Friday, March 28, 2008

The Return To India... Again!

After having been in India already this month (see previous posts at this site), I will be returning in May for a series of crusades to be held in the northern state of Kashmir. My pastor has graciously allowed me the time off to go on this second India missions trip where I will be teaming with Indian Pastor Daniel, with whom we just recently ministered with in Kazipet.

I can truly say that my most recent trip was incredibly fruitful, but I am anticipating with great excitement the trip in May. We will be conducting three and four day crusades in pioneer areas where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not heard very much. I am in the process now of raising funds for the trip to cover my travel expenses.

God is beginning to do a great thing in India. I said this last year when I returned from my mission trip to the state of Tamil Nadu: I believe that India will be the next place on earth to experience a great move of God. I am still convinced of this. The one billion people who make up the nation of India are in need of the Savior, the One true God.

Find out what the Lord is doing and get in on it! I can't think of a better way to live.

(If you haven't heard my instrumental CD "I'm At Rest", click on the right side of this Blog on the link.)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

India '08: Epilogue

Well, it looks like I will not be extending my trip to India. There weren't any seats available for the next three days after the proposed extension of my trip to minister at another crusade. I am disappointed, but I know that it wasn't of the Lord.

Pastor Daniel has invited me to return in May to join him in preaching and praying for people at a big crusade in Kashmir (northern India). I would love to come! I am seeking the Lord now to provide funds so I will be able to travel here in May. Pray with me about this, that the Lord will provide.

Until my next post...

India '08: Day Six

Last evening was the conclusion of the crusade. We once again saw hundreds of people respond to the Gospel message preached by myself and then Pastor Charles. We were both impressed by the number of men (about half of the total) who responded to the invitation to give their lives to Christ.

Of course we continued the service with a time of laying on of hands and praying for the sick. There were again many, many healings and restorations that we were witness to. Allow me to share one of them with you. A woman hobbled (literally) on to the stage with her stick. She was bent-over and limping, with her right foot turned under, and her right arm and hand withered. I laid hands on her and prayed for her and as I did her arm began to straighten out as I held it. Her foot turned itself right, and she stood upright. Pastor Daniel had her walk around the stage and she did, glorifying God as she went (see pic) while I held her stick!

Please remember that this was only one of the hundreds and hundreds of miracles that we experienced and saw with our own eyes! The Lord is a miraculous God who meets people's needs and follows his Word with signs and wonders!

This morning we had the regular Sunday Worship service that was not regular at all. As is Pastor Daniel's style, he told me that I was preaching for before Pastor Charles and then immediately had me introduced and I was handed the microphone, so off I went. Pastor Charles followed by speaking on the subject giving, and then once again we had a powerful altar call, as people gave their lives to Christ, experienced healings and committed themselves to God's principles of giving. One thing that impressed both Pastor Charles and I was the passion with which the children worshipped with. They prayed, danced and sang with great joy.

We had some blessings for various church officials (deacons, elders, team members, and former graduates who returned for the meetings), said goodbye to the people and then spent time with Pastor Daniel and the crusade team over lunch (at 2:00 pm). Tomorrow we go to the airport and head home... but Pastor Daniel has asked me to stay over for a few days and help him preach and pray for the sick at another crusade that is starting on Monday. So, if I can work out my flight changes, I will return to the USA on Saturday night. Watch for a post on this Blog to let you know my plans.

Thanks for praying for us during this trip. It has been an incredible experience for the Kingdom!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

India '08: Day Five

Last evening was HUGE! Pastor Charles and I both preached to the crowd of over 3,000, each sharing a Gospel message of hope and restoration. At the time of altar call, more than 300 came to give their lives to Jesus for the first time! (See pic above.)

A time of praying for the sick followed and by the time we left the venue, it was just shy of 11:00 pm. One crippled man testified of four of his friends carrying him to the meeting so he could be prayed for (a true Biblical experience). He was prayed for, and he stood up and walked!

Another woman was blind and she received her sight! There were many more physical healing miracles that are too many to mention in this posting. The Lord is a mighty God!

This morning I brought a message about Elisha and his servant who was able to see that "those who are with us are greater than those who are with them". Pastor Daniel followed with a complementing message about Elisha receiving a double-portion of Elijah's spirit.

We invited people to come forward to receive a double-portion of the Spirit, and hundreds responded. I wanted to post a pic of the crowd of people who gathered at the altar area, but instead chose the next two pictures which I'll explain in a moment.

We did NOT lay hands on anyone, nor did we personally pray for anyone. We simply asked the Holy Spirit to come doubly on the assembled people. As we finished, people began to come on the stage and testify of healings that took place as we prayed. Remember, we didn't pray for any healings, but the Lord in His love chose to heal, and over 100 different healings were testified to and recorded! The Lord is a great God!

Well, as to the pictures shown here... This young lady came up later and asked for prayer for pain she had in her legs, having experienced the pain for over a year. She had walked many miles to attend the crusade. It was obvious that she had difficulty walking. She was prayed for, and then started to walk off the stage. She stopped, turned around and with a smile on her face came to tell Pastor Daniel that her legs were healed! The pain was gone!

It was an extremely powerful evening and morning of salivations, healings and victories. We believe this evening (I'm hearing the worship beginning in the distance) will be even greater! I can't wait to tell you about it!

Friday, March 07, 2008

India '08: Day Four

The open air crusade began yesterday evening with two suprises: The second one came when Pastor Charles was closing down his preaching with an excellent illustration that was driving home his final point. The power at the venue went out! Everything from the lights to the sound system was gone, leaving the 1,000-plus attendees in the dark and in silence. We knew it was a spiritual attack. Spontaneous praise songs rose up from the crowd and for the next fifteen minutes we waited and prayed.

The power came back on, and Pastor Charles picked up where he left off. His message ended and we had a powerful altar call. Before I describe it I must tell you about the first surprise.
Less than one hour before the evening service was to start, our host Pastor Daniel, told me that I was sharing the preaching time with Pastor Charles. Well, I heard that he does this sometimes so I was ready, and with the Lord's help I brought an evangelistic message to the crowd, telling them about the man who was sick for 38 years. Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healed. I ended by asking the crowd the same thing and then turned the message over to Pastor Charles who picked up and complemented what I had said with an excellent word.

The altar call saw many come froward to receive Christ, and then we had a time of praying for the sick. Pastor Daniel asked me to assist him in praying for the sick and needy. We prayed for over 100 people with various needs and every 25 or so, Pastor Daniel would have a few testify to what the Lord had done in their lives. One lady (pictured at the top) said that she was healed of pain that had in her back for over a year while I was preaching. She didn't come up for prayer during the altar call. She didn't need it anymore! The Lord is a great God!
This morning we were blessed to have two of the local pastors teach, followed by Pastor Charles encouraging us to make walking with God our highest priority. The teaching was strong and went right into our spirits.

After last evening's service Pastor Daniel asked me to preach at the next afternoon's healing service (more notice this time) and then wanted me to pray for the people with him assisting. So today, I preached about the 10 lepers whom Jesus healed, telling how faith demonstrates itself in obedience, thanksgiving and praise. Then we began to pray for the sick.

Two ladies had traveled over 400 kilometers to attend the crusade and both had physical problems. One said she had a tumor on her uterus. We prayed and she testified that she "felt something hot come off of her insides" (pic on right). We believe she was healed. Another woman who wore thick glassed complained of cataracts. I laid my hands on her eyes and prayed for the Lord to open them up so she could see clearly. She came back to the stage five minutes later and said that she could begin to see clearly in the center of her eyes. During the next few minutes her vision became clearer and clearer! Thank you Lord. These are just a few of the many miracles that the Lord performed among the people as they sought Him.

Tonight we have another crusade meeting where Pastor Charles will preach and I will pray for the sick. I know it will be a great meeting. Check tomorrow's Blog for details!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

India '08: Day Three

I am posting in the middle of the day this time because we begin the open-air crusade this evening and we will finish late and I won't have the opportunity to post later. This morning was the graduation of the 9th class of the Immanuel's Gospel Training Center here in Kazipet.

The three hour ceremony (long commencement exercises are not exclusive to the U.S.A.) was filled with music, worship, charges, blessings and prayer. Pastor Charles brought the commencement address, reminding the 36 graduates that they were the beautiful bride of Christ, but also the warrior bride. They walk in beauty and yet battle the enemy. It was a powerful exhortation not only to the graduates, but to the entire crowd of over 500 who assembled.

I was called upon to speak a blessing over the graduates and I asked them to put their hands out in the "receiving position". I told them that their hands would be the extension of Jesus' hands and they would lay hands on people, pray for people, help people, feed people, encourage people and hold the Word of God with their hands, declaring the Gospel to the dark places in the nation of India.
We prayed over the graduates in groups (see pic), anointing them with oil to "seal" their lives in Him. Then the graduates honored the dean, instructors and leaders of the Bible School, and even honored Pastor Charles and myself with gifts and flowers. It was a moving morning!

We are all looking forward to the crusade beginning this evening, as we know many will receive Christ into their lives and many miracles will be performed. I will report tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

India '08: Day Two

With a full day of ministry behind us, Pastor Charles has just retired to his room and I am left to post on my Blog. It is 9:40 pm here in India. We just ended a great service of worship, teaching and ministry.

Pastor Charles concluded the study of the book of Ephesians this morning. I had the opportunity to speak on leaving a legacy to the students and pastors in the afternoon. I closed my sharing by quoting the words from my song "Legacy": My hands,my feet, an offering/Your will I chose to do/When time has passed the world will see/my legacy is You. I pray that the students and pastors will pour themselves out into others who will in turn pour themselves out into even more people.
This evening Pastor Charles began taught on Jesus, Our Tremendous Lover, giving an overview of the Song of Solomon. He passionately proclaimed that we are to delight in the love of Jesus, but also reminded us that Jesus delights in us! What a great truth.

At the conclusion of the teaching, Pastor Charles and I moved among the students and pastors and anointed them with oil, praying that they would be filled with the Holy Spirit and impassioned by the love of Jesus. It was a powerful time of prayer and crying out to the Lord, where the presence of God was strong. Afterwards, many came and publicly testified of what the Lord had done in their lives as we prayed for them, and even the presence of God they experienced as Pastor Charles had taught earlier. It was an powerful evening!

Tomorrow we have the graduation exercise in the morning and then begin the open-air crusade in the evening. Pastor Charles is doing well, preaching and teaching with boldness and authority, and his voice is holding up well. I am doing all I can to support him and Pastor Daniel during this excellent conference.
More tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

India At Last!

After 25 hours and 11 time zones we finally arrived in Hyderabad very early on Tuesday morning (we're talking 2:00 am). We came in on different flights so Pastor Charles arrived two hours before me (he was able to wait at the hotel and rest). I finally arrived and got a couple of hours of rest also. We had a quick breakfast then we were driven to Kazipet (a three hour trip - actually a 4 1/2 trip for normal drivers - don't ask).

Pastor Charles didn't get much of a rest as he had a session to teach in the early afternoon. He spoke on the book of Ephesians to the 200-plus Bible students and pastors who had assembled for the conference. We broke for lunch and then afterwords I had the privilege of speaking to the same group on the importance of obeying the call of God on our lives. Having a chance to impart the truth of God's word into those who are changing the face of India is quite an honor.

At our evening meeting, Pastor Charles again taught from the book of Ephesians. The flavor is very different from my trip last year. Then I went from village to village, church to church, house to house preaching the Gospel and praying for people. Although we will have the opportunity to preach toe Gospel and pray for people during the crusade this weekend, our focus is training and encouraging the gathered pastors and soon-to-be Bible School graduates in the things of the Lord. Here we are not fishing, but rather training fishermen!

Tomorrow, there will be more teaching by Pastor Charles and I will be sharing on leaving a legacy of ourselves. I have already had a few fast rides on the back of a motorcycle through the busy streets of Kazipet. (Phil, the Biker Preacher is back!)

I love it!

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