One Touch from Jesus

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Good News – worth sharing widely.

Ordinary Christians doing what Jesus told us to do.

A village comes for healing as one lady’s eyesight is restored

What would you do? Imagine you are kneeling ready to pray for a lady who is sitting in front of the entire village and you have just preached that Jesus is able to heal the sick, raise the dead and cleanse the leper.

It’s that heart stopping moment when everyone’s eyes are suddenly on you to be the earthly vessel though which Jesus is going to move to back up the message you have just preached….

The woman says she has pain in her leg and back and then that she can hardly see! I know what i would do if I’m totally honest! I would start with getting rid of the pain in the back and celebrate that one move before then going on next to the leg in order to build up my faith before attempting the eyes. Not our team member Steve (right). Here’s what he did….

As bold as a lion he goes straight for the eyes and here’s an extract from his healing journal of what happened next:-

* After preaching to villagers. I invited a 50-60 year old woman to the chair to demonstrate God’s healing power. She had very little vision and back & leg pain. I commanded sight to full restoration. No shift on 1st attempt. 2nd attempt – slight change. 3rd attempt – full sight regained!! She was then able to name individuals in the audience in semi darkness!!

Acts 4:13 – “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

One “touch” from Jesus is all it took

It was my privilege last week to lead the 2015 HOTS [Healing On The Streets – nice with Bath, England!] Bath India team into an adventure that resulted in numerous healing and miracles, salvations and 36 people baptised.

Yesterday I received a call from one team member saying that on their return to England, everyone they have been praying for has been encountering His Presence, and many are falling out under the power of the Holy Spirit – “I’m just not used to this kind of thing!” they said. I was able to explain that this is (should be) the normal Christian life.

Luke 6:19 “And all the people were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.”

I hope you enjoy this latest newsletter and take the chance to connect with some of the equipping opportunities it offers.

Paul Skelton

HOTS Website – Healing On The Streets

HOTS Facebook – Healing On The Streets

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Miracles in PNG highlands by Johan van Bruggen

Miracles in PNG highlands

A selection from Flashpoints of Revival and Revival Fires
A Flashpoints Koorong1A Revival Fires*

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Kambaidam, Papua New Guinea, by Johan van Bruggen

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.

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Bougainville Revival, South Pacific, by Royree Jensen

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.

 

Revival Blogs Links:

See also Revival Blogs

See also Revivals Index

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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He woke up totally healed, by Daniel Kolenda

cfan1Have 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.

cfan2There 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)

Evangelist Daniel Kolenda, 2014
www.cfan.com

See video on:
http://danielkolenda.com/2014/12/31/mohammed-confesses-jesus/

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Twenty-first Century Revivals: Transforming Revivals

Revival FiresA Flashpoints 1

Twenty-first Century Revivals:

Transforming Revivals

 

 

See Revivals Index  –  https://renewaljournal.com/revivals-index/

1. Eighteenth-Century Revivals: Great Awakening & Evangelical Revivals
2. Early Nineteenth-Century Revivals: Frontier and Missionary Revivals
3. Mid-nineteenth Century Revivals: Prayer Revivals
4. Early Twentieth Century Revivals: Worldwide Revivals
5. Mid-twentieth Century Revivals: Healing Evangelism Revivals
6. Late Twentieth Century Revivals: Renewal and Revival
7. Final Decade, Twentieth Century Revivals: Blessing Revivals
8. Twenty-First Century Revivals: Transforming Revivals

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

This chapter gives some examples of current transforming revivals where whole communities and even the ecology have been totally changed.

Flashpoints:

Snapshots of Glory:
Mizoram, Almolonga, Nigeria, Hemet, Cali
Global Phenomona:
Kenya, Brazil, Argentina
Transforming Revivals in the South Pacific:
Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji

Virginia2Revival Fires in West Virginia, 2016

 Revival hits army base, 2018

f-akersRevivals Across the South of USA, 2018

ASUCurrent Revival in America’s Largest University, 2018

 

Snapshots of Glory (George Otis Jr.)
See also Snapshots of Glory by George Otis Jr.

George Otis Jr presents vivid stories of the transformation of cities and regions in the two DVDs Transformations 1 and 2, and other DVDs of The Sentinel Group. This transforming revival now spreads worldwide in the twenty-first century. Otis summarises some outstanding examples, rooted in the late twentieth century, and blossoming now.

For some time now, we have been hearing reports of large-scale conversions in places like China, Argentina and Nepal. In many instances, these conversions have been attended by widespread healings, dreams and deliverances. Confronted with these demonstrations of divine power and concern, thousands of men and women have elected to embrace the truth of the gospel. In a growing number of towns and cities, God’s house is suddenly the place to be.

In some communities throughout the world, this rapid church growth has also led to dramatic socio-political transformation. Depressed economies, high crime rates and corrupt political structures are being replaced by institutional integrity, safe streets and financial prosperity. Impressed by the handiwork of the Holy Spirit, secular news agencies have begun to trumpet these stories in front-page articles and on prime-time newscasts.

Of those on file, most are located in Africa and the Americas. The size of these changed communities ranges from about 15,000 inhabitants to nearly 2 million.

Miracle in Mizoram

Mizoram revival meeting
Mizoram revival meeting

One of the earliest and largest transformed communities of the twentieth century is found in Mizoram, a mountainous state in northeastern India. The region’s name translates as “The Land of the Highlanders.” It is an apt description as a majority of the local inhabitants, known as Mizos, live in villages surrounded by timbered mountains and scenic gorges.

The flora is not entirely alpine, however, and it is not uncommon to see hills covered with bamboo, wild bananas and orchids. The Mizos are hearty agriculturists who manage to grow ample crops of rice, corn, tapioca, ginger, mustard, sugar cane, sesame and potatoes.

But it is not farming prowess that sets Mizoram’s 750,000 citizens apart. Nor, for that matter, is it their Mongol stock. Rather it is the astonishing size of the national church, estimated to be between 80 and 95 percent of the current population. This achievement is all the more remarkable in view of the fact that Mizoram is sandwiched precariously between Islamic Bangladesh to the west, Buddhist Myanmar to the east and south, and the Hindu states of Assam, Manipur and Tripura to the north.

Before the arrival of Christian missionaries in the late nineteenth century, local tribes believed in a spirit called Pathan. They also liked to remove the heads of their enemies. But in just four generations Mizoram has gone from being a fierce head-hunting society to a model community – and quite possibly the most thoroughly Christian place of comparable size on earth. Certainly in India there is no other city or state that could lay claim to having no homeless people, no beggars, no starvation and 100 percent literacy.

The churches of Mizoram currently send 1,000 missionaries to surrounding regions of India and elsewhere throughout the world. Funds for this mission outreach are generated primarily through the sale of rice and firewood donated by the believers. Every time a Mizo woman cooks rice, she places a handful in a special ‘missionary bowl.’ This rice is then taken to the local church, where it is collected and sold at the market.

Even the non-Christian media of India have recognized Christianity as the source of Mizoram’s dramatic social transformation. In 1994 Mizoram celebrated its one-hundredth year of contact with Christianity, which began with the arrival of two missionaries, William Frederick Savage and J. H. Lorraine. On the occasion of this centennial celebration, The Telegraph of Calcutta (February 4, 1994) declared:

Christianity’s most reaching influence was the spread of education … Christianity gave the religious a written language and left a mark on art, music, poetry, and literature. A missionary was also responsible for the abolition of traditional slavery. It would not be too much to say that Christianity was the harbinger of modernity to a Mizo society.

A less quantifiable but no less palpable testimony to the Christian transformation of Mizorarn is the transparent joy and warmth of the Mizo people. Visitors cannot fail to observe “the laughing eyes mid smiling faces,” in the words of one reporter, on the faces of the children and other residents of Mizoram. And nowhere is this spirit of divine joy more evident than in the churches, where the Mizo’s traditional love of music and dance has been incorporated into worship. The generosity of the people is also seen in their communal efforts to rebuild neighbours’ bamboo huts destroyed by the annual monsoons.

Eighty percent of the population of Mizorarn attends church at least once a week. Congregations are so plentiful in Mizoram that, from one vantage point in the city of Izol, it is possible to count 37 churches. Most fellowships have three services on Sunday and another on Wednesday evening.

Almolonga, Guatemala

Jesus is Lord of Almolonga
Jesus is Lord of Almolonga

In the mid-1970s, the town of Almolonga was typical of many Mayan highland communities: idolatrous, inebriated and economically depressed. Burdened by fear and poverty, the people sought support in alcohol and a local idol named Maximon. Determined to fight back, a group of local intercessors got busy, crying out to God during evening prayer vigils. As a consequence of their partnership with the Holy Spirit, Almolonga, like Mizoram, has become one of the most thoroughly transformed communities in the world. Fully 90 percent of the town’s citizens now consider themselves to be evangelical Christians. As they have repudiated ancient pacts with Mayan and syncretistic gods, their economy has begun to blossom. Churches are now the dominant feature of Almolonga’s landscape and many public establishments boast of the town’s new allegiance.

Although many Christian visitors comment on Almolonga’s “clean” spiritual atmosphere, this is a relatively recent development. “Just twenty years ago,” reports Guatemala City pastor Harold Caballeros, “the town suffered from poverty, violence and ignorance. In the mornings you would encounter many men just lying on the streets, totally drunk from the night before. And of course this drinking brought along other serious problems like domestic violence and poverty. It was a vicious cycle.”

Donato Santiago, the town’s aging chief of police, told me during an October 1998 interview that he and a dozen deputies patrolled the streets regularly because of escalating violence. “People were always fighting,” he said. “We never had any rest.” The town, despite its small population, had to build four jails to contain the worst offenders. “They were always full,” Santiago remembers. “We often had to bus overflow prisoners to Quetzaltenango.” There was disrespect toward women and neglect of the family.

Pastor Mariano Riscajché one of the key leaders of Almolonga’s spiritual turnaround, remembers, “I was raised in misery. My father sometimes drank for forty to fifty consecutive days. We never had a big meal, only a little tortilla with a small glass of coffee. My parents spent what little money they had on alcohol.”

In an effort to ease their misery, many townspeople made pacts with local deities like Maximon (a wooden idol rechristened San Simon by Catholic syncretists), and the patron of death, Pascual Bailón. The latter, according to Riscajché, “is a spirit of death whose skeletal image was once housed in a chapel behind the Catholic church. Many people went to him when they wanted to kill someone through witchcraft.” The equally potent Maximon controlled people through money and alcohol. “He’s not just a wooden mask,” Riscajché insists, “but a powerful spiritual strongman.” The deities were supported by well-financed priesthoods known as confradías.

During these dark days the gospel did not fare well. Outside evangelists were commonly chased away with sticks or rocks, while small local house churches were similarly stoned. On one occasion six men shoved a gun barrel down the throat of Mariano Riscajché. As they proceeded to pull the trigger, he silently petitioned the Lord for protection. When the hammer fell, there was no action. A second click. Still no discharge.

In August 1974 Riscajché led a small group of believers into a series of prayer vigils that lasted from 7 p.m. to midnight. Although prayer dominated the meetings, these vanguard intercessors also took time to speak declarations of freedom over the town. Riscajché remembers that God filled them with faith. “We started praying, ‘Lord, it’s not possible that we could be so insignificant when your Word says we are heads and not tails.’”

In the months that followed, the power of God delivered many men possessed by demons associated with Maximon and Pascual Bailón. Among the more notable of these was a Maximon cult leader named José Albino Tazej. Stripped of their power and customers, the confradías of Maximon made a decision to remove the sanctuary of Maximon to the city of Zunil.

At this same time, God was healing many desperately diseased people. Some of these hearings led many to commit their lives to Christ (including that of Madano’s sister-in-law Teresa, who was actually raised from the dead after succumbing to complications associated with a botched caesarean section).

This wave of conversions has continued to this day. By late 1998 there were nearly two dozen evangelical churches in this Mayan town of 19,000, and at least three or four of them had more than 1,000 members. Mariano Riscajché’s El Calvario Church seats 1,200 and is nearly always packed. Church leaders include several men who, in earlier years, were notorious for stoning believers.

Nor has the move of God in Almolonga been limited to church growth. Take a walk through the town’s commercial district and you will encounter ubiquitous evidence of transformed lives and social institutions. On one street you can visit a drug-store called ‘The Blessing of the Lord.’ On another you can shop at ‘The Angels’ store. Feeling hungry? Just zip into ‘Paradise Chicken,’ ‘Jireh’ bakery or the ‘Vineyard of the Lord’ beverage kiosk. Need building advice? Check out ‘Little Israel Hardware’ or ‘El Shaddai’ metal fabrication. Feet hurt from shopping? Just take them to the ‘Jordan’ mineral baths for a good soak.

For 20 years the town’s crime rate has declined steadily. In 1994, the last of Almolonga’s four jails was closed. The remodelled building is now called the ‘Hall of Honour’ and is used for municipal ceremonies and weddings. Leaning against the door, police chief Donato Santiago offered a knowing grin. “It’s pretty uneventful around here,” he said.

Even the town’s agricultural base has come to life. “It is a glorious thing,” exclaims a beaming Caballeros. “Almolonga’s fields have become so fertile they yield three harvests per year.” In fact, some farmers I talked to reported their normal 60-day growing cycle on certain vegetables has been cut to 25. Whereas before they would export four truckloads of produce per month, they are now watching as many as 40 loads a day roll out of the valley.

Nicknamed “America’s Vegetable Garden,’ Almolonga’s produce is of biblical proportions. Walking through the local exhibition hall 1 saw (and filmed) five-pound beets, carrots larger than my arm and cabbages the size of oversized basketballs. Noting the dimensions of these vegetables and the town’s astounding 1,000 percent increase in agricultural productivity, university researchers from the United States and other foreign countries have beat a steady path to Almolonga.

“Now,” says Caballeros, “these brothers have the joy of buying big Mercedes trucks -with cash.” And they waste no time in pasting their secret all over the shiny vehicles. Huge metallic stickers and mud flaps read ‘The Gift of God,’ ‘God Is My Stronghold’ and ‘Go Forward in Faith.’

Some farmers are now providing employment to others by renting out land and developing fields in other towns. Along with other Christian leaders they also help new converts get out of debt.

How significant are these developments? In a 1994 headline article describing the dramatic events in Almolonga, Guatemala’s premier newsmagazine Cronica Semanal concluded “the Evangelical Church … constitutes the most significant force for religious change in the highlands of Guatemala since the Spanish conquest.

The Umuofai of Nigeria

Nigeria
Nigeria

The Umuofai kindred are spread out in several villages situated near the town of Umuahia in Abia State in southeastern Nigeria. A major rail line links the area with Port Harcourt, about 120 kilometers to the south. Like most parts of coastal Africa, it is distinguished by dense tropical flora and killer humidity.

The interesting chapter of the Umuofai story began as recently as 1996. Two Christian brothers, Emeka and Chinedu Nwankpa, had become increasingly distressed over the spiritual condition of their people. While they did not know everything about the Umuofai kindred, or their immediate Ubakala clan, they knew enough to be concerned. Not only were there few Christians, but there was also an almost organic connection with ancestral traditions of sorcery, divination and spirit appeasement. Some even practiced the demonic art of shape-shifting.

Taking the burden before the Lord, the younger brother, Chinedu Nwankpa, was led into a season of spiritual mapping. After conducting a partial 80-day fast, he learned that his primary assignment (which would take the good part of a year) was to spend one day a week with clan elders investigating the roots of prevailing idolatry – including the role of the ancestors and shrines. He would seek to understand how and when the Ubakala clan entered into animistic bondage. According to older brother Emeka, a practicing lawyer and international Bible teacher, this understanding was critical. When I asked why, Emeka responded, “When a people publicly renounce their ties to false gods and philosophies, they make it exceedingly undesirable for the enemy to remain in their community.”

The study was finally completed in late 1996. Taking their findings to prayer, the brothers soon felt prompted to invite kindred leaders and other interested parties to attend a special meeting. “What will be our theme?” they asked. The Master’s response was quick and direct. “I want you to speak to them about idolatry.”

On the day of the meeting, Emeka and Chinedu arrived unsure of what kind of crowd they would face. Would there be five or fifty? Would the people be open or hostile? What they actually encountered stunned them. The meeting place was not only filled with 300 people, but the audience also included several prominent clan leaders and witch doctors. “After I opened in prayer,” Emeka recalls, “this young man preaches for exactly 42 minutes. He brings a clear gospel message. He gives a biblical teaching on idolatry and tells the people exactly what it does to a community. When he has finished, he gives a direct altar call. And do you know what happens? Sixty-one adults respond, including people from lines that, for eight generations, had handled the traditional priesthood.”

When the minister finished the altar call, the Nwankpa brothers were startled to see a man coming forward with the sacred skull in his hands. Here in front of them was the symbol and receptacle of the clan’s ancestral power. “By the time the session ended,” Emeka marvels, “eight other spiritual custodians had also come forward. If I had not been there in the flesh, I would not have believed it.”

As Emeka was called forward to pray for these individuals, the Holy Spirit descended on the gathering and all the clan leaders were soundly converted. The new converts were then instructed to divide up into individual family units – most were living near the village of Mgbarrakuma – and enter a time of repentance within the family. This took another hour and twenty minutes. During this time people were under deep conviction, many rolling on the ground, weeping. “I had to persuade some of them to get up,” Emeka recalls.

After leading this corporate repentance, Emeka heard the Lord say, ‘It is now time to renounce the covenants made by and for this community over the last 300 years.” Following the example of Zechariah 12:10-13:2, the Nwankpas led this second-phase renunciation. “We were just about to get up,” Emeka remembers, “and the Lord spoke to me again. I mean He had it all written out. He said, ‘It is now time to go and deal with the different shrines.’ So 1 asked the people, ‘Now that we have renounced the old ways, what are these shrines doing here?’ And without a moment’s hesitation they replied, ‘We need to get rid of them!’”

Having publicly renounced the covenants their ancestors had made with the powers of darkness, the entire community proceeded to nine village shrines. The three chief priests came out with their walking sticks. It was tradition that they should go first. Nobody else had the authority to take such a drastic action. So the people stood, the young men following the elders and the women remaining behind in the village square. Lowering his glasses, Emeka says, “You cannot appreciate how this affected me personally. Try to understand that 1 am looking at my own chief. I am looking at generations of men that I have known, people who have not spoken to my father for thirty years, people with all kinds of problems. They are now born-again!”

One of these priests, an elder named Odogwu-ogu, stood before the shrine of a particular spirit called Amadi. He was the oldest living representative of the ancestral priesthood. Suddenly he began to talk to the spirits. He said, “Amadi, I want you to listen carefully to what 1 am saying. You were there in the village square this morning. You heard what happened.” He then made an announcement that Emeka will never forget.

Listen, Amadi, the people who own the land have arrived to tell you that they have just made a new covenant with the God of heaven. Therefore all the previous covenants you have made with our ancient fathers are now void. The elders told me to take care of you and I have done that all these years. But today I have left you, and so it is time for you to return to wherever you came from. I have also given my life to Jesus Christ, and from now on, my hands and feet are no longer here.

As he does this, he jumps sideways, lifts his hands and shouts, “Hallelujah!”

“With tears in my eyes,” Emeka says, reliving the moment, “I stepped up to anoint this shrine and pray. Every token and fetish was taken out. And then we went through eight more shrines, gathering all the sacred objects and piling them high.

“Gathering again back in the square I said, ‘Those who have fetishes in your homes, bring them out because God is visiting here today. Don’t let Him pass you by.’ At this, one of the priests got up and brought out a pot with seven openings. He said to the people, ‘There is poison enough to kill everybody here in that little pot. There is a horn of an extinct animal, the bile of a tiger and the venom of a viper mixed together.’ He warned the young men, ‘Don’t touch it. Carry it on a pole because it is usually suspended in the shrine.’ This was piled in the square along with all the ancestral skulls.” Soon other heads of households brought various ritual objects-including idols, totems and fetishes-for public burning. Many of these items had been handed down over ten generations.

Emeka then read a passage from Jeremiah 10 that judges the spirits associated with these artifacts. Reminding the powers that the people had rejected them, he said, “You spirits that did not make the heavens and the earth in the day of your visitation, it is time for you to leave this place.” The people then set the piled objects on fire. They ignited with such speed and intensity that the villagers took it as a sign that God had been waiting for this to happen for many years. When the fire subsided, Emeka and his brother prayed for individual needs and prophetically clothed the priests with new spiritual garments. Altogether the people spent nine hours in intense, strategic-level spiritual warfare.

Emeka recalls that when it was over, “You could feel the atmosphere in the community change. Something beyond revival had broken out.” Two young ministers recently filled the traditional Anglican church with about 4,000 youth. And in the middle of the message, demons were reportedly flying out the door! Having renounced old covenants, the Umuofai kindred have made a collective decision that nobody will ever return to animism. “Today,” Emeka says, “everybody goes to church. There is also a formal Bible study going on, and the women have a prayer team that my mother conducts. 0thers gather to pray after completing their communal sweeping.”

In terms of political and economic development, good things have begun to happen
but not as dramatically as in Almolonga. Still, there is evidence that God has touched the land here much like He has in the highlands of Guatemala. Shortly after the public repentance, several villagers discovered their plots were permeated with saleable minerals. One of these individuals was Emeka’s own mother, a godly woman whose property has turned up deposits of valuable ceramic clay.

Hemet, California

Bob & Susan Beckett
Bob & Susan Beckett

For years this searing valley in southern California was known as a pastor’s graveyard. Riddled with disunity, local churches were either stagnant or in serious decline. In one case, street prostitutes actually transformed a church rooftop into an outdoor bordello. The entire community had, in the words of pastor Bob Beckett, “a kind of a nasty spiritual feeling to it.”

The Hemet Valley was fast becoming a cult haven. “We had the Moonies and Mormons. We had the ‘Sheep People,’ a cult that claimed Christ but dealt in drugs. The Church of Scientology set up a state-of-the-art multimedia studio called Golden Era, and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi purchased a property to teach people how to find enlightenment.” The latter, according to Beckett, included a 360-acre juvenile facility where students were given instruction in upper-level transcendental meditation. “We’re not talking about simply feeling good; we’re talking about techniques whereby people can actually leave their bodies.”

These discoveries got Beckett to wondering why the Maharishi would purchase property in this relatively obscure valley and why it would be located in proximity to the Scientologists and the spiritually active Soboba Indian reservation. Sensing something sinister might be lurking beneath the town’s glazed exterior, Beckett took out a map and started marking locations where there was identifiable spiritual activity.”

The deeper this rookie pastor looked, the less he liked what he was seeing. It seemed the valley, in addition to hosting a nest of cults, was also a notable centre of witchcraft.

Nor were cults the only pre-existing problem. Neighborhood youth gangs had plagued the Hemet suburb of San Jacinto for more than a century. When pastor Gordon Houston arrived in 1986 the situation was extremely volatile. His church, San Jacinto Assembly, sits on the very street that has long hosted the town’s notorious First Street Gang. “These were kids whose dads and grandfathers had preceded them in the gang. The lifestyle had been handed down through the generations.”

“We were one of the first school districts that had to implement a school dress code to avoid gang attire. It was a big problem. There were a lot of weapons on campus and kids were being attacked regularly. The gangs were tied into one of the largest drug production centres in Riverside County.”

It turns out the sleepy Hemet Valley was also the methamphetamine manufacturing capital of the West Coast. One former cooker I spoke to in June 1998 (we’ll call him Sonny) told me the area hosted at least nine major production laboratories. The dry climate, remote location and ‘friendly’ law enforcement combined to make it an ideal setup. “It was quite amazing,” Sonny told me. “I actually had law officers transport dope for me in their police cruisers. That’s the way it used to be here.”

The spiritual turnaround for Hemet did not come easily. Neither the Beckerts nor the Houstons were early Valley enthusiasts. “I just didn’t want to be there,” Bob recalls with emphasis. “For the first several years, my wife and 1 had our emotional bags packed all the time. We couldn’t wait for the day that God would call us out of this valley.”

The Houstons didn’t unpack their bags to begin with. We drove down the street, took one look at the church and said, “No thank you.” We didn’t even stop to put in a resumé.” It would be three years before the Houstons were persuaded to return to the Hemet Valley.

“God asked if we would be willing to spend the rest of our lives in this valley. He couldn’t have asked a worse question. How could I spend the rest of my life in a place 1 didn’t love, didn’t care for and didn’t want to be a part of?”

Yet God persevered and the Becketts eventually surrendered to His will. “Once we made this pact, Susan and 1 fell in love with the community. It might sound a little melodramatic, but 1 actually went out and purchased a cemetery plot. I said, “Unless Jesus comes back, this is my land. I’m starting and ending my commitment right here.” Well, God saw that and began to dispense powerful revelation. I still had my research, but it was no longer just information. It was information that was important to me. It was information I had purchased; it belonged to me.”

Now that the Beckets had covenanted to stay in the community, God started to fill in the gaps of their understanding. He began by leading Bob to a book containing an accurate history of the San Jacinto mountains that border Hemet and of the Cahuilla Nation that are descendants of the region’s original inhabitants. “As 1 read through this book I discovered the native peoples believed the ruling spirit of the region was called Tahquitz. He was thought to be exceedingly powerful, occasionally malevolent, associated with the great bear, and headquartered in the mountains. Putting the book down, I sensed the Lord saying, “Find Tahquitz on your map!”

“When 1 did so, I was shocked to find that our prayer meeting 15 years earlier was held in a cabin located at the base of a one-thousand-foot solid rock spire called Tahquitz peak! I also began to understand that the bear hide God had showed me was linked to the spirit of Tahquitz. The fact that it was stretched out over the community was a reminder of the control this centuries-old demonic strongman wielded, a control that was fuelled then, and now, by the choices of local inhabitants. At that point I knew God had been leading us.”

Bob explained that community intercessors began using spiritual mapping to focus on issues and select meaningful targets. Seeing the challenge helped them become spiritually and mentally engaged. With real targets and timelines they could actually watch the answers to their prayers.

The facts speak for themselves. Cult membership, once a serious threat, has now sunk to less than 0.3 percent of the population. The Scientologists have yet to be evicted from their perch at the edge of town, but many other groups are long gone. The transcendental meditation training centre was literally burned out. Shortly after praying for their removal, a brushfire started in the mountains on the west side of the valley. It burned along the top of the ridge and then arced down like a finger to incinerate the Maharishi’s facility. Leaving adjacent properties unsinged, the flames burned back up the mountain and were eventually extinguished.

The drug business, according to Sonny, has dropped by as much as 75 percent. Gone, too, is the official corruption that was once its fellow traveller. “There was a time when you could walk into any police department around here and look at your files or secure an escort for your drug shipment. The people watching your back were wearing badges. Man, has that changed. If you’re breaking the law today, the police are out to get ya. And prayer is the biggest reason. The Christians out here took a multimillion-dollar drug operation and made it run off with its tail between its legs.”

Gangs are another success story. Not long ago a leader of the First Street Gang burst down the centre aisle of Gordon Houston’s church (San Jacinto Assembly) during the morning worship service. “I’m in the middle of my message,” Gordon laughs, “and here comes this guy, all tattooed up, heading right for the platform. I had no idea what he was thinking. When he gets to the front, he looks up and says, “I want to get saved right now!” This incident, and this young man, represented the first fruit of what God would do in the gang community. Over the next several weeks, the entire First Street family came to the Lord. After this, word circulated that our church was off limits. ‘You don’t tag this church with graffiti; you don’t mess with it in any way.’ Instead, gang members began raking our leaves and repainting walls that had been vandalized.” More recently, residents of the violent gang house across from San Jacinto Assembly moved out. Then, as church members watched, they bulldozed the notorious facility.

Nor are gang members the only people getting saved in Hemet Valley. A recent survey revealed that Sunday morning church attendance now stands at about 14 percent – double what it was just a decade ago. During one 18-month stretch, San Jacinto Assembly altar workers saw more than 600 people give their hearts to Christ. Another prayer-oriented church has grown 300 percent in twelve months.

The individual stories are stirring. Sonny, the former drug manufacturer, was apprehended by the Holy Spirit en route to a murder. Driving to meet his intended victim he felt something take control of the steering wheel. He wound up in the parking lot of Bob Beckett’s Dwelling Place Church. It was about 8 o’clock in the morning and a men’s meeting had just gotten underway. “Before I got out of the car,” Sonny says ruefully, “I looked at the silenced pistol laying on the seat. I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, what am I doing.’ So I covered it with a blanket and walked into this prayer meeting. As soon as 1 did that, it was all over. People are praying around me and I hear this man speak out: ‘Somebody was about to murder someone today.’ Man, my eyeballs just about popped out of my head. But that was the beginning of my journey home. It took a long time, but I’ve never experienced more joy in my life.”

As of the late 1990s, Hemet also boasted a professing mayor, police chief, fire chief and city manager. If this were not impressive enough, Beckett reckons that one could add about 30 percent of the local law enforcement officers and an exceptional number of high school teachers, coaches and principals. In fact, for the past several years nearly 85 percent of all school district staff candidates have been Christians.

And what of the Valley’s infamous church infighting? “Now we are a wall of living stones,” Beekett declares proudly. “Instead of competing, we are swapping pulpits. You have Baptists in Pentecostal pulpits and vice versa. You have Lutherans with Episcopalians. The Christian community has become a fabric instead of loose yarn.”

Houston adds that valley churches are also brought together by quarterly concerts of prayer and citywide prayer revivals where speaking assignments are rotated among area pastors.

One fellowship is so committed to raising the profile of Jesus Christ in the valley that they have pledged into another church’s building program. To Bob Beckett it all makes sense. “It’s about building people, not building a church. In fact, it is not even a church growth issue, it is a kingdom growth issue. It’s about seeing our communities transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Cali, Columbia

RuibalFor years Colombia has been the world’s biggest exporter of cocaine, sending between 700 hundred and 1,000 tons a year to the United States and Europe alone. The Cali cartel, which controlled up to 70 percent of this trade, has been called the largest, richest and most well-organized criminal organization in history. Employing a combination of bribery and threats, it wielded a malignant power that corrupted individuals and institutions alike.

Randy and Marcy MacMillan, co-pastors of the Communidad Christiana de Fe, have labored in Cali for more than 20 years. At least 10 of these have been spent in the shadow of the city’s infamous drug lords.

“These people were paranoid,” Randy recalls. “They were exporting 500 million dollars worth of cocaine a month, and it led to constant worries about sabotage and betrayal. They had a lot to lose.”

For this reason, the cartel haciendas were appointed like small cities. Within their walls it was possible to find everything from airstrips and helicopter landing pads to indoor bowling alleys and miniature soccer stadiums. Many also contained an array of gift boutiques, nightclubs and restaurants.

Whenever the compound gates swung open, it was to disgorge convoys of shiny black Mercedes automobiles. As they snaked their way through the city’s congested streets, all other traffic would pull to the side of the road. Drivers who defied this etiquette did so at their own risk. Many were blocked and summarily shot. As many as 15 people a day were killed in such a manner. “You didn’t want to be at the same stoplight with them,” Randy summarized.

Journalists had a particularly difficult time. They were either reporting on human camage – car bombs were going off like popcorn – or they were becoming targets themselves. Television news anchor Adriana Vivas said that many journalists were killed for denouncing what the Mafia was doing in Colombia and Cali. “Important political decisions were being manipulated by drug money. It touched everything, absolutely everything.”

By the early 1990s, Cali had become one of the most thoroughly corrupt cities in the world. Cartel interests controlled virtually every major institution – including banks, businesses, politicians and law enforcement.

Like everything else in Cali, the church was in disarray. Evangelicals were few and did not much care for each other. “In those days,” Rosevelt Muriel recalls sadly, “the pastors’ association consisted of an old box of files that nobody wanted. Every pastor was working on his own; no one wanted to join together.”

When pastor-evangelists Julio and Ruth Ruibal came to Cali in 1978, they were dismayed at the pervasive darkness in the city. “There was no unity between the churches,” Ruth explained. Even Julio was put off by his colleagues and pulled out of the already weak ministerial association.

Ruth relates that during a season of fasting the Lord spoke to Julio saying, “You don’t have the right to be offended. You need to forgive.” So going back to the pastors, one by one, Julio made things right. They could not afford to walk in disunity – not when their city faced such overwhelming challenges.

Randy and Marcy MacMillan were among the first to join the Ruibals in intercession. “We just asked the Lord to show us how to pray,” Marcy remembers. And He did. For the next several months they focused on the meagre appetite within the church for prayer, unity and holiness. Realizing these are the very things that attract the presence of God, they petitioned the Lord to stimulate a renewed spiritual hunger, especially in the city’s ministers.

As their prayers began to take effect, a small group of pastors proposed assembling their congregations for an evening of joint worship and prayer. The idea was to lease the city’s civic auditorium, the Colisco El Pueblo, and spend the night in prayer and repentance. They would solicit God’s active participation in their stand against the drug cartels and their unseen spiritual masters.

Roping off most of the seating area, the pastors planned for a few thousand people. And even this, in the minds of many, was overly optimistic. “We heard it all,” said Rosevelt Muriel. “People told us, ‘It can’t be done,’ ‘No one will come,’ ‘Pastors won’t give their support.’ But we decided to move forward and trust God with the results.”

When the event was finally held in May 1995, the nay-sayers and even some of the organizers were dumbfounded. Instead of the expected modest turnout, more than 25,000 people filed into the civic auditorium – nearly half of the city’s evangelical population at the time! At one point, Muriel remembers, “The mayor mounted the platform and proclaimed, ‘Cali belongs to Jesus Christ.’ Well, when we heard those words, we were energized.” Giving themselves to intense prayer, the crowd remained until 6 o’clock the next morning. The city’s famous all-night prayer vigil – the ‘vigilia’ – had been born.

Forty-eight hours after the event, the daily newspaper, El Pais, headlined, “No Homicides!” For the first time in as long as anybody in the city could remember, a 24-hour period had passed without a single person being killed. In a nation cursed with the highest homicide rate in the world, this was a newsworthy development. Corruption also took a major hit when, over the next four months, 900 cartel-linked officers were fired from the metropolitan police force.

In the month of June, this sense of anticipation was heightened when several intercessors reported dreams in which angelic forces apprehended leaders of the Cali drug cartel. “Within six weeks of this vision,” MacMillan recalls, “the Colombian government declared all-out war against the drug lords.” Sweeping military operations were launched against cartel assets in several parts of the country. The 6,500 elite commandos dispatched to Cali arrived with explicit orders to round up seven individuals suspected as the top leaders of the cartel.

“Cali was buzzing with helicopters,” Randy remembers. “The airport was closed and there were police roadblocks at every entry point into the city. You couldn’t go anywhere without proving who you were.”

Suspicions that the drug lords were consulting spirit mediums were confirmed when the federalés dragnet picked up Jorge Eliecer Rodriguez at the fortune-telling parlour of Madame Marlene Ballesteros, the famous ‘Pythoness of Cali”. By August, only three months after God’s word to the intercessors, Colombian authorities had captured all seven targeted cartel leaders.

Clearly stung by these assaults on his power base, the enemy lashed out against the city’s intercessors. At the top of his hit list was Pastor Julio Ceasar Ruibal, a man whose disciplined fasting and unwavering faith was seriously eroding his manoeuvring room.

On December 13, 1995, Julio rode into the city with his daughter Sarah and a driver. Late for a pastors’ meeting at the Presbyterian Church, he motioned to his driver to pull over. “He told us to drop him off,” Sarah recounts, “and that was the last time I saw him.”

Outside the church, a hit man was waiting in ambush. Drawing a concealed handgun, the assassin pumped two bullets into Julio’s brain at point-blank range.

“I was waiting for him to arrive at the meeting,” Rosevelt remembers. “At two o’clock in the afternoon I received a phone call. The man said, ‘They just killed Julio.’ I said, ‘What? How can they kill a pastor?’ I rushed over, thinking that perhaps he had just been hurt. But when 1 arrived on the scene, he was motionless. Julio, the noisy one, the active one, the man who just never sat still, was just lying there like a baby.”

“The first thing 1 saw was a pool of crimson blood,” Ruth recalls. “And the verse that came to me was Psalm 116:15: ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.’ Sitting down next to Julio’s body, I knew 1 was on holy ground.”

Julio Ruibal was killed on the sixth day of a fast aimed at strengthening the unity of Cali’s fledgling church. He knew that even though progress had been made in this area, it had not gone far enough. He knew that unity is a fragile thing. What he could not have guessed is that the fruit of his fast would be made manifest at his own funeral.

In shock, and struggling to understand God’s purposes in this tragedy, 1,500 people gathered at Julio’s funeral. They included many pastors that had not spoken to each other in months. When the memorial concluded these men drew aside and said, “Brothers, let us covenant to walk in unity from this day forward. Let Julio’s blood be the glue that binds us together in the Holy Spirit.”

It worked! Today this covenant of unity has been signed by some 200 pastors and serves as the backbone of the city’s high profile prayer vigils. With Julio’s example in their hearts, they have subordinated their own agendas to a larger, common vision for the city.

Emboldened by their spiritual momentum, Cali’s church leaders now hold all-night prayer rallies every 90 days. Enthusiasm is so high that these glorious events have been moved to the largest venue in the city, the 55,000-seat Pascual Guerrero soccer stadium. Happily (or unhappily as the case may be), the demand for seats continues to exceed supply.

As the kingdom of God descended upon Cali, a new openness to the gospel could be felt at all levels of society – including the educated and wealthy. One man, Gustavo Jaramillo, a wealthy businessman and former mayor, told me, “It is easy to speak to upper-class people about Jesus. They are respectful and interested.” Raul Grajales, another successful Cali businessman, adds that the gospel is now seen as practical rather than religious. As a consequence, he says, “Many high-level people have come to the feet of Jesus.”

Explosive church growth is one of the visible consequences of the open heavens over Cali. Ask pastors to define their strategy and they respond, “We don’t have time to plan. We’re too busy pulling the nets into the boat.” And the numbers are expanding. In early 1998, 1 visited one fellowship, the Christian Centre of Love and Faith, where attendance has risen to nearly 35,000. What is more, their stratospheric growth rate is being fuelled entirely by new converts. Despite the facility’s cavernous size (it’s a former Costco warehouse), they are still forced to hold seven Sunday services. As I watched the huge sanctuary fill up, I blurted the standard Western question: “What is your secret?” Without hesitating, a church staff member pointed to a 24-hour prayer room immediately behind the platform. “That’s our secret,’ he replied.

My driver, Carlos Reynoso (not his real name), himself a former drug dealer, put it this way: “There is a hunger for God everywhere. You can see it on the buses, on the streets and in the cafes. Anywhere you go people are ready to talk.” Even casual street evangelists are reporting multiple daily conversions – nearly all the result of arbitrary encounters.

Although danger still lurks in this city of 1.9 million, God is now viewed as a viable protector. When Cali police deactivated a large, 174-kilo car bomb in the populous San Nicolis area in November 1996, many noted that the incident came just 24 hours after 55,000 Christians held their third vigilia. Even El Pais headlined: “Thanks to God, It Didn’t Explode.”

Cali’s prayer warriors were gratified, but far from finished. The following month church officials, disturbed by the growing debauchery associated with the city’s Feria, a year-end festival accompanied by 10 days of bull fighting and blowout partying, developed plans to hold public worship and evangelism rallies.

“When we approached the city about this,” Marcy recalls, “God gave us great favour. The city secretary not only granted us rent-free use of the 22,000-scat velodrome (cycling arena), but he also threw in free advertising, security and sound support. We were stunned!” The only thing the authorities required was that the churches pray for the mayor, the city and the citizens.

Once underway, the street witnessing and rallies brought in a bounty of souls. But an even bigger surprise came during the final service which, according to Marcy, emphasized the Holy Spirit “reigning over” and “raining down upon” the city of Cali. As the crowd sang, it began to sprinkle outside, an exceedingly rare occurrence in the month of December. “Within moments,” Marcy recalls, “the city was inundated by torrential tropical rain. It didn’t let up for 24 hours; and for the first time in recent memory, Feria events had to be cancelled!”

On the evening of April 9, 1998, I had the distinct privilege of attending a citywide prayer vigil in Cali’s Pascual Guerrero stadium. Arriving at the stadium 90 minutes early, I found it was already a full house. I could feel my hair stand on end as I walked onto the infield to tape a report for CBN News. In the stands, 50,000 exuberant worshipers stood ready to catch the Holy Spirit’s fire. An additional 15,000 ‘latecomers’ were turned away at the coliseum gate. Undaunted, they formed an impromptu praise march that circled the stadium for hours.

Worship teams from various churches were stationed at 15-metre intervals around the running track. Dancers dressed in beautiful white and purple outfits interpreted the music with graceful motions accentuated by banners, tambourines and sleeve streamers. Both they and their city had been delivered of a great burden. In such circumstances one does not celebrate like a Presbyterian, a Baptist or a Pentecostal; one celebrates like a person who has been liberated!

“What you’re seeing tonight in this stadium is a miracle,” declared visiting Bogota pastor Colin Crawford. “A few years ago it would have been impossible for Evangelicals to gather like this.” Indeed, this city that has long carried a reputation as an exporter of death is now looked upon as a model of community transformation. It has moved into the business of exporting hope.

High up in the stadium press booth somebody grabbed my arm. Nodding in the direction of a casually dressed man at the broadcast counter he whispered, “That man is the most famous sports announcer in Columbia. He does all the big soccer championships.” Securing a quick introduction, I learned that Rafael Araújo Gámez is also a newborn Christian. As he looked out over the fervent crowd, I asked if he had ever seen anything comparable in this stadium. Like Mario, he began to weep. “Never,” he said with a trembling chin. “Not ever.”

At 2:30 in the morning my cameraman and I headed for the stadium tunnel to catch a ride to the airport. It was a tentative departure. At the front gate crowds still trying to get in looked at us like we were crazy. I could almost read their minds. Where are you going? Why are you leaving the presence of God? They were tough questions to answer.

As we prepared to enter our vehicle a roar rose up from the stadium. Listening closely, we could hear the people chanting, in English, “Lift Jesus up, lift Jesus up.” The words seemed to echo across the entire city. I had to pinch myself. Wasn’t it just 36 months ago that people were calling this place a violent, corrupt hell-hole? A city whose ministerial alliance consisted of a box of files that nobody wanted?

In late 1998, Cali’s mayor and city council approached the ministerial alliance, with an offer to manage a citywide campaign to strengthen the family. The offer, which has subsequently been accepted, gives the Christians full operational freedom and no financial obligation. The government has agreed to open the soccer stadium, sports arena and velodrome to any seminar or prayer event that will minister to broken families.
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Global Phenomenon

As remarkable as the preceding accounts are, they represent but a fraction of the case studies that could be presented.  Several others are worth mentioning in brief.

Kiambu, Kenya

Kiambu church leaders pray together
Kiambu church leaders pray together

Topping this list is Kiambu, Kenya, one-time ministry graveyard located 14 kilometres northwest of Nairobi. In the late 1980s, after years of profligate alcohol abuse, untamed violence and grinding poverty, the Spirit of the Lord was summoned to Kiambu by a handful of intercessors operating out of a grocery store basement known as the “Kiambu Prayer Cave.”

According to Kenyan pastor Thomas Muthee, the real breakthrough came when believers won a high profile power encounter with a local witch named Mama Jane. Whereas people used to be afraid to go out at night, they now enjoy one of the lowest crime rates in the country. Rape and murder are virtually unheard of. The economy has also started to grow. And new buildings are sprouting up all over town.

In February, 1999, pastor Muthee celebrated their ninth anniversary in Kiambu. Through research and spiritual warfare, they have seen their church grow to 5,000 members – a remarkable development in a city that had never before seen a congregation of more than 90 people. And other community fellowships are growing as well. “There is no doubt,” Thomas declares, “that prayer broke the power of witchcraft over this city. Everyone in the community now has a high respect for us. They know that God’s power chased Mama Jane from town” (26).

Vitória da Conquiste, Brazil

Church in Vitória da Conquiste, Brazil
Church in Vitória da Conquiste, Brazil

The city of Vitória da Conquiste (Victory of the Conquest) in Brazil’s Bahia state, has likewise, experienced a powerful move of God since the mid 1990s. As with other transformed communities, the recovery is largely from extreme poverty, violence and corruption.

Vitória da Conquiste was also a place where pastors spent more pulpit time demeaning their ministerial colleagues than preaching the Word. Desperate to see a breakthrough, local intercessors went to prayer. Within a matter of weeks conviction fell upon the church leaders. In late 1996 they gathered to wash one another’s feet in a spirit of repentance. When they approached the community’s senior pastor – a man who had been among the most critical – he refused to allow his colleagues to wash his feet. Saying he was not worthy of such treatment, he instead lay prostrate on the ground and invited the others to place the soles of their shoes on his body while he begged their forgiveness. Today the pastors of Vitória da Conquiste are united in their desire for a full visitation of the Holy Spirit (27).

In addition to lifting long-standing spiritual oppression over the city, this action has also led to substantial church growth. Many congregations have recently gone to multiple services. Furthermore, voters in 1997 elected the son of evangelical parents to serve as mayor. Crime has dropped precipitously, and the economy has rebounded on the strength of record coffee exports and significant investments by the Northeast Bank.

San Nicolás, Argentina

Ed Silvoso
Ed Silvoso

Ed Silvoso of Harvest Evangelism International reports similar developments in San Nicolás, Argentina, an economically depressed community that for years saw churches split and pastors die in tragic circumstances. According to Silvoso, this dark mantle came in with a local shrine to the Queen of Heaven that annually attracts 1.5 million pilgrims.

More recently, pastors have repented for the sin of the church and launched prayer walks throughout the community. They have spoken peace over every home, school, business and police station and concentrated intercession over 10 “dark spots” associated with witchcraft, gangs, prostitution and drug addiction. The pastors have also made appointments with leading political, media and religious (Catholic) officials to repent for neglecting and sometimes cursing them.

As a result of these actions the Catholic bishop is preaching Christ and coming to pastors’ prayer meetings. The mayor has created a space for pastors to pray in city hall. The local newspaper has printed Christian literature. The radio station has begun to refer call-in problems to a pastoral chaplaincy service. The TV station invites pastors onto live talk shows to pray for the people. In short, the whole climate in San Nicolás has changed.

Villages, cities, countries

George Otis Jr
George Otis Jr

In other parts of the world God has been at work in villages (Navapur, India; Serawak, Malaysia [Selakau people]; and the North American Arctic) in urban neighbourhoods (Guatemala City; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Resistencia, Argentina; Guayaquil, Ecuador) and even in countries (Uganda). The United States has witnessed God’s special touch in places as far-flung as New York City (Times Square); Modesto, California; and Pensacola, Florida.

Early in my ministry I never thought of investigating transformed communities. I was too preoccupied with other things. In recent days, however, I have become persuaded that something extraordinary is unfolding across the earth. It is, I have come to realize, an expression of the full measure of the kingdom of God. Finding examples of this phenomenon has become my life. And the journey has taken me to the furthest corners of the earth.
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Transforming Revivals in the South Pacific

Transforming revival is now spreading through large numbers of villages and communities in the South Pacific, as elsewhere in the world. Pastors from Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji tell the amazing and inspiring story.

Teams of pastors and intercessors now travel in the islands to lead whole communities in repentance and unity. Many of them use a process they call Healing the Land (HTL). This involved at least a week of teaching, prayer, confession, reconciliation, and renouncing the idolatry and witchcraft which is common in village communities.

Papua New Guinea

Rev Walo Ani reports on PNG and Vanuatu
Rev Walo Ani reports on PNG and Vanuatu

Papua New Guinea lies directly north of eastern Australia. Tribal people with over 700 different languages inhabit its coastal lowlands and towering highland ranges. Rev Walo Ani and his wife Namana describe community transformation through revival and Healing the Land (HTL) on the south coast of Papua New Guinea.

Karawa Village
It was a very exciting week in August 2006 where we saw the Lord move mightily in the lives of the village elders, chiefs, church leaders and the people. A group of dedicated young people’s prayer ministry team started praying and fasting from 1st of July for the HTL Process. We witnessed repentance, forgiveness and reconciliations between family and clan members, and between individuals.
The Lord went ahead and prepared the hearts of people in every home as we visited. They were ready to confess their sins and ask for forgiveness from each other and reconcile. In some homes, members of families gave their hearts to the Lord. Visitation of homes took two days. On the third morning, after the dedication of the elements of salt, oil and water, the village elders and chiefs publicly repented as they identified with sins of their forebears; and each of them publicly gave their clans to the Lord.
Three dinghies and a big canoe with people all went in different directions up several rivers and along the nearby coast to anoint specific places for cleansing that had been defiled through deaths and killings in the past.
That night there was a time of public confession and renouncement of things that were a hindrance in the lives of the people around a huge bonfire. It was a solemn night; the presence of the Lord was so powerful that people were coming forward and burning their witchcraft and charms publicly. No one could hold back, even the deacons and church elders, village elders, women and young people were all coming forward. Young people started confessing their sins and renouncing and burning drugs, cigarettes and things that were hindering their lives from following Christ.
A young man, who had murdered another young man about 11 years ago, came forward and publicly confessed his sin and asked for forgiveness from the family of the murdered man. That was a big thing; there was a pause and we waited and prayed for someone from the other side to respond. Only the Lord could do this.
The younger brother of the man who was killed came out finally, and offered forgiveness. We could hear crying among the people; it was a moving moment where God just took control. Mothers, brothers and members of both extended families became reconciled in front of the whole village. We could sense the release upon both families and village. It was an awesome time; the meeting went on into the early hours of the next morning. At the end of all this at about 2 am the pastor stood up and said the prayer to invite Jesus into the community.
The village is not the same; you can sense the release and freedom of Christ in the lives of the people. The Holy Spirit is still moving in people’s lives and they are coming to their pastor for prayer. Recently, a young man surrendered two guns to the pastor. News of what God has done and is still doing has spread to neighbouring villages. God birthed a new thing in our area and I believe that many more villages will see the transforming power of God because they are hungry and desperate to see change in their communities.
There were a lot of testimonies arising seven months after the HTL Process. Two water wells which had a salty taste were anointed with oil and now have good fresh water in them. One of the rivers that was anointed and prayed for now has fresh water instead of salty water half way up the river.
Alukuni, one of the villages which experienced their pigs being stolen by the Karawa young people over the years, testified that since HTL in Karawa none of their pigs had been stolen so far. Righteousness is rising up in the village.
The king tides in January to March usually caused floods in the middle of Karawa village dividing the village in two. After the HTL Process last August, the 2007 king tides have not caused any flooding. Praise the Lord!
A barren woman conceived after one of the visitation teams dealt with the generational curses holding her in bondage for sixteen years. Nine months after the Karawa HTL Process she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Simon.
There is abundance of fruit and garden food and two harvests of fruit on the orange trees have been observed so far.
A hunger for prayer has risen among the young people. Straight after the HTL Process young people from one of the clans started a prayer group which is still going on. Two other clans started prayer groups after a lot of struggle to get going over the years. The HTL team was the main support behind “Kids Games” which were held December 2006 in the neighbouring village of Keapara.
The studies were on Joseph and when they came to the section on forgiveness the Lord moved in a powerful way and revival started among the children. They stood and asked for forgiveness from their parents. There was crying and reconciliation between children and parents. The Lord is arresting the hearts of the young, the old and the children and there is no holding back.
Karawa is still experiencing the blessings of God with abundance of crabs, fish and garden produce. The economic life of the village is growing stronger.
One of the things prayed for was good education for their children, especially the smaller ones who do elementary schooling and did not have proper classrooms. Nine months after the HTL Process, Karawa which was the second last on the list of applications for school funding, was brought up to second priority and their application was approved. A semi-trailer loaded with building materials for two classrooms worth K75,000 (Kina, about AU$35,000) arrived in the village. The classrooms have now been built and the children are using them. Only the Lord could have done this.

Makirupu Village
Makirupu is about 2 hours drive east of Port Moresby, with a population of about 600. The United Church was the established church there and CRC and AOG have also planted churches there in recent years which caused a lot of offences between families.
In March 2007, we had eight days for the HTL Process, two teaching sessions in the mornings and one at night. From 2 5.30 pm for four days the prayer team did house to house visitation of all of the 126 homes in the village. The HTL team of seven and the prayer team all fasted and prayed for those eight days. The teaching was done in the language people understood very well. The Lord moved in a mighty way convicting people of land disputes, immorality and fornication, fear of witch¬craft and sorcery (fear was at its peak when the HTL Process began), lies, gambling, stealing, marriage problems, witchcraft, sorcery and charms and many other issues. Miracles of healing started from day one; people who were deaf began to hear, their ears were healed.
From research I had done we discovered that the mission land was defiled by three previous pastors who had minis¬tered in the village and who had committed adultery and fornication in the last 30 years, the last one about 18 months ago. This involved the last pastor and a young girl in the church behind the pulpit areas in the church building. That pastor was suspended from ministry. There was a court case between the family of the young girl (who defended her saying she was innocent) and the deacons of the church. There was actual physical fighting as well. This case involved the whole village; almost all the young people left the church. Because of this, the life and attendance of the services were affected. The life of the church was slowly dying away. This issue was never resolved properly; it was like a dark shadow hanging over the whole village. Our first focus of prayer would be the cleansing of the mission land.
On the second night of prayer we had a time of identification repentance and the current pastor came forward and repented on behalf of the three former pastors of adultery and fornication. Something happened in the heavenlies. A deacon came forward and repented on behalf of the deacons, followed by a women’s leader all repenting of the same sin and their involvement in it. More people came out and confessed.
The presence of the Lord was very heavy in the church. I asked if there was anyone to repent on behalf of the young people and the young girl who had committed fornication and adultery with the last pastor came for¬ward, trembling and crying, confessing, repenting and asking for forgiveness from God and the whole village. The people were amazed at what God was doing. Only He could do that.
The girl who had denied outright what she had done 18 months ago was arrested by God’s presence and could not hide any more. A Sunday School representative came forward and repented and asked for forgiveness. A former deacon could not hold back. He came forward and confessed that he had been the messen¬ger boy for the pastor and the girl and he said sorry to the Lord for denying Him.
Because of this incident 18 months ago, all the young people had left the church but when the air was cleared, the next day all the young people came and the church building was full to capacity. The fear of the Lord entered the hearts of the people. That same night the anointing elements were mixed and the mission land was anointed, cleansed and rededicated to God. It was an awesome time.
The AOG pastor also asked for forgiveness from the United Church for leaving the church and causing division. He and his wife and all his church members were part of the prayer warrior team right from day one of the Process. A couple of days later the CRC members started joining us and by the end of the Process all three churches were united to see change in the community. The prayer warrior team grew from 7 to 40. Praise God!
The next day news of what had hap¬pened had reached everyone in the village and the nearby villages and more people came for the meetings. They were hungry to hear the Word of the Lord. The next few days people were seeing signs and wonders, something they had never experienced before. Revival had started and the fear of God came upon the people. Also on the third day the village chief invited Jesus into the community.
On the last day the whole village gath¬ered at the spot where the village was started some five or six generations ago. Anointing oil was mixed and all the chiefs and village elders were anointed and reinstated. After that, groups of people and prayer team took oil to certain places previously defiled because of blood¬shed in the past on garden land. They anointed these places while deacons took oil to the boundaries of the village and the beach and dedicated the land back to God.
After lunch everyone came back to the village and started a bonfire. Church deacons and leaders were the first ones to come forward with confessions of adultery, immorality and witchcraft. Families with land disputes came out and reconciled with people they had taken to court. Young people came out with charms and magic and burnt them in the fire. A mother came out with her ten year old daughter and confessed she had handed down her sorcery and magic to her and said she was sorry, asking for forgiveness from God. Both were prayed for. Husbands and wives reconciled, artefacts of magic and idolatry were burnt. God was doing His cleaning up in the lives of the people.
The next day we had a time of celebra¬tion and you could see the release and freedom in people’s lives; singing was coming from their hearts and joy was bubbling over. The Lord had again touched people’s hearts and His presence was so evident that the people did not want to stop celebrat¬ing, although it was getting dark and there was no light.
The land and the people are being healed. The day after the Process a cou¬ple of men went crabbing and caught bigger and more crabs than usual. A week later a lady went to her garden to find that the bad weed which had been a prob¬lem to most gardens had started to wither and die. She went back to the village and told everyone. The fear that had gripped the hearts of the people had also been broken in prayer and now women are going to their gardens on their own – something they could not do before. A few days after the HTL Process, men began to go fishing and to their surprise they were catching more and bigger fish than before.
There has been a case of instant healing of a patient with a stroke after the AOG pastor and his wife shared with her fam¬ily about Roots and Foundations and how curses come into lives. The whole family confessed, repented and recon¬ciled with each other. The pastor’s wife had some of the oil that was mixed in the village the week before and began anointing the lady while they prayed. To their surprise, she was healed instantly. She began to speak and eat on her own. The pastor said he had never experi¬enced anything like this before. The presence of the Lord was so great they all started worshipping Him and time was not an issue any more. Praise God for this miracle!
During the Process, the pastors of the AOG, the United Church and an Elder of the CRC church, standing on behalf of the pastor, all repented of all the offences and misunderstandings between them in the past. So now the three churches have decided to have a combined service once a month in the middle of the village. The young people from all three churches are already having combined prayer meetings and they are in the process of building a big shelter in the middle of the village for the combined church services.
A couple of months after the HTL Process a security firm from the city turned up in the village and recruited all the unemployed ‘rascal’ young men who had been stealing and causing problems. These young men had been stealing pigs and other things and then reselling them in the city. One of them could not fit into city life so he went back to the village. He stole a pig and when his family found out they chased him out of the village. He went to stay with relatives in another village and in the process found the Lord there!
The villagers reported there has not been any stealing since the men were employed. There has also been increase in their garden produce, fruit and nut trees. The people are able to see their own produce come to maturity and sell it, whereas in the past it would have been stolen.
Makirupu and one of the nearby villages are known for getting floods during heavy rains. One month before we got there, it had been raining heavily but the Lord has kept the floods away. It surely is amazing!

Kalo Village
Kalo is the village where in 1881 four Cook Island missionaries and their families were killed. The killings were led by the chief of one of the clans. Since the killings this particular clan has been under a curse and the whole village is also affected by it. The leaders and the people of this clan know that they are under a curse and they are desperate to be freed from it. There have been unexplained deaths, not many of their children go beyond high school; those that go to work in towns don’t last long and they lose their jobs.
The outcome of the talks is that the leaders of this clan called all their families together, from far and near to come and start the repentance and reconciliation Process. This was supported by the pastor and all the Church and clan leaders of Kalo. It was a moving occasion and the leaders agreed to proceed with the HTL Process and a bigger reconciliation event with the relatives of the Cook Island missionaries present in the near future.
Every year at their Church anniversary the Kalo people used put on the play of the landing of the Cook Island missionaries and their killings but straight after putting on this play, someone always died. They cannot explain it and they don’t put it on any more. After talks with Walo, they have decided to do the play again but this time including a time of repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation after the play.
Healing the Land involved community repentance, reconciliation and rededication of all the people to God, along with acknowledging our stewardship under God for the land and the sea. This commitment continues to spread throughout the South Pacific islands, especially in Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and also the Solomon Islands.

Solomon Islands

Mission Team with Sir Peter & Lady Margaret Kenilorea, first PM in the Solomon Islands
Mission Team with Sir Peter & Lady Margaret Kenilorea, first PM in the Solomon Islands

Many revival movements continue to spread throughout the villages of the South Pacific, as in the Solomon Islands, an archipelago of almost 1,000 islands, scattered west of Papua New Guinea to Vanuatu. Leaders of revival movements in the Solomon Islands often take that fire to other South Pacific nations as well.

2003 – April: Western District

The Lord poured out his Spirit in fresh and surprising ways in New Georgia in the Western District of the Solomon Islands in 2003, and touched many churches in the capital Honiara with strong moves of the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit moved powerfully especially on youth and children. This included many conversions, many filled with the Spirit, many having visions and revelations. Churches began to grow with new vigor.

Ethnic tension (civil war) raged for two years to 2002 with rebels armed with guns causing widespread problems and the economy failing with the wages of many police, teachers and administrators unpaid. In spite of this, and perhaps because of it, the Holy Spirit moved strongly in the Solomon Islands.

An anointed pastor from Papua New Guinea spoke at an Easter Camp in 2003 attended by many youth leaders from the Western Solomons. Those leaders returned on fire. The weekend following Easter, from the end of April, 2003, youth and children in the huge, scenic Marovo Lagoon area were filled with the Spirit, with many lives transformed.

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 5 p.m. for hours of praise, worship and testimonies. A police officer reported reduced crimes and said that 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 among 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 readings 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 have been pulled down to be replaced by much bigger buildings to fit in the crowds. Offerings and community support have increased.
7. Unity. Increasingly Christians unite in reconciliation for revival meetings, prayer and service to the community.

A team of law students from the University of the South Pacific CF in Port Vila, Vanuatu, visited Honiara and the Western Solomon Islands in mid 2003. Sir Peter and Lady Margaret Kenilorea hosted the team in Honiara. Sir Peter was the first Prime Minster of the independent Solomon Islands, and then the Speaker in the Parliament.

Dr Ronald Ziru, then administrator of the United Church Hospital in Munda in the western islands hosted the team there, which included his son Calvin. The team had to follow Jesus’ instructions about taking nothing extra on mission because the airline left behind all their checked luggage in Port Vila! They found it at Honiara after their return from the western islands.

The team first experienced the revival on an island near Munda. Two weeks previously, early in July, revival started there with the Spirit poured out on children and youth, so they just wanted to worship and pray for hours. They meet every night from around 5.30 p.m., and wanted to go late every night! The team encouraged the children to see school as a mission field, to pray with their friends there, and learn well so they could serve God better.

At Seghe and in the Marovo Lagoon the revival had spread since Easter. Some adults became involved, also repenting and seeking more of the Holy Spirit. Many outpourings and gifts of the Spirit emerged, including the following:

Transformed lives – Many youths that the police used to check on because of alcohol and drug abuse became sober and on fire for God attending daily worship and prayer meetings. A man who rarely went to church led the youth singing group at Seghe. Adults publicly reconciled after years of old rifts or strife.

Long worship – This included prophetic words or actions and visions. About 200 youth and children led worship at both Sunday services with 1,000 attending in Patutiva village where the revival began. They sang revival songs and choruses accompanied by their youth band.

Visions – Children saw visions of Jesus (smiling at worship, weeping at hard hearts), angels, hell (with relatives sitting close to a lake of fire, so the children warned them). Some saw Jesus with a foot in heaven and a foot on earth, like Mt 28:18 – “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” One boy preached (prophesied) for 1½ hours, Spirit-led.

Revelations – especially ‘words of knowledge’ about hidden things, including magic artefacts and good luck charms. Children showed parents where they hid these things! If other adults did that there would be anger and feuds, but they accept it from their children. One boy said that a man accused of stealing a chain saw (and sacked) was innocent as he claimed, and gave the name of the culprit, by word of knowledge. The accused man returned to work.

Spiritual Gifts – teaching sessions discussed traditional and revival worship, deliverance, discernment of spirits, gifts of the Spirit, understanding and interpreting visions, tongues, healing, Spirit-led worship and preaching, and leadership in revival. Many young people became leaders moving strongly in many spiritual gifts.

These revival effects continued to spread throughout the Solomon Islands.

2006 – June: Guadalcanal Mountains

Revival in the Guadalcanal Mountains, the main island in the Solomon Islands, started at the Bubunuhu Christian Community High School on Monday, July 10, 2006, on their first night back from holidays. 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 (e.g., about where magic items were hidden).
South Seas Evangelical Church (SSEC) pastors Joab Anea (chaplain at the high school) and Jonny Chuicu (chaplain at the Taylor Rural and Vocational Training Centre) the led revival teams. Joab reported on this revival.

We held our prayer in the evening. The Spirit of the Lord came upon all of us like a mighty wind on us. Students fell on the ground. I prayed over them and we were all praying for each other. The students had many gifts and saw visions. The students who received spiritual gifts found that the Lord showed them the hidden magic. So we prayed about them and also destroyed them with the power of God the Holy Spirit. The students who joined in that night were speaking and crying in the presence of God and repenting.

We also heard God calling us to bring revival to the nearby local churches. The Lord rescues and released many people in this time of revival. This was the first time the Lord moved mightily in us.

Pastor Jonny Chuicu teaches Biblical Studies and discipleship at the Taylor Rural and Vocational Training Centre. He teaches about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and is using the book: Understanding Our Need of Revival, by Ian Malins.

Some of the people (who are all students) have gifts of praying and intercession, worship, healing, preaching, and teaching.

Another revival ministry team of 22 visited the Solomon Islands for a month, in November-December 2006, most coming from Pentecost Island, Vanuatu, on their first international mission. The rest came from Brisbane – an international group of Bible College students (from Holland, England, Korea, and Grant Shaw who grew up in China) plus Jesse Padayachee, an Indian healing evangelist originally from South Africa, now in Brisbane, who joined the team for the last week. Jerry Waqainabete and his wife Pam (nee Kenilorea), participated in Honiara. Rev Gideon Tuke, a United Church minister, organized the visit.

In the Solomon Islands the revival team of 15 from Vanuatu and 6 from Brisbane visited villages in the Guadalcanal Mountains, three hours drive and seven hours trekking from Honiara, and held revival meetings in November 2006 especially to encourage revival leaders. They walked up mountain tracks to where revival was spreading, especially among youth. Now those young people have teams going to the villages to sing, testify, and pray for people. Many gifts of the Spirit are new to them. The team prayed for the sick and for anointing and filling with the Spirit. They prayed both in the meetings and in the villages.

2006 – December: Choiseul Island

Gideon, Grant and Geoff participated for five days in December, 2006, at the National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC) in the north-west at Choiseul Island – 2 hours flight from Honiara. Around 1500 youth gathered from across the nation, many arriving by outboard motor canoes. The group coming from Simbo Island in two canoes ran into trouble when their outboard motors failed. Two of their young men swam from noon for nine hours in rough seas to reach land and get help for their stranded friends.

The Friday night convention meeting saw a huge response as Grant challenged them to be fully committed to God. Most of the youth came out immediately so there were hundreds to pray for. The anointed worship team led the crowd in “He touched me” for nearly half an hour as prayer continued for them, including many wanting healing.

Here is Grant’s description of that youth crusade night:

We were invited to speak for their huge night rally. Geoff began and God moved on the young people in a special way. Then he handed it over to me at about half way and I gave some words of knowledge for healing. They came forward and we prayed for them most of them fell under the Spirit’s power and all of them testified that all the pain left their body. After that I continued to speak for a bit and then gave an altar call for any youth who choose to give their lives fully to Jesus, no turning back!

Most of a thousand youth came forward, some ran to the altar, some crying! There was an amazing outpouring of the Spirit and because there were so many people Geoff and I split up and started laying hands on as many people as we could. People were falling under the power everywhere (some testified later to having visions). There were bodies all over the field (some people landing on top of each other). Then I did a general healing prayer and asked them to put their hand on the place where they had pain. After we prayed people began to come forward sharing testimonies of how the pain had left their bodies and they were completely healed! The meeting stretched on late into the night with more healing and many more people getting deep touches.

It was one of the most amazing nights. I was deeply touched and feel like I have left a part of my self in Choiseul. God did an amazing thing that night with the young people and I really believe that he is raising some of them up to be mighty leaders in Revival.

A young man healed that night returned to his nearby village and prayed for his sick mother and brother. Both were healed immediately. He told about that the next morning at the convention, adding that he had never done that before.

The delegation from Karika, in the Shortland 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 in the Shortland Islands.

Vanuatu

South Pacific RevivalsVanuatu’s 80 islands stretch between the Solomon Islands in the west to the Fiji islands in the east. It has seen many revival movements.

2002 – April: Port Vila

The Lord moved in a surprising way at the Christian Fellowship (CF) in the School of Law in Port Vila, Vanuatu’s capital, on Saturday night, April 6, the weekend after Easter 2002. The university’s CF held an outreach meeting on the lawn and steps of the grassy university square near the main lecture buildings, school administration and library. God moved strongly there that night.

Romulo Nayacalevu, then President of the Law School Christian Fellowship reported:

The speaker was the Upper Room Church pastor, Jotham Napat who is also the director of Meteorology here 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, and 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 these areas. The Lord was on the road of destiny with many people that night.
Unusual lightning hovered around in the sky that night, 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 area.

God poured out his Spirit on many lives, including Jerry Waqainabete and Simon Kofe. Both of them played rugby in the popular university team and enjoyed drinking and the night club scene. Both changed dramatically. Many of their friends said it would not last. It did.

Later, Jerry became prayer convenor at the CF and Simon its president. The very active CF at the School of Law regularly organised outreaches in the town and at the university. About one third of the 120 students in the four year law course attended the weekly CF meeting on Friday nights. A core group prayed together regularly, including daily prayer at 6 a.m., and organised evangelism events. Many were filled with the Spirit and began to experience spiritual gifts in their lives in new ways.

A team of eleven from their CF visited Australia for a month in November-December 2002 involved in outreach and revival meetings in many denominations and as well as in visiting home prayer groups. They drove 6,000 kilometres in a 12-seater van, including a trip from Brisbane to Sydney and back to visit Hillsong.

The team prayed for hundreds of people in various churches and home groups. They led worship at the daily 6 a.m. prayer group at Kenmore Baptist Church in Brisbane. That followed their own 5 a.m. daily prayer meeting in the house provided miraculously for them.

Philip and Dhamika George from Sri Lanka bought that rental house with no money and made it freely available. They had befriended a back-packer stranger who advised them to buy a rental property because Brisbane house prices then began to increase rapidly in value. They had no spare money but their new friend loaned them a deposit of $10,000, interest free, to get a bank loan and buy the house. They sold the house two years later for $90,000 profit, returned the deposit loan, and used the profits for Kingdom purposes especially in mission.

The law students from the CF grew strong in faith. Jerry, one of the students from Fiji, returned home for Christmas vacation after the visit to Australia, and prayed for over 70 sick people in his village, seeing many miraculous healings. His transformed life challenged the village because he had been converted at CF after a wild time as a youth in the village. The following December vacation, 2004, Jerry led revival in his village. He prayed early every morning in the Methodist Church. Eventually some children and then some of the youth joined him early each morning. By 2005 he had 50 young people involved, evangelising, praying for the sick, casting out spirits, and encouraging revival. By 2009 Jerry was a lawyer and pastor of a church in Suva and had planted a new church in his village as well.

Simon, returned to his island of Tuvalu, also transformed at university through CF. He witnessed to his relatives and friends all through the vacation in December-January, bringing many of them to the Lord. He led a team of youth involved in Youth Alive meetings, and prayed with the leaders each morning from 4 a.m. Simon became President of the Christian Fellowship at the Law School from October 2003 for a year.

2003 – May: Pentecost Island

In May 2003 a team from the CF flew to Pentecost Island in Vanuatu for a weekend of outreach meetings on South Pentecost. The national Vanuatu Churches of Christ Bible College, at Banmatmat, stands near the site of the first Christian martyrdom there.

Tomas Tumtum had been an indentured worker on cane farms in Queensland, Australia. He was converted there and 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 near the village. Ancient tradition dictated that anyone breaking tabu must be killed, so they were going to kill Tomas, but his friend Lulkon asked Tomas to tell them to kill him instead so that Tomas could evangelise his own people. Just before he was clubbed to death at a sacred mele palm tree, he read from John 3:16, then closed his eyes and prayed for them.

Tomas became the pioneer of the church in South Pentecost, establishing many Churches of Christ there.

God opened a wide door on Pentecost Island (1 Cor 16:8-9). Chief Willie Bebe invited the team and hosted them at his bungalows on South Pentecost island. The weekend with the CF team brought new unity among the competing village churches. The Sunday night service went from 6-11 p.m., although it had been ‘closed’ three times after 10 p.m., with a closing prayer, then later on a closing song, and then later on a closing announcement. People just kept singing and coming for prayer.

Another team of four students from the law school CF returned to South Pentecost in June 2003 for 12 days of meetings in many villages. Again, the Spirit of God moved strongly. Leaders repented publicly of divisions and criticisms. Then youth began repenting of backsliding or unbelief. A great-grand-daughter of the pioneer Tomas Tumtum gave her life to God in the village near his grave at the Bible College.
Evening rallies were held in four villages of South Pentecost each evening from 6 p.m. for 12 days, with teaching sessions on the Holy Spirit held in the main village church for a week. The team experienced a strong leading of the Spirit in the worship, drama, action songs with Pacific dance movements, and preaching and praying for people.

Mathias, a young man who repented deeply with over 15 minutes of tearful sobbing later became a worship leader in revival meetings. When he was leading and speaking at a revival meeting at the national Bible College on South Pentecost island, a huge supernatural fire blazed in the hills directly opposite the Bible College chapel in 2005, but no bush was burned. It was seen as a sign of God’s Spirit moving there.

Pentecost Bible College

By 2004, the Churches of Christ national Bible College at Banmatmat on Pentecost Island became a centre for revival teaching. Pastor Lewis Wari and his wife Marilyn hosted these gatherings at the Bible College, and later on Lewis spoke at many island churches as the President of the Churches of Christ. Lewis had been a leader in strong revival movements on South Pentecost as a young pastor from 1980-81. An older pastor evangelist, Wilson, also led many revival meetings there and on other islands in the 1980s and 1990s. Again from in March 1995 the Spirit of God moved powerfully in South Pentecost in meetings led by Pastor Lewis and Youth Evangelist Rolanson Tor.

Leaders’ seminars and youth conventions at the Bible College focused on revival. The college hosted regular courses and seminars on revival for a month at a time, each day beginning with prayer together from 6 a.m., and even earlier from 4.30 a.m. in the youth convention in December, 2004, as God’s Spirit moved on the youth leaders in that area.

Morning sessions continued from 8 a.m. to noon, with teaching and ministry. As the Spirit moved on the group, they continued to repent and seek God for further anointing and impartation of the Spirit in their lives. Afternoon sessions featured sharing and testimonies of what God is doing. Each evening became a revival meeting at the Bible College with worship, sharing, preaching, and powerful times of ministry to everyone seeking prayer.

Every weekend the team from the college led revival meetings in village churches. Many of these went late as the Spirit moved on the people with deep repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness, and prayer for healing and empowering.

Another law student team from Port Vila, led by Seini Puamau, Vice President of the CF, had a strong impact at the High School on South Pentecost Island with big responses at all meetings. Almost the whole residential school of 300 responded for prayer at the final service on Sunday night October 17, 2004, after a powerful testimony from Joanna Kenilorea. The High School principal, Silas Buli, prayed for years from 4 a.m. each morning for the school and nation with some of his staff.

The church arranged for more revival teaching at their national Bible College for church leaders. Teams from the college held mission meetings simultaneously in seven different villages. Every village saw strong responses, including a team that held their meeting in the chief’s meeting house of their village, and the first to respond was a fellow from the ‘custom’ traditional heathen village called Bunlap.
Those Bible College sessions seemed like preparation for further revival. Every session led into ministry. Repentance went deep. Prayer began early in the mornings, and went late into the nights.

Chief Willie Bebe, host of most revival teams, asked for a team to come to pray over his home and tourist bungalows. Infestation by magic concerned him. So a prophetic and deliverance team of about six local intercessors prayed there. Mathias reported this way:

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 gave praise to the Lord in singing and prayer. Then they closed with a Benediction.

Village evangelism teams from South Pentecost continue to witness in the villages, and visit other islands. Six people from these teams came to Brisbane and were then part of 15 from Pentecost Island on mission in the Solomon Islands in 2006.

Pentecost on Pentecost

Grant Shaw accompanied Geoff Waugh to Pentecost Island in Vanuatu in September-October 2006. Grant grew up with missionary parents, saw many persecutions and miracles, and had his dad recounting miraculous answers to prayer as a daily routine. They often needed to pray for miracles, and miracles happened. From 14 years old Grant participated in mission teams travelling internationally in Asia. Then he attended a youth camp at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship which has had revival since 1994. He then worked there as an associate youth pastor for 18 months before studying at Bible College in Brisbane, and then became the youth pastor at a Christian Outreach Centre church in north Brisbane. So he is used to revival – all his life! In Vanuatu he had clear words of knowledge, and saw people healed daily in meetings and in the villages. That inspired and challenged everyone.

Raised from the dead

In Port Vila, Grant and Geoff attended the Sunday service at Upper Room church. That night the pastors were away in Tanna Island on mission so the remaining leaders felt God sent these two Australian visitors to preach that night! Great warning! It was fantastic, with strong worship and waves of prayer ministry for healing and anointing.

At sharing time in the service Leah Waqa, a nurse, told how she had been on duty that week when parents brought in their young daughter who had been badly hit in a car accident, and showed no signs of life. The monitor registered zero – no pulse. Leah felt unusual boldness, so commanded the girl to live, and prayed for her for an hour, mostly in tongues, and after an hour the monitor started beeping and the girl recovered.

The mission trip continued on South Pentecost once more, based in the village of Panlimsi. The Spirit moved strongly in all the meetings. Repentance. Reconciliations. Confessions. Anointing. Healings every day. The healings included Pastor Rolanson’s young son able to hear clearly after being partially deaf from birth. Rolanson leads evangelism teams, and helped lead this mission.
South Pentecost attracts tourists with its land diving, men jumping from high towers with vines attached to their ankles – the genesis of bungy jumping! Grant prayed for a jumper who had hurt his neck, and the neck crackled back into place. That young man and his father prayed there on the village track to receive Christ. Grant prayed in the village for a son of the paramount chief of South Pentecost from Bunlap, a heathen village. He was healed from a painful groin and his father then invited the team to come to his village to pray for the sick. No white people had ever been invited there to minister previously.
The team, including the two Australians, trekked for a week into mountain villages. They literally obeyed Luke 10 – going with no extra shirt, no sandals, and no money. The trek began with a five hour walk across the island to Ranwas on the eastern side. Mathias led worship, with strong moves of the Spirit touching everyone in many times prayer times. At one point the preacher spat on the dirt floor, making mud to show what Jesus did once. Marilyn Wari, wife of the President of the Churches of Christ, then jumped up asking for prayer for her eyes. Later she testified that the Lord told her to do that, and then she found she could read her small Bible without glasses.

Glory in a remote village

The team trekked through the ‘custom’ heathen village (where the paramount chief lived), and prayed for more sick people. Some had pain leave immediately, and people there became more open to the gospel. Then the team trekked for seven hours to Ponra, a remote village further north.
Revival meetings erupted there! 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 came straight out asking for mud packs also!
One of the girls in the team had a vision of the village youth there paddling in a pure sea, crystal clear. They were like that – so pure. Not polluted at all by TV, videos, DVDs, movies, magazines, worldliness. Their lives were so clean and holy. Just pure love for the Lord, especially among the young.

Angels singing filled the air about 3 a.m. 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.

The team stayed two extra days there – everyone received prayer, and many people surrendered to the Lord both morning and night. Everyone repented, as the Spirit moved on everyone.

Grant’s legs, cut and sore from the long trek, saved the team from the long trek back. The villagers arranged a boat ride back around the island from the east to the west for the team’s return. Revival meetings continued back at the host village, Panlimsi, led mainly in worship by Mathias, with Pastor Rolanson organising things. Also at two other villages the Spirit moved powerfully as the team ministered, with much reconciliation and dancing in worship.
Some people in the host village heard angels singing there also. At first they too thought it was the church full of people but the harmonies were more wonderful than we can sing.

The two Australians returned full of joy on the one hour flight to Vila after a strong final worship service at the host village on the last Sunday morning, and reported to the Upper Room Church in Port Vila on Sunday evening. Again the Spirit moved so strongly the pastor didn’t need to use his message. More words of knowledge. More healings. More anointing in the Spirit, and many resting in the Spirit, soaking in grace.

The Upper Room church has seen strong touches of God in the islands, especially Tanna Island. They planted churches there in ‘custom’ villages, invited by the chiefs because the chiefs have seen their people healed and transformed. During missions there in 2006, many young boys asked to be ‘ordained’ as evangelists in the power of the Spirit. They returned to their villages and many of those young boys established churches as they spoke, told Bible stories, and sang original songs inspired by the Spirit.

All through these islands of Vanuatu revival continues to spread, not only transforming individuals and churches but also whole communities. The Healing the Land teams report on some of that below.

Healing the Land (HTL)

Pastors Walo Ani and Harry Tura tell how revival transformed whole communities in Vanuatu, including healing of the land.

Hog Harbour, Espiritu Santo

The island was named Espiritu Santo because that is the island where over 400 years ago in May 1606 Ferdinand de Quiros named the lands from there to the South Pole the Great Southland of the Holy Spirit. It had a huge American military base there in World War II. James Michener was based there and included descriptions of it in his book, Tales of the South Pacific.

Pastor Walo Ani describes how God moved in the whole Hog Harbour community in the north east of Espiritu Santo island in Vanuatu.
After hearing about the Healing the Land stories of Fiji, Pastor Tali from Hog Harbour Presbyterian Church invited the Luganville Ministers Fraternal to run a week of HTL meetings in Hog Harbour village.
In April 2006 the Fraternal, under the leadership of Pastor Raynold Bori, conducted protocol discus¬sions with the Hog Harbour community leaders and explained to them what the Process involves. In May 2006 six pastors from Luganville did the HTL Process and God’s presence came on the people that week.

Here are some of the stories of Healing the Land in a village of 800 people:
• Married couples were reconciled.
• Schools of big fish came to the shores during the reconciliation.
• A three year old conflict, bloodshed and tribal fighting that could not be stopped by the police, ended with reconciliation.
• The presence of the Lord came down on the village.
• In June of 2006, 12 pastors from the Luganville Fraternal were invited by the Litzlitz village on Malekula Island to do the HTL Process there. These pastors spent three weeks teaching and doing the Process during which many instances of recon-ciliation and corporate repentance were witnessed. Village chiefs and the people committed their community to God.
One year later the President of Vanuatu re-covenanted the Nation to God on the island of Espiritu Santo.

Litzlitz Village, Malekula Island
Pastor Harry Tura, an indigenous pastor of the Apostolic Church in Vanuatu, adds his comments about transforming revival on the island of Malekula in Vanuatu. Malekula is a large island just south of Espiritu Santo Island.
I wish to indicate to you what God is doing now in Vanuatu these days as answers to your prayers, and ask that you continue to pray for us.
I went to Litzlitz village community on the island of Malekula on Sunday, June 4, 2006, and the Transformation activities started on the same day. The study activities and the process of healing the land closed on the following Sunday, June 11. The presence of the Lord was so real and manifested and many miracles were seen such a people healed, dried brooks turned to running streams of water, fish and other sea creatures came back to the sea shores in great number and even the garden crops came alive again and produced great harvests.
Pastor Walo Ani adds his observations. He joined a team of pastors from Luganville (Vanuatu’s second largest town) on Espiritu Santo island in visiting Malekula Island:
In June of 2006, 12 pastors from the Luganville Fraternal were invited by the Litzlitz village on Malekula Island to do the HTL Process there. These pastors spent three weeks teaching and doing the Process during which manyh instances of reconciliation and corporate repentance were witnessed. Village chiefs and the people committed their community to God.
Miracles happened three days after the HTL Process:
• The poison fish that usually killed or made people sick became edible and tasty again.
• The snails that were destroying gardens all died suddenly and didn’t return.
• As a sign of God’s transforming work a coconut tree in the village which naturally bore orange or red coco¬nuts started bearing bunches of green coconuts side by side with the red ones.
• A spring gushed out from a dried river bed and the river started flowing again after the anointing oil was poured on it when people prayed and repented of all the sins of defilement over the area.
• A kindergarten was established in the village one week after the HTL Process took place.
• Crops are now blessed and growing well in their gardens.
One year later the President of Vanuatu re-covenanted the nation to God on the island of Espiritu Santo.

Vilakalak Village, West Ambae Island
Pastor Harru Tura continues his story of transforming revival in Vanuatu as he experienced it on Ambae Island. Ambae Island can be seen to the east from Espiritu Santo Island on clear days.
On Tuesday June 20, 2006, I flew to Ambae Island to join the important celebration of the Apostolic Church Inauguration Day, June 22. After the celebration I held a one-week Transformation studies and activities of healing the land at Vilakalak village community. It began on Sunday June 25 and closed on Saturday July 1, 2006. A lot of things had been transformed such as people’s lives had been changed as they accepted Christ and were filled with the Holy Spirit for effective ministries of the Gospel of Christ.
The Shekinah glory came down to the very spot where we did the process of healing the land during the night of July 1. That great light (Shekinah glory) came down. People described it as a living person with tremendous and powerful light shining over the whole of the village community, confirming the Lord’s presence at that specific village community area. On the following day people started to testify that a lot of fish and shell fish were beginning to occupy the reefs and they felt a different touch of a changed atmosphere in the village community. I flew back to Santo on Tuesday, July 4.
The lands and garden crops then started to produce for great harvests, and coconut crabs and island crabs came back in great abundance for people’s daily meals these days. The people were very surprised at the look of the big sizes of coconut crabs harvested in that area. I went there a month later to see it. You can’t believe it that the two big claws or arms were like my wrist when I compared them with my left wrist. That proved that the God we serve is so real and he is the owner of all the creatures.
We started the Transformation studies and activities at my church beginning on Monday, July 17, and closed on Sunday, July 23, 2006. After the Transformation studies and activities had been completed, we did the final process of healing the land on Sunday, July 23. As usual the Shekinah glory of the Lord’s presence appeared the following night of Monday, July 24. The people were amazed at the scene. That confirmed that God is at work at that specific area. A lot of changes are taking place at our church base and its environment – the land, the sea, and the atmosphere above us. People experience the same blessings as the others had been through.
On Sunday, August 13, 2006, I took a flight to West Ambae again because the Walaha village community had requested me to carry out the Transformation studies and activities and healing of the lands in their area. The Transformation studies started on Monday, August 14. Again the presence of the Lord came down (Shekinah glory) on the whole village community early on Wednesday night and they all witnessed the scene the following day. They were very excited and began praising God all over the place. I took a flight back to Santo on Tuesday, August 22.
The revival is now taking place at that particular community and lives are totally changed and people turned out to be experiencing a mighty difference of atmosphere and have been transformed to people of praise and worship. All sorts of fish are coming back to the reef and garden crops came green and are now beginning to produce a great abundance of harvest at the end of this year by the look of it now. This is all the hand of the Lord who does the work which is based on the transformation key verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14, which reads: “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.”

Lovanualikoutu Village, West Ambae
Walo Ani and a team conducted more of the HTL Process in Vanuatu.
In 2004 Walo was invited by a pastor in West Ambae to do the HTL Process there. It wasn’t until May 2007 that a small team consisting of Pastor Walo Ani, Deryck and Nancy Thomas of Toowoomba Queensland and Tom Hakwa from Lovanualikoutu village (who then worked for Telekom Vanuatu in Port Vila) flew to West Ambae to do the HTL Process. The protocol was done by Tom some months before the team’s arrival and a prayer team was already praying and fasting a month before the actual event took place. Deryck and Nancy coordinated the home visitation teams and saw many miracles of people restored to the Lord and witchcraft destroyed. The Chief said the sinner’s prayer on behalf of the community one night and they all surrendered their lives to the Lord as he invited Jesus into the village.
In the morning of the last day one of the teams was trying to pray down a stronghold in the bush when a bone fell through a hollow tree, taking them by surprise. They all jumped back but then stepped forward and dealt with it once and for all. Many taboo (sacred) places were demolished and items of witchcraft and idolatry were burnt in a bonfire as reconciliations flowed till after midnight.
Also on that morning a team of people swam out to sea with the anointing oil to worship there and dedicate the sea and reef back to God. The day after the team’s departure from the village a pastor who went out spear fishing saw a large migration of fish. He in fact reportedly speared two fish together at one stage. When he reported this to the Chief there was dancing and rejoicing under the cocoa trees where the Chief and some young people had been working.
During the reconciliation when the Chief began to speak, a light shower fell from the sky. There were no clouds but only a sky full of millions of stars. Surely God was in this Process! The prayer team continues to see visions and witness miracles of more reconciliation and repentance. Harvests from sea and land have begun to be more abundant than ever before witnessed.

Fiji

Rev Ratu Vuniami Nakauyaca reports on Fiji transformations
Rev Ratu Vuniami Nakauyaca reports on Fiji transformations

The Sentinel Group’s DVD Let the Seas Resound vividly describes revival transformation in troubled Fiji, a land of regular military coups. This brief update describes recent revivals in the Fiji islands, similar to revivals multiplying in the twenty-first century with significant healing of the land. Rev Ratu (Chief) Vuniani Nakauyaca reports here on many transformed communities in Fiji.  The most powerful events in this ongoing revival are the direct results of repentance, reconciliation and unity.

Sabeto Village
One of the first instances of this oc¬curred in 2002, when Chief Mataitoga of Sabeto village (between Nadi and Lautoka) had a dream from the Lord. The village had a lot of social problems as well as enmity and divisions. As a result of the dream, he called his people together to pray and fast to seek God for answers and healing. Over a period of two weeks, many of the clans spent time with the Chief to sort out their differences. They had meetings every night and God brought about rec-onciliation and unity in the church and village, many relationships being healed.
There had only been one church in the area until the Pentecostal revival of the 1960s which spread across the cities and towns and into the rural areas dur¬ing that period. Because of the rejection of the Pentecostal experi¬ence by some people, many villages had two churches, one Methodist and one Pentecostal. This caused division be¬tween friends and family, with many people not communicating and carrying bitterness and resentment for decades.
When Ratu Mataitoga directed his people to come together as one, there was a move of the Holy Spirit with real repen¬tance and forgiveness. Unity in the village was restored. The long term results of this action were only revealed with the passing of time. Productivity of the soil increased and long absent fish varieties returned to the reef. Mangroves that had died and disappeared have begun to grow again. The mangroves are very important for the ecology, providing shelter and breeding grounds for all kinds of fish and crabs, which were part of the staple diet of these villages.
The Healing the Land (HTL) Process, as it is now officially recognized, really started on the initiative of Pastor Vuniani Nakauyaca. For him it was a personal journey that resulted from an accumulation of various events.
The Pacific Prayer movement had a desire to see that prayer, repentance and reconciliation were carried out where nec¬essary on location – where missionaries had been killed or where tribal conflict had taken place. These were all based on a bottom up or grass roots approach to bring healing and reconciliation.
Vuniani had visited Argentina and seen the beneficial results of reconciliation with the British over the Faulklands war. He also visited Guatemala to see the Al-molonga transformation (see Transformations 1 DVD). This was a singularly dramatic community change. Jails and public bars closed, land fertility increased and crop production levels had to be seen to be believed.
What he saw brought a deeper desire in his heart to see this happen in Fiji, to give room for God to bring about com¬munity and national transformation in similar ways to what he had seen over¬seas. He saw the need to appropriately respond to the circumstances and use the spiritual tools available to see the nation transformed.

Nuku Village, Viti Levu
After returning to Fiji, he called some people together to seek God for solutions. They felt they should begin at Nuku, and this took place on April 1-10, 2003. Nuku is about 65 kilometres north of Suva, on the main island of Viti Levu.
The inhabitants of Nuku had been suf¬fering feuds, infertility, mental illness and social problems for decades. The water of the stream that flowed through the village had been polluted since a day 42 years previously, the water and banks being filled with slime. At that time, children were swimming in the stream when the water suddenly turned white and they all ran for their lives. Fish died and grass died. Vuniani, as a child, was swimming in the river when this happened, so he knew the background story. It was believed that the polluted water caused blind¬ness, infertility, madness and even death.
Vuniani and the team went up to Nuku to activate the Process. The key Scripture they went with was 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land”.
They had two weeks of prayer meetings, the Methodist, Assemblies of God and Seventh Day Adventist churches being represented. They spent time studying Bible refer¬ences on defilement and Healing the Land. This lead them to repent and con-fess their sins and the sins of their fore¬fathers, in the same way as Nehemiah did. These included killing and cannibalism, idolatry, witchcraft, bloodshed, and immorality.
They went to the high places in the area to cleanse them of the sinful acts that had taken place there. The elders con¬fessed sins of their forefathers. Rec¬onciliation first took place within fami¬lies, then clans and finally within the tribe. The chief of the area led a corporate prayer of repentance with the whole tribe.
On the third day of the Process, some women came running and shouting into the village, announcing that the water in the stream had become pure again. It is still pure today.
Nuku village had been heavily populated, but because of feuds and disputes, peo¬ple were chased out or just left and went to live in other villages. Deputations were sent out to these to apologise for the past offences. A matanigasau (traditional apology) was sent to two villages, inviting the people to return if they wished.
The whole community now counts them¬selves as very blessed. The productivity of the land has increased. The stream water is pure and since that time shrimps and fish have returned to the waters. The fertility of the banks and agriculture has radically improved. Some people have even reported that the water has demonstrated healing properties.

Nabitu Village, East of Nausori
What occurred in this village was very much a follow on from what was hap¬pening around the country at the time. There was a split in the tribe and there were a lot of unresolved issues. During a business meeting in the local church, which was situated right in the middle of the village, a fist fight broke out. There was always a heaviness in the vil¬lage, like a hovering dark cloud. This affected people negatively and there were not a lot of jobs available.
On the advice of chiefs, the people came together on their own initiative for a time of corporate repentance. A lay preacher in the Methodist Church facilitated the Process. There was instantly a change in the atmosphere. The heaviness that had been there had lifted and everyone could feel it. The division in the church was healed.
The lesson learned from there is that Satan’s hold over people and places is tenuous to say the least. It only takes one man to lead many into forgiveness and healing. Satan has to leave, along with the oppression and curses.

Vunibau, Serua Island, at the Navua River
The HTL Process in this place was scheduled over a 14 day period. During the Process the mixture of elements was poured out onto the sand on the beach. Later that day, an elderly lady and her son went fishing on the beach. They cast the net out but when they tried to haul it back in, it seemed to be stuck. They thought that perhaps it had been caught on a stump or rock, but they found that the net was actually so full of fish that they could not pull it in.
They started walking back to the village to tell everyone, and the lady was fol¬lowing her son walking along the beach. Wherever his footprints were in the sand a red liquid appeared. As she walked in his footsteps she was healed of migraine, knee ailments and severe back pain, all of which she had suffered for many years. This healing has been per¬manent. As soon as they returned to the village she told the whole community what had happened.
All the people rushed down to the beach to see this phenomenon, including the HTL team that was still there at the time. To their amazement, right on the spot where the elements had been poured onto the sand, there was blood coming out of the sand and flowing into the sea. A backslidden Catholic man gave his life to the Lord on the spot. Photos were taken. Vuniani was called from Suva (about an hour away) and he also witnessed the blood coming out of the sand. This actually happened twice.
It was understood to be a confirming sign from the Lord that He was at work in the reconciliation and healing Process: 1 John 5:6-7, “There are three that bear witness on earth, the Spirit, the water and the blood.” This was similar to the miracle of the healing of the waters in Nuku, which was also recognized as a sign of God’s cleansing and healing that was taking place amongst the people. God is authenti-cating what he is doing.
At Vunibau many other signs quickly followed. Large fish returned to their fishing grounds. On one occasion, con¬siderable quantities of prawns came ashore so that people could just pick them up. Crabs and lobsters have also returned, and they have been able to sell the large lobsters for up to $25-$30 each.
After this sign of the blood, Pastor Vuniani recalled the scripture in Acts 2:19 where the Lord had spoken through the prophet Joel that “I will grant wonders (signs) in the sky above, and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire and vapour (pillars) of smoke” (NASB). He wondered what would come next after the sign of the blood and felt that the next sign would be fire.

Nataliera, Nailevu North
In Nataliera village there were four churches. There was no communication between their mem¬bers, affecting even closely related families within the village. Traditional witchcraft was still being practised and there were about eight sorcerers there. In addition, there had been many more deaths than would be normal.
After forgiveness and reconciliation, the members of these four churches would meet every Wednesday for prayer and fasting. On the first Sunday of every month, the four congregations would combine for one large gathering. An Eco Lodge, previously closed, is now prospering after the HTL Process.
For many years the fishing on the reef had become lean. Large fish were very scarce and for many years the catch had only ever comprised “bait fish” – the very small ones. Much of the coral reef was dead and what was left seemed to be dying.
After reconciliation, on two separate occasions fire was seen to fall from the sky onto the reef. After this, large fish returned in abundance. The coral is now regenerating and new growth can be seen in abundance.
When stormy weather strikes and the boats can’t go out, the women pray and large fish swim in close to the shore and become trapped in a small pond so that the women are able to just wade in and catch them. When women from neighbouring villages heard of this, they tried praying for the same provision, but without the same result.

Draubuta, Navosa Highlands, north of Sigatoka
Vuniani’s son, Savanaca, was working with two teams in the highlands. While they were there, pillars of smoke descended on the villages. This was seen by many neighbouring villagers who described it as thick bloodstained smoke. This sign was seen at almost exactly the same time as fire was seen to fall on the reef at Nataliera.
In this area there were many marijuana plantations. The Nadroga council had been trying to prevent the plantings. During the HTL Process, a deputation of marijuana growers approached the team and asked what the Government would do for them if they destroyed their crops. They had a list of demands which they presented to the team.
The marijuana crop was large, and esti¬mated to be worth about $11 million. There were 9 growers involved. The team leaders told the farmers that it was their choice, that they should obey God and trust him for their livelihood, without any promises from anyone to do any¬thing for them. If they could not, then they should not participate in the Healing Process.
By the time the Process had finished, the people had destroyed the crop as part of the reconciliation Process. After the HTL ministry, a total of 13,864 plants were uprooted and burnt by the growers themselves. There were 6,000 seedlings as well.
These are a few of the many miraculous events that have occurred in Fiji since 2001. Every week, more such events are happening as the forgiveness, reconciliation and HTL processes are being experienced.
The theme text of the Healing the Land process and transforming revival still applies powerfully today: If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
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Virginia2Revival Fires in West Virginia, 2016

 Revival hits army base, 2018

f-akersRevivals Across the South of USA, 2018

ASUCurrent Revival in America’s Largest University, 2018

 

Back to Summaries of Revivals Contents

See Revivals Index  –  https://renewaljournal.com/revivals-index/

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Late Twentieth Century Revivals: Renewal and Revival

Revival FiresA Flashpoints 1

Late Twentieth Century Revivals:

Renewal and Revival

 

 

See also Revivals Index – https://renewaljournal.com/revivals-index/

1. Eighteenth-Century Revivals: Great Awakening & Evangelical Revivals
2. Early Nineteenth-Century Revivals: Frontier and Missionary Revivals
3. Mid-nineteenth Century Revivals: Prayer Revivals
4. Early Twentieth Century Revivals: Worldwide Revivals
5. Mid-twentieth Century Revivals: Healing Evangelism Revivals
6. Late Twentieth Century Revivals: Renewal and Revival
7. Final Decade, Twentieth Century Revivals: Blessing Revivals
8. Twenty-First Century Revivals: Transforming Revivals

The spread of charismatic renewal continued to widen into traditions resistant to using Pentecostal or charismatic terminology but open to the impacts of the Spirit in revival. Peter Wagner labelled this development the Third Wave of renewal encompassing traditional evangelical churches, following the Pentecostal and Charismatic waves. These streams, combined with the growing networks of independent churches, characterized renewal and revival in the last third of the twentieth century. Many international evangelists promoted powerful Spirit movements in their crusades, which in turn impacted churches of all denominations. Revivals in Africa, Latin America and China produced astounding growth in independent churches in networks of renewal and revival.

International ministries from the seventies of such people as Benny Hinn, Reinhard Bonnke, Rodney Howard-Browne and John Wimber transcended denominational differences while strongly demonstrating healing evangelism.

Flashpoints:
1974 – North America (Benny Hinn)
1975 – April: Gaberone, Botswana (Reinhard Bonnke)
1979 – March: Elcho Island, Australia (Djiniyini Gondarra)
1979 – June: Port Elizabeth, South Africa (Rodney Howard-Browne)
1980 – May: Anaheim, North America (John Wimber)
1984 – June: Brugam, Papua New Guinea (Ray Overend)
1987 – November: Bougainville (Ezekiel Opet)
1988 – March: North Solomon Islands District, Papua New Guinea (Jobson Misang)
1988 – August: Kambaidam, Papua New Guinea (Johan van Brugen)
1988 – Madruga, Cuba
1989 – Henan and Anhul, China

See 1970s – South America: Revival Impacted Bolivia

See 1970s – South America: Almolonga, Guatemala, the Miracle City

1974 – December: North America (Benny Hinn)

Benny Hinn
Benny Hinn

Benny Hinn, born in Jaffa, Israel, lived there with his parents, five brothers and two sisters, during his youth.

Although raised as Greek Orthodox, he studied in a private Catholic school. His educational experience in the Catholic school nurtured a desire at an early age to dedicate his life to ministry. Because he lived in Israel, his studies often included an opportunity to visit the sites about which he was studying. These experiences added much to his understanding of Bible history, helping to prepare and equip him for future ministry.

A stuttering problem made speaking extremely difficult for him. Although he was a very good student, his stuttering inhibited his ability to communicate.

In July 1968, he and his family left Jaffa and emigrated to Toronto, Canada. The greatest change in his life took place occurred when some of his high school classmates shared the message of God’s love with him. He surrendered his heart and life to Jesus Christ and was born again.

Following his conversion, a deep spiritual hunger to know God more drew him to prayer and Bible reading. The Holy Spirit became his teacher and companion. He spent many hours each day alone in his room studying God’s Word, praying, worshipping, and fellowshipping with the Spirit.

This went on for more than a year. It was during this period in his life that he attended a Kathryn Kuhlman service in Pittsburgh. During the service, the presence and power of the Holy Spirit was evident as Kathryn Kuhlman talked about her friend, the Holy Spirit. That night back in Toronto, alone in his room, he whispered words that would transform his life: “Holy Spirit, Kathryn Kuhlman said you are her friend. I don’t think I know you. Can I meet you?” That was the beginning of an incredible spiritual journey for Benny Hinn.

Once while sharing his experiences with close friends, he was invited to share his story in a church meeting that evening. As he stood before the group, he was apprehensive because of his stuttering problem. But as he opened his mouth to speak, his tongue was loosed and he spoke clearly for the first time in his life.

That was Saturday, December 7, 1974. From that moment on, miracles began to take place for Benny Hinn. His family members came to know the Lord, one by one.

The ministry of Benny Hinn touches millions each year through television, Miracle Crusades, books, and pulpit ministry. He was the Pastor/Founder of World Outreach Center in Orlando, Florida, where he served a growing congregation of 12,000 each week, and then became committed to his full time evangelism and healing ministry. As an evangelist he reaches millions each year through daily television and Miracle Crusades around the world. In addition he is a best-selling author and outstanding teacher of God’s Word.

As the host of the daily half-hour television program, This Is Your Day, Benny Hinn shares the message of God’s love and miracle-working power with an international audience of millions. Through dynamic ministry, music, and miracles viewers are invited to believe for their miracle because “nothing is impossible when you put your trust in God!”

Benny Hinn is a man with a mandate from God, who told him to take the message of God’s saving and healing power to the world. He does so through the many avenues of his ministry. His anointed, Spirit-led pulpit ministry sets him apart as a man who knows and loves God. This, combined with his understanding of God’s Word, enables him to effectively communicate the biblical principles in word and deed.
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1975 – April: Gaberone, Botswana (Reinhard Bonnke)

Reinhard Bonnke
Reinhard Bonnke

German missionary to Africa, Reindard Bonnke (1940-2019) founded Christ For All Nations (CFAN) which now ministers to millions.

Converted at nine, he had a missionary zeal. As a teenager Reinhard saw Johannesburg in South Africa in a vision of a map of Africa. At 19 he headed off to the Bible College of Wales to train as a missionary, even though he couldn’t speak English. Three months later he was preaching in English! There he learned practical principles of living by faith.

After a short pastorate in Germany where he married Anna, they left for missionary service in Africa. Working as traditional missionaries from 1967 to 1974 in Maseru, the capital of the small landlocked country of Lesotho, they saw meagre results.

Near the end of that time Reinhard’s interpreter broke down during his message at a healing meeting one Sunday morning and sank weeping to the floor because of God’s awesome presence. Waiting for the interpreter to recover Reinhard ‘heard’ the Lord speak ‘words’ which amazed him: My words in your mouth are just as powerful as my words in my own mouth.

The ‘voice’ repeated the sentence. He ‘saw’ it like a movie in Scripture. Jesus told the disciples to speak in faith and it would happen. “I suddenly realised that the power was not in the mouth, the power was in the Word,” said Reinhard.

Then, when the interpreter had recovered enough to speak, as he was preaching Reinhard ‘heard’ the Spirit say, “Call those who are completely blind and speak the word of authority.”

He did. About six blind people stood. He boldly proclaimed, “Now I am going to speak with the authority of God and you are going to see a white man standing before you. Your eyes are going to open.”

He shouted, “In the name of Jesus, blind eyes open!” It shocked everyone as his voice resonated loudly against the bare brick walls.

Then a woman’s voice shrieked, “I can see! I can see!” She had been totally blind for years. The other blind people also saw. The place erupted in excited cheers. A woman handed her crippled boy through the milling crowd to Reinhard who sensed the power of God on the boy and watched amazed as his crippled legs shook and straightened. That boy was healed. The meeting went for hours as people screamed, shouted, danced and sang.

At the end of 1974, Reinhard relocated to Johannesburg and established Christ For All Nations. Early in January, when he was ill, he had a vision of Jesus similar to Joshua’s vision (Joshua 5:13-15). He wrote:

“I was very sick. I didn’t think I would make it. I went to doctors. Nothing helped. I was crying to God: ‘Lord what are you doing? What is your plan?’ One afternoon I retired to my study. A thirst for prayer came over me and I was hardly on my knees when I saw a most wonderful vision. I saw the son of God stand in front of me in full armour, like a general. The armour saw shining like the sun and burning like fire. It was tremendous and I realised that the Lord of Hosts had come. I threw myself at His feet. I laughed and I cried … I don’t know for how long, but when I got up I was perfectly healed.”

When Bonnke flew to Gaberone in Botswana to buy time on radio there the Lord told him to hire the 10,000 seater sports stadium for a crusade. The local Pentecostal pastor who helped prepare for the crusade felt apprehensive. He had only 40 people in his congregation!

The crusade in April 1974 with Reinhard’s evangelist friend Pastor Ngidi started in a hall which could seat 800. On the first night 100 attended. Healings happened every night, and people fell to the floor overwhelmed. That was new to Reinhard.

By the end of the first week 2,000 people were packed into the hall. So they moved into the stadium! Thousands attended. People were saved and healed every night and over 500 people were baptized in water within two weeks.

One night in the stadium, the Holy Spirit urged Reinhard to pray for people to be baptised in the Holy Spirit. So he asked an African co worker to give a message on the Holy Spirit.

About 1,000 people responded to the call to be baptized in the Spirit. As soon as they raised their hands they all fell, shouting and praising God in new languages on the ground. Reinhard was amazed. He had never seen anything like that before. It continued to happen in his crusades.

Eventually Reinhard used an enormous tent which could seat 30,000 people. Crowds continued to grow so they had to move outdoors. Some of Christ For All Nations crusades in Africa reached huge open-air crowds of 600,000 to one million people. Always hundreds or thousands are saved, healed and delivered as the power of God moves on the people. Evangelist Daniel Kolenda continues this ministry as the President and CEO of Christ For All Nations.

See Reinhard Bonnke’s Beginnings in Africa – 1975
See Reinhard Bonnke’s Final Crusade in Africa – 2017
See Reinhard Bonnke – 1940-2019 – a Tribute – 2019
Video: Reinhard Bonnke Memorial Service – 3 hours – 2020

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1977 – March: Min District, Papua New Guinea (Diyos Wapnok)

Diyos Wapnok
Diyos Wapnok

Pastors from the Solomon Islands spoke about their revival at a pastors and leaders conference at Goroka in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Diyos Wapnok attended from the Baptist Mission area at Telefolmin. He heard God call his name three times in the night there and realised that the Lord was drawing his attention to some special challenge.

Later, on Thursday afternoon 10 March, 1977 at Duranmin in the rugged Western Highlands, where Diyos was the principal of the Sepik Baptist Bible College, while he spoke to about 50 people they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and great joy.

The students experienced a light brighter than day, filling the room where they were. Many simultaneously felt convicted of unconfessed sin and cried out for mercy and forgiveness. All became aware of the majesty, authority and glory of God.

Revival had come to Duranmin and the Sepik. This glimpse of God’s greatness gave a new dimension to the students’ preaching. The movement spread beyond the churches to their unreached neighbours and to most of the villages in the whole Sepik area. Many churches of new believers were established and in the next three years at least 3,000 new believers were baptized.
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1979 – March: Elcho Island, Australia (Djiniyini Gondarra)

Djiniyini Gondarra
Djiniyini Gondarra

The Lord poured out the Holy Spirit on Elcho Island in northern Australia on Thursday, 14 March, 1979. Djiniyini Gondarra was then the Uniting Church minister in the town of Galiwin’ku at the south of the island. He had been away on holidays to Sydney and Brisbane, returning on the late afternoon Missionary Aviation Fellowship flight.

He was travel weary and just wanted to unpack and get to bed early. Many of the people, however, had been praying for months, and especially every day while he had been away, so they wanted to have prayer and Bible study with him in his home. This is his account of that Pentecost among Australian Aborigines in the Arnhem Land churches across the north of Australia:

After the evening dinner, we called our friends to come and join us in the Bible Class meeting. We just sang some hymns and choruses translated into Gupapuynu and into Djambarrpuynu. There were only seven or eight people who were involved or came to the Bible Class meeting, and many of our friends didn’t turn up. We didn’t get worried about it.

I began to talk to them that this was God’s will for us to get together this evening because God had planned this meeting through them so that we will see something of his great love which will be poured out on each one of them. I said a word of thanks to those few faithful Christians who had been praying for renewal in our church, and I shared with them that I too had been praying for the revival or the renewal for this church and for the whole of Arnhem Land churches, because to our heavenly Father everything is possible. He can do mighty things in our churches throughout our great land.

These were some of the words of challenge I gave to those of my beloved brothers and sisters. Gelung, my wife, also shared something of her experience of the power and miracles that she felt deep down in her heart when she was about to die in Darwin Hospital delivering our fourth child. It was God’s power that brought the healing and the wholeness in her body.

I then asked the group to hold each other’s hands and I began to pray for the people and for the church, that God would pour out his Holy Spirit to bring healing and renewal to the hearts of men and women, and to the children.

Suddenly we began to feel God’s Spirit moving in our hearts and the whole form of our prayer suddenly changed and everybody began to pray in the Spirit and in harmony. And there was a great noise going on in the room and we began to ask one another what was going on.

Some of us said that God had now visited us and once again established his kingdom among his people who have been bound for so long by the power of evil. Now the Lord is setting his church free and bringing us into the freedom of happiness and into reconciliation and to restoration.

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.

Many Christians were beginning to discover what their ministry was, and a few others had a strong sense of call to be trained to become Ministers of the Word. Now today these ministers who have done their training through Nungilinya College have been ordained. These are some of the results of the revival in Arnhem Land. Many others have been trained to take up a special ministry in the parish.

The spirit of revival has not only affected the Uniting Church communities and the parishes, but Anglican churches in Arnhem Land as well, such as in Angurugu, Umbakumba, Roper River, Numbulwar and Oenpelli. These all have experienced the revival, and have been touched by the joy and the happiness and the love of Christ.

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Arnhem Land has swept further to the Centre in Pitjantjatjara and across the west into many Aboriginal settlements and communities. I remember when Rev. Rronang Garrawurra, Gelung and I were invited by the Warburton Ranges people and how we saw God’s Spirit move in the lives of many people. Five hundred people came to the Lord and were baptised in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

There was a great revival that swept further west. I would describe these experiences like a wild bush fire burning from one side of Australia to the other side of our great land. The experience of revival in Arnhem Land is still active in many of our Aboriginal parishes and the churches.

We would like to share these experiences in many white churches where doors are closed to the power of the Holy Spirit. It has always been my humble prayer that the whole of Australian Christians, both black and white, will one day be touched by this great and mighty power of the living God.

The Renewal Fellowship in Brisbane invited team from Elcho Island to minister at a combined churches Pentecost weekend in 1992. Over 20 Aborigines paid their airfare to come, saying they rarely had such opportunities. When they were asked to pray for the whites responding after their messages, they said, “We don’t know how to pray for whites. We haven’t done that.” They soon learned, and prayed with the faith and gracious insights typical for them. Asked why white churches did not invite Aborigines to minister to them, and why the revival did not touch white churches they replied softly, “You are too proud.”

A small Aboriginal community of about 30 adults with their children live at the far northern end of Elcho Island, accessible by four wheel drive over a 50 kilometre dirt track. That community has been praying daily for revival in Australia and across the world for over 20 years. They meet for prayer each morning, during the day and again each evening.

Features of this revival have been repeated in many aboriginal communities in Australia, particularly in North Queensland from July 1999. It includes the desperate, repentant prayers of a remnant of Christians, a strong impact of the Spirit of God bringing widespread confession and freedom from addiction to social vices including drunkenness, immorality and gambling, the restoration of harmonious family life and civil order with peace and joy.

See Australia: Fire of God among Aborigines (John Blacket)

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1979 – July: Port Elizabeth, South Africa (Rodney Howard-Browne)

Rodney & Adonica Howard-Brown
Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Rodney Howard Browne has seen hundreds of thousands converted through his ministry, and many more renewed in their love for the Lord and empowered by the Holy Spirit. His ministry remains controversial because of the manifestations involved, especially laughter.

In July 1979 when he was eighteen Rodney Howard Browne of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, attended an interdenominational prayer meeting with about eighteen young people. He had been desperately crying out to God, and at that meeting he prayed with the abandonment of youth, “God, either you come down here tonight and touch me, or I’m going to die and come up there and touch you.” He began shouting “God, I want your fire.”

After crying out for twenty minutes he suddenly he felt engulfed in the fire of God, was totally overwhelmed, weeping, laughing, and praying in tongues. That continued for four days till he cried out, “God, lift it. I can’t bear it any more. … Lord, I’m too young to die, don’t kill me now.” For two weeks he felt that intense presence of God. Then that intensity lifted for about
ten years but later became common in his ministry.

In 1980, while he was ministering with a group of young people in a Methodist Church in South Africa, a woman in pain asked for prayer in the vestry before a service. He told what happened:

I got up from my seat. I was going to put my hand on her head. And I lifted my hand and got it about here … like you’d pull a six gun out of a holster and point it at somebody. And when my hand got about here, it felt like my fingertips came off, and out of my hand flowed a full volume of the anointing and the power of God, and it flowed right out of my hand and it went right in to her forehead and she crumbled in the floor. There was nobody in the room more amazed than me. And I looked down at the woman and I looked at my hand, and I’ll tell you what my hand the fire of God the anointing of God the virtue the dunamis was still coming out of my hand. It felt like my hand was a fire hose. And now you start getting nervous you think, I’d better look out where I point this thing. This thing’s loaded now.

And so the rest of the team came in, and I didn’t know what to do with it other than what we’d just done, so I said, “Lift your hands.” … Bam, theyre all out in the back of the vestry. Now I’m in trouble. If the priest comes back, I’m finished. So I went around and just managed to get them just right and sober them up and say, “Get up and pull yourself together, we’ve got to go in to the meeting.” We managed to get them all up except one girl. We had her propped between two men and got them out into the auditorium.

I get into the service, and that night I had to speak and I said to the Lord, “Lord, you know I’m not allowed to talk about Holy Ghost. You know I’m not allowed to talk about tongues. You know I’m not allowed to talk about “fall” and “power” and these words. Lord, how can we have what happened in the back room happen out here?” And the Lord said to me, “Call all those that want a blessing.” Everyone raised their hands. So I said, “All right, get up, come up, and line up.” And so I was going to go down and lay my hands on the first person’s head. And the Lord said to me, “Just be very careful, and so don’t put your hands on them because some people [will] think you’ll push them over if you do.” I take my finger, put it on the forehead of the first person and I said, “In the name of Jesus…” It looked like an angel stood there with a baseball bat and smacked them up the side of their head. And the person hit the floor. And I went down the line. Bam, Bam, Bam, Bam. The whole row was out under the power of God. Some of the people were pinned to the floor … for an hour and a half. Some of them, the moment they hit the ground they were speaking with other tongues, and we had said nothing about it. And that anointing stayed again for a period of two weeks.

Let me tell you right now for an eighteen year old to experience that kind of anointing it’s dangerous. And then suddenly, it was gone. I prayed for people, they would fall down, but it was not the same. And I thought Id lost the anointing. So now Im starting to pray to get before God and find out: “What have I done to lose the anointing, and what formula must I use to get it back?” He said, “You can’t do anything to get that anointing back. That anointing is not you. That anointing is all me. It has nothing to do with you.” He said, “I just gave you a taste of what will come later on in your ministry, if you are faithful.” He said, “If I gave it to you now, you’d destroy yourself. I can’t give it to you now. There’s no formula for it. If there was a formula for it, you’d do it and you’d get it, and you’d think it was you. From now on, whenever that anointing comes, you’ll know it’s not you and you’ll know it’s all me and you’ll have to give me all the glory and all the praise and all the honour.

Rodney Howard Browne moved to the United States in 1987 for evangelistic work. Then from April 1989 in Clifton Park, near Albany in upstate New York he experienced powerful impacts of the Spirit during his meetings. He described it this way, “The power of God fell in the place without warning suddenly. People began to fall out of their seats, rolling on the floor. The very air was moving. People began to laugh uncontrollably while there wasn’t anything funny. The less I preached, the more people were saved.”

His influence soon reached worldwide proportions, with hundreds being saved in his meetings and thousands being overwhelmed in many ways.
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1980 – May: Anaheim, North America (John Wimber)

John Wimber
John Wimber

In 1977 John Wimber began leading the fellowship of about 40 people which had been commenced by his wife, Carol. It later became the headquarters of the Vineyard Christian Fellowships. John preached from Luke’s gospel and began to pray for healings with no visible results for nine months although the worship and evangelism attracted many people. Then healings began to happen and became a regular part of Vineyard ministry.

John Wimber summarized their story:

“Beginning some time in September of 1976, Bob Fulton, Carol Wimber, Carl Tuttle, along with others, began assembling at the home of Carl Tuttle’s sister. The agenda was simple: praying, worshipping and seeking the Lord. By the time I came several months later, the Spirit of God was already moving powerfully. There was a great brokenness and responsiveness in the hearts of many. This evolved into what became our church on Mother’s Day in 1977.

“Soon God began dealing with me about the work of the Spirit related to healing. I began teaching in this area. Over the next year and a half God began visiting in various and sundry ways. There were words of knowledge, healing, casting out of demons, and conversions.

“Later we saw an intensification of this when Lonnie Frisbee came and ministered. Lonnie had been a Calvary Chapel pastor and evangelist, being used mightily in the Jesus People Movement. After our Sunday morning service on Mother’s Day [1980 ], I was walking out the door behind Lonnie, and the Lord told me, “Ask that young man to give his testimony tonight.” I hadn’t even met him, though I knew who he was and how the Lord had used him in the past. That night, after he gave his testimony, Lonnie asked the Holy Spirit to come and the repercussions were incredible. The Spirit of God literally knocked people to the floor and shook them silly. Many people spoke in tongues, prophesied or had visions.

“Then over the next few months, hundreds and hundreds of people came to Christ as the result of the witness of the individuals who were touched that night, and in the aftermath. The church saw approximately 1,700 converted to Christ in a period of about three months.

“This evolved into a series of opportunities, beginning in 1980, to minister around the world. Thus the Vineyard renewal ministry and the Vineyard movement were birthed.”

Wimber’s controversial ministry through the Vineyard movement rapidly spread worldwide through conferences, books and music characteristic of the “Third Wave” of renewal. A term coined by C. Peter Wagner at Fuller Theological Seminary to describe the acceptance of charismata in evangelical churches which are not identified with the charismatic movement.

John Wimber teaching at a Power Evangelism Conference

See also Jesus People Revival

Lonnie Frisbee speaking at Anaheim Vineyard, Mother’s Day 1980

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1984 – June: Brugam, Papua New Guinea (Ray Overend)

Ray Overend
Ray Overend

In the Sepik lowlands of northern Papua New Guinea a new visitation of God burst on the South Seas Evangelical Churches at Easter 1984, sparked by Solomon Island pastors. It was characterised by repentance, confession, weeping and great joy. Stolen goods were returned or replaced, and wrongs made right.

Australian missionary Ray Overend reported:

I was preaching to an Easter convention at a place called Walahuta during the recent Sepik revival in Papua New Guinea. The words the Lord gave us were from Isaiah 6 … After the last word of the message the whole church rose to its feet and clapped loudly something completely new to me! I knew they were not applauding me. They were acknowledging to God in praise the truth of his Word. … Then I sat down in the only spare little space in the overcrowded church and the whole congregation began to sing one song after another. …

Many faces were lifted to heaven and many hands raised in humble adoration. The faces looked like the faces of angels. They were radiating light and joy. And then I noticed something. Right beside me was a man who had heard the Word and now he just watched those radiant faces lost in praise. Then he hung his head and began to sob like a child. He was ministered to. Demons were cast out. And he received the Lord Jesus right into his heart. Then he too began to clap in gentle joy.

But who was he? A pastor came over to tell me that he had been until this moment the leader of the Tambaran cult in the Walahuta area that Satanic cult of which the whole village lived in mortal fear and traditionally the whole of the Sepik feared that cult.

The man who was second in charge of the Tambaran cult in that area was also converted that day while he was listening to the worship from a distance as God’s love and power overcame him. Revival began to move through the area, until eventually it impacted the main mission station at Brugam. Ray Overend reported:

I will never forget [Thursday] June 14th, 1984. Revival had broken out in many churches around but Brugam itself, with many station staff and many Bible College and Secondary School students, was untouched. For a whole week from 8th June a well known preacher from New Zealand (Fred Creighton) had brought studies on “Life in Christ by the power of His Spirit.” There was much very thorough teaching. On Tuesday afternoon in prayer I had a real peace that the Lord would break through in Brugam. Then early on Thursday night, the 14th, Judah Akesi, the Church Superintendent, invited some of us to his office for prayer. During that prayer time God gave him a vision. In the vision he saw many people bowed down in the front of the church building in the midst of a big light falling down from above just like rain.

So after the ministry of the Word that night Judah invited those who wanted to bring their whole heart and mind and life under the authority of Christ to come forward so that hands might be laid on them for prayer.

About 200 people surged forward. Many fell flat on their faces on the ground sobbing aloud. Some were shaking as spiritual battles raged within. There was quite some noise…

The spiritual battles and cries of contrition continued for a long time. Then one after another in a space of about three minutes everybody rose to their feet, singing spontaneously as they rose. They were free. The battle was won. Satan was bound. They had made Christ their King! Their faces looked to heaven as they sang. They were like the faces of angels. The singing was like the singing of heaven. Deafening, but sweet and reverent.

The whole curriculum and approach at the Bible School for the area changed. Instead of having traditional classes and courses, teachers would work with the school all day from prayer times early in the morning through Bible teaching followed by discussion and sharing times during the day to evening worship and ministry. The school became a community, seeking the Lord together.

Churches which have maintained a strong biblical witness in the area continue to stay vital and strong in evangelism and ministry, filled with the Spirit’s power. Christians learn to witness and minister in spiritual gifts, praying and responding to the leading of the Spirit.

Many received spiritual gifts they never had before. One such gift was the “gift of knowledge” whereby the Lord would show Christians exactly where fetishes of sanguma men were hidden. Now in Papua New Guinea sanguma men (who subject themselves to indescribable ritual to be in fellowship with Satan) are able to kill by black magic… In fact the power of sanguma in the East Sepik province has been broken.

In 1986 a senior pastor from Manus Island came to the Sepik to attend a one year’s pastors’ course. He was filled with the Spirit. When he went to with a team of students on outreach they prayed for an injured child who couldn’t walk. Later in the morning he saw her walking around the town. The revival had restored New Testament ministries to the church, which amazed that pastor because he had never seen that before the revival.

A significant feature of these pacific revivals has been the ministries of indigenous people to other indigenous groups, usually without western missionary involvement initially. Later, indigenous leaders have often turned to missionary teachers to explain the revival phenomena biblically, which has usually meant a fresh approach to teaching on the Holy Spirit.
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1987 – November: Bougainville (Ezekiel Opet)

Ezekiel & Jane Opet
Ezekiel & Jane Opet

Royree Jensen 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 also worried about the western evils that arrived with the mining: pornography, alchohol abuse, drugs, smoking and immorality.

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. It didn’t stop there. Some of our school boys and girls, including my son, visited another island. All the mothers prepared food for them to share out. My son climbed a tree leaving his plate of food for a friend. The friend ate the food and died, along with eight other children and their teacher. My pikinini only got sick.

“This was not the only group to visit that island and die so we were waking up to the fact that the island had something no good on it. We notified all the ministries around us. 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 stay 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 he made 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 realized 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!”

Jane: “When the crisis came, people ran away to the mountains leaving their chickens behind. It seemed that those chickens found their way to our village so we had plenty of meat for a long time during the crisis.”

10 years after the surrender of guns, young men and women – some married with children – are going to great lengths to complete primary and secondary education. Schools are being built or re-built but teachers are few and often minimally qualified. Because of the crisis, those who should now be teaching are themselves still in formal education. Those educated before the crisis are helping those who are now studying. Those who are uneducated are making their living from working the cocoa plantations.

With no help from the neighbouring giant, Australia, and with the confusion and betrayal of brother fighting brother, they turned to God, sometimes praying from 6 in the morning to 6 at night. As the saying goes, “When God is all you have you find that He is enough.”

Pastor Ezekiel Opet and his Wife, Jane

The head of the clan living in Aero Centre was, and still is, a remarkable man known everywhere as simply ‘Pastor’ and rightly so. He is generally regarded as a leader in the revival of the church in Bougainville. Ezekiel is softly spoken and powerful in word. His wife is beautiful, equal to him in every way.

I asked Ezekiel, “Why did you stay in the village during the crisis instead of fleeing to the mountain jungles?”

He replied, “It was my pastoral responsibility. The presence of God came so close to us during those times. We had never experienced God before like this. It became a very big encouragement. It filled in the space where perhaps our neighbours – village by village and nation by nation – could have and should have been.”

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. This experience turns knowledge into spiritual energy and liturgy into dynamic power. Knowing about God is exchanged for knowing Him personally. Icy religion is melted by joy and hope. It was not surprising, therefore, that he became a key player in the revival in Bougainville.

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. In the context of the chronology of the crisis, the Prayer Mountain phenomenon was most intense just prior to the final attempts by the Bougainville Revolutionary Army and Papua New Guinea to bring peace to the island.

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.

“If Pastor was going out to speak at a crusade, we would first go up the mountain to pray. Then, while he was speaking, people would stay on the mountain praying. My older brother saw an angel dressed in white.

“When people were disobedient, lightning would appear and wrap itself around the people. For instance, God had showed us how to build the house on Prayer Mountain. It was hard work. We cut the trees down the mountain and then carried the wood up the mountain to the place where we were building. One day, three men decided to go hunting instead of doing this hard work. The lightning appeared and wrapped itself around them. They nearly died. They smelt bad and could hardly speak. They were out of their senses. After an hour, they began to talk to each other, asking how they felt about the lightning. My brother told them the reason for the lightning – that they didn’t follow instructions.

“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.

“By 2004, we were not using Prayer Mountain any more. Until this present day, pig hunters who go up there still see footprints in the dusty floor of men walking inside the house of prayer. This is at least six years after the time of serious prayer. These are the footprints of angels who still enjoy the presence of God in that house.”

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 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 were 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.

“I have to say that, even though we do not now go up the Prayer Mountain, the impact still remains. When we meet for worship, we don’t need to be gee-ed up. Rather, we begin to worship God from the start. We are aware of the danger of following a routine or a program.”

There is no doubt that this mountain played a crucial part in both the revival and in the beginning of the end of the crisis. 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.

“Another time, the Holy Spirit showed Himself by thunder and lightning. I became aware that we needed to keep ourselves holy while on Prayer Mountain. Twice, lightning came and hit the ground. People tried to run away but a lightning bolt picked them up and rolled them all over Prayer Mountain. Seeing these things increased the fear of God.

“It was during this time, around 1995, that I returned from Fiji where I had completed a divinity degree at the theological college. A big hit of revival was happening at the mountain. One of the ladies, an unschooled woman who could not read or write, stood and told me to put knowledge aside and to learn from the Holy Spirit. Straight away, my ears were opened to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. This was now 1996. When thunder came, she would write. When the thunder was over, she would stop writing. People would have to stand beside her to keep paper up to her, so fast was she writing. I was asked to read what she was writing to the people. I remember saying that these were words of encouragement to us during the time of crisis and that it was biblical.

“During the revival, people were writing songs prolifically. One of the great songs of the revival was:

Lord I give my heart in worship as I stand in Your presence
I bow down and I say there is none like You
And my worship captures Your heart
And Your presence lifts me up
And takes me to Your holy place where I can commune with You.

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. We 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.”
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1988 – March-April: Solomon Islands District, PNG (Jobson Misang)

Living in the Spirit study book
Living in the Spirit study book

Jobson Misang, an indigenous youth worker in the United Church reported in a letter on a revival movement in the Solomon Islands District of Papua New Guinea in 1988:

Over the last eight weekends I have been fully booked to conduct weekend camps. So far about 3,500 have taken part in the studies of the Living in the Spirit book. Over 2,000 have given their lives to Jesus Christ and are committed to live by the directions of the Spirit. This is living the Pentecost experience today!

These are some of the experiences taking place:
1. During small group encounters, under the directions of Spirit filled leadership, people are for the first time identifying their spiritual gifts, and are changing the traditional ministry to body ministry.
2. Under constant prayers, visions and dreams are becoming a day to day experience which are being shared during meetings and prayed about.
3. Local congregations are meeting at 4 am and 6 am three days a week to pray, and studying the Scriptures is becoming a day to day routine. This makes Christians strong and alert.
4. Miracles and healings are taking place when believers lay hands on the sick and pray over them.
5. The financial giving of the Christians is being doubled. All pastors’ wages are supported by the tithe.
6. Rascal activities (crimes) are becoming past time events and some drinking clubs are being overgrown by bushes.
7. The worship life is being renewed tremendously. The traditional order of service is being replaced by a much more lively and participatory one. During praise and worship we celebrate by clapping, dancing, raising our hands to the King of kings, and we meditate and pray. When a word of knowledge is received we pray about the message from the Lord and encourage one another to act on it with sensitivity and love.

Problems encountered included division taking place within the church because of believers’ baptism, fault finding, tongues, objections to new ways of worship, resistance to testimonies, loss of local customs such as smoking or chewing beetlenut or no longer killing animals for sacrifices, believers criticized for spending too many hours in prayer and fasting and Bible studies, marriages where only one partner is involved and the other blames the church for causing divisions, pride creeping in when gifts are not used sensitively or wisely, and some worship being too unbalanced.

This is a further example of a strong indigenous Spirit movement needing biblical teaching and guidance to avoid becoming a cult or sliding into error.
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1988 – August: Kambaidam, Papua New Guinea (Johan van Bruggen)

Johan van Bruggen
Johan van Bruggen

Johan van Bruggen, a missionary at the Lutheran Evangelist Training Centre at Kambaidam near Kainantu in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, wrote in his circulars:

Tuesday afternoon, August 2, 1988: I was by myself watching a video of Bill Subritzky, an Anglican Evangelist in New Zealand, who has been mightily blessed by the Lord with ministries of healing and of deliverance from demons. A large group of Anglican Christians had been baptised in the Holy Spirit and were on the point of receiving gifts of the Spirit. I watched quite unemotionally when Bill said: “I will mention the gifts slowly and then just let the Holy Spirit impress on your mind which gift(s) he will give you.”

He had just started with the first one: Words of Wisdom when suddenly I was surrounded by Divine Presence. When it started I wanted to run away, scared stiff! But back came the words: Don’t hold back, do not fear! So I stayed and said, “Come Holy Spirit, fill me completely.” Now I know what it is to be drunk in the Spirit. I couldn’t stand on my feet. I slumped on the bed, hands raised, trembling all over, tingling all over. I felt something moving up my gullet and I just said, “Out, out,” and I literally threw up. Don’t worry, I didn’t make a mess. I just got rid of the spirit of fear and doubt! And oh, I felt absolutely fantastic. I cried and laughed and I must have been quite a sight! It rained hard and that rain was a solid muffler! Nobody knew. I came around again because there was the noise of the video set with a blank screen. The programme was finished and I did not know how. I have had earlier fillings of the Holy Spirit but nothing like this time with that sense of being overwhelmed.

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.

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. 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.
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1988 – Madruga, Cuba

Cuba para Cristo
Cuba para Cristo

In 1988, revival broke out in a small church in Madruga, Cuba. “People would begin to weep when they entered the church,” said their pastor. More than 60 churches experienced a similar move of the Spirit. And today the Holy Spirit’s presence is still being felt. Despite gestures of tolerance towards Christians, believers in Cuba still experience much hardship and oppression. Nevertheless, God is moving amongst the 10 million people of Cuba, just as in the early church.

The revival produced more than 2,400 house churches more than all the official churches put together. Though open evangelism is still outlawed, teenagers were joining the children and adults to witness boldly in parks, beaches, and other public places, regardless of the risk.

There is a “holy and glorious restlessness” amongst the believers, said one pastor. “The once defensive mood and attitude of the church has turned into an offensive one, and Christians are committed to the vision of “Cuba para Cristo” – Cuba for Christ!

1988 saw astounding revival. The Pentecostals, Baptists, independent evangelical churches and some Methodist and Nazarene churches experienced it. One Assemblies of God church had around 100,000 visit it in six months, often in bus loads. One weekend they had 8000 visitors, and on one day the four pastors (including two youth pastors) prayed with over 300 people.

In many Pentecostal churches the lame walked, the blind saw, the deaf heard, and many people’s teeth were filled. Often 2,000 to 3,000 attended meetings. In one evangelical church over 15,000 people accepted Christ in three months. A Baptist pastor reported signs and wonders occurring continuously with many former atheists and communists testifying to God’s power. So many have been converted that churches cannot hold them so they must met in many house churches.

In 1990, an Assemblies of God pastor in Cuba with a small congregation of less than 100 people meeting once a week suddenly found he was conducting 12 services a day for 7,000 people. They started queuing at 2 am and even broke down doors just to get into the meetings.
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1989 – Henan and Anhul, China

Dennis Balcombe
Dennis Balcombe

Dennis Balcombe, pastor of the Revival Christian Church in Hong Kong, regularly visits China. He has reported on revival there.

In 1989 Henan preachers visited North Anhul province and found several thousand believers in the care of an older pastor from Shanghai. At their first night meeting with 1,000 present 30 were baptised in the icy winter. The first baptized was a lady who had convulsions if she went into water. She was healed of that and other ills, and found the water warm. A 12 year old boy deaf and dumb was baptized and spoke, “Mother, Father, the water is not cold the water is not cold.” An aged lady nearly 90, disabled after an accident in her 20s, was completely healed in the water. By the third and fourth nights over 1,000 were baptized.

A young evangelist, Enchuan, 20 years old in 1990, had been leading evangelistic teams since he was 17. He said, “When the church first sent us out to preach the Gospel, after two to three months of ministering we usually saw 20 30 converts. But now it is not 20. It is 200, 300, and often 600 or more will be converted.”

Sister Wei, 22 years old in 1991, spent 48 days in prison for leading open air worship. She saw many healings in prison and many conversions.

On March 12,1991, The South China Morning Post, acknowledged there were a million Christians in central Henan province, many having made previously unheard of decision to voluntarily withdraw from the party. “While political activities are cold shouldered, religious ones are drawing large crowds.”

Dennis Balcombe reported in a newsletter on August 27, 1994: “This year has seen the greatest revival in Chinese history. Some provinces have seen over 100,000 conversions during the first half of this year. Because of this, the need for Bibles is greater than ever. This year we have distributed to the house churches over 650,000 New Testaments, about 60,000 whole Bibles, one million Gospel booklets and thousands of other books.”

Revival continues in China with signs and wonders amid severe persecution, just as in the early church.

Tony Lambert describes current revival in China:
A genuine spiritual revival may be defined as occurring when:
1. The people of God are stirred to pray fervently for the low state of the church, and for the unconverted world.
2. Powerful preachers of the gospel are raised up by God to proclaim the gospel with unusual force.
3. The church is convicted of a deep sense of sin before a holy God.
4. Individuals and churches repent of specific sins.
5. A new sense of joy permeates the church, making the gospel and the things of God become real.
6. The Christian church has a marked impact upon the surrounding community.
7. God works visibly in supernatural ways.

Explosive revival continues in China. Estimates of the growth of the Chinese church now exceed 100 million. Only the United States has more Christians than China, but China would have the largest number of Spirit-filled, on-fire Christians in the world today.

 

See also  1980s-1990s – South America: Argentina Revival

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See also Revivals Index – https://renewaljournal.com/revivals-index/

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Mid-nineteenth Century Revivals: Prayer Revivals

Revival FiresA Flashpoints 1

Third Great Awakening

Mid-nineteenth Century Revivals:

Prayer Revivals

 

See also Revivals Index – https://renewaljournal.com/revivals-index/

1. Eighteenth-Century Revivals: Great Awakening & Evangelical Revivals
2. Early Nineteenth-Century Revivals: Frontier and Missionary Revivals
3. Mid-nineteenth Century Revivals: Prayer Revivals
4. Early Twentieth Century Revivals: Worldwide Revivals
5. Mid-twentieth Century Revivals: Healing Evangelism Revivals
6. Late Twentieth Century Revivals: Renewal and Revival
7. Final Decade, Twentieth Century Revivals: Blessing Revivals
8. Twenty-First Century Revivals: Transforming Revivals

Following the Great Awakening of the eighteenth century, and the Second Great Awakening at the beginning of the nineteenth century with its resurgence in the 1830s, a Third Great Awakening impacted America and England in the middle of the nineteenth century.  It spread through may thousands of revival prayer groups.

Video: Resurgence of 1830 onward – J Edwin Orr
Video: Awakening of 1858 in America – J Edwin Orr
Video: Awakening of 1859 in Britain – J Edwin Orr

Flashpoints:
1857 – October: Hamilton, Canada (Phoebe Palmer)
1857 – October: New York, North America (Jeremiah Lanphier)
1859 – March: Ulster, Ireland (James McQuilkin)
1859 – May: Natal, South Africa (Zulus)
1871 – October: New York, North America (Dwight L Moody)

1857 – October: Hamilton, Canada (Phoebe Palmer)

Phoebe Palmer
Phoebe Palmer

Revival broke out at evangelistic meetings during October 1857 in Hamilton, Canada, led by the talented Phoebe Palmer (1807-1874), assisted by her physician husband Walter. They had been leading camp meetings in Ontario and Quebec from June with crowds of 5,000. Stopping over in Hamilton for a train connection back to New York, they spoke at a Methodist Church. Many were converted, so they stayed for several weeks. Attendances reached 6,000, and 600 professed conversion, including many civic leaders. Newspapers reported it widely.

The Third Great Awakening (1857 59) had begun. Prayer meetings began to proliferate across North America and in Great Britain. Prayer and repentance accelerated with the stock market crash of October 1957 and the threatening clouds of the civil war over slavery (1861 65). The Palmers travelled widely, fanning the flames of revival and seeing thousands converted.

Phoebe, a firebrand preacher, impacted North America and England with her speaking and writing. She wrote influential books, and edited of The Guide to Holiness, the most significant magazine on holiness at that time. Her teaching on the baptism of the Holy Ghost and endowment of power spread far and wide.
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1857 – October: New York, North America (Jeremiah Lanphier)

Jeremiah Lanphier
Jeremiah Lanphier

Jeremiah Lanphier (1809-1894), a city missioner, began a weekly noon prayer meeting upstairs in the Old Dutch North Church, a Dutch Reformed Church in Fulton Street, New York on September 23, 1857. He began alone, then six men joined him for that first noon prayer meeting. In October it became a daily prayer meeting attended by many businessmen. Anticipation of revival grew, especially with the financial collapse that October after a year of depression. Lanphier continued to lead that Fulton Street prayer meeting till 1894.

At the beginning of 1858 the Fulton Street prayer meeting had grown so much they were holding three simultaneous prayer meetings in the building and other prayer groups were starting in the city. By March newspapers carried front page reports of over 6,000 attending daily prayer meetings in New York, 6,000 attending them in Pittsburgh, and daily prayer meetings were held in Washington at five different times to accommodate the crowds.

Other cities followed the pattern. Soon a common mid day sign on business premises read: Will re open at the close of the prayer meeting.

By May, 50,000 of New York’s 800,000 people were new converts. A newspaper reported that New England was profoundly changed by the revival and in several towns no unconverted adults could be found!

Similar stories could be told of the 1858 American Revival. Ships as they drew near the American ports came within a definite zone of heavenly influence. Ship after ship arrived with the same tale of sudden conviction and conversion. In one ship a captain and the entire crew of thirty men found Christ out at sea and entered the harbour rejoicing. Revival broke out on the battleship “North Carolina” through four Christian men who had been meeting in the bowels of the ship for prayer. One evening they were filled with the Spirit and bunt into song. Ungodly shipmates who came down to mock were gripped by the power of God, and the laugh of the scornful was soon changed into the cry of the penitent. Many were smitten down, and a gracious work broke out that continued night after night, till they had to send ashore for ministers to help, and the battleship became a Bethel. This overwhelming sense of God, bringing deep conviction of sin, is perhaps the outstanding feature of true revival.

In 1858 a leading Methodist paper reported these features of the revival: few sermons were needed, lay people witnessed, seekers flocked to the altar, nearly all seekers were blessed, experiences remained clear, converts had holy boldness, religion became a social topic, family altars were strengthened, testimony given nightly was abundant, and conversations were marked with seriousness.

Edwin Orr’s research (1974) indicated that 1858 59 saw a million Americans become converted in a population of thirty million and at least a million Christians were renewed, with lasting results in church attendances and moral reform in society.
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1859 – March: Ulster, Ireland (James McQuilkin)

Kells Schoolhouse
Kells Schoolhouse

Revival swept Great Britain also, including the Ulster revival of 1859. During September 1857, the same month the Fulton Street meetings began, James McQuilkin commenced a weekly prayer meeting in a village schoolhouse near Kells with three other young Irishmen. This is generally seen as the start of the Ulster revival. The first conversions in answer to their prayer came in December 1857. Through 1858 innumerable prayer meetings started, and revival was a common theme of preachers.

On 14 March 1859 James McQuilkin and his praying friends organized a great prayer meeting at the Ahoghill Presbyterian Church. Such a large crowd gathered that the building was cleared in case the galleries collapsed. Outside in the chilling rain as a layman preached with great power hundreds knelt in repentance. This was the first of many movements of mass conviction of sin.

No town in Ulster was more deeply stirred during the 1859 Revival than Coleraine. It was there that a boy was so troubled about his soul that the schoolmaster sent him home. An older boy, a Christian, accompanied him, and before they had gone far led him to Christ. Returning at once to the school, this latest convert testified to the master, “Oh, I am so happy! I have the Lord Jesus in my heart.” The effect of these artless words was very great. Boy after boy rose and silently left the room. On investigation the master found these boys ranged alongside the wall a the playground, everyone apart and on his knees! Very soon their silent prayer became a bitter cry. It was heard by those within and pierced their hearts. They cast themselves upon their knees, and their cry for mercy was heard in the girls’ schoolroom above. In a few moments the whole school was upon its knees, and its wail of distress was heard in the street outside. Neighbours and passers-by came flocking in, and all, as they crossed the threshold, came under the same convicting power. Every room was filled with men, women, and children seeking God.

The revival of 1859 brought 100,000 converts into the churches of Ireland. God’s Spirit moved powerfully in small and large gatherings bringing great conviction of sin, deep repentance, and lasting moral change. Prostrations were common people lying prostrate in conviction and repentance, unable to rise for some time. By 1860 crime was reduced, judges in Ulster several times had no cases to try. At one time in County Antrim no crime was reported to the police and no prisoners were held in police custody.

This revival made a greater impact on Ireland than anything known since Patrick brought Christianity there. By the end of 1860 the effects of the Ulster revival were listed as thronged services, unprecedented numbers of communicants, abundant prayer meetings, increased family prayers, unmatched scripture reading, prosperous Sunday Schools, converts remaining steadfast, increased giving, vice abated, and crime reduced.

Revival fire ignites fire. Throughout 1859 the same deep conviction and lasting conversions revived thousands of people in Wales, Scotland and England.

Revival in Wales found expression in glorious praise including harmonies unique to the Welsh which involved preacher and people in turn. There too, 100,000 converts (one tenth of the total population) were added to the church and crime was greatly reduced. Scotland and England were similarly visited with revival. Again, prayer increased enormously and preaching caught fire with many anointed evangelists seeing thousands converted.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a Baptist minister known as the prince of preachers, saw 1859 as the high water mark although he had already been preaching in his Metropolitan Tabernacle in London for five years with great blessing and huge crowds.
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1859 – May: Natal, South Africa (Zulus)

Zulu village
Zulu village

The wave of revival in 1857-1859 included countries around the globe. Missionaries and travellers told of thousands being converted, and others began crying out to God to send revival to their nations.

It happened in South Africa. Revival began among the Zulu tribes before it spilled over into the Dutch Reformed Church. Tribal people gathered in large numbers on the frontier mission stations and then took revival fire, African style, into their villages.

On Sunday night, 22 May, the Spirit of God fell on a service of the Zulus in Natal so powerfully that they prayed all night. News spread rapidly. This revival among the Zulus of Natal on the east coast ignited missions and tribal churches. It produced deep conviction of sin, immediate repentance and conversions, extraordinary praying and vigorous evangelism.

In April 1860 at a combined missions conference of over 370 leaders of Dutch Reformed, Methodist and Presbyterian missions meeting at Worcester, South Africa, discussed revival. Andrew Murray Sr., moved to tears, had to stop speaking. His son, Andrew Murray Jr., now well known through his books, led in prayer so powerfully that many saw that as the beginning of revival in those churches.

By June revival had so impacted the Methodist Church in Montague village, near Worcester, that they held prayer meetings every night and three mornings a week, sometimes as early as 3 am. The Dutch Reformed people joined together with the Methodists with great conviction of sin to seek God in repentance, worship and intercession. Reports reached Worcester, and ignited similar prayer meetings there.

As an African servant girl sang and prayed one Sunday night at Worcester, the Holy Spirit fell on the group and a roaring sound like approaching thunder surrounded the hall which began to shake. Instantly everyone burst out praying! Their pastor, Andrew Murray Jr., had been speaking in the main sanctuary. When told of this he ran to their meeting calling for order! No one noticed. They kept crying loudly to God for forgiveness.

All week the prayer meetings continued, beginning in silence, but “as soon as several prayers had arisen the place was shaken as before and the whole company of people engaged in simultaneous petition to the throne of grace.” On the Saturday, Andrew Murray Jr. led the prayer meeting. After preaching he prayed and invited others to pray. Again the sound of thunder approached and everyone prayed aloud, loudly. At first Andrew Murray tried to quieten the people, but a stranger reminded him that God was at work, and he learned to accept this noisy revival praying. People were converted. The revival spread.

Fifty men from that congregation went into full time ministry, and the revival launched Andrew Murray Jr. into a worldwide ministry of speaking and writing.
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1871 – October: New York, North America (Dwight L Moody)

D L Moody
D L Moody

D. L. Moody (1837-1899), converted in 1855, later led powerful evangelistic campaigns in America and England. Two women in his church prayed constantly that he would be filled with the Spirit, and his yearning for God continued to increase. While visiting New York in 1871 to raise funds for churches and orphanages destroyed in the Chicago fire of October that year, in which his home, church sanctuary and the YMCA buildings were destroyed, he had a deep encounter with God. He wrote,

I was crying all the time God would fill me with his Spirit. Well, one day in the city of New York oh, what a day! I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name. Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years. I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask him to stay his hand. I went to preaching again. The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths; and yet hundreds were converted. I would not be placed back where I was before that blessed experience for all the world it would be as the small dust of the balance.

On a visit to Britain he heard Henry Varley say, “The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him.” He resolved to be that man.

Moody worked vigorously to establish the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in America and England as a means of converting and discipling youth. A Baptist minister in London, the Rev. R. Boyd, went to a meeting where Moody had just spoken and observed, “When I got to the rooms of the Young Men’s Christian Association, Victoria Hall, London, I found the meeting on fire. The young men were speaking with tongues, prophesying. What on earth did it mean? Only that Moody had addressed them that afternoon.”

God’s Spirit powerfully impacted people through Moody’s ministry, especially in conversion and in deep commitment to God. Among thousands converted through Moody’s ministry were the famous Cambridge Seven, who were students at Cambridge University and also national sportsmen, including international cricketer C. T. Studd. They all eventually served the Lord in foreign missions.

Video: Resurgence of 1882 onward – J Edwin Orr

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See also Revivals Index – https://renewaljournal.com/revivals-index/

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Early Nineteenth Century Revivals 1800s: Frontier and Missionary Revivals

A Flashpoints 1

Revival Fires
Second Great Awakening

Early Nineteenth-Century Revivals:
Frontier and Missionary Revivals

 

See also Revivals Index – https://renewaljournal.com/revivals-index/

1. Eighteenth-Century Revivals: Great Awakening & Evangelical Revivals
2. Early Nineteenth-Century Revivals: Frontier and Missionary Revivals
3. Mid-Nineteenth Century Revivals: Prayer Revivals
4. Early Twentieth Century Revivals: Worldwide Revivals
5. Mid-twentieth Century Revivals: Healing Evangelism Revivals
6. Late Twentieth Century Revivals: Renewal and Revival
7. Final Decade, Twentieth Century Revivals: Blessing Revivals
8. Twenty-First Century Revivals: Transforming Revivals

Edwin Orr’s research identified two major awakenings in Europe and North America in the nineteenth century following the first Great Awakening of the eighteenth century. His earlier writings identified a second general awakening in 1798-1812 and a third general awakening in the 1830s, with another strong resurgence of revival in 1858-1860. However, his later writings identified the second general awakening as covering 1798 to the 1830s, interrupted by the British-American War of 1812-15, and producing a wave of missionary societies early in the nineteenth century. Orr then identified the third general awakening as 1858-1860, preceding the American Civil War (1861-1865).

Flashpoints:
1800 – June-July: Red and Gasper Rivers, North America (James McGready)
1801 – August: Cane Ridge, North America (Barton Stone)
1821 – October: Adams, America (Charles Finney)

John Erskine’s eighteenth century voluminous correspondence from Edinburgh urging prayer for revival struck a chord in New England. In 1794 a score of New England ministers, led by Baptists Isaac Backus and Stephen Gano, issued a circular letter inviting ministers and churches of all denominations to engage in and promote a Concert of Prayer for spiritual awakening commencing on the first Tuesday in January, Epiphany, 6 January 1795. The response was immediate, cordial and earnest. Presbyterian Synods in New York and New Jersey recommended the call to all their churches, as did the Methodist Episcopal Church. Congregational and Baptist associations joined in, and the Moravian and Reformed communities co-operated. Some met quarterly; most met monthly.

Stirrings of revival affected Connecticut from October 1798 in West Simsbury with Jeremiah Hallock where the congregation experienced deep conviction of sin and many leading infidels became strong converts. Late in October similar movements of repentance spread in the state including in New Hartford. “On a Sunday in November, the Spirit of God manifested Himself in the public service, and a general work of revival began in earnest. Meetings were commenced in various parts of the town, attended by deeply affected crowds, though without convulsions or outcries.” Soon over 50 families became involved. In Plymouth, in February 1799 “‘like a mighty wind’ the Spirit came upon the people.” Revival spread through he United States at the turn of the century as it was affecting churches in Britain. Orr argues that prayer for revival was being answered in the face of growing ‘revolution and infidelity’ in the wake of the French Revolution.

1800 – June: Red and Gasper Rivers, America (James McGready)

Camp Meeting Revival
Camp Meeting Revival

James McGready (1763-1817), a Presbyterian minister in Kentucky, promoted the Concert of Prayer every first Monday of the month, and urged his people to pray for him at sunset on Saturday evening and sunrise Sunday morning. Revival swept Kentucky in the summer of 1800.

McGready had three small congregations in Muddy River, Red River and Gasper River in Logan County in the southwest of the state. Most of the people were refugees from all states in the Union who fled from justice or punishment. They included murderers, horse thieves, highway robbers, and counterfeiters. The area was nicknamed Rogues Harbour.

The first real manifestations of God’s power came, however, in June 1800. Four to five hundred members of McGready’s three congregations, plus five ministers, had gathered at Red River for a “camp meeting” lasting several days. On the final day, “a mighty effusion of [God’s] Spirit” came upon the people, “and the floor was soon covered with the slain; their screams for mercy pierced the heavens.”

Convinced that God was moving, McGready and his colleagues planned another camp meeting to be held in late July 1800 at Gasper River. They had not anticipated what occurred. An enormous crowd as many as 8,000 began arriving at the appointed date, many from distances as great as 100 miles. … Although the term camp meeting was not used till 1802, this was the first true camp meeting where a continuous outdoor service was combined with camping out. …

At a huge evening meeting lighted by flaming torches … a Presbyterian pastor gave a throbbing message … McGready recalled: “The power of God seemed to shake the whole assembly. Toward the close of the sermon, the cries of the distressed arose almost as loud as his voice. After the congregation was dismissed the solemnity increased, till the greater part of the multitude seemed engaged in the most solemn manner. No person seemed to wish to go home hunger and sleep seemed to affect nobody eternal things were the vast concern. Here awakening and converting work was to be found in every part of the multitude; and even some things strangely and wonderfully new to me.”

These frontier revivals became an increasing emphasis in American revivalism. One unfortunate result was the identification of revival in America with ‘revivalism’ identified as crusades or campaigns called revivals and tending to emphasize emotionalism, hell-fire preaching, and the sawdust trail – used in nineteenth-century revivals to lay the dust or soak up the moisture on the ground of the revival meetings.
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1801 – August: Cane Ridge, North America (Barton Stone)

Kentucky Revival
Kentucky Revival

Impressed by the revivals in 1800, Barton Stone (1772-1844), a Presbyterian minister, organized similar meetings in 1801 in his area at Cane Ridge, north east of Lexington, Kentucky. A huge crowd of around 12,500 attended in over 125 wagons including people from Ohio and Tennessee. At that time Lexington, the largest town in Kentucky, had less than 1,800 citizens. Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist preachers and circuit riders formed preaching teams, speaking simultaneously in different parts of the camp grounds, all aiming for conversions.

James Finley, later a Methodist circuit rider, described it:

“The noise was like the roar of Niagara. The vast sea of human being seemed to be agitated as if by a storm. I counted seven ministers, all preaching at one time, some on stumps, others in wagons and one standing on a tree which had, in falling, lodged against another. … I stepped up on a log where I could have a better view of the surging sea of humanity. The scene that then presented itself to my mind was indescribable. At one time I saw at least five hundred swept down in a moment as if a battery of a thousand guns had been opened upon them, and then immediately followed shrieks and shouts that rent the very heavens.”

A Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Moses Hoge, wrote,

“The careless fall down, cry out, tremble, and not infrequently are affected with convulsive twitchings … Nothing that imagination can paint, can make a stronger impression upon the mind, than one of those scenes. Sinners dropping down on every hand, shrieking, groaning, crying for mercy, convulsed; professors praying, agonizing, fainting, falling down in distress for sinners or in raptures of joy! … As to the work in general there can be no question but it is of God. The subject of it, for the most part, are deeply wounded for their sins, and can give a clear and rational account of their conversion.”

Revival early in the nineteenth century not only impacted the American frontier, but also towns and especially colleges. One widespread result in America, as in England, was the formation of missionary societies to train and direct the large numbers of converts filled with missionary zeal.

That Second Great Awakening produced the modern missionary movement and it’s societies, Bible societies, saw the abolition of slavery, and many other social reforms. The Napoleonic Wars in Europe (1803 15) and the American War of 1812 (1812 15) dampened revival zeal, but caused many to cry out to God for help, and fresh stirrings of revival continued after that, especially with Charles G. Finney.
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1821 – October: Adams, North America (Charles Finney)

Charles Finney
Charles Finney

Charles Finney (1792-1875) became well known in revivals in the nineteenth century. A keen sportsman and young lawyer, he had a mighty empowering by God’s Spirit on the night of his conversion on Wednesday 10 October 1821. That morning the Holy Spirit convicted him on his way to work. So he spent the morning in the woods near his small town of Adams in New York State, praying. There he surrendered fully to God. He walked to his law office that afternoon profoundly changed and in the afternoon assisted his employer Squire Wright to set up a new office. That night he was filled with the Spirit. He describes that momentous night in his autobiography:

“By evening we had the books and furniture adjusted, and I made a good fire in an open fireplace, hoping to spend the evening alone. Just at dark Squire W , seeing that everything was adjusted, told me good night and went to his home. I had accompanied him to the door, and as I closed the door and turned around my heart seemed to be liquid within me. All my feelings seemed to rise and flow out and the thought of my heart was, “I want to pour my whole soul out to God.” The rising of my soul was so great that I rushed into the room back of the front office to pray.

“There was no fire and no light in this back room; nevertheless it appeared to me as if it were perfectly light. As I went in and shut the door after me, it seemed to me as if I met the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. It seemed to me that I saw him as I would see any other man. He said nothing, but looked at me in such a manner as to break me right down at his feet. It seemed to me a reality that he stood before me, and I fell down at his feet and poured out my soul to him. I wept aloud like a child and made such confession as I could with my choked words. It seemed to me that I bathed his feet with my tears, and yet I had no distinct impression that I touched him.

“I must have continued in this state for a good while, but my mind was too much absorbed with the interview to remember anything that I said. As soon as my mind became calm enough I returned to the front office and found that the fire I had made of large wood was nearly burned out. But as I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire, I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Spirit. Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any memory of ever hearing the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me. Indeed it seemed to come in waves of liquid love, for I could not express it in any other way. It seemed like the very breath of God. I can remember distinctly that it seemed to fan me, like immense wings.

“No words can express the wonderful love that was spread abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love. I literally bellowed out the unspeakable overflow of my heart. These waves came over me, and over me, and over me, one after another, until I remember crying out, ‘I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me.’ I said, ‘Lord, I cannot bear any more,’ yet I had no fear of death.”

That night a member of the church choir which Finney led called in at his office, amazed to find the former sceptic in a “state of loud weeping” and unable to talk to him for some time. That young friend left and soon returned with an elder from the church who was usually serious and rarely laughed. “When he came in,” Finney observed, “I was very much in the state in which I was when the young man went out to call him. He asked me how I felt and I began to tell him. Instead of saying anything he fell into a most spasmodic laughter. It seemed as if it was impossible for him to keep from laughing from the very bottom of his heart.”

Next morning, with “the renewal of these mighty waves of love and salvation” flowing through him, Finney witnessed to his employer who was strongly convicted and later made his peace with God.

That morning a deacon from the church came to see Finney about a court case due to be tried at ten o’clock. Finney told him he would have to find another lawyer, saying, “I have a retainer from the Lord Jesus Christ to plead his cause and I cannot plead yours.” The astonished deacon later became more serious about God and settled his case privately.

Finney described the immediate change in his own life and work:

“I soon sallied forth from the office to converse with those whom I might meet about their souls. I had the impression, which has never left my mind, that God wanted me to preach the Gospel, and that I must begin immediately. …

“I spoke with many persons that day, and I believe the Spirit of God made lasting impressions upon every one of them. I cannot remember one whom I spoke with, who was not soon after converted. …

“In the course of the day a good deal of excitement was created in the village because of what the Lord had done for my soul. Some thought one thing and some another. At evening, without any appointment having been made, I observed that the people were going to the place where they usually held their conference and prayer meetings. …

“I went there myself. The minister was there, and nearly all the principal people in the village. No one seemed ready to open the meeting, but the house was packed to its utmost capacity. I did not wait for anybody, but rose and began by saying that I then knew that religion was from God. I went on and told such parts of my experience as it seemed important for me to tell. …

“We had a wonderful meeting that evening, and from that day we had a meeting every evening for a long time. The work spread on every side.

“As I had been a leader among the young people I immediately appointed a meeting for them, which they all attended. … They were converted one after another with great rapidity, and the work continued among them until only one of their number was left unconverted.

“The work spread among all classes, and extended itself not only through the village but also out of the village in every direction.”

Finney continued for the rest of his life in evangelism and revival. During the height of the revivals he often saw the awesome holiness of God come upon people, not only in meetings but also in the community, bringing multitudes to repentance and conversion. Wherever he travelled, instead of bringing a song leader he brought someone to pray. Often Father Nash, his companion, was not even in the meetings but in the woods praying. Finney founded and taught theology at Oberlin College which pioneered co education and enrolled both blacks and whites. His Lectures on Revival were widely read and helped to fan revival fire in America and England.

Finney emphasized Hosea 10:12, “Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” He believed that if we do our part in repentance and prayer, God would do his in sending revival.

He preached in Boston for over a year during the revival in 1858-1859. Many reports tell of the power of God producing conviction in people not even in the meetings. At times people would repent as they sailed into Boston harbour, convicted by the Holy Spirit.

Various revival movements influenced society in the nineteenth century but 1858 in America and 1859 in Britain were outstanding. Typically, it followed a low ebb of spiritual life. Concerned Christians began praying earnestly and anticipating a new move of God’s Spirit.
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See also Revivals Index – https://renewaljournal.com/revivals-index/

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Travelling with Geoff, by Don Hill

A Travelling with Geoff

Travelling with Geoff, by Don Hill

with colour photos

Travelling with Geoff – PDF

READ SAMPLE

Available on Amazon and Kindle

From the Preface:

Don and Helen Hill consider themselves just an ordinary couple who have been blessed throughout their life and had many opportunities to do extraordinary things. Perhaps that is over simplifying their lifetime experiences, when in reality they have recognized opportunities, prayed for guidance and discernment and then acted. This has lead to extensive travel to foreign lands on evangelical and teaching missions with the Rev. Dr. Geoff Waugh, to whom the title of this book refers.

Don and Helen have retired and Don has just completed writing up an extensive memoir of their lifetime experiences, mainly a private family diatribe for their children. Re-reading these memoirs showed there were a lot of extraordinary things that should be shared around. They have recently coined the phrase “….and it just so happened…”. But did it? They think not and there is evidence of the hand of God and His leading.

Don was an electrical engineer and Helen a primary school teacher. In 1987 Don, with his then boss took voluntary redundancy and set up their own engineering consultancy. Don leaving the power industry was akin to jumping out of a boat after thirty-five years of job security. It was not done without a lot of very careful and prayerful consideration, but it was still a step into the unknown trusting completely in God.

This was a major change in Don and Helen’s lives and opened many unknown doors and opportunities, especially the opportunity for quality overseas engineering assignments and associated opportunities in places like Malaysia, Burma, Brunei, and the Pacific Islands to name a few.

But more importantly, Don and Helen became aware of, as well as part of, the Brisbane Renewal Fellowship led by Geoff Waugh at about the same time. Both their secular and spiritual lives received a boost. They were “travelling” with Geoff both spiritually and physically.

Geoff had a quiet but powerful ministry and mainly through his work as editor of the “Renewal Journal” became widely known. Invitations were received to come and preach in places like Ghana, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Pacific Islands to again name just a few. When the letter reads “Come over to Macedonia ……you do not know how poor we are…” it is hard to refuse.

Geoff accepted these invitations, but rarely asked others to accompany him. He asked them to pray about it and if they felt called they were quite welcome to come along. People from the Renewal Fellowship often did accompany him. All had the love of the Lord and if nothing else were travelling companions in foreign lands and “backroom” helpers.

Helen developed a video ministry recording Geoff’s teaching, and left videos and later DVDs to multiply the word. This was particularly important where it was difficult to post Christian literature back into the country without it being intercepted and “lost”.

Don was just “there” most of the time, but with the publication of the material in this book, perhaps his time has come and the stories recorded will have an impact.

Thus as you read you will find in chronological order (necessary as we grow through each new experience) accounts of “God moment” events both from their personal experiences and as a consequence of their Travelling with Geoff

Table of Contents

Condensed versions of the chapters in bold type are included in these books:

Journey into Mission

Journey into Ministry and Mission

Pentecost on Pentecost and in the South Pacific

1. Chapter 1- The Seven Cities of Revelations (1987)

2. Chapter 2 – Mauritius and VW Kombi Vans (1989)

3. Chapter 3 – HCJB Heralding Christ Jesus Blessings (1991)

4. Chapter 4 – Burma Third Visit (1992)

5. Chapter 5 – Burma Fourth Visit (1992)

6. Chapter 6 – Burma Fifth Visit (1992)

7. Chapter 7 – China (1992)

8. Chapter 8 – Elcho Island (1994)

9. Chapter 9 – Rwanda (1994)

10. Chapter 10 – Solomon Islands First Visit (1994)

11. Chapter 11 – South Africa, Ghana, UK, Canada (1995)

12. Chapter 12 – Solomon Island Second Visit (1996)

13. Chapter 13 – South Africa (1996)

14. Chapter 14 – Brunei (1996)

15. Chapter 15 – Indonesia (1998)

16. Chapter 16 – Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka (1998)

17. Chapter 17 – Solomon Islands Third Visit (2003)

18. Chapter 18 – Brunei and Sarawak ( 2004)

19. Chapter 19 – Vanuatu First Visit (2004)

20. Chapter 20 – Vanuatu Second Visit (2005)

21. Chapter 21 – Vanuatu Third Visit (2005)

22. Chapter 22 – Solomon Islands Fourth Visit (2007)

23. Appendix 1 – Elcho Island

24. Appendix 2 – Nepal – Overseas Aid

25. Appendix 3 – Bhutan Refugees

Related Books

Some of Don’s chapters are condensed in these books by Geoff Waugh

0 0 Jurney M2

Journey into Mission – Blog
Journey into Mission – PDF

0 0 A Journey Mission

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

 

0 A Pentecost on Pentecost Gift

Pentecost on Pentecost and in the South Pacific – Blog
Pentecost on Pentecost & in the South Pacific – PDF

Blogs about recent revival movements:


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


Jesus’ Last Promise – Blog and Video – Pentecost
You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you


God’s Promise – Blog and Video – I will pour out my Spirit
Seeing God’s Spirit poured out in over 20 countries

 

 

Some photos from the book

Turkey
Turkey
0 Burma 1324
Burma
Ghana
Ghana
Ghana
Ghana
0 Nepal Damak E105
Nepal
0 Nepal Damak E106
Nepal
Nepal
Nepal
Nepal
Nepal
Himalayas, Darjeeling, India
Himalayas, Darjeeling, India
Darjeeling
Darjeeling
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands & sharks
Solomon Islands & sharks
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu
Vanuatu, Chief Willie & Geoff
Vanuatu, Chief Willie & Geoff
Vanuatu, Don & Helen
Vanuatu, Don & Helen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reinhard Bonnke’s beginnings in Africa

Bonnke
Reinhard Bonnke

German missionary to Africa, Reinhard Bonnke (1940-2019) founded Christ For All Nations (CFAN) which now ministers to millions.

Converted at nine, he had a missionary zeal.  As a teenager, Reinhard saw Johannesburg in South Africa in a vision of a map of Africa.  At 19 he headed off to the Bible College of Wales to train as a missionary, even though he couldn’t speak English.  Three months later he was preaching in English!  There he learned practical principles of living by faith.

After a short pastorate in Germany where he married Anna, they left for German Pentecostal missionary work in Africa.  Working as traditional missionaries from 1967 to 1974 in Maseru, the capital of the small landlocked country of Lesotho, they saw meagre results. 

The early days in Lesotho (1974)

Near the end of that time Reinhard’s interpreter broke down during his message at a healing meeting one Sunday morning and sank weeping to the floor because of God’s awesome presence.  Waiting for the interpreter to recover Reinhard ‘heard’ the Lord speak ‘words’ which amazed him: “My Words in your mouth are just as powerful as My Words in My own mouth.”

The ‘voice’ repeated the sentence.  He ‘saw’ it like a movie in Scripture – Jesus told the disciples to speak in faith and it would happen.  “I suddenly realized that the power was not in the mouth – the power was in the Word,” said Reinhard.

Then, when the interpreter had recovered enough to speak, as he was preaching Reinhard ‘heard’ the Spirit say, “Call those who are completely blind and speak the Word of Authority.”

He did.  About six blind people stood.  He boldly proclaimed, “Now I am going to speak with the authority of God and you are going to see a white man standing before you.  Your eyes are going to open.”

Taking a deep breath Reinhard shouted: “In the name of Jesus, blind eyes open!” 

The power of his voice jolted even those on the stage.  It felt as though a flaming bolt of lightning was let loose in the building.  His voice was still resonating against the bare brick walls when there was another shout.  This time it was the shriek of a woman’s voice.  What she screamed shattered the silence that hung over the congregation: “I can see!  I can see!”

She had been totally blind for years.  The other blind people also saw.  The place erupted in excited cheers.  A woman handed her crippled boy through the milling crowd to Reinhard who sensed the power of God on the boy and watched amazed as his crippled legs shook and straightened.  He was healed.  The meeting went for hours as people screamed, shouted, danced and sang.

At the end of 1974, Reinhard relocated to Johannesburg and established Christ for All Nations (CFAN).  Early in January, when he was ill, he had a vision of Jesus similar to the Joshua’s vision (Joshua 5:13-15).  He wrote:  “I was very sick.  I didn’t think I would make it.  I went to doctors.  Nothing helped.  I was crying to God: ‘Lord what are you doing?  What is your plan?’  One afternoon I retired to my study.  A thirst for prayer came over me and I was hardly on my knees when I saw a most wonderful vision.  I saw the son of God stand in front of me in full armour, like a general.  The armour saw shining like the sun and burning like fire.  It was tremendous and I realised that the Lord of Hosts had come.  I threw myself at His feet.  I laughed and I cried … I don’t know for how long, but when I got up I was perfectly healed.”

When Reinhard flew to Gaberone in Botswana to buy time on radio there the Lord told him to hire the 10,000 seater sports stadium for a crusade.  The local Pentecostal pastor who agreed to help prepare for the crusade was amazed.  He had only 40 in his congregation!

The crusade in April 1974 with Reinhard’s evangelist friend Pastor Ngidi started in a hall which could seat 800.  On the first night 100 attended.  Healings happened every night, abnd people fell to the floor overwhelmed.  That was new to Reinhard.

By the end of the first week 2,000 people were packed into the hall.  So they moved into the stadium!  Thousands attended.  People were saved and healed every night and over 500 people were baptised in water within two weeks.

One night in the stadium, the Holy Spirit urged Reinhard to pray for people to be baptised in the Holy Spirit.  So he asked an African co-worker to give a message on the Holy Spirit.  Reinhard felt dissatisfied with talk because it didn’t mention tongues.

About 1,000 people responded to the call to be baptised in the Spirit.  As soon as they raised their hands they were all flattened shouting and praising God in new languages on the ground.  Reinhard had never seen anything like that before.  It continued to happen in his crusades.

Reinhard used an enormous tent which could seat 30,000 people.  Then the crowds grew so large no tent could hold them.  Some of CFAN crusades in Africa have reached huge open air crowds of 600,000 to 800,000 people and even over 1 million.

Lagos 1.6 mil.
Lagos 1.6 mil.

Reproduced from Flashpoints of Revival and Revival Fires.

See also: “This Disco is a Church”

See also: Reinheard Bonnke’s final crusade in Africa

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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