States of Hidalgo & Querétaro
Cloud-covered mountains overlooking villages of the state of Hidalgo
Pachuca in Hidalgo and Querétaro are north/northeast of Mexico City
On this 11-day trip we taught The Elijah Challenge in the venues of Huejutla de Reyes, Tlanchinol, Pachuca de Soto, and in Tepeapulco, all in the state of Hidalgo. The final venue was in the city of Querétaro in the neighboring state.
Host Gerardo Iñiguez
Our host was Gerardo Iñiguez, a respected servant of God who has ministered with the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) in Mexico as a pastor and a Bible School professor for twenty years.
After the Training in a mountaintop town called Tlanchinol, we held a Saturday evening Crusade in the local auditorium. There was no heat in the buildling and the temperature stood in the 50s Farenheit. Sitting in the front I wrapped myself in my light hooded parka and waited to minister, crossing my legs just to preserve my body heat. Despite the cold, people came and filled the seats. After the preaching of the gospel, the Lord performed impressive miraculous healings through his just-trained servants as confirmation. Those who were healed ascended to the platform to testify of what the Lord had done for them.
Disciples & servants of God trained in Tlanchinol
The next morning in the church of my host Brother Gerardo in the capital city of Pachuca, we witnessed similarly impressive miracles during the demonstration—healings that we do not normally see during on a Sunday morning during a church service. The Lord confirmed the teaching of His word with an exclamation point. Usually as I start teaching, I will often remove my jacket as I warm up. But over the course of the teaching in the unheated building, I got colder and colder. Finally in the middle of teaching I went over to the chair where I had draped my light parka and put it on, explaining to the folks that the American had badly misjudged Mexican weather.
At the Sunday evening meeting later at another church, after I preached repentance to the believers I handed the baton over to Brother Gerardo to minister healing to the infirm people as confirmation of the message. He ministered to them from a distance (as Jesus did for the servant of the Centurion in Luke), and over ten people came forward to testify that the Lord had healed them. After witnessing the miracles, people repented and cried out to the Lord with tears.
On Tuesday I rested because of a cold, and Brother Gerardo took over the Training & Crusade which had been scheduled for me at another venue. When he first arrived at the church, the host pastor was quite disappointed that I had not come. The fact is that people usually want what they mistakenly think is the “anointed superstar preacher” to minister to them. They already know Brother Gerardo—a local pastor—and well, what good can come out of Nazareth?
But Gerardo taught The Elijah Challenge to the people as he had learned from translating for me several times already. During the demonstration time infirm people were miraculously healed as the believers-in-training laid hands on them. In the evening, he preached at the Crusade and led the trained disciples in ministering healing to the infirm. Many people testified that the Lord had healed them. Among them there were testimonies of cataracts and a tumor disappearing. People repented of their sins and turned to Jesus after witnessing the miracles.
At the end of the day the host pastor was very pleased. His initial disappointment at my absence was no longer. This scenario is what we want to see multiplied through The Elijah Challenge. We believe that the age of the “anointed superstar preacher” is slowly and gradually coming to a close, and the age of the nameless disciple is at hand. The Lord is graciously fulfilling John 14:12 in which those who believe on him will do the works that He did.
In the nearby town of Tepeapulco I taught the people for over two and a half hours. Then after a quick break for supper, we began the evening Crusade. Rarely have I seen a church so densely packed with needy people. Gerardo first preached the gospel, and then I led the trained disciples in healing the infirm as confirmation of the truth of the gospel. We first ministered healing at a distance to the crowd since there were so many who wanted to be healed. Immediately several people made their way through the crowd to the podium to testify that the Lord had healed them. Some of them wept as they shared how powerfully the Lord had healed them. After that I had the trained disciples lay hands on the infirm people one on one. Several more people came up to testify, again some in tears. Afterwards, many raised their hands to indicate that they wanted to repent of their sins and to turn to Jesus for forgiveness and eternal life.
The neighboring state of Querétaro
After arriving in the capital city of Querétaro late in the morning—about two and a half hours from Pachuca—we immediately began to teach. In the afternoon we held an open-air evangelistic healing outreach on a basketball court in a poorer community. There were perhaps nearly 100 people present altogether, with 80% of them unbelievers.
I preached from Mark 2, proclaiming that Jesus could forgive their sins. Since the newcomers were Catholics, they were all aware of the problem and consequences of sin. Their religious traditions taught them that going to church, giving offerings to God, and doing good works could result in the forgiveness of their sins. But I told them that only Jesus could forgive their sins. The proof of this would be the many miraculous healings that he would perform among the people that afternoon.
After prayer, I instructed the trained believers to heal the many infirm people who were present. Here in Mexico, health insurance is nearly nonexistent, and the poor cannot afford hospital care. They have nowhere to go except the Lord. Very many of them were healed and testified as the believers laid hands on them. Rarely have I seen such results. The people repented of their sins and religious traditions to put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
We praise the Lord for the privilege of witnessing miracles such as the mute beginning to speak and eyesight being restored, along with subsequent harvests of the Catholic people. At the open-air outreach in the same place the following day, there was present a teenage girl who could not speak. As soon as Brother Gerardo rebuked the dumb spirit, she was able to speak normally.
Brother Gerardo is now scheduling various Elijah Challenge Basic Training events where he will train pastors, churches, and disciples. May the Lord use him powerfully and fruitfully in all of Central & South America and beyond to equip God´s people to fulfill the Great Commission. As I see it, the greatest endtime harvests will be in “Christian” Latin America, although we will also see the gospel make unprecedented inroads in China and in Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist countries as well.