Pastor Rickie Bradshaw works with Union Baptist Association Houston, the largest Baptist Association in the USA
December 3, 2012
Rickie is executive director of StreetLife Worldwide and the senior pastor of First Southwest Baptist Church, a predominantly African-American congregation in a Houston suburb
“The Elijah Challenge is the most balanced scriptural healing strategy I have ever encountered. Members from churches across Houston, (First Baptist, Second Baptist, Christian Tabernacle, Methodist, Oklahoma Baptist, a Baptist from Austin along with others from across Houston) were trained on Saturday on how to conduct healing evangelism from an obedient biblical model. On Sunday the trained disciples conducted practicum in communities across Houston. The places where repentance and consecration has been conducted, through prayer marches and ministries like the Fire Torch, are experiencing the Elijah Challenge. The Lord is among His people as they cast out demonic spirits and spirits of infirmities. The goal of the challenge is to preach the gospel not only in Word but in power and the demonstration of the Holy Spirit. Not [simply] speaking in tongues but in authority to prove that Jesus can forgive sin [by healing the sick in His name]. We are preparing to take this challenge to multiple communities across Houston. Here is Sunday’s (December 2, 2012) report from The Elijah Challenge of our experience in Fifth Ward.”
The Elijah Challenge report on the Fifth Ward Outreach
On a very mild Sunday in December 2012 in Houston’s Fifth Ward we witnessed the Lord start something new in that community ravaged by poverty, drug addiction, and prostitution. At a field situated at the corner of Lee and Gregg St. through a portable loudspeaker, Baptist Pastor Rickie Bradshaw enthusiastically gave glory to God and invited the people in the area to come—“for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Then we took the microphone and invited the sick and infirm to come forward to be healed by the Lord Jesus Christ. Trained disciples had already gathered, ready to heal the sick for the sake of the gospel.
Slowly and little by little, people from the community approached us. A young mother pushed a baby stroller up to us. Her baby boy had been sick and feverish for two days. Lucille and others ministered to the infant through the laying on of their hands, rebuking the fever in Jesus’ name. The baby opened his eyes, looking alert and well. His mother touched him and declared that the fever had gone.
Young girl with heart condition runs
Then a young 9-year-old girl named J.J. was brought forward, the granddaughter of Pastor Rickie. J.J. was suffering from a heart condition, and her doctor forbade her from activities like running which would tax her weak heart and even cause her to faint. We asked her if she believed that Jesus would heal her. She nodded in agreement. Then Kurt Simms led the disciples in laying hands on her heart, commanding it to be healed in the name of Jesus. Then we ordered her to run to a fence which was forty or fifty yards behind us.
At first J.J. hesitated. But Kurt took her by the hand and encouraged her to start running. The two of them took off at a quick jog, reaching the fence in several seconds. They turned around and ran all the way back to us. We could see that J.J. was not out of breath, exhausted, or in any distress. In front of the people we asked her how she felt, and she said she felt fine. J.J. spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the event, feeling absolutely fine.
Large cancerous tumor shrinks
Then two ladies, one younger and the other one her aunt, came forward. The older lady had a large cancerous tumor in her abdominal area making her look pregnant. She was scheduled for surgery soon. She felt pain from the tumor, especially when she shook her body. Trained sisters laid hands on her to minister healing in Jesus’ name. During this time the younger woman who was the niece began to weep. She said that the tumor in her aunt which just moments earlier was large was getting smaller. After a few more minutes of the sisters ministering to her, the woman came to us and testified before the people that the tumor had indeed shrunk. When she shook her body, she could no longer feel the pain or the tumor.
A gentleman named Javier came forward for ministry. Among a host of other personal problems, his breath reeked of alcohol. As brothers ministered deliverance to him, he felt something hit him hard and he was thrown to the ground. (This happened also in Luke 4:35 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.)
After this opening salvo outdoors on the field adjacent to J & J Lounge, the disciples broke up into teams to go door to door in the immediate neighborhood. While we are awaiting more reports, we have one to share with you. Our daughter Christina and her team visited a home where a woman named Rosie and her 22-year-old daughter lived. Rosie suffered from pain in her head and leg due to diabetes, and for seven years her daughter could not breathe through her nose due a sinus problem. The disciples ministered to both women. Rosie’s pain vanished. and her daughter was able to breathe normally through her nose for the first time in seven years.
The Lord was with us on this first public foray of its kind into the Fifth Ward for the sake of the gospel. In Luke 10:9 Jesus commands us to “heal the sick and tell them, ‘the kingdom of God is near you.'” This will be just the beginning. Our hostess Pastor Connie Strahan based in the Fifth Ward plans to do such events regularly in different areas of the Fifth Ward. We will continue to train the Lord’s disciples to reach out to the Fifth Ward in future events of this kind to be held there.
Update on J.J.
Pastor Rickie wrote us on Monday, “J.J. is feeling real good. She did not get tired at school and she can’t wait to see the doctors on Thursday.”
On the following Saturday, he wrote us again:
“I have great news. Jaedyn went to visit the transplant team of physicians at Texas Children’s Hospital on Thursday. They checked her heart for any sign of health problems. After two physicians looked for what they called the galloping sound of her heartbeat, which is common with this disease, they checked multiple times and they could not find the galloping sound. They were amazed and very surprised. The galloping sound in her heart is always supposed to be present until she has a new heart. Her blood pleasure was a surprise as well. They were expecting a three-digit read up and down but her pressure was normal. They are going to do an ultra sound to see what may be going on before we can declare a miracle. Of course we have no doubts that [she is healed].
What they did not know was that Jaedyn had attended The Elijah Challenge healing evangelism practicum (Sponsored by UBA—Union Baptist Association Houston) on Sunday in Fifth Ward (an inner city community) and she had acknowledged that her heart was healed. A man who had previously trained with The Elijah Challenge grabbed her by the hand and ran with Jaedyn for about 100 yards. Afterwards she reported to the onlookers that she was ready to run again. The man himself said he was a bit exhausted. Since that day she has been as healthy as she has ever been. Prior to this, Jaedyn would become very tired after walking to class at school. Many times we would have to pick her up from school because she would be too exhausted. She went to school this week with no problems. This is amazing.
Two Wednesday ago Jaedyn had an encounter with the Lord during Bible Study. He called her name three times. She asked Him who was speaking to her. He told her that He was Jesus. He told her that He was going to heal her heart and He wanted to use her to speak on His behalf. She preached to the church for 90 minutes nonstop. Her message was about His church having a sick heart. She said that the church has fake worship. The Lord told her to tell us that His church worshipped Him to get a blessing from Him instead of worshipping Him because He is the blessing. He even told her to worship Him not because she needs a new heart but because He is her heart and when He heals her heart He will heal His Churches heart. She shared with us that her heart was a symbol of the condition of His churches heart. She spoke to us as He spoke to her. It was truly an amazing experience.”