Back in the early 1990s when we were pastors of a church in Queens, New York City, I wrote down our goals in the inside front cover of my red-jacketed New American Standard Bible (NASB). Among the goals were:
- “1,000,000,000 [one billion] souls won to Christ”
- “Powerful ministry of end-time signs, wonders & miracles (Rev. 11)”
- “An army of 1,000,000 [one million] endtime witnesses trained”
- (A few years after we had moved from New York down to Houston in 1993 to help pastor a local church, we received a prophecy about five countries where we would be ministering. At that time I added these five countries to the cover of my NASB Bible just below the above goals. At the top of the list was INDIA.)
I had written down these goals by faith alone. At the time there was nothing remotely in our ministry as local pastors that could lead me even to imagine that these goals were attainable. Our ministry at that time consisted of preaching and teaching the same flock week after week after week, keeping the people happy so that they would keep coming every Sunday with their tithes and offerings, not infrequently putting out fires in the congregation, and dealing with sheep which had inexplicably sprouted sharp horns. Most local pastors do not have the luxury of looking very far beyond that.
So it was not at all surprising when I resigned as a local pastor in 1999. I trusted the Lord to show me what else he had for me. One week before my resignation and final Sunday as a local pastor the Lord showed me a very clear and stunning vision, followed by a dramatic dream reinforcing what I had seen in the vision.
The following year in 2000, The Elijah Challenge was born while I was on a mission trip to India. I saw Hindus miraculously healed and accept Christ. I trained the brand-new believers how to heal the sick in Jesus’ name as evidence that Jesus is the Messiah. At that time my eyes were opened to what God was calling us to do.
Perhaps ten years later around 2010 or so, I discovered my NASB Bible somewhere in our house. I opened up the front cover and saw the list of goals I had written nearly 20 years earlier. For some reason I scanned (or took a photo of) what I had written there. I have no idea what happened to the scanned image after that. But the Lord had not forgotten.
About a week ago on March 10, 2018 I was at work on my computer with my wife next to me working on hers. Suddenly a new email appeared in my Inbox. It was from my wife’s gmail account. I clicked on the email and noticed an attachment. Opening the attachment I recognized the scan of what I had written in my Bible perhaps 27 years earlier while we were still pastors in New York City.
I asked my wife standing right next to me at her computer if she just had sent it to me. “No,” she answered promptly. I pointed out the scan to her.
We both stood there transfixed, not understanding where the email came from. My wife’s gmail account had no record of it being sent.
We believe it was God who in His miraculous way sent it to remind us of what we had set as seemingly unreachable goals long ago in the early 1990s. Below we’ve encircled the items from the list I had written in my Bible at that time. (The item “India” was added a few years later.)
What is most significant is that we had set these very same goals for The Elijah Challenge in 2015. And the Lord has now given us a way by which we can in fact train and send out 1,000,000 workers into his still untouched harvest fields around the world where billions of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and idol-worshipers have never heard the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ even once. Our ultimate goal is to bring one billion souls to Jesus Christ through these one million workers before the end. We have already produced significant fruit in the nation of INDIA—just as was prophesied and then written down in my NASB Bible above.
The Lord is telling us that He approves of our goals and wants to enable us to reach them—as impossible as they may seem humanly speaking.
Matthew 17:20 Truly I tell you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
The Founders of The Elijah Challenge
March 17, 2018