Reports from Subodh Kumar Jena
Deaf-mute teenager hears and speaks in Orissa
April 21, 2003 was a fruitful day for the work of the gospel in the unreached Hindu area of Bhawanipatna, Orissa. Through his team of faithful national pastors and evangelists, our host Pastor John Thomas and his wife Santama of Houston are planting churches and Bible School campuses. I was invited to hold our Healing Encounter for the local servants of the gospel. In the morning and afternoon I taught, and in the evening was scheduled a small open-air Crusade where not only the participants but also neighboring Hindus could hear the message over the booming loudspeakers.
| The Lord gave me an extremely exhilarating boldness to share the gospel. I told the people about Elijah, whom God sent to the backslidden Baal-worshipping Israelites to show, once and for all, who was the true God. Elijah challenged the servants of Baal to a power encounter on top of Mt. Carmel in front of the assembled Israelites. Whichever God sent fire from heaven in response to prayer would be acknowledged to be the true God. “All the people said, ‘What you say is good.’” (I Kings 18.24b)
I told them we would do the very same thing to determine who was the true God: the God of the Bible who created the heavens or the earth, or whatever false god(s) that people in the area might worship.
I told them that Jesus Christ was the only way to the true God, and that He was in fact the Son of the only true God. Then we had the “power encounter.” We asked the Lord to send fire from heaven in the form of power to heal the people with infirmities who had come to the meeting. I instructed the newly-trained believers to come forward to minister healing. If the fire came down—if the sick were healed in the name of Jesus Christ—then everyone would have to acknowledge that “the Lord is God” and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Then I prayed. “Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God…” (1 Kings 18.37)
As the believers began to minister to the sick, the fire and power of the Lord fell fast and furious. People were healed and came up to testify. Details are sketchy since there was no time to translate many of the testimonies into English. But judging by the applause and rejoicing after each testimony, there was no doubt the Lord had done wonderful things. As Pastor John Thomas ministered to a young boy who was lame in one of his legs, he began to walk on that leg! (See photo below)
|Then I asked the people, “Which God is the true God?”“Jesus Christ,” many shouted. “When the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God’”! (1Kings 18.39)The next day we visited one of the churches in the interior planted by Pastor Thomas’ team. During the time of mass healing a deaf-mute teenage boy was healed. He could hear and began to speak. (photo above)
The local servants of the Lord in this overwhelmingly Hindu area will now preach the gospel with great boldness, healing the sick as Jesus did two thousand years ago. I have encouraged them to continue holding the Crusade meetings to share Christ and demonstrate through miraculous healings that He is the Son of the only true God!