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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 has 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)
Book 1: Journey into Renewal and Revival
Introduction: Waugh stories – an overview
1. Beginnings: state of origin – growing up in NSW, Australia
2. Schools: green board jungle – learning and teaching
3. Ministry: to lead is to serve – theological college and pastorates
4. Mission: trails and trials – pioneering teaching in Papua New Guinea
5. Family: Waughs and rumours of Waughs – Family life in PNG and Australia
6. Search and Research: begin with A B C – exploring Israel and studies
7. Renewal: begin with doh rey me – charismatic renewal in Australia
8. Revival: begin with 1 2 3 – teaching revival leaders in many countries
Conclusion: begin with you and me – looking ahead
Highlights – revival stories
Chapter 1 – Papua New Guinea (1965-1970)
Chapter 2 – Papua New Guinea Schools (1965-1968)
Chapter 3 – Papua New Guinea Bible Schools (1968-1970)
Chapter 4 – Australia (From 1970)
Chapter 5 – Australia: Elcho Island (1994)
Chapter 6 – Papua New Guinea (1994)
Chapter 7 – Solomon Islands: Tabaka (1994)
Chapter 8 – Philippines (1994, 1995)
Chapter 9 – Ghana, Canada: Toronto (1995)
Chapter 10 – Solomon Islands: Simbo (1996)
Chapter 11 – Nepal, India: New Delhi, Sri Lanka (1996)
Chapter 12 – Nepal, India: Darjeeling, Sri Lanka (1998)
Chapter 13 – Nepal, India: Darjeeling (2000)
Chapter 14 – USA: Pensacola (2002)
Chapter 15 – Vanuatu, Australia (2002)
Chapter 16 – Vanuatu, Solomon Islands (2003)
Chapter 17 – Vanuatu: Tanna & Pentecost (2004)
Chapter 18 – Nepal (2004, 2014)
Chapter 19 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2004)
Chapter 20 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2005)
Chapter 21 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2005)
Chapter 22 – Kenya, Fiji (2005)
Chapter 23 – Fiji – KBC and COC Team (2006, 2007)
Chapter 24 – Vanuatu, Solomon Islands (2006)
Chapter 25 – Solomon Islands (2007)
Chapter 26 – Kenya (2007)
Chapter 27 – China, USA (2007, 2008)
Chapter 28 – Brazil (2008)
Chapter 29 – Fiji (2008, 2009)
Chapter 30 – Myanmar (2009-11-12-18)
Chapter 31 – Malaysia (2010)
Chapter 32 – Thailand (2011)
Chapter 33 – Germany, Israel (2013)
Chapter 34 – Nepal, Thailand (2014)
Chapter 35 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2010-2019)
Share any Blog to inform and bless others
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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 has 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)
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, but 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)
By Raju: 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]:
Romulo was president of the University of the South Pacific (USP) law school Christian Fellowship 2002-3, and is a leader in revival in the South Pacific. He reports on the move of the Spirit of God on the university in 2002. One result of that move is the transformed lives of lawyers now involved in Christian leadership and mission throughout the South Pacific.
“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 the 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.
From Chapter 16 – Vanuatu (2003)
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 1st July, 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)
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.
From Chapter 17 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2004)
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 hasa 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 for 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)
From Chapter 22 – Kenya, East Africa (2005)
Before the Nairobi Believers Mission (NBM) 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 a few 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 it 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 fresh two weeks later.
Francis added: “Actually the miracle continued months after we began NBM and were feeding members each Saturday afternoon with tea and bread. God continued multiplying the food and there was always enough.”
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.]
See Book: Pentecost on Pentecost and in the South Pacific
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.
From Chapter 24 – Vanuatu (2006)
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 forevermore” with long, long harmonies on “forevermore”. Just worship. Pure, awesome and majestic.
See Book: Pentecost on Pentecost and in the South Pacific
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.
See Book: Pentecost on Pentecost and in the South Pacific
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.
See Book: Pentecost on Pentecost and in the South Pacific
From Chapter 27 – China (2007)
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 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’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.
If you would like to help contact me at email@example.com .
See Book: Pentecost on Pentecost and in the South Pacific
See Blogs Index 7: Images
Wife of highest ranking chief returns from death – girl revived from death after an hour of prayer – a whole mountain ‘on fire’ (with nothing burned) during revival meetings – witchcraft items revealed then removed and destroyed by prayer teams – everyone prayed for in ‘custom’ villages healed – angels filling a village church with songs in the night – everyone prayed for in the village was healed and all unbelievers repented during the worship and many were baptized.
include the 15 chapters of this book
plus more stories from
Australia, Africa, Nepal, India,
Sri Lanka, Myanmar/Burma,
Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines
Geoff Waugh’s life and ministry have influenced people all around the world. The story of his life and ministry will be of interest not only to those who know him – you will find yourself reflecting on your own journey with Jesus. Here is a personal journey with reflections that will enrich the lives of all readers. As he `looked to Jesus’ along the way he was opened up to many exciting new ventures in Australia and into countries where revival and renewal is vibrant, changing many lives. Although a biography, many others are involved. His reflections fit naturally, showing how his personal journey has relevance for others.
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 has 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.
Autobiography condensed from two books:
Book 2: Journey into Mission
Dr Geoff Waugh shares the message of revival clearly through the simplicity of the Word and his own personal experiences, being part of God’s big revival story in the Pacific. His book is a must read for all who follow Pacific Revivals and world movements of the Holy Spirit.
Share any Blog to inform and bless others – see links below
This book in the Great Commission Series is compiled from two previous books now in one volume.
PART 1: Teaching them to Obey in Love
Introduction to Part 1
1 Love God:
Faith in God – God our Father
Follow Me – Jesus our Lord
Filled with the Spirit – God’s Spirit our Helper
2 Love Others:
Love one another
Serve one another
Encourage one another
Conclusion to Part 1
PART 2: Jesus the Model for Supernatural Mission
Introduction to Part 2
1 Jesus’ Mission and Ministry
3 Peter and Paul on Mission
4 My Mission Adventures
What is obedience?
Jesus told a parable about two sons whose father told them to work in his vineyard (Matthew 21:28-32). One son said he would go but he did not. The other son said he would not go but changed his mind and went. The one who said ‘No’ but then went was more obedient than the one who said ‘Yes’ but didn’t go. The story shows how we can repent, change our mind and obey.
Jesus’ parable of the two sons encourages us to repent, turn around, and obey even if previously we did not. Often we may feel guilty that we are not obeying Jesus fully and wholeheartedly. When we pray we may remember how we disobeyed or were half-hearted or reluctant to obey. We can repent, and obey.
Some of Jesus commands seem hard for us to obey: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you; whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me; carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; sell your possessions, and give alms; those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples (Luke 6:27-28; 9:23; 10:4; 12:33; 14:33). And that’s just a few of his instructions!
We’re not all called to be Saint Francis or Mother Teresa. But we are called to follow Jesus – and that’s a challenge. Jesus’ instructions can shape our attitudes and actions. We may live it out in different ways in different places, but his commands will always guide us as we are led by his Spirit. Jesus was wholly obedient in different ways at different times as a child, a student, a carpenter, a teaching rabbi, a healer, a sacrifice. We can obey in our different situations.
Our obedience springs from love and flows strong in God’s love. We love Him because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).
Love is the reason we obey
Jesus says that we will obey his commandments because of our love for him. We obey from love, not just from duty. Our duty becomes our delight.
We understand obeying in love with people we really love such as our parents or husband or wife. We love to obey or please them because we love them. It’s our delight, not just a duty. We love to please them, and we are so happy when our response to them pleases them.
Jesus’ obedience was a natural part of his loving relationship with his Father, and he calls us into loving obedience also.
If you keep My commandments you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love (John 15:10).
Jesus lived in full fellowship and intimate loving relationship with his Father. Consequently his obedience flowed naturally and supernaturally from that.
So this book explores how we can obey Jesus in love by loving God and loving others. Loving God and loving others are inter-related. John, the Apostle of love, reminds us:
Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also (1 John 4:20-21).
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith (1 John 5:1-4).
Believing in God and in his Son Jesus changes us. It enables us to love God and to love one another. When we believe in God and trust him he gives us his life and we discover that his life in us gives us love for him and for others.
From the Introduction to Part 2
Jesus is the best model for short term supernatural mission.
When Jesus, aged about 30, returned to his home town of Nazareth in the hills of Galilee, he explained his mission and ministry by quoting from Isaiah.
Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. …
16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
18 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’
20 And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ …
(Luke 4:14-15, 16-21; see Isaiah 61:1-2)
Jesus fulfilled that prophecy in his life and ministry, and taught his followers to minister that way. We can too.
The name Joshua/Jesus means God saves, or God is salvation. That is why the angel announcing his birth said, “… you are to name him Joshua/Jesus (Yeshua), for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). It is the same name as Moses’ general, Joshua, who led the Israelites into their promised land.
The earliest English translations of the Bible used the name Jesus for Yeshua of Nazareth, and the name Joshua for others with that same name. So in English the name Jesus became unique and sacred for Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world.
This book explores the mission and ministry of Jesus/Joshua the Christ/Messiah, the Son of God, and how he fulfilled his brief ministry (Chapter 1). Jesus took others to minister with him and sent them out to minister in the authority and power of his name (Chapter 2).
Peter and Paul travelled with teams in their mission and ministry, also anointed with the Spirit of God (Chapter 3).
I give some brief contemporary examples of short term mission and ministry (Chapter 4) and Bart Doornweed (Chapter 5) and Randy Clark (Chapter 6) describe their experience of short term supernatural mission.
The final chapter is a powerful story by Carl Lawrence about two teenage girls in China who established 30 churches in two years with congregations ranging from 200 to 5,000 (Chapter 7).
Listen to God’s Spirit as you read and apply this good news.
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Share to inform and bless others. Blessed to bless.
Back to Renewal Journal 5: Signs & Wonders (& Bart Doornweerd)
Great Commission Mission
The Teaching of Jesus on Mission
Compiled from Teaching Them to Obey in Love, and
Jesus the Model for Short Term Supernatural Mission
Those who love me will keep my word.
Paperback & eBook in colour
Revival Blogs Links:
See also Revivals Index
See also Revival Blogs
See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals
A Revivalist, Equipper, and Transformer for the Zomi-Chin People of Myanmar
By Chin Khua Khai
Reproduced from the Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies No. 4, 2001, pages 99-107, from Dr Chin Khua Khai’s research for his Ph.D. degree.
Although small and often unnoticed, Myanma (Burma) has had its share of great leaders. The late Reverend Hau Lian Kham, often referred to as the “John Wesley” of Zomi (Chin) because of the similar characters and patterns seen in his leadership, is a noted pastor-evangelist and teacher among the evangelical Pentecostal believers in Myanmar. From the early 1970s until his death in 1995, he was the key figure and leader of a renewal movement among the Zomis. The renewal began on a small scale in the early 1970s and has spread throughout the region to many parts of the country through evangelism and cross-cultural mission efforts (1). It has resulted in the planting of new churches in both rural and urban regions and to the establishment of leadership training schools. Kham has left his legacy as a revivalist, equipper, and transformer.
Kham’s legacy in Zomiss began against the backdrop of a predominantly nominal Christian atmosphere (2). The Zomi is a major ethnic group in Myanmar occupying the north-western region. They were 2.2% of countries estimated population of 49 million in the year 2000 (3). Christianity has been a dominant religious practice among the Zomis for half a century.
The Zomis received Christian faith through the efforts of missionaries. American Baptist missionaries first introduced the Christian faith to them early in the 1900s (4). Other missions such as the Methodists (1925), Catholics (1934), Anglicans (1934), Seventh-Day Adventists (1954), Presbyterians (1956), and Pentecostals (that is, Assemblies of God, 1960s) arrived as well. When missionaries were expelled from the country in the 1960s, more than half of the Zomi population had become professed Christians. At this stage, there existed among the Zomis Christians a moral laxity and a lack of salvation knowledge (5).
Out of this background, Kham arose as a giant of faith who launched the renewal movement in 1973. On November 24, 1944, he was the sixth of eight children born to devout Christian parents in Ngennung-Tedim, Chin State, Myamnar. Upon graduating from high school, he began serving as the headmaster of Zomi Baptist Academy, a primary school, in his native town of Tedim from 1963 to 1965.
Though poverty has always been a roadblock to education for the Zomis, Kham found a way to pursue his secular education as well as theological education. He attended night classes at Workers College on a work-study program, receiving a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in 1968. He then enrolled in Myanmar Institute of Theology, Insein, Yangon, and received a Bachelor of Religious Education (B.R.E.) degree in 1971.
Upon completion of his studies, he decided to return to Tedim to engage in full time ministry. Indeed, temptations prevailed when relatives asserted he was making an undesirable career choice due to the poor income ministers receive. After a strong prayer, he made a lasting decision to serve the Lord alone.
Kham’s ministry went through enormous changes, which better equipped him for kingdom service. He was first installed as the senior pastor of Cope Memorial Baptist Church (April 1971 to 1974) in Tedim receiving his ordination credentials on February 25, 1973. He went on to become a leader of the Evangelical Baptist Conference (EBC) and the senior pastor of Tedim’s Evangelical Baptist Church (1975-1976) when Cope Memorial Baptist Church dismissed him from membership because of his promotion of the renewal movement.
Eventually, he became a Pentecostal minister (1977-1996) because of his new experience with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and a larger vision of the kingdom’s mission. Regarding his joining the Assemblies of God of Myanmar, he once stated, “We must keep a large vision of the whole country, even the whole world, for the evangelization, while starting the work at the local area” (6). In 1979 Khain became the founding principal of Evangel Bible College in Yangon, the capital city of Myanmar, serving in this capacity as well as teaching until his death on December 29, 1995. During this time, he also held the position of the senior pastor of Grace Assembly of God Church. Kham was the general secretary of the Assemblies of God of Myanmar for a period. This position was relinquished when he was sent to the Philippines for graduate studies in 1987.
Kham received a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from Asia Pacific Theological Seminary (APTS), Baquio, Philippines in 1991, a Master of Theology (Th.M.) degree from Asia Graduate Theological Seminary (AGTS), Manila, Philippines in 1994, and was a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry (D. Min.) degree at AGTS.
Kham’s premature death was a great loss not only to his family, friends and relatives, but also to the body of Christ in Myanmar. He was the prospective leader of the whole evangelical-Pentecostal body in Myanmar. His remaining family members include his wife Mary Hau Lun Cing who also had reached candidate of D.Min. status at AGTS, and three daughters, Cing Lam Dim, Man San Lun, and Cing Lian Ciin. At the writing of tiiis article, with the help of her daughters, Mary carries on the Kham’s ministries as the acting principal of Evangel Bible College and as by serving as the senior pastor of Grace Assembly of God Church.
Being raised in a pious family, Kham was a committed Christian since childhood. God-fearing in attitude, obedience, sincerity, friendliness, and humility were revealing marks in his life. He was a Bible lover, active churchgoer, and even a choirmaster. He was a genius in widespread reading, especially of Christian books. More than anything, he had a strong desire to serve the Lord as a full-time minister from his youth.
Two prominent experiences proved revolutionary in Kham’s faith journey. He, like Timothy in the Bible, had a strong faith in Christ though he did not know the exact time of his rebirth. However, a paradigm shift of faith took place in him sometime in 1970 when he accepted the Bible as the infallible word of God. This conviction came by his reading of an article in a Decision magazine in which Billy Graham stated his acceptance by faith of the whole Bible as the word of God. This, in fact, was opposite to the teachings at the theological institute that Kham was attending at the time (7). The theology he had received at the institute led him to confusion, as it questioned the authority and inspiration of the scripture. He attributed his overcoming the theological dilemma to the work of the Holy Spirit (8). As a result, he asserted the authority and sufficiency of the Bible for faith and practice.
Another experience had caused him to pursue renewal. Being a newly ordained minister, he paid home visits to church members once a week. He soon discovered the church members were nominal and weak in their faith, having little knowledge about the salvation of Christ, lacking real commitment. This discovery led to a turning point in his ministry, for he felt compelled to preach and teach the people about the gospel of the salvation of Jesus Christ in order to help bring renewal to the church. This was his prayer, “These people must hear the gospel and repent and come to the cross of Christ. God, help me and use me” (9).
Kham was a gifted preacher. His preaching was persuasive, forceful, and biblical. When preaching, he always referred to the authority of the word of God, often stating, “The Bible says….” His frequent use of body movement gave him the title, “The Action Preacher.” With all of these qualities, his method was a breakthrough for contemporary preaching.
Kham was gifted in teaching. From the very beginning of his pastoral ministry, he taught the Bible and Bible doctrine from the evangelical perspective which was contrary to contemporary teaching in the vicinity. The people were amazed at his new teachings. Consequently, church attendance doubled for the first time since the death of the former pastor of his church in 1965. News about his ministry spread so quickly that the unchurched in the town and visitors from rural villages were persuaded to attend the worship services and his Bible classes.
Moreover, Kham was gifted in music, art, and literature. He conducted the church choir every Sunday, performed in and directed dramas on special occasions such as Christmas. The “Life of Jesus” attracted not only the town dwellers, but also people from the villages nearby. His first publication was a small handbook, Khasiangtho Ngeina Nam Lite [The Four Spiritual Laws], published and distributed in March 1973. He translated the books of Jeremiah and Jonah into the Tedim language for the Tediin Bible. Another work of his was the book Upna Laigil [The Essence of Faith] which was an evangelical position on Bible doctrine (10). Besides these publications, he wrote several articles and helped revise a local hymnal.
Kham was the pioneer leader of the renewal movement among the Zomis. A “burden for souls’ was his motivating factor. He was convinced that soul winning was the most important task under heaven. Referring to the scripture in Luke 16:25, he asserted that a soul is more precious than the whole universe; to win a soul is more important than to gain the whole universe, and to help a soul being saved is the most precious task in the sight of God (11). Thus, to promote and bring renewal (12) within the church and to seek souls outside the church was the most urgent call of his pastoral ministry.
Kham believed that prayer is a key to renewal (13). He said his supporters learned from historical evidences and personal witnesses that renewal often takes place when the people of God pray and seek him. They soon promoted individual and group prayer meetings for renewal.
Believing an open-air crusade would be the most appropriate strategy to reach the common people, the revivalist and his supporters launched a week-long crusade on April 30, 1973. They raised a bamboo pulpit on a football field where he preached seven nights about the salvation of Christ. This pioneer crusade was characterized by breakthroughs, a charismatic-style singing of revival choruses, a style in preaching the message that had direct implication upon the hearers, the altar call for repentance and acceptance of Christ, and face-to-face discussion of the personal assurance of salvation. These types of events marked a new breakthrough in ministry.
Furthermore, the revivalist learned to trust in the Holy Spirit. He acknowledged the dimension and crucial work of the Holy Spirit in bringing renewal. This factor prevailed as he surrendered himself by kneeling and crying to the Lord for the conversion of sinners, praying all night on the second day of the crusade (14). Preaching aggressively and persuasively for the first two nights did not draw a single sinner to the Lord. However, surrendering and trusting in the Holy Spirit made the difference.
A young man by the name Kham Lian Khup turned and stepped forward in the altar call and accepted Christ as his Saviour and Lord on the third night (15). The bold decision of this young man was a breakthrough that encouraged many to do the same in the days that followed. Converts were added every day.
Eventually, the pioneer crusade was the recognized launching pad of the renewal movement. The word “born again’ became a catchword throughout the renewal movement. The born-again believers spread the gospel by preaching, teaching, and counselling. Repentance for sin confession of Christ as Saviour and Lord, baptism in water as a witness of discipleship, studying the Bible, praying, and sharing the word of God were phenomenon indicative of this renewal.
Kham, along with his itinerant gospel team, continued to make gospel tours throughout the countryside during the years of 1973 to 1979. His motto became, “To bring as many people as possible to Christ in the shortest possible time” (16). He conducted gospel crusades from town to town and from village to village.
Like revivalist John Wesley of England in the eighteenth century (17) he travelled hundreds and thousands of miles on foot to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. His brother Gin Za Lian like Charles Wesley, was a gifted musician throughout this renewal period. The two brothers worked hand in hand preaching and singing. During the next ten years, Kham would also preach the gospel to several other people groups throughout the country.
Not a lone star, Kham trained up other effective leaders for servicing in the Kingdom of God. Teaching Sunday School was a regular ministry. His gospel crusades were two pronged: preaching and teaching the word of God. He also conducted Bible seminars every year, attended by believers from all the countryside.
Kham renovated the pattern of leadership by emphasizing lay witnessing. Like John Wesley, he motivated, challenged, equipped, and mobilized believers to carry out the work of the ministry. Prioritizing the evangelistic mandate, he emphasized witnessing and winning souls as the greatest call of believers. Their greatest accomplishment would come by fulfilling that call.
He often elaborated the urgency of the call, the doom of people who never hear the gospel, the reward of obeying the call, and the consequences of disobedience. He explained agape as God’s kind of love, which meant loving others in the way God loves sinners who are doomed to eternal judgment. He also taught about how to witness, live a righteous and Spirit-filled life, and how to build the body of Christ.
As a result of his efforts, lay witnessing became the most dynamic factor of spreading the renewal throughout the country during the last three decades of his life (1970s-1990s) (18).
As stated earlier, Kham began teaching at the Evangel Bible College, serving as the founding principal as well. In fact this call was not a new challenge for him. He had long acknowledged the need to build armies for the Lord with deeper biblical knowledge.
Sensing the need to multiply himself by training leaders, he decided to take over the teaching role at the Bible school. Today, the school’s graduates are ministering the mission of the kingdom of God in different capacities all over the country.
One final legacy to be noted here is that of the transformational changes within the church and in the culture that resulted from the renewal. Kham’s own rediscovery and subsequent preaching on key issues such as the Bible as the inspired word of God, the lukewarm nature of the church, the dispensation of law and grace, the atoning work of Christ, justification by faith alone, and other teachings laid the foundation of evangelical Pentecostal beliefs and practices. As a result, Evangelicalism (Fundamentalism and Neo-evangelicalism) and Pentecostalism emerged like a strong river among the born-again Zomi Christians. Half the Christian population label themselves Evangelical/Pentecostals today (19). The following figure shows the percentage of their attachments in 2000:
Kham’s pattern of preaching became a favourite model for young preachers. His messages were grounded not in mere knowledge but in sound biblical and theological teaching built upon solid theological terms in which Christ is the subject. He interpreted scripture passages from the root meaning and then adapted it to the local situation. He also drew examples from local contexts and biographical stories to support the message. He was an expert in coining and applying popular words and phrases in his preaching. Most often, he contextualized the husk and kept the kernel of the gospel unchanged. His method is a combination of the “translation model” and “adaptation model” of contextualization (20).
Moreover, the messages have facilitated a Christ-centred worldview among believers. They saw God not only as sovereign and transcendent but also as immanent. They recognized secular things as temporary and spiritual things as eternal. They accepted Christ as Saviour, Lord and King. Therefore, many believers chose to serve Christ rather than the world. Believers also gained positive self-images, liberating them from the low self-images of an inferiority complex.
Furthermore, the renewal has had a great social impact among the Zomis such that transformational changes occurred in the cultural subsystems (21). God was seen as the reservoir of blessings. Therefore thanksgiving celebrations toward God for blessings and success were and still are common phenomena in the communities today. Families give their children Christian names in order to express appreciation and acknowledgment of what He has done in a person’s life. Yet another outcome of the renewal is that the need to take the cultural mandate is more recognized among evangelical Pentecostal believers today than ever before. Churches and individual believers continue to establish orphanages, open private clinics, donate relief funds and take on social responsibilities in their communities.
With all these patterns and characters of the renewal, many believers in Myanmar have regarded Kham as a great revivalist, a great leadership equipper, and a great transformer whose legacy will speak to many generations to come. He could say as Paul did, “I have fought a good fight I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim 4:6 NIV).
(1) Chin Khua Khai, “Myamnar Mission Boards and Agencies,” in Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, ed. A. Scott Moreau (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000), pp. 667-69.
(2) The Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization describes a nominal Christian as one who would call him/herself a Christian but has no authentic commitment to Christ based on personal faith. See Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, The Thailand Report on Christian Witness to Nominal Christians Among Protestants, Lausanne Occasional Paper No. 23 (Wheaton, IL: Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, 1980), p. 5.
(3) Sein Tin, Central Statistical Year Book of Myanmar 1995 (Yangon, Myanmar: Central Statistical Organization, 1995), pp. 26-7. These statistics do not include the Asho-Chin (plain Chin), Mizos and Zomis in India and Bengaladesh.
(4) Robert G. Johnson has documented in detail the work of the American Baptist missions among the Zomis. Robed G. Johnson, History of American Baptist Chin Mission, 2 vols. (Valley Forge, PA: Robert G. Johnson, 1988).
(5) I briefly discussed in my dissertation mission works among the Zomis and argued why the churches fall into a nominal state. Chin Khua Khai, “Dynamics of Renewal: A Historical Movement among the Zomi (Chin) in Myanmar’ (Ph.D. dissertation, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1999), pp. 128-165.
(6) Chin Khua Khai, The Cross Amidst Pagodas (Baguio, Philippines: APTS Press).
(7) Myanmar Institute of Theology (formerly known as Burma Institute of Theology), Insein, Yangon, is the largest theological school in Myanmar. It has been largely influenced by the teachings of theological liberalism since the 1960’s. “The Church in Myanmar,” in Church in Asia Today: Challenges and Opportunities Today, ed. Saphir Arthyal (Singapore: Asia Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, 1996), pp. 349-60.
(8) Hau L. Kham, ‘My Testimony” (unpublished manuscript, 1994), p. 7.
(9) Hau L. Kham, Personal Diary, June 25, 1971.
(10) Khai, “Dynamics of Renewal” pp. 178, 205.
(11) Chin K. Khai, Personal Sermon Note, 1973.
(12) The term “renewal” has been defined in several ways. What I mean by “renewal” and “renewal movement” here is an inward experience of a spiritual dynamic that involves a new, deeper experience of God’s transcendence and holiness, of grace and forgiveness, coupled with a new dimension in worship and a reaching out in mission (Khai, “Dynamics of Renewal,” p. 4).
(13) Kham, Personal Diary, January 27, 1973. Referred to in Khai, “Dynamics of Renewal,” pp. 180-181.
(14) KhaM, Personal Diary, May 2, 1973.
(15) Publication Committee, EBC Taangthu.. History of the Evangelical Baptist Conference (in Tedim-Chin) (Tedin Myanmar: EBC Church, 1990), p. 29.
(16) Kham, Personal Diary, January 18, 1995.
(17) W H Fitchett, Wesley and His Century: A Study in Spiritual Forces (London, Smith, Elder & Co., 1906), p. 16.
(18) Khai, “Dynamics of Renewal,” pp. 245-46.
(19) Khai, “Dynamics of Renewal,” pp. 92,298.
(20) Dean S. Gilliland, “Contextualization Models,” in The Word Among Us: Contextualizing Theology for Mission Today, ed. Dean S. Gilliland (Dallas, TX Word, 1989), pp. 313-17.
(21) Khai, “Dynamics of Renewal,” pp. 354-62.
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Dr Donald McGavran was the founding Dean of the School of World Mission at Fuller Theological Seminary. His seminal books Bridges of God (1955) and Understanding Church Growth (1970, 1980) pioneered church growth research. This ground-breaking paper, was presented to the Christian and Missionary Alliance Missionaries at Lincoln, Nebraska in 1979.
The problem of church growth faces all of us. Many of us are working where we have had little growth. Wherever our churches are sealed off, ethnically, economically, or educationally, the people from other classes of society do not ordinarily join us. This very common problem affects not just the Christian and Missionary Alliance. You have less of it than some other missionary societies. This problem has faced me. For the last 25 years I have been thinking of this on the world scene. For 25 years before that I was thinking of it in the Indian context. So for about 50 years I have been considering this difficulty.
As I have been reviewing church growth around the world, I have seen that it frequently correlates with great healing campaigns. That is why I am speaking about Divine Healing and Church Growth. Where the church is up against an insuperable barrier, there no matter what you do, how much you pray, how much you work, how much you organize, how much you administer for church growth, the church either does not grow, grows only a little, or grows from within, not from without. Under such circumstances, we need to lean heavily on that which is so wonderfully illustrated in the New Testament, namely the place of healing in church growth. You remember the two villages of Lydda and Sharon where it is recorded in the book of Acts that all Lydda and Sharon turned to the Lord. Two whole villages in a day! When did that happen? When Aeneas was healed by Peter. This great ingathering was preceded by a remarkable case of divine healing.
American missionaries, who have grown up in a highly secular society, usually take a dim view of divine healing, considering it mere charlatanism. After long years of sharing that common opinion, I now hold that among vast populations, divine healing is one of the ways in which God brings ruen and women to believe in the Savior. Missiologists ought to have a considered opinion on the matter. They should not brush it off cheaply and easily. Administering for church growth in part means arranging the stage so that divine healing can take place. Look at the evidence of divine healing. Withold judgment until the evidence has been reviewed. There is much more evidence than I am able to present in one short address.
My considered recommendation is that missionaries and Christians in most populations ought to be following the biblical injunction to pray for the sick (James 5:14-15). When notable healings have taken place, great efforts should be made to multiply churches. When healings have taken place in your denomination or any other denomination, when the Pentecostals mount a great healing campaign, then say to yourself, “This is the time to strike, while the iron is hot.”
I now lay before you a few cases of divine healing that have come to attention from various sources. The first is a case of healing carried out by American Presbyterian missionaries. I quote a report from India about the operation of these ministers, visiting India for a brief period.
Everyday there was preaching in the evening and teaching in the morning. They lived with us as brothers. They visited and preached in 24 of the 278 churches we have. The work of the Holy Spirit was experienced throughout the preaching ministry. Reverend Little was blessed with the gift of healing power. All those who came to the gospel meetings with a rea.1longing for healing were wonderfully healed. Every night Reverend Little had to minister for more than 4 hours. People who were healed came forward and witnessed about their healing. Hundreds of people were healed. Thousands were able to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord. People were made whole physically, mentally and spiritually. Some of our pastors were healed from serious illnesses, including Rev. J. Thompson, Rev. S. Yesunesan, Rev. E.J. Victor and Rev. Moses Israel. Those who were suffering from chronic diseases were healed. A woman who was suffering from asthma for 21 years was healed. A man who was deaf for more than 40 years was healed. So many blind people were able to see. Lame people were healed. People who were suffering from bleeding were healed. Reverend Wilson shared how more than 2 weeks after Little and Wallace had departed, he would visit a church and find people still praising God for the healing they had received. He discovered that there were a number of Hindus who had received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour among the thousands who experienced salvation. It was customary for Dick Little to ask the people to renounce their gods before repenting .and accepting the Lord Jesus into their lives. Apparently a number received their healing as Christ Jesus came into their hearts.
The second case comes from the CMS Newletter. This is written by the General Secretary of the famed Church Missionary Society whose headquarters are just across the Thames from Parliament Building in London. Here is what is published:
Perhaps there is no more impressive example in recent years of healing than Edmund John, younger brother of the Archbishop ofTanzania, with his great healing mission over a 3 year period of ministry form 1972 to 1975. Not only were vast numbers of people healed, exorcised, moved to open repentance, led to or brought back to Christ in great gatherings, but also in quiet, ordered proceedings. All that happened was related to the central apprehension that Jesus is Lord; and amazing response for the lax Christians and the newly drawn Muslims alike. John’s death at the end of the astonishing blaze of ministry to his people left behind in many places a church spiritually and numerically strengthened.
The third case is from Bolivia, from a United Methodist. This man studied at the School of World Mission in Pasadena and went back to Bolivia a convinced church growth man. His letter is addressed to me personally. In it he says:
It is most striking that the district of our church which has really broken new ground in growth is our very own Lake District where we have worked for 16 years. This is the rural Aymara Indian district. This growth really began to gather momentum during our absence and has been strongest during the last year. So new is this that we do not yet have proper statistics on what has taken place. The mother church of the district in Ancoraimes, our mission station, has increased its Sunday morning attendance six fold. They hold week meetings that have usually average 250, this year have averaged over 600. For the first time in the history of our work, a majority of approaching consensus has turned to Christ in a single community, practically the whole village became Christian. This was shown dramatically on May 31, 1973, the traditional fiesta date, when the community celebrated their first community Christian Fiesta. Of the 170 families, 160 have turned to Christ; five our of six zones of the community, which is called Turini. The lay pastor of the Ancoraimes church, Juan Cordero, was the key man in this movement. Mum’s the word, please do not say anything about this. Dr. McGavran; mum’s the word on the following factor. Preaching has been accompanied by healing. Over and over this has been the case. The lay pastor has been practically mobbed on occasion, but he has stood his ground and has virtually obliged interested persons to hear him out on the gospel before he will pray for healings.
The fourth case of healing followed by growth is one in which the gift fo healing was exercised by a layman, a recent convert, not by the minister or missionary. In Tamilnadu, India, the Evangelical Church of India, planted by OMSI of Greenwood, Indiana, has grown from a few hundred in 1996 to more than fifteen thousand in 1982. During 1983 the church expects to plant fifty more churches – one a week.
After 1970 growth was accompanied by healings and exorcisms. What convinced multitudes to follow Christ was that with their own eyes they saw men and women healed by Christ’s mighty power. Evil spirits were driven out in His name. The Holy Spirit was at work.
The fifth case is from the Mekane Yesus Lutheran denomination in Ethiopia.
Eighty three percent (83%) of our congregations give healing from illness and exorcism as reasons for their growth.
In summary, it is clear from these five cases and much more evidence that the growth of the Church has often — not always, but often — been sparked by healing campaigns.
There are 200,000 East Indians in Trinidad. In 1950 a couple thousand were Christians, the sons and grandsons of people converted by Presbyterian missionaries. Except for those, very few Hindus or Moslems then living in Trinidad had become Christians. In the late fifties there was a healing campaign, and when the educated Indian community, which had scorned Christianity, saw their own people healed in Jesus’ name, they said, “Here is power!” Hundreds became Christians.
The seventh case is a remarkable one from India. Suba Rao was the headmaster of a government school –a member of one of the middle castes and a wealthy man. He had laughed at baptism. He had hated missionaries. He had thought of the church as an assembly of the low caste.
One of his near neighbours and close friends fell sick. For two years his sickness was not healed and gradually wasting away. He went to many doctors to no avail. One night while Suba Rao was asleep, the Lord Jesus appeared to him and said, “Will you will go and lay your hand on that man’s head and pray in My name, I will heal him.” Suba Rao woke up and laughed, thinking, “What a funny dream” and went back to sleep. The next night the Lord Jesus stood by his side and said, “If you go and lay your hand on that man’s head and pray for him to be healed, I will heal him.” Suba Rao woke up; he didn’t laugh this time and he didn’t go back to sleep, but he didn’t lay his hands on the sick man either. He said, “That’s impossible!” The third night the Lord Jesus appeared to him. He got up at once and went to his neighbour. He laid his hand on the man’s head, prayed for him, and in the morning the man said, “I feel much better. Do it again.” the man was healed. Suba Rao threw out his idols. He started to read the Bible. He started a Bible study class among his neighbours. But he still ridicules baptism. He has not joined and church. But he proclaims himself a follower of the Lord Jesus. The healing of people in Jesus’ name became his chief occupation. Joining the church, which there is composed very largely indeed (98%) of the lowest castes of Indian society is, he thinks, an impossible (and perhaps an unnecessary) step for him. Still the Lora Jesus heals men through him (Mark 9:39).
What do healings of this kind — repeated thousands of times — mean for us, living in the world today? “Like a comet blazing across the skies, this faith healer suddenly appeared among the small churches planted in this land in the last 20 years.” News notes to this effect have reached sending churches in America again and again in last 20 years, from many different lands and many different denominations. The biblical saga continues. In one congregation of none, under the faith healer’s prayers, marvellous cures occurred, crowds gathered, thousands attended, members of important wealthy families were cured, the press carried front page articles on the events. Night after night discarded crutches were gathered. Night after night the testimonies of the blind who now see, the paralyzed who now leap, the deaf who now hear were most impressive. Faced with the enormous power of the riser and reigning Christ, men and women in increasing numbers confessed Christ, turned from sin and other gods, were baptized and incorporated into new and old churches. A new era developed, churches began to multiply in many denominations. Baptists grew, Methodists grew, Lutherans grew, Pentecostals grew, and on and on. The evangelization of this country took a great leap forward. Events like these occurring in many lands have caused heated discussion among American Christians.
During the last 100 years, Western Christians have been heavily secularized and saturated with scientific thinking. They believe diseases are caused, not by God’s will, but by germs. And these diseases are cured by drugs; malaria by quinine, colds by Contac, atherosclerosis by open heart surgery. As Christianity has spread throughout the world, missionary physicians have proved enormously more effective than the mumbo jumbo of witch doctors, herbalists, faith healers of the animist world. The missionary doctor gave the patients penicillin and offered prayer to God for their cure. They were cured.
The Christian doctor would say it was not by unaided prayer but by using the medicine that God has given to mankind. This Christian interpretation of the healing process and the part played by unaided prayer and faith differs from the rationalists view, and yet it holds that, as a matter of fact, God does not act independent of physical means. That, my friends, is the atmosphere in which we all live. Secular man believes that there is no God; the causes of illness which can be measured and manipulated by men are the only reality. These causes can be physical, chemical or psychological.
To such 20th century thinking, faith healing is at best mistaken and at worst charlatanry. The faith healer is either a self-deluded enthusiast or a clever manipulator of men. If people claim to be cured, maybe they were not really sick in the first place, or have temporary feelings of well being induced by the excitement of the moment due to crowd psychology. The “healed” may even be planted t the faith healer to build up his reputation. The power of hundreds of thousands who believe alike and express their belief vividly is a real factor in human affairs and has been used by politicians. merchants, priests, and magicians from time immemorial. Westerners and Eastern secularists are highly sceptical about any power available to man other than what man himself generates by one mean or another, Faith healing causes lifted eyebrows and superior smiles.
To most people in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, however; disease is inflicted by spirits. It is cured by super-human powers regardless of what people in America think.
Witches eat up the life force of other men. An angry neighbor casts an “evil eye” on a woman and she grows weaker day by day. A wandering evil spirit devours a baby and the baby dies. A demon causes an illness which no medicine can cure. Western medicine may help some people, but Africa is full of mysterious powers which the white man does not know, and only those who know the secret source of black power can heal African affliction. These evil powers must be overcome by superior powers.
In Spanish America the Curandero has great power. His incantations, potion, sacrifices, and medicines marvellously heal the sick. In Asia, Africa, and Latin America, perhaps 98 out of 100 persons believe that superior power drives out inferior power. In Europe and North America the impersonal, mechanistic system of scientism fails to satisfy millions. Therefore, they, too, eagerly believe I the occult, extra-human powers. Satan worship flousrishes. The mysterious influence of magic words, rites, robes, stars, yogis, and gurus fascinates many people in Europe and North America. Christians in North America and Europe have a special problem with faith healing. Why? Because their religion wars with their science.
Faith healing unquestionably occurred in biblical times. The New Testament Church rode the crest of a tremendous, continual manifestation of faith healing. One of the may passages reads as follows:
Now many signs and wonders were done among the common people and by the hands of the apostles, more than ever, believers were added to the Lord. Multitudes, both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and pallets, that, as Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with evil spirits and they all were healed (Acts 8:12-16).
Yes, Christians have a problem in the Western society. Their sciences war with their Christian faith. Divine healing was an essential part of the evangelization as churches multiplied across Palestine and the Mediterranean world. What are we Christians to make of all this? Is there something here that we can use?
Many educated Christians have been more secularized than they realize and are antagonistic to divine healing. They write it off as superstition and fraud; it leads people away from sound medicine and counts many as healed who are still sick. They say divine healing is a massive deception. They think that divine healing is using God for our own ends.
Some educated Christians say that in addition to the human mechanism and material means which God uses, He sometimes acts in sovereign power. He retains the right to act outside His laws which we know in order to use higher laws which we do not know. He ordinarily operated through His laws, but He is not bound by them. When it pleases Him, He intervenes. Such Christians hold that the best possible world is one in which most of the time a just and loving God rules through laws. But occasionally, when He sees fit, He uses a higher law. Such Christians view healings in the name of Christ as demonstrations of the power of God.
Some would add that the healings are a mixture of God’s acts and man acts, thus we see many incomplete healings, and failures of healings, due to lack of faith or sincerity.
Some hard-headed Christians, who would normally be highly sceptical about divine healing, have gradually come to accept healing campaigns upon seeing he great numbers who throw away crutches, plus those healed of deafness and blindness and cured of heart disease. They have seen large numbers of recent non-believers rejoicing at Christ’s power, singing His praises, hearing His word, and praying to Him. The facts overwhelm the hard-headed.
Finally, some Christians believe that God has called them to actively engage in healing the sick, exorcising evil spirits, and multiplying churches. They deliberately use the vigorous expressed faith in Christ which abounds in a healing campaign to multiply sound churches of responsible Christians.
All Christians ought to think their way through this matter and realize that here is a power which a great many of us have not sufficiently used.
Healing campaigns have occurred in Buenos Aires with Tommy Hicks in 1954 and Guayaquil, Ecuador, in the mid 60’s. The latter was a very interesting case. The Full Gospel Church had three mission fields with growing younger churches in Brazil, the Philippines, and Panama. In their other fields converts were not being won, congregations were not multiplying. In the late sixties in Guayquil healings took place in a small way. Immediately, a big tent was flown in from Los Angeles and pitched right where the crowd gathered. For the next six weeks every night in that tent faith healing followed the preaching of Christ. Twenty branch churches were planted in various parts of the city. Guayaquil became a mission field where churches multiply.
In South Africa there is an Indian community of about 800,000 that has been solidly opposed to the Christian faith. Very few Indians became Christians. About 20 or 25 years ago through a series of healing campaigns, two Pentecostal denominations began to grow among the Indians. One of those Pentecostal churches is now 25,000 and the other 15,000. They got their start in healing campaigns in South Africa. Healing campaigns are occurring today and they will occur tomorrow. They are a part of today’s context. When one talks about contextualization, healing campaigns should be mentioned.
Christians, especially missionaries and missionary societies, must ask, “What is the biblical response to divine healing campaigns? What do Christians do when faced with the excitement and faith-heightening of a divine healing campaign?” Many for the first time become able to hear the Gospel with the inner ear.
What ought we to do after a campaign when many decide to become Christian? The following answer was formed in my mind when I was in the Christian Missionary Alliance field in Ivory Coast, at Yamoussoukro. A church growth workshop sponsored by the Evangelical Churches and missions was being held. This amazing story was told by the Ivory Coast pastors and American missionaries gathered there to study the growth of their churches and to find ways of proclaiming the Gospel more effectively. It illustrates very well the problems and opportunities which healing campaigns bring.
The Church in Ivory coast was typical of many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Ivory Coast has about 4 million people with the Roman Catholic Church numbers about 30,000. The Methodist Church dates from 1924 and has 60,000. Seven small Protestant denominations, with a total baptized membership of about 11,000, have arisen because of the faithful work of American missionaries. They have a growing rate of 70% per decade, led by Ivory Coast ministers. About 100 dedicated American missionaries are helping these churches and are doing a multitude of good deed.
Pastor Jacques Giraud, a French missionary tot he West Indies, arrived in Ivory Coast in March, 1973, to dedicate and Assemblies church building in Abidjan. As the meetings progressed, people began to be healed. The crowds grew and the meetings were moved to the stadium. Truck loads of people came from all parts of Ivory Coast. The papers were full of the event. The radio broadcast daily concerning it. Leading government officials and their wives flocked to the stadium. Pastor Giraud would tell of one of Christ’s miracles and preach for an hour on God’s mighty power to heal. Then he would say, “I don’t’ heal; God heals. I ask Him to release His power. Put your hand where it hurts and join me in prayer.” He would pour out his heart in believing prayer to God for healing. After a half hour of prayer he would invite those who God had healed to come to the front; crutches were thrown away, bent and arthritic persons stood erect, blind men walked forward seeing, scores and sometimes hundreds came, some hobbled, some limped, some saw ‘men like trees walking’ but they believed. God had given them at least a measure of healing. Thousands were also not healed.
After several healing sessions, Pastor Giraud would begin preaching salvation, repentance, atonement, and sanctification—straight from Bible preaching. A blind pagan from 600km north promised his fetish a sacrifice if he was healed. He went by bus to the Giraud meeting. At the meeting he saw for an instant, but then darkness returned. He stayed on and heard the gospel. When he returned home, he burnt his fetish and declared himself a Christian, saying, “I was not healed, but I heard the gospel and I am sure that God is the real power.”
This incident illustrates the truth that a healing campaign has dimensions far in excess of the healings. Groups of men and women seeing he power of Christ and hearing the message under favourable conditions declare their faith in Christ. Theirs in not an illumined faith but it is strong enough for them to burn their fetishes. They can be incorporated into existing congregations and formed into new ones.
After the Abidjan campaign in the very southern tip of the country, a high government official, who had been greatly blessed by the meeting, arranged for Pastor Giraud to hold a healing campaign in his home town of Toumoudi. He directed the leading government administrator there to arrange, at his expense, a place for meetings, and lodging and food for pastor Giraud and his party. A campaign similar to the Abidjan campaign was held. Radio and newspapers again broad- cast the huge nightly meetings. The next meeting, again on the initiative and expense of leading government officials, was held in the city of Bouake in late August of 1973. Then at Yamoussoukro, another campaign with Giraud was held. Pastor Giraud conducted healing campaigns in many towns and cities of the Ivory Coast.
Although he was a minister of the Assemblies of God, it is his practice to direct converts to the local churches and missions for shepherding. At Toumoudi he had the Alliance missionaries and ministers on the platform with him. He said to the people, “When you place you faith in Jesus Christ, call these men to baptize you and shepherd you.”
Reverend Fred Pilding, a missionary of the Christian and Missionary Alliance working in Ivory Coast fills in some details in the Alliance Witness, Sept. 26, 1973.
The crusade began in Bouake June 18th and continued for three weeks. Morning attendance averaged about 4,000. From 6 to 15,00 turned out in the evenings with a high of 25,00 one Sunday. The sick were seated on the grass on the playing field and all the others occupied the grandstands. As the evangelist presented Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever, people became aware of His continuing power today, through a healing receptive place. It became easier for them to trust Him as Saviour. A hunchback came to the meeting, grovelling in the dirt, under the influence of demons. The demons were exorcised in the name of Jesus and he was instantly healed. The next day he attended the meetings nicely dressed, perfectly calm, and gave his testimony. Whenever those who were healed testified, witnesses were asked to verify each healing. Pastor Giraud again and again cited Mark 16:15-18 as every believer1s commission and emphasized that in Christ’s name they were to cast out devils and lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. He refuted vigorously the title of healer. His ministry, he said, was to inspire faith in the gospel. “It is in the name of Jesus that people are healed.”
After the Toumoudi meeting, groups of converts from 81 villages around Toumoudi sought out the Alliance missionaries and ministers, begging them to come and make them Christians. After the Bouake meeting, responses were received from over 100 villages. A hundred and forty cards were filled out from one small town alone. From one village near Bouake 10 cards had been received. The missionary went to visit this village. Seeing him, one of the men who had been healed rushed off to get some of the pagan village elders. While waiting, the missionary said to the children, “Do you know Pastor Giraudls song?” Immediately they broke into joyful singing, “Up, up with Jesus, down, down with Satan, Alleluia!” People carne pouring out and the missionary preached and then asked, “How many will follow God and leave their old ways?” More than half immediately said, “We will.” In another village the Chief said, “Fetish is dead, we shall all become Christians.” The pastors and missionaries were faced with great opportunities. The challenge was to take advantage of this enthusiasm, which could dissipate rapidly, and channel these people into ongoing responsible churches of Christians who know the Lord and obey His word. Nothing like this had happened in their experience in the Ivory Coast, and they were naturally fearful, lest the excitement prove transient as it very well might.
What are Christians to make of faith healings and exorcisms? Missionaries, other church leaders and evangelists all over the world face many different situations, populations, oppositions, and opportunities. In some places mission is very largely good works and proclamation of Christ which very seldom .is followed by open acceptance of Jim as Lord and Saviour. In other places multitudes are accepting Christ and becoming members of multiplying congregations. In places the entire work is carried on by national pastors and their comrades. In other places, the missionary is the chief agent. He recruits, trains, employs, and deploys the national pastor and their comrades. In other places, the missionary is the chief agent. He recruits, trains, employs, and deploys the national evangelists and pastors. each of these men -missionaries and pastors -face a unique situation.
In view of all the evidence, missionaries in training in the (rapidly multiplying Schools of Evangelism and Mission now found in many parts of the world must ask themselves:
WHAT PLACE OUGHT WE TO GIVE TO FAITH HEALINGS AND EXORCISMS?
It would be foolhardy to attempt a single answer which would be equally true for all pieces of the vast mosaic of mankind. But certain truths may be emphasized.
First, God does give a few Christians the gift of healing. This is the clear statement of Scripture, and the convincing witness of history. It would be both unbelieving and foolish to disregard the massive evidence. It would be unscientific, if you please, to close one’s eyes to the facts of faith healing. It would be unChristian to deny those parts of the Bible which tell us clearly that on occasion, in response to faith, God does heal in miraculous ways. Biblical faith requires faith in miracles. If we cast them out, we cast out the whole Bible, or adopt a system of hermeneutics which destroys while it interprets.
Second, many healings in Christ’s name are incomplete, temporary, or even contrived. The facts are clear. Some faith healers are charlatans, and do it for the fame or money they receive. But this fact must not destroy our ability to see that God does heal in response to faith and prayer.
Third, when healing in Christ’s name has gone on and has attracted wide attention, multitudes can hear the gospel and many will obey it. This is the convincing witness of the New Testament and of modern history in many parts of the world, including the Western World. God wishes us to recognize white fields. When the disciples were saying, “No one will believe. The harvest you speak of is four months off. We are just sowing the seed or ploughing the field,” it was exactly then that the Lord Jesus said, “You are wrong. Lift up your eyes and look on the fields which are white to harvest. Pray God to send labourers into the ripe fields.” Pastors of congregations, missionaries at work in new populations, executive secretaries of mission boards, professors of missiology – all ought to practice and teach that healing campaigns are frequently accompanied by periods of great receptivity. It is required of Christians that they recognize these periods and multiply congregations in receptive populations.
Fourth, God’s man is sometimes faced with highly secular company of Christians who do not believe in faith healings or any other miracles, and who would be put off by any advocacy of them. They would turn away from something which, to them, seemed impossible. Facing such an audience, what should God’s man do?
He should do what thousands of ministers and missionaries have been doing during the past century. He should commend Christ in ways which that audience will accept as commendation. He should recognize that faith healing claims will turn some people away from Christ. When God sends him to minister or to evangelize to such people, he must present the gospel in terms which they understand and which raise up no insuperable obstacles before them.
I would hope, however, that even to this audience some of the facts of faith healing could be and would be presented at suitable times. As modern secular Christians give themselves utterly to Christ, and as they accept the full authority and infallibility of the Bible, they will come to the place in which they too will believe that with God nothing is impossible
Reproduced with permission from MC510: Healing Ministry and Church Growth class notes, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1983, a course taught by John Wimber.
© Renewal Journal #4: Healing (2001, 2012)
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Two young women set off to plant churches without plans or training because “Jesus said to ‘go.'”
After we prayed, the Holy Spirit would tell us exactly what to do.
We would keep praying and he would tell us what to do, and we would do it.
Then we prayed and then he would tell us what to do.
We would do it and keep praying.
Reproduced from Renewal Journal 12: Harvest
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The Spirit told us what to do
Several high-ranking church leaders from Europe visited a pastor in Hong Kong. The pastor took them to visit some of the Three-Self churches. They found them inspiring, and uniquely Chinese, but they wondered aloud if perhaps they weren’t seeing the real church.
On the final day of their visit, the pastor hoped to show them what they wanted to see. He knew they would not really be satisfied unless they met a real church planter. As it turned out, they saw something incredibly beyond what they ever expected to find in China.
At their last stop, the pastor discovered that two young women had just returned from their mission station for a short visit, so he asked them to come to the hotel late, to meet the visiting church leaders.
These young ladies had both become Christians as teenagers while listening to radio broadcasts, and they each had immediately felt the call to be a missionary. The pastor had met with them and attempted to teach them how to witness right where they were.
“No,” they insisted, “the Bible you gave us says Jesus said to go to into all the world. We want to ‘go.'”
“But,” the pastor argued, “you have only been Christians for six months, and you are so young.”
They replied, “Pastor, we have read everything Jesus said and nowhere does he ask people how old they are. We want to go.”
Smiling, the pastor asked them, “But can you give me an exegesis of the five classical appearances of the Great Commission in the New Testament?” Their disappointed faces made him feel ashamed. “Very well. We need some workers on Hainan Island.”
“Hainan Island, we have never heard of it.”
The pastor said, “It is an island off the mainland. The people there are fishermen. It is very rough. There are no Christians there. For young ladies it might be very dangerous.”
Excitedly they responded, “How soon can we go?”
“Well, I have to go back to Hong Kong and make arrangements. There will be . . . “
They interrupted him, “Oh no, no, we must not wait. Our Lord said ‘go,’ not sit around and plan. We will go to this place – what did you call it?”
“Hainan. Hainan Island.”
They looked at each other, “Hainan, yes Hainan. That is where the Lord wants us to go.”
They had been there for two years and were now back for a short period of time to try to get Bibles and other literature for their new churches. The pastor had not seen them since the day they insisted that they ‘go now’!
After the arrangements were made, he went to the lobby at the appointed time and waited for the ladies to arrive. He watched the bellboys in their crisp, tailored uniforms, and the tourists who attempted to be casual in their designer clothes. Then he spotted the two young women. Oh no, he thought as they walked in.
Their black pyjamas and broad-brimmed fishermen hats stood in stark contrast to the appearance of the sophisticated hotel receptionist making her way towards them.
The pastor moved quickly to intercede. “It’s all right, they are here to see me.” Several people stood staring as he greeted them as politely as possible without drawing too much attention. “Come, we will go to my room to meet some people from Europe.”
Once in the room, the two European church officials graciously greeted them. He proceeded to ask the young ladies questions, interpreting for his guests as he went along.
“Pastor, ask them how many churches they have established on Hainan.”
The women put their heads down and answered, “Oh Pastor, we have only been there two years . . . yes, two years. Not many. Not very many.” Their voices were apologetic.
“Oh, not many, not many. We have only been there a short time. The people were not very friendly. . . Sometimes they became very vicious. Yes, sometimes they told us they were going to drown us in the ocean . . . several men threatened us . . . . Oh my, and because we were so young, even some of the other ladies did not like us. Yes some even called us terrible names . . . so not many churches . . . no, not many. . . .”
The pastor interrupted and slowly repeated the words, “How many? How many?”
There was a moment of silence, then one of the women looked up with embarrassment and anguish, as though confessing to a crime, “Only . . . thirteen. “
The pastor looked astonished and interpreted for the guests, “Thirteen.”
One of the guests repeated the number, “Only thirteen, only – my goodness. I haven’t planted that many churches in my lifetime.”
One of the pastor’s assistants interrupted, “No, Pastor, she did not say thirteen. She said thirty.”
The pastor looked at the two young women and asked, “Thirty?”
“Oh, yes, not many, we have done very poorly. Only thirty . . . .”
The two guests could only mutter, “Thirty churches in two years . . . my word. . . .”
Again the women began to apologize when the pastor interrupted to ask another question, “How many people are in the churches?”
“How many? . . . Oh, not many. . . . ” Again both heads went down, apologizing for their failure. “Not many. “
The process repeated itself until, again, the pastor looked like he was ready to shake them and practically yelled, “How many?”
“Only two hundred and twenty people. Not many, no . . . not many. “
Quickly multiplying in his head, the pastor said, “Two hundred and twenty in thirty churches?”
“Oh, no, in only one, but that one is a very small church, very small. There are bigger ones. . . .”
As the pastor interrupted he heard the numbers repeated by his guests: “Two hundred and twenty is small? Dear Lord, I wish I had some that large.”
“Ask them how many are in the big churches.”
The process began, but with a more reverent inquiry: “And how many in the big churches? You know, the biggest one?”
“Oh, not many . . . .”
“I know, ‘not many.’ But, please, ladies, how many?”
“Oh, less than five thousand. Only four thousand nine hundred . . . . Yes, less than five thousand. We have just started.”
From behind the pastor came the sound of weeping: “Dear Lord, forgive us.”
“What did they do? How did they do it? Ask them what they did?”
When asked, they looked astonished. “What did we do? Why nothing. Yes, we did nothing, nothing.”
“You did nothing? You have thirty churches – the smallest with two hundred and twenty people, the largest with almost five thousand new Christians! And you did nothing?”
“No, nothing. We just prayed.”
“I know you prayed, but what else did you do?”
“After we prayed, the Holy Spirit would tell us exactly what to do. We would keep praying and he would tell us what to do, and we would do it. Then we prayed and then he would tell us what to do. We would do it and keep praying.”
“Dear Lord, they just prayed . . . and the Holy Spirit told them exactly what to do and they prayed. . . . “
The pastor laid his hands on the shoulders of the two sisters. Behind him his two guests, on their knees weeping, joined as they ‘just prayed’.
Dawn Report, August 1998. Source: Church Planting Canada, the Church Planting arm of Vision Canada. Originally published by Carl Lawrence, The Coming Influence of China. Gresham: Vision House Publishing Inc, 1996, pages 186-192. 1
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Miraculous autobiography of an ‘Untouchable’ Dalit Indian young man
An Incredible Journey by Faith
by Elisha Chowtapalli
1 My Childhood
2 Dalits – Untochables of India
3 Education and Job
4 My Conversion, Theological Studies and Persecution
5 Foreign Land – Australia
6 My Dream for an Orphanage
7 Light Home
8 God’s Miraculous Provisions
9 Ministries and Opportunities
10 Stepping out in Faith
11 Children’s Issues
12 My Dream
My Dear Friend, I take this opportunity to thank you for choosing to read my book. I am sure that you have read many books so far. Every book or life story you read has offered something to you. Now you are about to read another book that has something for you. Though I am part of this story, it’s not really about me. However it is about the One who created me, who called me, who guiding me, who gave me the vision, who entrusted me at work and who is using me for His glory in India. So it is all about my God who transformed my life.
In my life, I never thought that I would write a book. I didn’t think that there would be something to write as a book about my life. But God has led me to write my life story to encourage each and every believer to trust God more. In this book, you are going to read my life from childhood till today. Especially the last four years have been something different in my life that I never imagined or dreamed of. All these four years are filled with God’s miracles, miracles and miracles. You may wonder how these miracles happened in my life. In this book I am going to share how I am seeing the miracles by trusting God. I am also going to share with you how God raised me from a remote village in India to show His love to needy children in India. Through this book I want to bless you, encourage you, inspire you and challenge you to trust God even more.
Do you agree with me that your story, my story and our story is part of the biggest story! That is God’s story. So now you are going to read His (God’s) story. Here I would like to request you not to listen to me, but listen to God and what He is going to speak to you through this book. I am sure your time will not be vain for choosing to read this.
It is my sincere prayer and hope that God will speak to you through this book to be able to see the need and to take action together to show His love to the orphan, poor and needy children of India.
So without further delay I let you to get into the book.
Enjoy your reading,
Brother Elisha Chowtapalli
Elisha’s work in India is astounding and inspirational. His passion for God and the poor, especially children and old people has led him to many ventures. Each vision he has is followed up by hard work and determination to give people a better life to be lived. Elisha’s faith in God has led to the building of an Orphanage for 50 children; a Garden of Eden to feed and support children and old people; tailoring classes for women to start their own business and a Bible College. He also organizes crusades and conferences for pastors, women and youth. Over and above this Elisha arranges food, clothing and Bibles for those in need in surrounding areas. It is amazing what he has achieved in just four years with the help of family and friends, and all have benefitted greatly. We wait in awesome wonder for the next vision. Elisha we are very proud of you.
Leighton, Nanette, Christel and Wade White
Mine was the oldest face amongst this sea of national and international students all gathered to live and work together for three months to learn about serving God through festival outreach. If I felt like a fish out of water, gasping to adjust to the cultural shock of being a student and getting to know this mixture of people that I was eating with, sharing accommodation with, and learning all the rules, rules, rules that the hierarchy insisted on – how were these international young people coping?
One young Indian man touched my heart. We learnt that he was from a very poor Indian village and belonged to the poorest of poor caste system, the Dalits. Here he was, coping with all this, as well as trying to understand the language, eating foreign food (pumpkin… how could we eat that?) and learning Australian cultural everyday norms, such as flushing the toilet paper down the loo. Elisha simply watched and learnt, while at the same time listening to God seeing a vision for his own people in desperate need back in his hometown. No amount of Western comfort and “celebrity status” amongst us could deter him from his goal, “to start an orphanage in my house on 19th August 2007”. “Orphanage in your house?” I’d say, “What do you own?” “I am oldest son – my father’s house is mine, two rooms – we will live in one and the orphan in the other,” Elisha would reply with a determined look in his eyes.
And he did. From these humble beginnings he has established the orphanage and then many programs, to help his people to live a better life. However more importantly he shows them how much God loves them. For the Dalit caste people who are told they have no worth in life to discover how precious they are to God, become one of his children and inherit eternal life, it is life changing.
I had the privilege of attending Elisha’s wedding and visiting the Light Home, seeing first hand some of his programs in action. I cannot describe the joy it brought to see all this first hand, to talk to those who benefit and see hope and dignity restored. I am sure you will enjoy reading about Elisha’s journey and how God uses those who are willing to step out, no matter how little they have, to help the widows and orphaned. Don’t be surprised if God challenges you too.
Manilla (NSW), Australia
I first came to know Elisha in 2006 when Sam (my husband) & I billeted him while he did a course with Fusion [Certificate III in Youth & Community Work (Christian)] in Australia. His great desire was to help his people in India come to know the one true God and to help reduce their poverty by starting a Home for children through which they would know God’s love and get an education. We promised to support Elisha with this dream and over the past three years have witnessed the incredible work God has done. By opening their home to needy children Elisha’s parents and family provided him with the initial support his dream needed. I pray God will bless them abundantly for their self-giving love, faith and trust in Him.
I feel that the Light Home Ministry is doing a great work answering Christ’s command to care for the poor, as well as share the Gospel. Through humble servants seeking to fulfil God’s plan may the Light Home and associated work continue to prosper and give glory to God.
Julianne and Sam Hoffard
In July 2008 I had the privilege to be involved with Elisha and a team from Australia in some outreach meetings and some Pastor’s training meetings. I was left with many impressions about our experience in India. The most pressing for me, was the size of the harvest about to come, and the labourers needed to bring in the harvest and disciple the nation. With that in mind, after our time in India I spoke to Elisha about my burden. He too shared a similar burden. It was with that in mind we together in July 2009 commenced the Light Bible School. With 35 students including pastors and leaders we ran an intensive four week long training school. Elisha was one of the few people I have met in India that has the organizational skills, the financial integrity, the profile, and the standing in the Christian community that would allow me to partner with him in this project. I am committed to working with Elisha to help provide an annual Bible School that will minister to as many pastors and leaders as we can, in our vision to win India to the Lord.
Tamworth( NSW), Australia
Elisha’s heart for his nation mirrors God’s heart in his ministries to the poor, spreading the good news, and feeding the orphans and the widows. I heartily recommend Elisha and his story to you.
Elisha’s story will inspire and challenge you. God takes the weak things of this world to confound the mighty, and Elisha’s story of God’s grace and miracles among the Untouchable caste of India is a testimony to God’s mighty power. Read, be blessed, and take action.
From the Foreword
It was 2nd of May, 2005, as I was laying in my hospital bed, my mind grappled for answers. Why? Why God did this happen? God where was your guardian Angel who was supposed to be protecting my daughter? I had taken her for a joy ride on my motorbike along the road. At that time, without warning a truck ran over us. Anna my precious daughter was dead. My wife Lynda and I did not even get to say goodbye to our precious daughter Anna.
In the midst of all the questions that raced through my head I had a strong sense of the small still voice saying that this was the beginning of a new chapter and that Jesus the Christ would be glorified. Anna was now with him. In a strange way I felt a peace and the presence of God’s Spirit was very real.
It was in 1981 at aged 16 years old that Jesus had taken hold of my life. From the early years I had dreamed of being an evangelist and from time to time had the opportunity to share my faith and see some souls come to Christ. For the next 25 years I tried to be faithful to God and was committed to being a good husband and father to my two daughters, Miriam and Anna. Also for 12 years I had worked hard to build a business and the Lord had brought much blessing upon it. At around age 38 I had begun to ask questions and wonder what purpose God had for our business. We owned our home, we had a healthy savings account, and we had our superannuation, but I was deeply weighed down with life and was desperate to be free from it all. I hoped and prayed that God had a higher plan.
It was while I was in hospital that Lynda gave me Anna’s diary. As I read about Anna’ dream to have a music band called WakeUp, God began to speak. And I listened as a new chapter began to unfold. God showed me that I would fulfil that dream. I began to organize the first WakeUp for Tamworth, my home town. On 16th September, 2006, we had our first WakeUp meeting. I preached the gospel of Jesus Christ and many souls were saved. Anna’s dream was fulfilled and my dream to be an evangelist had just begun. Our business was now profitable enough to finance the “WakeUp”.
Meanwhile as I got busy saving the world, my wife Lynda went into a very dark place for many months. For a time she gave up the desire to live and could not eat food; I began to fear that she would die from starvation and a broken heart. Praise to Jesus the day came when she began to recover. She was then invited to go to India with a group of ladies who were helping women in poor places to build small businesses. Lynda’s time in India changed her life. It was in India as she spend time with Indian women and their children that God began to heal her broken heart.
After arriving home Lynda wanted to take me to India. I praised Jesus that she had again found a reason to live. Twelve months later the three of us, Miriam our eldest daughter included, boarded a plane bound for India.
As we were making plans for this journey I made my first contact with Elisha at a Fusion meeting in Sydney. I was inspired by him and his dream to start a Children’s Home. Over the next two years I continued to hear news about Elisha through Fusion newsletters. Elisha was only 26 and had been a Christian for only four years. I was amazed that such a young person could have such a noble dream. I was inspired by Elisha’s faith and even more so as in time I watched the dream begin to unfold.
The thing that impressed me most about Elisha is his ability to dream a dream and build on that dream. Meeting his family and the Light Home Children has been one of the greatest high points of our lives. Now as I write this I am sitting with Elisha travelling across India conducting WakeUp meetings and church leaders’ conferences. Many Hindus are coming to be baptized and are receiving Jesus Christ the one true God. Many Pastors and Church leaders are being challenged and inspired by the Word of God.
I thank you Jesus for bringing Elisha into my life and making this all possible.
I encourage you to seek the Lord and see if He is asking you to help one or more children in our LIGHT Home. If He puts this in your heart, please do not hesitate to contact us. You will receive the photograph and testimony of the children you are praying for and supporting.
We have a sponsorship plan. It takes $30 USD or AUD / €27 Euros / £20 GBP to support one child per month. With your kind support a kid will have food, clothing, education, medical supplies and above all he/she will get to hear the gospel. Your help will change in a child’s life forever.
If you support today, if you invest today for God’s kingdom, one day in eternity you will get to see the children and people that you supported present before the throne of grace. And they will testify that because of this person I came here. So would you like to hear such testimonies from the children and families! Then start doing something today. Let us make difference in the lives of needy Dalit children.
TAX DEDUCTIBLE GIFTS: We are proud to partner for Project J686N Light Society’s Development Project with Global Development Group (ABN 57 102 400 993), a Christian based Australian DFAT (Dept of Foreign Affairs & Trade) Approved Non-Government Organisation carrying out quality humanitarian projects with approved partners and providing aid to relieve poverty and provide long term solutions. Global Development Group takes responsibility for projects according to DFAT rules providing a governance role and assisting in planning, monitoring, evaluating and auditing to ensure the projects are carried out to DFAT requirements. Tax deductible receipts for gifts over $2 with a preference for this approved aid and development project will be issued by Global Development Group for project J686N – Light Society’s Development Project. Tax deductions apply in Australia, New Zealand, UK and USA.
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Account Name: Anna Disher Memorial Account
BSB: 112-879, Account Number: 108 998 378
Bank name: St. George Bank, Tamworth
Bank Name: CORPORATION BANK
Beneficiary Account Name: LIGHT SOCIETY
Beneficiary Account number: SB16015506
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ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA
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Dr David Lithgow and his wife Daphne were Bible translators and medical missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators for over 30 years, mainly in the Milne Bay Islands of Papua New Guinea. These edited selections from newsletters tell a little of their work for the Lord.
In one place it seemed that everyone turned to the Lord and was baptized in the sea.
The same happened on two more islands.
Rev. David Kuwab burnt lots of magic paraphenalia which was brought to him.
* Seven sick people were prayed for in Jesus’ name, and all were healed. Other people kept their sick relatives hidden inside their houses, preferring to trust their own magic and spirit cures. No one among these people was healed. This has been a demonstration of the power of Jesus.
* A woman who had been crippled for years got up and walked immediately, and was doing normal garden work in a week. The people here were convinced that Jesus is the Strong One, and this report spread through the whole area.
* The Lord has worked some surprising miracles, like multiplying the one remaining antibiotic capsule for treating an infection to become twelve – enough to complete the cure.
* After the studies and worship services many of the people came for prayer for the Lord’s cleansing from sin, and to receive the Holy Spirit. At Wabunun they came in a continuous stream, many weeping, for one and a half hours.
* The Lord moved powerfully through healing miracles and casting out evil spirits, demonstrating that his power is greater than that of local spirits and magic.
The Word and Work of the Lord
David and Daphne summarise their life together including work in the Muyuw, Dobu and Bunama languages of the Milne Bay Islands:
We had been leaders in the Evangelical Union of the University of Queensland since 1950, Daphne studying Science and David doing Medicine. In 1954 Daphne left for Ubuya Leprosy Treatment Centre near Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea. There she learnt the Dobu language and trained Papuan staff in laboratory work. When Daphne returned, David had graduated and was a Resident Doctor at Townsville General Hospital. We married in August 1957.
In February 1958 we left for Fiji where David was a doctor for the Methodist Mission Hospital serving Indian people. This entailed learning the Hindustani language. Our first two children, a daughter and son, were born there.
David, as the only doctor continuously on call, worked hard meeting physical needs of the people, but had little time to get to understand their spiritual needs. He felt helpless when faced with demon possessed Hindu patients, and could only prescribe sedation.
The work of Wycliffe Bible Translators and Summer Institute of Linguistics (W.B.T. and S.I.L.) was just beginning in Australia. Here we felt was a way of meeting people’s deepest needs – living with them as they live, learning their language and customs, and bringing God’s Word to them right where they are.
In 1960 we returned to Australia, and David found work at the Greenslopes Repatriation Hospital. In the next two years we welcomed two more sons. We became members of Wycliffe Bible Translators and in May 1963 we flew to Ukarumpa, the Summer Institute of Linguistics Headquarters in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea.
In the first few years while getting started in language work David was also the group doctor. In 1963 an allocation site was found at Wabunun village on a long sandy beach on the south-east coast of Woodlark Island off Milne Bay. Wabunun was home for the children from 1964 to 1972 in their house built of bush materils – split black palm floor, platted bamboo walls, and sago leaf roof. Daphne taught them correspondence lessons until they were 7 or 8 years old, after which they were in Children’s Homes for schooling at the Ukarumpa base.
From 1970 onwards the children all stayed at Ukarumpa for schooling, and we were able to travel around the language area, 150 miles by 70 miles, mostly on the big Muyuw outrigger sailing canoes.
The churches throughout this area had selected young men who came to Wabunun where we trained them as teachers of Muyuw, and sent them back with reading primers and duplicated portions of translated Scriptures. They all achieved some degree of success. Two of these teachers who were barely literate themselves had taught all the young adults to read as well as some of the older folk. They had established the church which worshipped together every Sunday morning – or when they thought it was Sunday, because they had no calendar.
In 1972 the Muyuw New Testament translation was virtually complete, so we moved to Dobu Island to help in the Bible Society project to retranslate the Dobu New Testament into modern Dobu. There the house had a sawn timber floor, bush materil walls and an iron roof.
From 1978 to 1982 we were settling our teen-age children into life in Australia while we worked as the Wycliffe Bible Translators representatives in Queensland. Every year David returned to Dobu to keep the literacy and translation program moving.
In 1978 our doctor advised against David returning to Papua New Guinea because of incipient cancer. It seemed David could expect about another two years of normal health. Our plans were examined closely but there seemed no need to change any of them. We also sought healing through prayer in Jesus’ name. Since then David has had better health then he had before. After such a sentence of death, every day is valued as a special gift from the Lord, and it gives an added sense of urgency to the task.
From 1982 we were at Dobu or Diwala Translation Centre, helping with the translations and doing literacy work. In 1985 the Muyuw New Testament was revised and reprinted. We travelled in S.I.L.’s new 24 foot boat with the minister, Rev. David Kuwab, who had been the main translation helper. We visited every island and village selling Scriptures and hymn books, and re-establishing literacy work where it was needed. Near the beginning of this trip the Lord moved powerfully through healing miracles and casting out evil spirits.
The new Dobu New Testament was dedicated in 1986. It is now used widely alongside the old Dobu Bible. Over 10,000 copies have been sold. As the Lord worked in Muyuw, he has also worked strongly in the Dobu speaking area, leading individuals and groups to renounce traditional magic and to trust in Jesus’ name for salvation and healing.
In 1991 the Bunama New Testament was printed and dedicated. It was distributed by three groups of three Bunama speakers who gave Bible studies from the new Scripture in twenty different villages. In almost every village there were people who sought the Lord’s salvation – older folk, young men, girls, school children. We were amazed at the many different ways in which the Holy Spirit spoke to people’s needs.
Preach the Good News, Heal the Sick, Cast out Demons
David describes a few events on mission patrols:
Muyuw Patrol, 1985
The 600 Muyuw New Testaments, first printed and sold in 1977, are worn from heavy use, tattered and discoloured. Some have lost their cover. People were eager to buy new ones for themselves and their children. Those who had no money traded canoe paddles, shells, ebony carvings, turtle-shell ear-rings, or baskets of food.
The main Muyuw translator Rev. David Kuwab, who is now Superintendent Minister, with his wife Dasel came with us on the seven week’s patrol by boat to all the inhabited islands and villages where this language is spoken. On one island Rev. Kuwab baptised ninety people and married five young Christian couples.
At another island an old man asked if he could take his wife with us on the boat to the next island where they wanted to get strong Papuan magic. Hospital staff had told his wife that the basis of this sickness was witchcraft, so they could do nothing and said she should go home and get Papuan treatment. All Papuan treatments had failed and they wanted to try stronger traditional magic. Rev. Kuwab and I went to her house and prayed for her. We asked if she believed Jesus could heal her, and she said ‘Yes’. So we helped her to her feet and started her walking. Soon she walked unaided doing heavy work in the food garden.
At the Government Administration Centre the wife of the Provincial Member for Health had been bed-ridden for three years. They believed this was from witchcraft. He had employed all the local methods to appease the witches and cure the sickness but she only got worse. He asked us to pray for his wife and we did so. When Kuwab asked if she believed Jesus could heal her he got a lethargic response. Daphne visited this woman to pray with her daily. She was improving, so the Provincial member asked Kuwab and me to pray for her again. After prayer this time, she got up and walked. We noted that she was quite anaemic and gave her iron tablets and advice on diet and encouraged continuing prayer and trust in Jesus. Rev. Kuwab warned them strongly against reverting to Papuan magic.
On our last day at Woodlark a man brought his mentally disturbed wife. Rev. Kuwab had told them to stop doing anti-witchcraft magic and to pray in Jesus’ name. The previous night they had done that and she told us she was now all right. They agreed to another prayer but as soon as Jesus’ name was uttered she screamed and stiffened and talked of bad things put in her abdomen by a witch. I rebuked the evil spirit in Jesus’ name and we prayed strongly. When Kuwab asked if she believed in Jesus she gave a definite ‘No’. I felt led to pray in the Spirit. Kuwab asked her again and she now said that she believed Jesus could save her. She seemed normal, though lethargic, when we left. She did recover.
One day was free to visit another village so the deacon took me there by canoe. We were not able to tell the people that I was coming, so the deacon and I prayed for the Lord to prepare the people. Normally they would have been scattered in the bush, in their food gardens, or at creeks and beaches getting fish and shell-fish; but we found almost all the people sitting in the church. One Tuesday each month they have a devotional meeting. This was that meeting.
They had just finished their devotions so they invited me to speak about the New Testament, hymn book and other Muyuw books. They bought them eagerly. Then the youth leader showed me their study paper on the Holy Spirit from a youth convention and asked me if I could help them understand it. So after a lunch break we went into the church again. I read and explained the Muyuw Scriptures about the Holy Spirit and they responded very positively. Many asked for prayer for the filling and empowering of the Holy Spirit.
There was much sickness in another village, especially children. They have no medical help. I had few medicines suitable for children. We gave them what medicines we had and prayed for all the sick. As in all places, they bought New testaments eagerly. Many people came under conviction of sin, coming forward for prayer for Jesus to cleanse and forgive them.
At the Sunday service at Wabunun, where we as a family had lived and worked for eight years, after Scripture had been expounded Rev. Kuwab invited people to come for prayer for sickness, or cleansing from sin, or for the Holy Spirit. People came forward in a solid stream, some weeping. Kuwab’s own son, now a grown man and getting into bad ways, came forward with bowed head and his father prayed for him. Kuwab had never before prayed for people under such conviction of sin and desiring salvation.
After a Bible study for preachers and leaders the next day more people came forward for prayers. It took half an hour to pray for them all. On the third and final day, after a straight Bible study no appeal was made but during the final hymn people began to come forward for prayer, mostly sick folk who had been brought from more distant places.
West Woodlark Patrol, 1989
We visited the islands of west of Woodlark in October. After two days of rough weather we limped in with a broken rudder attachment. The Lord provided an ex-plumber on the island who had some tools in his village house and was able to fix it.
We really admire the teachers of the English Curriculum Government Schools. Through their work many children become literate in English and Muyuw, but as not all children go to school there are many illiterate teenagers and adults who now want to learn to read. To try to meet this need we trained 26 new village literacy teachers.
Four places with a total of over 1200 people were still without any medical service despite government efforts to get Aid Post Orderlies to work there. We heard that people of one island were saying, ‘You don’t recover if you pray but you will recover if you use magic.’ When we arrived at that island 80 people were sick with malaria, some desperately ill. All recovered with prayer and chloroquine treatment. The people of one island complain more about having no minister than they do about having no medical help. For most, the value of Christian leadership is rated very high.
As well as Muyuw New Testaments and hymn books we took Kiriwina and Dobu New Testaments for sale. We found that the Holy Spirit’s blessings are not restricted to one way of ministry or to one language. People from a number of languages live at the commercial centre for Woodlark Island. The new United Church minister does not know Muyuw but has a powerful and effective ministry through the Dobu language.
The dialect on one island was a mixture of two main languages. There we found the strongest church on all of these islands. However, a matter of concern is a prophetess who is visited by a spirit from time to time and gives confusing teaching, but she has a large following.
After we returned from the Woodlark area Daphne stayed in our house at Dobu catching up with household matters and weeding our yam garden while I did a survey of another area with Peter from Holland. He and his doctor wife are looking for a language in which to begin translation work. Family in-fighting which is worsening, destruction of villages, and criminal activities among some of those people are causing widespread concern. The police recently made a large number of arrests. There are, however, faithful Christians there in the United, Catholic, and Seventh Day Adventist Churches.
On the patrol we had hard hiking in rain and flooded rivers, then sea travel to return. I had been having intermittent malaria and some other problems, but improved during the patrol and returned feeling strong and fit.
Bunama Patrol, 1991
The Bunama New Testament is now with the people, and the Lord blessed the distribution patrol. Of the 600 printed only 40 were left unsold.
I went with the nine Bunama speakers in the distribution team. We spent two days in preparation, praying and studying 1 Timothy, the book we were to use for village Bible studies. Then we set off in groups of three, each group to a different village.
The emphasis was on teaching, and at some stage in most places at the end of a session the team leader or the local pastor would invite people wanting help from the Lord to remain behind. The manifold working of the Holy Spirit was amazing to all of us. Together with the local pastors we prayed in pairs for the people who requested help. Several times the boat captain was teamed with me. Two years before he was illiterate but Daphne taught him from a Dobu primer. Now he reads the Dobu Bible and his prayers were spiritually sensitive and powerful.
Even among the most distant of the dialect groups they understood the Bunama Scripture and teaching quite well and many of them responded to the Lord. They all had individual and different needs, and the Holy Spirit worked in their hearts.
In another place a team leader was hesitant about making an invitation and did so rather tentatively. Later he felt rebuked for his reluctance because many responded. He discovered the agony of soul of one woman who needed the Lord’s help, as well as seeing two boys of 10-12 years who had waited back in the distance but were strongly convicted of their need for forgiveness.
There were failures too. — After church one Sunday a number of people went back inside the church and sat quietly. Too late, the members of that team realised they were probably wanting help. — Often after uplifting experiences, team members and local people would sing all night. This was good for the local people but I felt it left team members unable to give of their best the next day. — Some pastors felt that hospitality required them to give betel nut and tobacco to team members, and most felt that good manners required them to use it. Three of the team members were smokers and most used betel nut to some degree. I feel that this drug can dull a person’s spiritual sensitivity. — When under pressure near the end of the trip I hurt someone by an outburst of anger, and my apology may not heal all of that hurt.
Half of the team members and some of the village pastors are people the Lord had touched in Dobu Bible studies as we have visited these areas in previous years. It is wonderful to see the Lord’s work being multiplied.
All team members spoke clearly against the use of traditional magic and spirit practices. This is a break-through and a key to the Lord’s blessing on their ministry. Ten years ago it was considered wrong to mention these things in church.
In the second week the engine of our boat was getting harder to start, taking up to an hour with the crank handle. So before trying one day we prayed and it started first crank. Next morning a team member prayed for the engine. It started by battery power just with the starter button. It has kept starting that way ever since.
The language used at another village was not Bunama and I was undecided about calling there, but called in anyway. There were lots of people about, and they wanted a Bunama Bible study. A team member led it and made an invitation at the end. I could see six young men hanging back in the shadows and listening from a distance. They responded, each with a strong desire to leave his old ways and be a true Christian. The pastor was away, but his wife was delighted. She told us that those young men had been a heavy burden on their hearts.
Our trip finished on the island where it began. They wanted a Bible study from Bunama New Testament and afterwards several of them bought it. The response for prayer was mainly from men aged 25-30. Some were so moved by God’s Spirit that they could hardly speak.
Woodlark and Marshall Bennett Patrol, 1994
This trip took three months. Revival is now spreading through these islands.
We arrived soon after a mission led by a United Church minister. During the mission at the main population centres hundreds sought salvation through Christ and were baptised in the sea, surrendering their equipment for magic and sorcery. One witch admitted having killed over twenty people, and she collapsed physically as the power of the Lord came on her.
Two local ministers travelled with us on the S.I.L. boat, continuing this ministry to the more remote places. Rev. Bili Wilson went with us to the Lachlan Islands and the eastern end of Woodlark. Rev. David Kuwab, co-translator of the Muyuw New Testament, was with us in visiting the rest of Woodlark and the Marshall Bennett Islands.
The people gave Rev. Bili Wilson and us their full attention for five days so we gave them the Good News and sold lots of Scriptures. They responded in an amazing way. On Friday I gave the main study in the church and invited people during the last hymn to come into the fenced section near the pulpit for prayer. That area was soon full and most of the rest of the congregation were crowding forward. Rev. Bili and the Pastor worked as one team; Daphne and I as a second team.
On Sunday people were invited to give up their equipment for doing magic, so after church the older men brought wood, gum, ginger, stones, and bones and eagerly released it to be burnt. Rev. Bili, using a metaphor, said, ‘If you have any death in your house bring it here and burn it.’ On Sunday afternoon Rev. Bili baptised 18 young adults in the sea.
There was widespread response to the Lord. Hundreds more were baptised in most places, and lots of equipment for magic and sorcery was burnt. Hundreds also sought prayer for special needs. One woman came to Rev. Bili Wilson and said, ‘This is my heaviness – I am a witch.’ Then she collapsed, and two other women held her on her feet while we asked the Lord to take away this evil spirit and give her the Holy Spirit.
We went to another island where the enthusiasm was the greatest yet. Older folk there, as well as the young folk, are very keen for the Lord. There was another baptism of many people in that area. Two leaders prayed for each candidate before their baptism. Afterwards the newly baptised Christians stood in a line and all who wished to do so shook each by the hand and gave words of encouragement or prophecy as the Spirit led. The biggest prayer need of the young people was to learn to read so as to read the Bible and hymn book. We prayed for them, gave them primers, and instruction for those who can read to help them daily in their homes. I also told them that betel nut gums up their brains.
There is a strong Pentecostal church in one island we visited. They had just finished a mission. They all speak Holy Spirit tongues and have no tobacco, betel nut, traditional mortuary feasts or kula trading. Whether they are right or not on these issues, it frees them to worship the Lord with such joy that I have never seen before. Their faces shine with a happy peaceful radiance. When you meet them along the road they talk enthusiastically about the Lord and his return.
They baptised 42 people on Sunday, many of them being United Church followers who will continue in the United Church. The United Church there follows the Pentecostal worship pattern in most ways. I preached at the United Church mid-day service. The singing praise session at the start turned into a congregational prayer meeting, all praying together. It seemed they would never stop!
We were delayed a day leaving there by a cyclone. Everything got wet. At least it was cool when the cyclone was around. After it cleared it was terribly hot. On almost every trip we caught fish including some big ones. One pulled my attaching knot undone and got away with the whole line. If you have any weakness in your tackle you lose all those big ones, and your tackle.
At the next island it seemed as though everyone turned to the Lord and was baptised in the sea. It was the same in two more islands.
Frightening gossip preceded us in some places. People were told that if they are baptised in the sea and then commit sin again they will die. Some people wanted to stay with the ways of worship and life practices to which they were accustomed. These people saw the revival movement as a new and different religion.
However, in each of the opposition strongholds ten to twenty people sought baptism and new life in Christ. One was a healing magician who found that after practising his art he had terrible dreams, so he wanted to be rid of his magic. Another man testified in church that he was finished with his various sorcery practices.
Rev. David Kuwab’s youth was spent in the midst of sorcery and magic. He dramatically explained the use of items for magic and sorcery and physical poisons as he threw them into the fire, shouting, ‘These are Satan’s things.’ The people showed no sign of embarrassment; just relief and joy. The young people sang praises to the Lord during the long baptism procedures. Mature Christians prayed for each person before they were taken down into the water, and another Christian prayed for them when they came back to the shore.
When the Gospel of Christ was proclaimed in one place a famous spirit healer was one of the first to respond. He was quite willing to give up his healing and killing practice. He told Rev. Kuwab, ‘I have only used sorcery to kill bad people, never good people.’
Spiritual hunger generated a great demand for Muyuw Scriptures. We had to get fresh supplies, and we still ran out of New Testaments at the last island. The new large print New Testament was very popular with people of all ages. In a population of some 4,000 people we sold 700 New testaments, 150 hymn books, and 300 booklets on Spiritual Warfare which Rev. Kuwab had translated.
The Marshall Bennett Islands at the end of a three months trip were exhausting. That is where we ran into opposition. There is no medical worker for over 2,000 people. The three main islands are flat-topped craggy limestone, 500-600 feet in elevation with no water supply where the people live on the tops of the islands, except what falls from the sky. There are few good anchorages.
With no medical services the people have depended heavily on healing magicians. On one island there was hostility between members of the church, and many were suffering from malaria, coughs and scabies. The plight of some small children was pathetic. We were carrying medicine for malaria and pneumonia but nothing for scabies. Rev. Kuwab worked hard to help the church leaders overcome their differences through the power of Christ.
Although people were resistant there, at one smaller preaching place 60 were baptised. At another place 20 were baptised and gave up their magic.
We had planned and prayed for the Woodlark trip for a long time. Since 1963 we have been praying that God’s Word would bear fruit among the Muyuw people. What is now happening exceeds our greatest expectations. To our Lord Jesus be the glory.
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