April & May 2005
The Elijah Challenge team of four believers held Seminars and Crusades in five cities hosted primarily by evangelical (non-charismatic) Vietnamese churches as well as some Australian churches. The Lord was very gracious and the results were unprecedented. Trained evangelical leaders and believers laid hands on the sick at the Crusades, and many were healed in Christ’s name. In Brisbane, Melbourne, and Adelaide non-believers including Buddhists came to the meetings in numbers never before seen at an evangelistic Crusade. Usually nearly all who come to such Crusades are already believers in Christ. But in Brisbane and Adelaide the non-believers were reported to be as high as 90% of those in attendance. After William proclaimed the Kingdom of God, the Lord demonstrated the absolute truth of the gospel by healing the sick through the trained believers. In two cases—one suffering from a stroke and the other from multiple sclerosis—people were able to get up out of their wheelchairs and walk after years of severe disability. When William gave the invitation to follow Jesus, the people came forward in numbers never before seen, particularly in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Adelaide. Since they are now trained, the local churches will continue to proclaim the gospel in this way for the fulfillment of the Great Commission to the Vietnamese people in Australia.
Above: Sydney Crusade
In William’s final Crusade meeting in Adelaide he ministered at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, perhaps the largest Australian Lutheran Church in the state of South Australia. Eight-hundred or more people from different churches in the area filled the sanctuary. Afterwards, Senior Pastor Peter Steicke wrote, “there are many good reports coming through of the rally here at Good Shepherd. Quite a number of people have experienced healing and renewal in their faith. It has been very exciting to hear of these around the place.” In the aftermath of this meeting, William is being invited to return to Adelaide next year to hold a city-wide Seminar and Crusade for the area Australian churches under the auspices of the large Clovercrest Baptist Church.
For daily reports on what happened during this trip, click on the pages below.
Perth, Western Australia
10.30 PM Saturday, April 23
Tonight we held our first evangelistic healing Crusade meeting…the Lord’s blessing was in wonderful evidence. In attendance were mostly Vietnamese people, but also a smattering of non-Asians as well: Australians, some people from Bosnia, even a Musl__m mother/daughter couple from Afghanistan. I preached from Isaiah 53.4-5 about the Messiah who would take up our infirmities and be pierced for our transgressions. I explained that the basis for his ability to heal physical infirmities was his suffering on the cross by which he had authority to forgive our sins, which are the ultimate cause of physical infirmities.
Even though it was billed as a healing service, I told the people that the miraculous healings would be the proof that Jesus had authority to forgive sin and save people from condemnation in hell. The Lord gave me a word of knowledge for people with pain or infirmity in their eyes. About a half-dozen people came forward. The first person I ministered to was a lady and her eyes were healed. A man who I believe was from Bosnia said that because of multiple sclerosis he suffered from continuous itching and discomfort in his eyes for seven years. After being ministered to, he said that his eyes felt normal and lifted his arms up unto the Lord with gratitude. At that dramatic moment I gave the altar call for salvation, and between forty and fifty souls came forward to follow Jesus. Among them were the Musl__m mother and daughter from Afghanistan!
Afterwards the Lord did more miracles of healing. The Musl__m daughter from Afghanistan testified that her eyes had been healed in Jesus’ name, among other testimonies.
Perth, Western Australia
Sunday afternoon, May 1, 2005
This morning’s training session at Northway Christian Centre (Sunday Service) with Pastor John Warwick was wonderful. At the end of the training when we did the demonstration of healing, several people testified of being healed when believers ministered as they had been taught according to the pattern set down by Jesus in the gospels. One man who had bad pain in his hips and back was leaping up and down like a frog, demonstrating that the Lord had completely healed him. A sister who came limping to the front with debilitating pain in her lower back going all the way down to her legs testified that all the pain was gone…she could walk normally. A sister from India who had patiently endured pain in her back for years and years came forward choking back tears of gratitude to say that the Lord had completely taken away the pain. There was several others as well. Praise the Lord! He demonstrated so very clearly that He has given authority to His Church to heal the sick as we proclaim the Kingdom of God to the lost.
Perth, Western Australia
Monday morning, May 2, 2005
Our Crusade meeting last night at Northway Christian Centre was highlighted by some wonderful miracles from the Lord during the corporate healing. Among them….
A girl who was severely pigeon-toed since second grade came to the platform to testify. Her feet had straightened out and were pointing forward in the normal fashion!
A man who had suffered from multiple sclerosis for ten years came forward and declared excitedly that he was healed. He said he felt his body laughing as the the Lord’s healing power came upon him!
Other miracles took place as the believers trained earlier during the Sunday morning service came forward to lay hands on the sick. A woman who had endured ringing in one of her ears for five years was completely set free.
The Lord performed these miracles to prove that His Kingdom was near, and that Jesus Christ was the only way to enter this magnificent Kingdom. The only slight note of disappointment during the evening was that no one came forward publicly to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior. Most of the people were believers, but I believe there were some unbelievers present as well. Nevertheless, I led the people in a prayer of repentance for the sake of those who had a desire to enter the Kingdom but did not want to come forward publicly.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Saturday Evening, May 7, 2005
Jesus Family Centre, a wonderfully vibrant church, was more than packed with people lining the back walls. I preached the gospel briefly and succinctly, and then asked the Lord the demonstrate through miraculous healings that He is only the only true God and that Jesus is the only way to Him. Many were healed as the saints ministered, but perhaps the most dramatic one involved an elderly man who had suffered from a stroke, leaving him without the power of speech. He could barely walk even with the aid of a four-wheeled walker.
As believers ministered to him in Christ’s name, he stood up and walked around completely unaided for the first time. The crowd was spellbound at the power of the name of Jesus. A bit later as believers continued to minister to him, his speech was restored and he said to Pastor Vuong “thank for praying for me.” Another miracle involved a young child who was paralyzed since birth and had never walked. With people holding her, she began to walk for the first time in her life.
There were numerous other testimonies of God’s healing grace as well. Each one, I emphasized, was the evidence of the power of Jesus’ name to forgive sin and save from judgment.
When I gave the altar call, hungry souls came forward to follow Jesus to escape from the kingdom of darkness to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Sunday Evening, May 8, 2005
Praise the Lord for his wonderful grace! We have successfully concluded our meetings here in Sydney, Australia.
Over one thousand people, mostly Vietnamese, came to the Bankstown Town Hall last night for our Crusade. This Town Hall facility, used for concerts and the like, is not quite as spiritually warm and intimate as the smaller (but not small) Jesus Family Centre where we had our first Crusade meeting last Saturday night…it’s more cold and impersonal.
So it was a bit difficult to get started, and we had to work harder ministering to the sick than we did at the Jesus Family Centre. After the first breakthrough meeting there on Saturday evening, the enemy marshaled his forces to resist us last night. Sydney is the world-class capital of Australia, a developed western nation similar to the United States. The spiritual atmosphere is certainly not as receptive and open to the supernatural as that in Indonesia or in Africa countries. Nevertheless the Lord enabled us to break through as people came up to the stage to testify of their healings.
A Buddhist woman named Michelle who was brought by her believing daughter to the meeting Saturday evening at the Jesus Family Centre at first did not believe. But even though she had no faith, when she laid hands on herself during the corporate mass healing, the Lord dramatically healed her of her pain and infirmity. She practically ran up to the front to testify excitedly of what He had done. That evening she called up her relatives to tell them what had happened. Some of them laughed at her, othes were drawn by her testimony. She invited them to attend the Crusade at the Town Hall last night. Her father came with her last night as well as to church yesterday (Sunday) morning. Previously he was very much against Christianity. But when he heard the gospel and saw the miracles, he believed. Last night He expressed unusual faith for a brand-new believer that the Lord had healed him of his hepatitis and diabetes and he is going to go to his doctor to be examined. Michelle is like the woman at the well in John 4. She and her father are going to lead the rest of their extended family into the Kingdom of God!
A young Buddhist man came to the Crusade last night at the Town Hall just out of curiosity to see what was going on. During the time of the corporate mass healing as he laid hands on himself for healing from ten years of back pain, he was healed. He climbed up to the stage to testify. A laborer who had injured his knee at his job lifting heavy objects was healed as hands were laid on him on the stage. These are two testimonies of the several precious souls who responded when I gave the invitation to follow Jesus last night. MIraculous healings and signs definitely help draw the lost to faith in Jesus Christ!
An 84-year-old man who could barely climb the stage because of severe chronic soreness and pain in his lower back all the way down to his feet was set free after believers rebuked his infirmities and ministered in Jesus’ name for nearly half an hour. He climbed down the stairs from the stage with a big smile on his face.
Host Baptist Pastor Vuong’s wife Kim was thrilled because the Lord used her at the meeting to successfully minister healing to a woman with severe headache pains. A woman testified with great excitement how the Lord had healed her of three different infirmities during the corporate mass healing. (She nearly fell backwards with upraised hands on the stage because of her gratitude to the Lord, but the emcee caught her in time…)
Three visiting reporters from Vietnamese radio stations witnessed all this and more.
The meetings were a success. The thirteen mostly evangelical Vietnamese churches in Sydney, Australia came together in unity for an event involving supernatural healing. In the past such meetings have caused division because of practices at the meeting that were not firmly supported in Scripture. But this was a breakthrough in the city of Sydney among the Vietnamese churches. The impartation has been successful and the work will be continued by them after we leave for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Tuesday evening, May 10, 2005
The Lord has been moving in a special way here in our Brisbane meetings. Unbelievers with infirmities have been coming to the training meetings, so I’ve had to adjust on the fly. I am learning how to teach the believers how to heal the sick in Jesus’ name and to preach the gospel to the lost at the same time. In our morning training session were an elderly Vietnamese man and woman, both unbelievers. The man had pain in his lower back and the woman had a heart condition. When it came time to demonstrate healing to the believers, they came forward. The Lord touched both of them physically as believers laid hands on them. Both received Jesus as Lord and Savior at the training.
In the evening training session, several more unbelievers came, most of them with infirmities. I mixed the gospel in with the training. When it came time for the demonstration, a woman with bad knees hobbled forward. I challenged the people to receive Christ as their Savior from sin if they saw her healed in his name and able to run. They declared they would. After being ministered to twice, she was able to run back and forth across the front of the sanctuary and up the platform! Then I led the people in corporate mass healing in which the infirm people laid hands on themselves in Christ’s name. Many more people were healed in this fashion, and several came up to the platform to testify of some dramatic healings. I emphasized to the people that Christ’s power to heal proved that He also had authority to forgive sin through His death on the cross and save them from condemnation in hell.
When I gave the altar call for salvation, ten Vietnamese souls from the approximately 40-plus people attending the training session came forward. This was a training session—not an evangelistic Crusade meeting—where rarely if ever such a high percentage of the people attending a Crusade receive Christ!
The Lord is doing something quite unusual in this quiet conservative church where believers from different churches have gathered for the meetings. These evangelical believers declare that they will continue such meetings after we leave Brisbane. The Lord has imparted His authority to them for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Last night was historic in the Vietnam Grace Church, an evangelical Baptist church located about an hour away from Australia’s famed Gold Coast and its Great Barrier Reef. Never in its eighteen-year history had so many people packed the church’s sanctuary; the people even overflowed into the foyer through both rear exits. The miracles that had been performed in the name of Jesus the past two days had spread through word of mouth in the predominantly Buddhist Vietnamese community, and they came to see and to be healed. Host Pastor Hoa told me that 80% of them were unbelievers; one of her leaders estimated them to be even 95% of the crowd. Perhaps this was the way it was during the time of Jesus!
I preached from one of my favorites passages, one the Lord had given me to preach last year. In John 14 Jesus claimed to be the only way to Heaven. Of course most Buddhists are not just going to accept this seemingly outrageous claim simply because someone said so. In the time of Jesus many did accept His claim because of the miracles that He did, miracles that only God Himself could do.
Last night before the unbelievers we asked the Lord to do the miracles to substantiate His claim to being the only way to escape from condemnation in hell. Most Vietnamese Buddhists are resigned to going down to the depths to be tormented by the god of the underworld after death. Their religion offers them no hope at all. But if Christ could heal their infirmities, he would be proving that He also had authority to forgive their sins since disease is ultimately a consequence of sin.
After prayer to the Lord, the God of Elijah, we ministered to the infirm. First, three elderly people with difficulty walking because of pain in their legs could walk without anymore pain. Then together with the other believers we ministered mass healing to the infirm in the crowd, exercising our authority over disease and demons and commanding them to go in Jesus’ name. When I asked those who had been healed by the Lord during the mass healing to come forward to testify, they came up and nearly filled the platform. It was quite glorious for the advance of the Kingdom of God.
After quickly taking their testimonies, I turned my attention back to the crowd. I told them that the miracles they had just witnessed were the proof that Jesus could save them from torment in the underworld. I challenged them to follow Jesus. Gospel-resistant idol-worshippers began to slip out from their seats and come up to the platform. When the dust settled, we were told that never in the eighteen-year history of Vietnam Grace Church had so many decided to follow Jesus on a single night. Praise the name of the Lord!
More importantly, there has been impartation. Our host Hoa Trinh is a woman, the only woman pastor among the Vietnamese Churches in all of Australia. She ministers also in the conservative Baptist denomination. It is of course difficult for her. But the Lord is raising her up to become a Deborah in the Vietnamese Church of Australia. She and her leaders will continue to preach the gospel with great power and boldness. The spirit of Elijah is being restored to the Vietnamese Church in Brisbane.
Saturday Evening, May 14, 2005
Praise the Lord for the wonderful victory we witnessed for the Kingdom of God this evening at the Springvale Town Hall! The Crusade was hosted by the Evangelical Vietnamese Church in Australia.
After presenting the claims of Jesus Christ according to John 14:6-7, we asked the Father to prove that Jesus was indeed His Son and the only way to Him. The evidence would be the miraculous healings done in His name. I asked those with infirmities to lay hands on themselves while all the believers exercised their authority by commanding them to leave in Jesus’ name. Many were healed and came forward to give their testimonies. Immediately after the testimonies, I gave an altar call to receive Christ as Lord and Savior. After healing the gospel shared in a straightforward manner and seeing the confirming miracles, people began to come forward to believe in Jesus. I do not have the numbers, but it was a good and satisfying harvest! Buddhists are usually gospel-resistant and difficult to bring to faith in Christ.
Then I had the trained believers come forward to lay hands on those who still needed healing, and more miracles took place. A woman who had suffered from a stroke had not been able to walk in a year and was brought to the meeting in a wheelchair. As three brothers ministered to her, she was eventually able to get up out of the wheelchair and walk by herself! One brother who was totally deaf in one ear because of a virus infection began to hear again through that ear.
People who were healed testifying
Sunday evening, May 15, 2005
The Richmond Community Meeting Room was packed with people lining the walls. Many were Vietnamese Buddhists and idol-worshippers from the surrounding tall apartment buildings drawn by the hope of healing for their physical infirmities.
I first made the case that Jesus’ ability to heal disease was proof of his authority to forgive sin as well. This is an important consideration to many Vietnamese (and Asian Buddhists in general) whose religion offers little hope of salvation. They only know that when they die they will go down to the underworld to be tormented by the god of the underworld.
Then I asked Jesus to heal the infirm. After prayer, I led the believers who were present in exercising our authority over disease and demons (according to Luke 9:1-2 and Luke 10:1, 9) in the context of proclaiming the Kingdom of God to the lost. Many, mostly unbelievers, were healed immediately at that time and came forward to testify. Among them…one cancer survivor who had lost her hearing in one ear testified that her hearing had been restored. Another woman said that her significant hearing loss in both ears had been reversed and she could hear clearly.
One elderly woman who had received healing prayer at the Crusade meeting at the much larger Springvale Town Hall the evening before testified that she was able to sleep that evening after having suffered through fifty years of sleeplessness! There were several other testimonies of healing as well.
After the testimonies, I immediately declared that the miracles proved that Jesus also had authority to deal with a far weightier issue—the forgiveness of sin. His power to heal proved that He also had authority to forgive sin, which is the root cause of disease. When I gave the altar call for salvation, sixteen precious Buddhists souls came forward to follow Jesus! This is an exceptional result for ministry to gospel-resistant Vietnamese in a relatively small meeting. They had heard the proclamation of the gospel and seen the confirming miracles.
Afterwards, Pastor Quang led his team of trained leaders to minister to those who had not yet been healed. As Lucille and I sat down to rest we saw them minister with unusual boldness and power. More miracles of healing took place through them. While this was happening, hardly anyone came to us for healing ministry. This in itself is highly significant—usually the sick line up to have us minister to them instead of the local leaders. But Pastor Quang and his team ministered with such authority and effectiveness that hardly anyone bothered to come to us! This means that the impartation has been successful, and the gospel will be preached with power by Pastor Quang’s non-charismatic, evangelical church after we leave. And that is the reason why the Lord sent us here.
We are grateful to the Lord for having sharpened our tools while in Melbourne. We have learned how to conduct the meetings more effectively and efficiently than we did in our first three stops in Australia. We began in Perth. It was a bit better in Sydney, and then still more effective in Brisbane. In Melbourne we have seen the best yet.
Vietnamese coming to Jesus Christ
Monday, May 16, 2005
By the wonderful grace of the Lord, the Melbourne Crusade by every measure was historic and successful.
Our host pastor Quang Ngo, President of the Vietnamese Evangelical Church of Australia denomination, was criticized by some in his own church for attempting a Crusade which not only involved a scope wider than had ever been attempted before but which also featured supernatural healing in Christ’s name. This evangelical denomination is non-charismatic in its doctrine. It was also the first time that the Springvale Town Hall had been used for an evangelistic Crusade by any Christian group. Thousands upon thousands of flyers were passed out on street corners and stuffed in mailboxes and posters were plastered everywhere in Springvale.
The Lord graciously did many miracles during the meetings as the gospel was proclaimed to the lost. Relatively many souls (for an event involving ministry to the Vietnamese) were ushered into the Kingdom of God as they heard the Word of God and saw the miracles. Perhaps the most memorable miracle involved an elderly woman who had suffered from a debilitating stroke. According to her husband, she could not even get up to take a single step for years. When she was wheeled into the Springvale Town Hall last Saturday evening, her legs were paralyzed…stiff and unresponsive. As believers laid hands on her and commanded her healing in Christ’s name, her legs responded and began to soften. She was able to get up out of her wheelchair and walk by herself…a great miracle!
Her husband had been against Christianity. But when the Lord did the miracle at the Crusade the whole family received Christ as their Lord and Savior. This is just one of many testimonies of God’s power to heal and to save from the Melbourne Crusade.
On top of everything else, the Lord has vindicated Pastor Quang among his conservative evangelical contemporaries. People have seen the miracles and souls saved and are giving the glory to God.
Even more significantly, I myself have seen Pastor Quang and his trained leaders minister to the infirm with impressive power and authority. Through them the sick are being healed. Yesterday at their Sunday morning service which I did not attend because of ministry elsewhere, a man barely limped into the meeting leaning on two crutches. He suffered from severe arthritis in both legs, one leg worse than the other. Three pastors and two lay leaders ministered to him for five minutes in Christ’s name. He was able to walk out of the building after the service without his crutches!
The spirt that God gave to Elijah, the spirit of power and boldness, is being restored to the Vietnamese Church in Melbourne. They will continue to preach the gospel in this way for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
Adelaide, South Australia
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Tonight’s meeting produced a great harvest of souls!
I began by sharing John 14:6 where Jesus claimed to be the only way to the Father. Then we asked Him to prove His claim by doing miraculous works, in particular healing the sick.
I led the believers in exercising their authority over diseases and demons in Christ’s name. Several were healed at that time and came forward to testify. Each of the testimonies, I explained, was the visible proof that through His death on the cross Jesus had authority to forgive sin and save the people from going down to hell to be tormented for their sins. It turns out that the beliefs of Vietnamese Buddhists can only prepare them to go down to hell after they die.
When I gave the invitation to them to receive God’s free gift of eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ, the result was unlike last night. Whereas last night only a handful came forward despite the large number of miracles, tonight was an avalanche of souls. The Holy Spirit was present to convict the listeners. Some of those who came last night returned tonight bringing others…perhaps family members so that they could enter the Kingdom of God together.
Normally in past Crusades, one or two might come forward to receive Jesus Christ. But from what we witnessed tonight it is indeed harvest time!
Adelaide, South Australia
1.30 PM Sunday, May 22, 2005
The Lord was very gracious at our Vietnamese Crusade this morning. I shared from Mark 2:1-10 where Jesus proved that he had authority to forgive sin by healing the paralytic. A man and his wife, along with their two boys, were there; they were from Iran and non-believers. He suffered from an advanced case of Multiple Sclerosis and was confined to a wheelchair. His legs were stiff and he could not stand up even with someone holding him up on each side.
Then we prayed to the Father asking Him in Jesus’ name to heal the sick present at the meeting to prove that Jesus indeed has authority to forgive sin and save from condemnation in hell. I led the believers in exercising our authority over disease and demons as the infirm laid hands on themselves.
Several were healed by the Lord and gathered at the front to testify, including the man’s wife. She said that she had bêen suffering from chronic pain in her shoulder and stomach and that she was completely healed. The man, still seated in his whêelchair, told us that something had happened to his legs. They had bêen stiff, but were getting softer and he could move them.
After the testimonies I gave the altar call, emphasizing that the miracles proved that Jesus had authority to save sinners from condemnation in hell. God had clearly demonstrated that if they chose to follow Jesus, their sins would be forgiven and they would receive eternal life. If they chose not to follow Jesus, they would surely face judgement in the next life.
The precious souls came forward with little hesitation like obedient shêep. Pastor Hung then led them into the Kingdom of God. Praise God for the Spirit who convicts and for the privilege of witnessing such a harvest!
Afterwards we continued to minister to the infirm, including the Iranian man in his whêelchair. As believers ministered to him, he was able to get up out of his whêelchair and take steps with men holding him UP. He testified that the stiffness in his legs was 90% gone. His wife stõod by and could not stop sobbing for joy sêeing her husband take steps, something that was absolutely impossible for him when they came to church an hour and a half earlier.