Jaimie Alonso of British Columbia, Canada attended The Elijah Challenge Advanced Training in Houston in February 2008
“I arrived at the home of my host Pastor Elito Lantingan after a total of some 30 hours of travel by jet and finally by a three-wheeled covered motorcycle called “Bajaj.” Originally I was to start teaching the next day but the scheduled speaker was unavailable so I was asked to speak. The seminar was for all the pastors of the mountain tribes to come for the teaching of The Elijah Challenge. I was thrilled because over the years I have preached and taught about the Great Commission and how important it is to reach every nation tribe and tongue. At that moment I was in the very midst of the B’laan Tribe and their pastors who have traveled many hours on foot to attend these meetings. Some had walked from their mountain village for as long as 10 hours to get to the highway in order to ride a jeepney for a few more hours. Communication to the pastors was done by radio broadcast only two days a week. So they were all very excited to be in attendance.
The first night, after having being awake for 40 hours, I saw about 40 people attend. Twenty were the pastors representing 15 tribes and the others were from Pastor Elito’s church. I preached from 1 Kings 18 and spoke on what if Elijah had not obeyed the Lord in his life and how, in our disobedience, we can tie the hands of God. Then I suggested that Elijah’s boldness is seen in the New Testament in the healings that were performed and those same healings can happen tonight to prove that Jesus is the only way to the Father. I asked anyone with a need for healing to stand up. I had the pastors lay hands on these folks and then I prayed to God first and commanded the healing in Jesus’ name. I always tried to model the difference of praying to God AND THEN commanding the healing. The first night saw eight people healed from various back, neck and stomach problems. Everyone was encouraged.
Laughing in the dirt
The next day the pastors attended the first set of teachings along with a few church members. I tried to simplify things as most of the tribal pastors had very limited education and some had none at all. BUT they were not without understanding. I was very impressed with their wisdom and knowledge of the Bible. God is faithful when we make our lives available. Demonstration time came and there was only one grandma that had a need. Her stomach was in pain for some time. I asked for one of the ladies to place her hand on grandma’s tummy and then I placed my hand on hers. The helper started to laugh and laugh and then they both went tumbling down to the dirt floor. I was kind of stunned and Pastor Elito was worried that Grandma might have been hurt. Both were okay and Grandma was healed and the girl was laughing.
That evening we had another guest speaker and then I demonstrated healing again this time with the pastors laying hands and commanding. We saw about 13 more backs, necks and stomachs healed. There were eighty people in attendance that night.
First stroke victim healed
The next day we decided to change things. I felt that the pastors had received the basics of the course by noon that day and so I suggested that they go out two by two into the village to heal the sick and to invite them to the first real outreach/crusade. So off they went. I too went out with the pastor’s son who had been interpreting for me. We went first to his grandpa’s house. His grandpa had suffered a stroke two years ago and had been partially paralyzed on one side and could not speak. I must admit I was a little nervous and was talking to God about what I was about to do. Very quickly I became a student of The Elijah Challenge and remembered the principles—first, praying to God and then, commanding the healing. I placed my hands on grandpa’s hips and issued a command. Sure enough there was movement and loosening of his leg and hip. He was trying to tell us what was happening, so I thought, let’s command his healing so he can speak. Again God responded and not only he could speak, but the frozen look of paralysis on his face was gone, his arm was mobile and he could walk. We challenged him do to some squats and just like Manny Pacquiou, the local world champion boxer, he was going up and down faster than me. We were all very excited.
Second stroke victim healed
Then I was taken across the road to see another man. I was told on the way that this fellow had been paralyzed for eight years. No problem, I thought. One stroke victim healed, bring on the world! Then I entered his home and saw a very much older gentleman crippled over, clutching a cane with one hand and the other gnarled in a tight fist frozen to his chest. His wife was helping him come to us as he dragged his one leg in a form of walking. Oh, I was really wondering about my faith level now. So again I became a student and went through the principles of The Elijah Challenge. I began to command in Jesus’ name and as I was commanding I gently slid my hand under grandpa’s arm and slowly, with no pressure, ran my hand down his arm. Very slowly did we watch as the arm straightened out and when I got to his hand, the fingers blossomed effortlessly like a flower. It was amazing.
The white palm soon was pink as the blood began to come back. We then started to minister to his hip and leg and they started to respond. Grandpa was being healed and was also trying to communicate. In our excitement I forgot that he couldn’t talk. Revelation again came to me—command healing for his mouth. So I did and after two rounds of commanding and much giggling on grandpa’s part, he could talk perfectly and his face also was back to normal. AFTER 8 YEARS! Some peopled starting to gather at the door and they were amazed at what was happening. It was just like the descriptions in the Bible. These men were known by the people and they were amazed. We invited everyone to the evening meeting and asked the two grandpas to come and testify. That night about 200 people came.
There was both good news and bad news for the evening meeting. The church was packed solid and the worship was very good. Then the guest speaker began to talk. We were hoping that this night there would be many souls saved. I would do another demonstration of healing with the pastors healing the sick and Pastor Elito would give the altar call in Tagalog. We were set. But the enemy can be quick to squelch things. The guest speaker went on and on and on in ENGLISH. He was basically talking to me. My back was to the crowd since I was up front. When it was finally my turn to minister, the church was empty but for about 40 people. All were offended, we found out, because the speaker did not talk to the people in their language but to me in English. I was not aware of this until the next day. So I just kept on going and about thirteen folks were healed. The most dramatic healing involved a woman who could not speak but could only babble. A pastor who could not see was able to read from the Bible very clearly. Another man who had a toothache for a week was in pain no more. The rest were healings of backs, necks and stomachs. The wife of one of the grandpas who had been healed of his stroke reported that she felt a hot burning sensation when they laid hands on her. The very positive side of this evening was that all the laying on of hands and healing were done by the pastors and that everyone who came up for healing was in fact healed. Their mountain-moving faith increased. Pastor Elito could not salvage the evening as there was no one around. In some ways it was sad but we learned that he must be careful who he allows in his pulpit.
Huffing and puffing up the mountain
The next day’s plan was to climb up the mountain to visit one of the pastors’ villages. On the way up, my heart was pounding so hard in my ears I was wondering who else could hear it as I gasped for air. We made it to the top and made history inasmuch as I was the first white man ever to enter this village. I gave a short workshop on how to minister healing and asked those who needed healing to come forward. Eight came forward and there was another elderly stroke victim.
Third stroke victim healed
We prayed first to God, and then commanded the healing. I just knew big things were to happen. I asked who had been healed or had a change in their condition. To my surprise, no one had been touched; not a single one. It seems that during the whole time there was something for me to learn. So again becoming the student, I ministered and commanded with more authority. And God graciously began to heal. The stroke grandpa was the most dramatic and comical as I asked him to demonstrate Manny Paquiou. He was twisting and punching and squatting for all he was worth, just enjoying his new freedom. The other healing was experienced by the village councilor. I believe he is the one the village looks up to for guidance. He had pain in his elbow, perhaps arthritis. After twice issuing authoritative commands he was healed and then gave the visiting white man the okay sign. Pastor Emeldo was glad that this elder approved of me.
Before going up to the village I witnessed one of the paralyzed grandpas bathing at the central bath spot. He had walked down the side of the very steep hill, some 200 feet, all by himself to take a bath. I visited the grandpa who had been paralyzed for eight years. He greeted me at the door and said he had been out planting some papaya seeds. He was not completely healed but Pastor Elito would continue ministering to him until the healing is complete. During our visit his wife lifted up his t-shirt to expose his back. She wanted to show us that the major lumps that were preventing her husband from standing up straight were all gone. We had not laid hands on them or rebuked them specifically but God had healed them anyway. There was just one small lump above his kidney, we spoke to it authoritatively in Jesus’ name and it left as well.
I was so very blessed by the hospitality of Pastor Elito’s family and learned that a real home consists not in the beauty of the home but in the beauty of the hearts of those who live in the home. I learned that God honors our availability more than our abilities. I learned that the principles of The Elijah Challenge are a very powerful way to demonstrate that it is our God that heals the sick to prove to the world that he also forgives sin and delights to do this.
One last note—in my quiet times God had spoken to me about making history on this trip. When I arrived and as I was talking to Pastor Elito he told me that he thought my coming would in some way change the history of their ministry!”
Aftermath of Jaimie’s visit
Received from Pastor Elito Lantingan on January 2, 2009:
“Thank you so much for your … Tribal ministry here in the Philippines. Yes, we will continue to visit them, particularly the two people healed of stroke. They joined with us to worship the Lord. Not only them, but there are so many people attending during the time of our Sunday Service. It is the impact of The Elijah Challenge Training. PRAISE THE LORD–you are part of this ministry. We hope that God continue to bless them. This coming Sunday I will visit Tloblao Church pastored by Pastor Calatao to encourage them. We always pray for the complete healing of the elderly grandpa.”