On the first night of the Festival, I welcomed everyone by saying, “We welcome our Christian friends. We welcome our Catholic friends. We welcome our Hindu friends, and we welcome our Muslim friends.”
Word began to spread that Muslims were welcome and on the second night of the festival many Muslims were scattered throughout the crowd. As the Word of God was preached, they listened intently. Then miracles began to happen. Men and women began jumping to their feet and announcing that Jesus had touched them. We invited them to the platform to testify.
The first woman to speak had been paralyzed on her right side for ten years. She demonstrated her healing by lifting her arm high over her head. Then she shocked the crowd by saying that she was a Muslim. “Who healed you?” we asked. “Issa ul Masih healed me! Jesus Christ healed me!” she exclaimed.
The next person to testify was also a Muslim, and the next, and then another. Out of thirty people who came to the platform to testify of healing, over two-thirds were Muslim.
The news that Jesus was healing Muslims spread like wildfire. The next night, the mullah from the local Mosque came to the Festival. He had heard that Jesus was healing Muslims and he told his entire mosque to attend the Festival. We gave him a seat of honor next to the pastors on the platform. When I began to speak, the Muslim leader stood up and put a rose garland around my neck and publicly thanked us for coming. The pastors were very excited, as this was unusual.
As the preaching began, thousands listened intently to every word as we explained that sin separates us from God and Jesus is the only way to heaven. When the invitation came for the people to receive salvation, almost the entire crowd prayed to ask Jesus to forgive their sins.
On the final night of the Festival, the size of the crowd increased again. Many more Muslims and Christians were healed by the power of God.
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. On 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!