November 13, 2018
Dear Prayer Partners and Friends of The Elijah Challenge,
Last Friday and Saturday, November 9 & 10 we conducted a two-day Elijah Challenge Training Event for the Pastors Fellowship of Bhubaneswar, the capital city of the state of Orissa. We encouraged the pastors not simply to focus their evangelistic efforts within the comfortable confines of the city where the gospel is relatively available, but to reach out to vast rural areas where the gospel has never been preached and it is not at all available. We shared with them our own testimony of how forty years ago we gave up “the American Dream” and left the comforts of Southern California to preach the gospel at the ends of the earth—in primitive regions of Indonesia totally enveloped by idol-worship and witchcraft. (Dancing on the Edge of the Earth)
During the course of the Training we did demonstrations of actual healing using the Lord’s supernatural power and authority. Among other things we witnessed, a middle-aged man with a heart condition was able to run up and down the aisle a few times and felt fine afterwards. We had sisters come forward to lay hands on a woman with a large tumor in her stomach which caused her pain when walking. The next day she reported that the pain had disappeared and that the tumor was smaller.
- Please pray that the pastors would not simply focus on ministering and enjoying their lives in the comfort of their city, but that the Lord would remind them of their crucial role in fulfilling the Great Commission in India—soon to be the most populous nation on earth. They are to preach the gospel and making disciples of ALL people groups in India. The majority of those who never heard the gospel in India still live in India’s estimated 650,000 villages, most of which are unreached. So much work remains to be done before “the end” and the return of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:14).
- May the pastors now use what we have taught them to train workers and then to send them to the Lord’s vast harvest fields in Orissa to heal the sick miraculously and proclaim the kingdom of God—exactly as Jesus did with his disciples in Luke 9 and 10.
Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. …6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.
Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. ….9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ …17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
Now we are in the region of Gajapati of Orissa training Baptist pastors and workers who do not reach out to the Hindus and Buddhists around them, but rather limit themselves to looking after their own sheep. Gajapati was one of the areas of Orissa hit hard by a destructive cyclone earlier this year.
A landslide near Gajapati caused by the cyclone
William & Lucille