Uzbekistan: An ancient city experiences revival

Uzbekistan: An ancient city experiences revival

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Bukhara in Uzbekistan, one of the oldest cities in the world, is experiencing a revival. This is reported by German missiologist Johannes Reimer.

Bukhara was first mentioned in 500 BC. Located on the famous Silk Road, it became a center for trade, culture, science, and religion. Ancient authors called Bukhara “a city full of knowledge.” It was Buddhist under Mongolian rulership until in the 7th century the Nestorians introduced Christianity. The many coins with Christian symbols suggest that Christianity might have been a dominant religion in Bukhara during the 7th and 8th centuries. However, Bukhara’s people gradually converted to Islam in the late 9th century, and in the 14th century Christians were forced out of the country.

Photo: The historic centre of Bukhara is a UNESCO heritage site

Christianity came back to Bukhara in the 20th century. Under Russian and Soviet rule Russian, German, Korean, Armenian and Polish Christians settled in the area, often by force. Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Armenian Apostolic, Lutheran, Mennonite, Baptist and Pentecostal churches established branches in the country and also in Bukhara. First these churches mainly served the immigrants, but from 1985 onwards members of ethnic native Uzbek and Tadzhik groups also came to know Jesus and join the church.

‘The Evangelicals are experiencing extraordinary growth’

In 1991, Uzbekistan became an independent state. Christians experienced heavy state persecution and many Russian and almost all German-speaking Christians left the country. Under the current president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the relationship between the government and the churches has improved, leading to more and more converts from Islam coming in. Today the Evangelicals are experiencing extraordinary growth in Uzbekistan, including Bukhara, where five Evangelical churches attract hundreds of mostly Uzbek and Tadzhik believers for worship each Sunday. The churches actively spread the gospel in the region.

“We went from an ingrown, self-centered Pentecostal church to a congregation serving our community,” says one of the pastors. His growing congregation counts hundreds of people throughout the region. Among them are many deaf people. “Today you will barely find one village in our region without a house church for the deaf,” the pastor says. “People consider the deaf, blind and other people with inborn disabilities as cursed; we instead serve them, teach them to write and to read, teach sign language to them and offer them an integral part in our Sunday worship service. Our teams visit the places, care for them socially and conduct Bible studies. Hundreds have been baptised so far. Through our intensive care for those outcasts, their families have started to open up as well.”

‘You will barely find a village without a house church for the deaf’

Visiting the people in their home areas can turn out to be a very difficult venture. Roads are bad, buses are rare, and many places can be reached only by walking or biking. The Evangelicals in Bukhara seem to use every opportunity. During the pandemic the church organised mask production, compiled basic food packages and, most of all, delivered clean water to the people. The church has its own water purification plant that produces 500 liters of clean water per hour. The water is distributed among the people in the neighbourhood, sold for a modest profit. Where poor people can’t pay, the water is given for free. And everyone is served, Christians, Muslims and atheists. The Christians dream of having such purification plants in every village of the region. The generally available water is bitter and often dangerous. “Clean water is good news to the people, and when it is brought by us Christians, we become good news to them,” one pastor says.

Photo: a deaf community in Uzbekistan

“Caring for the well-being of people in the community always includes prayer for the sick,” another pastor says. “We intentionally go to the Covid-infected people, comfort them and their families, and lay our hands on them in prayer for healing. Many were instantly healed. This too brought people closer to Jesus. Experiencing God’s divine healing also strengthened our young first-generation believers. Today they know what Jesus can do because they have seen Him doing miracles.”

‘Women are the backbone of the movement in Uzbekistan’

One extraordinary development in Bukhara is the role of women in evangelising in the area. In fact, the vast majority of evangelists and small group leaders among the new believers are women. Similar to the deaf people, they are considered in some tribal settings as second-class humans and are excluded from many strata of religious and tribal life. At the same time, many of them have received a high-level education in Soviet times and after the independence. Searching for meaning in life, many of them find answers in Christianity and turn to Jesus. The fact that their husbands are often far away in foreign lands (mostly in Russia) for years as guest workers puts the bulk of the responsibility to care for the family on them. Christian women, as well as the church itself, offer them support and care.

Finding their way to Jesus releases an enormous energy in their lives. As a result, they are testifying about Jesus to other women in their neighbourhood and organising them in Bible studies or even in small businesses to help them survive economically. “Today women are the backbone of the evangelical movement in Uzbekistan,” says the pastor. Most of those women are relatively young – as are the Uzbek and Tadzhik Christians generally. Many 18 to 25 years olds are already leading ministries, and are experienced in evangelism and church planting.

Source: Johannes Reimer

Joel News International # 1280,  November 15, 2022


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Uzbekistan: An ancient city experiences revival

Thailand: Revival continues with 1588 people baptised

Thailand: Revival continues with 1588 people baptised

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“The revival in Thailand continues. This is what it looks like when 1,588 people wait to be baptised,” reports Marten Visser, director of missions organisation GlobalRize.

Visser, a former missionary to Thailand, has been sharing regular updates about a spiritual revival in the Asian country in recent years.

Another missionary, Dwight Martin, also baptised many converted Thai. “We now have about 6,000 churches in Thailand,” he said in an interview. “We don’t force anyone to give up their idols or stop going to the temples. We disciple them and then one day the Holy Spirit convicts them that they no longer need those idols and they no longer need to go to the temple.”

Martin explains: “It is a movement of God without outside influence, without interference from the West. There was simply a man who was touched by God’s Spirit with a vision for Thailand. The Lord put me in touch with him and he wanted to plant Thai churches. His movement was just beginning and when I told him about all the villages in Thailand that had not yet been reached with the gospel, it clicked right away. From then on, many new churches were started.”

‘We don’t bring religion, but Jesus’

“When we go to villages we don’t bring religion but Jesus. We simply say: ‘Do you have a problem in your life? Then Jesus can help you.’ We ask them to bring two or three problems to Jesus and believe in Him. They already believe in all kinds of gods, so that makes it easier. For example, there was a well-to-do woman who wanted a new television set. She prayed for it but was freed from her alcohol addiction instead. She told everyone that she was now no longer buying booze and could buy a TV from the remaining money!”

“We bring them Jesus and within 48 hours we begin to disciple them. We revisit them and teach them how to pray. Simple prayers before meals and children’s prayers. Then a week later we come back and tell them who Jesus is, that He is the Creator of heaven and earth. Another week later we tell about the problem of the Fall. But very slowly, step by step. Within six months they are able to tell others about the gospel in this way. It gives them a good foundation. This takes place within house churches, a safe place to raise newborn Christians.”

“One of our church planters, believe it or not, still leads prayers in a Buddhist temple. He himself is not a Buddhist but a church planter! The church planters go to new villages every day to tell people of God’s love. When you do that every day many come to faith. We now have 500 people doing this. The goal is to plant 800 new churches this year.”

Source: Marten Visser, Dwight Martin

A mass baptism in Thailand with missionary Dwight Martin and his team of church planters. As many as 1,435 people were baptised. Click to watch.

Joel News Edition # 1275, October 05, 2022









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House Church: The fastest-growing expression of church

House Church: The fastest-growing expression of church

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Joel News International, # 1231 | October 5, 2021
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“The church has to become small in order to grow big.”
– Wolfgang Simson

Global: The fastest-growing expression of church

German missiologist Wolfgang Simson published a global status report on house churches, in his observation “the fastest growing expression of Christ-followers on the planet.”

House churches like we read about in Acts have been present throughout church history, but these groups were often sidelined and even persecuted by the mainline church. However, since the early 20th century, we see a major comeback of house churches. First in China, where some researchers speak of 160-200 million members in more than 10 million house churches.

Since the 1990s house churches also experienced a rapid renaissance outside China. In particular Egypt and India have experienced the emergence of large house church networks, and became modern-day apostolic epicentres for this global phenomenon. The sum total of all current believers in house churches in India alone, about 80 million, already outnumbers the Lutheran Word Federation.

Simson estimates the number of house churches in mid‐2021 as follows:

1) 10 Million house churches in China.

2) Since 1996, about 2 million house churches have been planted in India, Egypt and the rest of the Middle East.

3) 3 Million house churches have reportedly been planted by various missions collectives like 24:14 and T4T.

4) 2 Million house churches are not on the official radar. This includes movements like Hoffnung Deutschland (founded by Marcus Rose, about 1,000 house churches) and 20,000 newly planted village house churches in Uganda – many meet under a tree for the lack of a hut large enough – as reported by Riccardo Meusel.

5) 1.5 Million ‘ halfway houses’ for church misfits in the USA. According to American sociologist Josh Packard, in his book Church Refugees, the US experiences a gigantic church exodus of so-called ‘doners’ – people who are done with church, but not with God, and organize themselves in ‘halfway houses’.

6) 1 Million ‘doner’ [done with church] house church groups outside the US in countries like Australia, the UK, South Africa, Korea, Singapore and Israel.

7) 1.7 Million house churches inside businesses and Insider Movements. Insider movements are house church movements that do not openly identify with Christianity but remain outwardly loyal and therefore hidden inside existing religions like Islam, Hinduism, Shintoism or Buddhism. Many see their religious environment as their cultural heritage within which they have become secret followers of Christ. This phenomenon also exists inside secular groups, clans or tribes. An additional form of this are ‘business churches’, house churches that function inside a business as their cover. Close observers speak of about 500,000 ‘business house churches in China and 200,000 outside China.

8) 400,000 Informal small groups in mainline churches like the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches that fulfill a role in ‘re-evangelisation’.

9) 1 Million house churches in 20,000 smaller house church networks and so-called ‘Apostolic Networks’.

Small expressions are booming. Picture: tiny houses in Almere, The Netherlands.

There are several significant contributors to the expansion of house churches:

1) Mission researcher Dr. Todd Johnson, in his ‘Status of Global Christianity 2021′, lists 113 million ‘unaffiliated’ or ‘Crypto-Christians’ who are following Christ outside the official church system, often in private, non-public gatherings in homes.

2) An Egyptian missiologist reported that during the Arab Spring at least four million Muslims in Egypt alone have turned away from Islam – many in search of God.

3) A growing number of young evangelists, like Torben Sondergaard (The Last Reformation) and Werner Nachtigall (Global Outreach Day) are intentionally connecting evangelism with the immediate planting of house churches.

4) Several megachurches in the US feel called by God to be instrumental in the planting of house churches. Mission strategist Curtis Sergeant has created a web-based ‘simple church saturation’ project planning to plant one simple church for every 5,000 people in the US and for every 50,000 people globally with material currently available in at least 37 languages.

5) During the COVID19 lock-downs many traditional church members have been forced to engage in ‘stay-at-home-church’, and a significant percentage will continue in this mode. They organised themselves into neighbourhood churches in homes, sometimes with online input. These numbers are not yet fully researched but may be very significant. One thing is evident: the post-corona church will not be exactly the same as pre-corona-church.

6) A large percentage of the children of church-goers have said their farewell to ‘mum’s-and-dad’s church’ and are in search mode for community, values and lifestyles that are radically different. Abraham Piper for example, the son of famous US‐theologian John Piper, runs a TikTok account with more than 1.1 million followers where he is trying to deconstruct fundamentalist evangelical church culture in search of a new and non-religious framework for life. It is to be seen what forms of following Christ will emerge from this very explosive and creative global people group.

Source: Wolfgang Simson

Editorial note: Wolfgang Simson did not research house church networks empirically or scientifically. Such a research is fairly difficult, if not impossible, with organic small groups that in many countries operate under the radar. He used ‘informed estimations’ of ‘trusted insiders’. Obviously data from church leaders who estimate the size of their own movements, and don’t keep records (although many of the Indian movements track conversions and groups), are less reliable and can only be indicative. In the past Simson has exaggerated numbers, and on various occasions was not willing to provide the contacts of those he claimed to have spoken to. So it was not possible for Joel News to check these claims as thoroughly as we would like to. On a general note we can say: house church movements are surely one of fastest-growing segments of the church, and the drivers that Simson suggests are valid, but the exact numbers are debatable.

Germany: The secret behind 1,000 new house churches

One of the networks, Hoffnung Deutschland (Hope Germany), planted an estimated 1,000 communities in 20 years, which for Europe is quite remarkable.

When Joel News asked Marcus Rose, Hoffnung Deutschland’s founder based in Berlin, about the number of house churches in his network, he responded: “We crossed the 500 sometime in 2017, after which we stopped counting.” What also stands out is that most people in these house churches are new Christians. On the question how this remarkable growth happened, Rose remarked drily: “There are many reasons. The one I usually give is that we just never stopped doing the small things.”

Photo: Marcus Rose

In a podcast on missions he elaborated on this: “I always wonder why people ask me: ‘What is the secret of the growth around you?’ And I would say: probably the most important thing is that I would never ask myself that question! I consider growth in an individual’s life the necessary foundation for growth as churches. In 1 John 2:12-14 the Christian work is described as newborn babies who are supposed to become fathers with children of their own. The way to get there is by overcoming the evil one, by being so strong in Christ, his Word and the Spirit, that the world stops being the place where you get your answers from.”

‘Church is the most progressive institution in a country, with the power to transform’

“It’s a continuous process to encourage people on that track and to do it together, to put in their time, giftings and financial resources. The most important part of leadership is just observing: what do people already get from God, and how can we connect people with a similar vision?”

In another podcast, Rose shares his own life story – how he grew up in communist East Germany, and at age 15 had a personal encounter with Christ. When the Wall fell in 1989, even though he was still a teenager he contacted schools to ask if they were interested to replace the lessons on communism in the curriculum with the teachings of Jesus. This opened many doors, and 30 house churches were established.

Later on, in Thailand, like Jonah on the run from his calling, Rose discovered church as “the most progressive institution in a country, with the power to transform, because it brought together prostitutes and millionaires as new people in Christ.”

‘There was no formula, I simply connected with people I met’

Around 2000 he moved back to Germany with the explicit instruction from God to not work in the Christian scene, but to work under the radar, connecting with non-Christians and discipling them in the way of Christ. This was a challenge as East Germany was culturally atheist, almost immune to the Gospel. In the first three months in Berlin God gave Rose a kick-start with a handful of young people getting baptised. “There was no formula. I simply connected with people I met, showed genuine interest, told them I had come to Berlin to plant a church, and if they were open to continue the relationship, I got their number and followed up.”

It quickly spread to several other cities in Germany. Rose communicated from the start that his vision was to see communities started in every region and subculture, and for God to raise up 10,000 missionaries out of Germany.

Image: A visualisation of apostolic hubs and the explosive growth potential of house churches in regions and subcultures

From 2010 onwards the network developed what Rose calls “an apostolic pattern” that started to catalyse things. “God instructed us to divide Germany into 90 minute regions. The idea was that a German could get in his car or step on a train on a Saturday, drive 90 minutes to a place, do outreach there, mentor people, organise something, pray for sick people, do sports, make it a family trip. This is something that people dare to do, that feels very natural.”

‘Continuously ask God what He wants you to do’

Rose also helped new Christians to focus on what he calls ‘the three steps of spiritual planning’, as explained in a third podcast:

1. Ask God: what are the qualities He wants to establish in your life, and through your life in the world around you?
2. If you have security about that, then ask God how many of your resources (time, money) you should invest in that.
3. Then ask Him in which specific projects you should invest yourself.

“This creates an atmosphere in which people continuously ask God what He wants them to do. Not what the church expects of them, or what others might want them to do, but what God says.”

New Christians with an apostolic gifting receive personal coaching to start similar processes themselves in other regions and countries. This is how the multiplication takes place. Rose’s vision for the next years is to start and support 100 apostolic teams, with every team being unique in giftings and reach. Each team could support 100 house churches, reaching people Rose or the apostolic workers could never reach themselves.

Source: Marcus Rose, Hoffnung Deutschland

Small is the new big… Do you long to be part of this global movement? Consider supporting Simple Church Europe, a project of Dutch charity Joel Ministries. We equip Christians to start missional simple church groups in Europe that multiply.

See also

House Church: the fastest growing expression of church

Grassroots movements with no church buildings explode

Dinner Churches

House Churches, by Ian Freestone

House Churches in China (Barbara Nield)

China: how a mother started a house church movement

Laos: a church for the So

Joel News – Inspiring stories on the advance of God’s Kingdom around the globe today, delivered once a week in your mailbox. We cover all continents and serve mission-minded Christians in over 100 nations.


Slovakia: Revival among the Roma

Slovakia: Revival among the Roma

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

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

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

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

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

‘Crime rates began to drastically fall’

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

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

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

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

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

‘They spread revival fires wherever they go’

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Assemblies of God World Mission, TWFTW

Joel News International, #1187, September 9, 2020

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California beach revival attended by 1,000

California beach revival attended by 1,000

‘The church has left the building’

By Caleb Parke, an associate editor for, July 14, 2020

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See also: Revivals breaking out across the South of USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See: Jesus People Revival

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

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

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

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

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

Saturate OC (Orange County) – website

See also: Jesus People Revival

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

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Argentina: The amazing transformation at Los Olmos prison


Argentina: The amazing transformation at Los Olmos prison

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The Olmos prison in Argentina used to be notorious for murders, satanic activity and violent riots. Today, however, you can hear inmates and guards praising and worshipping God.

This all began with one man’s obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. In the mid 80’s Pastor Juan Zuccarelli felt called to prison ministry in Buenos Aires. He had, at that stage, only done crusades in the city and was a bit daunted by the task of ministering in prison, but knew he had to do it. He was told that the only way he could get into the prisons would be to become a prison guard.

He applied for a position and found out that he would have to wait 8 months for the application to be processed. He hoped that God would change His mind in the meantime and that He would call him somewhere else. Amazingly, within a week, he was contacted by the prison authorities informing him that he had the position. Juan took up his appointment immediately and became a prison guard, knowing that he would use his position to preach the Gospel.

300 prisoners attended the first crusade in Olmos prison. Of those, 100 were saved.

Sadly, these men were then physically, verbally and sexually assaulted by their peers because of their commitment. The Lord revealed that the Christians needed to have separate cell blocks, to create a safe space for them.

In 1987 the idea was proposed to the prison warden, but he was completely against it. Juan remembered an old burnt-out cell block that had previously been completely destroyed. He told the warden that if he would give them that cell, they would fix it, paint it and turn it into the best cell block in the whole of Olmos. He suggested that when the government came to inspect the prison they could show that cell block off as the model cell block. The warden accepted the challenge.

21 prisoners started that first cell block and they were able to have times of prayer, fasting and Bible studies which produced amazing results. Eventually they took over the entire floor, which was previously known as the ‘Elephant’s Floor’. It was used to house the most dangerous criminals and even had an altar built to honour Satan. In the past, families would bring the inmates small cats and dogs to burn as sacrifices to Satan, giving him power over the prison. After much prayer, that entire cell block now belongs to Jesus Christ.

The Christians have 24 cell blocks today and 1,600 prisoners have been saved at Olmos.

Once the Christians started to multiply, a group of missionaries was sent from Olmos to another prison to begin a church there. As new prisons were built, authorities approached Olmos and asked them to help them start churches in the new prisons so that they could be built on a similar solid foundation. Up to 200 saved prisoners from Olmos have been sent to new prisons to set up churches. Their growth eventually took over prisons in the entire province. Today there are churches in all 40 prisons across the provinces of Argentina.

The government then contacted Juan to start a completely Christian prison (before, they had only set up churches within prisons). There were 3 small prisons which had been empty for about 2 years and the officials told Juan he could pick anyone he wanted and he would be given the keys.

Juan identified Daniel Tajeda, an evangelical Christian, to be the warden of the new prison. He was very young at the time and only 96th in line for the position. However, Daniel’s faithfulness outshone the other candidates and he was appointed as the warden of 10 prisoners. From there on it grew, from 25 to 130 inmates. This prison is called ‘Christ, the Only Hope’.

The authorities saw the excellent results and gave Juan another prison.

The government was not able to provide any funding for the Christian prisons. There were no beds and mattresses and the cells were completely empty. There was no electricity, running water or gas. They also needed computers and medical supplies. All of their needs have been provided for by donations from ministries outside the prison. This dramatically improved the image of the church in the eyes of the government.

‘Christ, the Only Hope’ prison has 270 inmates and is run strictly on Christian principles. The staff believe that the prisoners have the potential to change and this fact is proven again and again. The inmates have serious criminal records, ranging from robbery, to rape, to murder. However, when these same criminals accepted Christ in their hearts they changed.

What a fully Christian prison looks like, how it’s organized, and the results of this approach when it comes to rehabilitation.

The Olmos prison in Argentina used to be notorious for murders, satanic activity and violent riots. Today, however, you can hear inmates and guards praising and worshipping God.

The authorities agreed with an experiment: a prison with 270 inmates called ‘Christ, the Only Hope’, run strictly on Christian principles.

Prisoners have to follow strict daily routines that train them to be spiritually disciplined. They start each new day with worshipping God. At 6:00 AM all the inmates gather for a time of devotion and praise and this is followed by a time of prayer. They also fast twice a week. In the afternoons the inmates gather for Bible study and fellowship, and later in the day attend a church service. When the inmates go to their rooms, five intercessors take up their posts and begin to pray through the long hours of the night.

One prisoner said, “Although we are locked up physically, God has made us free spiritually. God has blessed us to be an example to the outside world.”

The prison runs a store house where inmates donate food and clothing. They cannot tithe in money, but the things that their families and other visitors bring them are tithed to the store house. This is used to help others in need, both families outside of the prison, and prisoners in other units.

Due to their good behavior, the inmates are granted many special privileges. They are not locked up in cells with standard iron bars. These have been replaced with bright orange curtains so there is complete freedom of movement. They are allowed generous visiting hours with their families and this helps them form strong social ties which will assist with integrating them back into society upon their release. In many of the job creation programs in the prison, prisoners are entrusted with the use of a wide variety of tools normally prohibited in other prisons. This allows the inmates to make money while being in prison so that they can support their families.

There has been no attempt by any prisoner to escape ‘Christ, the Only Hope’. There have been no riots either. If an inmate should cause any problems he is spiritually disciplined. His punishment is to pray, fast and read the Bible. Inmates are never put into solitary confinement.

The lifestyle practiced in the Christian prisons has attracted the attention of other prison authorities.

Judges noticed that criminals wanted to be sent to these prisons. The authorities decided to send one of Argentina’s most hardened criminals to one of these Christian prisons. Hector Sanchez had been sentenced for the rape and murder of two young girls.

Hector says: “When I first got here my family had abandoned me, so the director of the prison asked a pastor to come and visit me. The Lord rescued me even though I was such a bad person who did terrible things. I believe He has put me here because He has a purpose for my life. To those who knew me before I came here – my transformed life is a testimony.”

Statistics show that 45 out of every 100 prisoners who are released end up back in prison for committing another crime. In contrast, only 5% of prisoners from evangelical prisons relapse.

The prison also runs a rehabilitation centre for inmates under the guardianship of the church.

Selected prisoners with less than 4 years can serve, work and live at the rehabilitation centre during the week with no guardianship at all. Over weekends they return to custody. The work they do and the trust they are given helps them build confidence. When they are released into the outside world they are equipped with life-skills to help them make a success of their lives.

It took 21 years to build the Christian prisons to where they are today in Argentina, but it all started with the faithfulness of one man. The challenge to all Christians is to follow the call that the Lord has placed in your hearts, no matter how crazy it may seem. When you act in obedience, God always comes through for you. Like Ed Silvoso says, “See what you’ve never seen before, do what you’ve never done before.”

VIDEO – The unbelievable but true story of how a prison that was once run by the church of Satan has been transformed into one of the most powerful churches in Argentina. An eye opening testimonial of how the power of God can fully restore criminals, their families, and even a corrupt system. This will infuse you with hope!

Source: Juan Zuccarelli, Ed Silvoso


This e-book is a classic that’s only available on our website! Authors Michael Richardson and Juan Zuccarelli describe in detail how the revival in Los Olmos prison started, which changes it brought, how inmate leadership emerged and how the prison church was organised. Specific attention is given to the role of the prayer watches and how the revival influenced other prisons across Argentina. Detailed growth statistics are included.

E-book in pdf | original revival story | 42 pages | reading time: 45 mins

Revival Behind Bars book:

Source: Joel News, # 1179, # 1180,  August 11 & 18, 2020

See also

Argentina: Faith flourishes behind bars

Prison Revival in Argentina

Christian missionary tortured in prison led 40 to Christ

Iran: How two women brought hope in Tehran’s brutal Evin Prison

Remember those in prison













Transformations – communities transformed by God

Transformations – communities transformed by God

George Otis Jr and the Sentinel Group provide astounding accounts of community transformation around the world.

Share these links to inform and bless people.

Transformations – Video

Stories of transformation:

Cali, Columbia – 60,000 Christians fill the municipal soccer stadium for all-night prayer vigil – a multi-billion dollar drug cartel destroyed – explosive church growth.

Kiambu, Kenya – witchcraft and crime overcome by repentance and prayer – churches grew.

Hemet, California – united repentance and prayer led to a city transformed – gangs transformed – crime reduced – churches grew.

Almolonga, Guatemala – 92% of the population born again – all four jails closed for lack of crime – cultural productivity reaching biblical proportions. See Blog: Almolonga, the Miracle City
See video:  Transformations – Almolonga, Guatemala


Transformations 2 – Video

Selections from Transformations II DVD video – revival in the Hebrides, Uganda, and the Inuits of the Canadian Arftic.

Link: Duncan Campbell, the preacher in the Hebrides Revival tells the story of the Lewis Awakening in the Hebrides Islands of Scotland

More from Transformation 2 – the Inuits of the Canadian Artic

Inuit of the Canadian Arctic – drunkenness, drugs, pornography, suicide and crime transformed by surprising revival.

The Transformations 2 DVD video adds stories from Uganda and the Hebrides revival revisited.


Let the Sea Resound

Revival transformed Fijian Islands following repentance, prayer and Christian unity. It included transformation of the land and the sea.

See Blog – Revival in Fiji

See also

Community and Ecological Transformation

South Pacific Revivals

21st Century Revivals: Transforming Revivals – includes Fiji

Transforming Revivals in the South Pacific:
Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji

Fiji scenes – dedicating the sea to God, burning artifacts, celebration feast.

General Blogs Index

FREE PDF Books on the Main Page









Revival hits army base

Revival hits army base with 1459 receiving Christ

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Revival hits army base:
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Authors Index

Chaplain Rondon (left) at July 29, 2018, Chapel service, when 200 soldiers gave their lives to Christ

Army Chaplain Jose Rondon believes “there is nothing more exhilarating in life than seeing people come to Christ.” In the last six months, Rondon has experienced that exhilaration with more than 1,400 professions of faith — something one could describe as a spiritual awakening — at Fort Leonard Wood, his place of ministry.

Because of his reputation for being intentional in his ministry, many have come to hear Rondon share the Gospel on Sundays.

Soldiers packed into Chapel service

“We have seen 1,459 soldiers come to Christ since March of this year (2018),” Rondon said. “God is doing great things at Fort Leonard Wood among the hundreds of soldiers who have come to know Christ personally.”

Soldiers bow their knees in repentance, finding new life in Christ

Retired Major General Doug Carver, executive director of chaplaincy for the North American Mission Board, says what is happening at Fort Leonard Wood is not an exception. Right now there are reportedly 1,348 military chaplains in the Southern Baptist Convention at work.

“Our troops, who are increasingly hungry for truth and relevancy in their lives, are finding a faith that works through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ,” Carver said. “The current spiritual awakening at Fort Leonard Wood is indicative of a great move of God taking place within the Armed Services today.”

Consider the following, Carver reported:

— More than 2,000 troops gathered in Doughboy Stadium at Fort Benning, Ga. this past Easter to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

— Army chaplains are currently baptizing an average of 70 soldiers every basic combat training cycle at Fort Jackson, S.C.

— The U.S. Air Force Chaplaincy recently rolled out a new program called FaithWorks, which is a collection of evidence-based programs and materials promoting spiritual resilience for airmen and their families.

— The military has built more chapels since 9/11 than any other period of American history except for World War II.

In the past two years, Southern Baptist military chaplains have reported there have been tens of thousands of professions of faith and thousands of baptisms.

“Historically, God has often used the military as a catalyst for revival,” Carver said. “Many attribute the spread of Christianity in the first century to Roman soldiers deployed throughout the Roman Empire. The Lord is answering our prayers for revival within our military communities. I’ve prayed for over 40 years for our troops and their families to experience the reality of Jesus Christ in a new and fresh way.”

Chaplain Rondon has been intentional with his words and with how he treats his fellow soldiers. So when a staff sergeant first approached Rondon and asked to speak with him, the chaplain knew the sergeant wasn’t asking for words of wisdom but for listening ears.

“To be intentional is to be faithful to Christ and obedient to His Great Commission,” Rondon said. “But we will not succeed in making disciples until the lost make the first step to follow Christ as their Savior. To be intentional not only means to preach Christ’s Word in the chapel, but to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to share His message of reconciliation if, and when, the time fits.”

So, Rondon listened to the staff sergeant, and then he prayed with him to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior. Rondon did the same thing when another senior non-commissioned officer asked for the chance to talk to him about spiritual matters. This soldier-leader also asked Jesus Christ into his heart.

“My two soldiers and friends from our current battalion at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri came to Christ because their lives were in need of the Savior,” he said. “All of us at some point need to be a listening ear, to help others to start trusting and believing in anything again, especially when our wounds are so deep that we lose respect for many around us.

“They talked to me about their lives because they respected me and noticed I really cared for our soldiers like I always do during my pastoral rounds. I invited them both to a meal. God always opens great doors like this when we listen to people without interrupting. We show them how much we care by being there for them whenever they need it most.”

In both conversations, a chaplain and a sergeant spoke about their lives.

“Instead of asking them whether or not they knew they were going to heaven if they died today, I simply said, ‘I see that you need Christ in your life. He can not only help you to deal with the challenges of daily living, but He can also save you from an eternal death because of your sins,’” Rondon said. “They both agreed they needed Christ to come into their lives forever and to have His presence to deal with life from that moment on.” — Baptist Press

Photo from Chaplain Rondon’s Facebook page

Revival Blogs


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Revival Blogs

A comprehensive summary of revival blogs is now added at the bottom of each of these revival blogs updated to 2020. We plan to add more.

See also Revivals Index

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals


PDF BOOKS, including revival books, are on the Main Page

Q  Search – near the end of the Blog on phones for blogs



Revival Fires – updated
Revival Fires – PDF


God’s Surprises
God’s Surprises – PDF


Great Revival Stories – Blog
Great Revival Stories – PDF


Christianity is Growing Faster than Ever

Revivals Across the South of USA

Revival Fires in West Virginia

Current Revival in America’s Largest University

Blessings Bible
 Atheist Author Recognizes
Global Faith Revival 

Asia – 3,000 churches from one man’s obedience – 2020


Carl Lawrence & David Wang
The Spirit told us what to do
Two teenage girls plant 30 churches. Excerpt from The Coming Influence of China


Johan van Bruggen
Acts 3 acted out in faith in PNG


He woke up totally healed

“Before they call I will answer”  Helen Roseveare in Africa
Video: Mama Luka Comes Home – Helen Roseveare tells this story



Revival Impacted Bolivia

Russ Stendal



Christian Light is filling Columbia’s Spiritual Black Hole







Jesus invaded a Buddhist Monastery 
in the Himalayas


Peter Morgan
Pinnacle Pocket Revival, North Queensland

Why Culture won’t Change without Radical Revival


Principles of Revival from History

Students ignite Charismatic Movement

Transformation in Juarez, Mexico

A face
Revivals in the Middle East

Pentecost on Pentecost Island

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Revival Quotes

Chuck Smith Lonnie Frisbee
Jesus People Revival

Mel Tari
Mel Tari on the Timor Revival

Many Muslims are Turning to Christ

Weat Africa
The church on the camel’s path

China – New Wave of Revival

Hicks vision2
A Vision of the Pure & Powerful Bride
Tommy Hicks’ Revival Vision
Dawkins Robby
Gangsters in the Doorway
 From Do What Jesus Did.
Two testimonies by Robby Dawkins.
Also: Interrupted by God

Revival in Brazil
Transformation through Prayer
Evangelicals Grow from 7% to 45% in 7 years

Some biographical revival blogs

Revival Highlights

Revival Reports – God’s Surprises

Revival Highlights from Journey into Ministry & Mission – & PDF

Revival Highlights from Journey into Mission – & PDF


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Journey into Mission – Blog

Journey into Mission – PDF

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Journey into Ministry and Mission Blog

Revival Highlights from Journey into Mission

and from Journey into Ministry and Mission



OUTPOURINGS – I will pour out of my Spirit

Some Revival accounts to 2020 into the 21st century

Global Faith Revival – 2016

Why Culture won’t Change without Radical Revival – 2017

Christianity is Growing Faster than Ever – 2020

Twenty-first Century Revivals – 2020


UK – Alpha in Prison – 2014 

Europe – Seven Signs of Hope – 2014 

Europe – Two Unlikely People in Rome – 200 million – 2014

Europe – Slovakia: Revival among the Roma – 2020


North America – Jesus People Revival – 1960s

North America – Students ignite Charismatic Movement – 1967

North America – The Jesus Film – now in 1500 languages, 500 million responses – 1979

North America – Toronto, Canada – 1994

North America –  Pensacola, Florida, North America – 1995

North America – Mobile Revival – 1996

North America – Smithton Revival – 1996

North America – Baltimore Revival – 1997 

North America – Whatcom: day and night prayer – 2008

North America – Aurora: Gangsters in the Doorway – 2011

North America – Revival Fires in West Virginia – 2016

North America – Revival hits army base – 2018

North America – Revivals Across the South of USA – 2018

North America – Current Revival in America’s Largest University – 2018

Mexico – Transformation in Juarez, Mexico – 1970s

Mexico – The River of God – 1996


Central America – Missions at the Margins – 2008

South America – Snapshots of Glory – 1970s-1990s 

South America – Revival Impacted Bolivia – 1970s 

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

South America – Prison Revival in Argentina – 1990s 

South America – Argentina Revival – 1980s-1990s 

South America – Bogotá Revival – 1990s 

South America – Brazil: Transformation through Prayer – 1990s

South America – Cali Transformation – 1995 

South America – Amazon: Revival in the Amazon among “Skull Splitters” – 2012

South America – Christian Light is filling Columbia’s Spiritual Black Hole – 2015

South America – Brazil: Transformation through Prayer – 2016

South America – Argentina: The amazing transformation at Los Olmos prison – 2020


Israel – Reconciliation & Jews coming to faith – 2020

Israel – Supernatural Signs & Wonders break out among 1,000 Jews – 2015

Israel – Jews finding Jesus in Israel – 2000s

Midle East – Revival in the Middle East – 2000s

Middle East – Many Muslims are Turning to Christ – 2016

Arabia – Sheiks import Bibles – 2000s

Iran – fastest growing evangelical population – 2000s

Iran – where Christianity is growing fastest – 2000s

Egypt – Miracles in Garbage City, Cairo – 1980s 

Egypt – Thousands gather – 2000s


Africa – Congo: Before they call I will answer (Helen Roseveare) – 1950s
Video: Helen Roseveare tells this story

Africa – Reinhard Bonnke’s beginnings – 1970s

Africa – “This Disco is a church” (Reinhard Bonnke) – 1970s

Africa – Nairobi: Reinhard Bonnke’s Final Crusade in Africa – 2017

Africa – Ghana Miracles – 1995

Africa – West Africa: The church on the camel’s path – 2000s

Africa – Mozambique: The Primacy of Love (Heidi Baker) – 2000s

Africa – Mozambique: Revival with Iris Global – 2000s

Africa – Ghana: He woke up totally healed (Daniel Kolenda) – 2014


Asia’s Maturing Church (David Wang) – from 1970s

Asia – Radicals can’t stop the Jesus Film – 2000s

Nepal – Revival Meetings (Raju Sundas) – 2000s

Nepal – Jesus invaded a Buddhist Monastery in the Himalayas – 2015

India – One Touch from Jesus – 2000s

Bangladesh – Christianity exploding in Bangladesh – 2000s

Russia – Speaking God’s Word (David Yonggi Cho) – 1992

China – The Spirit told us what to do (Carl Lawrence) – 2001

China – Revival in China (Dennis Balcombe) – late 1900s

China – House Churches – late 1900s

China – New Wave of Revival – 2016

China – Chinese turning to Christianity – 2000s

China – Revival Breaks Out in China’s Government Approved Churches – 2000s

China – How Christians respond to the coronavirus outbreak – 2020

Indonesia – Mel Tari on the Timor Revival – 1965


Hawaii – Thouands of native Hawaiians touched by God – 1837-1841

South Pacific – Bougainville Revival – 1987 

South Pacific – Acts 3 acted out in faith in PNG – 1990

South Pacific – Vanuatu Revival Meetings – 2000s

South Pacific – 21st Century Revivals in the South Pacific – 2000s

Australia & South Pacific – Healing Evangelism – 2000s

Australia – Pinnacle Pocket Revival, North Queensland – 1930s

Australia – Pilgrimage in Renewal (John-Charles Vockler) – 1970s

Australia – Pentecost in Arnhem Land (Djiniyini Gondarra) – 1979

Australia – Fire of God among Aborigines (John Blacket) – 1980s

Australia – Young Christians sharing Good News on the streets in Brisbane – 2015


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

Revival Blogs Links:

Revivals Index

Revival Blogs

Blogs Index 1: Revivals

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Revival Blogs

God’s Surprises

Snapshots of God’s surprises during our short-term mission trips

Permissions: You can reproduce any Renewal Journal resource freely, including in print.

God’s Surprises – PDF

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Renewal JournalGod’s Surprises

FREE RENEWAL JOURNAL SUBSCRIPTION: for updates, new Blogs & free offers
FREE PDF books on the Main Page

“I’m reading your book ‘God’s Surprises’ and I can feel the power of God and a tremendous desire for a Revival in Italy, where I live.”  Francesco Trentinella.


1 Australia,  2 PNG,  3 Canada: Toronto,
4 USA: Pensacola,  5 Brazil, 6 Ghana,  7 Kenya,  8 China,  9 Nepal,  10 India,  11 Sri Lanka,  12 Myanmar/Burma, 13 Malaysia,  14 Thailand,  15 Philippines,  16 Indonesia,  17 Solomon Islands, 18 Vanuatu,  19 Fiji,  20 Germany,  21 Israel 

Highlights from the book



Kibera slum in Nairobi

“Can I take some bread home?” asked a tattooed young man at our communion service in the slums of Nairobi in Kenya, East Africa. God’s Spirit had prompted me to buy a few loaves of bread, bottles of drink and plastic glasses for the congregation.

We shared real drink and some loaves of bread together among 30 people in their corrugated iron shed where I was the guest preacher.

“It’s your bread,” I answered. “You decide.” He quickly shoved a handful of bread into his pocket. Then most of the others did the same. Two weeks later, Frank, the young pastor, emailed me: “I’ve visited the slum homes of those people and they are still eating that bread. It’s still fresh.” Apparently, God multiplied it.

Frank and his wife Linda then offered free bread and drink each Saturday for hungry, skinny slum people, usually catering for about 50 people. Sometimes many more turned up but they always had plenty. God kept multiplying it as needed.



A young pastor in Ghana in West Africa invited me to hold meetings there. So I arrived with three others from Brisbane during our college break in July, forgetting it was monsoon time in Ghana. We flew into a deluge of rain on the Monday. Our hosts planned night meetings in the market from Tuesday, with morning teaching in a local church.

“Can we hold the night rallies in the church?” I suggested.

“Oh, no,” they said. “Only church people go there. Meetings in the market attract the crowds.”

“What about the rain?” I asked.

“God sent you, so he’ll do something,” they responded, full of faith.

We drove for over an hour in pouring rain from Accra, the capital, to the town of Suhum in the hills for our first meeting on Tuesday night. The heavy rain had flooded the power station there so the whole town was in darkness. We prayed earnestly, asking God to take over.

Within 15 minutes the rain stopped, the town lit up with power, and we began. Those excited Africans sang and danced for over two hours, attracting hundreds to the services. All that week we had clear skies and large crowds. Church teams prayed for hundreds of people. Many were saved. Many were healed. One man testified, “I came to this meeting blind, but while you were singing I found I could see.”

Heavy monsoon rains began again the day after our meetings ended.


Pastors and leaders in West Nepal

A friend of mine worked with the United Nations in Nepal. He loved to help and support pastors and leaders there. We visited him many times and I spoke at pastors and leaders meetings in Kathmandu, in West Nepal and in East Nepal. Some of those pastors walked for two or three days across the high ranges just to attend.

Their churches are saturated in prayer. I prayed in their “Power House”, the upstairs prayer rooms of their church in Kathmandu. Those small upper rooms, open 24 hours a day, had many people going there to fast and pray, sometimes for many days. 

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

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


Grace Bible College students wave pages

Our team visited Grace Bible College in New Delhi founded by Dr Paul Pilai. Paul had stayed in our home in Brisbane when he visited Australia. He was converted after a young Christian girl prayed for his healing while he was very ill in hospital and he recovered miraculously.

He told us how his students and teams started new churches in villages and towns. They often faced angry opposition. One fanatical group burned their meeting tent and attacked them, hitting them with clubs, trying to kill them. They broke Paul’s arm and burned the tent. Suddenly some handsome Indian men surrounded Paul’s team and miraculously moved them away to a safe place nearby.  The team could see their burning tent in the distance. Those angels told Paul that God would send him back there. A few years later they were invited back and started a church there in a home.

Grace Bible College, the largest in India with around 600 students, trains people to evangelize and plant churches, especially among unreached peoples. Their graduates often face persecution and some have been martyrs. What a humbling privilege it was to pray with the staff there and speak to the crowded hall full of such committed students.

The Philippines

Philippines jeepney

I taught on revival at a seminary in Manilla in the sweltering heat of the Philippines. An assignment I gave my M.Th. students was to report on revival and miracles. One pastor, who was also a police inspector, reported that a church he visited sent groups of young people to sing and speak at hospitals and nursing homes.

One of those teams held monthly meetings in a mental hospital. The staff said that their patients may not understand much, but those patients did enjoy the singing. Over 40 came to the first meeting. The team offered to pray for anyone who would like prayer. They prayed personally for 26 people. The next month when the team returned, all those 26 had been discharged and sent home.


House church

I visited China with a student from college. His parents worked there. The woman pastor-evangelist of a house church invited us to her church in a high-rise unit. The young man who met us at the gate could speak English.

He feared that the security guard might ask awkward questions, but as we walked in around 7pm, the guard had his back to us, talking to someone else.  When we left after midnight, the guard was gone, probably sleeping.

Around 30 people sat on the floor and sang softly in worship. We spoke and then found that no one would leave until we had prayed for them personally. That took a while! They were happy to slip away one-by-one, just as they had come. Most were new Christians who believed because a Christian prayed for their healing. They believed in prayer and miracles just as in the Book of The Acts. Their simple, strong faith and humility moved and challenged me deeply.


Djiniyini Gondarra
Djiniyini Gondarra

We visited Elcho Island in the north where revival broke out and spread through Aboriginal communities all across northern Australia. We invited a team from Elcho Island for a Pentecost weekend in Brisbane. Two dozen came! They told us about the revival and prayed for people after each meeting that weekend, just sitting on the carpeted platform floor, aboriginal style.

That revival began after aborigines on Elcho Island prayed desperately for revival amid increasing crime, drink and drugs. The night their pastor, Djiniyini Gondarra (photo), returned from a holiday they met for Bible Study and prayer in his home. God’s Spirit fell on them as they united for the closing prayer. That prayer and ministry went all night. People were filled with the Spirit, discovered many spiritual gifts, and saw healings and reconciliations. Everywhere their teams went they saw God moving on the people in local revivals.

South Pacific Islands

Bible School Chapel on Pentecost Island


Many revival movements have swept the South Pacific islands. I saw some. God’s Spirit fell on the Law School of the University of the South Pacific just after Easter 2002. The Law School is in Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu. Many law students were saved and transformed at their open-air rally.

Those committed students went on missions to other South Pacific nations and to Australia. Now they are lawyers and leaders. A president of their Christian Fellowship became a Member of Parliament in Fiji.

Some of those teams came with me to Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. God has been moving there in unusual ways for a hundred years. Vanuatu people first evangelized the island, one becoming a martyr. A wife of the highest-ranking chief returned to life after she died and told them that she had seen God and they should leave their heathen ways and become Christians. Many revival teams have served God there in local revivals. Large numbers repent, are filled with the Spirit, and receive many spiritual gifts including revelations, words of knowledge about hidden magic or sins, and deliverance and healings.

See Pentecost on Pentecost Island Blog


Solomon Islands

God poured out his Spirit on children and youth in the Western Solomon Islands from Easter 2003. They loved to sing and pray daily in the church after school. God gave them visions, revelations, words of knowledge about hidden sins and bad relationships and they received many other spiritual gifts such as healings and speaking and singing what God revealed.

God revealed to a young boy the name of a man who stole a chain saw from the timber mill. A church member had been wrongly accused of that crime and sacked. He was reinstated after the man who stole it was confronted and confessed.

A mother asked me what it meant when her young boy had a vision of Jesus with one foot in heaven and one foot on the earth. I immediately remembered Matthew 28:18 – All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

We saw God touch around 1,000 youths at a National Christian Youth Convention in 2006. One night at the convention they responded, about 8000 running to the front of the open-air meeting. For half-an-hour their worship team sang “He is Lord” while we prayed for them. They fell like dominoes. Many testified to healings, visions and revelations. One young man, who was healed lying on the ground, returned to his village that night and found his mother ill, so laid hands on her and prayed for her. She was healed. His brother then asked for prayer and he too was healed. The young man had never done that before. A whole group from the Kariki Islands, further west, saw revival begin in their islands on their return. God moved powerfully in every meeting they held and in their personal prayers.

Blogs and videos about this book

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


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

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Journey into Mission – Blog

Journey into Mission – PDF


I have read many similar stories, but this one exceeds them all. … Geoff has done well to not only be in so many places and seeing God at work but also writing a book about it all.  ~ Barbara Vickridge

See Revival Highlights from Journey into Mission

Details of mission adventures in 20 countries, given in historical order.

It includes early days as a single and then married teacher in Papua New Guinea and teaching in Australia and other countries.

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Journey into Ministry & Mission – Blog

Journey into Ministry and Mission  PDF


Condensed autobiography.

See Revival Highlights from Journey into Mission

My book Journey into Mission PDF link – gives more details.

I discovered that we Westerners are often too busy to pray, too worldly to listen to God, too proud to repent, and too unbelieving to see revival. We Christians – called by the name of Christ – need to take God’s promise seriously:

If my people who are called by 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. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

You can do that right now – at your computer or with your phone. You could take time right now to pray and seek God, to pray and obey.

See also:

Flashpoints of Revival – history’s mighty revivals – Blog 
Flashpoints of Revival – PDF
Updated with Twenty-first Century Revivals

Great Revival Stories – Blog
Great Revival Stories – PDF
Revival accounts from world leaders

New Christian’s Guide – Blog
New Christian’s Guide – PDF

Living in the Spirit – Blog

Living in the Spirit – PDF

Your Spiritual Gifts – Blog
Your Spiritual Gifts – PDF










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