(05/16/11—Ethiopia: Friends, the internet connection was so slow and time consuming to go to the area we had wireless, we decided to wait until we until the campaign was over to send out the updates. I will send out several updates over the next several days)
Tonight the campaign began in earnest. Several thousand people gathered in an open field from 4:30 PM. We arrived at 6:30 PM and the crowd parted for our caravan of cars like the Red Sea. It is such a thrilling feeling to see that many people gathered to hear the gospel.
Dear Friends, at the end of the campaign, we still owed vendors in Nigeria $1,100. Here is your opportunity to get in ‘post outpouring’ on what the campaign chairman called “The greatest event in the history of Hong!”
This is not a huge need and I believe that we will meet it quickly, however, it could be a huge blessing in your life.
If you would like to help towards this need, just click here.
In many ways it is sobering as you wonder if you can deliver. The advertisements say, “healing and miracles.” But I remind myself that “this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Cor. 4:7) All the pressure is on Him! And He wouldn’t have it any other as He longs to ease the suffering of those who cry out to Him.
As we drove through the crowd to the stage, I felt better than I have ever felt before I have preached in Nigeria. Normally I am in a great spiritual battle, but tonight I had such a sense of peace and knowledge of God’s deep desire to mend these people’s lives. That was until I walked up on stage.
You can see the termites attracted to this light.
Suddenly I could see a swarm of termites flying through the air. The night before it had rained heavily for several hours. That attracted these termites and they were out in force. I honestly felt like a plague was being poured out upon us. I was thinking, “And I felt so good about tonight…” They would get on your clothes and crawl up to your neck or fly into your hair. I thought to myself, “There is no way I can preach through this.” I considered, maybe they should cancel the meeting, but before I could even fully digest that thought, a resounding NO came from my spirit. “We are going to preach the gospel tonight with or without the bugs.”
I had earlier been talking to the team about Paul, who embraced death—the hardships that he endured to get the gospel to those who had not heard it—so that life could be revealed in his hearers. I reasoned that if we could endure this, God would do something special—grace would be released.
For the next hour or so I battled the termites and other flying creatures as I was waiting to preach, still wondering how I would get through forty minutes of preaching, an altar call and then, pray for the sick. The whole team was laughing, even as we suffered, because it was so surreal. Never in Israel or the US have I seen something like this.
Eli, the son of the well-known guitarist, writer and worship leader, Marc Chopinsky, formerly of Israel’s Hope, led the large crowd in teaching and then singing a worship song in Hebrew. And then his wife Vanessa, who is an excellent public speaker, shared her testimony.
Vanessa shares with the Nigerian crowd.
Finally I got up to preach. The Lord had given me a message that I have never preached before this afternoon. The grace of God was no without affect. Thanks to the fact that my message was being interpreted into the tribal language, I would have a few seconds in between sentences to beat the bugs off of me. They were crawling on my clothes and inside of them even as I preached! I don’t know how I got through the message, but somehow I did and was able to preach with authority. Some of the team members were beating the bugs off my back as I preached!
Termites on the back of one of the team members.
When we gave the altar call I could not see any hands not raised. Towards the front there were so many children. I thought of the fact that 80% of believers come to faith before they are 18. Who among them would take the call of God serious and shake this region or even the nation? In all we gathered 3,254 decision cards!
After praying for them and giving counselors time to get their information, we prayed for the sick. I had warned the team not to have expectations too high for the first night as these campaigns build each night. However to my great delight we had about four times the amount of people testify to being healed tonight than on the first night in Gombi last year.
A young man who had suffered from chronic back pain for 10 years said he was completely healed. Even during the meeting he said that he could not sit comfortably. Now the pain was gone.A woman who was born with a condition where her eyes teared up and were itchy all the time said that as soon as we prayed she was healed. She had suffered with it for over 50 years and now it was gone.
A man testifies to healing
An older man said that he could barely stand before the prayer. I asked him if he was healed and he said, “I am standing!” The crowd roared.
Another woman said for seven years she has had tremendous pain in her chest and that it left during the prayer. She began to jump up and down, saying that she could not do that without pain before.
A man said he woke up this morning with a horrible pain in his stomach. He never went away all day. As soon as we prayed it left. He was bubbling over with joy.
We will send you another report tomorrow. Please keep praying for this campaign. Thank you!!!
From Zion, to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8),