As 2019 begins, I want to thank you for your dedication to the Gospel in 2018. While we are excited for what Jesus is going to do in 2019, we want to take the time to think about and celebrate what Jesus did in 2018; and as we reflect on what Jesus did in 2018, we are filled with joy and gratitude for the tens of thousands of souls who were welcomed into the family of God through our crusades this past year. The last crusade we did in 2018 is one I’d like to share with you today.
Less than a month after conducting one crusade in this unreached Asian nation, I returned to a different city in this same Hindu region of our world. The places that we target for our crusades are intentionally remote areas that have little to no exposure to the Gospel. This was a specifically needy area, as I was about to find out. Of the many cities in this incredibly densely populated state, this city was the very poorest. Our crusade director informed me that 94% of the people in this city live below the poverty line and only get one square meal a day. Consider that this poverty line is not that of a first world country but legitimately one of the poorest nations in the world. These are the poorest of the poor people, which is why the 150 pastors and leaders were so blessed when we were able to provide them with meals at our two-day leadership conference. Even something as small as providing meals was so significant to these fellow Christian leaders. In addition to the physical food we were able to spiritually feed and encourage these leaders over two days of conferences where we left them with materials that will continue to help them in their churches and discipleship of the new converts. In fact, just two weeks after our crusade, many reports were already coming in about hundreds of new believers who had already followed Christ in public baptism!
Due to the poverty and the poor living conditions in this area, sickness was rampant. One of the recurring themes in our testimonies at the crusade was that the sick people who were healed did not have enough money to get the proper medicine or medical attention that they needed, and this is in large part because of the abject poverty of the area. Thus, many sick people came to our crusade looking to Jesus as their last hope for healing; and He did not disappoint! Here are just a few of the miracles that stand out to me from this crusade:
One woman with sciatica had been paralyzed on the left side of her body for 8 months so that she could not move her arm or walk on her own. She came to the crusade, put her faith in Jesus and was completely healed so that she was walking on her own waving her left arm at the crowd!
One woman had a cancerous tumor three inches in diameter on her right breast that had been diagnosed 4 months earlier. She said that, as I prayed, she physically felt something happening to her body and that the tumor dissolved as her hand was placed on it!
One man had been taken to the crusade from a long distance away who had been possessed by a demon. When we prayed for the demons to leave, this man put his faith in Jesus and he was completely delivered. His family was there to confirm this miracle had happened.
These were just a few of the many miracles that we experienced at this crusade. But as always, the greatest miracle of all is the miracle of salvation, and amazingly, in just four crusade nights we had a total of 11,200 people fill out decision cards to turn from Hinduism to Jesus! This was truly an amazing crusade!
Of all of these wonderful stories, my favorite testimony is the one you’re about to read. As a crusade evangelist (as with most jobs in ministry), there are many critics and difficulties, but I want to share one example of the lasting impact of the work that we do.
On this trip I was told a testimony by our crusade director who did a crusade with us 12 years ago in another part of this Hindu country. I was 16 years old accompanying my dad on this crusade and my job was to oversee and preach at the Teen Conference we hosted. While he was preaching at the Pastors Conference during the day, I was preaching at this Teen Conference for hundreds of teenagers. Over 800 young people came that week with many of them accepting Christ. Recently our crusade director returned to that same city and was given an amazing report. He was informed that that teen conference 12 years ago changed the course of history for many people, but specifically for 34 young men who got saved that day. Not only had they been saved, but they also that day felt the call of God and committed their lives to full-time ministry.
This was all such wonderful news and I praised God for what He had done 12 years earlier, but this is not the end of the story, because our crusade director then told me, “I just received word from that city and the church leadership there that those same 34 young teenagers who accepted Christ are all now in full-time ministry, most of them as evangelists ministering in some of the most rural parts of our nation!” Today, those 34 men are all in full-time ministry, primarily as evangelists themselves, reaching the lost in their nation! This is the long-term impact of what God does through our ministry. Because of that crusade a dozen years ago, 34 indigenous evangelists and ministers in this country are continuing the work. All the glory goes to God, but we also want to thank you for your prayers and support that produces fruit for years to come!
For the King,