Monday, September 28, 2009

Week #1 in Pakistan

Sunday: Mute Boy Speaks!
Last Sunday I arrived in Pakistan at 4:00 am, weary but eager to see what God would do these next 2 weeks. After waiting 90 minutes, my contact finally arrived to pick me up and take me to my first service in Lahore. While ministering on soul winning, I told the story of John Hyde, a pioneer missionary in Pakistan over 100 years ago. I shared 5 steps to lead someone to Jesus, using the story of Jesus' encounter with the woman at the well.
That afternoon we drove two hours to the city of Gujranwala where I met up with my father and mother, and then held an evening service in the village of Botala Genda Singh. 200 people listened intently as I preached on the paralyzed man who was let down through the roof.
A teenager was broght to me by his mother. She explained that he was mute and he could not speak since birth. We prayed for him and he began to speak and imitate the noises we made. God had loosed his tongue!

Monday: Gas Runs Out Before Testimonies Do
On Monday we traveled to the village of Machrala. It was a long journey on dusty dirt roads through fields of rice. It felt like the middle of nowhere, but when we arrived over 600 people were waiting to hear the Gospel. I preached on the four greatest miracles in the Bible. The villagers clearly enjoyed the message and almost every person responded to the altar call for salvation. The service took place inside a church courtyard, but we heard reports that a group of Muslim mullahs were standing on the other side of the fence in the darkness listening to every word.
So many people were healed that night, our generator ran out of gas before we were able to hear all the testimonies! Even with the courtyard plunged into total darkness, the people continued to praise God for what He had done.

Tuesday: Sialkot, the Epicenter of Revival
On Tuesday, we split up to fight on two battle fronts at the same time. My parents traveled to the village of Qila Dedar Singh where they ministered to over 700 people. My father preached on loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and body.
Simultaneously, I preached at the historic Sialkot Convention, a yearly gathering of church leaders and believers. The convention began in 1904 when revival spread throughout Pakistan from the epicenter of Sialkot. This year's theme was "Peace" and I preached about how God gives complete peace in spirit, mind, and body through the completed work of the Cross.

Wednesday: A Gunshot Rings Out
On Wednesday night, we held village festival in Chan Da Qila. At the last moment the police made us change the location of the festival because our first location was near a dark wooded area. The police were worried that militants could hide in the trees and attack the crowd. But, even though the location was changed last minute, over 800 people gathered. I opened with a story about my friend who dropped his precious camera into a toilet and had to rescue it. I told the people that God values us so much that He reached down into the filthiness of sin to rescue and redeem us.
The miracles kicked off with a woman who was partially blind demonstrating that she could see. Another testified that she had been at the previous night's service where my father preached. She had a tumor in her belly, but as she slept the tumor disappeared. She returned to give God glory publicly!
As I was finishing the service, a shot rang out and fireworks exploded into the sky. At first, my translator said that one of our policemen was celebrating, but then our festival director rushed us off into a nearby house. We hid for 45 minutes before driving away down back alleys. Word came that our guards had seen a suspicious looking car headed toward our service. They fired a warning shot and the car turned around and quickly raced off.
The next morning, the head of the local Pakistani Intelligence appeared at our home and began asking questions about the incident. He took a copy of our passports and told us we had to have 24-hour police protection. As I write to you now, two policemen are in the guesthouse nearby.

Thursday/Friday: Jesus Heals
On Thursday, I spoke at the Sialkot Convention again and encouraged the 5,000 believers to be bold soul winners.
Oh Friday both my father and I spoke at the Sialkot Convention during the afternoon. The crowd had swelled to over 7,000 people plus thousands more outside the main tent. I preached on the woman with the issue of blood and my father preached on Psalm 91. I asked everyone who had received a miracle to stand to their feet. Over 100 people across the tent stood up to show that Jesus had touched them!

We need YOUR Prayer!My wife Jessica joins me next week for our main 5-day Gospel Festival. Please pray for many people to be saved and healed. Pray for our safety as we share the Gospel in the second-largest Muslim nation in the world. Thank you!

Friday, September 18, 2009

John Hyde: His Prayers Changed a Nation

I am on my way to Pakistan. In Pakistan we will be holding two massive Gospel Festivals. We will be preaching good news to thousands of people who have never heard of Jesus as their Savior.

As I studied the history about what God has done in this part of the world, I discovered the amazing story of a missionary who changed an entire nation with his prayers.

John Hyde: His Prayers Changed a Nation

John Hyde was an American missionary who ministered in northern India and Pakistan over one hundred years ago. Today, he is known as “Praying Hyde.”

In 1896 Hyde traveled to many villages in the state of Punjab. He wrote, “This year there were no conversions in the villages. There were last year. What is the reason?” His solution was to fall to his knees in prayer. He began to cry out to God for lost souls. He often prayed all day long and through the night, foregoing food and sleep. He was often seen crying as he prayed, “O God, give me souls or I die.”

Hyde saw a need to encourage and train pastors so he invited a group of local pastors to the city of Sialkot for a convention in 1904. Before the first meeting, Hyde spent thirty days on his face before God in prayer. In this prayer-saturated environment, there was a great outpouring of God’s Spirit. Many confessed their sins and pledged themselves to seek God.

At the Sialkot Convention in following years, there was great “brokenheartedness for sin” and a burden for lost souls. One brother who attended the convention describes what he saw, “Oh, what an awful vision I have had! Thousands of souls in this land…being carried away by the dark river of sin! They are in hell now. Oh, to snatch them from the fire before it is too late.”

In 1908, John Hyde announced at the Sialkot Convention he was believing God for at least one soul to be saved everyday. He asked God to give him, not just a seeker, but “a soul saved, ready to confess Christ in public and be baptized in His Name.” In a nation where some churches went years without any conversions, many thought his goal was impossible. But, John Hyde began to pray and travel and preach. He encouraged those who worked with him to save the lost.

One of his friends reported that Hyde “would engage a man in a talk about his salvation. By and by he would have his hands on the man’s shoulders and be looking him very earnestly in the eye. Soon he would get the man on his knees, confessing his sins and seeking salvation. Such a one he would baptize in the village, by the roadside, or anywhere.”

By the end of that year, over four hundred new believers had been baptized! In 1909, John Hyde asked God for an even more audacious request. He wanted two souls to be saved every day. If the daily quota was not filled, his response was to stay up all night in prayer crying out for God to give him souls. As he focused on soul winning, he found himself drawing closer to the heart of God. He preached, “When we keep near to Jesus it is He who draws souls to Himself through us.”

Over eight hundred people were saved that year and at the Sialkot Convention in 1910 the vision was enlarged once again. That year, Hyde set a goal of leading at least four people to Jesus every day. His example challenged other pastors and missionaries. Some ministries that had experienced years of little or no fruit suddenly saw hundreds coming into the kingdom of God. Much of what God has done in Pakistan and northern India in the past one hundred years can be traced back to the original Sialkot Convention and John Hyde.

Will you pray for souls to be saved?

This year 2009, I have been invited to be a speaker at the historic Sialkot Convention. We are holding open-air meetings next to the house where John Hyde used to pray. I believe God is bringing us to the epicenter, ground zero, of what He has done in Pakistan.

This is not by accident. God is raising up a new generation of preachers who are passionate about soul winning. The prayers of John Hyde still ring true! The greatest harvest of souls in Pakistan is still ahead and my wife and I are privileged to play a part in what God is doing.

John Hyde made a difference with his prayers and you can make a difference with your prayers! Would you commit to pray for us for the next three weeks as we minister in Pakistan and Afghanistan?

We still need financial help to complete the budget of the ministry we are doing. Will you help out? Click here to make a donation:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Do you want to IMPACT an entire village?

Next week we begin a series of Gospel Festivals in the villages of Pakistan.

Jesus ministered to "every town and village" (Matthew 4:23) and we are endeavoring to do the same.

Our team has chosen a strategic central location for each of our Gospel Festivals to take place.

Buses from surrounding villages will bring people to the central location of our Festival.

97% of Pakistan is Muslim, so the vast majority of these villagers are unreached Muslims who have never heard that Jesus saves!

Each bus that comes to our Gospel Festivals will be filled with villagers. They will ride on the roof and hang onto the back railings. Fathers will come with their children and wives. Each bus seats fifty but can contain over a hundred people crammed everywhere possible, eager to come to the Festival.

Since the villagers are unable to pay the bus fare, we are helping by paying the cost of gas for each of the buses. It costs about $50 for every bus that brings people to hear the Gospel.

Would you sponsor a bus to bring people to come hear about Jesus?
Your gift of $50 TODAY will bring an entire bus from a Pakistan village to the Gospel Festival. Perhaps you could sponsor two buses, or five buses, or ten buses?

I fly to Pakistan this Friday, so I need to hear from you TODAY. The villagers are waiting right now to hear if a bus will be available to take them to the Gospel Festival.

Will you help us IMPACT an entire village by sponsoring a bus today?

Click HERE to sponsor a BUS

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

You Can Change a Life...With a Book.

Our next Gospel Festival is in the nation of Pakistan. We want to print 10,000 books to give to new believers. Each book will cost us $0.15 to print.Would you be one of fifteen people to give a gift of $100 today to make it possible for us to print these books?
Click HERE to help print books for Pakistan

The Power of a Book
Let me tell you a story. Several years ago, I was in the nation of Congo, Africa. I was preaching in a small dirt floor hut which was jammed full of over two hundred people. Chickens ran across the floor as the congregation enthusiastically praised the Lord. I glanced over at the young pastor and noticed he was holding his Bible and another dog-eared book which was carefully covered in gray tape.

"Show me what you are reading," I asked him. 

When he handed me the book, I recogized the cover. It was written by my friend and mentor, the great missionary-evangelist T.L. Osborn.

I asked, "Where did you get this book?"

He said, "Twenty years ago, Dr. Osborn came to my nation. My father got saved at his meeting and decided to become a pastor. Dr. Osborn gave him this book and for twenty years my father preached his sermons from this book. Last year my father died and I became the pastor of this church, and now I preach from the same book."

When I heard that pastor's story, I realized the impact one book can have on the nations. At each of our massive Gospel Festivals, my goal is to put a book in the hands of every new believer.

Why is it so important to invest in books?
1. Books help new believers grow spiritually. One of the challenges of every evangelist is to turn converts into disciples. How can a new believer grow from saying a salvation prayer into a strong follower of Jesus? I believe one key to solving this problem is putting a book in the new believer's hands.

2. Books continue to preach the Gospel long after I have returned home. Books can go farther then I can go, stay longer then I can stay, and impact lives I can never reach. By giving away books, I am imitating God. Our heavenly father sent his Son (Jesus) for a season, but He left His book (the Bible) forever.

3. Book are often passed from hand to hand and read by many different family members and neighbors. After one of our festivals we did a survey and discovered an amazing fact. Each book which we gave away was read by an average of ten people. So, if we give away ten thousand books, we can potentially impact over one hundred thousand people.

4. Books are treasured by new believers. In all our festivals, I have never seen one of our books thrown to the ground and trampled underfoot. Each one is valued and read. Recently a woman named Maria gave her life to Jesus during one of our Great Gospel Festivals. After a counselor handed her a book, tears poured from her eyes as she said, "Thank you!" I saw her reading the book as she walked toward her bus. She would take a step and read a page, then take another step. I am sure she read the entire book before she ever arrived home.

I need to hear from you RIGHT NOW so I know how many we can print. It would be a great tragedy for even one new believer to leave the festival without receiving a book. Please, respond to this e-mail today and help us print books.

We need 15 people to give a gift of ONE HUNDRED dollars. We want to print at least 10,000 books at a cost of $0.15 each.

Would you be one of fifteen people to give a gift of $100 today?

To Sow books into Pakistan, CLICK HERE

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What is an Evangelist?

Here is a short excerpt from a new book I am working on called "The Work of the Evangelist." This book project will be used to train and release hundreds of new evangelists into the mission field. 

The word “evangelist” comes from the Greek word euangelistes which comes from the root word euangelion which is translated as “gospel.” These words are both derived from the word angelos which means angel or messenger. This type of messenger is one who brings tidings of a great victory or good news. When a battle was won, a messenger (evangelist) would be sent to all the surrounding cities to announce the victory. The word “gospel” means good news, and the evangelist is one who preaches the good news.

            The word “evangelist” is used three times in the New Testament. Philip is called an evangelist (Acts 21:8), Paul mentions evangelists in his list of ministry offices; along with apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers (Ephesians 4:11), and Paul tells Timothy to do the “work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5).

            However, the root word of “evangelist” which is the Greek word for “gospel” is used ninety-five times in the New Testament. Jesus is the first evangelist of the New Testament since he went about “preaching the good news of the kingdom” (Matthew 4:23). Throughout the writings of Paul, the heart of the Gospel message is that God provided for the salvation of humankind through the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thank you for your help!

Last month, in the Pakistani villages of Korian and Gojra, over 150 Christian homes were burned and at least eight Christians were viciously murdered for their faith.

The survivors were left with nothing. No food. No clothing. No homes. They desperately needed help. I sent out an e-mail about their desperate situation, and many of you responded. Thank you so much!

Because of your generosity we were immediately able to send money to help the people of Gojra , Pakistan . You enabled us to provide food and other help in the time of their greatest need.

More Help is Needed

In just a couple of weeks, Jessica and I are headed back to Pakistanfor our second massive Gospel festival in this Muslim nation.

We feel this is a critical time to minister to Pakistan . Because of the horrible tragedy that has happened, people are more open to the Gospel than at any other time.

The purpose of this trip is two-fold:

1. We want to encourage local believers during this time of crisis.

2. We want to reach out to Muslims with the love of Christ.

Can you send a significant financial gift TODAY to help us minister to the people of Pakistan ?

To help us minister in Pakistan, CLICK HERE

Is THEIR religion good enough for you?

My friend, Kevin Wagner asks some powerful questions in his newsletter this what he has to say...

Dear Friends of the Harvest:

     Hallelujah! I hope that you have been having a blessed summer so far. In this month’s Joy Report, I would once again like to share with you some powerful reflections on missions and evangelism inspired by the late Rev. Oswald Smith, longtime Pastor of The People’s Church in Toronto.

     Some people say that unbelievers are better off as they are; that their religions are good enough for them.  They say that the unbelievers are happy in their unbelief, and that it is a mistake to share the Gospel with them.  But the Bible says in Psalm 74:20 that

"The dark places of the world are full of the habitations of cruelty”

     And so it is.  Non-Christian religions are characterized by cruelty.  Fear grips their people's hearts.  They are in constant dread of evil spirits, spirits that must somehow be appeased.  

     Here is a story from Africa:  It was at midnight.  Suddenly there was a death wail in the village; a little baby had died.  Immediately the witch doctor was called.  The villagers were aroused.  Before very long he had pointed out a woman whom he accused of having caused the death of the little one.  She immediately protested, insisting that she was innocent, but she had to be tried.  They hurried away to the tree that stood in the center of the village.  She was told to climb it and then hurl herself from the topmost bough.  She began to climb.  Presently she sat on one of  the branches and again protested her innocence.  Everyone knew she was telling the truth.  She was one of the finest women in the village, highly respected by all, but the witch doctor had pointed her out as the one guilty, hence she had to prove her innocence.

     Then she commenced climbing again, until she had reached the highest limb of the tree.  There she sat, again maintaining her innocence.  Then, before the horrified gaze of the onlookers, she threw herself down to the hard ground, and was instantly killed, most of the bones of her body being broken.  She was thereby judged guilty.  Had she been innocent she would have been unharmed.

     That has happened in the case of multitudes through the millenia.  Why?  Because of demonic religion.  Non-Christian religions often demand it, hence there is no escape.  Would you be willing to take her place?  Until you are prepared to accept her religion and give up your Christianity let no one ever hear you say "Their religions are good enough for them."  

     In Australia, in the heart of that continent there is an immense desert where it gets very hot, and there Australia's aboriginal people live, often sleeping on the sand.  A mother gives birth to a baby.  someone in the village  dies.  A victim must be found.  

     Before long the witch doctor makes his way towards the newborn babe.  The mother clutches it frantically to her breast, but without a moment's hesitation the witch doctor tears it from her arms and, amidst her shrieks and cries, lays it on its back on the sand, forces open its little mouth, takes handfuls of sand and pours it into the open mouth and down the throat, until its mouth is filled with sand and the precious child strangles to death.  Why?  Because their religions demand it.  There must be a human sacrifice.  Evil spirits have to be appeased.  

     Would you be willing to change places with that mother?   If her religion is good enough for her, then it is good enough for you.  But unless you are willing to take her place and have your little newborn baby torn from your arms and put to death as hers was, you have no right to say that their religions are good enough for them.  It is because of religion that these horrible practices are carried on.  

     Do you not think that the mother suffers, just as you would suffer?  Of course she does.  She feels for her baby as you would feel for your baby, but the witch doctor knows no mercy; the spirits must be satisfied.  Is her religion good enough for her?  Then it is good enough for you.  

     In the South Sea Islands, a group of islanders were gathered around the body of a man lying still on the ground.  There was a young woman under a nearby tree.  She was the widow of the man who had died.  

     Suddenly the natives approached her.  She was unresisting.  Full well she knew what would happen.  They placed a cord around her neck, and then commenced to strangle her to death.  And there before the eyes of all present that beautiful young woman was strangled to death and her body was placed beside that of her husband.  Why?  Because their religion demanded that when a husband died his widow must be strangled to death to accompany him on his journey.  And if the eldest son is old enough, he is the one who must strangle his mother.  Moreover, all the children, if they are too young to support themselves, must likewise be put to death.  That is religion; religion without Jesus.  

     Would you be willing to change places with that widow?  Could you look forward to such an experience in the event of your husband's death?  If their religions are good enough for them, then they are good enough for you; and if they are not good enough for you, then do not say that they are good enough for them.  

     In India, the body of a husband was placed on a pile of wood, and then the widow, still alive and well, was placed beside him, and the two bodies, one dead and the other alive, were bound together and then set on fire.  There among the shrieks and screams of the dying widow as she slowly burned to death, the natives gathered around, believing as a result of their idolatry that the evil spirits were being pacified, and that now the husband would have his wife in the other life.  

     Would you be willing to change places with that widow?  Multitudes of widows through the millenia have died in the flames when their husbands died, just because of idolatrous religions like this.  Are their religions good enough for them?  Then they must also be good enough for you.  If you would not be willing to change places with that widow, giving up your Christianity and taking on her idolatry, then do not say that their religions are good enough for them and that they are better off as they are.  Could a widow be happy enduring such torture?  Of course not.  "The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty."

     A follower of Islam stood before the people in the center of his town and hacked his skull with a great, long knife until the blood flowed freely, and then took newspapers and stuck them into those open gashes, after which he deliberately struck a match and willingly set himself on fire.  There he stood, the fire sizzling the blood, burning the paper and the hair; the man enduring the most excruciating agony.  

     Why, you ask?  Because of his religion.  He must afflict his body; he must suffer; he must endure torture in order to gain a place in Heaven, and so he tormented himself.  Would you be willing to exchange places with him?  Would his religion be good enough for you?  Could you endure such torment?  Would you be willing to suffer as he suffered?  Unless his religion is good enough for you, do not say that it is good enough for him.  

     Unbelievers are NOT better off as they are.  They are NOT happy, they are miserable.  They are most unhappy; they are wretched, they suffer, they are in fear of evil spirits constantly, they are always attempting to appease them.  There is no rest in unbelief, no peace, no joy.  Only Jesus Christ can impart joy.  Therefore let us do everything we possibly can to give them the Gospel before it is forever too late, that they may experience the joy that you and I know in Jesus.  Let none of us ever again say, "They are better off as they are.  Their religions are good enough for them." 

     And that, my friends, is why we do what we do.   We do it for Jesus.  And we do it for them; for the multitudes of men and women in our world today like the ones we told you about above, whom Satan has deceived, but who are desperate for Jesus, whether they know it yet or not.  Thanks for sending us to them.  Because of you, the Lord will keep delivering them from their spiritual darkness!   

For the Lost,

Evangelist Kevin Wagner

Check out his website at: