The boy who harnessed the wind

Malawi: The boy who harnessed the wind

Christianity marked their household as much as poverty.

Because God was in his heart, William never accepted his fate to a life of poverty and impossibility. The Holy Spirit illuminated his mind to see he could use existing resources to create success.

 

William Kamkwamba was born amidst famine and poverty on a farm in Malawi, but with God’s inspiration he fabricated a primitive windmill to bring electricity to his house. His ingenuity caught the eye of international organizations that opened doors for him.

“With a windmill, we’d finally released ourselves from the troubles of darkness and hunger,” the resourceful youth told the Malawi Daily Times. “In Malawi, the wind was one of the few consistent things given to us by God, blowing in the treetops day and night. A windmill meant more than just power, it was freedom.”

William’s improbable journey from farm subsistence in Africa to international mover and shaker in technology education begins with his father, a rough fighting man who settled down after he received Jesus into his heart. Christianity marked their household as much as poverty. The only boy among six sisters, William shouldered the burden to help his family survive. When rains skipped 2001 and famine clouds gathered, William had to drop out of school in 2002 because the family couldn’t afford the fees.

William dutifully toiled the soil, but he never let go of his hunger for learning and frequently visited an internationally-supported library near his home, where he found a couple of books about energy that piqued his curiosity. One was called ‘Using Energy and How it Works’. As he thumbed through the pages with diagrams, he understood the basic mechanics behind magnetism for generating electricity in a turbine and a windmill.

He was a tinkering kid who once disassembled his father’s radio because he thought there were little people inside that he wanted to talk to. He was not able to reassemble the radio, so when he asked permission of his father to disassemble his bike to build a windmill, his father was resistant. Eventually he prevailed on his father and began to collect scraps of junk to fashion his windmill.

Like Noah building an ark, William became the laughingstock of the townspeople, who watched the formation of his quixotic windmill, resembling a modern art assemblage in the famine-stricken plains of Africa. But when William brought light to his house in Mastala Village, a section of the country unreached yet by the government’s electrification projects, villagers no longer laughed at him. “When I was making all these, some people were mocking me that I was going mad but I had confidence in what I was doing because I knew if it was written in the books then it was true and possible,” William remembers. “When I succeeded they were impressed.”

He charged car batteries throughout the day, which then were used to light houses or power radios in the neighborhood. Encouraged by his first success as a 14-year-old inventor, William next devised a plan to build a larger windmill to pump water during the drought. He received donations from outsiders to help his project. After his second triumph, the town was no longer at the mercy of darkness or drought. It was an astonishing feat and the world took note.

William was invited to speak at a Ted Talk and given the chance to resume his studies after a 5-year lapse. He received a scholarship to study at Dartmouth University, where he attended the Thayer School of Engineering’s ‘Humanitarian Engineering Leadership Program Worldwide’. A documentary was produced on-site of his childhood accomplishments. His autobiography, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, credits God with the inspiration to overcome the cruel capriciousness of Mother Nature and impose order to a chaotic world using rational engineering.

With the wind in his sails, William began launching other projects to help boys unable to continue their education. One such project was a soccer team. He has since produced solar-powered water pumps for his and other villages. He’s produced clean water plants, worked on malaria prevention and developed a drip irrigation system, according to his website. Today, William is employed by Ideo.org, focusing on human-centered design development projects across the globe, from sanitation in India to gender-based violence prevention in Kenya. He is now working with WiderNet to develop an appropriate technology curriculum that will allow people to bridge the gap between ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’. WiderNet will distribute the content through ‘e-granaries’ around Malawi and across Africa.

Because God was in his heart, William never accepted his fate to a life of poverty and impossibility. The Holy Spirit illuminated his mind to see he could use existing resources to create success.

Source: William Kamkwamba, Stephen Lahood

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind has been turned into an inspiring movie that currently runs on Netflix. Click to watch the trailer.
Source: Christian TodayJoel News  #1130, June 18, 2019

 

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Peace Child – PNG: A story that impacted world missions

Papua New Guinea: A story that impacted world missions

Hidden among tribal cultures, there are practices or understandings which could be called ‘redemptive analogies’. These can be used to illustrate the meaning of the gospel, contextualizing the incarnation of Jesus.

This missionary principle is best illustrated in Don Richardson’s classic book Peace Child (1974). This great missions story, demonstrating the power of the gospel in a primitive tribal culture in Papua New Guinea, had a strong impact on many people around the world.

In 1962, Don, his wife Carol, and their 7-month-old son went to Dutch New Guinea to minister to the Sawis, a group of cannibalistic headhunters. Don immersed himself in learning the complex language, and began working to teach them about salvation in Jesus. But the cultural barriers made this seemingly impossible, especially because of the value the culture placed on treachery and deception.

As he learned the language and lived with the people, he became more aware of the gulf that separated his Christian worldview from the worldview of the Sawi. In their eyes, Judas, not Jesus, was the hero of the Gospels, Jesus was just the dupe to be laughed at. Eventually Richardson discovered what he referred to as a ‘redemptive analogy’ that pointed to the Incarnate Christ far more clearly than any biblical passage alone could have done. What he discovered was the Sawi concept of the Peace Child.

During this time, the village Don and Carol were living in was attacked by an enemy tribe. Weeks of fighting ensued, and the Richardsons were considering leaving. Motivated to stop the fighting, the chief of Don’s tribe paid the price of peace: in a ceremony, the chief took his own infant son and placed him in the arms of his adversary. The child would live with the enemy tribe for the rest of his life; as long as he lived, there was peace between the tribes.

Don wrote: “If a man would actually give his own son to his enemies, that man could be trusted!” Through this analogy of Jesus being the ultimate peace child who will never die, Don was able to reach the Sawi with the truth of the gospel. Eventually the New Testament was published in their language, and many villagers placed their trust in Christ.

Seven years ago Don Richardson, then 77, and his three sons returned to the Sawi tribe in West Papua, Indonesia. They found the Sawi still faithfully following Christ. We published about this in JNI 839. This reunion was captured on film and it’s exciting and moving to see. While they were there 250 people were baptized.

See 15-minute film Never the Same – their return 50 years later.

Don’s follow-up book ‘Eternity in Their Hearts’ documented how the concept of a supreme God has existed for centuries in hundreds of cultures around the world. This book soon became required reading in seminaries and Bible colleges. Christians worldwide were inspired afresh by the notion that God has “prepared the gospel for the world and the world for the gospel.”

In December 2018 Don Richardson passed away at age 83.

Source: Randy Alcorn, Mission Frontiers, Peace Child Legacy

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Uganda: How a Bible app is growing churches in a refugee camp

Uganda: How a Bible app is growing churches in a refugee camp

A pastor who fled the civil war in South Sudan has been equipped to establish new church plants, thanks to a mobile phone app.

Rev. Alex Sokiri and his wife Harriet fled an armed raid on their town in Kajo Keji in South Sudan in July 2016, forcing them to leave all their possessions behind. They travelled on foot to the Morobi Refugee Camp in Northern Uganda where they, and others from their church and community, struggled to adapt to life in the camp that has now been their home for the past two years.

“In the camp life was very hard,” Harriet said. “Some people came to us wanting to commit suicide because they had left everything. They had no food, no shelter. They were completely traumatised and discouraged.” Alex drew together other pastors from across the camp and together they established small church plants to help people gather into supportive communities. “There were many mental health issues,” he said. “We encouraged the people with the Word of God and restored their hope.”

Alex and Harriet use the eVitabu mobile app, which means ‘books’ in Swahili. This app contains a wide range of theological resources and Bible versions. Having fled without possessions, Alex has found the loss of his theological library challenging. However, the eVitabu app developed by the African Pastors Fellowship (APF), which is loaded on to a solar-powered tablet, is enabling him to teach, prepare sermons, and inspire and equip fellow pastors in the camp.

Watch this video about Alex and Harriet Sokiri’s ministry in the refugee camp
“The app helped us with ideas for counselling, farming, youth ministry, peace-building and church planting. It brought many changes in our life and the life in the refugee camp. For instance: we read how we can form communities and do outreach. So we formed two sports clubs in the refugee camp bringing all the young people together. The youth are traumatised and often involved in criminal activities.” Currently, around 100 young people attend the sports programs. Harriet has reached out to women and created a small market garden.

Source: Alex and Harriet Sokiri, APF

Joel News International – #1122 | April 15, 2019

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS FROM BOOKS)

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Revival Blogs

REVIVAL BLOGS

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Q  Search – near the end of the Blog on phones

Revival Highlights

Revival Reports – God’s Surprises

Revivals Index

Blogs Index 1: Revivals

Revival Highlights from Journey into Ministry & Mission – & PDF

Revival Highlights from Journey into Mission – & PDF

RECENT REVIVAL BLOGS

 

a-gods-surprises-all
Blog: God’s Surprises

God’s Surprises – PDF

 

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 Journey into Mission – Blog

Journey into Mission – PDF

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Journey into Ministry and Mission – Blog

Revival Highlights from Journey into Mission

and from Journey into Ministry and Mission

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Revivals Across the South of USA

Virginia2

Revival Fires in West Virginia

ASU

Current Revival in America’s Largest University

Blessings Bible

 Atheist Author Recognizes
Global Faith Revival 

 

GENERAL REVIVAL BLOGS

 

Carl Lawrence & David Wang
The Spirit told us what to do

Two teenage girls plant many churches. Excerpt from The Coming Influence of China

 

 

Johan van Bruggen
Acts 3 acted out in faith in PNG

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He woke up totally healed

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Mama Luka

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“Before they call I will answer”  Helen Roseveare in Africa

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Ruibal

Revival Impacted Bolivia

Russ Stendal

 

 

Christian Light is filling Columbia’s Spiritual Black Hole

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Monks

 

 

 

Jesus invaded a Buddhist Monastery in the Himalayas

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Peter Morgan
Pinnacle Pocket Revival, North Queensland

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Why Culture won’t Change without Radical Revival

Untitled

Principles of Revival from History

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Students ignite Charismatic Movement

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Transformation in Juarez, Mexico

A face

Revivals in the Middle East

RICOH

Pentecost on Pentecost Island

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Revival Quotes

Chuck Smith Lonnie Frisbee

Jesus People Revival

Mel Tari

Mel Tari on the Timor Revival

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Many Muslims are Turning to Christ

Weat Africa

The church on the camel’s path

ConferencePraise

China – New Wave of Revival 

 
Hicks vision2
A Vision of the Pure & Powerful Bride

Tommy Hicks’ Revival Vision

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Gangsters in the Doorway

 From Do What Jesus Did.
Two testimonies by Robby Dawkins.
Also:
Interrupted by God
 
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Revival in Brazil 
Transformation through Prayer
Evangelicals Grow from 7% to 45% in 7 years

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS FROM BOOKS)

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Nepal: deaf-mute boy healed by Jesus

Nepal: Deaf-mute boy miraculously healed by Jesus.

The boy who could not read, is now studying the Word of God.
The boy who could not hear, is listening to teachings and growing in
his faith.
The boy who could not talk, is now proclaiming the Good News of
Jesus Christ among those who have never heard.

In Nepal, a majoriy Hindu country in the Himalayas with 266
unreached people groups, Christians form only 1% of the population.

In 2017, the Nepali government passed a law that effectively outlaws
conversion to Christianity, evangelization, and harming ‘religious
sentiment.’ But the more governments try to hinder the growth of the
church, the faster it seems to grow, often with miracles. Take the story of 18 year old Tilak, a deaf-mute teenager.

One day Pastor Biju, a church planter affiliated with The Timothy
Initiative, stopped to pray with him. As the pastor prayed for deliverance and healing he witnessed a bewildered look on Tilak’s face. Something
amazing happened to the deaf-mute boy. Tears streamed down his face,
as he discovered that he could hear and speak for the first time in his life. A miraculous healing had just taken place.

Tilak rushed to his mother, who heaved sobs of joy and relief. Her boy
was healed, and it was all because of Jesus. The entire family
surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ that day.

Tilak and his family became eager to learn more about the God, so they
began attending the very first church planted among their people. Now
Tilak’s voice was able to join others in worship. As he listened to the
teachings of Jesus, he was awed by the miracle that he could hear and
understand what was shared.

Then a third miracle happened in Tilak’s life. When he opened God’s
Word, he instantly was able to read, without any prior instruction. The
symbols on the pages of Scripture came alive and he was given his own
Bible to take home.

Tilak, the boy who could not read, is now studying the Word of God.
Tilak, the boy who could not hear, is listening to teachings and growing in his faith.
Tilak, the boy who could not talk, is now proclaiming the Good News of
Jesus Christ among those who have never heard.

Source: The Timothy Initiative.
Joel News, # 1115 , February 25, 2019

General Blogs Index
Blogs Index 1: Revivals (briefer than Revivals Index)
Blogs Index 2: Mission (international stories)
Blogs Index 3: Miracles (supernatural events)
Blogs Index 4: Devotional (including testimonies)
Blogs Index 5: Church (Christianity in Action)
Blogs Index 6: Chapters (Blogs from Books)
Blogs Index 7: Images (photos and albums) 

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God’s Surprises

GOD’S SURPRISES

Snapshots of God’s surprises during our short-term mission trips.

God’s Surprises – Amazon links

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riverlife-goingdeeper  Podcast link: 21st-century revivals – Riverlife Church: Geoff & grandson Dante talk with staff about revivals they’ve seen

PDF Books on the Mail Page

 

God’s Surprises summarises revival events in 20 countries. It’s a brief summary of information in my books Journey into Mission (most detail) and Journey into Ministry and Mission (condensed autobiography). 

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Journey into Mission – Blog

Journey into Mission – PDF

READ SAMPLE

Details of mission adventures in 20 countries, given in historical order.

It includes early days as a single and then married teacher in Papua New Guinea and teaching in Australia and other countries.

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Journey into Ministry & Mission – Blog

Journey into Ministry and Mission  PDF

READ SAMPLE

Condensed autobiography.

 

CONTENTS OF GOD’S SURPRISES 

Chapters:  1 Australia,  2 PNG,  3 Canada: Toronto,  4 USA: Pensacola,  5 Brazil, 
6 Ghana,  7 Kenya,  8 China,  9 Nepal,  10 India,  11 Sri Lanka,  12 Myanmar/Burma,
13 Malaysia,  14 Thailand,  15 Philippines,  16 Solomon Islands,  17 Vanuatu,  18 Fiji,
19 Germany,  20 Israel 

Highlights

Africa

RICOH
Kibera slum in Nairobi

“Can I take some bread home?” asked a tattooed young man at our communion service in the slums of Nairobi in Kenya, East Africa. God’s Spirit had prompted me to buy a few loaves of bread, bottles of drink and plastic glasses for the congregation.

We shared real drink and two loaves of bread together among 30 people in their corrugated iron shed where I was the guest preacher.

“It’s your bread,” I answered. “You decide.” He quickly shoved a handful of bread into his pocket. Then most of the others did the same. Two weeks later, Frank, the young pastor, emailed me: “I’ve visited the slum homes of those people and they are still eating that bread. It’s still fresh.” Apparently God multiplied it.

Frank and his wife Linda then offered free bread and drink each Saturday for hungry, skinny slum people, usually catering for about 50 people. Sometimes many more turned up but they always had plenty. Apparently God kept multiplying it as needed.

***

A young pastor in Ghana in West Africa invited me to hold meetings there. So I arrived with three others from Brisbane during our college break in July, forgetting it was monsoon time in Ghana. We flew into a deluge of rain on the Monday. Our hosts planned night meetings in the market from Tuesday, with morning teaching in a local church.

“Can we hold the night rallies in the church?” I suggested.

“Oh, no,” they said. “Only church people go there. Meetings in the market attract the crowds.”

“What about the rain?” I asked.

“God sent you, so he’ll do something,” they responded, full of faith.

We drove for over an hour in pouring rain from Accra, the capital, to the town of Suhum in the hills for our first meeting on Tuesday night. The heavy rain had flooded the power station there so the whole town was in darkness. We prayed earnestly, asking God to take over.

Within 15 minutes the rain stopped, the town lit up with power, and we began. Those excited Africans sang and danced for over two hours, attracting hundreds to the service. All that week we had clear skies and large crowds. Church teams prayed for hundreds of people. Many were saved. Many were healed. One man testified, “I came to this meeting blind, but while you were singing I found I could see.”

Heavy monsoon rains began again the day after our meetings ended.

Nepal

RICOH
Pastors and leaders in West Nepal

A friend of mine worked with the United Nations in Nepal. He loved to help and support pastors and leaders there. We visited him many times and I spoke at pastors and leaders meetings in Kathmandu, in West Nepal and in East Nepal. Some of those pastors walked for two or three days across the high ranges just to attend.

Their churches are saturated in prayer. I prayed in their “Power House”, the upstairs prayer rooms of their church in Kathmandu. Those small upper rooms, open 24 hours a day, had many people going there to fast and pray, sometimes for many days. 

We saw God’s Spirit move beautifully and powerfully in those meetings. Many were filled with the Spirit and healed. I heard a young man from one of their church bands praying eloquently in beautiful English – but he cannot speak English. They pray for one another with strong faith, expecting God to save, heal, deliver and anoint them.

The dedication of those Christians impressed me. Most of them have been imprisoned for their faith many times. One young pastor conducted a Christian wedding which infuriated relatives so they complained to the police and he spent a month in prison for disturbing the peace. Our host had been severely beaten while in prison.  Two young evangelists were shot to death when we were there. They had returned from Bible College in India and were accused of spying. God gives those Christians amazing peace and joy amid the persecution, just as in the Book of The Acts.

India

Grace Bible College students wave pages

Our team visited Grace Bible College in New Delhi founded by Dr Paul Pilai. Paul had stayed in our home in Brisbane when he visited Australia. He was converted after a young Christian girl prayed for his healing while he was very ill in hospital and he recovered miraculously.

He told us how his students and teams started new churches in villages and towns. They often faced angry opposition. One fanatical group burned their meeting tent and attacked them, hitting them with clubs, trying to kill them. They broke Paul’s arm and burned the tent. Suddenly some handsome Indian men surrounded Paul’s team and miraculously moved them away to a safe place nearby.  The team could see their burning tent in the distance. Those angels told Paul that God would send him back there. A few years later they were invited back and started a church there in a home.

Grace Bible College, the largest in India with around 600 students, trains people to evangelize and plant churches, especially among unreached peoples. Their graduates often face persecution and some have been martyrs. What a humbling privilege it was to pray with the staff there and speak to the crowded hall full of such committed students.

The Philippines

philippines-jeepney
Philippines jeepney

I taught on revival at a seminary in Manilla in the sweltering heat of the Philippines. An assignment I gave my M.Th. students was to report on revival and miracles. One pastor, who was also a police inspector, reported that a church he visited sent groups of young people to sing and speak at hospitals and nursing homes.

One of those teams held monthly meetings in a mental hospital. The staff said that their patients may not understand much, but those patients did enjoy the singing. Over 40 came to the first meeting. The team offered to pray for anyone who would like prayer. They prayed personally for 26 people. The next month when the team returned, all those 26 had been discharged and sent home.

China

House church

I visited China with a student from college. His parents worked there. The woman pastor-evangelist of a house church invited us to her church in a high-rise unit. The young man who met us at the gate could speak English.

He feared that the security guard might ask awkward questions, but as we walked in around 7pm, the guard had his back to us, talking to someone else.  When we left after midnight, the guard was gone, probably sleeping.

Around 30 people sat on the floor and sang softly in worship. We spoke and then found that no one would leave until we had prayed for them personally. That took a while! They were happy to slip away one-by-one, just as they had come. Most were new Christians who believed because a Christian prayed for their healing. They believed in prayer and miracles just as in the Book of The Acts. Their simple, strong faith and humility moved and challenged me deeply.

Australia

Djiniyini Gondarra
Djiniyini Gondarra

We visited Elcho Island in the north where revival broke out and spread through Aboriginal communities all across northern Australia. We invited a team from Elcho Island for a Pentecost weekend in Brisbane. Two dozen came! They told us about the revival and prayed for people after each meeting that weekend, just sitting on the carpeted platform floor, aboriginal style.

That revival began after aborigines on Elcho Island prayed desperately for revival amid increasing crime, drink and drugs. The night their pastor, Djiniyini Gondarra (photo), returned from a holiday they met for Bible Study and prayer in his home. God’s Spirit fell on them as they united for the closing prayer. That prayer and ministry went all night. People were filled with the Spirit, discovered many spiritual gifts, and saw healings and reconciliations. Everywhere their teams went they saw God moving on the people in local revivals.

South Pacific Islands

RICOH
Bible School Chapel on Pentecost Island

Many revival movements have swept the South Pacific islands. I saw some. God’s Spirit fell on the Law School of the University of the South Pacific just after Easter 2002. The Law School is in Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu. Many law students were saved and transformed at their open-air rally.

Those committed students went on missions to other South Pacific nations and to Australia. Now they are lawyers and leaders. A president of their Christian Fellowship became a Member of Parliament in Fiji.

Some of those teams came with me to Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. God has been moving there in unusual ways for a hundred years. Vanuatu people first evangelized the island, one becoming a martyr. A wife of the highest ranking chief returned to life after she died and told them that she had seen God and they should leave their heathen ways and become Christians. Many revival teams have served God there in local revivals. Large numbers repent, are filled with the Spirit, and receive many spiritual gifts including revelations, words of knowledge about hidden magic or sins, and deliverance and healings.

 

God poured out his Spirit on children and youth in the Western Solomon Islands from Easter 2003. They loved to sing and pray daily in the church after school. God gave them visions, revelations, words of knowledge about hidden sins and bad relationships and they received many other spiritual gifts such as healings and speaking and singing what God revealed.

God revealed to a young boy the name of a man who stole a chain saw from the timber mill. A church member had been wrongly accused of that crime and sacked. He was reinstated after the man who stole it was confronted and confessed.

A mother asked me what it meant when her young boy had a vision of Jesus with one foot in heaven and one foot on the earth. I immediately remembered Matthew 28:18 – All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

We saw God touch around 1,000 youths at a National Christian Youth Convention in 2006. One night at the convention they responded, running to the front of the open-air meeting. For half-an-hour their worship team sang “He is Lord” while we prayed for them. They fell like dominoes. Many testified to healings, visions and revelations. One young man returned to his village that night and found his mother ill, so laid hands on her and prayed for her. She was healed. His brother then asked for prayer and he too was healed. The young man had never done that before. A whole group from the Kariki Islands, further west, saw revival begin in their islands on their return. God moved powerfully in every meeting they held and in their personal prayers.

 

My book Journey into Mission PDF link – gives more details.

I discovered that we Westerners are often too busy to pray, too worldly to listen to God, too proud to repent, and too unbelieving to see revival. We Christians – called by the name of Christ – need to take God’s promise seriously:

If my people who are called by name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

You can do that right now – at your computer or with your phone. You could take time right now to pray and seek God, to pray and obey.

 

 

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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The true story behind the song ‘I have decided to follow Jesus’

India: ‘I have decided to follow Jesus’

‘I Have Decided to Follow Jesus’ is a Christian hymn originating from India. The lyrics are based on the last words of a man in Garo, Assam. 

About 150 years ago, there was a great revival in Wales. As a result of this, many missionaries came to north-east India to spread the Gospel. The region known as Assam was comprised of hundreds of tribes who were primitive and aggressive head-hunters

Into these hostile and aggressive communities, came a group of missionaries from the American Baptist Missions spreading the message of love, peace and hope in Jesus Christ. Naturally, they were not welcomed. One missionary succeeded in converting a man, his wife, and two children. This man’s faith proved contagious and many villagers began to accept Christianity. 

Angry, the village chief summoned all the villagers. He then called the family who had first converted to renounce their faith in public or face execution. Moved by the Holy Spirit, the man instantly composed a song which became famous down the years. He sang:

“I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back, no turning back.”

Enraged at the refusal of the man, the chief ordered his archers to arrow down the two children. As both boys lay twitching on the floor, the chief asked, “Will you deny your faith? You have lost both your children. You will lose your wife too.”

But the man sang these words in reply:

“Though no one joins me, still I will follow. Though no one joins me, still I will follow. Though no one joins me, still I will follow. No turning back, no turning back.”

The chief was beside himself with fury and ordered his wife to be arrowed down. In a moment she joined her two children in death. Now he asked for the last time, “I will give you one more opportunity to deny your faith and live.”In the face of death the man sang the final memorable lines:

“The cross before me, the world behind me. The cross before me, the world behind me. The cross before me, the world behind me. No turning back, no turning back.”

He was shot dead like the rest of his family. But with their deaths, a miracle took place. The chief who had ordered the killings was moved by the faith of the man. He wondered, “Why should this man, his wife and two children die for a Man who lived in a far-away land on another continent some 2,000 years ago? There must be some remarkable power behind the family’s faith, and I too want to taste that faith.”

In a spontaneous confession of faith, he declared, “I too belong to Jesus Christ!” When the crowd heard this from the mouth of their chief, the whole village accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

The song is based on the last words of Nokseng, a man from Garo tribe of Assam (now Meghalaya and some in Assam), India. It is today the song of the Garo people.

Source: Dr. P.P. Job in ‘Why God Why’

In this video the hymn “I have decided to follow Jesus” is sung in English and Tamil as a tribute to the many men and women, particularly in the Middle East, who did not flinch in the face of death but counted all things loss for Christ’s sake, who fought the good fight and kept the faith.
Joel NewsJoel News International # 1061 | November 28, 2017

The true story behind the song ‘I have decided to follow Jesus’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mLC2XAXKac

This story in included in BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

See also Blogs Index 1: REVIVALS (and REVIVALS INDEX)

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BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

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BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

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Blogs Index 3: Miracles

Blogs Index 3: MIRACLES

General Blogs Index

Blogs Index 1: Revivals (briefer than Revivals Index)

Blogs Index 2: Mission (international stories)

Blogs Index 3: Miracles (supernatural events)

Blogs Index 4: Devotional (including testimonies)

Blogs Index 5: Church (Christianity in Action)

Blogs Index 6: Chapters (Blogs from Books)

Blogs Index 7: Images (photos and albums)

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A Jesus the Model Globe
Jesus the Model for Short Term 
Supernatural Mission

Jesus the Model – PDF

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Recent Miracle Blogs

All Renewal Journal Blogs are amazing accounts of God’s actions, but these are very surprising.

  Answered Prayer

Jesus appeared – men in white appeared – foiled terror

Miracle in Israel 

 X-ray shows brain tumour healed after prayer

nepalNepal: deaf-mute boy healed by Jesus

Alec-Rex-350x251Adelaide man’s near-death miracle

woman Muslim woman returns from the dead to tell about Jesus

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AIDS God saves and heals including HIV

DimuthMiracle Baby

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Dreams Amid Persecution

He woke to find a blanket on him – there had been none in the cell

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Imam hated Christians

until Jesus raised him from the dead

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Sol IsSolomon Islands:

Hostile tribe’s chief died and met Jesus

by Dick Eastman

Ch 2: Mountains of Mystery

 
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More Miracle Blogs

Last Reformation The Last Reformation – movies

Mama Luka“Before they call I will answer”
Helen Roseveare in Africa
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4Modern Day Daniel

Baby China: Life-changing Miracle

duststormGod protects new believers

 

A Jesus the Model Globe 

The Disciples’ Mission and Ministry

Chapter 2 of Jesus the Model for

Short Term Supernatural Mission

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Healing Blogs

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cfan1He woke up totally healed

in Ghana

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AIDSGod saves and heals including HIV

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Times of Refreshing

Tim Tebow

John 3:16 was the highest-ranked Google search term over the next 24 hours, generating over 92 million searches, after Tim Tebow wore it.

Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call (Acts 2:38-39).

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord (Acts 3:19).

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever, Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21).

Brief examples and illustrations from a message prepared for Sunday 30 April.
Podcast of Message, beginning with readings from Psalm 116 and Acts 2.

In every revival, God’s people repent and pray, & trust and obey
1. Repent  –  means turn  –  turn to God
2. Pray  –  anytime, anywhere  –  thinking, responding
3. Trust  –  just believe  –  knowing God hears & knowing God acts
4. Obey  –  falling in love  –  “If you love me you will obey”

Links to a few accounts of Times of Refreshing:

Eternity

Arthur Stace could barely write his own name, but wrote Eternity on the pavements of Sydney, commemorated on the Sydney Harbour Bridge on 1 January 2000.

1979 – March: Elcho Island, Australia (Djiniyini Gondarra)

Djiniyini Gondarra
Djiniyini Gondarra

The Lord poured out the Holy Spirit on Elcho Island in northern Australia on Thursday, 14 March, 1979. Djiniyini Gondarra was then the Uniting Church minister in the town of Galiwin’ku at the south of the island. He had been away on holidays to Sydney and Brisbane, returning on the late afternoon Missionary Aviation Fellowship flight.

He was travel weary and just wanted to unpack and get to bed early. Many of the people, however, had been praying for months, and especially every day while he had been away, so they wanted to have prayer and Bible study with him in his home. This is his account of that Pentecost among Australian Aborigines in the Arnhem Land churches across the north of Australia:

After the evening dinner, we called our friends to come and join us in the Bible Class meeting. We just sang some hymns and choruses translated into Gupapuynu and into Djambarrpuynu. There were only seven or eight people who were involved or came to the Bible Class meeting, and many of our friends didn’t turn up. We didn’t get worried about it.

I began to talk to them that this was God’s will for us to get together this evening because God had planned this meeting through them so that we will see something of his great love which will be poured out on each one of them. I said a word of thanks to those few faithful Christians who had been praying for renewal in our church, and I shared with them that I too had been praying for the revival or the renewal for this church and for the whole of Arnhem Land churches, because to our heavenly Father everything is possible. He can do mighty things in our churches throughout our great land.

I then asked the group to hold each other’s hands and I began to pray for the people and for the church, that God would pour out his Holy Spirit to bring healing and renewal to the hearts of men and women, and to the children.

Suddenly we began to feel God’s Spirit moving in our hearts and the whole form of our prayer suddenly changed and everybody began to pray in the Spirit and in harmony. And there was a great noise going on in the room and we began to ask one another what was going on.

Some of us said that God had now visited us and once again established his kingdom among his people who have been bound for so long by the power of evil. Now the Lord is setting his church free and bringing us into the freedom of happiness and into reconciliation and to restoration.

There was a great revival that swept further west. I would describe these experiences like a wild bush fire burning from one side of Australia to the other side of our great land. The experience of revival in Arnhem Land is still active in many of our Aboriginal parishes and the churches.

We would like to share these experiences in many white churches where doors are closed to the power of the Holy Spirit. It has always been my humble prayer that the whole of Australian Christians, both black and white, will one day be touched by this great and mighty power of the living God.

1965 – September: Soe, Timor (Nahor Leo, Mel Tari)

Mel Tari

On Sunday night, September 26, 1965, in Soe, Timor, people heard the sound of a tornado wind and saw flames on the church building which prompted police to set off the fire alarm to summon the volunteer fire fighters. Many people were converted that night, many filled with the Spirit including speaking in tongues, some in English who did not know English. By midnight teams of lay people had been organized to begin spreading the gospel the next day. Eventually, about 90 evangelistic teams were formed which functioned powerfully with spiritual gifts.

Nahor Leo, the young man who testified that night in the Reformed Church, chose 23 young people who formed an evangelistic group, Team 1. They gave themselves full time to visiting churches and villages and saw thousands converted with multitudes healed and delivered. In one town alone they saw 9,000 people converted in two weeks.

Another young man, Mel Tari witnessed this visitation of God and later became part of Team 42. He reported on this revival in two widely read books, Like a Mighty Wind and The Gentle Breeze of Jesus. Healings and evangelism increased dramatically. Specific directions from the Lord led the teams into powerful ministry with thousands becoming Christians. They saw many healings, miracles such as water being turned to wine for communion, some instantaneous healings, deliverance from witchcraft and demonic powers, and some people raised from death through prayer.

The teams were often guided supernaturally including provision of light at night on jungle trails, angelic guides and protection, meager supplies of food multiplied in pastors’ homes when a team ate together there during famines, and witch-doctors being converted after they saw power encounters when the teams’ prayers banished demons, rendering the witch-doctors powerless.

1989 – Henan and Anhul, China

Dennis Balcombe

Dennis Balcombe, pastor of the Revival Christian Church in Hong Kong, regularly visits China. He has reported on revival there.

In 1989 Henan preachers visited North Anhul province and found several thousand believers in the care of an older pastor from Shanghai. At their first night meeting with 1,000 present 30 were baptized in the icy winter. The first baptized was a lady who had convulsions if she went into water. She was healed of that and other ills, and found the water warm. A 12 year old boy deaf and dumb was baptized and spoke, “Mother, Father, the water is not cold the water is not cold.” An aged lady nearly 90, disabled after an accident in her 20s, was completely healed in the water. By the third and fourth nights over 1,000 were baptized.

A young evangelist, Enchuan, 20 years old in 1990, had been leading evangelistic teams since he was 17. He said, “When the church first sent us out to preach the Gospel, after two to three months of ministering we usually saw 20-30 converts. But now it is not 20. It is 200, 300, and often 600 or more will be converted.”

1951 – June: City Bell, Argentina (Edward Miller)

Ed Miller

Edward Miller tells of revival breaking out in Argentina after God told him to call his small church to pray every night from 8 pm to midnight beginning on a Monday. Their little group prayed for three nights, mostly silently except for their missionary Ed Miller. No one seemed to have any leading, except one lady felt she was told to hit the table, but she wouldn’t do anything so strange. On the fourth night, Ed Miller led the group in singing around the table, and hit it as they sang. Eventually others did the same. Then the lady did. Immediately the Spirit of God fell. They were baptized powerfully in the Spirit. They heard the sound of strong wind. Their little church filled. People were convicted, weeping, and praying.

By Saturday teams were going out in powerful evangelism. A young man, Alexander and his band of rebels sat in the front row of a revival meeting aiming to disrupt it. God convicted him and he repented. His gang began to leave but fell under the Spirit on the way out. All were converted. Two of them went to the Bible School.

Ed Miller taught at the Bible Training Institute in 1951 in the little town of City Bell, near Buenos Aires. In June he was led to cancel lectures so the whole Bible School could pray every day. He announced this on the first Sunday in June. That night Alexander, the former rebel leader, a teenager of Polish descent, was praying long after midnight out in the fields when he sensed something pressing down on him, an intense light surrounding him and a heavenly being enfolding him. Terrified he ran back to the Institute.

The heavenly visitor entered the Institute with him, and in a few moments all the students were awake with the fear of God upon them. They began to cry out in repentance as God by his Spirit dealt with them. The next day the Spirit of God came again upon Alexander as he was given prophecies of God’s moving in far off countries. The following day Alexander again saw the Lord in the Spirit, but this time he began to speak slowly and distinctly the words he heard from the angel of God. No one could understand what he was saying, however, until another lad named Celsio (with even less education than Alexander), overcome with the Spirit of God markedly upon him, began to interpret… These communications (written because he choked up when he tried to talk) were a challenge from God to pray and indeed the Institute became a centre of prayer till the vacation time, when teams went out to preach the kingdom. It was the beginning of new stirrings of the Spirit across the land.

Prophecies given to the Bible School told of God filling the largest auditoriums and stadiums in Argentina and in other countries.

Tommy_Hicks

In 1952 Tommy Hicks was conducting a series of meetings in California when God showed him a vision. While he was praying he saw a map of South America covered with a vast field of golden wheat ripe for harvesting. The wheat turned into human beings calling him to come and help them.

He wrote a prophecy in his Bible about going by air to that land before two summers would pass. Three months later, after an evangelistic crusade, a pastor’s wife in California gave that same prophecy to him that he had written down. He was invited to Argentina in 1954 and had enough money to buy a one way air ticket to Buenos Aires.

Hicks with Peron

On his way there after meetings in Chile, the word Peron came to his mind. He asked the air stewardess if she knew what it meant. She told him Peron was the President of Argentina. When he went to make an appointment with Juan Peron, the dictator President, he prayed for a guard who was healed and so the guard arranged an appointment with Peron.  Through prayer the President was healed of an ugly eczema and gave Hicks the use of a stadium and free access to the state radio and press.

The revival campaign shifted into the Argentina’s largest arena, the Hurricane Football Stadium, seating 110,000 which overflowed. During nightly meetings over two months 300,000 people registered decisions for Christ and many were healed at every meeting.

2003-2017 Pentecost on Pentecost Island

Some of the signs of revival we saw there included a whole mountain ‘on fire’ (with nothing burned) during revival meetings at their Bible College, witchcraft items revealed then removed and destroyed by prayer teams, everyone prayed for in ‘custom’ villages healed, and angels filling a village church with songs in the night in a small village where the worship had been strong, lasting for many hours.  Everyone prayed for in that village was healed and all unbelievers repented during the worship and many were baptized.

Photo Report – Mission teams in Vanuatu 2003-2010
Photo Report – Grant Shaw on Mission in Vanuatu 2006
Photo Report – Joel Shaw and team on Mission in Vanuatu 2013
Photo Report – Andrew and others on Mission in Vanuatu 2012-2015
Photo Report – Pentecost on Pentecost Island 2003-2016

This 60 kilometre long, narrow island, sighted and named on the Day of Pentecost, 1764, by French explorer Bougainville, was also seen by Captain Cook in 1774.

A Pacific1Part of this account is background information from my book South Pacific Revivals (in paperback and ebook).

Martyr for the Gospel

Tomas Tumtum had been an indentured worker on cane farms in Queensland, Australia. He was converted there and returned around 1901 to his village on South Pentecost Island. He came with his friend, Lulkon, a new young disciple from a neighbouring island. They arrived when the village was taboo because a baby had died a few days earlier, so no one was allowed near the village. Ancient tradition dictated that anyone breaking taboo must be killed, so they were going to kill Tomas, but his friend Lulkon asked Tomas to tell them to kill him instead, so that Tomas could live and evangelize his own people. Just before he was clubbed to death at a sacred Mele palm tree, Lulkon read John 3:16, then closed his eyes and prayed for them.

Tomas became the pioneer of the church in South Pentecost, establishing many Churches of Christ in the villages there. Revival movements have increased there since the 1980s, continuing to now.

Banmatmat beach

We had revival teaching at their Bible College and every weekend revival teams led meetings in village churches. Many of these village revival meetings went late as the Spirit moved on the people with deep repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness, and prayer for healing and empowering.

The Bible College buildings in the bay (photo) are surrounded by mountains. We saw those mountains filled with supernatural fire one night.

Ranwadi High School on Pentecost Island

A law student team from Port Vila, led by Seini Puamau, Vice President of the Christian Fellowship, had a strong impact at the High School on South Pentecost Island with big responses at all meetings. Almost the whole residential school of 300 responded for prayer at the final service on Sunday night October 17, 2004, after a powerful testimony from Joanna Kenilorea. The High School principal, Silas Buli, has prayed with some of his staff for many years from 4 a.m. each morning, praying for the school and nation. Silas became a Member of Parliament for South Pentecost in 2016.

Ranwadi--large-1116132677-msg-32141-3

Bible College Chapel on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Mathias, a young man who repented deeply with over 15 minutes of tearful sobbing, became a main worship leader in revival meetings. When he was leading and speaking at a revival meeting at the national Bible College, a huge supernatural fire blazed in the hills directly opposite the Bible College chapel in 2005, but no bush was burned. They told us it was supernatural fire, with no smoke and nothing physical being consumed by the fire.

More details and many more accounts are given in Flashpoints of Revival and Revival Fires.
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Flashpoints of Revival
Revival Fires

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Story-tellers of Good News

Story-tellers of good news ~ Results in healed families, freedom, love, less violence and addiction, redemption, hope, divine favour, grace, they pray and God moves.

Share to inform and inspire others.

Storytellers

West Africa: Dramatic transformation among Muslim peoples.

“Dramatic transformation is the key to rapid multiplication of churches among Muslims,” says Jerry Trousdale of missions organization CityTeam International.

He relates the story how one time their West African ministry partners were having their midday prayers, when they suddenly were surrounded by Muslim leaders. The team had been seeing breathtaking breakthroughs among highly resistant Muslim peoples, so they had anticipated opposition. They had reason to be fearful, but kept praying. Surprisingly, the Muslims just stood around them observing the proceedings and making no signs of hostile intentions.

“We beg you: could you please send us the story-tellers?”

When the Christian leaders finished praying, the group approached and turned out to be a delegation of Muslim civic leaders from a distant region. They had come with their imam and with a request. They said: “We have not come to harm you, but we beg you – could you please send us the story-tellers?” They meant the Christian workers who were making disciples by telling stories. The Muslim leaders from this community had observed other communities in their area that had become Christian, and they had noticed a dramatic change in people’s lives. They wanted the same thing in their community!

After some rearranging of schedules and responsibilities, the ministry was able to send out a team of storytellers to the distant village. Nobody imagined at the time that events like these would be repeated again and again, and that even entire mosques would come to faith in Christ. “When Muslims observe the types of dramatic transformation that only the gospel can bring in individuals, families and whole communities, they are often jealous to experience the same,” explains Trousdale.

MARKS OF TRANSFORMATION

What does transformation look like among Muslim-background believers? These are some of the most common changes seen among Muslims who accept Christ:

1. Healed families.
In families where women and children have been treated almost as slaves, wife beating becomes no longer acceptable, and love begins to heal broken marriages. Children are given permission to attend schools and are treated with new appreciation. Fighting between parents and children diminishes. Polygamy is no longer the choice of Christian men, and prostitution dies out.

2. A Spirit of Freedom.
When people discover freedom, it affects everything in their lives. They find release from fatalism, they are willing to try new things, and they expect God to bless their lives.

3. A Spirit of Love.
Many Muslim people report that God puts love in their hearts for the first time. In many cases, they have a new passion for fellow Muslims who are still in the mosque.

4. Diminished violence.
There have been instances in which, upon becoming Christians, former Muslims refuse to participate in ongoing ethnic warfare. In one case, when the Christian men were called to account for why they no longer ‘supported the tribe’, they shared the message of Jesus. This caused tribal elders to rethink their reasons for fighting, and the fighting stopped. Today, the two men who stood up for their conviction, are church planters.

5. Less addiction.
The levels of addiction to alcohol, khat, and other things that consume people’s lives are greatly diminished as these people receive prayer for deliverance.

6. Redemption and hope.
Historically, when lost people become obedient disciples of Jesus, they typically exchange fatalism for optimism, have new energy and initiative, and become more productive people. In addition, they abandon expensive addictions, and they see the blessings for God on their family situation.

7. Evidences of Divine favour.
Many new Christians share with joy how, after they became followers of Jesus, and during a time of prolonged drought, the Lord caused it to rain on their farms or on the pasture where their livestock was, but not on their neighbors’ land. And it became so obvious that the Muslim neighbors came to them to find out why these Christians had such favor. Farmers in every region that City Team International workers have interviewed report that, since they have become Christians, they have begun praying over their fields and have ceased using Muslim or spiritist blessings on their land, and their harvests have dramatically increased.

8. Grace in persecution.
Many new Christians in Muslim areas face harsh persecution. But these believers, though persecuted in cruel ways, have been transformed so deeply that they find the courage to speak a blessing on their persecutors. This forgiveness in the face of persecution can, over time, be the way that God gets into a persecutor’s heart to transform it as well. Numerous Muslims who formerly persecuted the Muslim-background Christians in their areas have come to faith as a result of those whom they persecuted responding with grace and kindness to the evil things done to them.

9. Freedom from demonic oppression.
Many Muslims have experienced years of torment from demonic powers. But when they repent of sins and receive Jesus as Lord, those spirits are successfully cast out. These deliverances are very tangible witnesses of the power of the gospel in Muslim families.

10. The power of individual prayer.
Common people discover that they can pray and God moves. Even the Muslims see this and thank God for the changes in the communities, as many who used to disturb them are now peaceful Christians.

Source: Jerry Trousdale
Joel News International 872.

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

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