He eyed the crowd until he saw his cohorts. They were all close enough to see George when he gave the signal. They would all fire at once, and Billy Graham would die, silencing one of the greatest voices the world had ever known for this so-called God that George hated.
By Jerri Menges • January 31, 2019 •
George Palmer’s heart was running away inside his chest. Every word out of Billy Graham’s mouth was like a drop of fuel on the fire that was raging in his soul. He had positioned himself on the grass in front of the stage at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia, with thousands of others who had come to hear the evangelist.
George was not interested in what Mr. Graham had to say. He, along with the other nine members of his gang, had come to the stadium, March 15, 1959, on a radically different mission. In his hand, under his clothing, was a zip gun he had made, using the lathe at his apprentice job at Victorian Railways. He had made 10 guns. Each member of his gang had one—and they were ready to fire.
He eyed the crowd until he saw his cohorts. They were all close enough to see George when he gave the signal. They would all fire at once, and Billy Graham would die, silencing one of the greatest voices the world had ever known for this so-called God that George hated.
It was a dream come true for George, a chance to make a statement to God in front of the whole world.
If God was love, like Graham proclaimed, He would not have taken George’s dad 10 years earlier, when George was 7 ½, his brother was 4 and their infant brother was just 5 weeks old.
Sept. 29, 1949 was forever etched in George’s memory. That was the day his mom came home from the hospital and told him that his dad had died of a heart attack. He would never see his father again.
George ran to the upper paddock on the farm, where his dad had just planted 100 cherry trees, and screamed at God: “You’ve got no right to take my dad! I need him, and now he won’t be here for Christmas. And because of that, I hate you. With all my heart, I hate you.”
The anger he felt at that moment swallowed his heart and enslaved his mind. It drove everything he did, every waking moment. When a schoolmate walked up to him not long after his dad’s death and called him a dwarf, George, merely 8, and indeed small for his age, turned around and knocked the boy’s front teeth out. He was sent immediately to the headmaster’s office. That became his daily ritual, whether he was in public school or private. His mom tried both, and things only got worse with each move.
“I just wanted to hurt people, and things,” George said. “We had a Bendix washing machine, and our cat had given birth to a litter of kittens. I put the baby kittens in the washing machine, filled it with water and watched them going ’round and ’round until they drowned.”
After technical college, George became an apprentice at Victorian Railways, starting out as an electrical fitter. He struck up a friendship with two of his co-workers and soon learned they were members of a gang. Before long, he was their leader.
They were 10 teenagers, and they were merciless, doing all kinds of horrible things that George, now 76, tries to push from his memory. Things like capturing the leader of a rival gang, holding his right hand to the ground and driving a car backward and forward over it five times.
In early 1959, when George heard that Billy Graham was coming to Melbourne Cricket Ground, he saw it as an opportunity for vengeance.
“I didn’t know much about Billy Graham, but we heard that he was an evangelist, and that was all I needed to hear,” he said. “We went to the Crusade with the aim of killing him because he stood for everything I hated.”
It didn’t occur to George or the other boys that they could be hanged for murder, or that in a crowd of more than 100,000 someone else might get caught in the gunfire. All George thought about was the hate and anger he felt. Why would all these people come here, anyway? he thought. Why would they believe these lies about a loving God? Utter contempt consumed him, until he heard a quiet voice.
“What are you doing here, George?”
He looked around. No one at the cricket ground knew his name except his gang buddies, and they were sitting farther away. The question came a second time, and a third.
“George,” the voice seemed to say. “I didn’t take your dad to hurt you or your mom. I took your dad because he was a very sick man. I would never, ever do anything to hurt you because I love you too much.”
Deep inside, something broke wide open. Tears gushed from his eyes and poured down his face until he could barely see. All night long, scenes from his life had played in his mind. When Billy Graham gave the invitation, instead of signaling his guys to shoot, George ran forward to ask for forgiveness of his sins. His gang buddies were not far behind him.
“Nine of the 10 of us were converted that night,” he says. “It was amazing.”
The next day, George felt God leading him to go apologize to the leader of the rival gang, whose hand he had run over with the car. For the first time in his life, he was afraid.
“That guy will kill me if I go there,” he told the Lord. But after a long talk, the two men parted as friends.
The second day, he felt God calling him to become a Salvation Army officer.
“You’ve got to be joking,” said George, who was only 4 foot 11 inches. “I wouldn’t even be able to see above the pulpit.” George grew 10 ½ inches that year.
On a Sunday morning, George rode his bike to the Salvation Army church, and an old man he knew from years earlier met him at the door. The man put his arms around George and said, “I’ve been praying for you.” They wept together.
Soon, a young woman named Judith who attended the church started talking to George. Two weeks later, he asked her out on a date and learned that she had felt the call to become a Salvation Army officer since age 14. They were married in 1964, went to college in 1965 and were commissioned as Salvation Army officers in 1967—serving in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and West Australia before their recent retirement. Together, they raised three sons, and they now have eight grandchildren, all of whom are serving the Lord.
“We were able to see so many people come to the Lord in our ministry,” George said. “Without Billy Graham, I don’t think I’d be alive today. I can see God working in my life right from when my father died. God worked through all of that hatred and won me over. I give Him all the glory.”
This page has links to Conference Sessions and Speakers.
All the speakers give their testimonies about revival.
Selections from Final Decade, Twentieth Century Revivals
From 1982 revival stirred in Argentina. Large crowds attended meetings with Carlos Annacondia, a businessman turned evangelist. His healing evangelism included thousands reporting healings, deliverance from demons, and miracles. Thousands of people accepted Christ as Saviour and virtually every church grew. Pastors meet every week to pray with Annacondia for revival in the nation and the world.
In 1992, another movement of revival began with Claudio Freidzon, founder of a Buenos Aires church that in four years grew from 7 to 3000 people. Freidzon experienced a deep encounter with the Holy Spirit, after which his ministry became famous for the manifested presence of God, long services of worship and adoration, and a dramatic increase of healings and deliverance in the worship and ministry.
John and Carol Arnott from Toronto were powerfully touched in meetings led by Claudio Freidzon in Argentina in 1993. Randy Clark spoke at the Toronto church on Thursday, January 20, 1994, and the Father’s blessing fell on the 120 people attending. Randy gave his testimony, including how he had been powerfully touched by God when Rodney Howard-Browne (evangelist from South Africa) prayed for him. People fell all over the floor under the power of the Holy Spirit, laughing and crying. People were saved and healed, more in the next two years than ever before in the Arnott’s ministry. Thousands flew or drove to visit the little church which had to relocate into larger premises. The blessing continued, called by a British journalist, the “Toronto Blessing”.
On Father’s Day, Sunday 18 June 1995, evangelist Steve Hill spoke at Brownsville Assembly of God, near Pensacola, Florida. A thousand people streamed forward at the altar call as the Holy Spirit moved on them. Their pastor, John Kilpatrick, fell down under the power of God and was overwhelmingly impacted for four days. That morning service, normally finishing at noon, lasted till 4 pm. The evening service continued for another five and a half hours. So the church asked Steve Hill to stay. He cancelled appointments and continued with nightly meetings. Their wives, Jeri Hill and Brenda Kilpatrick tell that story in this 2019 Conference.
Dr Michael Brown founded the Brownsville School of Ministry in that revival and Evangelist Daniel Kolenda, now the Director of Christ for All Nations, was a student there then. Christ for All Nations hosted this 2019 Light the Fire Again conference.
Session 1 – Claudio Freidzon (Argentina)
Night 1 of the Light the Fire Again event from Pensacola Florida with Lindell Cooley leading worship and Claudio Friedzon preaching
Sessions 2&3 – Russell Benson (CfAN), & Lou Engle (The Call/The Send)
Join us from Pensacola, Florida for worship with Don Potter and messages from Russell Benson and Lou Engle as we start day 2 of this historic event.
Sessions 4&5 – Heidi Baker (Mozambique) & Joseph Garlington (Covenant Church)
Join Jeremy Sinnott for worship and then hear from both Heidi Baker and Joseph Garlington in this powerful session from this historic conference.
Session 6 – Todd White, USA. (testimony by Daniel Kolenda)
Join us from Pensacola, Florida for worship with Don Potter and a powerful message by Todd White as day 2 of this historic event comes to an end.
Sessions 7&8 – John Arnott (Toronto) & Jeri Hill, Steve Hill’s wife (Pensacola)
Join us for the first session of Day 3 with Jeremy Sinnott leading worship and messages from John Arnott from the Toronto Revival and Jeri Hill wife of the late Steve Hill the evangelist from the Brownsville Revival.
Session 9 – Carlos Annacondia (Argentina)
Light the Fire Again LIVE from Pensacola Florida is a true gathering of international revivalists – this session has worship by the Brownsville Revival’s worship leader Lindell Cooley and ministry from Argentinian revivalist Carlos Annacondia.
Session 11 – Dr Michael Brown (Brownsville, Pensacola)
Join us for session 11 LIVE from Pensacola, Florida of Light the Fire Again 2019 as we worship with Roy Fields and then hear from Dr. Michael Brown.
Session 13 – Rodney Howard-Browne (USA)
Our final session from the Light the Fire Again 2019 conference LIVE from Pensacola, Florida and we have worship with Roy Fields and Rodney Howard Browne will be preaching.
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 1st July, 2016, the son of the highest rank paramount chief on Pentecost Island. After a wife of Chief Morris’s father died and was prepared for burial, the calico cloths around her began to move. She had returned from death and they took the grave cloths of her. She sat up and told them all to leave their pagan ways and follow the Christian way. Then she lay down and died.
Chief Morris’s son, Paramount Chief Peter, had an uncle who returned from Queensland as a Christian in the early 1900s. When he was old, after many years telling them about the Gospel, one day he called all his relatives to him, shook hands in farewell with everyone, and lay down and died immediately.
From Chapter 16 – Solomon Islands (2003)
Revival began with the Spirit moving on youth and children in village churches. They had extended worship in revival songs, many visions and revelations and lives being changed with strong love for the Lord. Children and youth began meeting daily from 5pm for hours of praise, worship and testimonies. A police officer reported reduced crimes, and said former rebels were attending daily worship and prayer meetings.
Revival continued to spread throughout the region. Revival movements brought moral change and built stronger communities in villages in the Solomon Islands including these lasting developments:
1 Higher moral standards. People involved in the revival quit crime and drunkenness, and promoted good behaviour and co-operation.
2 Christians who once kept their Christianity inside churches and meetings talked more freely about their lifestyle in the community and amongst friends.
3 Revival groups, especially youth, enjoyed working together in unity and community, including a stronger emphasis on helping others in the community.
4 Families were strengthened in the revival. Parents spent more time with their youth and children to encourage and help them, often leading them in Bible reading and family prayers.
5 Many new gifts and ministries were used by more people than before, including revelations and healing. Even children received revelations or words of knowledge about hidden magic 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.
Chapters of my smaller book, Pentecost on Pentecost and in the South Pacific, are included here in brackets.
Chapter 1 – Papua New Guinea (1965-1970)
Chapter 2 – Papua New Guinea Schools (1965-1968)
Chapter 3 – Papua New Guinea Bible Schools (1968-1970)
Chapter 4 – Australia (From 1970)
Chapter 5 –  Australia: Elcho Island (1994)
Chapter 6 –  Papua New Guinea (1994)
Chapter 7 –  Solomon Islands: Tabaka (1994)
Chapter 8 – Philippines (1994, 1995)
Chapter 9 – Ghana, Canada: Toronto (1995)
Chapter 10 – Solomon Islands: Simbo (1996)
Chapter 11 – Nepal, India: New Delhi, Sri Lanka (1996)
Chapter 12 – Nepal, India: Darjeeling, Sri Lanka (1998)
Chapter 13 – Nepal, India: Darjeeling (2000)
Chapter 14 – USA: Pensacola (2002)
Chapter 15 –  Vanuatu, Australia (2002)
Chapter 16 –  Vanuatu, Solomon Islands (2003)
Chapter 17 –  Vanuatu: Tanna & Pentecost (2004)
Chapter 18 – Nepal (2004, 2014)
Chapter 19 –  Vanuatu: Pentecost ( 2004)
Chapter 20 –  Vanuatu: Pentecost (2005)
Chapter 21 –  Vanuatu: Pentecost (2005)
Chapter 22 –  Kenya, Fiji (2005)
Chapter 23 –  Fiji – KBC and COC Team (2006, 2007)
Chapter 24 –  Vanuatu, Solomon Islands (2006)
Chapter 25 –  Solomon Islands (2007)
Chapter 26 – Kenya (2007)
Chapter 27 – China, USA (2007, 2008)
Chapter 28 –  Fiji (2008, 2009)
Chapter 29 – Myanmar (2009-11-12-18)
Chapter 30 – Malaysia (2010)
Chapter 31 – Thailand (2011)
Chapter 32 – Germany, Israel (2013)
Chapter 33 – Nepal, Thailand (2014)
Chapter 34 –  Vanuatu: Pentecost (2010-2017)
Journey into Mission includes
the 15 chapters of this book
Pentecost on Pentecost
plus more stories from
Australia, Africa, Nepal, India,
Sri Lanka, Myanmar/Burma,
Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines
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 strongholds;) 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).
‘Those who love me will keep my word’
Great Commission series
Introduction 1 Love God: Faith in God – God our Father Follow Me – Jesus our Lord Filled with the Spirit – God’s Spirit our Helper
2 Love Others: Love one another Serve one another Encourage one another
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)
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BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)
BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)
BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)
BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)
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Edited from Chapter 3:
People of the Trees
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)
Look what God is doing – and rejoice!by Dick Eastman
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This page is similar to the Revivals Index – top bar Menu.
Revivals Index (Top Bar Menu) has more details and links,
including links to specific revivals.
*Atheist Author Recognizes
*“Before they call I will answer” Helen Roseveare in Africa * Revival Impacted Bolivia * Christian Light is filling Columbia’s Spiritual Black Hole * Jesus invaded a Buddhist Monastery in the Himalayas * *
The church on the camel’s path China – New Wave of Revival
Condensed from Flashpoints of Revivals and Revival Fires
See also: Great Revival Stories
Miracles in PNG highlands
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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.