This past weekend was filled with ministry opportunities and God's power! We began an evangelistic crusade in Narsampet, a city where there are only a few churches and the work is in its infancy.
Narsampet is a hotbed of Communism (go figure) and when word got out that an outdoor Christian meeting was to take place, the city quickly cancelled the plans to use an arena inside the city limits. No worries: the "grain market" just outside the city limits was free and a makeshift stage and arena were established. The metting went forward!
The Saturday meeting got started with praise and worship Indian style, and then I was able to preach the Word of God to the close to 1,200 participants. An invitation to receive Christ was given and well over 100 came forward to receive Christ! After Pastor Daniel prayed and led them to trust in Jesus, we began to pray for the sick and needy, and saw God do many great miracles: the crippled walked, the deaf had their hearing restored, pains were removed, fevers gone!
Sunday morning found us at Pastor Daniel's church, where I was prepared to preach and encourage the congregation. When I arrived though, Pastor Daniel told me that there were four "high classed" Hindu men here who wanted prayer for their brother/cousin who was in the hospital, dying with cancer. He told me to meet with them and pray with them. I knew the timing was right, and with the help of an interpreter, I shared the Gospel with them and all four committed their lives to Christ! They came requesting prayer and left with new life!
Pastor Daniel and I did go to the hospital on Monday (today) and laid hands on the dying man and prayed for his healing and salvation. We are believing that he will rise up and be restored.
I did enter the Sunday morning worship service (a little late - but very encouraged about my recent encounter with the Hindu men) and proceeded to share a message that God had given me on the flight over here that was especially for Pastor Daniel's church. We spoke the Word, prayed for needs and concluded a very long, but rewarding morning (at 2:30 that afternoon!).
Sunday night we traveled again by car to the crusade in Narsampet. Many of the people who attended the first night came back and brought friends with them to hear about Jesus. There were over 1,500 in attendance, and I preached a very simple but clear message about faith in Jesus. Pastor Daniel brought the service to a climax and at the altar call, more than 300 responded to receive Christ. Remember: these are Hindu people with a heavy Communist influence. The Lord is great! Again we prayed for the hundreds who came for healing and to have their needs met, seeing before our eyes many miracles!
The rest of today will be spent with Pastor Daniel, encouraging him and dealing with some of the "business" and logistical side of ministry. I hope I can be an encouragement in this area also. Tuesday I spend a few hours with one of the musicians on Daniel's team, encouraging him (while he takes me to do a little shopping). Then Tuesday evening we travel to Hyderabad to catch a very early morning flight back home. I plan to arrive at BWI about 9:00 pm on Wednesday night.
The Lord has been good to me on this trip. I have had the privilege to meet with and minister the sick and dying, and the rich and powerful. I have spoken to crowds of pastors and believers, and to Hindu groups and crowds. My message and purpose have remained the same for everyone: to testify of the Gospel of the grace of God!