Persecution of believers in India is increasing, so as you read this report please understand we have changed the names and locations to add an additional layer of security for our brothers and sisters in North India.
We have been praying for years that the Lord would help us reach more people in the remote villages of North India with the gospel of Christ. We are very happy to report that He is answering those prayers. Even with your generous donations to the ministry, there are always more villages, more towns, and more churches waiting for us to do more evangelistic feeding events than we can possibly do. However, because of your faithful prayers and financial support, The Elijah Challenge and Feeding Events India have increased fourfold from one feeding event a month to four a month since 2007.
Ever notice how a prairie fire gathers speed as the wind blows sparks across the grass? What we are seeing is the wind of the Holy Spirit using our network churches like sparks to ignite new fires of interest in remote areas and also within some denominational churches. Once pastors see and experience how the Holy Spirit draws so many unbelievers to Christ in our feeding events, they eagerly invite us to come to their village. We normally train 30 to 60 pastors a month so our schedule to gets full quite quickly. These pastors come from Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal and Non-denominational backgrounds. Their denominational background makes no difference to us at all. If they want to be trained to reach the lost just as Jesus trained his disciples, we will train them.
Churches that God helped us plant years ago (even though small by American standards) have now grown large enough to help us do extra evangelistic feeding events in neighboring villages. As a result, with their help, we can sometimes do two feeding events for the price of one.
In addition to doing two large $1,600 evangelistic feeding events each month, The Elijah Challenge and Feeding Events India have now started doing two smaller (mini) $700 feeding events in the state of Punjab. We have found that most of the pastors have very little formal Bible training, so the day before an event we invite pastors from the area to come for a day of Bible-based evangelistic training which includes The Elijah Challenge. After being trained we invite them to put their training to use by ministering during the altar call at an evangelistic feeding event. Something astonishing happens as these newly-trained pastors minister in Jesus’ name on behalf of those who come for healing prayer. Hundreds place their faith in Christ as many of the sick are instantly healed and set free from Satan’s grip.
Here are two reports dated May 2016 submitted by our Elijah Challenge co-worker Pastor Simon Haq.
“Our first mini-event (below) was a great success; our Elijah Challenge-trained Pastor Sanja ministered in the event where 120 people gave their lives to the LORD. This event was in the District of Ferozepur in the state of Punjab. Many were also healed of various sicknesses as they were prayed over by the pastors we trained with The Elijah Challenge before the event. These pastors have seen how God uses healing miracles to draw unbelievers to Jesus, and so they are greatly encouraged and ready to go house-to-house and village-to-village preaching the gospel. As they expand the Kingdom of God they will plant new house churches and Bible study fellowships in villages that have never heard about Jesus, the Son of God.
Our second mini-feeding event was in a nearby village and was also a great success. We were blessed to see 90 unbelievers place their trust in Jesus Christ. This was the first time a gospel feeding was organized in this village. Sanjah, one of our local pastors, will also be starting a new house church in this village.
A larger evangelistic feeding event (below) was in Aryana, North India, where 380 people gave their lives to the Lord. Hundreds were healed of their infirmities when prayed over in Jesus ‘name. This was the first time any of them had heard the gospel and to be prayed over in Jesus’ name. There was one outstanding miracle in particular. There was a girl who met with an accident and fractured her leg. She had plaster on her leg. When one of our trained missionary pastors laid hands on her and ministered to her in the name of Jesus the pain left—as the bones joined back together—and she started walking normally from that moment. She prayed to receive Christ.”
Why do we share about God healing people miraculously?
It is important to remember it is always God’s Spirit who heals and then uses the healings and other miracles to authenticate who Jesus is to people who have never heard of Him. Moreover, most pastors and laymen have little to no formal Bible training, and they are sharing Christ with families who have worshiped millions of false gods for generations. Because their gods have never answer prayers or helped them in any way, they are very skeptical of this “new god” our missionary pastors are telling them about, especially a god who not only claims to be able to heal the sick, but also claims to have the power to forgive sin and give eternal life. For most, the idea of receiving eternal life from a god who loves them and is willing to forgive their sin is totally unheard of. Even without miracles some accept and place their trust in Jesus right away just from hearing the gospel preached. However, many more truly believe and trust in Jesus when the Holy Spirit confirms the good news by healing the sick and setting the demonized free. When they hear the gospel preached and then see God heal their sick and demonized as evidence of the truth of the gospel, whole villages come to faith in Christ and become his witnesses.
The following report from Pastor Simon Haq is a good example.
“There was a woman from our church whose friend was dying from a very painful nervous condition in her body. Over the years she had consulted many priests and witch doctors, but none was able to help her—in fact, the condition worsened. Now she was on her deathbed in so much pain and she wanted to die. When the Christian lady friend came to visit, she told her about seeing sick people getting healed in our church and asked if it would be OK for me to come pray over her.
Reluctantly the sick woman said, “yes, bring him here to pray over me.” When I arrived I saw she was very ill and in a lot of pain. I told her that Jesus, the Son of God, wanted to help her and I prayed over her in Jesus’ name. Within minutes the nerves that were causing her so much pain were healed and all the pain left her body. When the pain left, she understood it was Jesus who had healed her, and she prayed to receive him as her Savior.
Third from left: the woman from wealthy family miraculously healed
Shortly thereafter, she called to tell me she had arranged a meeting for me to tell her family about Jesus. When I got to the meeting hall she was there with about 50 of her family members. I taught them how Jesus is the only Son of the only real God and how he died to pay for their sin so they could have eternal life in heaven. The woman then stood and told her family what Jesus had done for her. Within about an hour all 50 family members prayed to receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
This family is from a wealthy business class and they have access to many business people in Delhi. We are now in the process of helping them start a new church. This could be a great opportunity to reach wealthy business owners in Delhi. Please pray for us and them.”
-Submitted by Bill Willis of Feeding Events India along with The Elijah Challenge