Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ebenezer: A New Years Carol

There is something about the lyrics of the classic hymns that seems to strike my heart in a way that most modern songs don’t. Here is a verse of one of my favorites, “Come Thou Fount”:

Here I raise mine Ebenezer
Hither by thy help I'm come
And I hope, by thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed his precious blood

The first stanza say’s, “Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by thy help I come.” If you are anything like me, when you see the word Ebenezer, your mind immediately goes to a famous Charles Dickens novel and you feel like saying, “bah, humbug”. But the word Ebenezer actually comes from a Hebrew word meaning, “Stone of Help” and is found in the Old Testament.

We read about Ebenezer in a story found in First Samuel. Because of the sin of Eli’s house and of the nation, Israel had been defeated and subdued by the Philistines. After about twenty years they came to a place where the pain of staying the same was greater then the pain of change. Samuel told the children of Israel, to repent and turn from their idolatry, which they did, and God caused them to win a decisive battle against the Philistines that brought peace to Israel all of Samuels days. After that great victory, I Samuel 7:12 says;

“Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.”

Ebenezer was located near Aphek, which is in close proximity to Shiloh where the tabernacle was. For generations to come, as Israelites would be making their regular pilgrimage to Shiloah, they would walk past this giant stone and remember that in that very spot, the Lord helped them. It served as a timeless memorial of what the Lord had done for them. Hitherto, hath the Lord helped us.

I remember earlier this year we were preparing to go to India for a crusade. I had just returned from a crusade in Pakistan when I got an email from our crusade director in India saying that he desperately needed a large sum of money within a week. I checked the bank account and there was only a small fraction of what we needed. I had no way in the natural to provide the money, but I replied to him and said. “you will have it”. I knew that we needed a miracle, so I started sending money to other evangelistic ministries. (If what you have in your hand will not meet your need, It can’t be your harvest, it must be your seed). I went to the mailbox every day looking for a big donation…but it never came. There were some pastors who had promised to help us, but they never called. It came down to the day before the money was due. It was late in the afternoon and still no money had come. Suddenly my phone rang. It was someone who felt led to donate some money. A few minutes later it rang again…another donation. By the end of the day, through several individuals, every penny had come in. It came from people that I never expected it to come from and right in the nick of time.

Now, whenever I look at the pictures of that crusade in Madurai, India, they are an Ebenezer to me. When I see the picture of the little deaf girl that was instantly healed and whose Hindu parents received Christ as a result of that miracle, I say hitherto hath the Lord helped us. I remember His faithfulness. I remember His provision. I remember His goodness. These memories are a rock for my faith.

As we come to the close of another year, I wonder if you can stop for a moment and take a stroll down memory lane. How many Ebenezers do you see? How many times has the Lord helped you? How many times will you need to point to some memory and say, “there…in that place the Lord helped me.” How many times has He proven His faithfulness to you? Maybe you should have died in a terrible accident this year, but the Lord helped you and protected you. Maybe you didn’t know how you were going to pay your bills, but somehow He provided for you.

These things are Ebenezers in your life. Turn these stones of remembrance into an altar and worship God for His goodness and let them remind you to trust Him in the year to come. Thus far He has helped you, and He will continue to help you. Goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life… He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. Perhaps you are facing a year of unknowns and perhaps anxiety is trying to attach itself to your heart. Just point to those Ebenezers and remember that He has always been faithful to you and the challenges of 2008 will turn out to be nothing more than a whole new set of Ebenezers in your life. The Rock of Ages is your Stone of Help. Have a blessed New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Christmas Message

John 1:(1) ¶ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (4) In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Verse 3 says that the life of Jesus was the light of men. In John's day, he could not have imagined how accurate that statement would be. The life of Jesus is truly the light of humanity. He stands like a sparkling diamond among the dark coals of human history. His life has brought light to an otherwise bleak and hopeless world. If you could view the timeline of human existence all at once there would be one spot that shines as bright as the eastern star. That light would be the life of Jesus.

His existence split time in two. Those before Him looked ahead in anticipation of His coming and those after Him have all looked back to Him in reverent awe...His Life is the light of men. His coming changed the world. Because of Jesus we can point to an innumerable host of improvements that have come to the world. For example, health care and care for the mentally ill came about as a result of the influence of Christ. In fact, the council at Nicea in 325 directed bishops to found hospitals in every city with a cathedral. In 369 the first of these was built in Caesarea. In a couple of generations these hospitals had spread to the far flung corners of the world. “Christian hospitals were the world’s first voluntary charitable institutions”. Similar examples can be sited to prove that from the teachings of Jesus, women’s rights were granted, democracy was established, care for the poor and need was initiated, racism was restrained and slaves were freed. His influence has also impacted philosophy, science, literature, history and nearly every imaginable aspect of the world. His life was the light of men

He is the light of society. He is the light of literature, He is the light of philosophy, He is the light of history. He is the light of spirituality. He is the light of our existence.

Billy Sunday once said, “When the bright cloud hid Him from the gaze of those who loved Him with a devotion that took them to martyrdom, the only record of His sayings was graven upon their hearts, but now libraries are devoted to the consideration of them. No words were ever so weighty or so weighed as those of Him who was so poor that He had no where to lay His head. The scholarship of the world has sat at His feet with bared head, and has been compelled to say again and again, "Never man spake as He spake." His utterances have been translated into every known tongue, and have carried healing on their wings wherever they have gone. No other book has ever had a tithe of the circulation of that which contains His words, and not only that, but His thoughts and the story of His life are so interwoven in all literature that if a man should never read a line in the Bible, and yet be a reader at all he could not remain ignorant of the Christ."

The life of Jesus is the light of men. No one described the brightness of his life better than S.M. Lockridge in his famous sermon "That's My King"...the audio portion of the video below is an excerpt from that message.

From the natural understanding alone, what a shame it was when the life of the shining star of the human race was senselessly and mercilessly killed on a cross. But the light of Jesus did not go out on that dark day 2000 years ago at Calvary. The light of men is still shining because today He lives in millions of lives. In Mat 5:14, Jesus said to His followers; “You are the light of the world”. We are His hands, we are His feet and we are His light to a dark and hopeless world. There is hope for the human race because the light of Jesus shines in our lives.

This holiday season, let your light shine. Be a blessing to someone and cause them to glorify God.
From the staff, board and partners of CTE…have a very Merry Christmas. We love you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pictures & Video from Abakaliki

I just received the report that 782,263 decision for Christ were recorded for the 5 days of meetings in Abakaliki, Nigeria...Praise the Lord! I have just added pictures and video from this crusade. To see them just scroll down and look at the original blog entries. I have placed the pics and videos in the appropriate places...Enjoy.

Abakaliki, Nigeria Day 1 (By Reinhard Bonnke)
Abakaliki, Nigeria Day 2 (By Reinhard Bonnke)
Abakaliki, Nigeria Day 3 (By Reinhard Bonnke)
Abakaliki, Nigeria Day 4 (By Reinhard Bonnke)
Abakaliki, Nigeria Day 5 (By Reinhard Bonnke)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Abakaliki, Nigeria - Powerful Conclusion

Tonight is the last night of the Gospel Crusade here in Abakaliki, Nigeria. Right now I am standing in the midst of the people in this gigantic crowd of 360,000. Evangelist Bonnke has just finished preaching the Gospel and is now praying for the sick. We have been told that Abakaliki is a tough place for evangelism, but the Lord has broken through, and another mighty harvest of souls has taken place.

Last night I had the opportunity to preach the Gospel again. I also prayed for the people to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and prayed for the sick. There was a mighty flood of salvation and healing. Tonight a witch doctor testified that last night he and his whole family received Jesus. They burned their witchcraft items in the big barrels and have confessed Jesus as savior. Burning Witchcraft ItemsThe Ex-witch Doctor and His Son

One woman testified tonight that she had been blind for 15 years. She had left the meeting without receiving a miracle, but in the night she dreamed that Jesus came and touched her. In the morning when she opened her eyes, she could see!

There is much rejoicing here and when the people begin to dance the dust rises up in a thick choking looks like the smoke at a rock concert. It is very different conditions from the last crusade in Agbor where most people were standing in the mud up to the ankles. Peter Vandenburg said to me, "We went from the mud hole to the dust bowl". Whether through dust or rain or mud, the people come and Jesus saves.

Tomorrow we begin the long journey home. Please pray for protection in the sky and on the road.

I am looking forward to a short break now for the holidays with my family then we are off to Australia and New Zealand.

Thank you for all the prayers. The Kingdom of God has truly advanced this week and all of heaven is rejoicing. Praise the Lord!

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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Everyone Who Calls on the Name of the Lord Will Be Saved!

Tonight the crowd grew to 200,000! I preached to the people about calling upon the name of the Lord...and call they did. Before I could get to the invitation the people spontaneously erupted in prayer...calling upon the Lord for salvation. I still led them in an "official" prayer of salvation, but I think that the Lord heard the cry of their hearts first.

A young girl who was born blind was healed tonight. I have been imagining what it must be like to have never seen anything in your life and suddenly your eyes are opened and before you is this spectacular sight of 200,000 people. What an amazing thing. Girl Born Blind is Instantly Healed!!

This afternoon the tech team cooked a wonderful Christmas dinner that they imported from Britain, complete with Turkey, Ham, stuffing, cranberry sauce...the works. We sat in the technical trailer on the crusade grounds, ate a delicious dinner and had a wonderful time of fellowship. These are memories I will never forget.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Crowd Explosion

Tonight the tide rose on every level. More people, more miracles, more excitement and more salvations. The crowd nearly tripled tonight going from 60,000 last night to 160,000 tonight! Evangelist Bonnke preached a classic message about the Blood of Jesus and broke the curses of the land calling them by name. After the prayer for the sick there seemed to be an explosion of the miraculous. All over the field dozens of crutches were being held high as former cripples made their way to the platform to testify. It was a whirlwind of salvations, healings and miracles...praise the Lord!

This morning I preached in the Fire Conference and there was a great reception to the message. The people are so hungry for the Word of God. Tomorrow night Evangelist Bonnke has invited me to bring the message and I am looking for another increase in the tide.

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Mighty Miracles!

Tonight was the first night of the CfaN crusade here in Abakaliki. There was no warm up started out with a bang. Everyone had come with great expectation and they were not disappointed.

There are certain aspects of these crusades that you cannot experience unless you are there to see it. My favorite one is after the prayer for the sick; all over the crusade grounds there are pockets of activity. Everywhere you look something is happening. Over here someone's crutches have gone up in the air and everyone around them is going wild. On the other side someone is being delivered from a demon. Tonight, the whole field was a boiling cauldron of activity. All the commotion caused a cloud of dust to rise up from beneath the thousands of feet nearly obscuring vision, but out of the cloud came powerful testimonies of God's healing power.

Several people were healed from paralysis...some so thoroughly it was nearly impossible to tell that anything had ever been wrong. Blind eyes were opened. The deaf and dumb spoke and heard. The testimonies kept coming and coming. It was truly a glorious beginning and I'm sure there is much more to come.

Tomorrow morning I have been invited to minister to the pastors at the fire conference and Friday evening I will be preaching the evangelistic message in the crusade. We all appreciate your prayers throughout the week as we minister here in Abakaliki. More to come...
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Friday, November 30, 2007

A Powerful Testimony

This is a powerful testimony by Brian Welch of Korn (aka: Head)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

J. John Video

This is a clip from a British Evangelist named J. John. I had breakfast with him on my last trip to London at Earl's Court and he told this story. I thought it was quite funny. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

FIRE FALL in Lithia, Florida

Last night the Holy Ghost showed up in the tiny town of Lithia, Florida. Several churches came together at United Family Fellowship to worship and to seek the Face of God. I was invited to preach...and preach I did. I ministered on the Fire of God and then laid hands on everyone who was hungry for the Fire. After the service I heard that one lady had experienced an open vision of the Fire of God...before I preached. Her description struck me because it was almost identical to what one lady in Finland had seen prior to one service there.

It was also special to me because a dear friend, Austin Biel, led the worship along with a team from Covenant Community Fellowship. The worship was SO anointed and made it so easy to step into the presence of the Lord. Before the service I was just praying for them that the Lord would anoint them to usher in His presence and then I felt like the Holy Spirit corrected me, that they needed to lead US into His presence. It is not a matter of us waiting on God to show up...He has already come and has been waiting on us! They did indeed lead us into HIS presence and it was powerful. (to check out Austin's website CLICK HERE or better yet, come worship with him and the CCF worship team live in Tampa CLICK HERE for directions)

Ministry in Pennsylvania & West Virginia

This past weekend I had a wonderful time ministering in the Northeast U.S. at two churches that have become dear friends to me and to this ministry. Pastor Bob Mazeroski became the senior pastor of New Life Worship Centera few short years ago with a small handful of people. Today the church in Wierton, West Virginia has moved to a bigger building that is busting at the seams and has planted a sister church in the Pittsburgh area (Robinson), pastored by Nathan Miller, that is also growing very quickly. You can read an article about the church in the Fall issue of REACH magazine (to get your free subscription...CLICK HERE).

I ministered at the Robinson location early Sunday morning and then drove to the Wierton campus arriving just in time to preach. At the Wierton service, before I ministered, I presented a beautiful autographed poster of our India crusade (which they helped to fund) to pastor Bob on behalf of the church. In the evening I headed back to Pittsburgh to preach in the Sunday night service at the Robinson location. In each service the presence of the Lord was tangible and many people were touched by the Holy Spirit in a special way.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Last night I ministered in the heartland of America at a new church plant called Covenant Community Fellowship - Indiana. It is a sister church of the one we planted in Tampa a couple years ago. There was a electric excitement in the air and I am anticipating great things to come from this fellowship. This morning I flew to Pittsburgh where I will minister in an early service tomorrow morning. I will drive to West Virginia for a second AM service and then back to Pittsburgh for an evening meeting. Thanks for your prayers. More to come...

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Monday, November 5, 2007

NEW: Agbor Crusade (Final)

(More Pictures to Come)Final Crusade Night - 400,000 in Attendance

I am now on an airplane flying from Benin back to Lagos and then home. Another wonderful CfaN Crusade has come to an end and the Lamb's Book of Life is bursting with new names.

Each night I preached before Evangelist Bonnke and the response of the people was amazing. On Friday the crowd grew to 185,000. On Saturday it grew again to 325,000 and on Sunday the attendance topped out at 400,000! The swampy field was absolutely packed with people standing shoulder to shoulder. In some places the density was up to 7 people per square meter! One day, after the sun dried up one of the puddles on the field, one of our team members counted over 100 single sandals that had been lost in the mud. The people were not deterred by the uncomfortable conditions. They were content to stand in the mud for hours, shoulder to shoulder with strangers, without food, water or restroom facilities, under the open African sky...for what? To hear a man speak to them from an ancient book about the condition of their souls. This is a phenomenon unique to the Gospel. No other subject on earth has such traction or power. It is truly supernatural.
Next month we will be back in Nigeria in the city of Abakaliki. I am already looking forward to the next harvest. Once again, thank you for your prayers and support.

Agbor, Nigeria Day 1 (By Reinhard Bonnke)
Agbor, Nigeria Day 2 (By Reinhard Bonnke)
Agbor, Nigeria Day 3 (By Reinhard Bonnke)
Agbor, Nigeria Day 4 (By Reinhard Bonnke)
Agbor, Nigeria Day 5 (By Reinhard Bonnke)

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Friday, November 2, 2007

NEW: Agbor Crusade Is Underway

The past two days have been a glorious downpour of salvation. The first night of the Crusade (Wednesday) over 120,000 people were in attendance. I spoke briefly before Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke preached a powerful evangelistic message. During the prayer for the sick, the power of God began to move through the crowd. Everywhere you looked something was happening. A woman testified that her baby who had died in her womb began moving again after the prayer. Bonnke exclaimed, "Jesus raises from the tomb and from the womb!"

Yesterday (Thursday) it began to rain at about 3:00 am and continued to rain thoughout the night. By the morning many parts of the city were under water. The crusade field had been reduced to a muddy swamp. Muddy Crusade Field (photo by Austin Tyson)

CfaN Fire Conference

That morning I preached about the
Fire of God at the fire conference. It was heartily received by the people...they are so hungry for God!

That evening I preached the Gospel message and Evangelist Bonnke prayed for the sick. Preaching in Agbor Nigeria

Our 4X4 trucks struggled through the mud to reach the platform at the crusade field. But the rain and the mud did not stop the people. They swarmed onto the field and the crowd grew to 165,000! Small lakes on the field totally disappeared as many stood in shin deep water to hear the Gospel. Peter Vandenburg (Vice President of CfaN) walked the whole muddy field to get the crowd count. He told me that the people even in the back were intently listening to the message. When I gave the invitation, the response was almost unanimous. The crowd thundered the prayer of salvation with a tangible intensity. I am sure that all of heaven was rejoicing...Hallelujah!

The healings were dramatic and moving. Two totally blind people (one for 18 years) received perfect sight. A lady crippled for 20 years jumped on the platform like a jackrabbit. A man with a broken leg was totally healed! There are too many wonderful things to mention.

Continue to pray that the Lord holds back the rain for the remaining 3 days of meetings and instead sends a deluge of salvation and healing power.

Agbor, Nigeria Day 1 (By Reinhard Bonnke)
Agbor, Nigeria Day 2 (By Reinhard Bonnke)

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Back in Nigeria

I hate the expression "the middle of nowhere" because everywhere is somewhere in God's eyes. But if there is such a thing as the middle of nowhere, I think we are there. Early this morning we left Lagos (Nigeria) and flew to Benin where we loaded into vehicles and began driving to Agbor where the crusade will be held over the next 5 days. On the way we stopped at 3 palaces and visited 3 different kings who, along with hundreds of their subjects, greeted us warmly to their land. Their is a palpable anticipation in the air and a great sense of expectation for the Gospel meetings that will commence tomorrow night.

I love being back in Africa! There is something so raw and oganic about preaching the Gospel in these untamed regions of the world. A ceremonially decapitated body in the road served as a stark reminder today that "we are not in Kansas anymore". But somehow I sense the favor of the Lord whenever I am in these places. I can hear Jesus saying "Go into all the world..." and I can't help but think that when he said those words, maybe he was thinking about Agbor, Nigeria. Well we have gone and we have come and all the resources of Heaven are here at our disposal. Please pray for a mighty outpouring of the Spirit and a great deluge of salvations this week.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

NEW: Gospel Crusade, iisalmi, Finland

I have just arrived home after a nearly 36 hour trip from iisalmi, Finland where we held our latest evangelistic meetings. iisalmi is a very small city. In most crusades I will preach to more people in single service than the total population of iisalmi combined(23,000). Even so, wether the Lord sends us to many or few, there is no greater privilege than that of leading souls to Jesus. I was able to minister in 4 services and the Lord was good. In one morning service I spoke about the Holy Spirit giving us the power to be wittnesses and many people were touched. One lady who was filled with the Holy Spirit in that meeting, went that afternoon to visit a friend in the hospital. She was so full of boldness that she began to wittness at the hospital to perfect strangers and two people, with tears in their eyes, received Christ. That evening she testified to the amazing power and boldness that the Holy Spirit brings. Many people with various sicknesses were instantly healed at the alters...Praise the Lord!

I am now preparing to leave again this weekend for Agbor, Nigeria where I am anticipating that many tens of thousands will be saved. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we continue in our mandate to "Cover the Earth" with the knowledge of the Glory of God.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

On the Road Again

It was such a blessing to be home with my family for the last couple of weeks, spending some quality time with them and catching up on many things that tend to get neglected while I travel around the world. I must admit that I have been feeling the "itch" for the last week or so to get back on the field. I do not like to sit around for long. I was happy to get going again this past Monday. This trip is special because my father is with me. He is a pastor in Port Charlotte, Florida (where I am from). We had a day-long layover in Frankfurt, so we were able to go and visit the Bible school that my Great Uncle helped to found many years ago. He was a tremendous influence on the German Pentecostals. The denominational headquarters for the whole of Germany is based out of the same campus, so it is really a hub of activity for the BFP (German Pentecostal Church).

Last night we arrived here in iisalmi (pronounced E-sal-me), Finland. Where we will be holding an evangelistic crusade throughout the week. I was told on the way from the airport to the hotel that the Fins are quiet and introverted people that don't respond outwardly. I said "I have heard that before". The last time was in Japan this past July (you can read the report in the archives of this blog). I have never ministered to Fins before. I really don't know what to expect as far as their personalites or culture is concerned. But there is one thing that I have learned. The power of the Gospel is the same! Yes, the soil varies from one place to another. Sometimes it brings a harvest of 30 fold, sometimes 60 fold and sometimes 100 fold, but it always produces results! I am so excited to see what God is going to do here in this tiny nation (of just over 5 million) in this tiny city (of 20 something thousand). I know that I know that God is going to move powerfully and change many lives for His glory.

Please keep me in your prayers this week that the Lord would break through any obstacles and preconceptions and religious mentalities with the power of the Gospel.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fire Conference - Germany

I am now in Oslo, Norway for the Centennial Scandinavian Pentecostal Conference. I have been so blessed to experiance what God is doing in Europe. Last week I spoke at the Hans-Martin-Schleier-Halle stadium in Stuttgart, Germany for the CfaN Fire Conference. There was a wonderful presence of the Lord in each service. I was invited to minister in an afternoon session with about 5,000 people in attendance. I preached about answering the call of God and about the next generation taking the baton and running with it. The response was overwhelming and I believe that the Holy Spirit did a mighty work in many hearts. One of the leaders of the conference told me that after the session a couple stood before him...the woman was physically shaking...the Holy Spirit was all over her. She said, I have never experianced anything like this before, can you tell me what is happening? The same couple contacted him again later and said, "the direction of our lives was impacted in this service". Also many more wonderful testimonies are coming in all the time. Each night Reinhard Bonnke ministerd powerful evangelistic messages that were broadcast around the nation. We saw hundreds of salvations and many wonderful miracles...Praise the Lord! In a few weeks I am looking forward to being back in this part of the world...this time in Finland where we are holding a Gospel Crusade. Please remember this in your prayers as final preparations are underway.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Church on FIRE...Covenant Community Fellowship

What a service we had yesterday at Covenant Community Fellowship in Tampa, FL! This is the church that we planted a little over two years ago with a handful of visionary people. I hadn't been there since mothers day (4 months ago)...I have been out on the field almost constantly since then and constantly hearing about the great things that are happening at CCF for some time, but yesterday I was so blessed to see it myself. It was the first official week of our new Associate / Music pastor; Austin Beil. He led a FANTASTIC worship service that went on for nearly two hours. The presence of the Lord was there in a powerful way. People saw and heard angelic voices and a number of prophetic words were given that preached my sermon. It was a sweet time in the atmosphere of Heaven. By the time I got the microphone it was almost 12:30. I shared some powerful testimonies of the things that the Lord has been doing around the world. Perhaps the thing I love the most is the sense of the community that the church is known for. There is truly a supernatural love that the people share that I rarely find in other places. One lady who is fairly new to the church told me yesterday, "its so refreshing to find a church where I don't sense any jealousy or competition". I said, "you wont find that here". What an awesome testimony! I know that the Lord has great things ahead for CCF and it is so refreshing to see a church on fire.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Minstry in Pennsylvania

I am on a plane now flying back to Tampa from Pennsylvania where I ministered over the weekend. I was invited to preach in the morning service at Benton Assembly of God in Stillwater and then in the evening I ministered at Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Bloomsburg. The service at Glad Tidings lasted late into the evening with the people gathered around the alters receiving from the Lord. There was a powerful presence of the Holy Spirit and I am anticipating many wonderful testimonies.

Tonight Rebekah and I will head to Orlando for the next 2 days where I will be leading worship for the “Face to Face”; meetings with Reinhard Bonnke and other Evangelists from around the world. Next weekend I am looking forward to ministering at Covenant Community Fellowship in Tampa where I pastored and then its off to Germany and Norway. We keep moving for the sake of the Gospel and everyday is an adventure.

Keep your eyes open for the next edition of REACH magazine. It will be dropping in the mail shortly and it will be a great one. If you don't receive REACH already, let us know by sending an email to or visit the website and click on “FREE GIFTS”, fill out the form and we will make sure you are added to the mailing list.


I have wonderful news...CTE is opening a new office in Berwick Pennsylvania. We have felt that the northeast U.S. is a strategic place for the ministry to focus so Richard DiLena (CTE's Executive Director) and his family have relocated to PA where they are working hard to set up a Northeast office. For all of you that live in Pennslyvania, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio, etc...I look forward to seeing more of you in the days ahead.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Showers of Blessings in KABBA, Nigeria

If I had one word to describe the people of Kabba, Nigeria it would be, “Hungry”. This past week I had the privilege of ministering with Reinhard Bonnke at a Great Gospel Crusade in this North-Central Nigerian city. Holding these meetings in Nigeria's rainy season was a risk, but one worth taking for the sake of thousands of salvations. Kabba is a very small place in the middle of what seems to be nowhere, but the people came from miles around each night and stood for hours in the muddy crusade field to hear the Gospel. The crowds topped 140,000 in a single service and 335,650 people received Christ and filled out a decision card attesting to their decision in the 5 days of meetings. I was able to minister in 4 of the 5 evening services as well as in the morning FIRE conference attended by almost 20,000 people each day.

On Friday evening I was only about 10 minutes into my message when the rain began to pour. Soon it was coming down by the bucket full but the people didn't budge. Tens of thousands of people stood there in the rain with eager, hungry hearts. I was preaching about the young man that Jesus called to follow him who replied, “...suffer me first to bury my father”. He wanted to wait until a more convenient time to follow Jesus. It was at this point that the rain started falling, but I urged the people not to wait until a more convenient time...Jesus is calling you to follow Him right now. Right there, in the rain...wet, cold and muddy, tens of thousands of people prayed the prayer of salvation. Their shouting voices rose above the noise of the storm and I know that many thousands were born again...Hallelujah! Pastor Bonnke said, "We are fishers of men and sometimes we get wet in the process". I can't think of any better reason to stand out in the rain.

Thank you to everyone who was praying for us and to everyone to is continues to support CTE financially.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Deadly Accident

I feel bad that I have not posted in some time. My appologies to those of you that check regularly. I am going to post from all the events that I missed since my last entry when I return home next week and I will also go back and add pictures from the posts this week (I have no internet connection here)

I have just arrived in Kabba, Nigeria. It is about 1 am here and I have petty severe jet lag. The jouney here was an exhausting and dangeous one. The adventure began when I missed my flight out of the USA. On our way to the airport a car flipped over right in front of us. The Lord blessed me by helping me get another flight out the same day with a different airline and it allowed my to make my connecting flights (but just barely). I made it to London, then to Lagos and then we were sitting on the plane to leave for Abuja when they shut it down and cancelled it due to technical issues. Two hours later we finally got another flight out. When we arived in Abuja, we began (what was supposed to be) a three hour road journey. But soon we were stuck in traffic due to a deadly accident. A truck carrying passangers and goats had been swiped by another vehicle, lost control and flipped over the side railing into a muddy marsh below. People sitting atop the bus were crushed by it. The people in the bus were alive at first, but upside down in the mud...soon many suffocated. There were ten dead (human) bodies and a pile of dead was a terrible tragedy. But there on the scene of the accident, Reinhard Bonnke was able lead a crowd of people (onlookers) to Christ.

After we got moving again we went to see the Governor, and the King and finnaly arrived here (12 hours later).

That is the short version. Actually there is a lot more to say, but I will save it. Tomorrow the "Great Gospel Crusade" begins here in Kabba. Please pray for a great harvest of souls and a release of the miraculous.

More to come...

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Rockin' the Block

I am always so blessed to find churches that have a sincere burden to see the lost saved in their communities. Faith Assembly of God and Iglesia Buenas Nuevas in Hazelton, PA are two of those churches. I was excited to partner with them and other PA churches this month for their annual “Rockin' the Block” event, geared towards reaching the inner city people of Hazelton (just outside of Philadelphia). Sunday, after flying in from London, I ministered in their joint church service and Tuesday I preached the Gospel in the open air and many received Christ right there in the park on the astroturf. Wednesday I got on a plane for Ghana, but the evangelistic services continued on throughout the week. I am hoping to do more and more of these stateside, evangelistic events in the future. If there are any churches interested in partnering for such an event, please contact the CTE office (813-407-9410).

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Fire Fell in Japan!

The J+Passion Conference is now over and what a wonderful and powerful conference it was. In each service there was an overwhelming response to the message...nearly unanimous. The second service which was in a morning session was so powerful. So many people were weeping during the message. The people came forward at the alter call wanting to lay down their lives to be used for God’s kingdom. I was told that the Japanese were very shy people. I was told that they would probably not respond outwardly, but I did not see that side of them. The passion that they demonstrated was as intense as anything I have seen. In the final service the Fire of God fell in a powerful way. I must admit that I did not know what to expect, but when the alter time came nearly every person that came forward (except one or two) was blasted by the Holy Ghost! Many of the people testified that it was the first time they had ever experienced a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Several people were filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time. One young woman had been seeking the Baptism for over 10 years and during this conference had a breakthrough and received. Young children were shaking under the power of God. Old men and women were layed out on the ground. Young people everywhere were speaking in tongues and being touched by the Holy Spirit for the first time. I was told that this had never happened before and that it was a new experience for these believers and for the whole region. The next day many people stood before the crowd and with tears testified to a transformation in their lives.
I think that this was an exceptionally powerful week for Miyaziki, Japan. There was certainly a spiritual breakthrough that came about as a result of this conference. Over and over I heard the expression, “we have never seen this before”. There is something so precious about seeing people touched by the Holy Spirit when it is a new experience. They react differently than the veterans. The expressions on their faces are unforgettable. They’re newfound passion is contagious and refreshing. It is such a privilege to be able to be a part of it. Once again, thank you to everyone who helped us to be able to bless the precious people of Japan.

I have two more services in churches tomorrow and then from here I leave for London.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Miyazaki, Japan - First Meeting

Last night was a wonderful beginning to the services that will be taking place all throughout the week. I could sense the tide of the anointing rising all throughout the evening. The people are hungry, but in the middle of a national spiritual drought. It is the polar opposite of what I experienced in Brazil, where the nation seemed to be ablaze with the Fire of God. There is really no revival to speak of anywhere in Japan. It is not because the people are not hungry however. As I began to preach I felt like the people were drinking in every word. The Japanese are a quiet, and sometimes shy people, but I saw tears streaming down many faces as I preached and It seemed as if certain people were about to burst open. I could feel the hunger of the people reaching out. At the end of the week I am going to preach about the Fire of God and pray for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit...I am anticipating a powerful move of God...they are ready! This morning I preach and again tonight and then again tomorrow night. More to come...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Seoul, South Korea - Yoido Full Gospel Church

I am in transit now to Miyazaki, Japan for the J+Passion Conference where I will be ministering for several days. I had a layover in South Korea today so I visited Yoido Full Gospel Church in downtown Seoul. It is Tuesday here so there were no services going on, but it was still very interesting to walk around the campus and get a feel for what God is doing here. Yoido is the largest church in the world with over 800,000 members. The sanctuary only seats 12,000 at one time so there are nine consecutive services each Sunday morning translated into 16 languages. I was hoping to make it to the prayer mountain, but I will not have enough time today.

I am always fascinated at how Christianity easily flourishes in every culture. Most religions are dominant among one ethnic group, one geographical area or one culture. Christianity, on the other hand, flourishes everywhere. In Africa, in Asia, in North America, in South America, in Latin America, in China...everywhere, God is on the move. Who would have guessed a hundred years ago that the world's largest church would be in Korea?

Had I not been coming to Japan, I would be In Indonesia with Reinhard Bonnke, where he just finished a crusade there after the World Pentecostal Conference. I saw an email that he sent out reporting on the thousands that had packed Bethany Church in Surabaya/Indonesia...the largest Muslim country on earth. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the picture.Reinhard Bonnke Preaching at Bethany Church in Surabaya Indonesia

The Church of Jesus Christ is unstoppable! It cannot be quenched by communism or false religion or materialism or violence. It isn't hampered by any culture or hindered by any economy. Romans 1 talks about how creation points to God. In the same way, the Church points to Jesus. I know that the Bride of Christ has it's issues, but I think that all in all, she is so beautiful and the ultimate evidence of a genious, generous Jesus. Be encouraged today...we are on the winning side. We serve the true and living God and HE is building HIS Church all over the world and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it...Hallelujah!

Please keep me in your prayers this week as I minister in Japan...a nation that desperately needs a touch of God and a move of the Holy Spirit. Pray that the youth will be set ablaze with the Fire of God and that this conference will be a catylist to spark a spiritual revolution in Japan.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Georgia Mountian Retreat

I am writing now from the beautiful mountains of North Georgia where I have been on vacation over the past week. It has been such a blessing to stop running for a few days and just enjoy my family. We have gone tubing, whitewater rafting, shopping (of course) and a whole lot of sitting and talking. I am getting ready to leave on Sunday for North Korea, then on to Japan, London, Philadelphia and Ghana before I return home again for a couple of days. Please continue to pray for my family and myself and for the whole CTE team as our schedules intensify and the demands on the ministry grow.

I am also reading a great book by Reinhard Bonnke called “Faith, the Link with God’s Power”. I have posted the following excerpts below for your enjoyment.

“A preacher is a man having an experience with God in public.”

“God not only IS something. We only know what He is by what He DOES. He is a God of activity. He does not sit aloft like Allah, or the millions of gods of India, or like Buddha, doing nothing. Allah just allows things, and they say “Kismet” – it is his will, or fate. A Christian does not believe in fate. To have faith in god means to have faith in a God who acts, who answers prayer, and who performs wonders.”

“The elementary fact is that faith is in-built. We are born believers. If you think that you have no faith – try it! Try not believing in anything or anybody – your wife, husband, doctor, bank, boss, banker or chef. There are no guarantees, but we put our lives into the hands of surgeons and trust drivers of trains, cars and planes without thinking of faith. But that is what it is. Faith is a kind of immune system filtering out fears that otherwise would paralyze all activity. When it fails we develop all kinds of phobias and compulsions. It is a nervous breakdown…Faith does not come by murdering common sense. It is not a peculiar psychology developed with great effort by saints in caves and living on bread and water. It is not peculiar at all. It is natural. Doubt is peculiar – irrational in fact. It is the only thing that ever surprised Jesus.”

Friday, July 13, 2007

Madurai, India Crusade

I am now back in the US and reflecting on our trip to Madurai, India. My Spirit is refreshed and eager, but my body is recovering and taking its time. It was an exciting and extremely grueling trip with our team ministering more than 24 times in only five days at schools, orphanages, the Leaders Conference and a Women’s Conference in addition to the nightly mass Evangelistic Gospel Crusades. My blogging slacked off once we were in the heat of the fray for lack of time and creative energy…all of it being poured out in ministry. I will do my best to recount the days now touching on the highlights for me personally.

My day started out early in the morning. By 9:00 am, I had preached in two packed church services. In the middle of my second service, I started getting sharp pains in my stomach. It was all I could do to make it through the message and get back to the hotel. For the rest of the day I was in bed and very ill. I finally got myself up at around 5:00 pm and started preparing for the service. I wasn’t sure If I would make it, but several of the team members came and prayed for me and felt a renewed strength. When we arrived on the crusade grounds the crowd was eager to hear the Word of God. Again, before I preached, I took testimonies of many of the people that had been healed the night before. The young lady who had been deaf in both ears testified. Another young lady who had been deaf in one ear because of a physical hole in her eardrum was completely healed as well…a creative miracle. Many wonderful testimonies of healing made the way for me to preach about the goodness of God. Again, the number people who responded to the invitation to receive Christ was overwhelming. At this point I was still feeling very sick so I told the team that I wouldn’t be staying to pray for the sick as I had the night before, but when I tried to leave, again the sick pressed in. Again, I sat down on the steps and prayed until the last one had received prayer. Interestingly, I prayed for several people who had severe stomach pain. Every one of them was instantly healed, yet my stomach was still in severe pain. The power of God was not hindered by my sickness. Most of the sick people were healed instantly. One lady with 5 tumerous growths in her neck was instantly healed. I wished that we had four more days to keep this momentum going and to keep experiencing Gods saving and healing power.

The conclusion of the Crusade I felt was a great success. The people who attended were mostly Hindu people who heard the Gospel preached very clearly with a demonstration of the power of God. The pastors invited me to come back again next year and we are planning another trip to this region. If anyone is interested in being a part of the team, please visit the website and sign up today.

I have prayed corporately for healing after the last two services, but because of time constrains and logistical issues, I had postponed the testimonies until this night. Instead of having the testimonies at the end of the service like usual, I took the testimonies from the last two nights before I even preached tonight. The testimonies were powerful, but things really started happening after the service. I was on the platform, the service was still going on, and a young woman came right up onto the platform with her young friend who was deaf in both ears and requested prayer. I actually turned them away for the simple reason that I didn’t want to set a precedent of people walking up onto the platform uninvited. When I sent her away, there was a look of terrible disappointment on her face. I actually felt bad and wished I could have prayed for her. I hoped she would come back at the end because I could see in her eyes that she had faith to be healed. After I preached the Gospel, I called everyone up close to the platform to receive prayer corporately. As I was praying I noticed this same girl again. She was holding both hands over her ears, tears were streaming down her face and she was praying in a slurred, muted tone, typical of the deaf. After I prayed I was walking down from the platform to go the vehicle to take me back to my hotel, but the people would not have it. The pressed in close to the stairs and were desperate for prayer. I was tired and wanted to go home and I had yet to make a television appearance before my activities for the evening were over, but I would have had to physically push these people out of the way to get to my vehicle. “These people are the reason that I came across the world”, I thought, “ and they are the reason that Jesus came from Heaven to earth”. I sat down on the steps and prayed for them one by one…taking time to test each one. After praying for a couple of minutes, I noticed this same deaf girl several feet back and I reached out, took her hand, and pulled her forward. As soon as she got close enough, she dove onto the dusty ground, grabbed by ankles with all of her might and began to weep uncontrollably. I was so moved. I stood her on her feet and prayed for her ears. Then I shouted into one ear…but there was no response…she was as deaf as a rock. I prayed again. This time she said, I can hear something. It was a small improvement, but it was evident that something was happening. I sent her onto the platform where I had one of my team members waiting to interview people who were healed. As this young woman was explaining what had happened, her ears popped open completely…she was totally healed. Both of this girls Hindu parents had come to the meeting that night. Both received Chist…Hallelujah! There were many, many more healings. More than I have space to write about. I stayed and prayed for every last sick person that would wait for prayer. MOST of them were instantly healed. God is moving in Madurai.

After this wonderful service I went to a local television station along with John Kolenda (my uncle and a pastor in Bloomsburg, PA) and John Arul (Our crusade organizer) and James Kolenda who had come to capture the event on film. I preached another Gospel message on the airwaves and then took live calls on the air and prayed for the people. The standard for Indian television is not what I am used to. In the middle of the hour long, live broadcast, John Arul’s cell phone began to ring loudly…it think it was playing the mission impossible theme. John played it cool…pretending as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening. Just at that moment one of the Indian technicians comes crawling across the floor like a little tiger...he is coming to save the day. Off to my left there is a monitor that shows what is being viewed live on television. I watched as a hand immerged from below the visible portion of the screen and slowly…stealthily removed the phone from the table. It was all I could do to keep from busting a gut laughing. John refused to look at me because of the big, goofy smile on my face that was being fueled by James sitting on the floor straight ahead of me laughing. It was a television appearance I will not soon forget.

Today was the final day of the Leaders Conference and I preached on the Fire of God and then prayed for the Fire to fall on the pastors and leaders gathered there. The alter time was powerful. I don’t think that they are used to people being slain in the spirit and manifesting. It was comical to see two pastors practicing the catching process. One pastor was standing with his back to the other pastor, crossing his arms over his chest and then falling backward into the other pastor’s arms. I asked several people to help me catch, but none of them seemed to understand what was going on. Several girls were trying to hold up there friend who was unconscious, others would get up off the floor quickly with startled looks when they awoke and realized they were on the floor. There was something so innocent and real about it. People were genuinely being touched by the power of God…many for the very first time and it was a powerful conclusion to the Conference. Several pastors told me that they had been filled with the Fire of God and a new passion for ministry…Praise the Lord!

When we arrived at the Crusade grounds, the sight was very encouraging. The crowd had more than doubled from the night before and there was a noticeable rise in the level of anticipation in the air. I felt as if the Gospel message really landed. The majority of the people in attendance were not church people, but Hindu. The people responded to the invitation to receive Christ almost unanimously. Most of the people that I prayed for after the service still had markings painted on their head…a sign that they have been worshipping some Hindu diety, but now they were newly saved. Praying for them was something like holding a new-born baby in your arms…so precious. Some people might say, “tell them to take those markings off”, but my job is to be a catcher of men…Jesus is the cleaner. I saw one woman rubbing the paint off her forehead as she stood there. I didn’t ask her to do this. The Holy Spirit was convicting her…It is such a privilege to lead people to the Lord. There is no thrill that I can properly compare it to in this world.

Our day began early with team devotions and breakfast and then everyone went there separate ways to minister in various places. I went first to an Assembly of God Bible School. I preached in their chapel service and proceeded directly to the Leaders Conference where I preached the second of two sessions. That evening was the first night of the Crusade. If I am honest, I was very disappointed. We had prepared for crowds averaging 30,000, but several weeks before we arrived, a high-ranking government official died unexpectedly and an emergency election took place. During this time it was illegal to advertise anything else…including our crusade. As a result, instead of a month of advertising we only had a few days…less than a week! I arrived on the crusade grounds that first night anticipating close to 30,000 and instead was greeted by about 1,000 people. I was more than a little frustrated, but we all pressed on knowing that God is in control and He will advertise Himself with His own mighty hand.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Crusade Countdown

We are now just hours away from the official start of the Crusade here in Madurai, India. Everything is in place and after many months of preparation we are finally ready.

Today we visited the largest Hindu temple in Madurai, "The City of Temples" and one of the largest in the world. This city is known as a Hindu stronghold, but in the darkness, the light of the Gospel will be all the brighter.

We then visited an orphange and loved on the children. Every one of our hearts were melted by there smiling faces and the power that the love of Christ has had on these precious little ones. Bro John, who is our Crusade organizer here, runs this orphanage along with three others...nearly a thousand children are cared for. I must admit that I choked back the tears for most of the visit. We saw the living quarters where over 110 little girls slept in one room...all of there belongings fitting into a small chest the size of a charry-on suitcase. Yet they were so full of joy and so grateful for what little they had. It was a powerful experiance. Our team will return to the orphanage Saturday and distribute Bibles to the kids.

I just returned from the crusade grounds where I met with many of the pastors that have helped to facilitate the crusade. I gave a short word of encouragement and then we prayed over the grounds and dedicated it to the Lord. I am looking forward to wonderful things over the next 4 days and a mighty demonstration of the power if the Spirit and a great harvest of souls for Jesus sake. Please continue to pray...they battle is just getting started.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld

Monday, July 2, 2007

In The Jungle

I am sitting now in a small tribal village half way up a mountain in south India. We drove through the night on winding, narrow roads to reach the top of the mountain and then began hiking down to the village at about 6:00 am. As the sun began to rise we found ourselves in a little paradise. Neatly groomed acres of tea plantations covered the mountainside as far as the eye could see and clouds covered the peaks of misty mountains in the background.
We stopped for tea in a small hut and it was the best I ever had. I keep having this overwhelming revelation of how much God loves the world and how much we need Him...I can't wait to preach the Gospel to these precious people.

Our three hour hike was not made alone. Several elephants were spotted ahead of us and the fresh droppings on our path let us know that we were not far behind. Dozens of jungle monkeys ran playfully through the trees and watched us with curiosity...the girls were quite amused.
Tonight we will have a service here in this little village and I will preach Gospel to these beautiful people and we will see a mighty demonstration of the power of God. Until then we are resting and enjoying the scenery and the fresh mountian air.

It is amazing to think that I am posting this message with my blackberry from deep in the jungles of India. It is certainly not the same mission field that our ancestors encountered, but they still need Jesus and we are still preaching Him. More to come...

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld

Sunday, July 1, 2007

New: In Transit to Madurai, India

I am sitting in the airport in the Indian city of Chennai at 4:06 am (local time) on Sunday morning (July 1st) waiting for a flight that leaves in a couple of hours. We have been traveling for about 2 straight days now! We have'nt even arrived in Madarai yet and already the trip has been quite eventful. Our plane out of Tampa was a couple hours late and then we sat on the runway for about an hour and a half. Our flight from London to Mumbai was caught in a terrible storm and the intense turbulance lasted for over two hours...people were vomiting as we flew in a holding pattern waiting for the storm to subside so that we could be cleared to land. Finally, running low on fuel, we flew to another city about an hour out of the way to land and re-fuel. The airport that we landed at had no indoor facilities so we sat on the crowded plane in sweltering heat for about two hours before receiving the clearance to fly back to Mumbai. Once we landed, our connecting flight had already left and 3 of our pieces of luggage were lost. We were supposed to have to wait to catch a flight late the next day, but the Lord was good to us and we mananged to catch a flight out last night. Once we arrived at this airport (in Chennai) at midnight we tried to sleep but the pest control people began fumigating the airport and soon the entire facility was a cloud of choking teargas incecticide...we spent the night outside. Now we are checked in and waiting for our connecting flight to Madurai where the adventure REALLY begins. We will only have a few hours to rest before begining our long journey up into the tribal, jungle villages to minister. Maybe you are wondering why we are doing all this...because Jesus said "go".

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pittsburg, PA

I have'nt been able to post for a while because my mac broke down last week (AGAIN...argh!), but here's the catch up: After I got home from Montgomery, Alabama, I turned around and got on a plane for Pittsburgh where I ministered at The Medows Race Track church with pastor Joe DiDinato on Fathers Day. After a few meetings I am back in Tampa now and will be here for a little while. I will be preaching at CCF this coming Sunday and then I leave for India on the 29th. I have been trying to break in my new hiking shoes for the 15 mile uphill hike into the Indian jungle (Lord help us all:-). I am so excited about what the Lord is going to do there. I am starting a fast tomorrow and I want to invite everyone who will to join me in fasting and prayer for thousands of salvations, a torrent of healings and miracles and for safty and continued provision for this crusade.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Camp Re-Unite '07

I have just returned from Montgomery Alabama where I was invited by Pastors Greg and Traci Huguley to speak at a youth retreat called "Camp Re-Unite '07". I was truly impressed with the level of maturity and hunger in the young people and I believe that it is a testament to the quality leadership of the youth groups that were represented.

I ministered on Monday night, Tuesday morning, Tuesday night and Wednesday night. In each service there was a noticeable rise in the tide of the anointing and level of expectation. On Tuesday night I gave the youth a radical challenge to lay down there lives and answer the call. It was so radical that I thought that only a small handful would respond, but when I gave the invitation (with no eyes closed and no music in the background), the majority of them rushed forward and threw themselves on the altar in reckless abandon. I knew that the Holy Spirit was going to fall on these lives dedicated to Him in a powerful way and indeed, on Wednesday night, the Fire fell. There was hardly an empty spot on the floor at one point and the anointing was as thick as a cloud.
One young man, who had never encountered God in this way before, came to me and said, "I never want this feeling to leave". Those sentiments were echoed by the enraptured looks of youth that laid and sat in the atmosphere long after the service was over. Several youth testified to being healed, delivered and saved. God is raising up a new generation of warriors and harvesters...Hallelujah!