Carl trained with The Elijah Challenge in 2006, and then served as a missionary in the Philippines for five years.
I had met Pastor Jerry a few weeks before, at the insistence of a persistent “tent maker missionary,” Jared Lupton. I shared information about the Way of the Master (WOTM) and The Elijah Challenge (TEC), while skimming through my PowerPoint presentation on my laptop computer.
Pastor Jerry was a kindred soul, with a love for the Lord and a desire to be obedient to the Great Commission. As I explained about our training, his eyes lit up and he told me repeatedly, “This is what we need, this is an answer to prayer, and how do we get this started at BMC?” (Baguio Mission Church). I told him we had a MOR-Evangelism Boot Camp scheduled for October 30th – November 2nd and that our schedule was full and we would not have time to conduct the training because of the Boot Camp. Instead of discouraging him, he became even more excited about training his people in time to attend the Boot Camp. He was persuasive and we scheduled the training, and a time for me to preach in his church. I ended up preaching at BMC on Sunday October 21st.
I was asked to preach a revival message and to heal the sick. This is very much out of the ordinary for us because I do not have “the gift of healing” or anyway to perform miracles of my own ability. We have only seen or done miracles in the context of evangelism. In the context of evangelism; preaching the gospel of the Kingdom God to the lost, God always shows up and heals. Our experience has been that in the evangelistic context, God will show-up to convince the lost to believe, in the power and authority of Jesus name. However, it is beyond my ability to do miracles on demand in a church setting, etc. We have seen many miracles, but always in the context of leading sinners to repentance and faith in Christ. I told Pastor Jerry, I could preach the message and heal only if there were many sinners present who needed to put their faith in Jesus. Pastor Jerry assured me that they would do a major outreach to get unrepentant sinners to come to church the morning I was to preach.
The morning I preached, God gave me a message of repentance for believers as well as for those who were not yet Christians. I preached on the law of God, and the need for all men everywhere to repent to the crowd of about 330 people. When I magnified the law and discussed God’s standard of the 10 Commandments as Jesus discussed them in the Sermon on the Mount. Many people came under conviction over their sins. I finally asked all who needed to repent to stand where they were and acknowledge to God and man that they were going to turn away from sin and walk in repentance. Eighty percent (80%) of the church stood and committed themselves to turn away from their personal sins and to seek God and walk in repentance. The tears flowed from many eyes as the Holy Spirit convicted of sin.
Then I issued the Elijah Challenge, saying that Jesus had explained that He had the power to forgive sins in Mark 2:5, saying to the paralytic “Yours sins are forgiven” and then in verse 10 and 11, He says “That you may know that the Son of Man has power to forgive sin. I say to you, arise and take up your bed, and walk.” I told them the proof that Jesus could forgive sins is that Jesus could heal. I told those present the proof that they should put their faith and trust in Jesus and turn from their sins in repentance is that Jesus would heal the sick. I also told them that if Jesus healed the sick, that they should turn from their sins and accept the gift of forgiveness from Jesus. I also explained that Jesus had said, “He who believes in Me the works that I do he will do also…” (John 14:12) and in Luke 10:9 He told ordinary disciples to “heal the sick.” Since Jesus had “All authority… on heaven and earth,” (Matthew 28:18), we were going to obey Jesus and take authority over illness, pain, injuries and infirmities. We asked for those who needed healing to come forward.
One thing we always do in the Elijah Challenge is ask those who need to be healed to come forward. If people are healed, it is obvious…and if they are not healed it is obvious. Thirteen (13) people came forward for healing; back pain, headache pain, neck pain, kidney pain, many fevers and a sick baby were healed. With the help of our volunteer evangelists, we took authority over the people’s infirmities in Jesus name. Each person then testified about their healing to the rest of the congregation. Approximately eight (8) people repented and put their faith and trust in Jesus for the first time, in addition to the thirteen (13) healed.
This was our first service of this nature and God was faithful again! It is God who delivers, saves, forgives, heals and sets free! There is no other name given under heaven that heals and forgives sin but Jesus Christ, the Son of God! Blessed be His name!
This was also the beginning of what I believe will be a long and powerful relationship with Pastor Jerry Pecsoy and Baguio Mission Church (BMC).
“ The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;” Psalm 19:7b,
Pastor Carl Henderson
TEC Philippines Coordinator
MOR – Mission of Reconciliation