In Brazil the city of Betim is like Detroit in America with auto manufacturing as the main industry. What we saw the Lord do there in the meetings with our host church New Canaan Baptist Church was unprecedented compared to what we usually saw in our Elijah Challenge Training Events.
The Lord graciously enabled us to teach The Elijah Challenge with a new level of effectiveness. Prior to being trained, the believers were reluctant to minister to the sick, constantly haunted by the question “what if the person is not healed?” But after they were trained how to use the Lord’s authority and power over disease and demons boldly according to Scripture, He used them very powerfully service after service. Among others, we even received testimonies of growths disappearing through the laying on of hands of the trained believers.
During one evangelistic Saturday evening meeting three people came up to the stage to testify that the Lord had healed them of cancer. Some actually felt the Lord’s healing power at work in their bodies where they had the cancer. Although at the meeting they could not of course present any medical verification that they were in fact healed, it is nevertheless significant because we do not commonly receive testimonies of people who say they have been healed of cancer in our events, let along three in a single evening. After many other testimonies including these three, fifteen people accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior—not Jesus plus the Virgin Mary, not Jesus plus one of the saints, but Jesus alone.
She had backslidden but came back to the Lord after her miraculous healing
He had been going to church for years, but that evening was set free and wanted to be baptized
One man came to the meeting in a wheelchair. He had been unable to stand up for five years. He was also nearly blind. After the trained believers ministered to him, he stood up from the wheelchair for the first time in five years and took steps. He was also amazed that he was able to see and identify objects placed before him.
The sheer number of testimonies of miraculous healing at each meeting as the trained believers ministered was unusual. What an extreme contrast from their state before the Training when they were so reticent to minister to the sick for fear of nothing happening!
The wife of our host Pastor had suffered from extreme depression after returning from a mission trip to a spiritually dark region in the north of their state Minas Gerais. Whereas before she was very active in the church, she had stopped going to church altogether for the past eight years. And she was the wife of the senior pastor of this vibrant church. Some had advised him to leave his wife and start anew. But he refused.
But his wife began to hear news of what the Lord was doing in our meetings. In particular there was a woman leader in the congregation, the wife of a well-known colonel, who had been suffering from hemorrhaging for years. Surgery after surgery and hospital stays produced no results. But after being ministered to with the Lord’s power by trained sisters, she went to the ladies room to check on the bleeding. The hemorrhaging had stopped completely. Because she had spent considerable time in the ladies room just to be sure that she was healed, when she returned to the sanctuary the meeting was coming to a close after many had already testified. But we were told there was one last testimony to be given. It was the wife of the colonel.
After the Senior Pastor’s wife who had extreme depression heard this, she made a decision. Without informing her husband she suddenly showed up at our final meeting. The pastor was in shock to see his wife at church for the first time in eight years…
Later that evening he shared with us that what he experienced over the weekend was beyond what he expected and hoped for. He is inviting us back to teach The Elijah Challenge more widely in the city of Betim which has approximately 2,000 churches.