Sunday morning, March 31st, was Easter Sunday at the small Nigale Pentecostal church. Like the 20’ x 40’ mud and bamboo building, the congregation was equally small. But as the expression goes: dynamite comes in small packages, so does the explosive work of God’s Spirit when it serves His purpose. Michael gave the message. Noticing there were of number of Hindus present, he altered his sermon to include the Gospel message for those who would not have already known it. A short time later, 7 Hindus came forward to receive Jesus. That was unheard of in Nigale according to the pastor. Moments later, the time of healing began. Out of nowhere, church attendance seemed to multiply. So many were present that the 2 missionaries were forced to divide and pray separately for the sick. For the next 3 hours, the team prayed for everything from headaches to foot problems and everything in-between. All who were present seemed to get in on the act: the missionaries, their translators, the youth praise team, and even members of the church. The activities bordered on mild chaos. But at the end of the day, more than 40 individuals had been prayed over with the normal success rate of about 85% fully healed.
The most maddening issue repeatedly encountered was the often heard promise of a Hindu willing to receive Jesus Christ if He should heal them, only to have that person later—post healing—renege on their word and say “I’ll have to discuss the matter first with my family.” Even so, 6 additional individuals accepted Christ during the healing service. The greatest assist to evangelism today is the coupling of the Gospel with the healing power of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps evangelicals should reexamine this matter.
Later in the day, the team made its way to Deurali. Warmly greeted, the men prayed for a few sick people and then turned in for the night.
Monday morning marked a whole new level in Christian ministry in very significant ways. After waking, Tom called home to speak with his wife. To his complete surprise, someone attempted to break into his house while he was on the phone. Distraught, he immediately recognized the attack was from the great adversary in attempt to sidetrack the work he was doing in Nepal. Seconds later, the intruder fled as Tom’s dog began to attack the door. Once the matter passed, Tom and Michael were asked to pray for an elderly man, which they did with success. Then surprisingly, 2 young people entered the room and announced they wanted to receive Jesus. After praying for salvation, the team departed to minister to a local fellowship of believers.
As the group sat in the small room awaiting the start of the meeting, Arjun pulled a picture of his estranged family from his bible; one that had been taken 10 years earlier. (Arjun’s father, a witchdoctor, had disowned him at age 10 after he came to Christ.) As Michael took the photo from Arjun’s hand, the Lord began to speak concerning every family member in the photo—father, mother, and 2 brothers. The Spirit began to describe in intricate detail, matters concerning each person’s life. Michael shared these details with Arjun and then interceded for each one. Only God could do such a thing. This was truly the first time Michael experienced such an event. Interestingly enough, Arjun testified that every detail was correct, as he maintained at least some measure of contact with his family.
When the service began, approximately 20 people were present in the crowded room to hear a short message and then the entire group was to depart for a different location to pray for the sick. However, God had something else in mind. As Michael prepared to bring a short message, he spied a half dozen Hindus siting in the back of the room next to street side, opened door. He welcomed them and proceeded to share his message—but with an evangelical slant. Before anyone knew what was happening, the room began to fill. When an appeal for salvation was eventually given, 11 Hindus came forward for salvation. After welcoming them into the family of God, Michael, Tom, Arjun (the translator), and his wife, began to pray for the sick. The next thing the group knew, the house was flooded with Hindus. The team was so hard pressed for space as the group continued to grow, the overflow was routed into the next room. A large open section existed between the 2 rooms. Everyone was asked to sit and Michael then brought a second evangelistic message. This time, unlike the first, the hardness of the people became apparent. No one came to Christ—but everyone came for healing from the Christian God. Finally, the team was content to pray for the needs of the visitors. Five hours after the service began, more than 40 stricken individuals were prayed for with somewhere around 80% of Christians and Hindus receiving healing. The team was utterly amazed at the hardened hearts of so many who came only for physical healing.
After lunch, people continued to come to Michael and Tom for prayer wherever they were. During this time, another Hindu gave her life to Christ.
Now for a bit of humor. When it came time for the team to travel to their next designation, Michael and Tom were stunned to learn of their mode of transportation. It was a dump truck. But not just any dump truck. Imagine the front seat full with the majority of the team riding in the bed of the truck. Now picture the truck making its way along one of the bumpiest, wounding, dirt and rock filled roads, weaving along the side of a huge mountain. Now envision taking such a ride in a vehicle devoid of anything remotely resembling a set of shock absorbers. That pretty well describes the day’s journey. The 2 missionaries were amused at the Hindu woman compressed between them and the driver, as she continually made the sign of the cross during the arduous journey.
Once the team arrived at Sindhuwa, they made their way to a location where a number of believers had gathered. Michael prophesied over several individuals, to which the Spirit gave detailed messages regarding current matters in the believers’ lives. Each joyfully expressed their encouragement. As nightfall came, the team made its way to their lodging and a hot meal.
With Tuesday morning came a fresh opportunity to minister. What would God do today was the question. The Pentecostal church regularly met in the third story upper room. With little room to maneuver, Tom brought the word and a time of prophetic and healing ministry followed. All was going well until a demon manifested itself to everyone’s surprise. Sitting by the door, no one noticed when the Hindu woman first entered unannounced. Swaying in a large circular motion, shaking and bouncing with great force, she began to loudly chant a mantra. The demon had announced its presence. The translator told the men she claimed to be the goddess Parvati (the wife of Shiva). “I don’t need the blood of men but of gods” she cried in the Nepali language. At one point when the woman became lucid, she told the group she wanted to be set free; that the demon would enter her back to eat at her heart. Then the demon took control again. Over the next 45 minutes, the demon clearly weakened as the church continually interceded for the woman. Unfortunately, not knowing how long the deliverance would take, the team was forced to leave to catch a bus for the next stop. Responsibility for continued ministry was given to the church as the missionary group was forced to depart. Michael was reminded of the passage in Mark that states “This kind cannot come out except by much prayer.” (Mark 9:29)
When the bus arrived in Basantapur, the team was warmly welcomed by members of the Holiness Church. An evening service was planned, and what a service it would be. Tom brought the message to the nearly 100 persons present. When finished, 2 healing lines were arranged, with 3 team members in each group. (From this time forward, the team would include local pastors in each healing line.) After some time had passed, somewhere around 40 persons per group received healing ministry; again with approximately 80-85% completely healed and the rest partially healed or with their healing in progress. Very few received no noticeable healing.
Healings of every nature took place. Among the most notable were 2 warranting mention. Tom prayed for a young man that 3 years prior attempted suicide through hanging. Although he failed to kill himself, he was left unable to speak. When Tom asked him if he wanted to receive Jesus, he suddenly said “Yes, I want Jesus.” Tom led him in prayer and the young man left able to speak. Michael prayed for a totally deaf person that afterwards was able to hear. Many were the healings that night and 4 new souls were added to the family of God.
As an added note, sleep eluded everyone. The team slept in the back room of the church. Many people spent the night in the church, watching a movie, beating drums, and babies were crying. Ear plugs are effective only to a degree. And to make matters worse, Michael was devoured by bedbugs.
The next morning, Wednesday, the team was asked to pray a second time for an elderly lady that had partially received her sight during the previous night’s service. They prayed for her and a couple of others and then walked to the next church where they were to minister.
The Basantapur church greeted the team with much warmth. This time, Michael delivered the message. Again, the team formed 2 healing lines. Sometime later, as each time before, many were healed, with about 40 receiving prayer. From there, the group returned to the town of Sindhuwa, but to a different church this time, where they spent the night.
Thursday marked one of the most powerful and unusual days of ministry. The morning church service was packed to accommodate somewhere around 100 people. Following a time of praise and worship, Tom brought the message. Sensitive to the leading of the Spirit, he then asked everyone to be quiet before the Lord. Moments later, spontaneous praise began to break forth, quickly building to a crescendo. Some cried as others laughed, but everyone voiced some expression before the Lord.
While Michael was observing the phenomenon, suddenly a buzzing sound seemed to surround his head; combined with something similar to a gentle wind blowing. He then asked the Father what He wanted to do next. In response, he heard the words, “Speak healing to My people.” In obedience, he lifted his head and began to proclaim healing over the congregation, mentioning specific parts of the body to be healed. Everyone was then asked to sit down and whoever wished could stand and give testimony. One by one, church members stood to announce what God had just healed them from. Affliction after affliction was declared gone as Jesus healed many bodies that morning.
After the service, an odd thing happened. Many of the Christians left the church; some stayed for additional prayer while numerous Hindus joined the mix. The word had gone forth that the Christian God was healing the sick. The team then divided into 2 groups and 2 lines were thus formed. At the end of the day, almost everyone—approximately 100—was healed, including all but 1 Hindu man with an especially hard heart. Tom noted that all but the Hindu man were healed, including some that were partially blind and deaf.
Following the service, the team said their good-byes and left for their next destination in their trusty Range Rover. Now confident they could handle any rugged dirt road they might encounter, they would quickly discover that even Rovers can’t traverse all obstacles. On their way to the remote village of Parewadin, the travelers were regularly stalled by seemingly impossible road hazards. At one point when the driver insisted on turning back, James, the hosting pastor for the team, called the pastor they were attempting to visit. The local pastor, who was so desperate for their visit because of the vast number of healing needs in his community, began to cry and insisted he’d send men to clear the road. Sure enough, a half dozen young men eventually arrived baring picks, a shovel, and an iron rock bar. From the afternoon until well into the night, they struggled to clear and reconstruct the dirt road, and even free the Rover when it bottomed out. But in the end, the team made its way to the Emanuel Kripa Pentecostal church in Parewadin.
After an evening and morning of prayer, Friday promised to be a powerful day in the Lord. The morning was beautiful as the congregation of approximately 75 began their praise to the Lord. It wasn’t long before handfuls of Hindus trickled into the back of the already crowded building. Unnoticeable at first, the crowd soon grew to an overflow capacity of 150 or so, with many forced to remain outside. In the morning, the team prayed for church members, with all being healed. A husband and wife prayed to accept Christ. As members of the congregation received healing, they departed the building only to be replaced with their Hindu neighbors.
Following a lunch break, the team returned to the church to pray for the people. Everyone received healing in the morning and all hoped God would continue a similar work in the afternoon. Crowded beyond belief, Michael opened the service with an evangelical appeal. He spoke briefly about the God who heals verses the Hindu gods and goddesses that either can’t heal, or choose not to heal. He then turned the service over to Arjun, who spoke an evangelistic message. One individual responded.
How to effectively pray for such a large crowd had become a logistical problem. Clearly, the team would pray well into the night if they continued to use the prayer line method. After much consideration, Arjun wisely suggested praying in mass. Michael consulted the Lord, Who said in turn, “Speak My healing word.” With guidance from the Spirit, Michael began to address the people in a manner not all that different from the day before when the Spirit of Christ visited His church in such a powerful way. The principal difference was the room was now filled with unbelievers. Could this really be what God wanted? Yes. Jesus healed Romans, Samaritans, and possibly Greeks. Why not? God is merciful. After all, healing is up to Him alone. So for the next 2 and ½ hours, the team divided into 3 healing lines, praying for all manner of afflictions until the team was utterly exhausted and closed the meeting sometime after 4 pm. Those in attendance were promised needs would be prayed for the next morning following the church service.
Among some of the more spectacular healings involved those who were blind, deaf, and dumb. Tom witnessed partial blind and deaf people healed. Michael experienced similar encounters with poor eyesight and hearing restored. It wasn’t until he was leaving that someone asked him to pray for an aged blind woman sitting on the floor. As he kneeled before her, she related how when she came to the meeting, her sight began to return. Michael then laid his hand on her eyes, prayed for healing, and then asked her how many fingers he was holding up. She correctly responded “Two.” Her vision had returned. Michael was to discover later that the lady was the pastor’s aunt. (The pastor led her to Christ a few minutes later.) Similarly, his mother had been healed earlier in the day from deafness in 1 ear. Hallelujah!
Saturday, the Nepali Sabbath, was a new day for worship and healing. Tom delivered the sermon as Michael rested until time for healing prayer. (As the missionaries shared all things in common, the same applied to a cold Tom shared with Michael. The latter would limit his activities over the next couple of days.) The healing lines were smaller, but many were prayed for before and after lunch. Without doubt, healing is indeed a enigma. The mysteries include the accounts of 2 deaf and mute individuals. In both cases, each received partial healings—only a single ear was opened. To add to the puzzle, a witchdoctor was healed though he continued to refuse Jesus, while his wife professed Christ but was not healed. (Admittedly, Michael was uncertain of the genuineness of her profession.) About the only thing that can be said with certainty is that healing is in God’s hands.
Finally, the Rover arrived and the team loaded up their gear. The local people lined the way to say their good-byes and the vehicle fired up, once again to traverse its arduous trek. This time the destination was Hile, with some of the team returning to Pakhribas for rest and to attend other responsibilities.
In a room (approximately 9’ x 17’) barely able to contain the 56 individuals that came for healing in the little Hile Pentecostal church, the 3 member team prayed for approximately 25 people. To begin with, because there were so many, Tom spoke healing over the room. Only 2 received healing; one of which was partially blind regained his sight. Undeterred, Tom decided to return to his tried-and-true method of laying on of hands. The results were similar to those witnessed over the past couple of weeks
The word was out and many desired to be set free from Satan’s grip. Later that night, the 3 men stayed in a Hindu’s house; one that was healed during the meeting. Praise God that He is setting so many souls free in Nepal.