Monday, September 22, 2014

Journal Entries from Diego, Madagascar

Thanks so much for helping us preach the Gospel in Madagascar! Here are some excerpts from my journal during the event:

Tuesday: After flying for over 30 hours, I landed in Antananarivo, capital city of Madagascar, late in the evening.

Wednesday: Despite jetlag, first thing in the morning I spoke at a leadership conference for about 40 leaders. Then I preached at an evangelistic service announced by a local pastor on the radio. About 150 people came and over 40 got saved. Then we drove to a congregation on the outskirts of the city and ministered to about 200 people.

Thursday: We boarded a domestic flight to Diego, Madagascar. On the airplane, a stewardess told me she is praying for the campaign. Her aunt is on the planning committee and she is excited about what God is doing in Diego. When we arrived, hundreds of believers greeted us at the airport tarmac. We formed a giant Jesus parade complete with a semi-truck flatbed full of singers and marched through downtown inviting everyone to come to the Gospel Festival. The parade ended up at the soccer field where the festival will be held and we dedicated the field as holy ground. Directly behind the soccer field is a Muslim seminary. The students will be able to hear every word that comes out of our sound system. 

Friday: In the morning, about 500 people attended our Fire Conference and I preached on Soul Winning, emphasizing the individual responsibility to the Great Commission.

At dusk, the ministry team and I arrived at the Festival grounds. The worship team was energetically dancing and singing. The music was led by an anointed young woman who had eight backup dancers. The lyrics of her songs included this Gospel truth, “There is a heaven; there is a hell; you must choose where you will spend eternity.”

The mayor of the city of Diego greeted the crowd and declared the festival to be officially open. He is a Muslim but he shook my hand and welcomed us graciously. There was a light misty rain the entire night but the crowd did not leave. They stayed to enjoy the music and listen to the sermon despite the dampness. I preached on the paralyzed man who was let down through the roof. Five young men enacted the drama. At the end of the story, the paralyzed man jumped up and started dancing across the platform. The crowd cheered. During the altar call, the light rain became heavy rain. But the people responded to the message. Virtually the entire crowd prayed with me for salvation. There were about 3,000 people in attendance. The church in Diego is few in number, perhaps a total of 1,000 believers in a city of 125,000. So, the number of people who responded to the Gospel was amazing.

When I prayed for the sick, a crippled man walked up to the platform. He was carrying his crutches. He had hobbled on crutches for two years but Jesus healed him. At first his steps were halting, but they got stronger and bolder. I asked him if he wanted to dance. He said, “Yes!” and the band began to play. He jumped up and down and danced energetically. I told the crowd that his moves are so good, he could join the backup dancers. Everyone laughed because it was true.

There was a ten-year-old girl who had a growth on her neck the size of a small fist. During the prayer time, the growth completely disappeared. She showed us where the growth was located on her neck and her neck was completely normal.

Saturday: At the Fire Conference, about 550 people attended. I preached on the Fire of God and our team laid hands on every person there. On the second night of the crusade we had good clear weather and lots of miracles!

Sunday:  Our team preached at six local churches. Both churches that I preached in were packed full. I asked how many people came to church for the first time and many lifted their hands. The Gospel Festival is already making a difference.

At the final night of the festival, I preached on the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son, and the lost man (Zacchaeus). In total, we prayed with about 7,000 people for salvation.

Monday: We visited a nearby waterfall that is considered sacred to the local tribes. Believing that the spirits of their ancestors dwell at the waterfall, they regularly journey there to offer sacrifices and pray to the spirits. I ministered to the guide who showed us the waterfall and had the privilege of leading him to Jesus. He was beaming with joy and happiness. He said, “I think God brought you here to Madagascar just to talk to me.”

Tuesday: We had a final prayer meeting with the local pastors. Every pastor in town worked hard to make the Gospel Festival a success. They will continue to meet together for regular prayer meetings. Our time in Diego has produced a great move of God that will continue for many years to come.

Thanks so much for helping us preach the Gospel in the farthest corners of the earth!