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.