October 31, 2011
In October 2011 we introduced The Elijah Challenge to the leaders and workers of River Jordan Church, one of the larger churches in an area of West Borneo known as Singkawang. As you can see in the map below—look for the circle—it is situated right on the west coast of West Borneo facing the South China Sea. Because of heavy undocumented immigration from China to the north decades ago, the area is heavily Hakka-speaking Chinese along with traditional Chinese beliefs of ancestor worship and idolatry—very strong in Singkawang. The many unmistakeable idol temples seen in town attest to this.
Our job here was to train the local believers how to reach the Chinese idol-worshipers with the weapon of miraculous healing. Ancestor and idol-worship here is so strong that only miracles accompanying the preaching of the gospel can shake them loose and convince them to follow Jesus Christ.
Following the two-hour crash course for the leaders and workers, we did a demonstration of healing. Six people with infirmities came forward and were ministered to by the disciples, and by the time the dust settled all six of them testified that they were healed. One elderly gentlemen who came forward limping with pain because of a stroke was seen stomping his feet on the floor vigorously with no pain afterwards. One woman was relieved of pain she had suffered from ten long years.
Then on to the interior
The following day we traveled two hours into the interior to a village called Nyempen where for the day we trained pastors and servants of God who minister and reach out to the indigenous people of Borneo—the Dayaks. Although quite a few Dayaks are Christians, witchcraft still has a strong hold on them. Some years ago when the Dayaks engaged in tribal warfare against the Madurese, even Dayak pastors engaged in witchcraft in order to kill off the Madurese more effectively.
In the morning on the way there over terribly rutted roads through the jungle we would see occasional wild boars from our car. After we arrived at the little Jordan River Satellite Church in the village, Lucille taught twenty or so believers and servants of God some of whom came from even deeper in the jungle. During the demonstration of healing, three people were healed of infirmities. One woman had suffered from constant pain from her back down to her leg for well over ten years. The Lord healed her instantly as two ladies laid hands on her. One man had a headache and could not turn it to the side. The Lord healed him during the Training. He then testified through tears.
At the evening meeting, it was Brother B’s turn to minister. The Lord enabled him to preach with power in the Indonesian language. Then the Lord confirmed the Word of God by healing every infirm person who came forward as the trained servants of God exercised their authority. Each of them testified before the people. Our host pastor Joshua was greatly encouraged. He plans to take the teaching and train other servants of God and believers in his village. Although many Dayak people are “Christians,” few of them actually follow the Lord. Witchcraft is still prevalent in their midst.
Back to Singkawang
On Sunday back in Singkawang we preached in the two meetings of the River Jordan (mother) Church. In the morning Brother B preached repentance as did Elijah at Mount Carmel and as did John the Baptist before the coming of Jesus Christ. The Lord confirmed His word by healing several people of infirmities through the disciples there who had been trained earlier Thursday evening. The people then repented of their idolatry and returned to serve the Lord with all their hearts. In the evening Lucille preached about the obedience of Abraham and Sarah which came from their faith. She shared her own testimony about how she herself had offered to the Lord her “Isaac”—the American dream—by following Brother B from America to the jungles of West Borneo over three decades earlier to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who had never heard. The people were all very touched and challenged to obey the Lord as did Abraham.
A powerful miracle for a little boy
Hezekiah is a three-and-a-half-year-old Dayak boy. When we first saw him lying on a mat on the floor in the home of a dear Christian brother in Pontianak where we spent the night, we knew there was something very wrong with him. He was but skin and bones. He could not stand up, walk or run like other little boys, but spent his days lying and twisting his body on his mat. We would have guessed from his size that he was about two years old.
Hezekiah had been born with an opening at the bottom of his heart. As a result his heart had to beat furiously to pump enough blood to his little frame. He could not eat normally and his growth was terribly stunted. His relatives living at the home could hear his screams when the distress and discomfort in his body became unbearable. He was also blind due to cataracts on his eyes.
When I heard about the condition of his heart, I ministered to him shortly before we left Pontianak for Singkawang on Thursday of the previous week. While his grandmother was attending to him, I laid my hand on his tiny chest and commanded his heart to be healed in the name of Jesus Christ.
The next day Hezekiah excreted a very long parasitic worm from his body.
The following Monday we returned to Pontianak and saw Hezekiah again. Over lunch his family told us that a miracle had taken place. His mother discovered when she placed her hand on his chest that his heart was no longer racing wildly. She could feel it beating normally. He had begun to eat, unlike before. His countenance, often grimaced with distress, had changed. He appeared happy. And he had the strength to sit up on his mat for the first time. His mother was overjoyed.
By the middle of November, Hezekiah had gained much strength and, no longer stranded on his mat, was crawling all over the floor on all fours. He was eating well.
We are confident that Hezekiah will now develop normally and someday become a powerful and fruitful witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. Meet little Hezekiah below.