Sunday, September 9, 2012
Dear Brethren in Christ,
We have completed The Elijah Challenge at our second venue, this time for a group from a mostly English-speaking International Church composed of expatriate foreigners which is registered with the government. Lucille taught a small group of ladies in Mandarin Chinese while William taught the larger English-speaking group. Those who attended this training were mostly very committed disciples of Jesus Christ, including missionaries and “tentmakers” who served the gospel under the cover of an official profession like teaching English. Present were disciples from the Dallas area of Texas, from Minnesota, from Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and even Africa.
It was wonderful to teach in English only without an interpreter, running unfettered and no longer weighted down. The Lord was gracious to open the hearts of his servants to this “new” revelation which is actually clearly presented in the Scriptures. In the words of our host, American missionary Linda, it was a paradigm shift. What she and her husband knew from their background was that one had to wait for a “rhema” or word or stirring from the Spirit before stepping out of the boat to take some action in the realm of the miraculous. But from the written Scriptures we presented to them, they now understand that disciples have a measure of authority to minister in the miraculous even without a rhema or spoken word from the Lord.
They learned that believers don’t necessarily have to wait for the Lord to tell them specifically to do something which the written word in the Scriptures already commands us to do. “Heal the sick and tell them, ‘the kingdom of God is near you.'” (Luke 10″9) This was indeed a paradigm shift for them. Because of an imbalance which is quite prevalent throughout the Church, believers are paralyzed by a spirit of helplessness—either waiting for God to do something, or waiting for God to command us to do it.
No, the Lord has already given us a measure of power and authority over disease and demons, and has commanded us to use it in the preaching of the gospel. Why should we wait for the Lord to tell us to do something which He has already commanded us to do in the Scriptures?
The Lord was gracious to confirm this word—this paradigm shift—by performing various miracles on some of the believers in William’s small group of English speakers. One sister had been completely deaf in her left ear since the age of four years when an infection destroyed her auditory nerve. Two sisters came forward to minister to her, inserting their fingers into her ears and commanding her hearing to be restored. By the time they were done, the sister could hear and understand whispers in her left hear. She actually felt physical sensations in her ear as the Lord was restoring her hearing.
Another sister wearing glasses was losing sight in her left eye, and doctors were proposing surgery. She was already unable to read print with her left eye, even with eyeglasses. Two sisters ministered to her, and by the time they were done she was able to read small print with the eye.
Another sister could only hear indistinct noises in one ear when people spoke to her. After she was ministered to, she could understand what people were saying to her.
We thank the Lord for performing such miracles before highly-educated and committed disciples to confirm the teaching from the Scriptures.
Brethren, please pray that the seed which we planted will grow and produce much good fruit for the gospel and the Great Commission in this area of great darkness where in the past servants of God—including Wycliffe/SIL missionaries—have been martyred. May the small group of expatriate leaders which we trained now apply what was taught, and then use it to train local disciples.
Below are some photos of the local disciples which we trained at last week’s venue in a local house church.
Tomorrow we begin a three-day Training event for a Fellowship of various house churches.
-William & Lucille