Iris Global, based in Mozambique, currently feeds well over 10,000 children a day, including 4,000 families in Malawi. Its network of churches also numbers more than 10,000, including some 2,000 churches among the Makua people of northern Mozambique. Iris operates five Bible schools, in addition to its three primary schools and its school of missions in Pemba.
Heidi Baker became a Christian after hearing a Navajo preacher’s message while volunteering on a Choctaw reservation. She has a Ph.D. in systematic theology from King’s College London (1995).
She met Rolland Baker (now with D.Min.), the grandson of missionary H. A. Baker, in 1979. They married six months later in 1980; they left for the mission field two weeks after that. They were ordained as ministers in 1985.
In 1980 the Bakers founded Iris Global, a non-profit Christian ministry dedicated to charitable service and evangelism, particularly in developing nations. They served God together in Indonesia, Hong Kong, and London, then in Africa. Iris – rainbow – living in the promises of God.
In 1995 the Bakers moved to Mozambique in order to begin a new ministry focused on the care of orphaned and abandoned children. A year later, Heidi Baker became sick with tuberculosis and pneumonia, but despite her doctor’s recommendation, she went to a healing meeting in Toronto, Canada. There, she had a vision where Jesus showed her thousands of children to feed; when she exclaimed that it was impossible to help them all, he said “There will always be enough, because I died.” After which, she was healed.
Iris Global negotiated with the Mozambican government to assume financial and administrative responsibility for a former government orphanage in Chihango, near the capital city of Maputo. There were roughly 80 children present. Since that time Iris Global’s operations have expanded to include well-drilling, free health clinics, village feeding programs, the operation of primary and secondary schools, cottage industries and the founding more than 5000 churches in Mozambique, with a total of over 10,000 Iris-affiliated churches in more than 20 nations. Their ministry is known for its reports of miracles, and in September 2010 the Southern Medical Journal published an article presenting evidence of “significant improvements” in auditory and visual function among subjects exhibiting impairment before receiving prayer from the ministry.
Beyond their administrative duties the Bakers are authors and frequent conference speakers, traveling worldwide to speak on Christian ministry and spirituality. Candy Gunther Brown, professor of religious studies at Indiana University, has called the Bakers “among the most influential leaders in world Pentecostalism.” [Wikipedia]
Roland Baker tells their story:
For years we longed to get to Africa in fulfilment of our calling to prove the Gospel in the most challenging situation we could find. We wanted to see a continuation of “Visions Beyond the Veil,” and believed with my grandfather that the most likely place to see such revival again was among the most unlikely! So we were drawn to Mozambique, officially listed at the time as the poorest country in the world.
A few days into my initial visit to Maputo, Mozambique’s capital, I was offered an orphanage that no one could or would support, not even large churches in South Africa or European donor nations. It was horribly neglected and dilapidated, with eighty miserable, demon-afflicted orphans in rags. I thought it was a perfect test of the Sermon on the Mount. Our Father in heaven knows what we need. Seek first His Kingdom and righteousness, and these things will be ours as well … Take no thought for tomorrow. Why worry? Jesus is enough for us, for anyone.
Alone and without support, Heidi and I offered to take over the center and provide for the children in return for the opportunity to bring the Gospel to them. Within months the children were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, weeping while still in rags with gratitude for their salvation. Jesus provided miraculously, more all the time as our children prayed night and day for their daily food. We brought in teams, improved the center, and took our children to the streets to testify to more orphaned and abandoned children. Some were lost in visions, taken to heaven and dancing around the throne of God on the shoulders of angels.
But abruptly, after we got up to 320 children, the government evicted us and denied our children permission to pray and worship on our property. Totally without a back-up plan, our children marched off the property barefoot without a home. We lost everything. We also lost tremendous amounts of support because we welcomed the increasing Presence of the Holy Spirit in our meetings.
But we were only beginning to taste the power of God in Mozambique. Land was donated by a nearby city. We got tents and food from South Africa. Provision came in from supernaturally touched hearts all over the world. Soon we could actually build our own dorms. Bush pastors longed for a Bible school, and to receive what our children had received from the Holy Spirit. Graduates went out and began healing the sick and raising the dead. Church growth in the bush exploded.
Then revival was fuelled exponentially by the desperation caused by catastrophic flooding in 2000 when three cyclones came together and brought torrential rain for forty days and nights. More damage was caused by that flood than Mozambique’s many years of civil war. A cry for God rose up like we had never experienced or imagined, and our churches across the country multiplied into thousands. God provided a bush airplane, which we used constantly to spread the Gospel through remote “bush conferences” at dirt airstrips in every province.
Now we have networks of churches and church-based orphan care in all ten provinces in Mozambique in addition to our bases in main cities. In recent years Heidi and I have concentrated on the Makua, a people group of four million in the north who were listed by missiologists as “unreached and unreachable.” With tremendous help from missionaries and nationals, around two thousand churches have been planted among these people in the last eight years.
Two devastating cyclones in 2019 flattened thousands of homes and villages. Iris Global, working with international efforts, brought relief along with thousands of solar Bibles in local languages, eagerly wanted by previously resistant people groups.
Iris Global currently feeds well over 10,000 children a day, as well as various members of many other communities, currently including 4,000 families in Malawi. Its network of churches also numbers more than 10,000, including some 2,000 churches among the Makua people of northern Mozambique. Iris operates five Bible schools, in addition to its three primary schools and its school of missions in Pemba. Current major projects include continuing outreaches to very remote coastal regions via Iris’s recently acquired boat, expansion of Iris’s air transport abilities, investment in a range of cottage industries, and a special well-drilling initiative. Iris, having recently acquired a drilling rig by generous funding from several U.S. churches, intends to transform life in desperately dry villages everywhere possible. One by one.
“The primary mission of Iris Global as a family is to seek the face of God with all our hearts, that we might glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. We proclaim Jesus. He is our salvation, our prize, our reward, our inheritance, our destination, our motivation, our joy, wisdom and sanctification — and absolutely everything else we need, now and forever.” – from their website.
Army Chaplain Jose Rondon believes “there is nothing more exhilarating in life than seeing people come to Christ.” In the last six months, Rondon has experienced that exhilaration with more than 1,400 professions of faith — something one could describe as a spiritual awakening — at Fort Leonard Wood, his place of ministry.
Because of his reputation for being intentional in his ministry, many have come to hear Rondon share the Gospel on Sundays.
“We have seen 1,459 soldiers come to Christ since March of this year (2018),” Rondon said. “God is doing great things at Fort Leonard Wood among the hundreds of soldiers who have come to know Christ personally.”
Retired Major General Doug Carver, executive director of chaplaincy for the North American Mission Board, says what is happening at Fort Leonard Wood is not an exception. Right now there are reportedly 1,348 military chaplains in the Southern Baptist Convention at work.
“Our troops, who are increasingly hungry for truth and relevancy in their lives, are finding a faith that works through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ,” Carver said. “The current spiritual awakening at Fort Leonard Wood is indicative of a great move of God taking place within the Armed Services today.”
Consider the following, Carver reported:
— More than 2,000 troops gathered in Doughboy Stadium at Fort Benning, Ga. this past Easter to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
— Army chaplains are currently baptizing an average of 70 soldiers every basic combat training cycle at Fort Jackson, S.C.
— The U.S. Air Force Chaplaincy recently rolled out a new program called FaithWorks, which is a collection of evidence-based programs and materials promoting spiritual resilience for airmen and their families.
— The military has built more chapels since 9/11 than any other period of American history except for World War II.
In the past two years, Southern Baptist military chaplains have reported there have been tens of thousands of professions of faith and thousands of baptisms.
“Historically, God has often used the military as a catalyst for revival,” Carver said. “Many attribute the spread of Christianity in the first century to Roman soldiers deployed throughout the Roman Empire. The Lord is answering our prayers for revival within our military communities. I’ve prayed for over 40 years for our troops and their families to experience the reality of Jesus Christ in a new and fresh way.”
Chaplain Rondon has been intentional with his words and with how he treats his fellow soldiers. So when a staff sergeant first approached Rondon and asked to speak with him, the chaplain knew the sergeant wasn’t asking for words of wisdom but for listening ears.
“To be intentional is to be faithful to Christ and obedient to His Great Commission,” Rondon said. “But we will not succeed in making disciples until the lost make the first step to follow Christ as their Savior. To be intentional not only means to preach Christ’s Word in the chapel, but to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to share His message of reconciliation if, and when, the time fits.”
So, Rondon listened to the staff sergeant, and then he prayed with him to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior. Rondon did the same thing when another senior non-commissioned officer asked for the chance to talk to him about spiritual matters. This soldier-leader also asked Jesus Christ into his heart.
“My two soldiers and friends from our current battalion at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri came to Christ because their lives were in need of the Savior,” he said. “All of us at some point need to be a listening ear, to help others to start trusting and believing in anything again, especially when our wounds are so deep that we lose respect for many around us.
“They talked to me about their lives because they respected me and noticed I really cared for our soldiers like I always do during my pastoral rounds. I invited them both to a meal. God always opens great doors like this when we listen to people without interrupting. We show them how much we care by being there for them whenever they need it most.”
In both conversations, a chaplain and a sergeant spoke about their lives.
“Instead of asking them whether or not they knew they were going to heaven if they died today, I simply said, ‘I see that you need Christ in your life. He can not only help you to deal with the challenges of daily living, but He can also save you from an eternal death because of your sins,’” Rondon said. “They both agreed they needed Christ to come into their lives forever and to have His presence to deal with life from that moment on.” — Baptist Press
North America has hosted many great revivals over the last few centuries. Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield led the First Great Awakening in the colonial United States in the 1730s and 1740s. In the early 1800s, the Cane Ridge Revival in Kentucky kicked off the Second Great Awakening. People came from around the world to witness the Holy Spirit’s power at Azusa Street Revival of 1906. And in the 1990s, thousands flocked to the Toronto Blessing and the Brownsville Revival.
Now, mere miles from the site of the original Cane Ridge Revival, seeds are being planted for the next great move of God—and maybe even a Third Great Awakening. Earlier this year, traveling evangelist Rick Curry visited Mt. Carmel Christian Church in Paris, Kentucky. The church was founded in 1818 by a man denounced by his former church for attending the original Cane Ridge revival. Curry was invited to preach at Mt. Carmel’s 200th-anniversary celebration, which happened to fall on Pentecost Sunday. During his message, revival broke out and hasn’t subsided since.
But this Kentucky city isn’t the only one experiencing revival. In fact, it’s just one example of an insatiable hunger for God’s presence breaking out in cities and towns across America.
At New Life Church in Corpus Christi, Texas, pastor Mike Fehlauer says an incredible move of God has taken place since he and his staff decided to “get out of God’s way and give the Holy Spirit room to work.” Since June, New Life has seen more than 300 baptisms, numerous salvations, and physical and emotional healings and deliverance.
Christ Fellowship Church in Dawsonville, Georgia, has experienced revival since February under lead pastor Todd Smith. This charismatic church of 350 people has witnessed more than 865 baptisms. Smith says people have travelled hundreds—even thousands—of miles just to “walk into the baptismal waters and feel the presence of the Lord.” As a result, many have been miraculously healed and delivered from addictions and emotional scars.
Even the U.S. military base at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, is feeling the Spirit’s fire. The Baptist Press reports that chaplains have seen “an incredible hunger for God,” with nearly 2,000 soldiers giving their lives to Christ since March. In Greeneville, Tennessee, a tent revival led by evangelist D.R. Harrison has lasted over five months and led to hundreds of salvations.
Pat Schatzline, an Assemblies of God minister and travelling evangelist who has studied revivals and written books on the need for spiritual renewal, says these revivals show the church is on the cusp of breakthrough.
“It is the embryonic stages of the Third Great Awakening,” Schatzline says. “… I believe that with all my heart.”
Baptisms in Georgia
The Dawsonville revival began when God gave Schatzline a vision of a mysterious pastor. Schatzline didn’t know who the man was, but he could see he was wracked with despair, sitting alone in a dark room. Hundreds of miles away, pastor Smith was doing just that, crying out to God and looking for a sign that he should continue to lead Christ Fellowship Church.
“If You don’t move, I’m done,” Smith said.
Smith got his sign when Schatzline reached out through a mutual friend. Schatzline gave Smith a message: God is coming to Christ Fellowship Church, and He is going to restore the promise He gave you eight years ago.
Then Smith received a prophetic vision of his own. He saw the church’s baptistry—the baptism pool was full, and a strip of fire appeared on top of the water. Shortly after, Smith says, God “sat down in our building and rocked our world.” Christ Fellowship hasn’t been the same since, attracting visitors from South Carolina, Minnesota and even California.
“The presence of God and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost have just erupted here,” Smith says.
Prior to the revival, Christ Fellowship conducted only a handful of baptisms each month. But since February, more than 40 people often experience water baptism in a single service, pushing the services well past midnight. One Sunday night, 114 people were baptized. Such high numbers of baptisms didn’t start immediately. But Smith says they quickly multiplied as the power of God manifested and people hungered for healing.
“The fame of his name and what He was doing in those waters began to spread,” Smith says. “When we would give the invitation, you would see 30 or 40 people run to the front to get baptized. The power of God was violent in the water. People would thrash around. Fire confronts what is going on in their lives. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen. And it has nothing to do with us as a church or any personalities involved. It’s simply God’s presence and His power.”
Some are calling the meetings a “baptism revival,” a term Don Allen, lead pastor of The Church at War Hill, says he’s never heard before. But after preaching several times at Christ Fellowship, Allen’s seen it for himself.
In the baptismal waters, numerous individuals have been healed of longtime physical ailments. Smith says the church is careful to record and follow up on them with health-care professionals so as not to minimize God’s glory.
One example is Amanda Boan, an 11-year-old who shunned foot surgery to remove an extra bone in her foot that caused her foot to twist to the side, leaving her with great pain and a limited ability to run. Boan was baptized during a Sunday-night service and continued to believe for her healing. At a service soon afterward, Boan went up to the altar and experienced instant healing: “It was like my foot was tight and then it was loosened.”
She could place her foot flat on the floor and run around the church without pain. Doctors confirmed she no longer needed surgery.
Amy Ransom also received healing. For almost three decades, Ransom suffered debilitating migraine headaches that also affected her financially due to the out-of-pocket medication costs. During a Sunday-night service, Ransom knew after fasting and praying she had been healed.
“I have gone from having daily migraines for 28 years to none,” Ransom says.
And Donna Posey, a longtime Christ Fellowship member, says God healed her of bone loss in her mouth during the second revival service in February. The condition had lingered for years, and because she didn’t have enough bone to support her dentures, implant surgery was her only option. After fervent prayer for the affected area, Posey visited her dentist, who confirmed 30 percent bone gain in her mouth. Posey says her dentist “looked at my X-ray and asked me if I believed in miracles.”
But healings and deliverance aren’t all this move of God has produced. It has had a profound spiritual effect on other churches in the region.
“We’re watching people from all faiths come here and receive what the Holy Spirit has for them,” Allen says. “Not only are we seeing salvations and miracles, but we’re seeing reconciliation among the churches here, the body of Christ really working together. You are literally seeing the miracle of unity. Our church has seen renewed prayer exponentially. Our people are now interceding for Todd’s church and for others. It’s amazing.”
Renewal in Kentucky
After the Cane Ridge Revival sparked the Second Great Awakening, revival spread across the American frontier. Now Mt. Carmel Christian Church has become the site of a new revival.
After Curry preached at Mt. Carmel’s 200th anniversary celebration, he says, the altars were filled at the conclusion of the first service in May. The meetings became so popular they had to be moved to a bigger facility, nearby River of Life Ministries in Paris, and the house is packed three nights a week.
“As worship filled the old sanctuary, we heard a remarkable sound,” Curry says. “It sounded as if every person in the sanctuary started simultaneously stomping their feet on the old wooden floors. I felt quickened in my spirit that it was the sound of the Lord coming upon the land. The sound of jubilant breakthrough resonated from the hearts of the people in that service, and it was as though we all knew revival was being birthed.”
Ministers from throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Oklahoma and New Jersey have reportedly visited the revival in Paris.
“We have seen hundreds, a thousand come to the altar,” Curry says. “People have been saved, delivered and many are returning to the Lord, surrendering their yielding hearts. We have seen many miracles and healings that are really stunning in this stage of the revival. We have seen pastors and leaders repenting, weeping and laughing in an outpouring of the refreshing.”
Repentance in Texas
Fehlauer says Jesus has always been the focus of New Life Church’s kingdom purpose. The multi-campus church grew from 650 to nearly 3,000 members since he took over as lead pastor in 2011.
But he admits something had been missing from the South Texas church’s services.
“I believe that Jesus has always been at the centre of what we’ve done, but I think our bandwidth was too narrow as far as the anointing and the presence of God is concerned,” Fehlauer says. “We weren’t giving Him time or enough room to do what He really wants to do here. God directed me to preach about the presence of the Lord and the hunger for Him. It’s His words, not mine, and I would say unequivocally that one of the biggest reasons we’re seeing this is that these people are hungry for more than the status quo. Since we started this, the presence of the Holy Spirit has been thick, and the expectancy for God to move has been very strong.”
At the first meeting, Fehlauer says more than 100 people responded to the altar call for repentance and salvation, and 10 people were baptized. The next week, another 100-plus people came forward. Soon after, many individuals expressed to church staff their desire to be baptized.
“Most of these people who come to our church are new Christians, and they don’t have any point of reference for any of this,” Fehlauer says. “But these people are spontaneously running to the altar because they’re desperate for everything God has for them. I’m talking about real Acts 2:38 repentance, when Peter said to repent and be baptized and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. People addicted to pornography and some to drugs have come to ask for forgiveness, and they have experienced deliverance and healing. We’ve had men come clean about adulterous affairs. It’s inspiring to see them repent of the hurt they’ve caused others.”
Fehlauer recalled the testimony of one woman from another church in Corpus Christi who visited New Life this summer. After one service, she approached a wife of one of the pastors. She told the pastor’s wife she had visited a couple of Brownsville Revival meetings in Pensacola, Florida, in 1995. The woman said she hadn’t experienced the Holy Spirit’s presence like that again—until now.
New Life’s executive pastor, Dan Goodson, 59, lived through the Jesus Movement in the 1970s. He also spent 12 years as the COO at Joyce Meyer Ministries and several years as the executive pastor at Destiny Church in St. Louis. But he says he’s never seen a hunger for Christ like the one New Life is experiencing.
“It’s really incredible how authentic this is. It’s not man-made,” Goodson says. “People are coming to the altar and just laying their burdens down. We’ve had people come to the altar, and they don’t know why they’re even coming because they’re unsaved. They’re wanting to get water-baptized because they are hungry for something they’ve never had. That’s how heavy the Holy Spirit has been in our services.”
Third Great Awakening
Schatzline, who has preached multiple services at Dawsonville, says what’s happening in Georgia, Texas and Kentucky is “a sovereign move of God.”
“Unfortunately, many churches have learned structure, systems and ambience,” Schatzline says. “They remove one-third of the Trinity—the Holy Spirit—and one-third from 100 is 66.6. That is the spirit of the Antichrist. What I think these pockets of revival are proving is that God is going to do things differently than many people think. It’s happening on the backroads and not the crossroads. It may sound like an odd term, but I feel like God is kissing the faithful—the ones who are pressed in, the ones who still believe. Those are people who have stuck to the core values of fasting, prayer and preaching the cross, and the results are now visibly manifesting in these churches.”
Allen agrees with Schatzline’s assessment of revival.
“I have personally begun to study the significant movements of the Great Awakenings,” Allen says. “When prayer increases and people repent to God and each other, that’s when the Spirit moves and great things happen.”
Curry says he has little doubt that a Third Great Awakening is on the horizon.
“I truly believe this is the seedbed of awakening,” Curry says. “I believe America’s greatest awakening lies ahead of us and not behind us. I believe that transforming revival will come to this nation soon.”
Shawn A. Akers is a content development editor for Charisma Media.
“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.
As of Fall 2018, every single nation on earth is represented at Arizona State University! Over 150 nations have someone on the ASU campus, while other nations are involved online – including North Korea and Antarctica! From this one place, Spirit-led believers have the potential to impact the entire family of nations, just as the apostles did on Pentecost!
In recent months, this huge university, the largest in the United States, has been in the grip of a bona fide spiritual awakening.
By our definition, formed over twenty years of monitoring transforming revival around the world, a true awakening means the work of God is comprehensive. This stands in contrast to a human campaign or initiative where results are typically confined to a single category or location within the community.
At ASU [Arizona State University], God’s sweep is as broad as it gets.
Not surprisingly, united prayer has proven to be a major factor behind these happy developments. After several tough years where campus ministries tended to go their own way, things took a pleasant turn in the fall of 2017. Instead of the usual two to three ministries coming together before God, prayer events at the local Campus Christian Center were rocking a three-fold increase in intercessory participants.
This past spring, fully a dozen ministries united behind a forty-day prayer focus where petitions were lifted day and night from a tent erected near the main campus square. The initiative was so fruitful, the ministries decided to continue the effort over the balance of the academic semester.
This fall, the tally of participating ministries and campus churches reached seventeen, as a fresh fifty-six-day campaign drew prodigals, atheists, Muslims, New Agers, and students suffering from depression. In addition to witnessing numerous conversions, healings, and deliverances, the intercessors also watched God begin to move among the University faculty and administration.
One of the more significant breakthroughs involved the school’s Interfaith Council of Religious Advisors. For years, the woman directing the council was motivated to establish ASU as a model of the global interfaith movement. Unfortunately, this highly syncretistic vision proved to be a major hindrance to the gospel. As time went by, her attitude toward Christians hardened, and ministries found their access to campus facilities severely limited.
Faced with this opposition, students and ministry leaders began to pray that God would either change this woman’s heart, or install someone more sympathetic.
It did not take God long to act. Within a period of weeks, this woman who had so vexed campus leaders disappeared from the Interfaith Council. None of the Christians on campus seemed to know where she had gone, or why. She was simply no longer there. Her replacement, a man even more hostile to the Christian cause, was similarly prayed out. Today, the council is headed by the son of a Baptist minister!
Even more dramatic has been the departure from the university of notorious atheist Lawrence Krauss. Virulently anti-Christian, the highly-paid professor routinely packed out Gammage Auditorium on campus by bringing in atheist luminaries such as Richard Dawkins and the late Stephen Hawking.
A theoretical physicist, Krauss founded the Origins Project in 2009 with the aim of placing the university at the forefront of the New Atheist Movement. By promoting hostile, anti-religious rhetoric and policies (“teaching Creationism to youth is child abuse”), Krauss bullied Christian students and faculty into silence.
During the worst of Krauss’s campaign, God assured one late-night intercessor that the professor would be brought low, and that the backbone of the atheist movement on campus would be broken.
Given Krauss’s fame and tenure, this prospect was almost unimaginable.
And yet, on Oct. 21, 2018, Lawrence Krauss announced his resignation after being stripped of his role as an academic chair and as the Director of the Origins Project. This action came in the wake of an impending termination procedure urged by the dean of ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
According to ASU provost, Mark Searle, action was taken because the physicist “violated the school’s sexual harassment policy and code of ethics.” In a July 31 letter to Krauss, Searle told the professor his behavior was “unprofessional, reflects a failure of leadership, and is extremely disappointing.”
As for the Origins Project itself, the university newspaper notes that “sources point to a very different future for the project.” The initiative has already lost its name.
With Krauss out of the picture at ASU, Christian faculty in both the arts and sciences are again raising their flag.
A March 2019 conference on Science and Faith will allow students to engage faculty in six fields, an approach being lauded by the university president. As one professor’s official profile declares: “Through his work he intends to glorify God, from whom all good things come.”
Transforming winds have also been coursing through the university’s athletic department. Just last month, over 100 Christian student athletes attended an all-sport gathering in the men’s football facility that featured worship, prayer, and inspirational messages.
Many athletes were touched at this student-led event as the room was charged with the Spirit of God. One of them, star wide receiver N’Keal Harry — whom many analysts peg as a top-15 pick in the upcoming NFL draft — gave his heart to Christ and is devouring the Word. He is arguably the most popular personality on the ASU campus.
And Harry is but one of an estimated twenty to thirty football players who have turned their lives over to Jesus in recent months.The wrestling team has also been impacted through the open witness of Austyn Harris and All-American Josh Shields, and encouraging reports are coming in from athletes associated with hockey, lacrosse, gymnastics, track, swimming, and volleyball.
Dorm and Greek life are likewise feeling the impact of the Gospel. As one knowledgeable source told me, “Before this year, it was hard to find any Christians in the Honors dorms. Now, it seems like they are everywhere!”Better yet, they are uniting in prayer that God’s purposes will be realized in the lives of these elite students.
So much more could be said, but I’ll leave you with the observation one student athlete shared with me earlier this month: “The identity of ASU is being flipped.”
As of Fall 2018, every single nation on earth is represented at Arizona State University! Over 150 nations have someone on the ASU campus, while other nations are involved online – including North Korea and Antarctica! From this one place, Spirit-led believers have the potential to impact the entire family of nations, just as the apostles did on Pentecost!
Here is how you can be a part.
First, we need people who will partner with us to supply transformation video libraries to the dorms and athletic teams at ASU. There is great interest in these stories, and I believe they will inspire students to embrace even more of God.
Second, we believe God has called us to document this unfolding story on film so it can stir up faith on other campuses. We began this effort during a short visit to the ASU campus two weeks ago, but we want to return in late January to film a much larger set of interviews and events that are being arranged.
This story has already stirred audiences in several states. Just last week, I was able to share highlights with campus ministers from all the Ivy League schools plus Stanford University. This coming May, these leaders will join us on a revival exposure tour to see more of God’s handiwork in the Fiji Islands.
We need approximately $25,000 for these undertakings. If you can make a year-end gift to the ministry on Giving Tuesday (November 27), this will allow us to capture and transmit this glorious story to thousands.
Finally, please continue to pray for us as we complete other important research, training, and media projects. It is our heart’s desire to offer up some much-needed good news in this dark and uncivil hour.
I have read many similar stories, but this one exceeds them all.
I read the online edition and was blown away by the response of the Solomon Islanders to the power of the Holy Spirit. It was amazing, or should I say God-planned. Geoff and Don have done well to not only be in so many places and seeing God at work but also writing a book about it all. It’s as if it has all happened in a world apart, but the events in Brisbane show that it could happen in Australia also. ~ Barbara Vickridge (Perth, Australia)
These Highlights from Journey into Mission bring some of the key biographical revival passages together.
From Chapter 5 – Australia: Elcho Island (1994)
By Djiniyini Gondarra:
In that same evening, the word just spread like the flames of fire and reached the whole community in Galiwin’ku. Gelung [his wife] and I couldn’t sleep at all that night because people were just coming for the ministry, bringing the sick to be prayed for, for healing. Others came to bring their problems. Even a husband and wife came to bring their marriage problem, so the Lord touched them and healed their marriage.
Next morning the Galiwin’ku Community once again became the new community. The love of Jesus was being shared and many expressions of forgiveness were taking place in the families and in the tribes. Wherever I went I could hear people singing and humming Christian choruses and hymns! Before then I would have expected to hear only fighting and swearing and many other troublesome things that would hurt your feelings and make you feel sad.
Many unplanned and unexpected things happened every time we went from camp to camp to meet with the people. The fellowship was held every night and more and more people gave their lives to Christ, and it went on and on until sometimes the fellowship meeting would end around about midnight. There was more singing, testimony, and ministry going on. People did not feel tired in the morning and still went to work.
By Geoff: I invited a team from Elcho Island to Brisbane for Pentecost weekend in 1993 and two dozen flew down! We held their meetings at Christian Outreach Centre. They told me it was the first time they had been invited to speak in a white fellas’ church! They sat around on the platform and talked and prayed with anyone who came for prayer.
They invited a team from our Renewal Fellowship to go to Elcho Island in March 1994 for their annual celebration of the start of the revival. Their speakers were on fire! I was humbled and honoured to speak at an evening outdoor rally there, and also to visit a small community of 30 people, 50 kilometres by dirt track to the north end of the island. That whole community there prays together at the start and finish of every day.
From Chapter 8 – Philippines (1995)
During the class seminars, my students reported on various signs and wonders that they had experienced in their churches. Many of them expected God to do the same things now as he did in the New Testament, but not all! “We don’t seem to have miracles in our church,” said one student, a part-time Baptist pastor and police inspector. “You could interview a pastor from a church that does,” I suggested. So he interviewed a Pentecostal pastor about miraculous answers to prayer in their church. That student reported to the class how the Pentecostal church sent a team of young people to the local mental hospital for monthly meetings where they sang and witnessed and prayed for people. Over 40 patients attended their first meeting there, and they prayed for 26 personally, laying hands on them. A month later, when they returned for their next meeting, all those 26 patients had been discharged and sent home.
From Chapter 9 – Ghana, West Africa (1995)
When we arrived in the mountain town of Suhum, it was dark. The monsoon torrential rain had cut off the electricity supply. The rain eased off a bit, so we gathered in the market square and prayed to God to guide us and to take over. Soon the rain ceased. The electricity came on. The host team began excitedly shouting that it was a miracle. “We will talk about this for years” they exclaimed with gleaming eyes.
My interpreter that night didn’t know a lot of English. I think he preached his own sermon based on some phrases of mine he understood or guessed, and apparently he did well. When we invited people to respond and give their lives to Christ, they came from the surrounding darkness into the light. Some wandered over from the pub, smelling of beer. They kept the ministry team busy praying and arranging follow up with the local churches.
At that point, I left the work to the locals who understood one another. I just moved around laying hands on people’s heads and praying for them, as did many others. People reported various touches of God in their lives. Some were healed. Later in the week an elderly man excitedly told how he had come to the meeting almost blind but now he could see.
Each day we held morning worship and teaching sessions for Christians in a church, hot under an iron roof on those clear, tropical sunny days. During the second morning I vividly ‘saw’ golden light fill the church and swallow up or remove blackness. At that point the African Christians became very noisy, vigorously celebrating and shouting praises to God. A fresh anointing seemed to fall on them just then.
From Chapter 9 – Toronto, Canada (1995)
Both of us appreciated the gracious, caring way people prayed for us and others. No rush. No hype. No pressure. Whether we stood, or sat in a chair, or rested on the carpeted floor, those praying for us did so quietly with prayers prompted by the Holy Spirit. Those praying laid a hand on us gently, as led, and trusted the Lord to touch us. He did. Warmth and love permeated us. We returned to our hotel after the meetings aware of increased peace and deeper assurance of the Lord’s love and grace. The senior pastors, John and Carol Arnott, led the sensitive ministry team.
After returning to Brisbane I noticed that people I prayed for received strong touches from the Lord, most resting in the Spirit on the floor. We needed people to be ready to catch those who fell, to avoid them getting hurt (then needing extra healing prayer!). Some of them had visions of the Lord blessing them and others.
From Chapter 13 – Nepal (2000)
After praying on the bridge we approached the Chinese officials to get a permission to enter Tibet. The first official refused but the second one nodded approvingly, taking the four Australian passports from my hand as security, and let us go free of charge! This could happen only by the supernatural intervention of our Almighty God, Hallelujah! We had good prayer inside Tibet, especially on those individual shopkeepers whom I would grab and pray on without any resistance from them!
On 21 April all the eight of Australians and I had a trip to Gochadda in west Nepal and held a three days conference over there at Easter. While driving toward the destination I shared the Word with the driver of the private bus and during the inauguration of the conference he approached the altar and accepted Christ as his personal Saviour. On the same day a Christian brother whose hand was partially crippled for six years was touched by the Holy Spirit and healed absolutely. He was shaking in his whole body and raising his hands, even the crippled one already healed, praising the Lord with all his strength, he glorified the Lord for his greatness, Hallelujah!
Out of about 200 participants in the conference by the grace of God 100 of them were baptized in the Holy Spirit praising the Lord, singing, falling, crying, and many other actions as the Holy Spirit would prompt them to act. About ten of them testified that they had never experienced such a presence of the power and love of God. Some others testified being lifted to heavenly realms by the power of the Holy Spirit, being surrounded by the angels of the Lord in a great peace, joy, and love toward each other and being melted in the power of his presence. Many re-committed their lives to the Lord for ministry by any means through his revelation.
On the second day of the conference the trend continued as the people seemingly would fall down, repent, minister to each other in the love of Christ, enjoy the mighty touch of the Holy Spirit, singing, prophesying, weeping, laughing, hugging, and all the beauty of the Holy Spirit was manifested throughout the congregation by his grace and love. One woman of age 65 testified that she never had danced in her life in any occasion even in secret, but the Lord had told her that she should now dance to him and she was dancing praising him with all her strength. For hours this outpouring continued and the pastors of the churches were one by one testifying that they had never experienced such a presence and power of God in their whole Christian life and ministry.
Some 60 evangelists from Gorkha, Dhanding, Chitwan, Butwal declared that they were renewed in their spirits by the refreshing of the Holy Spirit and they are now going to serve the Lord in the field wherever the Holy Spirit will lead them to be fully fledged in His service. In the last day of the conference, while praying together with the congregation and committing them in his hands, many prophesied that the Lord was assuring them of great changes in their ministry, life and in the area. While the power of God was at work in our midst three children of 6-7 years old fell down weeping, screaming and testifying about a huge hand coming on them and touching their stomachs and healing them instantly. After the prayer all the participants got into the joy of the Holy Spirit and started dancing to the Lord, singing and praising Him for His goodness.
Before leaving Gochadda while we were having snacks in the pastor’s house a woman of high Brahmin caste came by the direction of the Lord to the place, claiming that she was prompted by a voice in her ear to go to the Christians and ask for prayer for healing of her chronic stomach pain and problems, and that is why she was there. We prayed for her and she was instantly healed and we shared the Gospel, but she stopped us saying, “I need to accept Christ as my Saviour so don’t waste time!” She accepted Jesus as her personal Saviour being lifted in spirit, and even the body as she said she didn’t feel anymore burden in her body, and spirit, Hallelujah!
From Chapter 14 – USA: Pensacola
I liked the spontaneous bits best. Before Friday night’s revival service some people in the singing group of over 50 people on stage began singing free harmonies without music while they waited for the sound system to work, and we all joined in. It sounded like angels harmonizing in continual worship. Wonderful. No need for words!
Later, during the service Lindel Cooley, their worship leader, led spontaneously from the keyboard without other instruments, singing the chorus of an old hymn from his youth (and mine) – ‘Love lifted me’. All the oldies joined in, and then it went on to a verse sung from memory. It moved me deeply, from my own boyhood memories, especially as I had just then been asking the Lord for a personal touch from him.
A visitor preached, calling for faith and action. Their prayer team prayed for many hundreds at the ‘altar call’ – short and sharp, but relevant and challenging. The man who prayed briefly for me spoke about national and international ministries the Lord would open for me.
From Chapter 15 – Vanuatu (2002)
By Romulo [about outreach at university in Vanuatu]:
“The speaker was the Upper Room Church pastor, Jotham Napat who is also the Director of Meteorology in Vanuatu. The night was filled with the awesome power of the Lord and we had the Upper Room church ministry who provided music with their instruments. With our typical Pacific Island setting of bush and nature all around us, we had dances, drama, testified in an open environment, letting the wind carry the message of salvation to the bushes and the darkened areas. That worked because most of those that came to the altar call were people hiding or listening in those areas. The Lord was on the road of destiny with many people that night.”
Unusual lightning hovered around the sky and as soon as the prayer teams had finished praying with those who rushed forward at the altar call, the tropical rain pelted down on that open field.
God poured out his Spirit on many lives that night, including Jerry Waqainabete and Simon Kofe. Both of them played rugby in the popular university teams and enjoyed drinking and the nightclub scene. Both changed dramatically. Many of their friends said it would not last. It did last and led them into ministry and mission.
Romulo continues [about mission team to Australia]:
The concert organized was in obedience to a prompting for me to take a University mission team to Australia. Pastor Geoff then told me that as I shared the purpose of the concert and our plans to go for a mission trip to Australia, he felt a conviction in his spirit to do two things: firstly, to give our team all the money in his wallet as a seed into our mission trip and secondly to offer to host our mission team if we are to visit his city of Brisbane. This first experience was the beginning of my witnessing practical Christianity where faith was complemented by works.
The idea of being missionaries in Australia was certainly an exciting one. We planned to go to Sydney for our mission opportunity, or so we thought. In God-ordained fashion, we ended up going to Brisbane and the encounter and mentoring I received during that month felt like a lifetime of teaching and depositing of the practical Word.
My limited Pentecostal background boxed my understanding of where I could operate spiritually. I was taught, by observing that the altar was only for the ministering of the pastor or elders with the special occasions where the altar was opened for others such as children’s Sunday. …
I get the reasoning and the sacredness of the altar, but I also accept that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10: 34) and He will use willing and obedient vessels to advance His Kingdom. Moreover, by practical application of the Word of God, we discovered that God was more than willing to use us in ministering to those that came to the services throughout our mission trip.
The best part was, we did not need to have theology degrees or titles for God to use us in ministry. We simply had to be available.
Through our availability, we saw lives being surrendered to Christ in brokenness as healing, deliverance and restoration followed. I learnt to trust and rely on the Holy Spirit to lead me into His purpose whether it be in the laying of hands, ministering through prayer or in releasing a word of wisdom and knowledge.
Pastor Geoff guided us through these firsts of spiritual encounters and experiences and we were empowered to step into ministry. These were intimidating moments for us, but as Pastor Geoff mentored and encouraged us into ministry, we felt empowered and supported to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as we ministered. There was a spiritual hunger in our team, and yearning to learn, be discipled, and attuned to the convictions and leading of the Holy Spirit. …
In one of our ministry times, we were invited to lead an afternoon service in a suburb within the city. The word had gone out that a group of Pacific student missionaries were ministering that day. As the ministry took place, I looked up and saw a packed altar as people drawn by the power of the Holy Spirit kept making their way to the front of the church.
There was a tangible presence of the Lord as tears flowed and people were making themselves right with God. I was praying for the senior pastor and his wife and the power of the Holy Spirit came upon them causing them to be slain. I was taken back by this experience. Little me, a student missionary praying for a senior pastor and his wife and seeing them get slain by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I was bemused, but Pastor Geoff reminded us that it was all about the Holy Spirit and we were the vessels that He is using. He also reminded us to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and flow in the anointing.
Significant events associated with the coming of the Gospel to South Pentecost included a martyr killed and a paramount chief’s wife returning from death.
Thomas Tumtum had been an indentured worker on cane farms in Queensland, Australia. Converted there, he returned around 1901 to his village on South Pentecost with a new young disciple from a neighbouring island. They arrived when the village was tabu (taboo) because a baby had died a few days earlier, so no one was allowed into the village. Ancient tradition dictated that anyone breaking tabu must be killed, so they were going to kill Thomas, but his friend Lulkon asked Thomas to tell them to kill him instead so that Thomas could evangelize his own people. Just before he was clubbed to death at a sacred Mele palm tree, he read John 3:16, then closed his eyes and prayed for them. Thomas became a pioneer of the church in South Pentecost, establishing Churches of Christ there.
Paramount Chief Morris Bule died at 111 on 1stJuly, 2016, the son of the highest rank paramount chief on Pentecost Island. After a wife of Chief Morris’s father died and was prepared for burial, the calico cloths around her began to move. She had returned from death and they took the grave cloths of her. She sat up and told them all to leave their pagan ways and follow the Christian way. Then she lay down and died.
Chief Morris’s son, Paramount Chief Peter, had an uncle who returned from Queensland as a Christian in the early 1900s. When he was old, after many years telling them about the Gospel, one day he called all his relatives to him, shook hands in farewell with everyone, and lay down and died immediately.
From Chapter 16 – Solomon Islands (2003)
Solomon Islands youth conference
Revival began with the Spirit moving on youth and children in village churches. They had extended worship in revival songs, many visions and revelations and lives being changed with strong love for the Lord. Children and youth began meeting daily from 5pm for hours of praise, worship and testimonies. A police officer reported reduced crimes and said former rebels were attending daily worship and prayer meetings.
Revival continued to spread throughout the region. Revival movements brought moral change and built stronger communities in villages in the Solomon Islands including these lasting developments:
1. Higher moral standards. People involved in the revival quit crime and drunkenness and promoted good behaviour and co-operation.
2. Christians who once kept their Christianity inside churches and meetings talked more freely about their lifestyle in the community and amongst friends.
3. Revival groups, especially youth, enjoyed working together in unity and community, including a stronger emphasis on helping others in the community.
4. Families were strengthened in the revival. Parents spent more time with their youth and children to encourage and help them, often leading them in Bible reading and family prayers.
5. Many new gifts and ministries were used by more people than before, including revelations and healing. Even children received revelations or words of knowledge about hidden magic artifacts or ginger plants related to spirit power and removed them.
6. Churches grew. Many church buildings in the Marovo Lagoon were pulled down and replaced with much large buildings to fit in the crowds. Offerings and community support increased.
7. Unity. Increasingly Christians united in reconciliation for revival meetings, prayer and service to the community.
Children received revelations about their parent’s secret sins or the location of hidden magic artifacts or stolen property. Many children had visions of Jesus during the revival meetings. Often he would be smiling when they were worshipping and loving him, or he would show sadness when they were naughty or unkind. …
At Seghe the children and youth loved to meet every afternoon in the church near the Bible College there. The man leading these meetings had been a rascal involved in the ethnic tensions but was converted in the revival. A policeman from Seghe told me that since the revival began crime has dropped. Many former young criminals were converted and joined the youth, worshipping God each afternoon. Revival continued to spread throughout the region. …
We taught in morning sessions about revival and answered questions. One mother, for example, asked about the meaning of her young son’s vision of Jesus standing with one foot in heaven and one foot on the earth. What a beautiful, powerful picture of Jesus with all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew28:8), seen in a child’s vision.
The deliverance ministry group left the college by boat and when they arrived at the Bungalows they prayed together. After they prayed together they divided into two groups.
There is one person in each of these two groups that has a gift from the Lord that the Holy Spirit reveals where the witchcraft powers are, such as bones from dead babies or stones. These witchcraft powers are always found in the ground outside the houses or sometimes in the houses. So when the Holy Spirit reveals to that person the right spot where the witchcraft power is, then they have to dig it up with a spade.
When they dug it out from the soil they prayed over it and bound the power of that witchcraft in the name of Jesus. Then they claimed the blood of Jesus in that place.
Something very important when joining the deliverance group is that everyone in the group must be fully committed to the Lord and must be strong in their faith because sometimes the witchcraft power can affect the ones that are not really committed and do not have faith.
After they finished the deliverance ministry they came together again and just gave praise to the Lord in singing and prayer. Then they closed with a Benediction.
From Chapter 19 – Vanuatu Pentecost (2004)
By Don Hill:
The night’s worship led by the law students started off as usual with singing, then spontaneously turned into a joyful party. Then Joanna Kenilorea gave a testimony about a very sad event in her family that brought the Keniloreas back to God. She was especially eloquent in her address and when finished, Geoff found that it had been so powerful that he had no more to add that night and made an immediate altar call for prayer. Almost as one, 300 high school students, teachers and others present rose from their seats and moved out into the aisle to the front of the hall. There were a couple of slow starters, but when it became apparent that Geoff could not possibly pray for each individually, even these moved up to the back of the crowd until everybody in that room had come forward. Geoff in all his years of ministry and association with renewal ministries and revival (and that was the subject of his doctorate) had never experienced anything like it. The most remarkable thing for Helen and me was we were there and part of it in such a remote and previously unknown part of our world! It was surely a night to remember.
From Chapter 21 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2005)
Many of the older people attending these intensive teaching sessions had been involved in local revivals through many years. They understood the principles involved such as repentance, reconciliation, unity, personal and group prayer that was earnest and full of faith, and using various gifts of the Spirit. They were most familiar with words of wisdom and knowledge, discerning spirits (especially from local witchcraft), revelations, healings and deliverance.
I learned much from them, especially about the spirit world and humbly seeking God for revelation and direction. We westerners tend to jump in and organize things without really waiting patiently on God for his revelation and direction. Many westerners, including missionaries, find waiting frustrating or annoying, but local people find it normal and natural. Wait on God and move when he shows you the way. For example, you can seek the Lord about who will speak, what to say, and how to respond. We westerners often use schedules and programs instead.
“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)
Before the Kibera slum church moved into their corrugated iron shed they met in a community hall. I taught leaders there, and spoke at their Sunday service with about 30 people. We gave them real bread for communion, not just symbolic cubes. The Spirit led me to give them all the bread we had, just t loaves (not five barley buns as the boy had in Scripture).
“Can I take some home to my family?” asked one young man. That’s a hard question to answer in front of 30 hungry people.
“It’s yours. You can take some of your own communion bread home if you want to,” I answered.
Everyone then took a large handful of communion bread, and most put some in their pockets to take home later. We shared real glasses of grape juice in plastic glasses, thanking the Lord for his body and blood given for us. After my return to Australia I heard that the bread apparently multiplied, as those who took some home had enough for their families to eat. Some of them were still eating it two weeks later.
From Chapter 22 – Fiji (2005)
While we were praying and worshipping, the Lord told me for the first ever time to take the salt water and the land and give it back to God. And I told this brother that when we offered it to God the rain is going to fall just to confirm that God hears and accepts it according to His leading.
I told him in advance while the Lord was putting it in my heart to do it… this is the first ever time and I always heard about it when people are being led… now it has happened to me… I could not even believe it.
As soon as he brought the water and I brought the soil to signify the sacrifice, I felt the mighty presence of God with us and was like numb… and the sun was really shining up in the sky with very little clouds. This rain fell slowly upon us…. I still could not believe… my cousin was astonished and could not believe it… it happened according to the way the Lord told me and I told him. It was like a made up story.
It was the blessings of God and I told the Lord that I am waiting for His own time to rebuild the walls of my village… but the Lord already told me that He wants and has chosen me to rebuild the wall of my village like Nehemiah.
[Jerry also visited the martyrdom site on Pentecost Island, where light warm rain also fell from a cloudless sky when a worshipping group dedicated themselves and the land to God.]
From Chapter 23 – Fiji (2006) re Tanna Island in Vanuatu
The Director of the Department of Meteorology in Vanuatu was in Fiji for a conference and I met him there again. He is also a pastor (Pastor Jotham) at Upper Room church in Port Vila where many of the law students attended.
In May 2006 he had been on mission in Tanna Island where the Lord moved strongly on young people, especially in worship and prayer. Children and youth were anointed to write and sing new songs in the local dialects. Some children asked the pastors to ordain them as missionaries – which was new for everyone. After prayer about it, they did.
Those children are strong evangelists already, telling Bible stories in pagan villages. One 9 year old boy did that, and people began giving their lives to God in his pagan village, so he became their ‘pastor’, assisted by older Christians from other villages.
At sharing time in the Upper Room service, a nurse, Leah Waqa, told how she had been recently on duty when parents brought in their young daughter who had been badly hit in a car accident, and showed no signs of life – the heart monitor registered zero.
Leah was in the dispensary giving out medicines when she heard about the girl and she suddenly felt unusual boldness, so went to the girl and prayed for her, commanding her to live, in Jesus’ name. She prayed for almost an hour, mostly in tongues, and after an hour the monitor started beeping and the girl recovered.
The revival team, including the two of us from Australia, trekked for a week into mountain villages. We literally obeyed Luke 10 – most going with no extra shirt, no sandals, and no money. The trek began with a five-hour climb across the island to the village of Ranwas on ridges by the sea on the eastern side. Mathias led worship, and strong moves of the Spirit touched everyone. We prayed for people many times in each meeting. At one point I spat on the dirt floor, making mud to show what Jesus did once. Merilyn Wari, wife of the President of the Churches of Christ, then jumped up asking for prayer for her eyes, using the mud. Later she testified that the Lord told her to do that, and then she found she could read her small pocket Bible without glasses. So she read to us all. Meetings continued like that each night. …
Revival meetings erupted at Ponra. The Spirit just took over. Visions. Revelations. Reconciliations. Healings. People drunk in the Spirit. Many resting on the floor getting blessed in various ways. When they heard about healing through ‘mud in the eye’ at Ranwas some wanted mud packs also at Ponra!
One of the girls in the team had a vision of the village children there paddling in a pure sea, crystal clear. They were like that – so pure. Not polluted at all by TV, DVDs, videos, movies, magazines, and worldliness. Their lives were so clean and holy. Just pure love for the Lord, especially among the young. Youth often lead in revival.
The sound of angels singing filled the air about 3am. It sounded as though the village church was packed. The harmonies in high descant declared “For You are great and You do wondrous things. You are God alone” and then harmonies, without words until words again for “I will praise You O Lord my God with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name for evermore” with long, long harmonies on “forever more”. Just worship. Pure, awesome and majestic.
From Chapter 24 – Solomon Islands (2006)
Revival in the Guadalcanal Mountains had begun at the Bubunuhu Christian Community High School on Monday, July 10, 2006, on their first night back from holidays. They were filled with the Spirit and began using many spiritual gifts they had not had before. Then they took teams of students to the villages to sing, testify, and pray for people, especially youth. Many gifts of the Spirit were new to them – prophecies, healings, tongues, and revelations (such as knowing where adults hid magic artefacts).
The National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC) in the north-west of the Solomon Islands at Choiseul Island, two hours flight from Honiara, brought over 1,000 youth together from all over the Solomon Islands.
“Most of a thousand youth came forward. Some ran to the altar, some crying! There was an amazing outpouring of the Spirit and because there were so many people Geoff and I split up and started laying hands on as many people as we could. People were falling under the power everywhere (some testified later to having visions). There were bodies all over the field (some people landing on top of each other). Then I did a general healing prayer and asked them to put their hand on the place where they had pain. After we prayed people began to come forward sharing testimonies of how the pain had left their bodies and they were completely healed! The meeting stretched on late into the night with more healing and many more people getting deep touches.
“It was one of the most amazing nights. I was deeply touched and feel like I have left a part of myself in Choiseul. God did an amazing thing that night with the young people and I really believe that he is raising up some of them to be mighty leaders in revival.”
A young man who was healed that night returned to his nearby village and prayed for his sick mother and brother. Both were healed immediately. He told the whole convention about that the next morning at the meeting, adding that he had never done that before.
The delegation from Kariki islands further west, returned home the following Monday.
The next night they led a meeting where the Spirit of God moved in revival. Many were filled with the Spirit, had visions, were healed, and discovered many spiritual gifts including discerning spirits and tongues. That revival has continued and spread.
From Chapter 25 – Solomon Islands (2007)
We held revival meetings at the Theological Seminary at Seghe in the fantastic Marovo Lagoon – 70 kilometres with hundreds of tropical bush laden islands north and west of New Georgia Island. Morning teaching sessions, personal prayers in the afternoons and night revival meetings, with worship led by the students, filled an eventful week in September 2007. That was the first time the seminary held such a week, and again we prayed for so many at each meeting, students and village people. Meetings included two village revival services in the lagoon. At the first, an afternoon meeting in the framework of a large new church building, everyone came for prayer, all 100, and 30 reported on pain leaving as we prayed for healings. Then we had a long evening meeting at Patutiva village, where revival started in Easter 2003 across the Lagoon from Seghe. That meeting went from 7pm to 1.30am with about 1,000 people! We prayed personally for hundreds after the meeting ‘closed’ at 11pm. Students told me they could hear the worship and preaching on the PA across the lagoon 1k away in the still night air, so those in bed listened that way!
The week at Taro island was the fullest of the whole trip, the most tiring, and also the most powerful so far. Worship was amazing. They brought all the United Church ministers together for the week from all surrounding islands where revival is spreading and was accelerated after the youth convention near here in Choiseul the previous December, where the tsunami hit in April. Many lay people also filled the church each morning – about 200.
Night rallies at the soccer field included the amplifiers reaching people in their houses as well. Each night I spoke and Mathias also spoke, especially challenging the youth. We prayed for hundreds, while the youth lead worship at the end of each meeting. The ministers helped but they preferred to just assist us, and people seemed to want us to pray for them. I involved the ministers in praying for people also. There was a lot of conviction and reconciliation going on.
It’s fascinating that we so often see powerful moves of God’s Spirit when all the churches and Christians unite together in worship and ministry. God blesses unity of heart and action, especially among God’s people. It always involves repentance and reconciliation.
In all these places people made strong commitments to the Lord, and healings were quick and deep. Both in Vanuatu and in the Solomon Islands the people said that they could all understand my English, even those who did not speak English, so they did not need an interpreter. Another miracle. …
Saturday night was billed as a big meeting at Patuvita across the channel. This is where the revival started with children of the lagoon at Easter 2003. Geoff had previously visited this church in September 2003. The old church building has been pulled down and the foundations were being pegged out on an open ridge high above the lagoon for the new one, which will probably hold up to 1000 as the revival swells the numbers.
Again students led the worship. Most of the adults were traditional, but there were forty or so in revival ministry teams who pray for the sick, cast out spirits and evangelize. We joined the meeting by 8pm and finished at 1.30am!
Very lively stuff. Only tiny kids went to sleep – 50 of them on pandanus leaf mats at the front. Then we prayed for people – and prayed, and prayed, and prayed and prayed, on and on and on and on! I involved the ministers (after praying for them and leaders first), and the students – and still people came for prayer – by the hundreds.
We prayed for leaders who wanted prayer first, then for their ministry teams, then for youth leaders and the youth, and then for anyone else who wanted prayer, and at about midnight Mark called all the children for prayer, so the parents woke them up and carried the babies. I guess I prayed for 30 sleeping kids in mother’s arms and for their mothers and fathers as well.
Then after midnight when the meeting “finished” about 200 remained for personal prayer, one by one. So I involved 4 students with me, and that was great on-the-job training as well as praying. We prayed about everything imaginable, including many barren wives, men whose wives were un-cooperative, women whose husbands weren’t interested, and healings galore – certainly many more than 100 healings. In every case, those with whom we prayed said that the pain was totally gone.
I doubt if I’ve ever seen so many healings, happening so quickly. At 1.30am there were still 30 people waiting for prayer, so I got desperate, and prayed for them all at once. I told them just to put their hands on the parts of their body needing healings, and I prayed for them all at once, while the students and some ministers still there laid hands on them, and I also moved quickly around to lay hands on each one.
They were all happy, and again reported healings. I wish I’d thought of that at midnight! But at least a few hundred had a chance to talk with us and be specific about their needs.
I loved it there among such humble, hungry, receptive, grateful, gentle, and faith-filled believers. I was often in tears just being there, appreciating their heartfelt zeal in everything. I have rarely been so impressed anywhere. No concerts. No acting. No hype. Just bare essentials. What a big and wonderful family we belong to, and our Father is so proud of his family there, I’m sure.
I had the great honour of speaking at a house church. People arrived in ones or twos over an hour or so, and stayed for many hours. Then they left quietly in ones or twos again, just personal visitors to that host family. Food on the small kitchen table welcomed everyone, some of it brought by the visitors.
About 30 of us crowded into a simple room with very few chairs. Most sat on the thin mat coverings. They sang their own heartfelt worship songs in their own language and style, pouring out love to the Lord, sometimes with tears. The leader played a very basic guitar in a very basic way.
Everyone listened intently to the message, and gladly asked questions, all of it interpreted. There was no need for an altar call or invitation to receive prayer. Everyone wanted personal prayer. Our prayer team of three or four people prayed with each person for specific needs such as healing and with personal prophecies. That flowed strongly. I knew none of that group, but received ‘pictures’ or words of encouragement for each one, as did the others.
While prayer continued, some began slipping quietly away. Others had supper. Others stayed to worship quietly. It was a quiet night because they did not want to disturb neighbours or attract attention.
Most people in that group were new believers with no Christian background at all. They identified easily with the house churches of the New Testament, the persecution, and the miracles, because they experienced all that as well. Many unbelievers become Christians because someone prayed for their healing and the Lord healed them.
From Chapter 28 – Fiji (2008, 2009)
By Romulo and Roneil (2008):
“Inter-tertiary went very well at Suva Grammar School that was hosted by Fiji School of Medicine Christian Fellowship (CF). It was an awesome two nights of fellowship with God and with one another. The Pacific Students for Christ combined worship was a huge blessings for those that attended the two nights of worship. Pastor Geoff spoke on Obedience to the Holy Spirit – this being a spark to revival and power.
“Students came in droves for prayers and the worship lit up the Grammar School skies with tears, repentance, anointing and empowerment. The worship by Fiji School of Medicine students brought us closer to intimate worship with the King. It was a Pacific gathering and each and every person there was truly blessed as young people sought a closer intimate relationship with the King. We were blessed beyond words. Thank you all for the prayers, the thoughts and the giving.”
Roneil, a Fijian Indian, added, “It was all so amazing, so amazing that words can’t describe it. For me, it was obvious that the glory of God just descended upon the people during the Inter-tertiary CF. I’ve never seen an altar call that lasted for way more than an hour. I myself just couldn’t get enough of it. It was and still is so amazing. God’s anointing is just so powerful. Hallelujah to Him Who Was, Who Is and Who is to Come.”
By Romulo (2009):
Two of the memorable highlights were the washing of leaders’ feet at RCCG Samabula and the worship service on Wednesday at RCCG Kiuva village. In fact I remember picking up the pastors on Sunday morning and seeing Pastor Geoff carrying towels. I said to myself, ‘This is going to be fun.’ And fun it was.
God was teaching the church the principles of servanthood, demonstrated not just by words but by actions. It was a moving experience as Pastor Geoff on his knees started washing feet, drying them with a towel and speaking into the lives of leaders. Powerful also was the fact that Pastor Geoff’s leading was to wash the feet of leaders.
That Sunday former PM Rabuka, who heard of the Pastor’s visit, came to church for prayer. Of course, the leading for Pastor Geoff to pray for leaders meant Rabuka would get his feet washed too. One of the acts that will be embedded forever in my mind was seeing Rabuka sit on the floor, remove his coat and wash the feet of Pastor Geoff and KY Tan. He then dried their feet with his ‘favourite’ Fiji rugby coat (he played in their national rugby team). I was blown away by this act of humility, as demonstrated by Christ on his final night with the disciples before his arrest and execution.
On Wednesday night, (their last night in Suva), we were at Kiuva village in Tailevu. The powerful and angelic worship of young people and kids in Tailevu made the atmosphere one of power with a tangible presence of the Lord in the place. We saw a glimpse of revival and the power of God at work in such a simple setting. I was blessed to witness for myself the prevalent hunger in the body as lives connected with God. In all, it is purely refreshing being in the presence of God and being touched and filled by the Holy Spirit.
From Chapter 34 – Vanuatu: Pentecost Island (2012, 2017-18)
One Sunday there we shared in a combined churches service in the packed village church. Before the service Andrew had words of knowledge about pain in a man’s shoulders and the right side of a woman’s face. Both came for prayer while people were gathering in the church. We then discovered that the man was the leader of the service and the woman preached that day! Many times, the words of knowledge Andrew received were for pastors and leaders first, and then later we prayed for others.
At that Sunday service I was strongly led to call people out for prayer during communion. That was a first for them. It never happened in communion. A large number came for prayer and the healings were fast and strong.
One night Andrew felt led to wash everyone’s feet. That took the whole service! We put a bucket of water near the door (regularly refilled) and Andrew washed everyone’s feet as they arrived while we worshipped, prayed, spoke and called people out for healing and empowering prayer. I was led to wash the leaders’ feet that night also [Photo: Andrew washes the chief’s feet].
Our adventures included another outboard motor canoe trip an hour north for a combined churches youth rally on the beach with a large campfire at the end of the meeting. We joined forces with another Australian mission team from Gladstone staying there. That night we also prayed for many people after the service. Healings were the fastest and strongest we had seen till then. We realized that people’s faith was rising and God was especially blessing unity. …
People were even more welcoming this time at Bunlap [custom village]. We prayed for dozens of people, and their pain left. We talked about the kingdom of God and how Jesus saves and heals. Some of the people told us they believed that, and when the chief allowed it they would be part of a church there.
The paramount chief once burned a Bible given to him by a revival team from the Christian villages. Now he is willing for a church to be built on the ground where he burned the Bible. Hallelujah – what a testimony to God’s grace and glory. For the first time ever that paramount chief asked for prayer. He wanted healing from head pain. Andrew placed his hands on the sides of the chief’s head and we prayed for him in Jesus’ name. The pain left.
Then another chief there prepared lunch for us so the pastors in the team and Andrew and I ate in his house – again the first time ever for white people on mission there.
Like Jesus’ disciples, we returned to Ranwas Christian village church rejoicing that afflicting spirits were cast out, people were healed in Jesus’ name, some believed in Jesus, and they now plan to have a church there. Our Bunlap host chief told Pastor Rolanson he can bring his guitar and have meetings in the chief’s house anytime.
I returned with Dante and others in June-July, 2017. The Riverlife Baptist Church people sent a keyboard, a guitar, and a large box of reading glasses with us. We often take used and discarded spectacles with us on these trips, and pray for healings too!
This time we had meetings at Ranwadi High School again and once again prayed with large numbers there. Then we returned to Pangi and Panlimsi villages for more meetings and visitation with Pastor Rolanson. At a Sunday service, Elder Jackson gave his testimony that his blood readings were normal at the clinic following prayer for diabetes.
We continue to encourage Christians to pray for one another in faith and obedience. I also participated when their new MP Silas Bule, formerly principal at Ranwadi, distributed Gideon’s New Testaments to the local school.
Then in 2018 I had a team of seven of us. The six young men with me included Dante and Ben again with Ben’s friends Scott (Andrew Chee’s brother), Blake, Sergie, and Dylan. We stayed in Rolanson and Doneth’s village at Panlimsi, up the ridge from Pangi on the coast.
Again we prayed with large numbers at their village meetings and during the day. Pain left immediately with healing prayers, people were filled with the Spirit, using spiritual gifts, and we saw rising faith and obedience among them.
We encourage and support revival leaders on Pentecost Island regularly. That includes providing revival books and resources, Bibles, and helping pastors with high school fees for their children. I usually take donated spectacles to give away to help people read their Bibles. We have invested into establishing a Revival Training Centre as a revival base to help equip local revival team ministries.
‘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.
Chapter 8: The Birth of Christian Outreach Centre by Anne Taylor
This article describes the life of Clark Taylor and his influence through Christian Outreach Centre.
Clark Taylor was born in Queensland, Australia in 1937. He was a farmer with little formal education. As a result of being born again in 1959 in a Billy Graham Crusade in Brisbane, he began training for the Methodist ministry in 1961. This was interrupted in 1963 when he suffered from cerebral malaria and frequently lapsed into unconsciousness.
In 1967, God miraculously healed him. During the Sunday morning service at the Oxley Methodist Church, he believed God was telling him to obey James 5 as it was time for him to be healed. That is exactly what happened on the following Tuesday night when the Rev. Godfrey Williams prayed for him. It was in that same year that he first heard about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which he received after being prayed for by Frank Fullwood, an Assembly of God pastor.
In January 1968, he became an assistant minister in the Holland Park Methodist Circuit in Brisbane. He was responsible for St. Paul’s Church at Upper Mt Gravatt. After a Bible Study on the Holy Spirit, some people remained behind for prayer. One young man who was prayed for that night spoke in tongues until 2am Another lady received holy laughter which lasted for three days. People who had a hunger for God began praying together three times a week.
Sovereign move of God
In July, God moved sovereignly at St. Paul’s. In a prayer meeting at the manse on 17 July, a lady had a vision of Jesus standing before her, telling her that there was going to be a special service on Sunday night, and that he would bring people from the highways and the byways. Normally there was only a small congregation.
True to His word, God drew the people from as far away as Toowoomba and the Gold Coast with the result that the church was absolutely packed, despite the fact that there had been no advertising. As an example of God’s ability to draw people, a man came from the Darling Downs after reading Haggai 2:1 about the 21st day of the 7th month. There were manifestations of the Holy Spirit during the entire meeting which came to an abrupt end with the appearance of the Senior Minister who had not received the same Holy Ghost revelation.
In 1969 the Methodist Church placed Clark Taylor in King’s College, their Theological College. Because there were people who had been filled with the Holy Spirit but were not being pastored, Taylor began a house meeting at Corinda in May 1969. Fifty people attended the first meeting from Brisbane and the surrounding area. Over the next two years, the numbers grew to approximately two hundred, with ministers, priests, nuns and other people being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Clark Taylor led a group of young people in the streets of Brisbane, who saw many other young people saved as they witnessed to them about Jesus. Some of the young people came from the Wavell Heights Presbyterian Church where the Spirit-filled ministers were Alex Wylie and Ian Barlow. Others were involved with Charles Ringma, who later commenced Teen Challenge in Brisbane.
Early in 1970, Taylor resigned from the Methodist Church. Later in the year he received a prophetic word. Part of it says “….The College which I have spoken about to you and have called you to is the College whereby you live in prayer and intimacy with the Spirit and where I speak to you Spirit to spirit. … I would have you to learn the fear of God; I would have you to seek the fear of God, for the fear of God will keep you stable. If you do not have a fear of me, then inevitably you will raise yourself up and the devil will snare you. …”
Late in 1970, Clark Taylor joined with Pastor Trevor Chandler to Pastor the Windsor Full Gospel Church. Later they both left to begin Christian Life Centre.
At the end of 1972, Taylor resigned from Christian Life Centre to spend eighteen months in travelling ministry.
Early in 1974 he wrote, “For a long time now the Lord has been impressing upon me to commence another Centre in Brisbane. It is a city of nearly one million people and God has given me a vision to reach many of the country areas round about”.
That vision found its fulfilment in Christian Outreach Centre, the major vehicle through which Taylor influenced Australia and other nations.
Christian Outreach Centre
Christian Outreach Centre began with twenty-five adults meeting in the Taylors’ home on 16 June, 1974. On the following Sunday, one hundred and twenty-six people took Communion in a rented building owned by the Teachers’ Union.
The Church grew rapidly. It had started with no money or resources, but by October was able to purchase a Salvation Army property in Woolloongabba. The Church kept expanding, particularly by unchurched people being saved. It was also a place where Christians, both Protestant and Roman Catholic could be baptised in the Holy Spirit.
Clark Taylor had a big vision for evangelising and teaching children. In 1974, Pastor Neil Miers was employed as the Children’s Pastor. Old double-decker buses were purchased from Sydney to transport unchurched children from the suburbs. The Woolloongabba property was bursting at the seams, but children and adults were crammed into every nook and cranny. Joy Time Clubs began for children in the suburbs after school. Saturdays found children’s workers dressed up in animal costumes, outreaching with the gospel. Before Pastor Miers left Brisbane in 1977, the Children’s Church numbered seven hundred.
Finding space was always a problem, but Taylor never allowed such problems to stand in the way of his vision of Australia For Christ. He believed that there was always a solution for each problem. He was not limited by traditional church thinking. In January 1975, a large property was purchased at Mt. Tuchekoi for a conference centre. Many a child’s life was changed at a Children’s Camp there.
Television was another medium which Taylor used very successfully throughout Australia. By 1976, Taylor was starting to talk about using television in Australia in a radical way. By that time the Church had outgrown the Woolloongabba property and had moved into a West End warehouse.
The bold television scheme could not have worked without Brian Millis, a TV journalist. Once again, Taylor’s vision was not hindered by lack of money or equipment. Under great difficulties, the Sunday evening services were filmed, then edited down to a half-hour programme called A New Way Of Living“. The first programme was shown on Channel 9 in Brisbane on 17 July, 1977.
During the next four years it was being shown on sixteen stations in Queensland as well as in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. A New Way Of Living was radical in Christian Television. The average Australian who never went to church saw large crowds of Christians with smiling faces enjoying God. They saw people responding to an altar call to be born again. They also saw miracles taking place. Large numbers of people were saved.
Clark Taylor’s influence was also spreading throughout South-east Queensland by the establishment of other Christian Outreach Centres in such places as Nambour, Ipswich and Redcliffe. Centres continued to radiate out from Brisbane.
One of the most powerful ways in which his influence was felt was in the lives of Christian Outreach Centre pastors. His Methodist background influenced the way in which he structured Christian Outreach Centre. It is a connectional system. There is an annual conference, but pastors gather together in local regions more frequently for fellowship and training, which was vital in the early years because most of the pastors lacked formal or theological education.
Clark Taylor built faith into his pastors. No conference would pass without a sermon on Mark 11:22-24. He took God at His word concerning mountains of sickness, demon possession, spiritual apathy, attitudes to religion in Australia, bureaucratic red tape, financial need, unbelief and impossibilities in general.
To him, Australia For Christ were not empty words. He believed that unchurched Australians would be saved. He believed that unlearned men who had been with Jesus could turn Australia upside down. He believed that there would be a Christian Outreach Centre in every city and town in Australia.
Christian Outreach Centres such as Nambour are an example of that faith. In less than twenty years, the younger generation that was nurtured there has continued to carry the banner of Australia For Christ. The Holy Spirit is being poured out through the anointed music of such people as Tracy Ham, Andrew Ironside and Ian Beresford.
People world-wide are influenced by the magazine, A New Way Of Living, edited by Darren Trinder. Mark Ramsey, who went out from Nambour to begin Noosa Christian Outreach Centre, continues to run with the vision of “The Sunshine Coast For Christ”.
Clark Taylor’s influence spread to New South Wales. John Gear, a Spirit-filled Methodist who commenced Gloucester Christian Fellowship, listened to tapes of Taylor’s preaching. He persisted in inviting Taylor to conduct a tent crusade in Gloucester.
That was the initial step in small groups of Spirit-filled Christians becoming part of Christian Outreach Centre.
A number of the movement’s leaders, including the vice president David MacDonald, have come from that area, birthing new Christian Outreach Centres throughout New South Wales and beyond.
Christian Outreach Centre was beginning to flow out to other nations. One example of this is the establishment of the movement in the Solomon Islands. Pastor Kevin Dales had been a student in the one year Bible College at Mt. Tuchekoi. He went out from there to pioneer Christian Outreach Centre in Innisfail.
One of his members, Lafai Ituaso, had a great desire that Kevin would go to his people in Tuvalu, a Pacific island. Over the next few years teams from Innisfail ministered in the Pacific Islands. Hundreds of people were saved and healed.
Late in 1989, a Bible College building was completed at Balasuna in the Solomon Islands, due largely to the hard work and sacrifice of the Innisfail people. Since then, students from the Pacific have been trained there and gone out to establish Christian Outreach Centres.
After seeing a Christian school in New Zealand, Taylor began to set the wheels in motion to have a Christian school in Brisbane. In May 1978, Christian Outreach College began with 136 children in primary and secondary school to grade 10. It was established in crowded conditions in the West End complex using the Accelerated Christian Education programme. Subsequently, other Christian Outreach Colleges have been established using the Education Department Curriculum.
Clark Taylor also had a vision for a Christian University. In 1986, Christian Heritage College began, with the vision of bringing reformation to the nation in many areas, beginning with the field of education. In 1988 Christian Heritage College was given accreditation with the Queensland State Government so that Christian-trained teachers would be accepted to teach in State Schools. Graduates are now teaching with a standard of excellence in both Christian and State Schools.
Bible College and School of Ministries
From the first week of the inception of Christian Outreach Centre, Clark Taylor began Bible teaching. Bible Colleges of one year’s duration were held at Mt. Tuchekoi, West End and Mansfield. He also established a Video Bible College. The year 1988 saw the commencement of the two year Bible College course for the Associate Diploma leading into the Bachelor of Ministries course at Mansfield. Each January there is a Ministry Training School of intensified training for people going out to pastor Christian Outreach Centres.
Clark Taylor resigned from Christian Outreach Centre in 1989. He was involved in itinerant evangelistic ministry, and in November 2000 began Worship Centre in Brisbane.
The movement he founded, Christian Outreach Centre, continues and the vision of Australia For Christ continues to burn brightly in other nations of the world as well. The gospel has been committed to faithful people who are teaching others also.
Chapter 9: The Beginnings of Christian Outreach Centre by John Thorburn
Part I: Clark Taylor’s Life and Ministry.
Clark Taylor was a name that was well known in Australia, especially in Queensland, in the late seventies and the early eighties.
Every person who came across this man, either in person or through the medium of television could not avoid being touched and impacted by this dynamic and unconventional minister.
Taylor’s outgoing personality and his total dedication to the preaching of the Gospel were used by God to touch many lives. The result of this man’s God-given vision and his obedience to see that vision fulfilled is known today as Christian Outreach Centre.
Clark Taylor was born in Queensland in 1937 to Joe and Rita Taylor. His mother had always prayed, “Lord, make him a minister”, and like most mothers had always felt that her son was special.
In his early years, Clark had a great dislike for things academic. He was even known to have eaten green fruit in an attempt to avoid having to go to school.
Taylor was never afraid of hard physical work, having spent many hours working on the family property at Palen Creek, near Rathdowney, 70 miles south of Brisbane.
At the age of 14 his family moved to the Northern Territory, where they leased a property and raised beef cattle. At the age of 16 he was running a mustering camp, where he had authority over some of the roughest and toughest men in the Territory.
One sad event that took place during this period of his life was the death of his father who was killed in a tractor accident. It was after this tragedy that Clark moved back down south where he was to encounter something that would change his life forever.
The year was 1959 and at the urging of his Aunt Alexandra, Clark Taylor found himself at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds where American evangelist, Billy Graham was holding a series of crusade meetings.
The following is an extract from the magazine A New Way of Living where the journalist describes what happened that night.
The choir, hundreds strong, led by Crusade Songleader Cliff Barrows, sang fervently. Tonight was the final night of the Crusade. The bright moonlight revealed a scene typical of Billy’s crusades. Thousands had gathered – many from outback Queensland, to join in what had already been described as an historic event in Australian church life.
The words of the hymn meant nothing, Clark told himself. Sitting on the grass in the arena, looking up at the thousands in the grandstands, he cursed their churchiness and their assurance. Had there been a group of vocal hecklers, he might have joined them … but here, he was alone – as alone as he had been on other moonlit nights, far, far away from crowds … and from Christianity. The crowd fell silent, drawing Clark’s gaze to the stage in the centre of the arena. The boyish looking Cliff Barrows had stepped back, giving place to a tall wavy-haired man whose craggy face and penetrating eyes commanded Clark’s attention: Billy Graham.
So this was Billy Graham. A dark suited, fortyish, tall figure whose right hand held a New Testament, whose left hand index finger stabbed skyward, and whose voice carried clearly to every part of the arena. After praying, Billy began to preach. He would preach for around forty minutes on this night. He would question, answer, anticipate, explain. He would speak of Heaven, and warn of Hell; he would even object, on his listeners behalf, to his own statements. “But Billy, you say …” would be repeated often … followed soon after by, “The Bible says …” By the close of his sermon he would have answered every objection, closed every exit, leaving only Jesus, The Way. He would have spoken thousands of words … and Clark would not have heard one of them.
“CLARK”. The voice, unlike any Clark had ever heard, somehow entered into the very centre of his being. There in front of him, and slightly above the heads of those seated a few feet away, stood Jesus. During the next forty or so minutes something took place that was unknown … even to Clark Taylor. Somehow the spirit of a man which life had battered and embittered received an awakening, in a communion that would defy explanation.
Then He was gone … and Clark, aware once again of his surroundings, was amazed to find that Billy Graham had finished speaking. The choir was again singing … this time softly, invitingly … “Just as I am”. The evangelist was standing, head bowed, chin propped, silently praying … In the moonlight, people were streaming forward … from the grandstand, from the open air seats, and from the grassed oval where Clark sat, stirred in his heart as never before.
Still within him, the battle raged, as reason fought revelation and pent up anger the love of Jesus Christ. Verse after verse was sung. Still they came — people from all walks of life; men and women of all ages …. coming to Christ. It was time. Fighting feelings of foolishness, Clark rose to his feet and joined the throngs.
What a beautiful description of a night that would change one man forever, but also see the beginnings of a ministry that would see worldwide effect.
In 1961, Clark began training for the Methodist ministry. It was during this time that he met and married his wife, Anne. This union was to produce three children, Linda, Philip and Robin.
In 1963, Clark contracted cerebral malaria, which would cause him to lapse into periods of unconsciousness. In 1967, he received healing from this disease. This was the same year that he was baptised in the Holy Spirit.
Clark and Anne then spent time as Assistant Ministers in the Holland Park Methodist Circuit where they were responsible for St. Paul’s Church at Upper Mount Gravatt. It was during this time that Clark began to have difficulties with his denomination over the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit which were happening under his ministry.
Clark was then to spend some time at Kings College, but he eventually resigned from the Methodist Church in 1970. He then joined himself with Trevor Chandler at the Windsor Full Gospel and then they started the Christian Life Centre.
This partnership lasted until 1972, when Clark resigned and spent the next eighteen months in travelling ministry. After receiving a prophetic word, Clark returned to Brisbane where he commenced Christian Outreach Centre.
From very small beginnings of 25 adults meeting in his home, C.O.C. has grown through many different stages to what it is today. The vision began as Australia for Christ but this later grew to Reaching Our World for Christ.
Clark was known for his radical and unusual approach to ministry but there was no denying the anointing that was on his life.
Another outstanding aspect was in his ability to impart the ministry gifts to the pastors of C.O.C. Even though there was no formal theological training, he equipped these pastors in such a way that they were sent into towns and they established strong and vibrant churches. Even though this method had its limitations, it was instrumental in establishing churches in cities where there was very little Christian influence.
There were many other aspects of his ministry, such as television, outreaches, establishing Christian schools, and in the latter stages, a Christian Teachers College and School of Ministry.
Clark Taylor resigned from Christian Outreach Centre in 1989, and is now involved in itinerant evangelistic ministry. He should primarily be remembered as a man who ministered powerfully in the anointing of God and as the pioneer of a movement that has not only touched Australia, a country that he loved, but a movement that has impacted the world.
Part II: Christian Outreach Centre, Mansfield
At the end of Wecker Road in the Brisbane suburb of Mansfield stands a complex which is the hub of what is now a worldwide movement. From a small beginning of 25 people in the lounge room of Clark and Anne Taylor’s home on 16 June, 1974, this local church has grown to a current membership of approximately 2500 people, while the movement that was birthed from its vision has grown to a worldwide membership of about 1600 churches.
After that first meeting the numbers grew so rapidly that the church saw the need to move to larger premises. They spent the next nine months meeting in the Teachers Union Building in Spring Hill until further growth forced another move.
By God’s miraculous provision the old Salvation Army Hall in Trafalga Street, Wooloongabba was purchased. This building was soon bursting at the seams and after knocking out walls and even joining up to the house next door it had finally outgrown its usefulness.
Premises at 100 Victoria Street, West End were then purchased and the church was to have its home here for the next six and a half years. It was during this time that the Centre saw tremendous growth through the use of the medium of television.
A program called A New Way Of Living was produced and was shown on Sunday mornings. God had placed a powerful anointing for healing miracles and salvation over the church and as people saw these things happening in their lounge rooms they were drawn to the Centre to see for themselves.
Even though many had come out of curiosity and to have a look at this madman who seemed to break all the rules of what a preacher should be, many were saved as they sat under the anointing of God and saw the miracles that were taking place.
Another ministry that saw growth was with the children. It was during this time that Neil Meirs came on staff to head up the childrens work. Every Saturday Neil would take his eager team out into the streets and to the shopping centres. There they would be dressed up as clowns and would put on shows and invite the kids to come to Sunday School. As the children came, so did the parents.
The church continued this steady growth until once again the building was too small. Even though it seemed humanly impossible and too big a task, the people of Christian Outreach Centre once again put their trust in God.
Land was purchased at 322 Wecker and work was begun on the current Auditorium. Even though the cost was great, once again God supplied every need and the building was officially opened in May, 1983.
Even though the founder’s personal battle with immorality lead to his dismissal from the ministry in 1989, the movement which he founded is still growing strongly today. This proves beyond doubt that if God wants to build and use something to touch people, he will do so. And he will do it despite the weakness and the imperfections of the people that he chooses.
Perhaps one of the greatest strengths of Christian Outreach Centre has been its desire to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry”, and to see that work carried out throughout the nations of the world.
In its early years there was great emphasis placed on the vision to see Australia for Christ. There were many pastors sent out from the Centre and even though they had only very basic training they were having a great impact wherever they went. This is because of the emphasis that was placed on relying on the Spirit of God to see you through.
While this was a good principle to live by, over the years it was realised that more was needed. This lead to the establishment of another important part of the ongoing ministry of the Church. This is education.
The Church now has the facilities in place to educate and train people from Primary through Secondary and on to Christian Heritage College. Every day there are over 2000 men, woman and children either training or being trained within the grounds of the church.
Another important part of the ethos of the church is its Sunday services. These are a time of great joy and celebration of what God has done and is continuing to do in and through His people. There is always a time of praise and worship where people are free to express their love for God.
Another strength is found in the variety and quality of the messages which are preached from the pulpit. Because of the size and reputation of the church it is able to attract world renowned ministries to supplement the quality of the `in house’ preachers.
This provides the members with a very well balanced diet of spiritual food.
One of the challenges which a church of this size faces is found in the size itself. Because of the large numbers of people who gather together in one place every Sunday it is very difficult to maintain a family atmosphere. People can come along and not even be noticed.
In fact, it was not uncommon to find two people who had been attending the Church for a period of time and had never met each other.
This problem has been overcome by the introduction of the Home Cell principle. It has taken about 12 months to get people away from reliance on the Pastor to meet their needs and to look to each other for support. This has totally changed the atmosphere in the church and has formed a much friendlier and closer relationship amongst the people.
In summing up it is perhaps important to look at the vision statement of the Church: “Our vision is to lead people to Christ making disciples in our neighbourhood, city, nation, and overseas.”
The church was founded with the vision of outreach and it has seen success in this area. As a church and as individuals, we need to continue to be open to allow the Holy Spirit to mould us, change us, train us and use us.
If we continue to do this and remain faithful to God, we will continue to see our God-given vision fulfilled.
Christian Outreach Centre in 2011
Beginning with a home group in 1974, they moved their headquarters to the present location in 1982 when C.O.C. built their new auditorium to seat 5,000 people. Their school expanded from Preparatory to Grade 12 and has over 1,600 students. Their tertiary college, Christian Heritage College (CHC) commenced in 1986 grew from offering one course in education with an initial enrolment of nine students, to around 40 courses and a student community exceeding 800. The college offers a range of accredited degrees in Business, Education and Humanities, Ministries and Social Sciences.
By the end of 1988 there were 136 churches in the movement including churches in New Zealand, and the Solomon Islands. During 1989, churches were established in Papua-New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, the United Kingdom, and Malaysia. The movement experienced rapid growth with 44 new churches opening in 1990, the year Pastor Neil Miers became president of Christian Outreach Centre International.
By 2010 C.O.C. had around 1600 churches in 30 countries including Australia, Bulgaria, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Fiji, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Malaysia, Malta, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, PNG, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Thailand, Tonga, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vanuatu and Zambia.
The Movement is strongly involved in helping people in need especially through Global Care. This relief agency poured millions of dollars into worldwide relief.
This movement is one example of exploding movements of church growth across the world today. Most of their churches began as a home group, and then grew.
After Clark Taylor resigned from Christian Outreach Centre he travelled and ministered in America and then in 2000 founded the Worship and Ministry Centre, now the Worship Centre Christian Church, in Brisbane, and from 2012 handed the leadership of the church to Pastors Paul ‘Skip’ and Leah Smith.