached at the United Church mid-day service. The singing praise session at the start turned into a congregational prayer meeting, all praying together. It seemed they would never stop!

We were delayed a day leaving there by a cyclone. Everything got wet. At least it was cool when the cyclone was around. After it cleared it was terribly hot. On almost every trip we caught fish including some big ones. One pulled my attaching knot undone and got away with the whole line. If you have any weakness in your tackle you lose all those big ones, and your tackle.

At the next island it seemed as though everyone turned to the Lord and was baptised in the sea. It was the same in two more islands.

Frightening gossip preceded us in some places. People were told that if they are baptised in the sea and then commit sin again they will die. Some people wanted to stay with the ways of worship and life practices to which they were accustomed. These people saw the revival movement as a new and different religion.

However, in each of the opposition strongholds ten to twenty people sought baptism and new life in Christ. One was a healing magician who found that after practising his art he had terrible dreams, so he wanted to be rid of his magic. Another man testified in church that he was finished with his various sorcery practices.

Rev. David Kuwab’s youth was spent in the midst of sorcery and magic. He dramatically explained the use of items for magic and sorcery and physical poisons as he threw them into the fire, shouting, ‘These are Satan’s things.’ The people showed no sign of embarrassment; just relief and joy. The young people sang praises to the Lord during the long baptism procedures. Mature Christians prayed for each person before they were taken down into the water, and another Christian prayed for them when they came back to the shore.

When the Gospel of Christ was proclaimed in one place a famous spirit healer was one of the first to respond. He was quite willing to give up his healing and killing practice. He told Rev. Kuwab, ‘I have only used sorcery to kill bad people, never good people.’

Spiritual hunger generated a great demand for Muyuw Scriptures. We had to get fresh supplies, and we still ran out of New Testaments at the last island. The new large print New Testament was very popular with people of all ages. In a population of some 4,000 people we sold 700 New testaments, 150 hymn books, and 300 booklets on Spiritual Warfare which Rev. Kuwab had translated.

The Marshall Bennett Islands at the end of a three months trip were exhausting. That is where we ran into opposition. There is no medical worker for over 2,000 people. The three main islands are flat-topped craggy limestone, 500-600 feet in elevation with no water supply where the people live on the tops of the islands, except what falls from the sky. There are few good anchorages.

With no medical services the people have depended heavily on healing magicians. On one island there was hostility between members of the church, and many were suffering from malaria, coughs and scabies. The plight of some small children was pathetic. We were carrying medicine for malaria and pneumonia but nothing for scabies. Rev. Kuwab worked hard to help the church leaders overcome their differences through the power of Christ.

Although people were resistant there, at one smaller preaching place 60 were baptised. At another place 20 were baptised and gave up their magic.

We had planned and prayed for the Woodlark trip for a long time. Since 1963 we have been praying that God’s Word would bear fruit among the Muyuw people. What is now happening exceeds our greatest expectations. To our Lord Jesus be the glory.


© Renewal Journal 4: Healing (1994, 2011)
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Renewal Journal 4: Healing – Editorial

Missionary Translator and Doctor, by David Lithgow

My Learning Curve on Healing, by Jim Holbeck

Spiritual Healing, by John Blacker

Deliverance and Freedom, by Colin Warren

Christian Wholeness Counselling, by John Warlow

A Healing Community, by Spencer Colliver

Divine Healing & Church Growth, by Donald McGavran

Sounds of Revival, by Sue Armstrong

Revival Fire at Wuddina, by Trevor Faggotter

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Missionary Translator & Doctor, David Lithgow:

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King of the Granny Flat

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 A family biography of Geoff Waugh

12-year-old Dante wrote this interesting biography of his missionary and minister grandpa, illustrated with family and mission photographs. Here are some of his comments:

Geoff Waugh is my granddad about whom this biography is written. He has done many things and gone to many places. These include Israel, Europe, Canada, USA, and he has taught church leaders in Africa, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Philippines, China, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Malaysia and every state in Australia.

Throughout Geoff’s life he has had faith in God. The principle that has gotten him through is “loving God, loving others”. This is also what he thinks is his purpose on earth, the meaning of life and the sum of his life.

Geoff hopes in the future that more people will turn to God and be with Him.

After learning about my granddad’s life in the making of his biography he has become an inspiration to me, an inspiration to do something good with my life and to travel the world. I hope my granddad will live much longer in his already long and fulfilled life. He has been very kind to me and to this I say, “Thank you Grandpa – The King of the Granny Flat.”


The Birth of a Legend
Leading and Serving
Geoff’s Own Family
For Fun
To Infinity and Beyond
Geoff’s Thoughts

Some photos from the book – see the PDF



More of Dante through many years since he wrote this book in primary school

Class & house captain in primary school raised school suppport for Myanmar;
high school school captain assisted school chaplain
Captain of Queensland and Australian schoolboys volleyball teams
Annual trips to Myanmar/Burma on mission supporting orphanages
Singing, praying, baptisms on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu, South Pacific
Leading worship in local church and park in Bellbowrie, Brisbane
Worship and speaking at university, where he was also president of Power to Change

Biographical Books

Geoff’s autobiography is

Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival

Journey into Renewal and Revival

Journey into Renewal and Revival – PDF

See details, contents, photos and reviews of Renewal Journal publications on Amazon

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Light on the Mountains
Light on the Mountains is an expanded version of Chapter 4 (Mission) in Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival
Light on the Mountains – PDF

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Journey into Mission is an expanded version of Chapter 8 (Revival) in Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival
Journey into Mission – PDF

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Journey into Ministry and Mission: Renewal and Revival
Condensed from Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival and Journey into Mission
Journey into Ministry and Mission – PDF










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Light on the Mountains

Light on the Mountains

Light on the MountainsLight on the Mountains

Pioneer Mission in Papua New Guinea

Light on the Mountains – PDF

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A few photos from the book

Village baptisms

Village comunion

Vine bridge in gorge

Pioneer village pastor missionaries – front row
with remote village people

Endorsement by Rev L.A. (Tony) Cupit, former Director of Evangelism and Education, Baptist World Alliance:

No one speaks more authentically about a mission situation than one who has experienced it. That is one reason, among others, why Geoff Waugh’s latest book, Light on the Mountains, is such a valuable resource.

It was my privilege to serve in Papua New Guinea with Global Interaction at the same time as Geoff. I greatly appreciated his genuine love for Jesus the Christ and notable contribution to and love for the Enga people during the seven years we served together. These are reflected in this fascinating book. Geoff writes with deep personal knowledge and insight about the joys and challenges of mission life. He has collected valuable original source material and used it creatively to convey historical and missiological insights that needed to be unearthed and made available.

Anyone interested in learning about the dynamic work of the Holy Spirit of God in Papua New Guinea, and of discovering reasons why people engage in cross-cultural and linguistic mission work, would be well rewarded by studying and absorbing the insights this book provides.


Endorsement by Rev Don Doull, pioneer missionary in PNG from 1949.

This book describes those exciting days when Australian Baptists began a new missionary enterprise in 1949, the Baptist New Guinea Mission. We were motivated by a desire to fulfil our Lord’s great commission and reach out to those people just to the north of our country who had not yet heard the name of Jesus. As you peruse the pages of this book, which records the beginnings of that missionary challenge taken up by the Post-War churches of Australia, you will sense again the spirit of adventure and dedication which drove our churches in what has proved to be a wonderfully rewarding missionary task.

Geoff Waugh has done a wonderful job of drawing together the many threads which have been woven together to make the fabric of what we are able to stand back and marvel at as we now are aware of the activities of the Baptist Union of PNG.

Many hundreds of missionaries and many thousands of faithful Christians from our Australian churches have contributed to this modern missionary endeavour which has now exceeded the vision of those who commenced the task. We can now look back over these past six decades with much gratitude to God and see a vital indigenous church functioning in PNG in a part of that country still emerging from “The Stone Age” when we commenced our task.

Our world has now changed almost beyond belief over these past decades, but the task still remains of reaching the multitudes of people who have never heard the name of Jesus. My prayer is that God will use the story Geoff has documented to challenge our 21st Century fellow believers, to move into our modern world with a similar faith and dedication as that which was demonstrated during the second half of the 20th Century by our Australian Baptists.




Part 1: Pioneer Mission History

1. Beginnings of the Baptist New Guinea Mission

2. The Church is Born: the first baptisms

3. The Church Grows: community transformation

Pioneer mission centres

Pioneer mission development

Part 2: Pioneer Mission Teaching

4. Trails and trials: mission life in the highlands

Pioneer missionary teacher


Bible Schools

Return visit


Enga revival

Min revival

See details, contents, photos and reviews on Amazon and Kindle

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Related Biographical Books

Light on the Mountains is expanded from Chapter 4 (Mission) in Geoff’s Book

Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival

A Looking to Jesus All

Part 2 of Light on the Mountains (Pioneer Mission Teaching) is summarized in the early chapters of Journey into Mission

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Part 2 of Light on the Mountains (Pioneer Mission Teaching) is also summarized in Journey into Ministry and Mission

0 0 A Journey Mission










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Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival

Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival

Looking to Jesus
Journey into Renewal and Revival

Journey into Renewal and RevivalPDF

Other PDF Books available on the Main Page


This autobiography spans 80 years of involvement in ministry and mission, especially in the last 50 years of renewal and revival. This is an Australian story, with global relevance. Accounts of renewal in Australia and revival there and overseas fill the last two chapters, with two other chapters describing pioneering teaching in Papua New Guinea.


Revival Highlights reproduced from

Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal & Revival and

Journey into Mission and

Journey into Ministry & Mission

All books available in PDF, eBook, and print and colour paperback

See Blog: Revival Adventures – expanded from Chapter 8: Revival

See details, contents, photos, reviews and ‘Look inside’ on Amazon and on Kindle

Amazon Reviews:

Invitation to a Journey
Review by Rev Dr John Olley, retired principal, Baptist Theological College in Perth, Australia.

Geoff Waugh’s life and ministry have influenced people all around the world. The story of his life and ministry will be of interest not only to those who know him – you will find yourself reflecting on your own journey with Jesus. Beginning in Australia, then Papua New Guinea, his invited ministry in renewal and revival has involved every continent. While he has written Flashpoints of Revival (recently updated) recounting revivals in the past three hundred years around the world and many books of Bible studies, this new book has a different focus, and it is an exciting and easy read. Geoff traces his journey from strong roots which remained the solid core of his life from childhood to marriage to active retirement. Here is a personal journey with reflections that will enrich the lives of all readers. As he `looked to Jesus’ along the way he was opened up to many exciting new ventures in Australia and into countries where revival and renewal is vibrant, changing many lives. Although a biography, many others are involved. Geoff’s journey is like a rose bush with strong roots and branches. He is one bud of many, opening into a beautiful bloom as he opened himself to God’s leading into an exciting journey. His reflections fit naturally, showing how his personal journey has relevance for others. A bonus is the appendix with full details of contents of his other publications.


Insightful, Inspirational, Informative
Review by Daphne Beattie

An interesting survey of 70 years from his early life as the son of an evangelical minister, to becoming a minister and missionary and a leader in renewal and revival through his teaching in Australia and overseas.

Revival stirs both curiosity, excitement and anticipation in God’s people. Geoff shares his personal journey with humour and life flowing out of it, always directing us to follow Jesus’ example alone.

I strongly recommend this book and found it easy to read but at the same time it stirred up a deep longing in my heart to reach a more intimate relationship with God. Thank you Geoff


Faith Journey
Review by Romulo Nayacalevu, Pastor and Lawyer in Fiji.

Dr Waugh’s account in “Looking to Jesus” demonstrates his passion and servanthood life, displayed in his calling from the pulpit to the mountains and valleys of the Pacific and beyond. His passion, zeal and commitment to the Gospel make Him a true missionary to places where we wouldn’t dare. I would recommend this book to all, the story of a man who is truly sold out to His King and Master – the Lord Jesus Christ. Dr. Waugh’s personal journey and convictions are a testimony to people like me who are trying to be available to God’s call. Dr Waugh remains a mentor and a friend and “Looking to Jesus” is the simplest way of describing Dr. Waugh’s faith journey. His testimony will challenge us all about our priorities and the true meaning of obedience. A STRONGLY recommended read.


Essential reading
Review by Jo Ioane,  Pastor.

I have been blessed to be one of Geoff Waugh’s students in the COC Bible College in Brisbane. This book was such a blessing. It showed how God has been such a huge part of Geoff’s life since he was a young boy. It was really inspiring to read the book and to realize all the amazing things God has done through Geoff, that he is not just a teacher on revivals, he is really someone who lives it! I highly recommend this book. We need more fathers in the faith who have walked with Jesus for so long and who have seen real moves of the Holy Spirit to share with us and encourage us like Geoff does in this book. This is not just a biography, it is a book that will teach and inspire you in your walk with God.


The Contents:

Preface: thanks

Introduction: Waugh stories – an overview

1. Beginnings: state of origin – growing up in NSW, Australia

2. Schools: green board jungle – learning and teaching

3. Ministry: to lead is to serve – theological college and pastorates

4. Mission: trails and trials – pioneering teaching in Papua New Guinea

5. Family: Waughs and rumours of Waughs – Family life in PNG and Australia

6. Search and Research: begin with A B C – exploring Israel and studies

7. Renewal: begin with doh rey me – charismatic renewal in Australia

8. Revival: begin with 1 2 3 – teaching revival leaders in many countries

Conclusion: begin with you and me – looking ahead

The author, an Australian Baptist minister, worked with many denominations including teaching Baptist ministry students in Papua New Guinea, and teaching Methodist and Uniting, Anglican and Catholic, and pentecostal students in Australia. Revival experiences include teaching church and revival leaders in many countries including in Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific. The book considers implications of truly being one in the Body of Christ in the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

See details, contents, photos, and reviews for revival books on Amazon & Kindle.

Free postage worldwide on the Book Depository

Geoff’s grandson Dante wrote a brief biography of Geoff in primary school, published as King of the Granny Flat


King of the Granny Flat – PDF

Pioneer Mission in PNG

Light on the Mountains is an expanded version of Chapter 4 (Mission) in Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival.

Light on the Mountains – PDF

Journey into Mission is an expanded version of Chapter 8 (Revival) in Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival.

0 0 Jurney M2

Journey into Mission – PDF

Journey into Ministry and Mission: Renewal and Revival

Condensed from Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival,

and Journey into Mission

0 0 A Journey Mission

Journey into Ministry and Mission – PDF

Snapshots of God’s surprises during our short-term mission trips
A summary of Journey into Mission
Expanded from chapter 8 of Looking to Jesus
God’s Surprises – PDF

Blogs and videos about information in these books

Jesus’ Last Promise – Blog and Video – Pentecost
You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you

God’s Promise – Blog and Video – I will pour out my Spirit
Seeing God’s Spirit poured out in over 20 countries










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