The Elijah Challenge in Malaysia
Penang (encircled) is an island off the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia facing the Indonesian island of Sumatra
The Strait of Malacca off the coast of Penang
Senior Pastor Isaac Chan & Pastor Lydia Chan
Over 350 believers attend The Elijah Challenge Basic Training
Penang is a bustling island off the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It’s known for attracting tourists as well as corporations like Intel, National Semiconductor, and Dell Computer which have set up research & development and manufacturing facilities here.
Pastor Isaac Chan leads Penang Christian Centre, a large and fruitful “cell church” in this island city where an estimated 3% of the population are Christians. The majority of the population consists of idol-worshiping Chinese.
There were a total of about 360 believers who attended the Training conducted in English as well as separately in Mandarin Chinese. The Lord was gracious and enabled the instructors to teach effectively and methodically. At the end of the sessions they demonstrated to the people how Jesus healed the sick by using authority and the laying on of his hands. The Lord graciously confirmed the teaching by healing infirmities through believers who came forward to minister.
In Penang the Lord was petitioned to grant a higher level of effectiveness in equipping His people, and that the Training revolutionize the evangelistic ministry of His church. Since Penang Christian Centre is a cell church, the Elijah Challenge approach can be incorporated into the life of the cell groups such that souls are constantly and quietly coming into the Kingdom through them. It can become a model for other churches whereby the sick are healed and the lost saved and then discipled in their cell groups. This can reduce the relative importance of the role of sporadic evangelistic events held by specially-anointed one-man-show evangelists, and place the emphasis where it rightly belongs—on the ministry of the faceless members of the body of Christ. Only when disciples of Jesus Christ are all equipped and actively involved will the Great Commission be fulfilled.
The three evangelistic healing rallies on Saturday evening and Sunday were unusually graced by the Lord’s anointing and power to heal. At the first meeting after the gospel was boldly proclaimed, the trained believers attacked the works of the enemy—infirmities—with a relentless ferocity rarely seen. We were unprepared for the many people were healed and came forward to testify—it felt like steering a car down a mountain slope without any brakes. The miracles proved to the crowd that Jesus had authority to forgive sin. There wasn’t much time to publicly challenge the people to follow Jesus Christ.
A different procedure was followed on Sunday morning. After the preaching of the gospel from John 14, the infirm were ministered to in two separate stages—corporate healing-at-a-distance (as Jesus did in healing the centurion’s servant in Luke 7:1-10) followed by the individual laying on of hands. After the healing-at-a-distance, between 30 and 40 people came up to the platform and lined up to testify that the Lord had healed them. Some of the healings were dramatic, involving the restoration of sight and hearing. Afterwards the people were challenged to accept Jesus Christ as their only Savior since the miracles proved that He is the only way to the Father. Finally, those people who had not been healed during the mass healing came forward for the individual laying on of hands. In this way more people were healed and came up to the platform to testify. It was a most wondrous meeting.
At the final Sunday evening rally, a sister who had been a registered nurse and midwife testified, among several others. When she came to the Training on the very first day, she was a walking encyclopedia of infirmities—among other things she suffered from hypertension (up to 230) and diabetes. That first evening she was so dizzy that in her own words she felt as if she was trying to walk on top of water. But on Sunday evening she testified excitedly that she was healed—she indeed looked as different as day and night. Her blood pressure had gone down to 130 and her doctor was amazed that she had lost 5 kilograms since the first day of the meeting—an amazing average of a kilogram a day. To be certain that she was healed she even went out and gorged on “forbidden” food, and her body was fine afterwards.
In the words of one of the pastors, the trained believers “were on a roll” healing the sick and casting out demons.
The following week we received a call from Pastor Isaac who told us that he was taking some quick steps to consolidate the teaching in his congregation. On May 1 he will be showing the video of our Basic Training to the leaders and members who were not able to attend. As for the demonstrations of healing that are done during the videotaped sessions, he will do them live before the people. After the videotape Training they will hold their own evangelistic healing rallies on May 3 and 4.
May the Lord raise up Penang Christian Center to be an effective model for other cell churches to follow for the sake of the equipping of the body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission.
Report on the May 1 Video Training:
“92 people attended (about half alumni) and the Lord was gracious to heal 9 people at the very first demonstration of healing after the 2nd teaching session, when I asked for joints and pains.
This included fingers, shoulders, wrists, hands that could not be lifted, and knees & joints. Pastor Lydia was also healed of pain in the neck for the last 2 days.
In the second healing demonstration after the 3rd teaching, I asked for all other conditions and another 7 were healed, including loosening of neck, shoulders, sprain in the side.
A lady was crying as she testified that pain in her foot for the last one month was healed. She was planning to get an x-ray.
Praise the Lord. After the first demonstration, we had about 10 ladies needing healing, but only 2 men. At the rate we are going we may not have enough people needing healing at the Saturday morning 3-hour session, when we are supposed to heal ear and eye problems.
I have asked the participants to invite the sick, believers or unbelievers to the healing demonstration on Saturday morning, as well as to the Evangelistic Healing Rallies on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
One sister laid hands on her non-Christian mother at home and saw the swelling feet subside within minutes. We trust more will begin to use The Elijah Challenge outside the church walls.
We are really looking forward to the Rallies and believe it will further encourage our people to take it to the sick outside.”
Portions of the report on the Evangelistic Healing Rallies the following weekend:
“It was a bold step of faith to follow up with the Video Training just 2 weeks afterwards and a Healing Rally on our own. This was definitely outside my and our comfort zone.
On Saturday, we had quite a full house. I don’t know how many non Christians we had, but I suspect not many. After I preached from Mark 5 on Jesus’ authority over demons, disease and death I gave the healing invitation. About 70 alumni came forward and 45 came forward for healing, I led in a mass healing prayer, and we slowly had a few testimonies, but nothing that significant. While the alumni were commanding healing during the 2nd round, I gave an invitation to receive Christ, and 1 young man came forward. At the end of the service I was told a mother and her daughter also received Christ. There were a few more testimonies after that as we went for a few more rounds where the alumni ministered healing individually.
…[On Sunday] The number of healings proportionally was not really less than the weekend when you were present, in spite of the fact that almost everyone present were believers. So we thank God that He used us again to heal some sick people and 3 received Christ. We believe more testimonies will come in later. Yet we had more results than we ever had before in any in-house evangelistic event. And of course we never had any in-house healing rally without an invited healing evangelist.”
Note: The present age of the one-man-show superstar evangelist is coming to a close. The age of the body of Christ—the nameless, faceless believer—is at hand.