Army Chaplain Jose Rondon believes “there is nothing more exhilarating in life than seeing people come to Christ.” In the last six months, Rondon has experienced that exhilaration with more than 1,400 professions of faith — something one could describe as a spiritual awakening — at Fort Leonard Wood, his place of ministry.
Because of his reputation for being intentional in his ministry, many have come to hear Rondon share the Gospel on Sundays.
“We have seen 1,459 soldiers come to Christ since March of this year,” Rondon said. “God is doing great things at Fort Leonard Wood among the hundreds of soldiers who have come to know Christ personally.”
Retired Major General Doug Carver, executive director of chaplaincy for the North American Mission Board, says what is happening at Fort Leonard Wood is not an exception. Right now there are reportedly 1,348 military chaplains in the Southern Baptist Convention at work.
“Our troops, who are increasingly hungry for truth and relevancy in their lives, are finding a faith that works through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ,” Carver said. “The current spiritual awakening at Fort Leonard Wood is indicative of a great move of God taking place within the Armed Services today.”
Consider the following, Carver reported:
— More than 2,000 troops gathered in Doughboy Stadium at Fort Benning, Ga. this past Easter to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
— Army chaplains are currently baptizing an average of 70 soldiers every basic combat training cycle at Fort Jackson, S.C.
— The U.S. Air Force Chaplaincy recently rolled out a new program called FaithWorks, which is a collection of evidence-based programs and materials promoting spiritual resilience for airmen and their families.
— The military has built more chapels since 9/11 than any other period of American history except for World War II.
In the past two years, Southern Baptist military chaplains have reported there have been tens of thousands of professions of faith and thousands of baptisms.
“Historically, God has often used the military as a catalyst for revival,” Carver said. “Many attribute the spread of Christianity in the first century to Roman soldiers deployed throughout the Roman Empire. The Lord is answering our prayers for revival within our military communities. I’ve prayed for over 40 years for our troops and their families to experience the reality of Jesus Christ in a new and fresh way.”
Chaplain Rondon has been intentional with his words and with how he treats his fellow soldiers. So when a staff sergeant first approached Rondon and asked to speak with him, the chaplain knew the sergeant wasn’t asking for words of wisdom but for listening ears.
“To be intentional is to be faithful to Christ and obedient to His Great Commission,” Rondon said. “But we will not succeed in making disciples until the lost make the first step to follow Christ as their Savior. To be intentional not only means to preach Christ’s Word in the chapel, but to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to share His message of reconciliation if, and when, the time fits.”
So, Rondon listened to the staff sergeant, and then he prayed with him to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior. Rondon did the same thing when another senior non-commissioned officer asked for the chance to talk to him about spiritual matters. This soldier-leader also asked Jesus Christ into his heart.
“My two soldiers and friends from our current battalion at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri came to Christ because their lives were in need of the Savior,” he said. “All of us at some point need to be a listening ear, to help others to start trusting and believing in anything again, especially when our wounds are so deep that we lose respect for many around us.
“They talked to me about their lives because they respected me and noticed I really cared for our soldiers like I always do during my pastoral rounds. I invited them both to a meal. God always opens great doors like this when we listen to people without interrupting. We show them how much we care by being there for them whenever they need it most.”
In both conversations, a chaplain and a sergeant spoke about their lives.
“Instead of asking them whether or not they knew they were going to heaven if they died today, I simply said, ‘I see that you need Christ in your life. He can not only help you to deal with the challenges of daily living, but He can also save you from an eternal death because of your sins,’” Rondon said. “They both agreed they needed Christ to come into their lives forever and to have His presence to deal with life from that moment on.” — Baptist Press
A lot of key passages and exciting developments get lost in the details of this book so I have highlighted passages in this book which bring some of those key revival passages together.
From Chapter 5 – Australia: Elcho Island (1994)
In that same evening the word just spread like the flames of fire and reached the whole community in Galiwin’ku. Gelung 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.
From Chapter 9 – 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 (1995)
When we arrived in the mountain town of Suhum, it was dark. The 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. We had clear days all that week, although it was in the monsoon.
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)
Over 100,000 a year flocked there from all over the world for well over a decade. The wide diversity of people from different denominations and countries there impressed me. Love and respect for others filled the atmosphere and testimonies. We joined the crowds of over 1500 each morning and night, enjoyed the low-key sensitive worship (knowing very few of their songs), appreciated the balanced teaching, and received personal prayer.
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.
After returning to Brisbane I noticed that people I prayed for received strong touches from the Lord, most resting in the Spirit on the floor. We needed people to be ready to catch those who fell, to avoid them getting hurt (then needing extra healing prayer!). Some of them had visions of the Lord blessing them and others.
From Chapter 13 – Nepal (2000)
After praying on the bridge we approached the Chinese officials to get a permission to enter Tibet. The first official refused but the second one nodded approvingly, taking the four Australian passports from my hand as security, and let us go free of charge! This could happen only by the supernatural intervention of our Almighty God, Hallelujah! We had good prayer inside Tibet, especially on those individual shopkeepers whom I would grab and pray on without any resistance from them!
On 21 April all the eight of Australians and I had a trip to Gochadda in west Nepal and held a three days conference over there at Easter. While driving toward the destination I shared the Word with the driver of the private bus and during the inauguration of the conference he approached the altar and accepted Christ as his personal Saviour. On the same day a Christian brother whose hand was partially crippled for six years was touched by the Holy Spirit and healed absolutely. He was shaking in his whole body and raising his hands, even the crippled one already healed, praising the Lord with all his strength, he glorified the Lord for his greatness, Hallelujah!
Out of about 200 participants in the conference by the grace of God 100 of them were baptized in the Holy Spirit praising the Lord, singing, falling, crying, and many other actions as the Holy Spirit would prompt them to act. About ten of them testified that they had never experienced such a presence of the power and love of God. Some others testified being lifted to heavenly realms by the power of the Holy Spirit, being surrounded by the angels of the Lord in a great peace, joy, and love toward each other and being melted in the power of his presence. Many re-committed their lives to the Lord for ministry by any means through his revelation.
On the second day of the conference the trend continued as the people seemingly would fall down, repent, minister to each other in the love of Christ, enjoy the mighty touch of the Holy Spirit, singing, prophesying, weeping, laughing, hugging, and all the beauty of the Holy Spirit was manifested throughout the congregation by his grace and love. One woman of age 65 testified that she never had danced in her life in any occasion even in secret, but the Lord had told her that she should now dance to him and she was dancing praising him with all her strength. For hours this outpouring continued and the pastors of the churches were one by one testifying that they had never experienced such a presence and power of God in their whole Christian life and ministry.
Some 60 evangelists from Gorkha, Dhanding, Chitwan, Butwal declared that they were renewed in their spirits by the refreshing of the Holy Spirit and they are now going to serve the Lord in the field wherever the Holy Spirit will lead them to be fully fledged in His service. In the last day of the conference while praying together with the congregation and committing them in his hands, many prophesied that the Lord was assuring them of great changes in their ministry, life and 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!
On 25 April 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. Some cases of healing were testified. …
On 27 April we held a one day conference in Hosanna Church where the touch of the Holy Spirit was tremendous and people blessed by the Holy Spirit and his might were manifesting his power and presence in the place. While people were worshipping and praising the Lord, a prophecy came and the Lord said, “What happened to the vision given to you six years ago? You have forgotten to pray about it but I have not forgotten what I have promised to you through the vision!” I was reminded by the Holy Spirit that I had seen a vision where I was taken over the highest mountains in this country with a few of my foreign friends and some of our evangelists and as we put our step on the top of the mountain it started shaking and melting and my friends and the evangelists started disappearing, then I cried out, “Lord where are my friends?” And He said open your eyes and see, and I saw all my friends and the evangelists were scattered all over the mountains and they were coming towards me with multitudes of people behind them. I started weeping and with a feeling which words cannot explain I was thanking the Lord for His goodness, I was laughing in the Spirit for the repetition of the vision which I could see again. 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: “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.
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 1stJuly, 2016, the son of the highest rank paramount chief on Pentecost Island. After a wife of Chief Morris’s father died and was prepared for burial, the calico cloths around her began to move. She had returned from death and they took the grave cloths of her. She sat up and told them all to leave their pagan ways and follow the Christian way. Then she lay down and died.
Chief Morris’s son, Paramount Chief Peter, had an uncle who returned from Queensland as a Christian in the early 1900s. When he was old, after many years telling them about the Gospel, one day he called all his relatives to him, shook hands in farewell with everyone, and lay down and died immediately.
From Chapter 16 – Solomon Islands (2003)
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 artefacts 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 artefacts 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’ claim that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him (Matthew28:8), seen in a child’s vision.
From Chapter 17 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2004)
By Matthias: The deliverance ministry group left the college by boat and when they arrived at the Bungalows they prayed together. After they prayed together they divided into two groups.
There is one person in each of these two groups that has a gift from the Lord that the Holy Spirit reveals where the witchcraft powers are, such as bones from dead babies or stones. These witchcraft powers are always found in the ground outside the houses or sometimes in the houses. So when the Holy Spirit reveals to that person the right spot where the witchcraft power is, then they have to dig it up with a spade.
When they dug it out from the soil they prayed over it and bound the power of that witchcraft in the name of Jesus. Then they claimed the blood of Jesus in that place.
Something very important when joining the deliverance group is that everyone in the group must be fully committed to the Lord and must be strong in their faith because sometimes the witchcraft power can affect the ones that are not really committed and do not have faith.
After they finished the deliverance ministry they came together again and just gave praise to the Lord in singing and prayer. Then they closed with a Benediction.
From Chapter 19 – Vanuatu Pentecost (2004)
By Don: The night’s worship led by the law students started off as usual with singing, then spontaneously turned into a joyful party. Then Joanna Kenilorea gave a testimony about a very sad event in her family that brought the Keniloreas back to God. She was especially eloquent in her address and when finished, Geoff found that it had been so powerful that he had no more to add that night and made an immediate altar call for prayer. Almost as one, 300 high school students, teachers and others present rose from their seats and moved out into the aisle to the front of the hall. There were a couple of slow starters, but when it became apparent that Geoff could not possibly pray for each individually, even these moved up to the back of the crowd until everybody in that room had come forward. Geoff in all his years of ministry and association with renewal ministries and revival (and that was the subject of his doctorate) had never experienced anything like it. The most remarkable thing for Helen and me was we were there and part of it in such a remote and previously unknown part of our world! It was surely a night to remember.
From Chapter 21 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2005)
Many of the older people attending these intensive teaching sessions had been involved in local revivals through many years. They understood the principles involved such as repentance, reconciliation, unity, personal and group prayer that was earnest and full of faith, and using various gifts of the Spirit. They were most familiar with words of wisdom and knowledge, discerning spirits (especially from local witchcraft), revelations, healings and deliverance.
I learned much from them, especially about the spirit world and humbly seeking God for revelation and direction. We westerners tend to jump in and organize things without really waiting patiently on God for his revelation and direction. Many westerners, including missionaries, find waiting frustrating or annoying, but local people find it normal and natural. Wait on God and move when he shows you the way. For example, you can seek the Lord about who will speak, what to say, and how to respond.We westerners often use schedules and programs instead.
“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)
From Chapter 22 – Kenya (2005)
Before the Kibera slum church moved into their corrugated iron shed they met in a community hall. I taught leaders there, and spoke at their Sunday service with about 30 people. We gave them real bread for communion, not just symbolic cubes. The Spirit led me to give them all the bread we had, just t loaves (not five barley buns as the boy had in Scripture).
“Can I take some home to my family?” asked one young man. That’s a hard question to answer in front of 30 hungry people.
“It’s yours. You can take some of your own communion bread home if you want to,” I answered.
Everyone then took a large handful of communion bread, and most put some in their pockets to take home later. We shared real glasses of grape juice in plastic glasses, thanking the Lord for his body and blood given for us. After my return to Australia I heard that the bread apparently multiplied, as those who took some home had enough for their families to eat. Some of them were still eating it two weeks later.
From Chapter 22 – Fiji (2005)
By Jerry: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.
From Chapter 23 – Fiji (2006) re Tanna Island
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 for evermore” with long, long harmonies on “forever more”. Just worship. Pure, awesome and majestic.
From Chapter 24 – Solomon Islands (2006)
Revival in the Guadalcanal Mountains had begun at the Bubunuhu Christian Community High School on Monday, July 10, 2006, on their first night back from holidays. They were filled with the Spirit and began using many spiritual gifts they had not had before. Then they took teams of students to the villages to sing, testify, and pray for people, especially youth. Many gifts of the Spirit were new to them – prophecies, healings, tongues, and revelations (such as knowing where adults hid magic artefacts).
The National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC) in the north-west of the Solomon Islands at Choiseul Island, two hours flight from Honiara, brought over 1,000 youth together from all over the Solomon Islands.
By Grant: “Most of a thousand youth came forward. Some ran to the altar, some crying! There was an amazing outpouring of the Spirit. There were so many people, Geoff and I split up and started laying hands on as many people as we could. People were falling under the power everywhere (some testified later to having visions). There were bodies all over the field (some people landing on top of each other). Then I did a general healing prayer and asked them to put their hand on the place where they had pain. After we prayed people began to come forward sharing testimonies of how the pain had left their bodies and they were completely healed! The meeting stretched on late into the night with more healing and many more people getting deep touches.
It was one of the most amazing nights. I was deeply touched and feel like I have left a part of myself in Choiseul. God did an amazing thing that night with the young people and I really believe that he is raising up some of them to be mighty leaders in revival.”
A young man who was healed that night returned to his nearby village and prayed for his sick mother and brother. Both were healed immediately. He told the whole convention about that the next morning at the meeting, adding that he had never done that before.
The delegation from Kariki islands further west, returned home the following Monday.
The next night they led a meeting where the Spirit of God moved in revival. Many were filled with the Spirit, had visions, were healed, and discovered many spiritual gifts including discerning spirits and tongues. That revival has continued, and spread.
From Chapter 25 – Solomon Islands (2007)
We held revival meetings at the Theological Seminary at Seghe in the fantastic Marovo Lagoon – 70 kilometres with hundreds of tropical bush laden islands north and west of New Georgia Island. Morning teaching sessions, personal prayers in the afternoons and night revival meetings, with worship led by the students, filled an eventful week in September 2007. That was the first time the seminary held such a week, and again we prayed for so many at each meeting, students and village people. Meetings included two village revival services in the lagoon. At the first, an afternoon meeting in the framework of a large new church building, everyone came for prayer, all 100, and 30 reported on pain leaving as we prayed for healings. Then we had a long evening meeting at Patutiva village, where revival started in Easter 2003 across the Lagoon from Seghe. That meeting went from 7pm to 1.30am with about 1,000 people! We prayed personally for hundreds after the meeting ‘closed’ at 11pm. Students told me they could hear the worship and preaching on the PA across the lagoon 1k away in the still night air, so those in bed listened that way! …
The week at Taro 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 evangelise. We joined the meeting by 8pm and finished at 1.30am!
Worship went for an hour. Geoff then preached for nearly an hour. In his words –
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.
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 28 – Fiji (2008, 2009)
By Romulo (2008): “Inter-tertiary went very well at Suva Grammar School that was hosted by Fiji School of Medicine Christian Fellowship (CF). It was an awesome two nights of fellowship with God and with one another. The Pacific Students for Christ combined worship was a huge blessings for those that attended the two nights of worship. Pastor Geoff spoke on Obedience to the Holy Spirit – this being a spark to revival and power.
“Students came in droves for prayers and the worship lit up the Grammar School skies with tears, repentance, anointing and empowerment. The worship by Fiji School of Medicine students brought us closer to intimate worship with the King. It was a Pacific gathering and each and every person there was truly blessed as young people sought a closer intimate relationship with the King. We were blessed beyond words. Thank you all for the prayers, the thoughts and the giving.”
Roneil, a Fijian Indian, added, “It was all so amazing, so amazing that words can’t describe it. For me, it was obvious that the glory of God just descended upon the people during the Inter-tertiary CF. I’ve never seen an altar call that lasted for way more than an hour. I myself just couldn’t get enough of it. It was and still is so amazing. God’s anointing is just so powerful. Hallelujah to Him Who Was, Who Is and Who is to Come.”
By Romulo (2009): Two of the memorable highlights were the washing of leaders’ feet at RCCG Samabula and the worship service on Wednesday at RCCG Kiuva village. In fact I remember picking up the pastors on Sunday morning, and seeing Pastor Geoff carrying towels. I said to myself, ‘This is going to be fun.’ And fun it was.
God was teaching the church the principles of servanthood, demonstrated not just by words but by actions. It was a moving experience as Pastor Geoff on his knees started washing feet, drying them with a towel and speaking into the lives of leaders. Powerful also was the fact that Pastor Geoff’s leading was to wash the feet of leaders.
That Sunday former PM Rabuka, who heard of the Pastor’s visit, came to church for prayer. Of course, the leading for Pastor Geoff to pray for leaders meant Rabuka would get his feet washed too. One of the acts that will be embedded forever in my mind was seeing Rabuka sit on the floor, remove his coat and wash the feet of Pastor Geoff and KY Tan. He then dried their feet with his ‘favourite’ Fiji rugby coat (he played in their national rugby team). I was blown away by this act of humility, as demonstrated by Christ on his final night with the disciples before his arrest and execution.
On Wednesday night, (their last night in Suva), we were at Kiuva village in Tailevu. The powerful and angelic worship of young people and kids in Tailevu made the atmosphere one of power with a tangible presence of the Lord in the place. We saw a glimpse of revival and the power of God at work in such a simple setting. I was blessed to witness for myself the prevalent hunger in the body as lives connected with God. In all, it is purely refreshing being in the presence of God and being touched and filled by the Holy Spirit.
Selected from ‘How I Learned to Pray for the Lost’, Back to the Bible pamphlet.
The author is anonymous.
The letter accompanying this testimony says in part: This is the result of my search for effective ways of praying for the unsaved. I have found it to produce amazing results in a very short time. After more than 20 years of fruitless praying, it seemed that there was no possible chance for my loved ones to ever return to the faith. But after only a few weeks of the type of praying that I have outlined here I have seen them studying the Bible by the hour and attending every church service possible. Also, their whole attitude toward Christianity has changed, and all resistance seems to be gone. I have taken my place of authority in Christ and am using it against the enemy. I have not looked at myself to see if I am fit or not; I have just taken my place and have prayed that the Holy Spirit may do His convicting work. If each and every member of the Body of Christ would do this, what a change would be made in this world.
Perhaps because the salvation of some seemed to me to be an impossibility, the first verse that was given to me was Mark 10:27: “With God all things are possible.”
The next Scripture verse had occupied my attention for some time, but it took on a new meaning: “(for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations [speculations] and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4,5). This shows the mighty power of our spiritual weapons. We must pray that all of this will be accomplished in the ones for whom we are concerned; that is, that the works of the enemy will be torn down.
Finally I was given the solid foundations for my prayers – the basis of redemption. In reality, Christ’s redemption purchased all mankind, so that we may say that each one is actually God’s purchased possession, although still held by the enemy. We must, through the prayer of faith, claim and take for God in the name of the Lord Jesus that which is rightfully His. This is not meant to imply that, because all persons have been purchased by God through redemption, they are automatically saved. They must believe and accept the gospel for themselves; our intercession enables them to do this.
To pray in the name of the Lord Jesus is to ask for, or to claim, the things which the blood of Christ has secured. Therefore, each individual for whom prayer is made should be claimed by name as God’s purchased possession, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and on the basis of His shed blood.
We should claim the tearing down of all the works of Satan, such as false doctrine, unbelief, atheistic teaching and hatred, which the enemy may have built up in their thinking. We must pray that their very thoughts will be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
With the authority of the name of the Lord Jesus, we must claim their deliverance from the power and persuasion of the Evil One and from the love of the world and the lust of the flesh. We should also pray that their conscience maybe convicted, that God may bring them to the point of repentance and that they may listen and believe as they hear the Word of God. Our prayer must be that God’s will and purposes may be accomplished in and through them.
Intercession must be persistent – not to persuade God, for redemption is by God, but because of the enemy. Our prayer and resistance are against the enemy – the awful powers and rulers of darkness. It is our duty before God to fight for the souls for whom Christ died. Just as some must preach to them the good news of redemption, others must fight the powers of darkness on their behalf through prayer.
We will find that as we pray, the Holy Spirit will give new directions. Note that “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing” (John 6:63) and that “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor. 3:6). Therefore we must constantly seek the motivation of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, in our faith, in our prayer and in our testimony.
It is most important also that we confess our own sins and have them forgiven. The enemy will use every possible means to silence our intercession and to block our attack against him. We must not only understand our enemy, our authority in Christ and how to use our spiritual weapons, but also how to wear the armour that God has provided for our protection. Thus equipped and protected, we need not have any fear. But let us always remember that we have no power and no authority other than that of Christ.
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ (2 Cor. 2:14).
He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
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.
The Great Commission is a call to obey everything Jesus commanded. That’s not easy! But Jesus reminded us that he now has all authority in heaven and on earth and he is with us to the end of the age:
‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:18-20)
This book is about learning to obey Jesus as we love God who loves us totally. Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15, 23). The greatest commandments of all are to love God and love others. …
We encourage Christians, especially leaders, to obey what Jesus told us to do. All Christians love to speak and sing about Jesus but we may not follow his instructions. So I wrote a mission book about how Jesus trained his followers: Jesus the Model for Short Term Supernatural Mission.It’s the first in my Great Commission Series and this is the second book in that series.
Jesus taught his followers to do what he did. He commanded them to love one another as he loved us. He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God, to heal the sick and to cast out unclean spirits. I hope this book will help you do what Jesus told us to do.
Jesus said that all the commandments could be summed up in two: loving God and loving others.
‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it:
‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:37-40).
Jesus described our neighbour as anyone, especially those in need. He said that we would keep his commandments because we loved him.
Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. (John 14:23)
God our loving Father expects us to believe in Jesus, his Son, to trust him and to obey his teaching and instructions.
And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment (1 John 3:23).
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).
Jesus reveals himself to those who obey him in love: “The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love them and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to them. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by them and make Myself real to them.]” (John 14:21 Amplified)
100% of the 6,000 in a Pygmy tribe close to the area where the Ebola virus began now follow Christ 5 years after the young chief’s conversion.
Dick Eastman, International President of Every Home for Christ (EHC) – formerly Christian Literature Crusade – describes his visit to this area even though he was warned not to go. Catholic nuns and nurses who cared for the first known Ebola victims there also died from the highly contagious virus. The EHC team had round-the-clock prayer warriors praying for them the whole trip. They arrived 3 years after the pioneering Bantu Africans began sharing good news there and 4,000 had become Christians. Two years later all 6,000 of that tribe professed Christ.
This edited excerpt is from Chapter 3: People of the Trees (pages 37-51).
It would take eleven days travelling by canoe up the mighty Zaire River (also known as the Congo) before the two Every Home for Christ pioneer missionaries (Bantu Africans) from Kinshasa (Zaire) would reach their destination deep in the equatorial rainforest. From the Zaire River they would travel several days more against the strong current up the smaller Momboyo River. From the Momboyo they would journey still deeper into the forest on small tributaries, until they reached the heart of the rainforest rarely seen by outsiders. It was a dangerous journey few ever made.
The Power of a Prayer Shield
Despite what I knew was the harassment of the enemy, my colleague and I soon found ourselves in Kinshasa, Zaire, loading our small tents and other supplies – including 100 pounds of salt for the Pygmies – into a small Mission Aviation Fellowship plane.
Thankfully we had found a courageous MAF pilot willing to take us to a rugged landing strip an an encampment called Boteka, located along the Momboyo River. It would serve as the launching pad for our trip still deeper into the forest … to our final destination, the village of Bosuka, where hundreds of Pygmies were turning to Jesus.
The MAF flight took us only three hours. As if to heighten my concern, we were flying straight into huge, billowing clouds with raindrops ripping against the windshield and lightning dancing just beyond our wingtips. Yet the plane flew steady as an arrow. I was amazed how the Lord guided our MAF pilot straight through the weather with hardly a bump. Not a moment of our entire journey, day or night, lacked at least a few people praying as part of our special prayer shield.
The Last Tree on Earth
The plane landed safely on a patch of grass in Boteka, which I soon learned had been a Belgian Catholic mission since the early 1950s. (Zaire was known then as the Belgian Congo.) I also discovered that the Every Home Crusade ministry had already seen significant results in the region around Boteka. In fact, many of the Pygmies and Bantu people (taller Africans) who stood cheering along the small grass landing strip when we arrived were converts of EHC’s systematic every home evangelism ministry in the Boteka area.
At daybreak the next day, just before 6 a.m., we climbed into our borrowed 40-foot canoe to begin what would be a 14-hour journey against the strong current of the snake-like Momboyo River. We would not arrive at our destination, an encampment called Imbonga, until eight o’clock that night. We faced an additional 32-kilometer (20 mile) trek even deeper into the rainforest the following day.
The Momboyo was one of hundreds, if not thousands, of rivers that flow throughout the several rainforests of central Africa. As I looked at a map, I noticed, not too far north, the name of another river I recognized – the Ebola. Being reminded of that name made me a little uneasy.
The Catholics of Imbonga had the only vehicle within hundreds of kilometers – an old, beat-up Land Rover. Then we learned that the narrow road – not much more than a twelve-foot-wide jungle clearing – included 222 separate log bridges. Each bridge consisted of little more than 10 or 20 thick logs.
Along the 32-kilometer journey from Imbonga to the Pygmy settlement of Bosuka, we saw numerous Bantu villages – not uncommon in the area. Pygmy villages, on the other hand, were highly unusual, since Pygmies tend to be nomadic, seldom settling down to live in conventional huts or dwellings.
None of the initial progress reports from our workers had indicated how many homes were being reached even though this statistic appears on every report coming to our central office from the field. But our area director had been reporting only the numbers of conversions (and subsequent baptisms) among the Pygmies. So we asked him for updated reports that included the number of actual homes being reached.
He wrote again suggesting we still did not understand. The Pygmies do not live in homes, houses or even huts in the trees. They just live and sleep in the trees, sometimes on the thick leaves, sometimes under them and sometimes in temporary thatched shelters assembled hastily when a tribe moves to a new area for hunting. Occasionally they even tie themselves into a tree, he wrote, so they will not fall asleep (quite literally) from a high tree and injure themselves.
This report from our director ended with the usual African humour: “Brother Dick, we have now launched EHC’s very first Every Tree Crusade.” Then he modified our long-standing goal, which speaks of reaching “the last home on earth with the Gospel,” by printing in large letters on his report: “WE WILL NOT STOP UNTIL WE REACH THE LAST TREE ON EARTH WITH THE GOSPEL!”
The settlement called Bosuka meant “the end of the world” in their Pygmy dialect, for not much lies beyond Bosuka but dense forest. Indeed, the very village of Bosuka did not even exist until relatively recently. But here I was, standing among these usually nomadic “people of the trees” and seeing with my own eyes that they had formed a village with a church at its centre. It was a Christian phenomenon, I was told, and had resulted in thousands of Pygmies in the area giving their lives to Christ.
Half an Arm’s Length
The work had gone slowly at first. The two EHC workers, who had come to this part of the forest 14 months earlier – not for a visit but to live – were a married couple, both Bantu.
But as far back as anyone can remember, the smaller Pygmies have feared the larger Bantu. They learned to trade with them for precious commodities not available in the deep forest, commodities like salt and metal (the latter to make tools and weapons), but for generations the Bantu had slaughtered the Pygmies and driven them deeper into the forest.
Pygmies are the world’s shortest people. Because they are unable to process the hormones needed for normal growth, adults reach an average height of only four feet six inches. Pygmies feel they are second-class human beings – like monkeys, perhaps, or a category of human just above the animals. Their very name derives from the Greek word pygme, which means “half an arm’s length.”
The Pygmy sense of inferiority made it difficult at first for the Bantu workers to make even an initial presentation of the Gospel. So they had to be unusually creative. They would go to a clearning, for example, where they knew Pygmies could see them, and leave a quantity of salt on an old stump or mound in the clearing. Then they would retreat into the shadows of the forest but stand near the edge so the Pygmies could see they were still there. Soon the Pygmies would come, ever so slowly because they wanted the salt so desperately. Then they would snatch up the precious substance, leave monkey meat or fish in its place and rush off into the forest.
The Christians would come a third day, but this time they would wait only a few paces from the salt. Now it would take even more time for the Pygmies to cultivate the courage to come. But because salt is priceless to a Pygmy, a brave adult (usually a young warrior) would soon step into the clearing and move toward the salt. As he did, the Bantu Christians would walk very slowly toward the salt, trying to send a signal that they meant no harm.
Eventually at least one of the Pygmies, sometimes more, would muster enough courage to approach the believers waiting nearby with the salt. In this moment – through interpreters, if necessary – the Christian workers would begin to tell them they had come in a spirit of love with Good News for their people. The Pygmy listeners almost never looked into the eyes of the speaker, reflecting their conviction that they were less than human.
These first close encounters usually lasted only a few minutes, but they were crucial for building trust that might later lead to longer meetings. Still, in these first moments of contact, the Christians sought to share the gospel message as quickly as possible. They never knew if they would get another opportunity.
Sometimes it took two or three encounters before there was an indication the message was being understood. When it was, it was clear something was happening in the heart of the recipient. The pattern was almost always the same. The Pygmy would agree to say the sinner’s prayer, still not looking into the eyes of the believer. Then he or she would begin to weep, sometimes uncontrollably. Then, just as suddenly, as one worker described the process to me, “The Pygmy will lift his head boldly, look you straight in the eye and laugh with joy. We know then that something has really happened. The Pygmy has just met Jesus.”
A Cornelius Conversion
When our team had finally arrived at Bosuka, we discovered that a groundswell of conversions had taken place over an amazingly short time. Our last report some six months earlier had indicated that as many as 1,200 Pygmies in the Bosuka area had received Christ. But because of a lack of radio transmitters in this village, or any other communications from this deep in the forest, we did not know this number had grown significantly. There were now 4,000 converts from a tribe of little more than 6,000. Two thirds of the tribe had come to Jesus! (Two years later a report would indicate all 6,000 had now professed Christ!)
One of the special converts – and one of the very first ones – was Lendongo Botshemba, the 30-year-old chief of the tribe, who greeted us graciously on our arrival. His conversion, our director of the region told me, had been like that of Cornelius in Acts 10.
The young chief had grown up worshipping the snakes and trees of the dense rainforest along the Momboyo River, just as his parents Bokimba and Bolanza had before him.
But the miracle of the Gospel was now transforming those parts of the rainforest. Lendongo’s entire family had been converted affecting some 40 persons in all. And churches were being planted to help nurture and sustain these new believers. Lendongo was responsible for the formation of at least 18 additional Christian villages in the region, each one established around a church.
In a neighbouring part of the equatorial rainforest, where we had heard that 32 churches had been planted by EHC workers 36 months earlier, we now learned that an astounding 300 additional fellowships of new believers had been born. In still another rainforest area (in Cameroon, West Africa) 5,000 more Pygmies were converted and baptized. Several hundred additional churches were formed as a result.
The “Every Tree Crusade” launched in the rainforest had been responsible for more than 15,000 Pygmy conversions – in just 36 months! And as our journey to the people of the trees ended, and our large canoe headed back down the Momboyo River, I could not get a verse from Isaiah out of my mind: “The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9)
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Kambaidam, Papua New Guinea, by Johan van Bruggen
Then came Thursday, August 4, a miserable day weather wise, although we had great joy during our studies. Evening devotions not all students came, actually a rather small group. I too needed some inner encouragement to go as it was more comfortable near the fire. We sang a few quiet worship songs. Samson, a fellow who by accident became one of our students last year, well, this Samson was leading the devotions. We had sung the last song and were waiting for him to start. Starting he did, but in an unusual way. He cried, trembled all over! … Then it spread. When I looked up again I saw the head prefect flat on the floor under his desk. I was praying in tongues off and on. It became quite noisy. Students were shouting! Should I stop it? Don’t hold back! It went on and on, with students praying and laughing and crying not quite following our planned programme! We finally stood around the table, about twelve of us, holding hands. Some were absolutely like drunk, staggering and laughing! I heard a few students starting off in tongues and I praised the Lord. The rain had stopped, not so the noise. So more and more people came in and watched!
Not much sleeping that night! They talked and talked! And that was not the end. Of course the school has changed completely. Lessons were always great, I thought, but have become greater still. Full of joy most of the time, but also with a tremendous burden. A burden to witness. …
What were the highlights of 1988? No doubt the actual outpouring of the Holy Spirit must come first. It happened on August 4 when the Spirit fell on a group of students and staff, with individuals receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit on several occasions later on in the year. The school has never been the same again. As direct results we noticed a desire for holiness, a hunger for God’s Word which was insatiable right up till the end of the school year, and also a tremendous urge to go out and witness. Whenever they had a chance many of our students were in the villages with studies and to lead Sunday services. Prayer life deepened, and during worship services we really felt ourselves to be on holy ground. …
We have been almost left speechless by what God is doing now through our students. We realize that we have been led on and are now on the threshold of a revival.
Acts 2 all over again
A young student, David, in his early twenties from the Markham Valley had a growing burden for his area of Ragizaria and Waritzian which was known and feared as the centre of pagan occult practices. He prayed earnestly. As part of an outreach team he visited nearby villages and then went to his own people. He was concerned about the low spiritual life of the church. He spent a couple of days alone praying for them.
He was invited to lead the village devotions on the Saturday night at Ragizaria. Johan van Bruggen told the story in his circulars:
Since most of the Ragizaria people are deeply involved in witchcraft practices, David made an urgent appeal for repentance. Two men responded and came forward. David put his hands on them and wanted to pray, when suddenly these two men fell to the ground. They were both praising the Lord. Everybody was surprised and did not know what to think of this. David himself had been slain in the Spirit at Kambaidam in August 1988, but this was the first time that this had happened to others through him. The next morning during the Sunday service scores of people were slain in the Spirit. Said David, “People entered the church building and immediately they were seized by God’s power. They were drunk in the Spirit and many could not keep standing. The floor was covered with bodies.” It did not only happen to Lutherans, but also to members of a Seventh Day Adventist congregation (former Lutherans) that were attracted by the noise and commotion.
David reported that there was a sense of tremendous joy in the church and people were praising the Lord. Well, the service lasted for hours and hours. Finally David said, “And now the people are hungry for God’s Word and not only in my village, but also in Waritzian, a nearby village. And they want the students to come with Bible studies. Can we go next weekend?”
We all felt that some students together with Pastor Bubo should go. …
Pastor Bubo told me,“Acts 2 happened all over again!”For three days all the people were drunk in the Spirit. God used the students and Bubo in a mighty way. On Saturday night the Holy Spirit was poured down on the hundreds of people that had assembled there. From then on until the moment the school car arrived on Monday noon, the people were being filled again and again by the Spirit. There was much rejoicing. There were words of prophecy. There was healing and deliverance. And on Monday morning all things of magic and witchcraft were burned. Everybody was in it, the leaders, the young, yes even little children were reported to be drunk in the Spirit. … The people did not want to go and sleep, saying, “So often we have had drunken all night parties. Now we will have a divine party until daybreak.”
This area had been a stronghold of evil practices. Many people received various spiritual gifts including unusual abilities such as speaking English in tongues and being able to read the Bible. People met for prayer, worship and study every day and at night. These daily meetings continued to be held for over two years.
That revival kept spreading through the witness and ministries of the Bible School graduates.
Acts 3 all over again
In November 1990, Johan van Bruggen wrote:
This is what happened about two months ago. A new church building was going to be officially opened in a village in the Kainantu area. Two of our last year’s graduates took part in the celebrations by acting the story in Acts 3: Peter and John going to the temple and healing the cripple.
Their cripple was a real one a young man, Mark, who had his leg smashed in a car accident. The doctors had wanted to amputate it, but he did not want to lose his useless leg. He used two crutches to move around the village. He could not stand at all on that one leg. He was lying at the door of the new church when our Peter and John (real names: Steven and Pao) wanted to enter. The Bible story was exactly followed: “I have got no money, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” Well, they acted this out before hundreds of people, among them the president of the Goroka Church District and many pastors and elders. Peter (Steven) grabbed the cripple (Mark) by the hand and pulled him up. And he walked! He threw his crutches away and loudly praised the Lord! Isn’t that something? What a faith!
Their testimony was given at a meeting of elders when Kambaidam was discussed. Mark was a most happy fellow who stood and walked firmly on his two legs. He also had been involved in criminal activities, but in this meeting he unashamedly confessed his faith in the Lord Jesus.
Later I talked with them. Steven (Peter) told me that the Lord had put this on his heart during a week long period of praying. “I had no doubt that the Lord was going to heal Mark, and I was so excited when we finally got to play act! And Mark? He told me that when Steven told him to get up he just felt the power of God descend upon him and at the same time he had a tingling sensation in his crippled leg: “I just felt the blood rushing through my leg, bringing new life!” Mark is now involved in evangelistic outreach and his testimony has a great impact.
Amazing revival stories from Bougainville in the South Pacific. New Testament events still happen. Walking on water to witchcraft island and back. Magic discovered and destroyed.
Selections from revival stories in South Pacific Revivals. Share this page to inform and bless others – great stories for messages, youth groups and study groups.See links below to share on your Facebook, Twitter, Google, Linkedin & Emails.
Bougainville Revival – South Pacific Royree Jensen (Sons of Thunder, 2009) tells the story of powerful revival in Bougainville, east of Papua New Guinea, during the decade of war from 1988, sparked by the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) to defend their land and culture from devastation caused by mining. Spiritual leaders were worried about the western evils that arrived with the mining: pornography, alcohol abuse, drugs, smoking and immorality. Here are selections from Royree’s story. Friday, November 6, 1987 marked the first supernatural revival event. It was at this time that the crisis was about to boil over. The stories of that day and the period of time that followed have been told to me by Papa Luke, a genteel man – white haired, 73 years of age, a school teacher, world-travelled. He lives on Saposa Island, 30 minutes by banana boat from Buka Island. He was a small boy during World War II and can remember the time when the Japanese invaded his island. Having lived through so much turbulence, Papa Luke now spends most of his days sitting with God. When we finally found him, he was sitting by the ocean reading his Bible.
Both teacher and story-weaver, he began to talk, vividly recalling the day the revival began, in the circular story-telling style of the Melanesian people. “Before revival came up, I wrote a drama about God that mixed the culture with the Word of God. We had a drama group of young people who travelled around Buka area. Around this time, nine people got sick from black magic. Out of the nine, five died and four were left. “My cousin Salome was one of the four people who didn’t die. She was brought to the hospital in Buka but she didn’t recover, so she was referred to Arawa General Hospital. She didn’t recover there. The Indian doctor told her and her husband that he had seen witchcraft in India and knew that this poison came from the witchcraft. The doctor discharged her and she came home. “They had a ritual ceremony where they asked for the sorcerers to release her by making a sacrifice to free her. She was meant to get better but didn’t improve. After black magic failed, her brother, the chief, requested for the drama group to come back to our village and pray. “By Sunday morning, my cousin was still sick. My family brought her to the Lotu (church service). They prayed for deliverance and healing. She got healed immediately along with the other three who were still sick. Five dead. Four healed. On that Sunday, many spiritual gifts fell. Everyone received a spiritual gift – all different kinds of gifts. “Now the group went to the island where Salome and the others got sick. They were going to heal the island of the witchcraft that had killed the people. They put their hands into the ground without having to dig and they pulled out the poison. Their hands went through the ground to the exact spot of the bones or whatever artifacts had been used for the witchcraft. Their eyes were closed but the Holy Spirit led them to these places.” (As he told me this, he shaped his hand as they had shaped theirs – like a rigid blade extending straight from the arm.) Walking on water “Now things became wild, exciting and interesting. Supernatural things began to happen. By the power of the Holy Spirit, my cousin Salome discerned that there was some witchcraft poison on another nearby island (a burial site) that was put there by a sorcerer. We began to pray. While we prayed, fifteen people stood with their eyes shut. Still with their eyes shut, they began walking on the water from our island to the nearby island. The Holy Spirit led them while they walked. When they reached the other island, they put their hands into the ground and pulled out small parcels of scraped human bone. This powder was being used by sorcerers in their witchcraft rituals. They brought these parcels of scraped bones back to our island, still walking on top of the water with their eyes still shut. They did not swim. “We prayed over the parcels and threw them away into salt water. This broke the power of witchcraft. We don’t know how they did the walking on the water except by the power of God. Plenty of people saw them walking on the water. There were plenty of eye witnesses. The distance between the two islands is one kilometre. “The effect that this had on the island was that we became very excited about God. Many became Christians and worshipped God. … “For one week, we fasted, prayed and read the Bible. “First we went back to the island where our 15 people had walked. We found more black magic – enough to fill a 10kg bag of rice. We prayed over it and threw it in the water. A big flying fox with legs like a man settled on top of the house where I was staying with another pastor. We could feel the wind from his wings. We rebuked this evil, black magic. It was powerful and even those who were praying fell down. This battle went on for quite a while but the people in our church were skilled in deliverance and intercession and eventually we started to win over this black magic. “Two days later, we visited the island where the school children had died. We circled the island in a small boat worshipping God. We were all a little bit afraid. First people who could discern black magic went ashore. Then those who could fight black magic went ashore. Then we all went ashore. “We stood together and worshipped God. Then we split into two groups, heading around the island in opposite directions. Just before we joined up, one team stood under a tree and looked up. They saw a live bird that they knew was part of black magic. They said, ‘In the name of Jesus come down.’ The bird died and began to fall. By the time it hit the ground, only the skeleton of the bird was left. “One month before, some plantation workers had been on the island. A man had sat under that tree to rest. He took sick, went to hospital and died. However, after we fought the black magic, it was okay. Even today, 20 years later, people live there and no one gets sick. There is good food, good fish and everything grows. It is no longer a witchcraft island. “These things marked the beginning of the revival. Demonic spirits were being chased out of our land.” More miracles Albert was a young Christian during the crisis. He adds: “I now see, feel and walk on the power of God. I didn’t know these things when I was a young Christian but I saw it in others. There were those who were operating on the high voltage power of God. These were people who would walk through a hail of bullets and not get hit. I would say that the host of heaven caught some of the bullets for me. “There was one instance in 1993 when I was leading a group of chiefs from up in the mountains to sign a peace agreement. I was not doing this job of my own accord but because it was my job to do. I prayed to my God, “The fighting is all around us and I am a Christian. If You are going to go with me, talk with me tonight, Papa God. I don’t want to lead them through the bullets. “At 2 a.m., my elder son who was three spoke in English. He did not know English. He said, ‘Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, you can go.’ He was fast asleep. Fifteen years later, the memory still brings tears to my eyes and a reverent awe of God. This was not the time of meetings, conferences, mobile phones or encouragement. This was a hard time and we only had God. “I woke up in the morning with peace. That day, 15 of the chiefs started to run back to the mountains. I told them that God was with us and that not one single man must run away even if there is gunfire. I told them that, if one runs, then the guns will get us but that if no one runs, we will all be safe. “There was a place called Ambush Corner always maintained by BRA. They knew where I was taking these chiefs and why. They didn’t want anyone to sign peace papers. I was in the front of the line. The Holy Spirit stopped me and I heard a voice tell me to take the chiefs to one side. I stopped them and said, ‘We are about to enter Ambush Corner and I am afraid that there are people ready to kill us. However, last night, I felt the peace of God. Don’t run but stand strong beside me.’ We walked ahead and the BRA descended upon us. I said to them, ‘In Jesus’ name, I am a servant of God.’ “They pointed their weapons to the sky and fired them off, then they pointed their guns at us but the guns wouldn’t fire. The chiefs kept following me saying that the peace must come from God. The peace we enjoy today in Bougainville is because of that document. “One time, I was holding my son on my shoulders going for a tramp. We came to a flooded river which was odd because there had been no rain so we took another route. Later I found out that there was an ambush waiting to kill us. The unnatural flood changed our direction.” During the late 1980s when war erupted, life was going on in its exotic daily routines in the jungle. Yet there was one clan leader who decided to st
ay in his village, 2 kms from the coastline and about 80 kms from Panguna Mine. Such villages were caught between flying bullets. Pastor Ezekiel made a home there called Aero Centre. Here are just a few stories that have been told directly to me some ten years since the guns were laid down. A boy’s story: “During the crisis, PNGDF men entered the little house I lived in with my mother. I was 12 years old. They demanded kerosene and food at gunpoint. My mother was a Christian and so she began to pray. They held a gun to her head but she said, ‘No’. Kerosene was more valuable than gold for us. Without it, we couldn’t run our home. The soldier pulled the trigger. The gun didn’t go off. All this time, I watched my mother. They pulled the trigger a second time. The gun didn’t go off. The soldier went outside our hut, pulled the trigger and it went off. The gun was loaded and it exploded. These soldiers realised that God was with my mother. They quickly ran away. We kept our kerosene.” By the time that 12 year old boy told me this story, he was a young man, yet the awe of God was still on him. He had witnessed his mother’s faith in God and he is still walking in the fear of God. Ruth, a vivacious school teacher recalls her experiences of being a woman during the crisis and the revival: “In the time of the crisis, God helped my family in a big way. We had no money to buy clothes, food and soap. God showed us how to use coconut and lemon to wash our clothes to make them white as snow. He showed us how to use coconut oil from our own coconut trees for our lamps. Before the crisis, we used to buy kerosene for our lamps. Now there was no money and no kerosene. Salt was also not available so He showed us how to cook our food in salt water from the ocean, adding grated coconut for our flavours. Sometimes we would boil the ocean water until all we had left was the powdery salt. In these ways, God showed me that He loved women in their domestic situation; that even in a crisis He could provide all we needed by looking after our clothes and our bodies. “God also blessed the ground during the crisis. Food that we hadn’t planted appeared – sweet potato, yam, taro, casava, chinese taro, banana and other fruit. This didn’t just happen in one place. It happened all over the island. In fact, there is now a category of sweet potato called crisis kaukau!” …
Pastor Ezekiel & Janet
Another leader, Pastor Ezekiel, had been a United Church pastor since his training for the ministry. He had received the spiritual experience known as the Baptism in the Holy Spirit at the time of his salvation. … Pastor Ezekiel was told to close down his Bible School. Because of the crisis, all of the schools on the island had been closed down and he was to comply. He refused. He said that it was not his place to close it down. God had opened it and God would have to shut it. He was viciously beaten as a result of this decision, and on a number of other occasions. Over 500 people, including many women, have graduated from his Bible School. Many are now missionaries in other countries. Another extraordinary side effect of the crisis was the subsistence diet. Many times I have heard it said that they came out of the crisis 10 years younger than they used to be because all the refined food was taken out of their diet. They ate from the soil. “ Our bodies got healthy and strong.” Prayer Mountain A Prayer Mountain emerged deep into the crisis years. Its origins were mysterious and its role in the crisis and in the revival was equally other-world. A contributing factor to the glory of God over Bougainville and to the revival has to have been this Prayer Mountain. In Bougainville and in other parts of the world, it is not uncommon for a geographical site to be set aside as a prayer mountain. However, when I began to hear stories of this one particular Prayer Mountain, I knew that God had met with this people in a rare manner, not unique, but certainly rare. Pastor Ezekiel’s strength and focus on God encouraged others to become giants in faith also. David Gagaso is one such giant. This strong and good looking young man with a soft, melodic voice was the one who received the word from God about this mountain. David made a choice as a young man to live an uncompromising life of faith in Jesus Christ. He was diligent in his pursuit of spiritual things leading him to a series of miraculous experiences. Phenomena in the night sky, visions, and voices helped him locate a certain mountain on which he, his brother and friends built a bush house for prayer. This became known as Prayer Mountain. … He said, “In that bush house, the presence of God came down. The place was totally covered and filled with thick fog and smoke. We could hardly see other people in this little house. Pastor began using Prayer Mountain, hosting prayer seminars and prayer programs. “We began to see manifestations of God. People began to receive songs and others saw angels. We were lost in prayer and fasting. … “In 1999, we replaced the bush house with one that had a tin roof. At the opening service for that house, I felt the presence of Jesus Christ as we were worshipping. Everyone was flat on the ground, face down. Even the musicians were on the ground with their instruments. It was an awesome incredible experience for me that I will never forget. We had to stop the whole service because we enjoyed God’s presence so much. It took us a very long time to come back to the rest of the service. We could not pray or dance or sing but could only be flat on the ground before the presence of God. “Normally before people set foot on Prayer Mountain, the sky would be clear. When people entered the prayer house, cloud would cover up the whole place even though there were no other clouds in the sky. “We never slept at Prayer Mountain, but would always come back to the foot of the mountain to sleep. … David paused and then continued. “Our experience in the crisis produced people who can be involved in missions. We are not scared about any situation. We learn language easily; we eat anything or nothing; we sleep anywhere; we need nothing; we carry fire. “I personally believe that God is going to raise up very aggressive missionaries from our island. One of the things I believe is that the Church should be involved in mission. Our Church in Bougainville is now reaping what we were planting up there in Prayer Mountain. We prayed for Africa and now we have missionaries there. Same with Indonesia. We are becoming the answer to our own prayers. I myself am about to go to a place that is not safe for Christians.” Jane took up the story. “Prayer Mountain was where the Spirit of God fell. Things happened that are foreign to the western mind. “It started when we took Bible School students up to Prayer Mountain for a retreat. We planned to be there for two weeks, praying and fasting, before sending them out on a ministry trip. “At the time of this two week stay on Prayer Mountain with the students, we were not thinking in terms of a revival. We were just being obedient to why we believed God had established Prayer Mountain. “Soon, people were lifted up off the ground during worship and prayer. One girl was lifted up, flew past me and landed outside the building. Other students went through the wall, breaking it on their flight, landing outside. “We tried to stop them; to quiet them down; to bring them back inside the building. But there was a fear of God and a fear of the unknown. We were afraid that if we stopped it, we would be touching something that was God. “One time Ezekiel was up on Prayer Mountain. On his way back to Aero Centre, he met two ‘white men’ who were glowing. They asked him where he was going. He said, ‘Home’ and then passed them. He turned around. They were gone. “Another time a group was cleaning the building at the top of Prayer Mountain. They arrived to find footprints all around the house. You must understand that this is not a place where anyone lived and those on cleaning duty would have seen anyone leave the house on their way up the mountain. They knew straight away that these were the footprints of angels. … Ezekiel’s adds:“Before Prayer Mountain, and into the second year of the crisis, people were singing worship songs to God. The sound of the singing was heard around the mountains. “When it was time to be in church, people would run to the front of the church, casting themselves down on the smooth rocks that were alongside the front of the church. There were times when the dirt floor of the church was indented by the banging of heads in repentance and worship. “Then came Prayer Mountain. We stopped at the bottom of the mountain to confess our sins and if we didn’t do this well enough on the first stop, such conviction would come on us that we would stop again. Finally we would reach the prayer house at the top of the mountain and the presence of God would come down. We wouldn’t talk but could only whisper because of the awareness of the Holy Spirit. The day came, after the building was completed, for its dedication. I put a big ceremony on the doors and then we went inside. When we were about to sing the first song we found that we couldn’t stand. We were prostrate on the floor before God. Prophecy after prophecy came. “We had not expected this. The prophecies spoke against the war. In fact, when the Peace-Keeping Forces arrived in Bougainville, God reminded us of the prophecies from that meeting. What is more, we were praying on Prayer Mountain when they arrived in Bougainville. … Pastor Ezekiel told me of its final days. “By 1999, a prophetic message came that we had to leave the mountain. God began to speak from John 4:21-24. The message of those verses came to me as, “I am no longer just in that mountain. Meet Me here as you met Me on the mountain.” “This process of obedience gave us further understanding of the holiness and presence of God. “We began to question God. “Why are we not experiencing what we experienced before?” “Then God began to give us the understanding that Prayer Mountain was not just for ourselves but was for taking the Gospel to other people. He spoke to us about mission. Now we were to plant churches and experience things that used to only happen on Prayer Mountain. W
e have done this. For instance, we now even have missionaries in Africa. “We had to learn about the omnipresence of God. Some young people went back to Prayer Mountain to try to get back what we had experienced but nothing happened. It was a time and a season and a place for a specific purpose. “In 2000, we launched Christian Missionary Fellowship in Bougainville. We are now sending missionaries into PNG and to the rest of world.” More of this story is told in South Pacific Revivalsand fully in SONS OF THUNDER
Have you ever drifted off to sleep . . . and suddenly woke up totally HEALED? When you’re sitting in the presence of God, it can happen.
In fact, that’s exactly what took place on night 3 in our Great Gospel Campaign in Accra, Ghana.
It was one of those nights that is hard for me to describe. As always, our emphasis was on the preaching of the Gospel of salvation, to which many thousands responded.
But when the Gospel is proclaimed the inevitable result is miracles. Even though I hardly said anything about healing, the Holy Spirit loves to confirm the lordship of Jesus and manifest His Kingdom through supernatural demonstrations.
“And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.” (Mark 16:19-20)
And on this one particular night, we saw so many hearings: A man blind for ten years healed. A woman with an issue of blood healed. A deaf man healed. A lady threw her walking stick away. A woman took off her neck brace. I even danced with the woman who had been crippled.
But the most moving testimony came at the very end. A man, who had been deaf for almost two years, had just arrived in town by train. He had a long lay-over for his next connection so he unwittingly ventured into the city center (Independence Square, where our campaign was being held).
He was a Muslim. He had no intention of coming to a Gospel meeting. He could not understand anything that was going on anyway … so he laid down and went to sleep. (He was about to make a divine connection.)
When he woke up, to his utter amazement, he could hear! He came to the platform and stood before me trembling, overcome with emotion. He had a look of shock on his face. “My name is Mohammed,” he said, and he proceeded to tell me his story.
I asked him if he knew who had healed him and he said it is “The messenger of the Almighty God .. Jesus.” The whole thing was so raw and fresh. I could see he was struggling to come to terms with what he had just realized. “Jesus is, Jesus is … he is a God,” he said, as though the thought had just occurred to him.
He said, “Even the Koran says if you do not believe in Jesus Christ you are not a good Muslim.” He seemed to be trying to justify this to himself.
But I wanted to make it clear for the thousands watching this unfold. “Jesus is not just a messenger.” I said, “He is the SON of the living God. He is the Way, He is the Truth and He is the Life…”
He jumped up and down and shouted, “I thank God. I thank. God. I can hear. I can hear.” By the end of our conversation, he seemed to be settled and completely sure, but he desperately wanted to get the message to his wife.
So he boldly announced the name of the city where he lives and in his own words he said, “My wife is not watching this … but I persuade anybody who knows me and sees my face … that my name is Mohammed (he also shouted his last name) and you can tell my wife that Jesus is the Son of God. And tell her that I am healed. I am healed. I can hear. I can hear.”
I wish you could have seen the crowd. No football team has ever received such enthusiasm – they were jumping and dancing and shouting with joy unspeakable and full of glory. It is a moment I will never forget. YOU HELPED TO MAKE THAT MIRACLE MOMENT HAPPEN for that dear man. Your prayers and your financial support make you a key part of EVERY single miracle o salvation and healing in our meetings.
There are more men and women (just like Mohammed) who need to find out that Jesus is the SON of God; that He can save their souls; forgive their past; and heal their hurts.
Please ask the Lord what you should give and sow into this soul-winning soil … and make your next gift a personal act of obedience to His leading in your heart.
You have no idea just how much your prayers and gifts matter. But God does … and He sees and knows how to supply, bless and multiply every seed that you sow … according to His word.
(2 Cor 9:8-10)
Randy Clark, founding director of Global Awakening (globalawakening.com), leads short term missions in the power of the Spirit worldwide. His personal stories are in his books Lighting Fires and There Is More. The stories here in this article are stories of what happened through the ministry members on their teams and others who were blessed by their ministry. For over 20 years Randy has been leading teams and equipping people of faith to minister just as Jesus told us to, and as Jesus taught his followers to do.
Jesus was, of course, the world’s best at short term supernatural missions – constantly travelling, as Paul and his teams did later.
This article is reproduced from Chapter 10 of Randy Clark’s book Supernatural Missions (Global Awakening, 2012), “Power Evangelism in Short Term Mission Trips”. See bookstore on www.globalawakening.com
What is the place of short-term missions in the big picture of world evangelization? It is not meant to replace long-term mission efforts, but to be in cooperation with them. Those who go on short term mission trips and minister in the power of the Spirit often return home with a new passion for what God is doing in the earth. Such trips can also benefit the ongoing work in the field, by impacting large groups of people through evangelistic meetings, bringing impartation and refreshment to the host pastors and churches. By seeing what God does through short-term missions, we may engage in his overall plan in a strategic way.
The Effects of Short-Term Mission trips on team members
1.) The “Vicious Downward Spiral” is reversed
2.) Full-time missions service
3.) Connections are created between local churches and the host country leaders or churches
4.) Vision is created for International Ministry
The Effects of Short Term Mission trips on Receiving/Hosting Groups: Apostolic Impartation for Pastors A. Brazil
Power Evangelism in Short-term Missions
The Effects of Short-Term Mission trips on team members
1.) The “Vicious Downward Spiral” is reversed
Several years ago I ministered at a large Vineyard Church in Champaign, Illinois. I had known the pastor for many years and was shocked at the change of atmosphere in his church from the last time I had ministered there some years before. The church had continued to grow numerically, but there was a noticeable difference in the people’s expectation for God to move in their midst. I felt such a spirit of grief that I found it hard to speak.
Later, when I met with the Pastor Happy Leman and his staff, the executive pastor asked me a very important question. This question would change the way I looked at inviting people to come with me to minister in other countries. Prior to that time, I felt somewhat awkward inviting people to go with me, as if what I was doing was self-serving. But, after this question I have never felt that inviting someone to go with me to the nations was self-serving. The question was, “What do you do to keep your expectation for healing high?” The executive pastor continued, “Our doctrinal belief hasn’t changed since you first met us years ago. Then, what we believed doctrinally we expected to happen in our midst. However, since then, though our beliefs have not changed, our experience has not matched our beliefs. As a result our expectation has dropped. With the dropping of our expectation, our experience dropped, and we see less than before. Now, we are caught in a vicious cycle. Each year it seems like our experience is less, and our expectation drops even more.” He then asked the question, “What do you do to not get caught in this vicious cycle?”
I responded, “I have to go somewhere where there is an open heaven- where there are apostolic leaders who are getting a break through, and minister in that context for a couple of weeks twice a year. During that time I will see more healings than most pastors will see in a lifetime. This builds up my experience and causes my expectation for healing to remain high.” This is what I have been doing for 17 years, and it not only works for me. I see it affect the people who come with me as well. They have their faith raised for healing due to their experience of seeing so many people get healed and seeing God use them to bring healing to people.
I have had several pastors from various denominations come with me to the nations who were so discouraged that they were looking at the want ads in the paper. They felt like they couldn’t continue in ministry unless God refreshed them and touched them. They were “burned out”, discouraged and depressed. I watched these men be touched by the Holy Spirit and saw them experience a whole new zeal and energy for ministry. Depression was broken off. Hopelessness was replaced with faith that God would use them. One of these pastors was 60 years old when this happened to him. The years since then have been the most productive, most exciting and most fruitful of his entire 40+ years of ministry.
Why are short-term mission trips important? The kind I am talking about, the team is the ministry team. They gives words of knowledge and pray for the sick to be healed for hours every day. This is important for the creation of faith that God will use the team members. “This experience changed my life” is one of the most common responses we get on our evaluation forms.
2.) Full-time missions service
Two pastors who have taken more people with me to the nations are Tom Jones and Tom Hauser. When they first started going with me on short-term ministry trips to the nations, Tom Jones was pastoring one of the largest Church of God Cleveland, Tennessee churches in Florida. Tom Hauser was on staff as the Executive Pastor of one of the larger Vineyard Churches on the East Coast in North Carolina. Their churches developed not only a strong openness to the Holy Spirit but also a strong commitment to missions. Both of their churches would have several people leave their secular jobs and become missionaries after going with us on short-term ministry trips. Tom Jones had a total of 6 people become missionaries in 10 years. Tom Hauser had a total of 8 people become missionaries in 6 years. He has seen around 160 go on short-term mission trips. Also, his church helped establish two orphanages and plant 73 churches in Nepal, India, Costa Rica and the US. It is true that there could be other factors contributing to this outcome, such as the fact that both churches were deeply committed to renewal and the outpouring of the Spirit in Toronto. But, when you compare the percentage who went on trips to the percentage who didn’t go on trips in relationship to going into missions or other mercy type ministries, I believe the variable is sufficiently removed to give us a better indication of the effects of the trips.
This is not just true for my ministry trips. I have a spiritual father, Cleddie Keith, who was for many years in the Assemblies of God denomination, and who took people from his church on ministry trips with him. These trips were very similar to mine in that the people were expected to be the ministry team and pray for the people. He has taken several hundred on short-term mission trips. During the last 17 years since the beginning of the renewal, which he was very committed to, over 30 people have gone into missions or full-time ministry from his church.
3.) Connections are created between local churches and the host country leaders or churches
People we took on our first few trips to Mozambique to work with Heidi and Rolland Baker of Iris Ministries, became a great blessing to their ministry. Many of these pastors and businessmen continued to provide support to their ministry. Terry Inman’s Assembly of God church in California has been supportive with finances and with people going to serve. Alan Hawkins, pastor of a Charismatic church in New Mexico, has made several trips to minister with Iris Ministries. Tom Hauser has made many trips and has sent several couples and individuals to work with Iris since his first trip to Mozambique. On our first trip, we had people from Australia and the United States with us. Two of the people came back as full time missionaries within one year of that first trip.
What I hadn’t expected though I should not have been surprised, was how my own interns and students from our school would be sent to help Heidi and Rolland. Will Hart and his wife Musy, were recently married when they led a trip for me to Mozambique. I received an email from Heidi. “Randy, will you give Will and Musy to me? I am in need of them!” I told her of course I would and that if they wanted to go, I would bless them. They went and spent three years serving Rolland and Heidi after Will had already spent three years serving me. In Mozambique, they would have their first two children, born at home without a doctor or midwife. They only had a book to read. Then Jean Nicole, another one of my interns, went and became a missionary with Heidi. He married another Iris missionary named Teisa. Today, they are working with Iris South Africa. On my last trip to Mozambique, I took Timothy, a young intern of mine. He is very bright and graduated first in his high school class. He loved our time in Mozambique and wants to move back there with his new wife. The two plan to help Heidi and Rolland as Timothy continues his theological studies.
One of the most exciting short-term ministry trips we do is to Brazil in July each year. It is called the Youth Power Invasion. Each year 125-200 youths from America, ages 13-29, join with several hundred youths from Brazil. We spend a week teaching the youth in the day about how to preach, heal the sick, receive words of knowledge, and lead ministry teams. At night the youth divide into 4 groups and go with me and other key leaders to conduct services for healing and impartation in the local churches. The second week our key speakers come home and the youth lead the teams. They often see up to 8,000 healings during those two weeks! Many of the young people are so impacted that they quit their careers or schooling to take two years to be trained at our Global School of Supernatural Ministry in Mechanicsburg, PA.
From my trips to Brazil, I know of many families that have continued to go to minister on their own in the country. From Tom Hauser’s church and Tom Jones’ church, several couples and individuals have gone as longer-term missionaries. From our Global School of Supernatural Ministry we have people who first went to Brazil with us that are now going back long term (five students from our current class and two from a former class including a 74 year old student.) The five students are going to southern Brazil to start a Global School of Supernatural Ministry and hope to have 5-10 other classmates join them next year. The older woman went to be a missionary with an Indian tribe that is in revival as a result of our team going to minister near the reservation where the Baileys work (see chapter 1). This tribe continues to reach out to the other tribes of the same dialect in the region.
Our ministry works with apostolic leaders around the world. When we first started the Global School of Supernatural Ministry, we sent out a letter to ask the apostolic leaders what they needed most. Their response was a school similar to ours that could be conducted in their country. Presently, many of our students between their 20’sto 70’s desiring to go and start ministry schools in Brazil, South Africa,Thailand, England, and India.
Others who went with us to Brazil have gone back to begin orphanages and to work in the favelas (slums) with the poor. Several others who first traveled with us are now taking their own teams into Brazil and other Latin American countries.
On one trip we took with us veterinarian Frank Pak and his wife Robbie to Ukraine. When I wasn’t able to continue coming into the country on a regular basis, the Pak’s picked up where I left off. They have made multiple trips to serve the church including medical trips, trips to work with drug addicts and trips to strengthen the pastors and churches. They now lead their own teams from the church they attend.
In 1996 I led my first team to Russia and continued for about three years to take large teams there. Russ Purcello, pastor of a large independent church in Tennessee, went with me. He had been involved in taking many mission trips to Honduras but had never felt a burden for Russia. However, when I shared about the trip, he felt he should go. Since his first trip, he has continued replicas of my meetings in almost every political region in Russia. God touched him so profoundly that for more than a decade, he and his church have been going into Russia to strengthen the young pastors and leaders. He has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into his efforts to strengthen the churches in Russia. After my initial three-year commitment to Russia, the door was opened wide for me to work more in Brazil. It was such a relief to see Pastor Purcello continue the much needed training and impartation to the leaders and pastors of Russia that I could no longer reach.
These stories are just some of the fruit from the connections between the local churches and the host church or leaders. Some of these missionaries have received substantial help including hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, that came through their continued connection with the pastors and wealthy businessmen that went with us. When they saw what was being done, for example by Iris Ministries in Mozambique, their hearts and wallets were opened to the Bakers and the work in Mozambique.
4.) Vision is created for International Ministry
Almost all of the people I have mentioned in the above paragraphs had no vision for international ministry or mission work when they first went with us to the nations. But, for the majority their first trip touched them so profoundly that they made several trips as finances could be raised, and some ended up either starting ministries that reached out to the world or to a local country. Most began these in the country they visited first or the one they visited most on short-term trips with us.
The Effects of Short Term Mission Trips upon the Receiving /Hosting Group
1. Apostolic Impartation for Pastors
Most of our International Ministry Trips are focused on encouraging, equipping and imparting to pastors and leaders who are related to national indigenous apostolic leaders. The exception is Mozambique where Rolland and Heidi Baker are not indigenous, although they are apostolic. (The reason I now use “ministry trips” rather than “mission trips” is because the implications of mission traditionally seem more paternal, when in reality, some of the places we work are far ahead of much of the Western Church.) I will be sharing what some of these leaders have told us regarding the value of our ministry trips to their leadership.
Brazil is where we have conducted most of our International Ministry Trips. We have averaged about 5 trips per year with about 70 days a year in Brazil by either myself or one of my colleagues in ministry. No other nation has received so much time and resources invested into it from our ministry.
Why have we made so many trips to Brazil? First, when I first went to Brazil, I had already made several trips to Argentina where I worked with Dr. Pablo Deiros and Dr. Carlos Mrarida of the Baptist denomination. Also, I had been working with Omar Cabrera Sr. in his denomination, Vision de Futuro. When I made my first trip to Brazil I told a friend, “I feel like the revival in Argentina has peaked and is diminishing in power. I feel like we are catching the beginning of the wave of revival in Brazil, and I want to ride it to its end.”
Second, I believe Brazil will be the number one missionary sending country in the world in this century. A few years ago, I heard C. Peter Wagner remark that Brazil is the country most in revival. I believe that wherever revival is the strongest is where you will see the most missionaries sent out. I wanted to have a part in this revival by equipping and focusing the revival upon the nations with an emphasis of sending forth missionaries.
Third, around 1999 I was in Toronto just after traveling to Sydney, Australia. While there I had worked with Pastor Frank Huston who was a great apostolic leader, especially for the Pacific area, and was also very prophetic. I was in a season of trying to determine from God what was next. I wanted to know if there was anything God wanted me to know. I had asked God to give Frank a prophecy for me in Sydney, but he did not have one. But, when I was in Toronto, Frank called me out and gave me this prophecy: “As God has used you in Toronto, in the near future God is going to use you to birth revival in six nations. Four of those nations your feet have ‘not touched yet.’” A few hours later, I met with delegations from Korea and Brazil inviting me to come to their countries. I definitely believe Brazil is one of those six nations.
Fourth, as I mentioned earlier, Brazil seems to be the land of my anointing. It is definitely the land of my greatest favor. I went there not knowing how to speak a word of Portuguese, not being part of a denominational heritage connected with the country, and not knowing a soul in Brazil. Today, 11 years later, I have spoken in more churches in Brazil than in the United States, including some of the largest in the nation: Pentecostal – Assemblies of God, Quadrangular Four Square), new denominations that are Pentecostal/Charismatic in nature, Methodist, Baptist, and Nazarene. Most of these churches are over 1,000 in average attendance and some have 8,000, 12,000, 30,000 and 60,000 in just one local church. What have the key leaders of these denominations and churches said to me about our trips? In what way were they beneficial to their churches?
1. Belem – Quadrangular
In Belem, located near the mouth of the Amazon in Northeast Brazil, we worked primarily with the Quadrangular denomination. I was invited by Pastor Josue Bengtson, who is over the Quadrangular Church in that region. They have a total of over 30,000 members among many churches in the city of Belem. His son, Paulo told me, “You are the first American that my father has invited back.” When I asked why, he told me that most Americans his father had invited were proud and boastful. But, our teams were humble. Paulo also told me that he believed their churches had grown rapidly recently due to two main reasons: their commitment to cells and the impact of our trips upon their leaders. He told us that our teams really encouraged their pastors and leadership with not only the teachings on equipping, but also the experiences of impartation that their leaders received through the Holy Spirit in our ministry.
2. Maua – Baptist
Pastor Silvio Galli is the pastor of the Living Waters Baptist Church in Maua, Brazil. When we first came to his church, it had about 300 members and was a small church down a dirt road. It was a traditional Baptist Church, but Pastor Galli was open and desperate for the power of the Holy Spirit. When we first ministered in his church, the Holy Spirit fell powerfully. There were many healings including some of the members of the staff. The church building was too small for the crowd. People were outside listening through the windows, in the hallways and were packed in to 140% capacity. Pastor Galli was very excited about what God was doing in his church.
Three years later we revisited this church. I was surprised when we pulled up to the church. It was not down the dirt road. It wasn’t the same little building that would barely seat 300. Instead, it was right on a main street in the city. The building seated about 1,500. They had multiple services to accommodate the 3,000 weekly attendance. He told me that the rapid growth had come because of two main reasons: one, the implementation of the cell system, and two, the impact of the Holy Spirit upon the congregation. This congregation had experienced a significant corporate impartation during our meetings. There were many healings and more continued after we left. They truly received an impartation to move in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Six years later we returned to the church. The church building had once again relocated to a building that would seat over 2,000 people. The church had grown to over 14,000 in 6 locations with 9,000 at the main congregation. Again, the power of God came mightily. Pastor Galli again told me that our last two visits to his church were significant in the rapid growth of the church. This time only ¼ of his church could come on each of the 4 nights due to the limitation of the building. On the third night, we had a noticeable increase in the miraculous. On this night blind eyes saw, deaf ears opened and tumors disappeared. One paralyzed person walked and talked after a stroke had taken both abilities away. A cast was cut off the arm of a woman who had been in excruciating pain. All the pain had left her after she heard a word of knowledge about her condition. Knees with no cartilage were healed, and pain from childhood polio left. Movement was restored to an ankle and many other things happened. The following night, a man who was paralyzed from the neck down from MS and couldn’t even move a finger, got out of the wheel chair and walked. There were so many healings. The pastor again told us that the three visits to his church were a major part of the reason for the phenomenal growth of the church.
3. Joinville – Quadrangular
We visited Joinville in the south of Brazil, where we ministered to the Quadrangular denominational leaders. The main overseer was so discouraged that if the Holy Spirit didn’t come powerfully upon the other pastors during our meeting, he was going to resign his position. He didn’t resign because we had a wonderful visitation of the Holy Spirit. On one of the nights, a man came with such horrible neuropathy that he couldn’t lift his feet from the floor but could only shuffle his feet with the aid of a walker. While he was being healed that night and began to walk, his doctor told me, “I am his doctor. He can’t do that. He hasn’t been able to walk without a walker or pick up his feet in years!” Another man was healed of a substantial heart problem. Deaf ears were opened and blind eyes were healed.
Just as importantly the pastors and leaders experienced a powerful impartation and left the meetings encouraged by this fresh visitation of the Holy Spirit. Some received gifts of healing and greater faith for operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Manaus is a city in northern Brazil located 1,000 miles into the Rain Forest. We first ministered there in September 2001 with Pastor Rene Terre Nova. He was one of Cesar Castellanos’ original 12 in the G-12 movement. Outside of our ministry and the ministry of Heidi Baker, he does not allow anyone to speak that is not in the G-12 movement. We have made 3 or 4 visits to his church over the last 11 years. As I mentioned earlier, his church was disfellowshiped by the Baptist denomination after the Holy Spirit visited it with healing and manifestations. When the church left the Baptist denomination, it had an average attendance of 700. As of our first visit, it had grown to 25,000 in only 7 years.
I will never forget that first visit about a decade ago. At the time I had only seen a few deaf people healed in my whole lifetime. However, in one night we experienced an amazing outpouring of the Holy Spirit connected with a manifestation of nature. The building did not have walls yet. We began to see rain falling and wind blowing inside the building even though this was not happening outside! Within a few minutes, we had 8 deaf people hearing. On our second visit we had over 40 deaf people healed. The church had grown to 40,000 in one congregation. This time the walls were built, but the main doors had not been installed. Once again the rain and the wind only occurring inside the building were supernatural signs of the visitation of God. Wind blew chairs down in the building when there was no wind outside the building. On our last trip, we had a lot of angelic activity. We saw about 9,000 people healed the last night. The church had now grown to 60,000.
The associate pastor, Aaron, told us that the people of the church had nicknamed our teams, “The Wonderworkers.” They could not believe the people who traveled with me were not professional healers who traveled with me everywhere we went. This was even after I had specifically told them that only about 1/10 of the ministry team were ministers. The other 9/10 were people just like them who had paid to come and pray for the sick and minister in Jesus’ name.
5. Sao Paulo
I want to end this section on Brazil with the first place we went in Brazil. It was a pastors meeting for about 1,200 pastors and pastoras (female pastors) in the state of Sao Paulo. I taught for three days. The meetings were very powerful. Our team of 11 was small in comparison to what they would later become (30-200 with an average of around 70). No one on my team was a pastor. On the second day, I lost control of the meetings. So many people were being healed during the sermon on healing that the noise from the excitement of the crowd was drowning out my voice. Even with proper sound amplification, people were unable to hear me.
The last day, I emphasized that we were passing the baton to the Brazilians to do the ministry during ministry time and that they would be the ones to give words of knowledge. My team would only be coaching tonight. After a time of impartation, they were released to minister themselves the things our team had been doing.
During that trip Pastor Dirceu had been overseeing setting up special meetings for the Quadrangular denomination. The next time I visited, he told me that the few days with our team were the most impacting on the Quadrangular denomination that he had seen in his life. He told me, “Your ministry has impacted our pastors more than anyone else’s we have brought to Brazil.” I asked him, “Why? How were we different?” He responded, “It isn’t that you are more anointed than others. We have brought some of the most famous ministers in the world to minister to our pastors. They are powerful men of God who preach powerfully. But, when they left, we were the same. When you came, you told us how you moved in the gifts of the Spirit. You explained to us how to receive words of knowledge. You told us we would be able to do so. You told us God would impart these gifts to us, and when you prayed for us, He did.” Pastor Dirceu also told me that he had heard of many testimonies of pastors who had gone back to their respective churches and had seen many healings, whereas before they had seen few if any when they prayed. He said, “When you and your team left, we were different.”
B. Mozambique – Pastors’ Conferences
Next to Brazil, there probably isn’t another country that I have been so committed to serving as Mozambique. For many years we sent two teams a year to Mozambique. I knew that my job description, given to me by God in Toronto, was to be a “Fire Lighter, Vision Caster, and a Bridge Builder.” When I was leaving Mozambique after my first visit and was about to make my first visit to Brazil, Heidi said to me. “Randy, when you get to Brazil, don’t forget us. Tell the Brazilians about us. They already speak the language, and it is easier for them to adjust to the culture than for westerners. Tell them this is not the Macedonian Call- this is the Mozambican call.” I was faithful and during my first years of visits to Brazil, I would often use illustrations about Rolland and Heidi. God used this to open the door for Rolland and Heidi to visit some of the greatest churches in Brazil.
Short-term ministry trips are one way of cross-pollinating between different streams in the revival. Casting a vision for Mozambique and building a bridge between Mozambique and Brazil has been one of my primary goals on these ministry trips. It isn’t enough for me to be used by God to “light the fire” of revival in countries. I am to also cast vision for God’s purposes and build a bridge between networks, denominations, countries, and mission sending and mission receiving countries. I am to communicate the truth that missions follows revival, and that missions is one of the greatest evidences of true revival.
1. Beira – Heidi and key leaders – “thousands of churches and millions of people.”
During my first visit to Mozambique, I preached at three pastors meetings arranged by Rolland and Heidi Baker in Maputo, Beira and Chimoio. I do not like ministering in Mozambique. The primary reason is that I don’t feel needed there and feel intimidated by my translators who often have raised the dead. Rolland and Heidi have encouraged me to continue coming because of the importance of the connection between our ministries. When Heidi visited Toronto for her second time, I was ministering there. As I was preaching, she ran to the front and knelt to pray in response to the message. I knew her name and said to her, “Heidi, God wants to know- do you want the nation of Mozambique?” To which she responded, “Yes!!!” I then said to her, “God is going to give you the nation of Mozambique. You will see the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, and the dead be raised.”
The Spirit of God hit her very powerfully immediately following my prophecy to her. Then she heard God speak to her, “Hundreds of churches and thousands of people.” She replied, “How, God? How can this be? My husband Rolland and I have started four churches in seventeen years and it has almost killed us.” God spoke to Heidi a few other things during those seven days and nights as the experience continued. He told her to gather 12 men together and prophesy over them everything that I had prophesied to her, which she did. In just a couple of years, they started over 200 hundred churches. When I visited her for the first time at their Beira base, the Spirit once again fell upon her as well as Rolland and the main leaders who were present. I could tell by the look on the people’s faces that this was not normal for Heidi in Mozambique, though it was normal for her when she visited the Church in the Western world. This time, she went into a vision and saw ships coming with food and supplies and heard the Lord say, “Thousands of churches and millions of people.” She told me that this was easier to believe than the first word of hundreds of churches and thousands of people. Because God had fulfilled the first word, Heidi now had faith for Him to fulfill the second word. These types of experiences are of great value to apostolic leaders in other countries. It helps establish them in the purposes of God and gives them faith to attempt what was given to them in a prophecy or vision.
2. Chimoio – Mountain Vision
We left Beira and went to Chimoio. When we arrived, Heidi preached the first message. Her message was powerful. Everyone was lying on the ground, prostrated in prayer. I could find no room to lie down, since the floor was covered with the bodies of the saints in prayer. I leaned up against a wall and began to pray. I was very much aware of the fact that I was going to be translated from English into Portuguese and from Portuguese to the local dialect. I began to pray, “Oh Lord, I have not come half way around the world to give a teaching. God I must hear from you. What do you want to say to these people? Oh God, I want to see; I want to see; I want to see into the spiritual realm; I want to see!” Suddenly, I thought I might have seen something. I said, “God, what was that? Did I just see something?” I had had a brief mental picture in my mind’s eye, like a daydream picture. I thought I 218
had seen a man standing on a mountain looking over a great amount of land. He was asking the Lord, “Lord, do you want me to go into this land?” I had an impression that the answer was “yes.”
I have never been a seer, and mental pictures were not something I had much experience with. After the meeting I asked Supresa, one of the key leaders of Iris Ministries, to translate as I interviewed Johnny, who had raised the dead. Supresa would soon begin to raise the dead, and has since raised several of them. On the way I asked Supresa if he had open visions, where he wouldn’t see anything except what God was showing him. He told me he did. This intimidated me more.
That night while I was preaching, I gave an invitation for men who had been on a mountain asking God if they were to go into this land to come forward for prayer. About seven men came forward. A few of them were key leaders in the movement, and another two had actually been on a mountain a few days earlier fasting and praying. During this time these two men had seen a vision of a ball of fire moving through the sky and hovering over Chimoio. They heard God tell them to go to this building (the one we were meeting in) and there they would find their overseers. These men eventually became powerful leaders in Iris’ ministry.
In addition, Heidi told me later that she had been praying for months asking God who was to go into the Muslim northern provinces of Mozambique. God gave her the answer that night. Sometime later, I found out that this story was on the webpage of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. It was called, “The Mountain Vision.” How funny! What started out as a very weak “I thought I might have seen something,” was now called the “Mountain Vision.”
3. Pemba – Mrs. Tanuecki
During another trip to minister in Mozambique with Heidi, she invited me to a pastors conference. After preaching and ministering I was once again very much troubled by what seemed to me my own inadequacy. I went to Heidi and told her that I didn’t want to come back to Mozambique. I said, “You don’t need me here. These people are more powerful than I am. They pray better, and they can communicate the gospel better than I can to their fellow Mozambicans. They are raising the dead; what can I do for them?
Heidi stopped me and pointed to a woman in the crowd named Mrs. Tanuecki. She told me, “That woman over there has been involved in raising several people from the dead, but when you touched her and prayed for her, God took her into a trance. She is still in the trance. We do need you to come with your teams to Mozambique. You carry a special grace, a special anointing.”
Later that day, Heidi had four people pray for me, all of whom had raised the dead, and a few of them had raised three or four from the dead. It was a humbling experience, but one for which I was very grateful. I want to receive an impartation for raising the dead.
As with the section on Brazil, I want to end this one on Mozambique with my very first night in Mozambique and the fruit of that meeting. I was exhausted by the time I arrived. Heidi said, “You might want to rest for half an hour to an hour. Tonight, I want to take you to the dump where we minister to people and then into the city. I also want you to lead devotions with my staff before we leave.”
I was exhausted and didn’t feel like leading devotions for the staff. When we met I asked them, “Why are you here? Tell me your story.” I was shocked to hear that every one of them had been touched either in Toronto, or by someone from Toronto who was carrying the anointing. They were from Israel, England, Canada, United States, and Australia. I began to realize how impacting the Toronto Blessing was upon missions, at least in Mozambique.
While in Maputo I interviewed many people. I remember interviewing the only nurse on the base. At that time there weren’t any doctors on the base and this nurse was working long hours. She was a pretty blond from England, but she was exhausted. She was planning to go back to England in the near future after having fulfilled her commitment. A few days later, I preached a message called “Spend and Be Spent” from 2 Corinthians 12:11. At the conclusion I saw this nurse come forward weeping, touched by the Holy Spirit. She committed that day to stay longer in Mozambique.
Also, I learned quite some time later that on that same day, there was a person on our team from Nebraska named Betty. She too had heard God speak to her about coming back and helping Heidi. She would later return and serve as Heidi’s personal assistant and in other positions for some time. She had no special training or cross-cultural education. She did, however, have a heart that had been touched by the Holy Spirit. Our short-term ministry team had not only impacted the missionaries working in Maputo; the missionaries, in turn, had impacted our team. Those who came to “refresh others” had themselves “been refreshed.”
On my next trip to Mozambique, I was surprised to see several of the people who I met on my first trip who also had been visiting for their first time. They had returned to become part of the crucial leadership team. One man, Steve Lazar, was an educator from Australia. He would begin a school for Iris that would become the #1 rated primary school in Mozambique. Also, from that first trip, several couples from my team would go back as full time missionaries to work with Rolland and Heidi.
I would like to conclude with a strategy God gave me to help Rolland and Heidi. I believed that I was to take the pastors of the largest churches I had relationship with to Mozambique with me. And, I knew that I was to not only invite pastors, but also very successful businessmen. I wouldn’t have to say anything about helping Rolland and Heidi, and I knew that Rolland and Heidi wouldn’t either. I knew that when these pastors and businessmen saw what God was doing through Rolland and Heidi and saw their hearts, they would begin to help them. I had heard God correctly. These people would become some of the strongest financial supporters of their ministry.
C. Russia – Moscow – Pastor’s Conferences
Years ago, I was attending a conference in Kansas City when I heard Terry Law share about his experiences in Russia. At this meeting an offering would be taken up for Bibles for China. In this one offering, $1,000,000 was raised. I had an impression that one day I would lead my worship team to Russia and they would sing in Russian. My church was just getting started and had less than 100 people in it at the time. A few years later, I had an impression from the Lord, “Ask me for $100,000.” I knew it wasn’t for me personally, but I did not know what it was for. I didn’t need to know to obey. I began asking the Lord for $100,000 dollars. This was around 1994.
On Sunday January 1, 1995, I was preaching and told my church, “We are to go to Russia.” I told them that we were to take the anointing that had fallen in our church in 1993 and in Toronto in 1994 to Russia. I said, “I need the worship team to go with me. I now know what the $100,000 is for. We are going to do a Catch the Fire conference in Russia. Begin raising the money, and if you can’t raise enough, I will help you. Oh, another thing- you can’t sing in English. You have to learn Russian and I don’t have a clue how this will happen!”
About a week later I was conducting meetings in Melbourne, Florida where another revival had broken out when I went to preach. This one lasted six nights a week for about eight months. While there, a young man in his early 20’s named Keith Major asked me to pray for him. I asked him, “For what?” He said, “About going back to Russia. My wife and I were among the leaders of one of the first churches started after the wall came down. That is where we met and got married. I want to go back, but don’t know what to do.” I said, “I will pray for you, but could you and your wife eat with me after the meeting?” He said they could.
During our 3:00 a.m. meal, I asked his wife Iwona, “What did you do in Russia?” She replied, “I taught English speaking people how to speak Russian.” Long story short, I asked them to move into the parsonage of my church and to spend time training my team how to sing phonetically in Russian. I also asked her to translate our songs into Russian. This took about a year, but eventually the team and I made it to Moscow, ready to do the first Catch The Fire – Moscow. 222
1. Models for new forms of worship
The Berlin Wall hadn’t been down for long when we first went in the fall of 1995 for our “spying out the land” meetings. Then, we returned in the spring of 1996 with a full team of musicians. I hadn’t any idea how far behind the Russian Protestant churches were at this time. It was like stepping back into what I imagined the American church worship experience looked like in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Many of the songs were American songs that had been translated into Russian. The worship was led by someone who was more of a “song leader” than a worship leader. And, the instruments consisted of a piano and nothing else.
On our “spy out the land” trip, a Russian leader told me, “We Russians are not like you Americans. We will not fall down, we will not laugh, nor will we become drunk in the Spirit.”
The time had come for our meeting and the musicians were on stage. The Izmaillovo Hotel Civic Center was filled to capacity- 1,000 pastors, church planters and worship leaders had come. The $100,000 required now had grown to $130,000 for this event due to inflation. My worship leaders Bob and Kathleen Balassi, my associate worship leader Gary Shelton, the whole worship team and some special musicians from Nashville had all come to help us. In addition to the keyboards, two acoustic guitars, an electric guitar, a bass guitar, asaxophone, a flute, a harmonica and drums were the wonderful vocals of people who once sang in bars with their own bands. We also had a voice major who was so good that she had received a college scholarship and even sang in the Sistine Chapel in Rome for the Pope.
During the first song, the Russians sat there as the team sang the song once through in English. The Russians had no expression and showed no joy. But, when the second time through the English words were pulled off the overhead, the Russian words were put up and the team switched into Russian, the place exploded. At once the Russians rose to their feet, learning the new contemporary worship songs. People shouted, twirled, waved, fell down, got drunk, shook and did many other things. They were not like us Americans. They were more abandoned to this new instrument-filled experience of worship! You could see people taking their video cameras, looking up at the words, and then down to the guitar necks to get the chord progressions. A year later we went back to do a larger event. We had worked on getting the music onto a CD recording to give to them. But, it was already too late. We were told that those songs had gone all over the country. Another fruit of this event relating to worship was what happened to one famous Russian Rock and Roll singer who was newly saved. He had laid his guitar down, not seeing a way it could be used in church. When he saw our team worship, God called him to become a worship leader. He immediately was catapulted into being one of the most famous worship leaders in the former Soviet Union. He would later work with a church in Ukraine.
2. Models for small groups
We also taught about small groups at this meeting. We encouraged them to consider small groups as a way of discipling the new converts. This was an important part of the fruitfulness of our ministry there.
3. Models for Philosophy of Ministry
While there, we emphasized a new kind of leadership- servant leadership, which exemplified humility rather than an authoritarian model. I was very much aware of the typical image many people had of American evangelists who were loud, braggadocios and proud. I have tried to offer a different model wherever we have gone in the world.
4. Impartation – Boris and Oleg and the South African Church Planter
The most important thing that happened at the Catch the Fire – Moscow was the experience of impartation that so many of the pastors experienced. Later, I would learn of two close friends from Ukraine that had come to this meeting: Boris, who was the Rabbi for the largest messianic Jewish congregation in the world in Kiev, Ukraine, and Oleg, who had become the bishop of the protestant churches in Nikolaev, Ukraine. Both men had become overwhelmed by the mighty presence of the Holy Spirit and had returned in the “power of the Spirit” to their cities. I later would meet them and hear their stories, visit their congregation and minister with them many times.
Also, a year after Catch the Fire – Moscow, I met many young pastors who had received gifts of healing at our meeting. They told me many testimonies of healings, miracles, blind eyes that saw and deaf ears that heard. They were very excited and very grateful.
Almost 14 years later, I was ministering for a South African apostle, Nevel Norton. While in his church ministering to his network of pastors, I met a South African pastor, Hugo V. Niekerk, who was touched at the Catch the Fire – Moscow 1996 while he was a missionary. He had since planted over 200 churches in Russia. He told me how powerfully he had been touched in that meeting and how it had impacted his ministry and his faith. Only heaven really knows the fruit of such meetings.
This was also the meeting during which Russ Purcello was touched. Through him, we have been able to continue to impact churches across Russia. As I shared earlier, he continued to go back every year offering other cities what he had seen us do in Moscow. This American pastor has been used to powerfully affect the Protestant Church in Russia.
D. India – Pastor’s Conferences
Krishnagiri–pastor who prayed for woman in a coma, and pastor who promised healing.
In January-February of 2010, I led a team to Bangalore and Krishnagiri, India. Bangalore was predominantly Hindu, but Krishnagiri had a strong Muslim presence. A young apostolic leader named Ravi invited us to come. The focus of the first meeting was equipping about 2,000 pastors. The second meeting had about 600 pastors, but also had a small crusade with 5,000-9,000 people. We decided to expend most of our money on the pastors’ meetings rather than on a larger crusade. There were many spectacular healings, miracles and salvations. No one had ever conducted a healing crusade in this city. A Hindu school with 700 students and teachers were curious and sent a delegate to the meeting asking if we would send someone from our team to tell them about Christianity. A small team was sent, and they prayed for many who were healed. All the students, teachers, and administrators prayed the sinner’s prayer to receive Jesus and some were filled with the Holy Spirit. Afterwards they were concerned about how they would be persecuted by family for accepting Jesus.
The same day, three Muslim women came to the pastors’ meeting, which was held in a public hall. They sat outside the hall, but because the doors were open for ventilation, they could hear everything. At the lunch break, the mother and her sister came and asked to be set free from demonic problems. The daughter, who looked to be in her 20’s and wearing a Berka allowing only her eyes to be seen, had leg problems. The mother was set free from the demonic attack and the daughter’s legs were healed. That night the husband/father came with them to the healing meeting. He was one of the first healed through a word of knowledge. When the invitation for salvation was given, this Muslim family was among the very first to come forward to confess heir sins and commit their lives to Jesus Christ. I have since heard that they are on fire for God and telling others about the great healing power in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. And, God is using them to heal many, including key leaders in the Muslim community.
One pastor at our meetings went straight from the impartation service to a woman in another city who had been in a coma for about a year. When he laid hands on her and prayed, she came out of the coma. Another pastor that week had promised a Hindu teenager who was crippled in his legs that if he would go to the meeting, he would be healed. The boy went with the pastor, but was not healed at the crusade. The pastor was beside himself, since he had promised healing and did not want to be a poor testimony to the Gospel. He didn’t know how to explain the lack of healing to the family. However, when the boy woke up the next day, he could walk. During those 4 days in Krishnagiri, the blind saw, the deaf heard, the lame walked, the terminally ill were healed. The pastors were greatly encouraged.
A few months after these meetings, the apostolic leader from Bangalore and Krishnagiri came to our headquarters and told us about the fruit that continued to happen. The pastors were not seeing many healings before the event, but they were now occurring regularly. Two people had been raised from the dead and over 90 Muslims, including several leaders, had been saved after being healed. Greater prosperity had come to the city in the form of job opportunities offered by the government. Even the land was impacted, as mangos began to grow once again after many years of little to no growth.
We have made two short-term mission trips to Phenom Phen, Cambodia. Both were to pray for the pastors and leaders that the apostolic leader, Sophal Ung, had gathered together from all over Cambodia. The second trip also included pastors from Vietnam. There were many who were healed and who received impartations that equipped them to see more healings and more success in their own ministries. Sophal and his wife Debra are very excited about the fruit of those meetings. They continue to invite us back, hoping our schedule will allow another visit with them.
In 1995 I prayed and prophesied over a Baptist pastor in Norway named Leif Hetland. During the prayer, I told him, “I see you in a dark place. All around you is darkness, but behind you is light. And, I see a multitude of people following you out of the darkness into the light.” The power of the Holy Spirit knocked him to the floor where he shook for 2 ½ to 3 hours. He got up and by the next week was operating in many gifts he never had before. Every person he prayed for was healed. However, he didn’t yet understand the prophecy I gave him. The next year he had his neck and back broken. While recuperating from the injury in traction, he was meditating on the prophecy and realized he was not to remain a Baptist pastor but was to go to unreached people groups. Since then he has led 850,000 people to the Lord in Islamic countries as of March, 2010. This has been done by conducting healing meetings as many Muslims believe in Jesus because of the healings they see. Also, Leif has started over 2,000 Lighthouses of Love in these countries, which focus on healing, deliverance and restoration of lives. God is using him throughout the Western Hemisphere, Africa, Asia, Middle East and Europe. Great healing miracles take place in his ministry even as he endures serious pain from his own injuries. The anointing that led him to the nations has resulted in him being away from his wife and four children for up to 200+ days a year. He even has had threats against his life including several by the Taliban. However, nothing has prevented him from continuing to preach the Gospel and heal the sick.
Juan Aguilar is an apostolic leader in Mexico City. I took two short-term missions teams with me to minister to his leaders. On each trip the power of God came upon the pastors and leaders. During the first trip, several key leaders in the Baptist denomination were powerfully touched and began to see much more of the power of God in their ministries. Also, many other pastors from diverse denominations and apostolic streams were empowered.
In 2009, I took a very small team to Queretaro, Mexico to minister in another apostolic network of pastors. We taught them how to receive words of knowledge and how to pray for the sick out of a place of dependence on the Holy Spirit. We had a special time of impartation for over 1,000 pastors and leaders. Then, we had a service where we prayed specifically for the terminally ill, blind, deaf and/or crippled. The day after I left, they did it again and saw many healings, some miracles and 11 blind people healed. The pastors were so excited because there had previously been very little healing in their ministries. They exclaimed, “We did receive an impartation!”
One of the miracles that occurred at this event was the healing of a woman who had cancer resulting in a urostomy bag for her urine. She was accompanied by her daughter, who had cancer in her breast. Both women were healed of their cancer and the woman no longer needed a urostomy. Somehow, her organ was reconstructed and was working normally. She was able to go to the bathroom normally before she left the building instead of the urine flowing into the bag.
During this meeting a Baptist pastor came up to me at the end of the meeting and asked to be prayed for by the laying on of hands. I prayed for him and his wife. They fell down, but there did not initially appear to be a strong anointing. They were resting quietly on the floor without much trembling or shaking. However, the longer he was on the floor the stronger the anointing became. About an hour later, I saw him being helped from the building by two men since he was unable to walk. He shook the whole next day, and it was quite noticeable to all who were there. The following day, now two days after the impartation, he ministered in his 10,000 member Baptist Church. He was helped to the pulpit by two deacons. As they tried to help him, the Holy Spirit knocked all three of them to the floor. He was going to pray for the church to receive an anointing, but before he could say, “anointing,” the Spirit came upon him and his church. When this happened over three-fourths of the 8,000 people in attendance fell to the floor or shook under the power of God. And many other manifestations of the Holy Spirit occurred that day in his church. The early service didn’t end until about 4:30 p.m.
H. Argentina – Story of Baptist Church Planter out of Del Centro Baptist Church, Marcello Diaz
About 15 years ago, I went to Buenos Aires, Argentina. While there I ministered at a large pastors’ meeting in a Baptist Church- La Iglesia Evangélica Bautista del Centro. This church was the first Baptist Church in Argentina. At this conference one young pastor, Marcelo Diaz, had been prayed for several times. Near midnight he came to me and asked for one more prayer. When I prayed for him, the power of God knocked him to the floor. I sensed an urgency to tell him to pray for everyone in his new church that he was starting in the area. When he did this the next day, everyone he prayed for was healed, including a woman dying of cancer. The community named this new church plant the “Healing Church”. Today, it is one of the largest churches in that area of the city.
The most important aspect of the short-term mission trips that our ministry has is the impartation pastors receive, the encouragement that God can and will use them for healing, and the activation of the gifts of the Spirit in their lives and ministries.
I am grateful to know that I am not only leading short-term ministry trips into many countries, but also are so many other pastors who first traveled with me and are now taking teams themselves into many countries. Our network, the Apostolic Network of Global Awakening is only 4 years old, yet already, we are in 1/3 of the countries of the world. Not only are pastors who traveled with me taking teams into the world, but so are itinerate ministers. There has been a real multiplication of effect and a multiplication of countries we are reaching every year. We, or someone in our apostolic network, are taking short-term ministry trips to almost 50 countries a year where people are healed, delivered and empowered to more effectively reach their communities in the power of the Holy Spirit.