Carl and his family attended an Elijah Challenge Seminar in Houston in 2006
“These are the Hendersons, your friends from Houston, and long term missionaries to the Philippines. We are now on a 30 day outreach in and around Manila.
We did our first Elijah Challenge crusade tonight. Nine people were healed, five came to Christ, and two were restored to the faith. Of the nine healed, one was a paralyzed stroke victim (his entire left side was locked and frozen, and his hand was drawn up to his side), he also could not talk because of the stroke.
We also had a deaf and dumb boy restored to hearing and able to speak, and a woman with a goiter, that made it hard for her to breath and speak, also healed. The goiter softened and shrunk (I could feel the difference). We also had a wheel chair bound boy who stood up for the first time. We had fevers, stomach aches, several back injuries, and a frozen shoulder joint, which could not be moved all, healed. In the end, the shoulder joint could be moved in any direction pain free. God showed up and it was powerful.
It all started when we (a YWAM group) went to help a small church in Baseco (a crime ridden harbor area) conduct a crusade. I have preached on the outreach frequently, 20 times now in the last 23 days but I never felt the freedom to do the Elijah Challenge. However, this group put up a banner saying, there would be a healing and deliverance ministry. I was asked by the YWAM leader, ” Do you know how to do the healing part of the crusade? I told him, “Sure, I could do it!” He replied, “You know what to do?” I told him I could do it, I would just add it to end of my evangelistic message. He seemed shocked at the matter-of-fact, way I said it. My confidence came from the Elijah Challenge training I had completed with you back in Houston. I also felt it was time to get out of the box we were in.
I spent that morning in prayer and built up my faith before the service began. I also mentally reviewed the things you have taught us.
I used the Way of the Master evangelism method, and closed with the method you taught us in Houston. First, I used the long range healing approach and I called for people to come and testify about their healing. We had some small miracles, but those who were healed were profoundly moved by the experience, and powerfully testified about what God had done. Then we asked others to come forward if they wanted healing prayer. Those that came forward, were not healed at first, but as we persevered in prayer, God showed Himself strong by healing the stroke victim and the crippled boy, who stood for the first time in his life.
The stroke victim was a depressed old cripple who could barely walk, could not talk, move his hand and arm, or get out of chair by himself. When he was healed he became a radiant, joyous man, marching in place, raising his knees high, swinging his arms, opening and closing his hand with great enthusiasm. All these things, he could not do just a few minutes earlier. We asked his name and he explained to my interpreter that he could not talk because of his stroke. She told him you just talked to me. Then he realized he could talk and he became even more excited. His wife could not contain her joy, she alternated between screams of joy, clapping, turning in circles and looking to heaven while shouting prayers of thanksgiving. In the Philippines, if the man (the primary earner), is unable to work, the family, which frequently lives on the edge of poverty (not what we American’s call poverty), immediately falls into deep poverty; which means they go without food and shelter. She had deep reasons for her joy!
(See photos below)
After that, more people came for healing and more people were healed, finally a group of kids brought a deaf and dumb boy. He was their friend. He didn’t want to be with us because he didn’t know what was going on. He doesn’t communicate with official sign language but by hand gestures and reading lips to some extent. When we (my interpreter and I) figured out what was going on I laid hands on him and prayed. At first he could only hear a little bit; by the second time we prayed, he was trying to talk and could hear us speaking. By the third prayer, when the other boys shouted in his ears, he would jerk away from them and cover his ears! He indicated to us and showed us he could hear. My interpreter asked him what his name was and he told us with difficulty that he did not know. He was born deaf and dumb and had never heard his own name. While we were with him, his language skills continued to improve. By the time we left, he was able to talk in a understandable manner.
The whole community was jumping and praising God, the excitement was everywhere. This led to five people making commitments to follow Christ, and two Christians who recommitted their lives to God.
One of those who wanted prayer had a necklace around his neck with a large marijuana leaf on it. I asked him what it was and he knew it was “a drug plant” but he explained he did not use drugs. I told him it was a symbol of rebellion and resistance to authority. I told him, he could not submit to Christ and wear a symbol of rebellion at the same time. I told him to take it off or I would not pray for him. I expected him to unhook the chain and remove it, instead he reached up, grabbed it, and jerked it from his neck, breaking the chain. This chain was an expensive necklace, especially by Filipino standards, but he destroyed it instantly when he realized it stood between him and God! He clearly wanted to get right with God.
I cannot tell how exciting and powerful this evening was, with mere words. Suffice it to say, “The hand of The Lord” has not been shortened in the 21st century. He still loves to show His power, and authority over sin, illness, injury and death. He came into that tent and used a no name evangelist and missionary like me; and He destroyed the works of the evil one powerfully. Everyone there knew that they had experienced the power and authority of God. Those who were healed went on their way rejoicing and praising the name of Jesus.
I reminded everyone that no church had healed them, no saint had healed them, Mary had not healed them, no spirit had healed them, and that an American had not healed them either. I told them it was Jesus that healed them. I told them that Jesus healed them so that they would tell others about Him. It was Jesus who heals, restores, forgives, and sets the captives free.
The ultimate authority in any power encounter is God himself. When He shows up and speaks, things are changed forever. He showed His authority, power and mercy tonight, and we were like Jacob when he stopped at Bethel and had the vision of the ladder leading to heaven. As Jacob said, “Surely the Lord was in this place and I did not know it.” We, like Jacob, discovered that the Lord was with us in that tent. By the end of the evening everyone knew it.
The Lord is the same forever, and when I say forever, I mean FOREVER!!! He is our Savior, healer and deliverer. Too often, our lack of faith restricts Him. “According to your faith, be it unto you” is what the Master still says.”
Praise the Lord, His mercy endures FOREVER!
In Christ service,
Carl Henderson and family,
Mission of Reconciliation,
Missionaries to the Philippines
Carl preaching with his interpreter in the tent during the second crusade
Carl sweating his way through his sermon with the healed (though still shy) deaf and dumb boy. He can now speak and hear.
A sweaty Carl with a joy filled Robert. He was the stroke victim with a paralyzed left side. His left hand and arm were frozen, and shrunk with atrophy before God healed him.