Crato, Ceara, Northeast Brazil

January 2013

The Elijah Challenge in Brazil

The Elijah Challenge Training was conducted in Crato, a town in the state of Ceara in the Northeast ruled over by witchcraft and idolatry. Despite the prevailing darkness, the Lord gave the organizers of our event favor with the local government. The outgoing mayor happened to be a follower of Jesus Christ, and she granted us the use of a small sports arena centrally located in the town square.

On our first visit to Crato in January 2011 hosted by Visitation of God, we conducted The Elijah Challenge Training for the local churches. After the Training one Assembly of God pastor began boldly to apply what he had learned to heal the sick. The Lord used him powerfully, and so far about 300 people have been healed through him. Following the example of the prophet Elijah, he even challenged witch doctors in the public square by daring them to heal the sick. After they backed down, he laid hands on the infirm and the Lord healed them before astonished spectators.

Elderly woman with heart condition runs

Some representatives from the mayor’s office were among the small crowd which came to the first session last Wednesday evening at the sports arena. Following the teaching, we did a demonstration of healing by calling forward those who had heart disease. An tiny, frail 80-year-old woman got up and walked slowly to the front. Because of a blocked vein in her heart she had little strength, unable to run or pick up things requiring even the least effort. We asked her if she believed that Jesus could heal her, and she said that she did. Two ladies who had no doubt came forward to minister healing to her according to the example set down by the Lord Jesus in the teaching. They laid hands on her heart, and following us they exercised authority over the infirmity by issuing authoritative commands to it in Jesus’ name.

Afterwards I took her by her hand and took off walking at a brisk pace. She kept up with me step for step. I speeded up to a slow jog, and she followed with no apparent effort. We ran back and forth across the front several times. The crowd began to break out in applause to the Lord for what they were witnessing. After finally coming to a stop I asked her how she felt. She said that she felt fine and not at all tired or weak. Before this she had been completely unable (and of course forbidden) to run because of her blocked vein.

The people gave hearty thanks to the Lord.

Then I asked her to perform a second, perhaps more risky action—to lift a relatively heavy object. Prior to this she could not even pick up an infant, but I told her I wanted her to lift a growing child off the ground. Her pastor was seated there, and aware of her heart condition he was concerned that she would attempt such a thing. I asked for a child, and after a few moments a little girl pranced down from the bleachers and approached us. She weighed perhaps 40 pounds. The woman picked her up and held in her arms with a smile, and after ten seconds laid the child back down on the floor. I asked her how she felt, and she looked and felt fine. 

After that people with other infirmities came forward to be healed, and it appeared all of them were also healed as the disciples ministered to them.

Six people with heart disease run inside the arena

The finale of the Training event at the Sports Arena in downtown Crato was an evangelistic meeting where the theme was “When the Lord heals your heart disease, He will heal the heart of His Church.” We had asked the participants to bring people with heart conditions to the meeting to be healed by the Lord. The miraculous healings would be the sign that He wanted to heal the sick heart of His Church.

Nowadays many believers worship the Lord mainly because of the earthly blessings they can get from Him. In the eyes of the Lord this is “fake worship.” We ought to worship Him because He is worthy. Period.

After the sharing of the word of God I asked people with heart disease to come forward to be healed by the Lord. Six people stood up and made their way to the front. I asked them if there were certain actions they could not perform because of their heart conditions—like running or lifting heavy objects, and they all nodded in assent. I asked them if they believed that Jesus would heal them, and each replied affirmatively. Finally I asked if they would run around the arena after being ministered to, and they all agreed.

Then I asked for trained disciples to minister healing to them as they had been taught to do during the past five days. The disciples came forward and laid their hands on the hearts of the six, and following me issued authoritative commands.

Immediately afterwards all six of them began to run around the arena. (One man was quite elderly, and another man looked to be in very poor physical shape.) Round and round and round they went. Finally I called them to me to interview each one. One woman had been unable even to walk without feeling tired. But she was standing in front of me looking fine and not at all winded after her run. Then I asked her to lift a heavy object. There was a woman weighing over 100 pounds seated at the front, and I called her forward. The woman grabbed her around her waist and hoisted up her up, holding her in the air for ten seconds before setting her down gently. She looked and felt fine.

There were similar testimonies from the other five people as well. The Lord had dramatically touched all six people who had come with heart disease.

After everyone returned to their seats, I reminded the people of the significance of the physical miracles they had just witnessed: the Lord wanted to heal the sick heart of His Church.

With one heart, the people then repented of greed, idolatry, storing their treasure on earth, and friendship with the world. They wanted to be a people made ready for the coming of the Lord.

Kamyla leads the healing

Following that we asked for people with other infirmities to come forward to be healed by the trained disciples. They came to the front and lined up across the arena. At this point, our interpreter Kamyla, a 24-year old Brazilian disciple of Jesus Christ, took over leading the trained believers in the healing of the infirm through the laying on of hands and the exercise of authority. The believers repeated the authoritative orders after her, rebuking the infirmities and commanding healing in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterwards most if not all of the infirm people testified that the Lord had healed them. Kamyla is now ready to teach The Elijah Challenge effectively to Brazilian believers.


Lucille & Kamyla following service in the mountains overlooking Crato

In the days ahead

The participating pastors now want to work together to mobilize their people to use what they have just learned for the gospel in idolatrous Crato. They are going to send their people out to hospitals, to the streets, and from door to door to heal the sick and proclaim the kingdom of God before the great and terrible Day of the Lord.