Some diary notes: God is doing amazing things in the earth today through his people. Christians, filled with faith, are making remarkable contributions to the advancement of the kingdom of God. In recent days, The Lord proved those two facts to me again.
In late Summer I traveled to Almaty, Kazakhstan with a fellow Arabic speaking minister, whom I have known for decades, to teach in a Pentecostal Bible school and to minister in Russian and Kazakh speaking services. Once there I found myself recalling the hundreds of ministers I met through the decades who never owned a car, but on foot or on bicycle made their way over mountain passes and through valleys in order to preach to hundreds or handfuls of God’s choicen servants that were scattered within villages that dotted the hillsides. Similar to banishment to the Siberian plains long ago, this Central Asian region was used initially by early Russian government officials as a place to imprison political dissidents. It was too far away from the major cities for escapees to return easily.
I was hosted by two individuals. The one was the national leader of his Pentecostal denomination; the other, a brother who has started more than 130 independent Kazakh speaking churches. These fellowships, particularly the ones connected to the latter host, encompass the territories of China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and other provinces of Central Asia. I attended the Central Asian World Prayer Conference at the largest Pentecostal fellowship in the city. Leaders from Russia, Ukraine and all the countries of Central Asia appeared and provided regional reports of God’s divine operations in their regions. More than 600 Apostles/Pastor/leaders encouraged the saints and led the attendees in intercession for various districts.
The Full Gospel message is not strongly established in all the Pentecostal denominations of this region. Even still, God did pour out his Spirit mightily during our visit. I had been asked to spend 5 hours a day training students on ‘how to plant home-churches in Muslim provinces’. Several of them were Muslim-background believers. The truths I shared with them were formed during the many years I was in church-planting ministry among Muslims on the Arabian continent and in the Black Sea region. The student’s eyes were opened to the likelihood of manifestations of God’s power as they labored, and to the probability of persecution for bearing the name of Jesus in a Communistic/Islamic environment.
The church services were filled with exuberant worshippers. Men and women were hungry for the milk and meat of God’s word. In the Russian speaking service, the redemptive work of Christ was clearly described by me. Many tears were shed. Several were saved. Scores came forward to be baptized with the Holy Ghost. God answered the cry of their heart, with many being filled and speaking in other tongues as smiles appeared on their faces. While I was in a hallway speaking with some saints afterward, I heard the Pastor mention my name. He was telling congregants that I would lay hands on a few of them and pray for their healing. About 20 got in line. Ministering with my interpreter, I laid hands on the first one, she screamed ‘I’m healed’: 100 more jumped out of their seats and got in the prayer line. Every kind of infirmity and disease came through the line. One by one God destroyed yokes of sickness. That meeting ran over into the afternoon Kazakh church service where I was scheduled already to preach a Holy Spirit rally/miracle service.
Suffice it to say by day’s end I was exhausted. All in all, it was a great joy to be with them in worship. At other times, too, there were periods of refreshment and encouragement for me. One of them was when one Kazakh student told me of the dream that brought her to the saving knowledge of Jesus. She said that she had been born into a Muslim home. While her mother was slowly dying a number of years ago, she, the daughter, had a dream that she was in the midst of a body of water. On her left side was a boat in which Muhammad stood beckoning her to come. On the other side of her was a ship with the words ‘Christianity’ inscribed on it. On it, Jesus stood therein motioning for her to come aboard. She said that she swam to Jesus and never looked back. Since that day Jesus has been her Lord. She immediately shared the dream with her Russian speaking boyfriend. He converted immediately, and now they are on track to preach to Muslims in rural Kazakstan. Much more can be said, but the King of Kings yet reigns. Pray for World Ministry Fellowship members as they labor around the world.
MISCELLANEOUS MISSIONS NOTES
Convocation 2019 was a great blessing. All the feedback was encouraging. The Missions’ Panel carefully informed the saints about what the Lord is doing around the globe. During the night-time session Terry Maris yielded to the Holy Spirit, and he, and afterwards, Brother Tracy Harris ministered to many persons as the Holy Spirit swept over the room on an evening that will not be soon forgotten by any attendees.
People to remember in prayer: Brad Spurlock just ministered in London where the Lord moved mightily in services. He presently is in meetings in the Middle East and Africa where he will conduct some salvation/healing crusades in those countries and in other locations.
Robert Mawire will travel to Estonia soon to minister the word of the Lord to hungry saints there. Moreover pray that God’s might would reveal itself again for these brethren as they proclaim the Christ’s Gospel and take it to the nations!
NOTES FROM OUR HAYS, KANSAS EVANGELISTIC MEETING
Several supporters of our ministry had prayed for a move of God in their rural college town. On account of our radio broadcast, The Heartland Revival Hour, which airs in eight states, they invited me to come and spend a night and a day proclaiming the word. So about two months ago my wife and I visited there in order to meet and to pray with them about the ‘Fire in the Heartland’ campaign. It was an old-fashioned Salvation/Healing meeting.
The Jesus Movement swept through the district over 50 years ago. Women’s Aglow and the Full Gospel Businessmen once had chapters in the area. Things had died down quite a bit since, with many moving away or having died. Reapers for another spiritual harvest were needed. Folks were hungry for the Lord to return again in power in a special meeting. Advertisement of the gathering was made. Hundreds confirmed their attendance in advance. However, one large fellowship fought the meeting, sending out notices that stated the days of the supernatural were long past. Nonetheless, ‘no weapon formed against us could prosper’, and hundreds of people came from all directions, indeed as far away as Colorado, to a large newly erected steel building on highway I-70.
Praise and worship was led by a young lady from a church named Bethel, in Redding California. The Spirit of the Lord quietly descended upon us all. When I preached on David and Goliath, and tied it all to Jesus’ accomplishment on Calvary’s hill, I could see the conviction of the Holy Ghost upon many souls. And upon issuing the call for salvation and healing, hands went up everywhere and the place erupted with God’s presence.
Sinful people found salvation from their sins; drug addicts received deliverance; afflicted persons all over the building met the Great Physician; young people were set on fire as the Spirit of prophecy challenged them to obey God. One young man from the Democratic Republic of Congo was glad to be in an assembly that reminded him of services in his own country. Late into the night hands were yet being laid on people as they wept and stood there testifying about how the Jesus touched them that night.
To be brief, the Saturday morning Holy Spirit Rally saw 0ver 200 people there to learn about Spirit-filled operations and ministry. I dealt with the basic principles I learned from the book of The Acts of the Apostles, which I use when conducting evangelistic crusades here in America and abroad, anticipating signs and wonders. Thank the Lord for impartation through revealed truth. Multitudes were filled with the Spirit, speaking with other tongues. Much more could be said of all that God did. But there was one older couple told me with tears in their eyes that a meeting like that one had not been held in the area since the mid-70s. It is believed that this meeting is the beginning of something wonderful for those persons who live in that area. To God be all the glory!
Pray for WMF worldwide missions, and for rural/urban evangelistic outreaches in America!
Ruth 2:16 So she gleaned in the field…
The lack of food or jobs has spurred vigorous activity in the past, and in the present, on the part of individuals to depart from their homeland. There are many ways to perish, but dying because of a food shortage definitely is not an enjoyable one. That sort of crisis has led to many new beginnings. Take, for instance, the story of Ruth. It is a narrative that one must read in order to understand King David’s origins. Elimelech, Naomi and their sons had become expatriates in the foreign land of Moab. Elimelech made an earnest attempt to secure each of their futures. And although other destinations were more suitable, and Moab often is not favorably noticed in scripture, the family sought to leave behind Bethlehem’s severe deprivations. Yet death’s shadow did cast itself upon them on foreign soil: without warning, the men in the family died. The women were left to carry on. And carry on they did. Naomi and Ruth survived their grief and made it home to Bethlehem in time to enjoy the harvest God had granted.
But the journey home was fraught with memorable pains that later were pushed aside by an exceeding joy. In time, Ruth landed a job working in Naomi’s kinsman’s field. A good man, Boaz showed Ruth much grace. A marriage resulted, conception came, and the lineage of David was further established. Whatever David might have thought of his heritage we can only rejoice that Ruth chose to conform her life to the holy precepts of Israel’s God. The beautiful redeeming qualities of that account really foreshadowed the dazzling picture of redemption that later would be revealed in the advent of Jesus into this world to rescue his own brethren (and gentiles) from the harsh conditions of sin. Christ made room for us in his field of grace and blessings. So Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection continues to be told daily.
The message is the same, but the proclaimers of it and its hearers are different now. The Gospel trails millions of persons as they traverse the earth seeking safe havens, albeit Christ is mankind’s only secure refuge. Masses of people round the world live as expatriates in foreign lands, working there and sending money back home. Like Ruth, one should be industrious. God has little use for languid folk. I think of the numerous Pakistanis, Philippinos and Bangaladeshis, and others, that I once knew in Saudi Arabia who labored under all kinds of duress just to make a living. Weekly, they endured their crosses, while despising the shame of it all, knowing that happy days were ahead. And when Friday arrived, they boldly expressed their joy to God with dancing in all the house churches of Jeddah and Riyadh.
Those cottage meetings formed the nucleus of relations among their new Christian kin. Some of the abused workers never made it home for funerals of their blood-kin. A few of them buried their loved ones in a Muslim land with no chance of a Christian burial. The one thing, however, that I realized was that the whole labor-force population was a “Missions Field” that needed to be harvested. There were many lost ones among them. WMF lift your eyes, the fields remain ready to be reaped. We face a similar predicament today. Nationalities by the score are submerged in the USA’s melting pot. Each one needs to be evangelized, here, there, and beyond in other locales. Presently, there are thousands of Koreans in Kazakhstan, one by one surrendering their lives to the Lord; millions of Chinese are in Malaysia waiting to hear the Gospel.
A friend of mine, who is preaching in the Far East, recently told me in an email of a poor Christian man who was invited to come and work in tin mining in Penang. He was such a good laborer the Malaysian authorities asked him to go home and bring back more persons like him. He gathered as many Christians as he could. In time, they sent for and brought their wives and children there. Now the third generation of many of their descendants occupies top positions there in law, medicine and government.
If you work alongside or within an immigrant community, there is a lesson to learn here. God follows definite principles: ‘those who honor me will I honor’ (I Sam. 2:30), regardless of their ethnicity.