First of all, I want to thank you so very much for praying for our Crusade last month in the capital city of Madagascar—Antananarivo! Jesus truly did awesome things at this event. In 3 days, we had 60,000 people attend! And 10,000 of those same people received decision cards, indicating that they had repented of their sins and made either first-time or first-time-in-a-long-time decisions for Christ! Hallelujah for Harvest! In addition, 2,500 Pastors and Christian Leaders were trained at our Christian Leadership Conference, strengthening the local church for growth and discipleship of the new converts. And each night, people flooded the stage to give amazing testimonies about how the Holy Spirit had healed their bodies in some miraculous way! God truly did answer your prayers in a powerful way.
While the numbers at a Crusade like this are astounding, what truly captures my attention are the individuals I meet who work their way into my hearts. And so I would like to spend the rest of this newsletter telling you about the best new friend I made and the best old friend I got reacquainted with. Let’s start with that best old friend!
This is the 4th year in a row our Ministry has done a Crusade in Madagascar. Our first Crusade was in 2013, and while there I met a dear Pastor who became a good friend during my time there. His name is Indrema. He spent a lot of time with our team, as he was good friends with our local Crusade Director. The morning after the last night of the Crusade, we did something together that holds such a great, lasting memory for me. We invited the new believers from the Crusade to come to the shore of the Indian Ocean the next morning, and we would baptize them in the ocean! We spent the better half of the morning baptizing the long line of new believers who had come out. Of course, I needed a friend to help me with the baptisms. Who was that friend? None other than Pastor Indrema! We had such a great time together that day! I hadn’t been back to Madagascar since then, and this time we were in a different city. But what a joy it was for me to see Indrema again, sitting in the front row of the Crusade in the capital city! I was thrilled--we both were! We embraced like old friends, because that is what we are, and we reminisced about that glorious day of baptizing years ago. I love coming back to the same country and seeing old friends still serving the Lord with zeal and fervor!
But I also love making new friends! On this Crusade, the best new friend I made was a young lady named Anita. After the first night of the Crusade, after the healing testimonies, I was walking off the stage, and Anita and her mom met me at the bottom of the stairs. They asked if I would have some special prayer for Anita, as she was mute, and a bit crippled. Of course, I was thrilled to pray for her, and as she didn’t get healed right away, I encouraged Anita and her mom to come every night for the rest of the Crusade, and to read the Word of God, and keep putting her faith in Jesus to heal her. On the last night of the Crusade, as I was once again leaving the stage, there was Anita and her mom! Her face was beaming! She handed me a note that she wanted me to have. In that note, she explained that she was a student. She is the same age as my youngest son, 19. And she likes sports! In short, she is a wonderful, articulate young woman, who loves Jesus with all her heart! Anita was not yet healed when I left, but in her note, she asked me to keep praying for her, and I am. How thankful I am for the opportunity to both show her, and receive from her, the love of Jesus. I’ll never forget her contagious smile that lit up the sky in Madagascar—an outward sign of the light of Jesus burning inside of her!
Friends when our Crusades end, I always have bittersweet feelings. I am happy to be going home to my family and friends, but I also hate leaving my old and new friends in the Crusade city. That’s why I like to describe Heaven to people as the place where we’ll never have to say goodbye! Amidst the multitudes of those who are saved, delivered and healed at our meetings, there are always one or two precious people who work their way into my heart. On this Crusade, those 2 people were Indrema and Anita. Let’s always remember that as multitudes are being saved, they’re each getting saved one at a time. Thank you, Jesus for saving the world, but also for saving it one precious soul at a time!
For the Lost,
Dr. Kevin Wagner, D.Min.