Bible translated into 700th language

Bible translated into 700th language

A new milestone has been reached as the Bible has been translated into its 700th language. 

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See also Bible – the most popular book worldwide:
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Photo: The oldest complete Bible, c350.
Codex Sinaiticus, a manuscript of the Christian Bible written in the middle of the fourth century, contains the Old Testament translated into Greek and the earliest complete copy of the Christian New Testament. The hand-written text is in Greek.

The milestone of 700 translations is indicative of the acceleration that is happening in the work of Bible translation – to the extent that it is impossible to state which translation was actually the 700th, as there were several launches of physical Bibles, as well as several being made available online and via apps, all at about the same time.

There are also over 3,500 translations of portions of the Bible in other languages.

James Poole, Executive Director of Wycliffe Bible Translators, says, “It’s good to take a step back and realize what this 700th Bible means: 5.7 billion people who speak 700 languages now have the Bible in the language that speaks to them best. That is a remarkable figure and continues to grow. However, there are still about 1.5 billion people – that’s roughly 1 in 5 – who do not have the Bible in their language. That’s an injustice that Bible translation teams worldwide continue to work to put right.”

The Huichol (Wixáritari) Bible was launched in Mexico on 10 July 2020. One participant at the launch event said: “We are so happy that we now have the complete Bible, the Old and New Testaments.” The New Testament was completed in 1968, and it has taken a further 52 years of faithful service by the Huichol Bible translation team to complete the job.

In contrast, the Ellomwe Bible was launched in Malawi just five years after the Ellomwe New Testament was published. Hundreds of people danced and sang to celebrate the launch of the Bible. Senior Chief Nazombe, who received a copy of the new Bible on behalf of the Ellomwe community, said: “I am grateful to God that I can witness this in my lifetime.”

Around the same time, new additions to YouVersion (the online and mobile Bible app) included two Nigerian languages – a newly edited version in the Tiv language (which was first published in 1964) and the Igede Bible.

Source: Wycliffe Bible Translators

Joel News International # 1188,  September 14, 2020

See also

Bible – the most popular book worldwide

Scripture in Aramaic

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Hosanna – revival in Nepal

Hosanna – Revival in Nepal

Adapted from Chapter 9 of God’s Surprises by Geoff Waugh

 

Bob and Jill Densley, friends of mine, worked with the United Nations in Nepal and they loved to help pastors and leaders there. That’s how they met and supported the fiery young evangelist pastor Raju Sundas. We visited them many times in the 1990s and spoke at pastors and leaders meetings in Kathmandu, in West Nepal and in East Nepal, hosted by Raju. Some of those pastors walked for two or three days across the high ranges just to attend the meetings.

Their churches, led by Hosanna Church, are saturated in prayer. I prayed in their “Power House”, the upstairs prayer rooms of their church in Kathmandu. Those small upper rooms were open 24 hours a day and many people went there to fast and pray, sometimes for many days. Since then, Hosanna Church and its ministry has exploded and planted so many churches across Nepal, developed schools, vocational training, Bible Schools, and huge welfare ministries to the needy.

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

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

We were greatly blessed to see the zeal, faith and perseverance of Raju and his team as we shared ministry in Hosanna Church in Kathmandu as well as with them in conferences in West and East Nepal. Their faith opened the way for God to move in power among them all as He poured out his Spirit, especially on leaders, pastors and on their people.


Raju and team

Pastor Raju Sundras (Photo), our host for our visits, tells about our visit there at Easter 2000.

Greetings in the name of our Almighty God Jesus Christ from the land of Himalayas!  The Lord continues to do great things in this land, we have not much to do but to praise Him and thank Him for every good gift raining on us from Him and only Him.

It was a great blessing from the Lord to send us a team from Australia mid-April. The fellowship, the Word from God, the mighty touch of the Holy Spirit, the love of Christ flourishing from our Australian brothers and sisters, the awesome presence of the Lord throughout the rushing schedule of conferences, trips, and visits, overwhelmingly expressed the great love of our Lord Jesus Christ towards this nation.  During the short stay of about two weeks with the team of eight people we had the privilege to see the ministry of the Holy Spirit through them in several occasions. …

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.


Pastors and leaders conference

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.

Pastors and leaders, West Nepal

Some 60 evangelists 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 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!


Roadside fellowship and ministry

We held another conference in Nazarene Church pastored by Rinzi Lama in Kathmandu.  Ten churches unitedly participated in the two days gathering where about 100 people participated.  The outpouring of the Holy Spirit continued in this conference refreshing many in their spirits and bringing much re-commitment. We showed the Transformation video.  All committed themselves for constant prayer to bring transformation to their cities too by God’s power.


Geoff and the Himalaya mountains

by Geoff Waugh

Adapted from Chapter 9 of God’s Surprises

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Slovakia: Revival among the Roma

Slovakia: Revival among the Roma

For 20 years, an unprecedented revival has been growing among Slovakia’s marginalised Roma (gypsie) population.

“These unprecedented occurrences have captured the attention of governments, law enforcement, social workers, and scholars studying the Roma culture.”

Since the formation of an embryonic Roma church fellowship in Sabinov, Slovakia, in 2000, the revival has gained momentum and spread to the unlikeliest of places. “We have never seen anything like it. No one can take credit for starting it,” say Jim and Sherry Sabella, AGWM area directors for Southeast Europe. “Christ the King has gone into the highways and byways, inviting whosoever will come to His table. The Roma are coming in droves.”

Roma church leaders Marian, Rinaldo, Marek, and Tibor rejoice in God’s miracles in their communities and lives.

In 2007, the construction of a building for Sabinov Gypsy Church began. Miraculously they were granted government permission to begin, but many hurdles were faced in the process, related to discrimination of the Roma in Slovakian society. Despite the opposition, the building was completed with no debt, and has continued to expand. Today Sabinov Gypsy Church stands as the physical birthplace of a revival among the Roma in the neighborhood, the country, and the continent.

‘Crime rates began to drastically fall’

The Roma community in Sabinov, like Roma communities across Europe, traditionally endured many problems. Unemployment, alcoholism, sexual abuse, violence, theft, and few education opportunities were rampant. Yet as the Lord began to pour out His presence through the church, crime rates began to drastically fall. Police and local authorities took notice, soon partnering gladly with the church. Over the years, the pattern has proven itself: Roma who come to Christ experience and consciously engage in dramatic life transformations.

Substance abuse and addictive, destructive patterns are defeated, Marian states. Homes, though humble and often in squalid settlements, are cleaned and kept immaculate. Hygiene improves. Begging and thievery stops. Jobs are sought. Money is handled with wisdom and foresight. Education becomes prized. Young families seek higher living standards. Communities once characterized by chaos become organized from the inside out.

Generosity is also born. Rinaldo shares that in one transformed community, impoverished believers learned of a blind man living in a shack. They pooled their money to build the man and his family a new home. Marian says that Roma believers also tithe faithfully. “I am deeply touched by this,” he says. “Even those who are unemployed are still willing to give to God.”

These unprecedented occurrences have captured the attention of governments, law enforcement, social workers, and scholars studying the Roma culture. Marian, Rinaldo, Marek, and Tibor have had the opportunity share with government officials the changes that have originated in their own community of Sabinov.

In two nations, they have even spoken with the national parliament. When asked what they are doing to bring about change and how those results can be replicated, Marian answers clearly: “You can offer the Roma any kind of help, but they will not change unless they have been changed in their hearts by Jesus Christ. He will first change their hearts, and then He will change their minds.”

‘They spread revival fires wherever they go’

Roma who are touched by the revival in Slovakia are now moving across Europe seeking better opportunities for their families. They carry Jesus with them, spreading revival fires wherever they go.

Hundreds of Roma churches being planted across Europe look routinely to Marian and his team for training and guidance, and so do mainstream European church leaders. Teams of pastors from England, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Austria come to Sabinov’s church leaders to learn how to reach the Roma in their own countries.

“To see revival is hard work,” Marian says. “But we are seeing its fruit – and the blessings of God – and in that there is great joy. We do not wait for the broken to come to us. We go find them. Revival must first be in us. Its fire must be in our hearts. Pray this for us: We need more servants to come help us. Many villages are crying out to us for help in terrible situations, and we do not have enough people to send.”

In the meantime the Romani Bible translation project in Slovakia has been very successful, with a complete New Testament and about 34% of the Old Testament translated.

Roma Networks in Eastern Europe produced an inspiring video on God’s work among the Roma people. It shows how the global church can partner with the vibrant Roma communities in healthy and dynamic ways.
More information: https://romanetworks.org.

Source: Assemblies of God World Mission, TWFTW

Joel News International, #1187, September 9, 2020

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California beach revival attended by 1,000

California beach revival attended by 1,000

‘The church has left the building’

By Caleb Parke, an associate editor for FoxNews.com, July 14, 2020

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A worship leader believes it’s a sign ‘we’re in the beginning of something historic’

Church leaders are speaking out against a new ban on singing and chanting in California houses of worship (July 2020). Center for Disease Control and Prevention officials point to singing as a proven way to spread a virus. The ban orders the discontinuation singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25 percent of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees.

Days before California churches closed due to a surge in coronavirus cases, there was a massive evangelical Christian gathering on Huntington Beach near Los Angeles.


Around 1,000 people gathered at the Saturate OC evangelical Christian event July 10. (Kara Nixon)

Around 1,000 gathered at Lifeguard Stand 20, bringing together several local ministries. Last week, 30 people were baptized on the beach, according to organizers.

The beachside evangelical movement is called “Saturate OC” [Orange County] and co-organizer Jessi Green told the Los Angeles Times it has had a “ripple effect.”

Green and her husband moved to Orange County from New York after she had a vision of mass baptisms at the Huntington Beach Pier while on vacation. Holding the outreach each Friday, she hopes to reach 2,000 people who can then reach 50,000 others.

“The church,” she said in a microphone to cheers, “has left the building!”


People get baptized at the Saturate OC event July 10, on Huntington Beach, Calif. (Kara Nixon)

Sean Feucht, a Bethel Church worship leader and founder of several non-profits, told Fox News it reminded him of the Jesus People Movement from the late 60s and early 70s.

“It’s eerily similar,” Feucht said, “There were protests, racial and social strife. Hippies were getting saved. A movement happened in California and swept across America, and even major news outlets covered it.”

See: Jesus People Revival


Sean Feucht leads worship at the Saturate OC evangelical event July 10. (Kara Nixon)

Feucht led worship Friday night on a 1963 Gibson guitar that was used in that movement.

“Not only how many people came and just so many incredible testimonies,” he added, “but I think the church has been locked away in quarantine for so long that we forgot the power and authority of when we get together.”

Churches in the Golden State were ordered to stop singing recently before being closed due to a surge in cases. California has had more than 336,000 confirmed cases, second to New York.

“In the face of the virus and racial unrest, God has an answer of his people moving in radical love and unity,” Feucht concluded, “and maybe we can’t meet in buildings but we can meet on the beach. We can go to the bridge. We’re going to meet in parks. We’re not restricted to the four walls. We can still be the church even if we’re not in our buildings.”

Saturate OC (Orange County) – website

See also: Jesus People Revival


Chuck Smith and Lonnie Frisbee conduct a beach service and mass baptism at Corona Del Mar beach, 1970s

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Twenty-first Century Revivals

Twenty-first Century Revivals

From Chapter 7: Twenty-first Century Revivals, in Flashpoints of Revival (Updated 2020) and Revival Fires (2020) – revised and updated.

A Flashpoints 1

Flashpoints of Revival – updated 2020 – Blog
Flashpoints of Revival – PDF updated 2020 (updated text now same as Revival Fires)

Flashpoints of Revival – Amazon links: eBook and Paperback


Revival Fires – updated to 2020
Revival Fires – PDF 2020

Revival Fires – same text as updated Flashpoints of Revival (2020).

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Persecution and opposition to God and the Bible continue to increase globally, but so does revival, just as in the Book of Acts.

Revival explodes globally now.  Where God’s people take his Word and his promises seriously in repentance, unity and commitment, revivals of New Testament proportions blaze like wildfire across the nations of the earth.

These reports give some examples of current transforming revivals where whole communities have been totally changed. Many of these accounts are reproduced from recent reports.

 

China gripped by spiritual revival, 2017 report

Forty-one years after China’s Cultural Revolution snuffed out all forms of religious expression, hundreds of millions of Chinese people are flocking to religions like Christianity. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ian Johnson believes what’s transpiring in China is nothing short of “one of the world’s great spiritual revivals” and says the world better take note because the impact of this “spiritual transformation” could have significant global implications. “People in China are looking for new moral guideposts, some sort of moral compass to organize society,” said Johnson, author of The Souls of China: “So they are turning to religion as a source of values to help reorganize society.” Johnson spent six years researching the “values and faiths of today’s China.” He says the fastest-growing drivers of this “religious revolution” are unregistered churches or so-called “house” or “underground” churches.

“These groups have become surprisingly well-organized, meeting very openly and often counting hundreds of congregants,” Johnson wrote in an article. “They’ve helped the number of Protestants soar from about one million when the communists took power to at least 60 million today.” Over the past 15 years, CBN News has also documented this unprecedented revival. From the countryside to the big cities, we’ve highlighted how a new generation of Believers is changing the face of Chinese Christianity. “Any casual visitor to the country can tell you that the number of churches, mosques, and temples has soared in recent years, and that many of them are full,” Johnson wrote. “While problems abound, the space for religious expression has grown rapidly, and Chinese Believers eagerly grab it as they search for new ideas and values to underpin a society that long ago discarded traditional morality.”

Church leaders that CBN News spoke with say prayer has played a key role in sparking the Christian revival. For example, in one corner of northeast China, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, thousands of Christians have been meeting for an unprecedented prayer movement. What started as a small gathering several years ago has turned into a nationwide prayer initiative uniting hundreds of Chinese churches. In some cases, this revival is even touching China’s state-controlled churches known as Three-Self Church. “Now there’s big revivals happening in the Three-Self Churches,” Dr. Zhao Xiao told CBN News from his offices on the outskirts of China’s capital city. Zhao is one of China’s foremost experts on Christianity. A former Communist Party member and atheist, Zhao converted after reading the Bible.

“If you go to Haidian Church, you’ll find yourself in a more than 100-metre line trying to get inside and worship. In Shenzhen, there are usually an average of 500 people being baptized each Sunday!” he shared. Decades ago, the Chinese government had a law that said that young men and women below the age of 18 could not attend Three-Self Churches. Zhao says those rules have been loosened in recent years. “There’s an increasing proportion of them in churches now, more young male Believers, professionals, mainstream celebrities, especially in the big cities, that are attending the church unlike the past when it was mainly the elderly who attended.” While the government remains deeply suspicious of China’s religious revival, Johnson says it hasn’t stopped people from exploring matters of faith.

Source: CBN News, May 2017

 

Bangladesh: The Christian faith is exploding, 2017 report

Sandwiched between India and Myanmar, Bangladesh is the third largest Muslim-majority country in the world. Despite persecution, the Christian faith is growing fast in this nation. Bangladesh is 89% Muslim and nearly 10% Hindu, according to the Joshua Project, with Christians numbering less than one percent. Often beset by floods, cyclones and tornadoes roaring through the Bengal Delta, it also has the sad distinction of ranking number one in the world for children suffering malnutrition.

One ministry leader, who recently completed a fact-finding trip to the country, believes Christians are being undercounted. “Christianity is much larger and growing, especially in the rural areas,” says Jim Jacobson, president of Christian Freedom International (CFI). On his trip, Jacobson interviewed scores of indigenous Christian pastors, street evangelists, missionaries and converts to Christianity. “According to them, Christianity is on the increase, mostly underground, and the growth is a cause of concern for the Muslim majority, leading to persecution.”

20,000 Muslims have converted among the hill tribes

One 60-year-old pastor, a former Muslim, reported to Jacobson that 20,000 Muslims have converted to Christianity among the hill tribes of northeast Bangladesh in the last 12 months. This pastor faces many hardships, has been beaten numerous times, and must pay bribes to the police to continue his ministry.

Another pastor and Muslim convert to Christianity told him that in his district more than 6,000 have converted to Christ since 1991. This pastor has been targeted for assassination by a radical Islamic group. He told CFI, “Of course I am afraid, but when I think about my spiritual life I am not afraid. We continue to preach, no matter what.”

Jacobson believes the under-reporting of believers is because most tallies only count ‘traditional Christians’, people born into the Christian faith who attend government-approved churches. “But ‘converts’, those who change their religion from Islam to Christianity are not counted and no surveys have been made,” he contends. “The number of Christians in Bangladesh may be as high as 10 percent of the population.”

One pastor told Jacobson that after he converted in 2007, his rickshaw shop and tea business were taken away from him and he was disowned by his family. “Two imams caught him talking about Christianity in the market and attacked him. The imams beat him and tied him with ropes in front of a nearby mosque. His sons ransomed him only after they agreed that they would force him to reconvert to Islam.” When the sons failed to persuade him to return to Islam, they beat their father nearly to death, took all his possessions and left him for dead. In this pastor’s rural village, he has seen more than 700 Muslims convert to Christianity in the last two years.

The young people are interested in Christ

Babul, a Muslim who converted Christianity in 2013, once worked as a day labourer. After his conversion, his life was threatened and he was disowned by his family. He had to go into hiding in the jungle to survive. After eight months in the jungle, some Christian converts helped him. He is now a ‘street preacher’ and faces many hardships to share the gospel. He has been beaten numerous times but sees it as a badge of honour. “The young like me, are converting,” Babul told Jacobson. “Many more are interested in Christ.”

Bakar, another Christian convert told CFI, “Christianity is really growing in Bangladesh. The next generation is becoming Christian. We believe that Bangladesh will become a Christian nation one day. Islam has no mercy, no compassion, no love. It has nothing to offer. Christianity offers the assurance of eternal life, it offers hope.”

Source: Jim Jacobson, CFI

 

18,000 imams, mullahs and emirs led to Christ in West Africa, 2016 report

In the last 15 years Brother Thomas and his team have led 18,000 imams, mullahs, and emirs to Christ. “We have led several Al Qaeda commanders to Christ, some of whom penetrated our centre as spies.”

At 19, a leper first introduced him to Christ and a blind man led him to salvation. “His reading braille captivated me,” says Brother Thomas*. “I asked him where I will go when I die.” In response to the young man’s request, the blind man quoted Scripture from the Book of John. The power of God’s Word left a lasting imprint on his heart and propelled his future ministry. “I didn’t understand the cross or what my decision meant, but I went ahead and received Jesus as my personal Lord and Saviour.” Raised in a Muslim home and community in West Africa, he experienced hostility, but took it in stride. “Every true believer should experience opposition,” he maintains. “The important thing is the discovery of the life-given Spirit in Christ. I found a new life.”

Two years after his life-changing conversion, he felt an overwhelming desire to share the Good News. “I saw my people were living in darkness,” he says. Although he had little training, he began to travel from village to village for several weeks at a time. “Nobody told me to go. I didn’t know many of the Scriptures,” he admits, “but I wanted to tell people that Jesus can give you eternal life.” Through eventual contact with Sudan Inland Mission (SIM), he received further training. In 1990, he went on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ and served with them for a decade, utilizing the impactful JESUS Film. In 2000, he started his own organization, which targets Muslim leaders throughout West Africa. “They the leaders are sincerely deluded,” he observes. “Satan has blinded their eyes. They cannot see the light of the gospel.”

“They were born into it,” he continues. “Nobody told them anything different. Most people in West Africa are not Muslim by choice. They are born into a community that believes in Islam.” Brother Thomas decided he and his team would have to approach the “custodians” of the community of Islam, something very few are willing to do. “Christians never take the initiative to go to them,” he observes. “The Bible never tells us to wait for them to come to us. The Bible says to go. The lack of going to the Muslims is disobedience.” Brother Thomas and his team develop relational connections with Muslim scholars slowly and privately. It may take weeks or months of meetings before an Islamic scholar will discover the Truth.

“We met with a Shia leader in one country for a year,” he notes. After Islamic services on Friday, this Muslim leader would drive several hours to spend a weekend with Brother Thomas. “I went through the Word teaching him. The turning point was when he realized that Jesus is God.” Remarkably, this imam actually stayed in the mosque, but his message changed dramatically as a follower of Jesus. The man’s changed perspective did not go unnoticed.

“They took him to a psychiatric hospital and took his wives away. They said he was mad,” Brother Thomas says. After his release from the psychiatric facility, Brother Thomas urged the man to escape. “We don’t know where he is today. Quite a few of these leaders who converted have died.”

Another Muslim leader who met with Brother Thomas made regular appearances on national TV during Ramadan. “He came to Christ because we proved to him the Quran is not the inspired word of God and is not in the program of God for salvation,” he recounts. One Friday evening a mob of other scholars came to kill the recent convert, but were unsuccessful. “He was fearless,” Brother Thomas says. “They gave his wife to his best friend and took his daughter away because he rejected Islam. This year he was poisoned and died.” Brother Thomas believes that in the top ranks of Islamic scholars, many are atheists, because they no longer believe in the inspiration of the Quran.

In the last 15 years Brother Thomas* and his team have led 18,000 imams, mullahs, and emirs to Christ. “We have led several Al Qaeda commanders to Christ, some of whom penetrated our centre as spies.” His team of 300 has dwindled to 65, due to the intensity of the fight. “Some have died, some left us, and some became afraid,” he says. He has developed a training program that is bearing fruit wherever it has been employed. Brother Thomas believes the church has been ineffective in reaching Muslims because they have concentrated on methods and strategies. “Christians want to bribe the Muslims to faith through relief and compassion, but those methods do not save. If you give relief to them it will not save them.” For salvation Muslims must discover Christ through His Word.

*name changed.  Source: God Reports, 2016

 

The Great Underground Revival in the Middle East, 2016 report

By J. D. King, director of the World Revival Network (2016 report).

Many Middle-Eastern Christians publicly acknowledge the fact that dreams actively facilitated them coming into a saving knowledge of Jesus. For example, Nabeel Qureshi is a former devout Muslim. He became a believer in part through a visionary experience. When recounting his conversion he writes,

“I asked God to reveal himself to me in truth, through dreams and visions. All those things, combined with actually reading the Bible, are what drove me forward to the point of accepting Christ.”

When asked about his conversion to Christianity from Islam, Pastor Naeem Fazal of Mosaic Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, mentioned several things that impacted him. He pointed out things like friendship with a knowledgeable Christian as well as reading the Bible. However, it was a particular supernatural encounter that brought him into a moment of crisis. Having a visionary experience one night, Fazal had an encounter that forever shifted the course of his life.

“It looked like a figure made up with light—solid, yet transparent. It was an experience like no other. The peace I felt from this presence was so powerful, so aggressive … and [He] introduced Himself to me and said, ‘I’m Jesus; your life is not your own.’ The next morning my life changed forever.”

Fazal acknowledges that he is not unique in this experience. He notes that “the majority of the [Muslim] conversion stories I hear seem to involve dreams and visions inspired by the Holy Spirit in which Christ is supernaturally revealed.

Joel Rosenberg’s Insights into the Middle-Eastern Revival

More Muslims have committed to follow Christ in the last 10 years than in the last 15 centuries of Islam. In spite of great difficulty and turmoil, Christianity is unquestionably expanding throughout the Islamic world. God is up to something amazing in a region that many have thought was unreachable. 

Joel Rosenberg, an Evangelical researcher, author, and resident of Israel has documented the recent upsurge of Christianity in the Middle-East. Through first-hand reconnaissance, coupled with reports from Arabic nationals, Rosenberg demonstrates that Christianity is rising rapidly in the world of Islam.

Admittedly some of the following statistics have shifted in the aftermath of the Isis and other violent demonstrations against Christians. Those who follow Jesus have been slaughtered and have experienced severe persecution in this region. Nevertheless, Joel Rosenberg’s observations provide a window into many amazing developments.

 

Some of the particulars can certainly be debated, but in many of the Mediterranean nations, Christianity is making extraordinary inroads. Though the subsequent conversion figures are impossible to confirm, even in their imprecision, they provide a snapshot of what’s transpiring in the Middle East.

Sudan

A number of reports suggest that increasing numbers of Christ-followers are emerging in the brutal, war-torn nation of Sudan. Here, in the Nile river valley – along the Islamic strongholds of Northern Africa – It is being noted that

“One million Sudanese have turned to Christ since the year 2000—not in spite of persecution, war, and genocide, but because of them…the estimated total number of believers in the country is more than 5.5 million.”

Many are convinced that the great brutalities that this nation has encountered are becoming a catalyst for the expansion and growth of Christianity. Rather than inhibiting the Church, the war is actually propelling it.

Pakistan

Pakistan is typically not identified as a nation experiencing a move of God, but apparently they’re beginning to see one spark within their contentious borders. Christianity’s Middle-Eastern expansion is particularly evident in this unexpected place. Rosenberg acknowledges that,

“Senior Pakistani Christian leaders tell me there is a ‘conversion explosion’ going on in their country. There are now an estimated 2.5 million to 3 million born-again Pakistani believers worshiping Jesus Christ. Whole towns and villages along the Afghan-Pakistani border are…converting to Christianity.”

This Islamic country is not alone, many others in this region are having similar things take place.

Egypt

Reliable reports suggest that there is also a great revival erupting in the land of Egypt. Rosenberg declares that, “Ministry leaders in Egypt estimate there are more than 2.5 million followers of Jesus Christ in their country. Many of these are Muslim converts.”

Undoubtedly, the severe persecutions and disruptions related to the “Arab Spring” have affected the lives of Christians throughout this nation, but the faithful have remained strong. Martyrdom invites outsiders to examine the claims of those willing to die for Jesus. It is believed that many amazing things are taking place in Egypt.

Iran

Surprisingly, the contentious nation of Iran is also beginning to encounter the rising flames of awakening. Violent Islamic Fundamentalism has not been able to impede the advancement of the Gospel in this fierce Persian nation. Reflecting on this reality, Rosenberg writes,

“At the time of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, there were only about five hundred known Muslim converts to Jesus inside the country. By 2000, a survey of Christian demographic trends reported that there were two hundred twenty thousand Christians inside Iran, of which between four and twenty thousand were Muslim converts. And according to Iranian Christian leaders I interviewed, the number of Christ-followers inside their country shot dramatically higher between 2000 and 2008.”

Yes, you read that right. Christianity went from 500 people to 220,000 in 21 years. Contrary to what many Americans think, Christianity is quietly advancing behind the scenes in some of the most unlikely places around the globe.

Saudi Arabia

Reports continue to come in. A strikingly similar stirring is also taking place in Saudi Arabia – unquestionably the epicenter of world Islam. One wouldn’t expect the growth of Christianity in Mecca, but it is happening. Summarizing some of what he has heard, Joel Rosenberg reports that “Arab Christian leaders estimated there were more than one hundred thousand Saudi Muslim background believers in 2005, and they believe the numbers are even higher today.” Saudi Arabia is being quickened by the Spirit of the Lord. It seems to be positioned to experience significant growth in the decades to come.

Iraq

Christianity is also quietly advancing in the turbulent nation of Iraq. Again, it needs to be noted that these numbers precede the vicious emergence of Isis and the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Multitudes of Christians have been martyred since these figures were originally reported. Yet, even the fact that Muslims felt compelled to quell its advancement suggests that Christianity’s influence has been growing.

“Before 2003, senior Iraqi Christian leaders tell me, there were only about four to six hundred known born-again followers of Jesus Christ in the entire country, despite an estimated seven hundred fifty thousand nominal Christians in historic Iraqi churches. By the end of 2008, Iraqi Christian leaders estimated that there were more than seventy thousand born-again Iraqi believers.”

As many are aware, the expansion of Christianity has been greatly hindered more recently in Iraq. Don’t be mistaken, this martyrdom and brutality will ultimately give way to more Christians in the land once known as Babylon.

Algeria

The whole Islamic world is currently shaking. We have already discussed some of the amazing advancements that are taking place in several of Arabic nations. These are where the greatest signs of revival are evident. Nevertheless, on a lesser level, other Islamic nations are also experiencing a tremendous stirring within their borders. One of these is Algeria. Rosenberg recounts the recent upsurge in Algeria, noting that:

more than eighty thousand Muslims have become followers of Christ in recent years…The surge of Christianity has become so alarming to Islamic clerics that in March of 2006, Algerian officials passed a law banning Muslims from becoming Christians or even learning about Christianity, and forbidding Christians from meeting together without a license from the government.”

Algeria is beginning to come alive with the gospel like much of Northern Africa.

Jordan

Another ancient Middle-Eastern locale where Christianity is beginning to take root is along the borders the eastern bank of the Jordan River. The Islamic land of Jordan is also experiencing the grace and wonder of Jesus. Reflecting on what is transpiring in this nation, Rosenberg noted the following:

“God has been reviving the Jordanian Church in the last four decades, and particularly in the past few years. Conservative estimates say the number of believers in the country is now between five and ten thousand. The head of one major Jordanian ministry, however, believes there may be as many as fifty thousand believers in the country.”

Jordan is also experiencing the salvation of Jesus Christ.

Other Islamic Nations

Almost every Islamic nation has been experiencing a significant upsurge of Christianity over the last twenty years. Though the numbers aren’t equally high, all are experiencing the impact on some level. Here are some of the other reports.

While in the nation of Morocco it has been claimed that “between 20,000 and 40,000 Muslims have become Christ-followers.” Rosenberg suggests that, “The number of Afghan believers is now between 20,000 and 30,000.” In Kazakhstan “there are more than fifteen thousand Kazakh Christians, and more than one hundred thousand Christians of all ethnicities.” Reflecting on Lebanon, Rosenberg suggests that, “there are about ten thousand truly born-again followers of Jesus Christ today.” Reports suggest there were no Muslim background Christians in Syria fifty years ago, but today “there are between four and five thousand born-again believers in the country.”

Rosenberg’s figures suggest that there are over 13 million Christians in Islamic countries and a majority of them are from a Muslim background.

Other Observers 

There are other evidences of a notable transformation taking place. For example, Journalist George Thomas notes that,

A Christian revival is touching the northernmost reaches of Africa. In a region once hostile to the gospel, now tens of thousands of Muslims are following Jesus. As the sun sets over the Mediterranean Sea, Muslims across Northern Africa are converting to faith in Jesus Christ in record numbers… What experts say is that there is a profound move of God in the predominantly Muslim nations of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia.”

Tino Qahoush, a researcher and filmmaker, has been traveling to various parts of this region to document the Christian revival that has been taking place. Reflecting on what he observed, he noted the following,

“What God is doing in North Africa, all the way from actually Mauritanian to Libya is unprecedented in the history of missions. I have the privilege of recording testimonies and listening to first-hand stories of men and women, of all ages.”

Jayson Casper, a journalist with Christianity Today, also pointed out some astounding growth that’s taking place in the Arabian Peninsula. He writes,

“Today the Pew Research Center numbers Christians in the Arabian Peninsula at 2.3 million – more Christians than nearly 100 countries can claim. The Gulf Christian Fellowship, an umbrella group, estimates 3.5 million…United Arab Emirates Christian population [is] 13 percent, according to Pew. Among other Gulf states, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar each about 14 percent Christian, while Oman is about 6 percent. Even Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest cities (Mecca and Medina), is 4 percent Christian…”

One of the best examples of the expansion of Christianity within Muslim lands is through the work of Heidi and Roland Baker. Along with their church plants and trained workers from Iris Ministries, the Bakers have made an extraordinary impact on the brutal nation of Mozambique. The province that they currently operate in was entirely Muslim before their arrival, but a little over ten years later those figures have changed drastically. Kelly Head from Christ for the Nations writes,

“The Bakers are now based full-time in Pemba, Mozambique, in an area where Heidi says was once called a ‘graveyard to missionaries.’ But recently the government announced publicly that it’s no longer a Muslim providence; now it’s a Christian providence.”

Iris Global in Mozambique (from their website):

Two devastating cyclones in 2019 flattened thousands of homes and villages. Iris Global worked with international efforts to bring relief along with thousands of solar Bibles in local languages, eagerly wanted by previously resistant people groups.

Iris Global currently feeds well over 10,000 children a day, as well as various members of many other communities, currently including 4,000 families in Malawi. Its network of churches also numbers more than 10,000, including some 2,000 churches among the Makua people of northern Mozambique. Iris operates five Bible schools, in addition to its three primary schools and its school of missions in Pemba. Current major projects include continuing outreaches to very remote coastal regions via Iris’s recently acquired boat, expansion of Iris’s air transport abilities, investment in a range of cottage industries, and a special well-drilling initiative. Iris, having recently acquired a drilling rig by generous funding from several U.S. churches, intends to transform life in desperately dry villages everywhere possible. One by one.

“The primary mission of Iris Global as a family is to seek the face of God with all our hearts, that we might glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. We proclaim Jesus. He is our salvation, our prize, our reward, our inheritance, our destination, our motivation, our joy, wisdom and sanctification — and absolutely everything else we need, now and forever.”

The abrupt changes to the once Muslim Africa are something even the Islamic clerics are beginning to acknowledge. In December 2001, Sheikh Ahmad al Qataani, the president of The Companions Lighthouse for the Science of Islamic Law in Libya, appeared on a live interview on Al-Jazeera satellite television. He declared the following:

“Islam used to represent, as you previously mentioned, Africa’s main religion and there were 30 African languages that used to be written in Arabic script. The number of Muslims in Africa has diminished to 316 million, half of whom are Arabs in North Africa. So in the section of Africa that we are talking about, the non Arab section, the number of Muslims does not exceed 150 million people. When we realize that the entire population of Africa is one billion people, we see that the number of Muslims has diminished greatly from what it was in the beginning of the last century…As to how that happened, well, there are now 1.5 million churches whose congregations account for 46 million people. In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Ever year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity. These numbers are very large indeed.”

It is obvious from these and other reports that Christianity is advancing.

Source: World Revival Network

 

The staggering rise of the church in Iran, 2019 report

A report from the International Prayer Council, 2019.

For many years, Iran was one of the most difficult regions of the world to reach with the gospel.  In 1979, however, there was an Islamic Revolution in Iran.  The ruling monarch, Shah Pahlavi, was overthrown, and in his place an Islamic Republic was birthed, led by the Ayatollah Khomeini.  Sharia law became the law of the land, and Muslim clerics became the heads of state.  Many in those days believed Iranian society would flourish.  The new regime made great promises about rights and economic progress and that the laws of man would be replaced by the laws of God, they claimed.

Near the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, we see that the prayers of many Christians have been answered, and the climate in Iran is vastly different.  The gospel has spread throughout the land despite increased persecution of Christians.  In 1979, there were about 500 known Christians in Iran.  Today, the average estimate of Christians range from 300,000 to upwards of one million, according to missions experts.  Operation World continues to list Iran as having the fastest-growing evangelical church in the world.  In fact, more Iranians have become Christians in the last twenty years than in the previous 1,300 years, since Islam came to Iran.

Several factors have contributed to the rapid growth of the church in Iran.  Here are four of the most important.

1. Disillusionment with Islam

Since the time of the revolution, the Islamic regime, which promised much in the way of economic development and freedom, has not delivered.  Rather than prosperity and growth, the economy stagnated.  The people also have been oppressed, women punished for not covering their hair, and others punished for speaking out in protest.  As a result, the country has isolated itself further from the rest of the world.  Because the Islamic Republic has tied religion and state so closely together, the people’s disappointment with the government has led to great scepticism of Islam.  Consequently, Iranians have become increasingly open to hearing the Christian message.

2. Persecution

The rise of persecution against Christians in Iran has served as a sign of the rapid growth of Christianity.  In the 1990s, several key church leaders in Iran were killed.  One of the most famous martyrs, Mehdi Dibaj, gave a defence before the Islamic courts prior to his death that has become a rallying cry for many Christians in Iran.  Dibaj declared, “I would rather have the whole world against me, but know that the Almighty God is with me; be called an apostate, but know that I have the approval of the God of glory.  Life for me is an opportunity to serve him, and death is a better opportunity to be with Christ.”

Examples like this have emboldened the church.  One faithful brother in prison recounted the moment he received news that many of his colleagues were being arrested.  Briefly, he considered fleeing but remembered the words of Jesus from John 10, that he is not the hired hand who sees the wolves coming and flees, but he is rather the good shepherd, who lays his life down for his sheep (John 10:11–12).  He went home knowing it would lead to his arrest, but he saw prison as an assignment by God to reach many within prison.  This persecution has served to motivate further evangelistic zeal among Iranian Christians.

3. The Diaspora and Use of Media

A countless number of Iranian Christians have been scattered around the world.  Many of these saints sense a unique calling to continue supporting the work of gospel advancement within Iran from the outside.  The advancement of technology through the Internet and satellite TV has made the Christian message more accessible to Iranians who may have never even met a Christian.  The diaspora Christians have been active in broadcasting the gospel and Bible teaching into Iran.  In the last decade, social media also has been a powerful tool to reach Iranians and teach them the truths of Scripture.

4. Bible Distribution

Although persecution has not produced the results that the Iranian authorities wanted, they have continued to work hard to stamp out the message of Christianity.  The Bible (especially the New Testament) is banned literature in Iran.  But the people have been hungry for the word of God.  There have been over two million New Testaments printed in recent years for dissemination in Iran, and about 180,000 entire Bibles have been distributed within the country.  As Paul told Timothy, “The word of God is not bound!” (2 Timothy 2:9).

More links:

Christians in Iran.
Thirty years of Islamic revolution have made Iranians the most open Muslim people in the world to Christ. And it is only the Gospel that can bring peace to Iranians and the whole Middle East. …
“Mahmoud has become a totally new person since he met Christ,” beams Vahid, talking about his disciple. “Honestly, I’m jealous of the deep love Mahmoud has for the Lord. He’s the one ministering to me these days.”

Iran: the pandemic of hope, 2020 report

While COVID-19 has ravaged Iran’s government and economy, a popular Christian satellite channel is reporting an upsurge in Iranian Muslims converting to Christianity.
Mohabat TV has recorded 10 times more salvation decisions online than this time last year, with 3,000 Iranians coming to Christ every month since March. “We have seen an increase in our online traffic from inside Iran,” said Mike Ansari, director of operations for Mohabat TV. “That’s why we call this the pandemic of hope.”
Image may contain: 7 people, crowd and outdoor

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Revival in South America, 2014 report

There is a massive Evangelical revival going on in South America. Latin American religious demographics are changing. Brazil is now around 25% Evangelical and their numbers are growing so fast that Brazil is expected to become the world’s first Latin Evangelical Nation.

1-3 Million Brazilians converting to Evangelicalism every year.

Pentecostals go into drug and crime ridden favelas and Evangelicals pack the largest stadiums for worship, prayer and evangelism. Chile is 15% Evangelical, and Reformation Day is now a national holiday in Catholic Chile. Even famously Catholic Argentina is now 9% Evangelical.

David Masci, wrote for Pew Research Centre (2014):

Tens of millions of Latin Americans have embraced Pentecostal Christianity, according to a Pew Research Center survey on religion in 18 Latin American countries. Nearly one-in-five [nearly 20%] Latin Americans now describe themselves as Protestant, and across the countries surveyed majorities of them self-identify as Pentecostal. Pentecostals share many beliefs with other evangelical Protestants, but they put more emphasis on the “gifts of the Holy Spirit,” such as speaking in tongues, faith healing, and prophesying.

Pentecostalism is now a global phenomenon. We asked Andrew Chesnut, professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, to discuss how and why Pentecostalism has grown so dramatically in Latin America in recent years.

Why have we seen this shift in Latin America in recent decades away from Roman Catholicism and toward Pentecostal Protestantism?

Andrew Chesnut: One reason is that Pentecostalism has very successfully absorbed Latin American culture. So, for example, the music that you hear in Pentecostal churches has the same rhythms that people enjoy outside of church. In fact, in only a century, Pentecostalism has become indigenous, or “Latin Americanized,” to a greater extent than Roman Catholicism has in its four centuries in Latin America.

There are other factors. For instance, some Latin Americans who grow up Catholic convert to Pentecostalism at a time of a health crisis, because Pentecostalism puts such a great emphasis on faith healing. This healing ministry is one of the propelling motors of the Pentecostal boom.

And the Pentecostal preachers tend to sound more like their congregants. They are often unlettered and they speak to their flock in the same way that people in Latin American speak to each other. They also tend to look like their congregants. So in Guatemala, many preachers are Mayan, and in Brazil they are Afro-Brazilian.

Are there particular groups or types of people in Latin America who are especially drawn to Pentecostalism?

Chesnut: Historically, Pentecostalism has appealed to the poor and to outsiders. But more recently, it has begun to appeal to middle-class professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, who have formed their own denominations in Brazil and Guatemala, among other countries. The emphases on “inner healing,” individual responsibility and prosperity theology are especially appealing to these more affluent Pentecostals.

Some people, particularly men, are attracted to Pentecostalism because they are struggling with substance abuse or other problems. Pentecostalism promotes healthy lifestyles and serves as the largest detox center for Latin American men. Men who join these churches often stop hard-drinking or gambling or womanizing.

How did Pentecostalism begin in Latin America?

Chesnut: For the most part, it was imported from the United States. In the early 20th century, Pentecostal missionaries began arriving in South America and they start doing well almost immediately. One reason was the emphasis on gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as faith healing, which resonated with many people.

Unlike earlier American missionaries, Pentecostals also were quick to train Latin American pastors and nationalize their denominations. For example, the Assemblies of God in Brazil [the country’s largest Pentecostal denomination] was fully under Brazilian control by 1930, just two decades after the first American evangelists arrived.

Is there a deep connection today between American Pentecostal churches and those in Latin America?

Chesnut: There is a connection, but today, things are reversed. Pentecostalism is now overwhelmingly anchored in Latin America, rather than the United States. In Brazil, for example, the Assemblies of God has 10 million to 12 million members, while the American Assemblies of God church has 2 million to 3 million. So now, the Brazilian church is the big brother and the United States is seen as mission territory.

Many [Latin American] churches are now sending out missionaries to the United States, as well as to Europe and Africa and even Asia. In the U.S., these missionaries have tried to attract Euro-Americans and African Americans. But so far, they’ve had little success. Instead, they’ve attracted Latin American immigrants living in the U.S.

Do you think that the increased religious competition from Pentecostalism has made Latin America more religious?

Chesnut: Yes. I think competition from Pentecostal churches has definitely made the Latin American religious landscape more robust. In addition to contributing to a certain renewal of the Catholic Church, it’s impacted mainline Protestant churches – like the Presbyterian and Methodist churches – which, like the Catholics, now also offer their own version of Pentecostalism. If Pentecostalism had never come to Latin America, I think the religious landscape would not be nearly as vibrant as it is today.

Evangelism in Venezuela, 2019 report

Six Thousand (6000) people accepted Jesus Christ in Venezuela and they were baptized… the glory of God fell upon them…
 
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Revival in America’s Largest University, 2019 report

 George Otis reported on recent developments in Arizona.

As of Fall 2018, every single nation on earth was represented at Arizona State University! Over 150 nations had someone on the ASU campus, while other nations are involved online – including North Korea and Antarctica! From this one place, Spirit-led believers have the potential to impact the entire family of nations, just as the apostles did on Pentecost!

In recent months, this huge university, the largest in the United States, has been in the grip of a bona fide spiritual awakening.

By our definition, formed over twenty years of monitoring transforming revival around the world, a true awakening means the work of God is comprehensive. This stands in contrast to a human campaign or initiative where results are typically confined to a single category or location within the community.

At ASU, God’s sweep is as broad as it gets.

Not surprisingly, united prayer has proven to be a major factor behind these happy developments. After several tough years where campus ministries tended to go their own way, things took a pleasant turn in the fall of 2017. Instead of the usual two to three ministries coming together before God, prayer events at the local Campus Christian Center were rocking a three-fold increase in intercessory participants.

By 2019, fully a dozen ministries united behind a forty-day prayer focus where petitions were lifted day and night from a tent erected near the main campus square. The initiative was so fruitful, the ministries decided to continue the effort over the balance of the academic semester.

During fall in 2019, the tally of participating ministries and campus churches reached seventeen, as a fresh fifty-six-day campaign drew prodigals, atheists, Muslims, New Agers, and students suffering from depression. In addition to witnessing numerous conversions, healings, and deliverances, the intercessors also watched God begin to move among the University faculty and administration.

One of the more significant breakthroughs involved the school’s Interfaith Council of Religious Advisors. Today, the council is headed by the son of a Baptist minister!

Even more dramatic has been the departure from the university of notorious atheist Lawrence Krauss. Virulently anti-Christian, the highly-paid professor routinely packed out Gammage Auditorium on campus by bringing in atheist luminaries such as Richard Dawkins and the late Stephen Hawking.

A theoretical physicist, Krauss founded the Origins Project in 2009 with the aim of placing the university at the forefront of the New Atheist Movement. By promoting hostile, anti-religious rhetoric and policies (“teaching Creationism to youth is child abuse”), Krauss bullied Christian students and faculty into silence.

During the worst of Krauss’s campaign, God assured one late-night intercessor that the professor would be brought low, and that the backbone of the atheist movement on campus would be broken.

Given Krauss’s fame and tenure, this prospect was almost unimaginable.

And yet, on Oct. 21, 2018, Lawrence Krauss announced his resignation after being stripped of his role as an academic chair and as the Director of the Origins Project. This action came in the wake of an impending termination procedure urged by the dean of ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

According to ASU provost, Mark Searle, action was taken because the physicist “violated the school’s sexual harassment policy and code of ethics.” In a July 31 letter to Krauss, Searle told the professor his behaviour was “unprofessional, reflects a failure of leadership, and is extremely disappointing.”

As for the Origins Project itself, the university newspaper notes that “sources point to a very different future for the project.” The initiative has already lost its name.

With Krauss out of the picture at ASU, Christian faculty in both the arts and sciences are again raising their flag. A March 2019 conference on Science and Faith allowed students to engage faculty in six fields, an approach being lauded by the university president. As one professor’s official profile declares: “Through his work he intends to glorify God, from whom all good things come.”

Transforming winds have also been coursing through the university’s athletic department. During 2019, over 100 Christian student athletes attended an all-sport gathering in the men’s football facility that featured worship, prayer, and inspirational messages.

Many athletes were touched at this student-led event as the room was charged with the Spirit of God. One of them, star wide receiver N’Keal Harry — whom many analysts peg as a top-15 pick in the NFL draft — gave his heart to Christ and is devouring the Word. He is arguably the most popular personality on the ASU campus.

And Harry is but one of an estimated twenty to thirty football players who have turned their lives over to Jesus in recent months. The wrestling team has also been impacted through the open witness of Austyn Harris and All-American Josh Shields, and encouraging reports are coming in from athletes associated with hockey, lacrosse, gymnastics, track, swimming, and volleyball.

Dorm and Greek life are likewise feeling the impact of the Gospel. As one knowledgeable source told me, “Before this year, it was hard to find any Christians in the Honors dorms. Now, it seems like they are everywhere!” Better yet, they are uniting in prayer that God’s purposes will be realized in the lives of these elite students.

So much more could be said, but I’ll leave you with the observation one student athlete shared with me earlier this month: “The identity of ASU is being flipped.”

As of Fall 2018, every single nation on earth was represented at Arizona State University! Over 150 nations had someone on the ASU campus, while other nations are involved online – including North Korea and Antarctica! From this one place, Spirit-led believers have the potential to impact the entire family of nations, just as the apostles did on Pentecost!

See also


SouthPacific Revivals – Blog
South Pacific Revivals – PDF
Transforming Revivals in the South Pacific


God’s Surprises – Blog
God’s Surprises – PDF
Stories of revivals in 20 countries

See also Revivals Index

See also Revival Blogs

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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When my Tumour Disappeared

When My Tumour Disappeared

One Village Woman’s Story

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When my Tumour Disappeared:
https://renewaljournal.com/2020/07/07/23076/

A woman shares her testimony of the Lord’s healing and redemptive power in her life. Names, locations and sensitive details have been protected for security purposes.

My name is Loukya. I was born and brought up in a family that followed a traditional Asian religion. I am married and my husband, Naathim, farms.

Since I was born and brought up in a non-Christian family, I practiced all of the rituals according to our doctrines. Since my childhood, my parents taught me all the religious customs. I remember those days when my parents would offer prayers, especially to one goddess whom they believed was powerful.

When My Tumor Disappeared

Woman Stops Worshipping Her Goddess, Falls Sick

When I turned 25, I got married and started a new life with my husband. He never compelled me to worship the gods, so I did not perform any kinds of rituals in my house for one year.

While everything was going well in my family life, one day I became sick and began to suffer from a headache and other illness [weakness and nausea]. However, I did not take my bad health seriously.

As the days went by, my headache started to develop day by day, and I became more ill. By that time, my husband took me for several medical checkups, and I was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

My husband did not tell me this. Everyone in my family visited me at the hospital and encouraged me with their lovely words, [saying] that within a week I would be all right. The doctor said to my husband that I had to undergo a major operation immediately, which would cost us a huge amount. While my husband was sharing these issues with an elder brother, I found out about my brain tumour, and I became afraid.

Enveloped in Darkness

That particular evening, I started to think about my past behaviour and how I had not worshiped any gods for the last year. I thought to myself, That could be the reason I got ill, and now I am going to die. I had no hope for my life. I felt heavy darkness surrounding me, and death was following me. Those days were a bitter experience in my life.

“I thought to myself, That could be the reason I got ill, and now I am going to die. I had no hope for my life.”

About two weeks later, I was admitted to a private hospital and got general medication, which gave me a little relief for the time being. Then my parents took me with them to live in their house. My husband was also with me. With the help of local villagers, I went through naturopathic treatment in my mother’s village.

In those days, my husband happened to meet with a witch doctor who advised him to memorize some sacred words and chants by which I could be cured. One evening, the witch doctor visited me at my mother’s house, chanted some mantras and gave me some handmade medicine. Early in the morning, my husband would recite some mantras for my healing, but nothing seemed to help. Nothing could heal my disease; rather, my problem started to increase every day.

When all hope had vanished, a group of women [from Women’s Fellowship] came to visit our village. Their names were Hafiza, Paavai, Sabrang and Tamarai. They shared with me about the name of Jesus and gave me some literature to read.

Given Hope to Live

Tamarai told me about how Jesus died on the cross of Calvary for the redemption of mankind. Then I started to share my personal problems with her, saying, “For the last nine months, I have been suffering from a brain tumour. I have gone through several medications, but nothing could heal my disease. Rather, every day it is developing. I have lost hope of living on this earth.”

“They gave me hope to live in this world.”

That particular moment, Hafiza and the other sisters joined their hands and prayed for me and assured me I’d be in their daily prayers. They gave me hope to live in this world. To my amazement, the whole day I had no headache, and my faith began to grow.

Faith Blossoms Into Love for Jesus

From time to time, the sisters visited me and prayed for me, and they conducted weekly prayer meetings. As days passed by, the Lord healed me, and my husband and I opened our hearts to Jesus and began attending the church in our village.

When Loukya went for a checkup, the doctor couldn’t find any tumour on her brain. Today Naathim and Loukya are strong in their faith, and they’re faithfully involved in their church.

When My Tumor Disappeared

Hundreds of women missionaries are bringing hope to women like Loukya. These women missionaries have prepared themselves in Bible college, they understand the tragedies faced by women in Asia, and they know the One who can help. More women missionaries are ready to be sent out, and you can partner with them to impact the lives of women like Loukya.

Learn about sponsoring women missionaries

Source: Gospel for Asia
http://www.gfaau.org/news/articles/when-my-tumor-disappeared/

Added to  BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

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Christianity is Growing Faster than Ever

Christianity is Growing Faster than Ever

CHRISTIANITY IS GROWING FASTER THAN AT ANY TIME IN HISTORY – EXCEPT IN THE WEST


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Christianity is Growing Faster than Ever:
https://renewaljournal.com/2020/06/22/christianity-is-growing-faster-than-ever/

Jesus’ Last Promise

Jesus’ Last Promise

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Jesus’ Last Promise:
https://renewaljournal.com/2020/05/25/jesus-last-promise/ 

Video: Jesus’ Last Promise, including recent examples.

See also: God’s Promise – I will pour out my Spirit

See also: Revival Adventures – more details

The video above includes these slides:


Jerusalem from the south with the Mount of Olives east (right)

   

     

   

   

Recent examples

Described briefly in the video

More details in this book

God’s Surprises – Blog
God’s Surprises – PDF
Biographical stories of current revivals in 20 countries – see PDF
Photos are from this book and from albums about our mission in each country


Philippines – revival in Manila – and jeepney and slums

 
Ghana, West Africa – revival evangelism and teaching

 
Solomon Islands – revival among youth and in the islands

Related books


God’s Surprises – Blog
God’s Surprises – PDF
Biographical stories of current revivals in over 20 countries


Living in the Spirit – Blog
Living in the Spirit – PDF


Flashpoints of Revival – Blog
Flashpoints of Revival – PDF

See also: God’s Promise – I will pour out my Spirit

GOD’S SURPRISES – Blog
Snapshots of God’s surprises during our short-term mission trips
God’s Surprises – PDF

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

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Journey into Mission – Blog
Journey into Mission – PDF

See Revival Highlights from Journey into Mission
Details of mission adventures in over 20 countries.
It includes early days as a single and then married teacher in Papua New Guinea and teaching in Australia and other countries.

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Journey into Ministry & Mission – Blog
Journey into Ministry and Mission – PDF

More examples summarized in GOD’S SURPRISES from Journey into Mission and
from Journey into Ministry & Mission

Biographical stories of current revivals in over 20 countries – see PDF
Photos are from GOD’S SURPRISES and mission albums.


Indigenous Australians – Elcho Island and northern Australia

   
Germany – Moravian Revival began here

   
China – highrise apartments with house churches

 
Ghana, West Africa – evangelism and teaching

 
Kenya, East Africa – evangelism and teaching

 
Nepal – teaching pastors and leaders

   
India – Darjeeling meetings and Grace Bible School in New Delhi

 
Sri Lanka – village churches and bottled water plant

 
Myanmar/Burma – pastors conference and orphanages

 
Thailand – leaders conferences, services, and Bible School

 
Malaysia – conference and services


Philippines – jeepney and slums in Manila

 
Indonesia – revival meetings in Bali

 
P
apua New Guinea – pioneer mission, village baptisms and communion


Solomon Islands – team with hosts PM Sir Peter & Lady Kenilorea, revival youth


Vanuatu – revivals on Pentecost Island with evangelism, healings, and deliverance


Fiji – lawyer teams and Kenmore Baptist and COC teams supporting local churches


Australia – South Pacific law student team on mission in Australia

 
Israel – Jerusalem & Mount of Olives

 

See more details on Revival Adventures

 

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

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BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Coronavirus brings Unprecedented Openness to the Gospel

Coronavirus brings Unprecedented Openness to the Gospel

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Coronavirus brings unprecedented openness to the Gospel:
https://renewaljournal.com/2020/04/17/coronavirus-brings-unprecedented-openness-to-the-gospel/
*
Coronavirus is bringing unprecedented openness to the Gospel – now online, on phones, on YouTube, on Zoom, on Dropbox, on TV
*Bible sales went up 44-60%
*Prayer searches on Google skyrocketed
*Over 21,000 indicated desire to trust in Jesus Christ in one church
*700 healing volunteers work together in one church to pray and help
*15 million watched blind Andrea Bocelli sing, including ‘Amazing Grace’ in Milan on Easter Sunday, and over 36 million have watched it on YouTube.
 

‘On the verge of a spiritual awakening?’

Greg Laurie, who pastors a church in Southern California, reports that their online church service which before the crisis was viewed by 8,000 people each week skyrocketed to 250,000 in the first week, while on Easter Sunday 1.3 million people watched the live stream. Laurie believes the nation might be on the verge of a spiritual awakening. “In the past four weeks, we have seen over 21,000 people indicate their desire to put their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. This is unprecedented. We’ve only seen that kind of response through our crusades, which take months of planning and considerable expense.”
 
Holy Trinity Brompton pastor Nicky Gumbel, author of the evangelistic Alpha Course, is seeing an unprecedented openness to the Gospel during the coronavirus lockdown. “I’ve never known a time in my life when people are more open than they are now,” he said.
 
“There are no other distractions – no football, no entertainment – and people have time to hear the Gospel. People who would have never gone to church, are now coming to explore faith online in their homes.” He called on the Church to ensure it does not let these opportunities pass by. “This is a most extraordinary time. Not a moment to retreat, but a moment for the Kingdom of God to advance.”
 
In New Zealand, like in many other nations, churches have moved their prayer meetings and small groups online via popular video chat groups. Christian channel Shine TV has birthed a popular new show called ‘Church at home’, Sunday services recorded from homes across New Zealand.
 
Christian publishers report that sales of the Bible have escalated as more people are searching for hope and encouragement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jim Jewell, communications director for Tyndale Bibles reports that Bible sales went up 44-60%. Lifeway reported a similar increase. “We believe people are buying Bibles because there’s a longing to connect with God, find meaning, and experience peace.”
 
‘Prayer searches on Google skyrocketed’
 
Google searches about prayer skyrocketed when the coronavirus went global, and the search intensity doubled for every 80,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases. This is reported by Jeanet Sinding Bentzen, associate professor at the University of Copenhagen, who researched the phenomenon. “The intensified searches on prayer is global: it occurs on all continents and for Christians and Muslims alike. Even Denmark, one of the least religious countries in the world sees systematic increases in internet searches on prayer.”
Unite714 (2 Chronicles 7:14)
 
Prayer organisations and churches worldwide launched the Unite714 initiative to pray unitedly for “a miraculous healing of our lands from the coronavirus and for a spiritual awakening among the nations.”

As the world was experiencing the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, twenty-five prominent pastors and ministry leaders from different denominations, networks, and nations gathered on March 19, 2020, for a historic phone call. In the course of the conversation, it became clear they all shared one heart — to unite and activate the worldwide Body of Christ to pray for both the eradication of this virus and spiritual awakening across the world. Using 2 Chronicles 7:14 as their guide, UNITE714 was born. The call from God was simply to unite the global Church by engaging churches and individuals around the world in prayer at 7:14 every morning and evening.

Soon a strategic, pastoral team emerged that would develop and guide this prayer initiative with Pastors Chris Hodges, Steve Robinson, Dino Rizzo, and James Laffoon guiding the way. What began as a small group of leaders has turned into an international movement bringing together thousands of churches and millions of people across the globe.

Multitudes involved
In Brazil, a country with almost 40% active Christians, believers gathered in the streets – trying to keep appropriate distance – to call out to God together. Over Easter Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue was lit up as ‘Christ the Medic’, to honor heroic healthcare workers fighting the pandemic around the world.
 
Bethel Church in Redding moved its ‘healing rooms’ – places where people can receive prayer for healing – online. Many people request help with stress and anxiety brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Some 700 healing volunteers are working together to make the ministry available seven days a week from 9am to 5pm (Pacific Time) over the internet. 
‘Plans may have changed, but God is still at work’
 
Restrictions on travel, the size of gatherings, lockdowns, and social distancing have forced many missions organisations to postpone conferences and training events for their workers. But while plans have changed, God is still at work.
 
Jash, a church leader working in North India, reports: “Our people are fasting and praying at least one day a week. The Lord had already spoken to us to be prepared. Everyone goes up to their roof and cries to the Lord for the land, and for a deeper way to know Him.” The quickly changing times are raising many questions in the community. “Even those who opposed the Gospel are now contacting us and requesting prayer. This provides an opening for deeper conversations about Jesus and His salvation. Much of the outreach is done over the phone.”
 
The Slavic Gospel Association reports that Georgia, Ukraine and Russia are in lockdown and the situation looks pretty bad in terms of death toll. Christians are sacrificially setting aside funds to help their neighbours in the days ahead. “People in the villages are saying, ‘only your church helps us’,” reports a local pastor.
 
Sources: HTB, Bethel Church, Shine TV, Global Disciples, Tyndale, Unite714, Revive, CT, SGA, Joel News
*

Kenya: Church planters lead 211 to Christ during the pandemic

Jonas is a church planter affiliated with The Timothy Initiative (TTI) in Kenya and a respected leader in his village.

When his nation shut down due to COVID-19, he saw the havoc it wreaked on his community. People lost their jobs and income. Price gouging and food shortages caused families to struggle. Jonas saw that people needed help – and that people needed Jesus.

Jonas used his own income to buy food to share with the needy. Others were inspired by his generosity and donated food, which was distributed to the most vulnerable families in his community. Three other church planters joined in on the effort, and as they showed and shared the love of Jesus, the results were astounding: 863 people heard the Good News; 211 people received Christ!

Among them was a Muslim man named Aasir. He lost his job due to COVID-19, leaving him and his family homeless. Jonas took them in. Aasir saw what it looked like to walk in a relationship with Jesus, day in and day out, and he surrendered his life to Christ.

Source: The Timothy Initiative

 
* 14 million watched blind Andrea Bocelli sing ‘Music for Hope’ at Piazza Duomo in Milan, Italy, including ‘Amazing Grace’ outside the cathedral on Easter Sunday, and over 36 million have watched it on YouTube –
* Queen Elizabeth II broadcast her only Easter Message of her 68-year reign, watched by over 350,000 and posted by 100s of thousands in shared articles and videos. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/apr/11/new-hope-queen-reassures-nation-in-first-easter-message

Included in The Queen’s Christmas & Easter Messages (2020)

2020 saw the coronavirus COVID-19 spread worldwide. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II historically addressed the nation and the Commonwealth on Palm Sunday, April 5. Her Majesty’s message included these significant observations during the coronavirus pandemic:

Across the Commonwealth and around the world, we have seen heartwarming stories of people coming together to help others, be it through delivering food parcels and medicines, checking on neighbours, or converting businesses to help the relief effort. And though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths, and of none, are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect, in prayer or meditation.

Then on Easter Saturday, with churches worldwide closed for Easter and most people required to stay home, The Queen broadcast her only Easter message given during her reign. The 2020 edition of this book includes an excerpt from Her Majesty’s Easter message:

The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this. We know that Coronavirus will not overcome us. As dark as death can be — particularly for those suffering with grief — light and life are greater.  May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future.

The Queen’s Christmas & Easter Messages (2020)

Christian doctor’s winning Covid treatment

China: How Christians respond to the Coronavirus

Italy: Light in a Doctor’s Darkest Night

Coronavirus and Churches

Standing in Faith against Coronavirus

 

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BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

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Coronavirus brings unprecedented openness to the Gospel:
https://renewaljournal.com/2020/04/17/coronavirus-brings-unprecedented-openness-to-the-gospel/
Christian doctor’s winning Covid treatment

Grassroots movements with no church buildings explode

 

Grassroots movements with no church buildings explode in 20 years

Did you know that the fastest growing church globally is currently in Iran? And this church has no buildings.  See links:
Iran: where Christianity is growing fastest
Iran – fastest growing evangelical population

There is an ongoing underground revival in the Muslim world. Over the past 20 years more Muslims have found Isa (Jesus) then in all the previous centuries together. See links:
Many Muslims are turning to Christ
Jesus and Muslims: Life in the desert
18,000 Muslim leaders led to Christ in West Africa
Jesus appears to Middle Eastern Muslim for a month

India: The largest churches in the world are grassroots movements

Korean Pastor Yonggi Cho was long known as the pastor of the largest church in the world. But things have changed. Grassroots church planting movements are growing with a speed and vigor that most would find hard to believe.

What would you say if you learn that with 800,000 members the ‘pastor’ of one of the largest churches in the world lives in North India? Beginning with just 12 people in 1994, Randeep Mathews’ house-church based movement started even before he was a Christian.

Randeep started in one of the most hostile environments you can imagine, the city of Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesdh (India) in the Himalayas. It soon grew to 3,000, then 30,000 followers of Christ in what was once called ‘the graveyard of missions’ because of its historic resistance to the imported gospel from the West. They have now (Aug 2019) reached already 800,000 members in North India (300,000 of that in Himachal) and are poised to grow to 3 million in Himachal Pradesh alone.

This is by far not the only story, there are many more. A close friend of Randeep is Rodrick Gilbert in Delhi who demonstrates that this also works in a megacity. Rodrick reports about 700,000 members in 58,000 house churches. When only 18 years of age, another man started such a movement in Gujarat and Rajastan, North India, just ten years ago. It now has seen 150,000 new members in 11,200 house churches.

Source: Wolfgang Simson

Indonesia: How a mother found her lost son through a prophetic word

These Jesus followers could plant one house church each month in their kitchen.

On a visit to Indonesia German missiologist Wolfgang Simson taught a group of Jesus followers an important insight: “In the Kingdom of God people share a revolutionary lifestyle with each other.”

He elaborated: “Number one: eating as the central element of meeting. Number two: truly sharing, koinonia, so that by the end of the day there is neither rich or poor.” Simson illustrated this with Jesus’ interaction with the rich young ruler, and the story of Zaccheus in Luke 19. “A rich person is someone who has a surplus and fails to share. As a result his money turns against him. No longer does he have the money, but the money has him, and that is a trap. In this respect the New Testament is different from the Old Testament; Jesus really brought in a revolutionary new perspective. In his view you can be a rich person or a Kingdom citizen, but not both. It’s part of the Kingdom lifestyle that no-one is needy.”

“The third thing,” he explained, “is that they exposed themselves to apostolic teaching, which is equipping people to go out and become a virus of God into this world to plant churches, plant the presence of Christ, start cell groups of the Kingdom into enemy territory that will implode the enemy’s movements. And that’s already happening. Even terrorists are coming to Christ, and become the most ardent church planters in the Kingdom of God.”

“The fourth and last thing is to pray,” Simson said. “We send messages to God and God sends messages to us. It’s called prophecy. So when you have people over to your premises, the question is not if you should prophesy over them, but what you should prophesy. After all, we are called to share a word of the Lord with them.”

Wolfgang Simson
How that teaching worked out, he discovered one year later when he revisited Indonesia. He was invited by a Chinese family in Jakarta for lunch. They had taken four months to digest his teaching, as it was so different from church as they had known it. But then they decided to simply apply the lessons and see what would happen. They opened up their house, prepared a buffet, and invited strangers to come under the pretense: ‘We had a wedding planned, but the bridegroom is late. [pun intended] So we have food over and invite you to help us finish it.’

The first person to arrive was a lady. The prophets in the group immediately received a word for her: ‘This is the word from the Lord: you have lost your son.’ The lady started to cry, broke down and said: ‘This is true! Eight years ago I lost my son Dave in the market in Jakarta, never to find him again. He was four years old and since that time I’m like a mad mother searching for her son.’ The prophets assured her: ‘Today God answered your prayer. If you go to the National Monument in Jakarta, you will find your son under a big tree.’

She didn’t know what to think of this, but hopped on a bus straight to the National Monument. When looking around for a boy who had to be 12 years old by now, she found a boy who looked that age and asked: ‘Dave?’ ‘Mum?!’ They found each other!


Merdeka Square in Jakarta with the National Monument

When she came back to the house church and shared her story, this good news spread like a virus. Since that day these Chinese Jesus followers could plant one house church each month in their kitchen. Their kitchen became a church planting center. “How did that happen?” Simson asked rhetorically. “In the Kingdom – open up your house, open up your kitchen, open up your fridge.”

Source: Wolfgang Simson

Source: Joel News International, #1141, September 24, 201

Revival Blogs Links:

See also Revivals Index

See also Revival Blogs

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

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BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

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