Initial Report on Historic Campaign in Niger: the blind see, the deaf hear, the sick are healed
Brother William wrote:
“The Lord is visiting Niger in an unprecedented way. In the Equipping Seminar on the first two days of our visit, the Lord imparted His miraculous healing power to those pastors, leaders, and believers who attended. After that we held three evenings of pre-Crusade meetings in local churches. Then the actual open-air Crusade began on Monday, November 4, and we are currently in the third day of the seven-day Crusade.
After preaching the gospel, I would ask the Lord to confirm His word by healing the sick. To accomplish this, I asked the Nigerien believers trained in the Healing Encounter to come forward to lay hands on the infirm in the name of Jesus. With great boldness and faith born of the Holy Spirit, these believers rebuked the infirmities and commanded them to be healed in the name of Jesus.
We have witnessed great miracles one in Jesus’ name—the blind are seeing and the deaf are hearing, One man brought to a meeting on a cot was unable for several years even to sit up. He stood up and walked in the name of Jesus. One Musl__m man, a district chief and respected member of the community, was healed of pain in his knees and foot after twenty years of suffering. He cannot deny that Jesus is the Son of God. After hearing the testimonies, precious Musl__m souls are responding to our invitation to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. Because of the situation particular to this Crusade, I personally do not at this time have an idea how many people have been saved, although we know the pastors and churches are greatly encouraged by what the Lord is doing in their midst. With glee one pastor remarked to Brother Clive Cook, Coordinator of the Crusade and Director of World Horizons in West Africa, that the miracles he saw during the Crusade were “just like in the Bible.” Such things had never before been done in the history of Niger.”
Training the believers how to open the eyes of the blind and ears of the deaf: November 3, 2002
“I had noticed that the believers I had trained were not really ministering with boldness and perseverance during the first two pre-Crusade church services. Although people were getting healed, I felt it could have been better. They needed more training. So for the third pre-Crusade meeting which took place just a couple of hours ago, I decided not only to preach the gospel to any unbelievers (Musl__ms) who might be present, I decided I had to give more training to the believers. It was not enough for me just to go over the Scriptures on how Jesus healed, but I decided I had to actually lay hands on the infirm and heal them in front of everyone for them to see how it was done.
Usually I simply minister in mass healing…those who are healed come forward to testify, and those who are not healed don’t. It’s relatively “free of risk,” because those who are not healed don’t come forward and tell everyone they weren’t healed. But I had to show the believers that I was willing to stick my neck out by ministering to the infirm one on one from the front if indeed I expected them to do the same.
But the pastor of Bethel Church, where we had the meeting tonight, is a very enterprising man of God. Instead of holding the meeting inside his church, he decided to hold it outside the church in the open-air, right by the side of a busy street. He erected a stage, put up lights and a powerful sound system. Several hundred people gathered, not just believers, but unbelievers from the street drawn by the hoopla and singing of the choir he had assembled. It was a mini open-air Crusade!
I first shared to the unbelievers about Jesus’ identity as the light of the world (Jn 8.12), and how we his disciples are given the responsibility of preaching the gospel and demonstrating to the world who Jesus really is by healing the sick in His name. Then I taught from Mark 8 and 7 how Jesus had to minister twice to a blind man before he was completely healed and how Jesus opened the ears of a deaf man; and that we would do the same that evening. I announced by faith in the name of Jesus that I would be the first to minister to the blind (or those with poor eyesight) from the stage so the believers could learn how to do it. (Let me tell you, this takes some holy boldness, but praise the Lord Jesus for His faithfulness, and thank you for your fervent prayer…it availed much tonight!)
Four people came up to the stage. I ministered first to a younger woman with poor eyesight, who testified to the crowd she could see well after I ministered about four times to her. Hallelujah! But the real eye-opening healing was the next one involving an elderly woman who was practically blind and practically deaf. When I first rebuked the spirit of blindness and commanded her eyes to be opened, there was no improvement. I asked the crowd what I should do—should I be discouraged, afraid of embarrassment, give up? No, they shouted in accordance with what I had just taught them, continue! I ministered a second time. She looked around and if I remember correctly there appeared to be no improvement in her vision. I turned to the crowd and asked them what I should do. “Continue,” they shouted. Bless their hearts.
Once again I rebuked the blindness in the name of Jesus. She said she could see a bit better! The crowd roared its approval and gave thanks to the Lord. “What should I do now?” I asked them. They told me minister again. Finally the Lord completely opened her eyes, and she could see well! Hallelujah!
I decided not to leave well enough alone (praise the Lord for His faithfulness) and told the crowd we were going to open her ears in the name of Jesus. I inserted my fingers into her ears, rebuking the spirit of deafness and commanding her ears to open up. Nothing happened for a few times. (Things were starting to look bad.) Not only that, she started to feel pain in her jaw after I started praying over her ears. This of course signaled an evil spirit in the woman who was not pleased with my rebukes and was retaliating. With renewed vigor, I rebuked the spirit and commanded it to come out. The pain remained despite all my efforts. (Perhaps I should have quit when I was ahead after the woman’s eyes were opened?) The crowd waited.
Then I thought came to me—it must have been from the Lord. I asked the woman if she was a Christian, and she said she was not. Then I understood! I told the crowd that God had already shown her grace by healing her eyes, but if she now wanted Him to restore her hearing, she had to respond to God’s grace by accepting Christ. A sister came up to the platform and communicated with her by sign language. She indicated she wanted Jesus in her heart!
Then I knew I had the enemy on the run…I inserted my fingers into her ears one last time to rebuke the deafness. A wide smile immediately broke out on her face—she could hear! The crowd went wild with gladness and praise unto the Lord.
Then I had the believers—who had just witnessed the teaching from the Lord from the stage—come forward to minister healing to the many in the crowd who needed healing. With great faith, boldness, and persistence, they attacked the works of the devil as they laid hands on the infirm. Many people were healed of various infirmities through them and came up to the stage to testify. What a meeting it was…the believers in Niamey are so greatly encouraged, and the Musl__ms have witnessed the power of the name of Jesus with their own eyes! It is also the perfect way to prepare for the opening night of our big open-air Crusade tomorrow.“
Report on last day of open-air Crusade: Sunday, November 10
“What a glorious way the Lord brought the 7-day Crusade to an end tonight…the most people, perhaps the most convincing message of all seven days, perhaps the most number of people coming forward to testify of miraculous healing and accepting Christ!
The Lord gave me a fitting message. As part of the folk Isl–mic culture here, people will periodically visit a “maribou,” a priest who will in return for payment offer animal sacrifices for the forgiveness of their sins before Allah. It may be that these priests are little more than sorcerers dressed up in the robes of Isl–m. But it was a wonderful way to introduce to them Christ as High Priest in way which was culturally relevant.
I described for them how Jesus is infinitely superior to their “maribous” as a priest, based on the last several verses of Hebrews 7. Since he is the perfect High Priest, we sinners can approach the Most Holy God in his name, and in his name only. Then I proposed a test. We would approach the Most High and request that He do things that only God can do, that is, heal the sick miraculously and powerfully. If we approached Him in the correct name, He would answer us and heal the sick. If we approached Him in the wrong name, He would not respond. I proposed to the crowd that we pray to the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob (worshipped by both Musl__ms and Christians) IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. If Jesus were the perfect High Priest, God would respond by healing the sick. The crowd thought it was a fair test.
I asked the ministering believers to come forward, followed by those who wanted to be healed of their infirmities. Then came the moment of decision—I felt a little like Elijah on Mt. Carmel—“O God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whom we all worship, we approach you in the name of your Son Jesus Christ. If he is our perfect High Priest and the only name by which we can approach You, then answer our prayer by fire. Send your power to heal the sick and cast out demons. Amen.” Then I instructed the believers to begin ministering.
Ministering mass healing to the infirm
The miracles came fast and furious. With a minute or so people began to stream forward to testify of being healed of many different kinds of infirmities. Among them were two men, both Musl__m “maribous” (priests) who had been healed of their infirmities in the name of the Great High “Maribou” Jesus Christ (see photo below).
Between testimonies I peppered the crowd, challenging them to come forward to acknowledge that Jesus Christ was indeed the perfect High Priest, and not the sorcerers they frequented for animal sacrifices. Their God and our God had answered our prayer clearly and unmistakably when we had prayed in the name of Jesus Christ. The proof was abundant and unambiguous. Souls came to Christ. Although the number saved in this Campaign pales compared to the number saved in the Egypt Campaign (10,000 souls), the number is very high for Niger. By most standards this is the poorest country in the world. Similarly, this could be the spiritually darkest country in the world. I would have to say that this is the most difficult place I have ministered in within recent memory in terms of numbers saved. But we have this week witnessed an historic breakthrough in Niger. God has restored His miraculous healing power to His local Church and believers here. They are ministering with great power and confidence, something I did not see so evidently with the local believers in Egypt. This is one of the most satisfying Campaigns I have conducted. The pastors and believers are reveling in the glory of God they have witnessed.”
Below are photos of some of the many who testified that they had been healed:
Below are healing testimonies from a different evening
Report on last day of overall Campaign, November 13
“We had a glorious final meeting this evening!
The believers of this church planted by Horizons Director Clive Cook working with a neighboring evangelical church arranged an open-air evangelistic meeting in front of their church in the district of Dar-Es-Salaam. They used a truck as a platform from which I spoke. Hundreds of people from the neighborhood, including Musl__ms, attended.
After I preached the gospel, I asked the Lord to confirm His word with miraculous healings. He was faithful again to heal the infirm through the hard-working believers who ministered. Many people came forward to testify of being healed of various infirmities, including deafness.
We have found that this kind of neighborhood in-front-of-the-church open-air meeting has been very effective in winning souls and demonstrating the power of the gospel where it most needs to be seen—not inside the church, but outside where the Musl__ms are. They come to watch. Some are healed and accept Christ. But the most exciting development is that the churches can do this by themselves after I leave. These meetings cost very little; they can be held lawfully in the open in front of local churches, they draw many Musl__ms, they provide an opportunity for churches to work together, and perhaps best of all, they don’t need a foreign evangelist. A local minister can preach, and the believers are already trained well enough to minister healing confidently without me. The churches can take turns holding them in various districts of the city.
In such a way, the extremely dark spiritual climate of Niger will change. The news that miracles are occurring regularly at these open-air meetings will gradually spread throughout the city, and more and more Musl__ms will come to see and hear the gospel. They will begin to take the gospel seriously, and there will be change of attitude of the Musl__m community toward the faith that Jesus died to bring us. Who knows what God could do now through His Church in Niger?“