The Elijah Challenge Basic Training in Alberta, Canada
Basic Training Host Laurel Stevens of Lifegate Church
The first Elijah Challenge Training in Canada
When I arrived at the International Airport in Edmonton, Alberta late in April, the temperature was an unseasonal 27 degrees Fahrenheit. Snow began to fall that spring evening, and by morning when I awoke I was greeted by a beautiful winterscape through the dining room window of my gracious hosts Greg and Nancy Christiansen…
Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada — April 24, 2009
The Basic Training began in a room packed with over sixty Canadians hungry to obey God in reaching the lost. They came from different towns in the area. Most of them were white Canadians, but there was also a group of over ten believers from the Indian Reserve at Hobbema. At the first session of the Training there was also a surprise contingent of Vietnamese believers who came from Edmonton, about fifty kilometers away.
An older woman had attended the Training with her husband. Because of hearing loss, her favorite words were “huh?” and “what did you say?” Her husband would be frustrated when trying to communicate with her and at times would not even try. During the demonstration at the final session of the Training, other sisters ministered to her and the Lord opened up her ears. On the way home afterwards in the car, her husband—who had normal hearing—had the radio on with the volume on low. She asked him, “why is the radio on so loud?”
Following ten hours of Basic Training spread over three days, we held two Evangelistic Healing Services.
The spirit of Elijah on the Indian Reserve at Hobbema
Hobbema is reputedly the most violent Reserve in Canada with alcoholism, drug addiction, and the idolatrous worship of ancestral spirits contributing to the darkness.
Homes on the Reserve are scattered and separated far from one another
An “altar” used by the Indians to offer prayer to spirits
The Louis Bull Church at Hobbema
The Lord graciously sent the fire of healing on our evangelistic healing service in the Louis Bull Church at the Hobbema Indian Reserve. According to their traditional beliefs, Indians believe in a Creator but do not acknowledge Him to be the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. They also worship the spirits of deceased ancestors. I began the meeting by sharing how Elijah had challenged the priests of the false god Baal on Mt. Carmel to pray to their god to send fire from heaven. Elijah would likewise pray to the Lord. Whoever would send fire from heaven to consume the sacrifices would be the true God. At the meeting I proposed to the people that we would do the same thing. Whoever sent the “fire of healing” upon the infirm would be acknowledged as the true God. The people agreed and indicated they wanted to see what would happen.
Proclaiming the LORD as the true God
Following the pattern of Elijah, I first invited anyone present at the meeting to use their traditional “medicine” to heal the infirm. No one dared to pick up the gauntlet. And so I had the trained disciples come to the front, and together we prayed to the God of Elijah asking Him to send the fire of healing to prove to the people that He is the only true God. After prayer, we exercised at a distance our authority over diseases and demons afflicting the people (as Jesus did by healing the centurion’s servant in Luke 7). Immediately about eight people came forward to testify that the LORD had healed them of various infirmities. One woman had had no feeling or sensation from her forehead all the way back to her neck for years because of a head injury in a car accident. During the healing-at-a-distance, she felt a tingling sensation in that area and she was healed by the Lord. See her in the first photo below along with others waiting to testify.
Those who were not healed during the healing-at-a-distance then came forward for one-on-one ministry through the laying on of hands by the trained disciples. In this way more people were healed and testified. One man suffering from significant hearing loss said that his ears popped open and he could hear clearly.
The LORD had answered our prayer and sent the fire of healing to prove to the people that He is the true God and Creator. When I challenged the people to acknowledge the LORD as the true God, to repent of their sin and to follow Jesus Christ as His disciples, as far as I could see nearly everyone in the church raised their hands.
Now may this be simply the beginning of a renewed advance of the Kingdom of God on this Indian Reserve. May the Training of the native disciples continue and result in more and more of them being sent out to reach the entire tribe for Jesus Christ. They can be equipped to confront and defeat the spiritual darkness in Hobbema.
What happened in the aftermath of this Training Event
The spirit of Elijah at Wetaskiwin
At the Evangelistic Healing Service held at Lifegate Church, the Lord was gracious to hear our prayer in front of the people. He healed several infirm people to prove that He exists, that there is a heaven and a hell, that He judges sinners, and that Jesus Christ died on the cross to bear our sins and to save us from hell. As the trained disciples laid hands on those with infirmities, people were healed and testified of what the Lord had done for them. Hearing the gospel and seeing the miracles, souls repented of their sin and made Jesus their Lord and Savior for eternal life.
Above & below: trained disciples ministering healing to the infirm
One Indian woman had come to the meeting suffering from various problems related to losing her twenty-year-old daughter in a tragic shooting incident in 2008. She had been unable to speak for several days. She felt a heavy weight on her lower neck and shoulders if as she were carrying a heavy backpack. There was pain in her stomach. As the trained sisters ministered to her, she was dramatically set free and able to speak again. The heaviness and pain were gone. The next morning when we saw her in church she was radiant and beaming. See her in the photo below. Others who were healed are also shown testifying of God’s grace.
Testimony of believer who had been skeptical & spiritually down
Below is the testimony of one of the believers who had taken the Basic Training and who had ministered at this Evangelistic Healing Service.
“Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!
I don’t even know where I should start telling what this has been doing for me.
The whole healing thing has always been on my heart. For the last 20 years I’ve been trying to get a handle on this thing—trying to discover how it works. I have seen a few healings, but most of the time it was very frustrating to see that, honestly, nothing happened. I basically stopped praying for the sick.
So I started out with this teaching with a very negative attitude. I didn’t expect anything.
What an eye opener for me to learn that we should NOT simply pray for people, but use our God given authority [to minister to them].
The first thing I did was work with a lady [with a hearing disability] and her hearing was fixed. Another man had a 4000 dollar hearing aid and was still not able to hear properly. After being worked on by somebody on the team, he was walking around with a smile which you couldn’t get off of him with a sledge hammer. He was also healed of arthritis.
I was pumped.
So here comes a huge native man with spinal problems. I told him that this was “a piece of cake” (I probably could have moved Mt. Everest to Wetaskiwin — hallelujah, Jesus). When that was taken care of, he told me that he could hardly hear me because of all the voices in his head. He was standing close to the speakers, but he said the voices in his head were even blocking that. …As soon as I started rebuking them, the demons were coming out. It looked as if he would start throwing up. Then he looked at me with big eyes and said, “IT’S GONE” and gave me a big hug.
I had such a good time. Lately I have been so down spiritually, and I’m feeling pumped again.
So this morning in church I HAD to take the microphone and tell this story and that from now on I sell “free healing prayers.” After the service we spent at least 1.5 hour ministering healing. Hallelujah!!”
Report received the following week from Training Event Host Laurel Stevens
“I attended the Thursday night Bible study at Louis Bull Church last week for the first time. Marcus, the pastor, is doing what he learned at The Elijah Challenge Basic Training. After the study we asked if any one needed healing ministry and a lady who had attended the training said yes – she had arthritis pain in her knee as well as a “broken leg” (she was wearing a cast on her lower leg). Several of us had been to the Training. We commanded healing, and she got up and walked around. The pain was gone. Then a fellow said he wanted prayer. He is very sensitive to the spirit realm (sees and hears things and has had very specific dreams) and had been told by the Cree Elders that he would be a leader. However, he is a Christian now and is sincere. He had some time ago come to us and asked us to pray over his home because of demonic manifestations in the house. That night he shared very openly about his life. He received healing both emotionally and spiritually, and was able to let go of everything that is not from the true God. We then began deliverance ministry and he was awesomely and completely set free of a number of demons. He was very excited! He has had one experience of a demon trying to return and he overpowered it, and it left. He has now been sharing with his uncle who is a Medicine Man. He has also had a dream where Jesus showed up and healed his kidneys – an answer to prayer that God would give him dreams and visions so he would know what holy dreams and visions are. So exciting!
The mother of Darren, the husband of the lady who had the major deliverance at the Saturday healing service, became very ill and was taken to the hospital with kidney failure. The doctor said she would die that night – she was unresponsive. Marcus and some others prayed over Darren and he went to see his Mom. He touched her hand (nothing else) and she regained conciousness and rallied. A family member had a Medicine Man come. Marcus knew him and talked with him a bit. The man said he had to go to the doctor because his arthritis was so painful in his hand. Marcus asked him if he wanted ministry for healing. The man agreed. Marcus prayed, asking God to heal the man so he would know who is God, then commanded the healing in Jesus’ name. The pain left. The man went away shaking his hand and quite amazed.
I received a phone call from a lady who went to the Training. She is so excited. She said that Greg, their pastor, had been teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and just “happened” to be teaching on the gift of healing the Sunday after the training. He taught, then said there was another way, and explained The Elijah Challenge. He had people who had taken the Training come up and share, then asked if anyone needed healing. He told them to come up to the front. One was a young Native fellow with long term back pain – the pain left. He kept twisting and turning to check (in astonishment) and said, “This is crazy!” A lady came up who had Multiple Sclerosis. She felt significant improvement – they told her they would minister again next week – they weren’t quitting! Her husband was very excited. The service went an hour and a half longer than usual.
I had a phone call from one of my nieces two days ago. She wasn’t at the Training but has heard me talk about it. She had asked for ministry two weeks ago for recurrent headaches. They would come 3-4 times a week for the past month, sometimes debilitating. She didn’t know why. I ministered to her. Her phone call two days ago was to let me know she hadn’t had any headaches from the time she received ministry up until last night when she had had a slight one. I explained how the sickness may sometimes try to return and that she too can take authority over it and command it to leave. She is also a Registered Nurse and a Christian – we talked a little about now learning that we have authority over disease. I’m encouraging her to embrace it!
On Monday this week I met with a neighbour of mine. She had come to the Saturday healing service in response to the invitation and had called me just this past Saturday, asking for healing ministry. She was just been diagnosed with breast cancer. I called another lady from Lifegate to come and minister with me, and we commanded it to leave. She said she felt a tingling down the back of her neck. She has an MRI booked, and I can’t wait to see the results.
Going back to the Louis Bull Indian Reserve, there have been several large grass fires in the area which got out of control – one on the Montana Reserve (South East of Louis Bull), one on the Samson Reserve, and one on Louis Bull. The one at Louis Bull came right up the side of the hill that the townsite is on, to the school on the South side, skipped over the school and the entire townsite, flared up on the North side of the hill and burned down the hill completely destroying the Sun Dance site at the bottom. No one was hurt.
The Montana Tribe has been very resistant to Christianity and very active in Native Medicine until just recently: a house church started up about a month or so ago. The fire that happened there came so close to the houses that it melted the siding. The young men from the Tribe fighting the fire said that they “saw the face of the devil in the fire”. They asked for a Christian meeting. Marcus and Reggie (a Christian Native fellow) met with a number of them in someone’s house. Reggie spoke. The next day a whole bunch of Montana Tribe people showed up at the Tribe Administrative office asking for a church, including a Medicine Man who had formerly opposed it. Reggie lives at the Montana townsite as well as one of his nieces who is a Christian. The fire came right up to both their houses (literally to the concrete by Reggie’s house) and neither house was damaged at all – not even any soot. Other Tribe members noticed!
We didn’t have a time of healing at Lifegate Church last week (the service went very long) but we will be this week and it will be a regular event each week.
I think that is all for now. God is very, very awesome.
Thank you so much for coming: the vision is catching. People from different churches want to work together. What a sweet fragrance.”
“Just wanted to let you know that Pastor Marcus of the Louis Bull Church is having a healing service May 17 at 7:00 pm Mountain Standard Time on the Montana Indian Reserve. It may be held in the administration building but if that gets cancelled it will be outside. There has been a flurry of curses, etc., from the traditional Medicine men/women towards some of the believers but we just commanded them off, forgave those sending them and asked God to pour out His mercy, love and forgiveness on the ones sending the curses. We will be fasting Thursday, May 14, then meeting at the church Thursday evening to pray. We’ll be ending the fast with communion.
I saw the lady who had the major deliverance at the healing service on the Saturday night when you were here. I hadn’t seen her until today and she continues to be full of joy. She told me, “I had a major deliverance, you know.” Very wonderful!”
May 23, 2009 Update from Laurel
Things are really picking up in Hobbema plus elsewhere! There are now at Louis Bull Church a Ladies’ Bible Study and a Mens’ Bible Study on Tuesday night, a Bible Study on Thursday night with everybody together, the regular Sunday afternoon service and now the establishing of a church in the Montana Reserve on Sunday night. We are continuing to do healing ministry and deliverance ministry after the Bible studies and on Sunday at Louis Bull Church, and attendance is quite a bit higher, with new people coming. Now we’re doing outreach at the Montana Reserve on Sunday evenings to help establish the new church. There will be another healing service/outreach tomorrow night (May 24th).
Last Sunday (May 17th) at Montana Band two of the Christian men went around the townsite inviting people to come and many were very interested. However, the turn-out was quite small – but people came forward for prayer. One young woman stated that her pain was gone but will check back with us this Sunday as the pain tends to come and go; two other ladies said that they still felt better 2 days later; one lady was challenged to let go of all the old rituals and practices with the spirits as it was discerned that her poor eyesight was directly related to the blindness the demons caused her spiritually. She did not say no – said she needed to think about it because she’d made a promise. I think some others received prayer but I haven’t received reports. On Tuesday night at the Ladies’ Bible Study we did deliverance ministry with a young woman who wanted freedom from addiction to pot.
Marcus and the rest are establishing a beachhead at the Montana townsite! There is a lot of resistance from the Medicine men and women there and that would cause a lot of fear among the people and cause them to not risk coming. We will just continue to do battle as God leads. He is phenomenally bigger than anything any demons can throw at us and that is a tremendous witness to the people who live there. Sunday night the presence of the evil spirits was very strong over the townsite and in the administration building where we were but not in the room where we met. And the new church has now been given official permission to use the Montana Administration Building for their services, for free. Thank you God! How He loves those people.