Elijah Challenge Events in India
January 2015 Feeding Events with Elijah Challenge Co-Worker Simon Haqq
The first event was on January 13 and 14 in a suburb of Delhi named Mahapalpur. There was much opposition from Hindus in this area, even threatening to burn our tent. The pastors knew there was much unrest and opposition and they were very frightened. They wanted to cancel the gospel event, but while Simon Haqq, our coordinator and evangelist, was praying at home the Lord gave him confirmation from Psalm 91 that all would be OK. “They shall not come near the door of your tent.” was what he heard in his spirit, so he told the pastors “Do not to worry, God will protect us.” Not only did the opposition cease, we actually fed 1,000 and 600 prayed to receive Christ.
Pastor Simon Haqq
The missionary training model Jesus used in his ministry was to teach, then demonstrate and then send out his disciples commanding them to do what they had seen him doing. (Mt 28: 18-20, Luke 9 and 10, Jn 14) To the best of our ability, we follow his training model. First, we select pastors who want to be Missionary Pastors to their communities or villages. We then teach them how to effectively preach the gospel with boldness and power from the Holy Spirit (1Co 2:4), and then with The Elijah Challenge Training we equip them to use Christ’s name, in the context of evangelism, to heal the sick and cast out demons.
As the Holy Spirit confirms the gospel (Mk 16:15-20) by healing the sick, almost every person attending the event repents of the worship of idols and turns to Jesus Christ for salvation and eternal life. So, we tell the people who Jesus is, the only Son of God, and the Holy Spirit confirms it when our pastors minister to the sick. We did this first gospel event in January to help eight trained pastors reach out to their community with the gospel. The people who came to eat filled out contact cards, which make it possible for the pastors to continue witnessing and ministering to the families.
All eight pastors reported an increase in church attendance and the salvations continued following the gospel event. Sometimes there are too many new believers for one little house church, so pastors often have the opportunity to plant new house churches in their community. This is important because it takes at least 300-400 members to support a local pastor and his family at a minimum level of $100-$200 a month.
Also attending the gospel event were 14 additional pastors from North India, They had heard about the gospel events and came to find out first hand if gospel events really could help them reach the lost and build up church attendance. After seeing the results, all 14 submitted applications to join Simon’s ministry group. In the future, after they have been trained, FEI will schedule gospel events for them too. As I have reported many times, it is very common to see the Holy Spirit confirm the gospel message by healing the sick and setting the captives free. This gospel event was no exception.
A man sitting in the back row of the tent had been afflicted with a stiff neck for 4 years. It was so painful that he could not straighten his head. Before the ministry time, while he was praying to receive Christ, he got nauseated and he started vomiting. After he threw up the pain and stiffness left his neck and he was able to hold his head upright. He immediately came forward to share his testimony of what Jesus had done for him. As a result many placed their trust in Christ. This is “healing in the context of evangelization”, which is what Jesus sent his apostles and disciples to do in Luke 9 and Luke 10. (This is precisely the purpose of The Elijah Challenge Training.)
We did the Second Evangelistic Feeding Event on January 30-31, in a small village located 240 miles from Delhi. In this village we experienced an increase in opposition. Thus, for security reasons, I cannot mention the name of the village or the pastors’ name, but I can tell you that we fed about 200 people and 150 turned from the worship of Hindu idols and accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
HUGE TENT CRUSADE MEETING
For the second time our Evangelist and Ministry Coordinator, Simon Haqq, was invited to preach the gospel in perhaps the largest tent crusade in the world. The conservative Bible Mission ministry group sponsored the crusade and has a permanent 50 acre tent along with a couple of smaller tents in Guntur, India. Altogether Simon preached the gospel to approximately 2.5 Million people at one time in the three tents.
When he gave the invitation, huge numbers of people stood and prayed to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. I asked Simon if more people made decisions this year than last and he said yes, many more. You can see a video of these enormous tents and huge crowd at YouTube: Bible Mission Guntur-2014.
Bible Mission Guntur invited Simon to preach because some of their pastors came to one of his Feeding Events and witnessed how a whole village came to believe in and trust Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins and eternal life after the gospel was preached and confirmed by miraculous healings from the Lord. Now, as if that were not enough good news, the president of the Bible Mission group has invited Simon to come to his church in May to teach about the workings of the Holy Spirit and present the gospel. They are expecting many thousands to hear and be saved. More than a million people turned from their idols to accept Jesus.
The population of just Northern India alone exceeds the population of the United States. There are an estimated 100,000 villages that have never heard about Jesus, the only Son of God. God has opened a huge door for us, but with the open door comes an enormous responsibility. The fields are ripe and ready for the harvest.
Please pray for our wisdom and discernment as we attempt to provide more and opportunities to equip and assist missionary pastors that are willing to join the harvest. Our prayer for India, especially Northern India, where we are headquartered, is that God grant us the incredible privilege of presenting the gospel of Christ to everyone who can and will believe in him. It is impossible to know how many have already accepted Jesus as God’s Son, as a direct or indirect result of the gospel events, but it is in the millions. And because of the ongoing ministry of the Missionary Pastors, the number continues to increase each week.
By Bill Willis, Founder of Feeding Events India (FEI) and Elijah Challenge Board Member