A worship leader believes it’s a sign ‘we’re in the beginning of something historic’
Church leaders are speaking out against a new ban on singing and chanting in California houses of worship (July 2020). Center for Disease Control and Prevention officials point to singing as a proven way to spread a virus. The ban orders the discontinuation singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25 percent of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees.
Days before California churches closed due to a surge in coronavirus cases, there was a massive evangelical Christian gathering on Huntington Beach near Los Angeles.
Around 1,000 people gathered at the Saturate OC evangelical Christian event July 10. (Kara Nixon)
Around 1,000 gathered at Lifeguard Stand 20, bringing together several local ministries. Last week, 30 people were baptized on the beach, according to organizers.
The beachside evangelical movement is called “Saturate OC” [Orange County] and co-organizer Jessi Green told the Los Angeles Times it has had a “ripple effect.”
Green and her husband moved to Orange County from New York after she had a vision of mass baptisms at the Huntington Beach Pier while on vacation. Holding the outreach each Friday, she hopes to reach 2,000 people who can then reach 50,000 others.
“The church,” she said in a microphone to cheers, “has left the building!”
People get baptized at the Saturate OC event July 10, on Huntington Beach, Calif. (Kara Nixon)
Sean Feucht, a Bethel Church worship leader and founder of several non-profits, told Fox News it reminded him of the Jesus People Movement from the late 60s and early 70s.
“It’s eerily similar,” Feucht said, “There were protests, racial and social strife. Hippies were getting saved. A movement happened in California and swept across America, and even major news outlets covered it.”
Sean Feucht leads worship at the Saturate OC evangelical event July 10. (Kara Nixon)
Feucht led worship Friday night on a 1963 Gibson guitar that was used in that movement.
“Not only how many people came and just so many incredible testimonies,” he added, “but I think the church has been locked away in quarantine for so long that we forgot the power and authority of when we get together.”
Churches in the Golden State were ordered to stop singing recently before being closed due to a surge in cases. California has had more than 336,000 confirmed cases, second to New York.
“In the face of the virus and racial unrest, God has an answer of his people moving in radical love and unity,” Feucht concluded, “and maybe we can’t meet in buildings but we can meet on the beach. We can go to the bridge. We’re going to meet in parks. We’re not restricted to the four walls. We can still be the church even if we’re not in our buildings.”
We have just returned from a very special and very emotional service. Tonight,Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke preached the Gospel for the last time on African soil after 50 years of powerful ministry. His wife, Anni and his children were with him on the platform. Our national directors and many ministry friends from all over the world were there to be a part of the historic moment. More than 1.7 million people attended the five days of meetings. Countless miracles took place and many thousands of salvations were recorded. I cannot imagine a more fitting way to celebrate 50 years of Evangelist Bonnke’s ministry than with one more massive harvest of souls in Africa. It was truly a remarkable and historic event. It will stand out in my memory as one of the most precious days in my life.
We faced an unusual level of resistance this week – such as I have not experienced in my time with the ministry. But the Lord spoke to us clearly that what we were experiencing was birthing pangs. Although this crusade was Evangelist Bonnke’s Farewell in Africa, it is really just the beginning of something new and wonderful. God has given me the vision for a “Decade of Double Harvest.” I believe that over the next decade, we will see another 75-million people won to Christ and tonight was the beginning. No wonder we are feeling the pangs of birth. I will share more specifics on this in the days to come, but for now it is enough to say we are on the threshold of “even greater” things. As Evangelist Bonnke has often said, “Nothing diminishes in God.”
This also marks the last crusade of the year. As we approach the end of one year and the beginning of another, I am so thankful for those of you that have stood with us so faithfully through your prayers and giving. Please continue to stand with us as we enter this new season of harvest. All hands are needed on deck. The best is yet to come. We love and appreciate each one of you.
Yours in the Gospel,
Evangelist Daniel Kolenda
Together with Reinhard Bonnke, Peter Vandenberg, and the whole CfaN Team
The number is staggering: 75,913,155. That’s how many people have come to Christ through the ministry of Reinhard Bonnke, as reported by his organization Christ for all Nations (CfaN).
The German-born evangelist said on CfaN’s website. “I want not only to see a gigantic harvest of souls but to pass my burning torch to a new generation of evangelists.”
Bonnke, his wife Anni, and their young son moved to the tiny African nation of Lesotho in 1969. The couple spent seven years working there as missionaries. It wasn’t easy. Bonnke says it was during those difficult years that he started praying to see more souls saved across the African continent. He says God gave him a vision for “a continent washed in the blood of Jesus Christ.”
The early days in Lesotho (1974)
In 1974, Christ for All Nations was birthed, and since then more than 75 million people have accepted Christ through the ministry. All these years later, Bonnke says the vision still burns in his soul. “Whether I am eating or drinking, awake or asleep, the vision is ever-present. It never leaves me.”
Now, at 77, Bonnke is passing the torch to a new generation of evangelists as he prepares to retire after more than 40 years in ministry. Lead evangelist of CfaN, Daniel Kolenda, has been tapped to succeed Bonnke.
The preparations for the final crusade involved “500,000 counselors, 200,000 intercessors, a choir of over 23,000 and a security force of over 10,000,” said John Darku, CfaN’s African director. “There is great excitement from all the churches in the country, and we are expecting a spectacular harvest of people coming to Christ.”
Source: Christ for all Nations
Joel News International, March 15, 2017
Bonnke’s Lagos campaign drew a crowd of 1.6 million people (2000)
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
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 ‘PeaceChild’ (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
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, 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) Revival Blogs Links:See also Revivals IndexSee also Revival BlogsSee also Blogs Index 1: Revivals
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.
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
“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 some 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.