T.L. & Daisy Osborn were great evangelists who had a profound impact on my life. Today I talk about the Osborn legacy of faith and ministry with their daughter Dr. LaDonna Osborn. From the moment she was born, she was involved in their worldwide evangelism efforts. On this episode of The Evangelism Podcast, she shares some of the secrets to their amazing success.
Learn more about Osborn Ministries International: https://osborn.org/
Order T.L. Osborn’s Books:
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast. I’m Daniel King and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus. Today I have a very special guest with me, Dr. LaDonna Osborn. Thank you so much for joining me today.
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (00:12):
It’s a wonderful privilege to be with you, Daniel. You know I’m one of your fans.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:17):
Well, Dr. Osborn, you were born into the premier family of evangelism. You’re the daughter of Dr. T.L. Osborn and Daisy Washburn Osborn. And you have been involved in evangelism from your very earliest memories. That’s right. Tell me about what God has done through your life.
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (00:41):
Dr. King. I love to say that you’ve achieved so much. Your influence is tremendous. I’m just honored to know you. Anyone who knows the story of my mother, father, the Osborn Ministry, they would remember that there was a real turning point in their lives that transitioned them into what they’re known for today as the pioneers of mass miracle evangelism all over the world. Now, it happened that the year I was born is when that transformation took place. So because of my mother’s decision, we traveled as a family. So my brother was a couple of years older than me and myself is nine months old mother, father. We began traveling the world. So I grew up on the platforms of world evangelism, moving from nation to nation, living among the people of the cultures of the world, going to the river to wash our clothes, boiling our water, going to the market. This was my life and almost every day we were on a crusade platform in the evening, four or five in the evening, in front of a multitude of people, my father or mother preaching about Jesus and seeing miracles of healing. So imagine from, can I say babyhood? This was my norm. What a wonderful heritage. So I didn’t live in the United States until I was 14.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:06):
How old were you when you first preached on a platform and prayed for people to be healed?
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (02:13):
It was in Ghana, Accra. When I was 10 years old, it was 1957 and during this great crusade, my father and the pastors there organized what they called a kid’s crusade and they put up a huge tent. Now, we didn’t use tents overseas, but they had this big tent and I’m told that about 10,000 children packed in that tent. And so my brother and I were both told to preach. Now he was a little bit older. This was in 1957, so I’m 10 years old, he’s 12. And it scared me to death. Only God knows how timid I was. What I do today. It’s only by the grace of God. So I went to my father and I told him I was so scared, but of course he didn’t excuse me at all. I said, what will I preach? And his answer was so profound, I love it. He said, find an example in the Bible of Jesus with a person, a sick person. And when you preach, just tell the story. And when you’ve told the story, tell them Jesus will do the same for them. They’ll accept Jesus and then pray for the sick. That was so simple. Do you know I can say yet today this would be how I minister among
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (03:47):
The, and that’s good advice for any evangelist. Find what Jesus did, tell the story and then pray for people.
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (03:53):
That’s right. And so I know that it looked like all these children were accepting Christ and the miracles of healing. Now I didn’t do anything but say, Jesus will do this for you and anyone’s sick. I did what I saw my father do. Lay your hand where you want Jesus to lay his hand. And they did. And then of course, the platform full of these children giving testimony. I just stood there listening to their testimonies because it had nothing to do with me. This is the work of Jesus among people.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (04:22):
Well, your father had such a tremendous impact on my ministry. I remember when I was very young, my parents were missionaries in Mexico and I found some copies of his books, the book on soul winning the book on healing the Sick. And they’re very simple, but just read through those and planted such great faith in my heart. And then there were so many pictures in the books of all the different countries that your family went to, minister and the big crowds of people. And God used those pictures as a seed in my heart to ask God to open those same doors in our ministry. Isn’t that wonderful? And so now we’ve taken some of the same messages, some of the same ideas, the concepts and seeing that it works all over the world.
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (05:15):
It works. Jesus hasn’t changed. And if we’ll talk about him, he’ll do the same things I’ve learned long ago. If you talk about Jesus, he shows up.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:27):
Now, Osborn Ministries has had an impact in many more lives than just my life. In fact, this year you’re doing a series of videos documenting a hundred years of impact around the world, and you’re telling stories of what has made Osborn ministry so effective over the years. Let’s talk about some of those things. I think one of the first things that people know about is the Mass Miracle Crusades and praying for the sick. How did those start?
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (06:03):
Well, the Mass Miracle Crusades began after Jesus appeared to my father. That was the turning point that really changed him from being an ordinary evangelist or pastored, really transformed him into a Jesus man. That was the only label that he would wear. And so when we began, or they began in 1948, these mass evangelism events, it started, started very simply because there’s lots of people and if you’ll get all the pastors to work together, and one of the things they inaugurated was to go to an open field, not a stadium, not an enclosed auditorium, but go to an open field like a soccer field where everyone is level. No one is elevated, no v i p section, no aisles, no chairs. It’s an open field. And then advertise, bring the sick. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So that was always the theme of their crusades.
And the sick would come. It just shocked the pastors that my father or mother would be so bold as to tell the people if Jesus is the same today, he will do miracles today. And if he doesn’t, we’re liars and you can run us out of town. Oh my goodness. That made pastors nervous because many of these in those days, as you would understand, they didn’t really have miracle ministries. Most would believe that Jesus could and might, but they could never be confident that he would or why he would. So this was how the miracle mass miracle Evangelism began. The miracles became the hallmark of this ministry from that early beginning. So miracles, you talk about Osborn, anything, its miracles are part of it.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (08:10):
Another very successful program that you had was supporting national missionaries, and today you pulled out some of your books and your history to show me we’re looking at pictures of missionaries in these nations. They were national missionaries supported by Osborn Ministries. And over the years you’ve supported over 30,000. That’s right. Exactly. And they have gone on to found great churches, some of them huge denominations. Talk to me about why that program was so effective.
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (08:48):
Well, part of it was because it was timely. It was at a time that denominations who were sending missionaries to various nations, they were building Bible schools and they were graduating these wonderful students, men and women, and yet there was no way for them to support their families after graduation. So the timeliness of the vision, the Lord gave my parents to come into this environment, into this gap and provide temporary financial assistance to a Bible school graduate recommended by their leaders so that these evangelists would go into unreached villages, unreached areas, and give full time to gospel ministry. That was an insane idea because it was at a time that number one, what we would call nationals, they were not respected the dynamic of foreign missionaries. The system at the time was not really to appreciate the national. It was more to depreciate them that they were inferior and it was the effect of the colonial epic.
We’ve talked about that, that under colonialism, it was just the mentality that these people are inferior, they’re not educated, they need our help. We have to come in and help govern them because they don’t know how to do it. So of course, different European powers who colonized, they had different models. Britain was very benevolent. Other European nations like Belgium or France, not so very exploitive. So that was the mentality of the day in which the National Missionary Assistance program began. So to come in and say, you are important, we’re going to call you a missionary. You’re not a foreigner, but you are a missionary. You’re going someplace with the gospel. And then with just a little assistance, they would be able to establish a completely self-supporting work. Usually within one year, sometime 18 months, two years will be a long time. And so it’s through that program, Dr. King, that we can calculate more than 150,000 churches have become completely self-supporting all over the world. Now, all of these, they don’t have our name. This was assistance funneled through the denominations who had missionaries in these nations. So every church that was established, it would carry that denominational name. These were all Pentecostal denominations. So wonderful things were happening. Isn’t that beautiful?
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:45):
It’s amazing. Now, another major area that Osborn Ministries has had impact is through literature distribution. I remember I was in Congo, Africa and I was preaching at a little church. It was a small building, but it was packed full of people and it was dirt floor. Chickens were running around. But I looked over at the pastor and he had his Bible that on top of his Bible, he had a book covered in duct tape. And I said, what is that that you’re reading? And he showed me, it was an Osborn book. He said, 20 years ago, Tal Osborn came to my country. They distribute this book and my father got a copy. He became the pastor. And for 20 years he preached from this book, he says, now I’m the pastor because my father passed away and now I’m preaching from this book. That story has been duplicated time and time again around the world. You have printed literally tons of material and distributed them around the world
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (12:46):
For many years. The statistic we were able to calculate, we were not only printing in about 132 languages, but we were distributing to the tune of one ton per working day. Wow, isn’t that amazing? So this scattering of gospel seed was just one of the things we did. And do you know Dr. King in that book? I’m talking by this time, the sixties, the seventies when these massive distributions were happening. It was said, I don’t know who decided this, but it was a missionary statistic that every tract was read by an average of five people. Isn’t that amazing? So that was in that same e book that gospel tracks were being produced. I remember once we were in a country, it was an African country, I don’t know which one. And we were visiting in villages and we were just going down the paths and we were visiting people in their huts and we were just being there inviting people to come to an event.
And I went in one of these huts and I saw on the wall of a very disintegrating mud wall inside the Hutt, there was tacked a gospel track, one of our tracks, and it looked like it had been handled by a thousand people because the edges all had finger oil. The edges were all frayed, the edges had been torn off a little bit, but that track was up there. The only thing on that wall. And I remember thinking, my God, thank you that in this village there’s that track that’s probably been read by everyone, read by everyone. Isn’t that see what we are talking about, these ideas that God gives people to proclaim his gospel among people who are often forgotten, who otherwise will never hear of Christ. These ideas, every idea reminds me how big our God is and how much he cares and how creative he is and how he will drop ideas in the heart of anyone who just caress about people, wants to do the work of Christ and fulfill this great commission. So these ideas, these are just ideas that came at the right time. Did you know Dr. King? I think I can say this and you’ll understand. Through the decades of this ministry,
New programs for evangelism have been developed and launched throughout, such as you’re talking about the tracks, the audio recordings, the equipment to play, we call lingua tape units, the Docu miracle films, the projectors, all of these were programs that we could share, empower, equip others. Do you know every program began because we had more money than we knew what to do with. Is that amazing? In this day and age, I’ve
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:08):
Never had that
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (16:08):
Problem, never had that problem. No one does. These days times have changed. A lot of it had to do with mission opportunities for people. But when money would accumulate, my mother and father, I can remember because I was part of these prayer meetings, go to their knees and say, Lord, we have this money. What should we do with it? And out of those prayers, a new idea would be birthed. I love that as a record that God will give ideas when you ask. Well, I believe ideas are the opportunity to involve people. So then they participate and that’s the money. We don’t keep it. We pass it on. Invest it in the work of evangelism. So there’s never a money shortage as long as we have God on our side and we represent him properly.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:59):
Another secret of the success of Osborn Ministries was really the philosophy behind the ministry that you did. I remember that when Dr. Osborn came to speak at Victory Bible College, when I was 18 years old, I was a student, he would stand up and start reading off the names of all the different places in the former Soviet Union, all the different, and when your mother went to heaven, he took, as I understand it, some of the money from his. He
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (17:37):
Took all of her insurance money, insurance money, and I talked about it. She had $50,000. That’s not much. But all of that was invested in resources in Russian, a country we had never been in, a language we had never published in.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (17:54):
And so you went and you did events across the 11 time zones. Yes, exactly. Of Russia. Exactly. And in every time zone proclaiming that Jesus is alive, that even during a time when communism was the philosophy of the land in telling everyone that God is dead, that your father would take the books and show the pictures, says, while people were saying God is dead all over the world, God was proving that he’s alive by doing miracles in the lives of people.
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (18:32):
Exactly. And we were able to translate and print. I’m sure we spent more than the 50,000, but we distributed, we gave every attendee 10 books, a library in Russian of gospel materials. And just because you’re an evangelist, I share this with you. I had just as you have ministered among people in so many nations, so many different cultures, in so many religious environments like the Muslim people, the Buddhists, the Hindus and people of deep religions, that six weeks that I was ministering across the former Soviet Union, I had a brand new experience. Because when you look in the eyes of people who’ve never had a concept that there’s anything out there, not a pegan idea, not they’re worshiping an alligator or a tree or Muhammad or Allah or any of the Buddhist deities, all of these people of faith have a concept of a cosmos and a spiritual something, a deity.
Now that deity may not have a compassionate heart, may not be involved in their lives, but they have this concept. It was a brand new experience, may look in the eyes of people that had been told they were nothing, no concept of anything out there. When they die, die like a dog. Can you imagine this? What impressed me so deeply, and it still does when I’m minister into communist in communist areas, the communal value is all that exists. And yet we come with a message saying, you can make a personal decision for Jesus Christ. That’s a brand new thought. Whoever told them they could make a decision. No. It’s the communal that you can have a better life. We know how to relate to the Hindus who can’t believe that because they might come reincarnated back as a lower being animal cockroach. We know how to deal with that. But when you think you can’t even make a decision, your personal value is nothing. And then he comes and God loves you and he comes to welcome you into his family. He cares about you and what a revolutionary concept. So it was in that environment that I began to develop. It wasn’t where it was first birth, but where I really developed the message of God’s big picture that you know very well where I present the message of scripture in these four scenes.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:25):
Yeah, you have God’s creation, Satan’s deception, Christ substitution and our redemption.
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (21:33):
Hallelujah. Restoration, our restoration. Think about that, that we don’t just leave people crying at the foot of the cross. After you’ve made that decision for Christ, your life’s restored, restored to what God intended in the beginning. What a beautiful message that relates to every person in every circumstance of life. But we tell it in a way that they can grasp it and believe on this, Lord Jesus. Oh, have you ministered in Russia or the China?
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (22:05):
I was in the city of St. Petersburg many years ago with Pastor Billy Joe Doherty. He was doing events there right
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (22:14):
After. Yes, I remember that. Yes.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (22:15):
Communism fell and it was in the stadium, the Olympic stadium and filled with people and they would run forward for the altar call. It was so beautiful at that time.
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (22:26):
So beautiful. When we’re talking about the National Missionary program and you ask about its success, I mentioned it was the right time. This is what we look for in evangelism. My mother used to say that revolution in any country is the time for evangelism. So we don’t wait until everything’s safe. When things are uprooted and there’s change, that’s where we come in and bring the truth of Christ. But you see in the Soviet Union, as soon as that wall or a curtain, was it a wall or a curtain? I never can remember the bamboo curtain, I guess, and the Soviet wall. Okay, we’ll agree on that. There was so much opportunity. Now with the opportunity, it was a lot of strange teaching. Everything floods in when there’s space. But it’s okay because then the gospel supersedes everything. The gospel works, every message doesn’t work. The gospel works.
And so at the right time, we flood. Let me tell you, we flooded those 11 times zones. Actually that’s just Russia. But all of this area, the Poland and Ukraine and Yugoslavia and all of the Bal, the Slavic, the Kazakhstan, all the stones, I should say, all the Uzbekistan, all of these, they were all speaking Russia at that time. They don’t speak Russian. Now, only Russia, the rest have reclaimed their own national languages. So look at the timing. When we were able to come in and saturate that land with gospel truth, I see God at work in these things. So it’s not just a method, it’s not just a country. It’s God’s timing. In the midst of political and religious and social dynamics and evangelists who are motivated by the spirit of God, they sense the timing. And that’s why we support evangelists and we affirm evangelists. We are in relationship with evangelists because we’re walking to a different drummer. It’s not just about building an empire for ourselves or no, no. This is about the timing for expanding the kingdom of God. That’s what you do all over the world.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (24:49):
What were some of the greatest lessons you learned from being around your mother and father?
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (24:56):
Oh my. So many. One of the main things that I would say I learned a lifestyle of consistency. See, we traveled, we were moving all the time being countries many months. But then we would move on. And so our family had a schedule, the consistency of schedule. We went to bed at the same time every day. We woke up at the same time. We would make our beds, get dressed and eat breakfast, clean up the kitchen, whatever there was to clean up, did it to altogether. And then we had family devotions after family devotions every day. My father would do his thing, which was studying and preparing for ministry, be later that day. And my mother taught my brother and me school, now it’s called homeschooling. Then it was correspondence. We had a military program, a wonderful program. And so we would study from nine to noon and then we went to work.
So my mother was brilliant at keeping us busy. So as soon as we could do anything, we were involved. We had assignments. We could pick out letters on a typewriter. We went to the post office, collect our mail. Remember we had an office to run magazines to produce, and we were out of the country a lot of the time, pick up our mail, answer correspondence, and then go to the crusade field and at four or five in the evening every day, that was a schedule. So that consistency, putting God first, there was never an opportunity to be moody or to not feel like doing something. It was just a different time. So that consistency I learned through our lifestyle. And I think that that pattern of consistency kept us feeling safe as children because we were always with different people. Names will never remember eating new kind of food and new languages, new cultures, but we felt safe.
And I’m sure that it was because of that framework of our family life. A lot of families now are ministering together with their children. And I hope they all understand that you can create safety for your children. And then of course, I learned always to prioritize the word of God, the scripture. Our pattern was as soon as my brother and I could read, we would go around and each read five verses starting in Genesis, going through the Bible and starting over again. And after every five verses, it was usually my parents who had commentary. They were teaching us consistently just and discussing principles in the scripture. For example, the principle of how God doesn’t like grumbling and complaining. Every time we would get to that part of the children of Israel’s story, the myriad times they grumbled and complained. My father would lecture a little bit, and so it was drilled in me. I don’t think I’ve ever complained in my whole life because God doesn’t like that. So these are things you learn. My mother,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (28:16):
That’s a good lesson when you’re traveling a lot and sometimes things don’t go quite right. Exactly. That’s a good lesson to know. You
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (28:22):
Just don’t complain. There’s no room for that. My mother primarily taught me to look for principles in the scripture, not rules. She taught me that everything that’s in the scripture is relevant. You look for the principle. What’s the message God’s trying to give us? And to this day, I cherish that kind of teaching, looking for Jesus in the scripture, modeling our lives after his character, his words, his demeanor. Because if you read the gospels over and over as we did, you pick up his character and his emotions, his style, his attitude. And these were things that teach us how to live. I learned that from my parents. Of course, obviously I learned that the gospel is the power of God. I read it in scripture, but I saw it demonstrated every day. I saw that miracles are as relevant today as ever, that there’s nothing God cannot do.
I was an adult way, an adult, and I had the thought because here I tell people, I have forgotten more miracles than most people have ever seen. And yet one day the thought crossed my mind. You’ve never seen a miracle. And it shocked me. And I began to put myself back on those crusade platforms, this parade of miracles. And I saw that’s right. What I saw was the miracle. I saw the person who couldn’t walk before and now they’re walking. I saw the person whose clothing still smelled like cancer, that now they’re completely healed. I saw the eyes that were already opened. I didn’t see when they were blind. And I had a smile thinking about that, just that the faith that was planted in me as a child, God can do everything. And yet all I saw was the end result of his grace and his miracles.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (30:31):
One of the great philosophies behind the Osborn Ministries was the value of every individual that you are important, that God’s hand is on you. God wants to use you. You are God’s best. That without, if God had someone better, he would use them, but the one he has. And so God is going to use you. That’s absolutely. Tell me the story about what the pastors in Russia said when Dr. Osborn came to
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (31:03):
Is so beautiful. When other people say things in a unique way. This is one of those statements. Of course, we had been, you heard the story. We had been across those many cities and the ministry was tremendous. We gave the books. We ministered daily, daily, daily, multiple times every day. After we left the leader, one of the primary Russian leaders was discussing with these Russian pastors, and they wrote to us and said, you’ve got to hear what the pastors have said about you. And the quote was this, after communism fell, many ministries came to Russia.
And when they left, we knew they were great. The Osborn’s came and when they left, we knew we were great. Doesn’t that just say it? Doesn’t that sound like something God would say? Almost chastising. We, let’s just talk about ourselves. We’re Americans, we know the system, we who boast of our achievements and may put ourselves on a pedestal and feel that we’re really special and people then know we’re special. Wow. God then comes on the scene and he says, no, it’s not about you. It’s about what I do in the lives of ordinary people to cause them to qualify, to represent me in their world. Yes. That is one of the fundamental philosophies of this ministry. This ministry is. And we didn’t make that up. If you read the Bible, that’s everything about God. He was the greatest missionary. He came. What did he do?
He didn’t cut in greatness. He came wrapped in our flesh, walking in our dust, relating to us on our level, talking our language. So he comes low to lift us up. There’s a verse in Isaiah that I just love. It’s talking. It’s a prophetic verse about the coming Messiah. And it talks about how he lifts the beggar out of the dunghill, lifts them and sets them among royalty. I have lived in those dung hills. I have walked among the beggars of the world. I have seen all of my 76 years, I have seen Jesus when he’s presented as he really is, lift the beggars up and make them special. That’s not because of us. That’s because of him. Do you remember the story of Papa Mu soke? Tell me the story. Papa Mu soke was a beggar in Uganda. This was the event. My parents, I was there as the photographer actually in the early eighties.
And it was after the rule of Iin. He was a real butcher and he had destroyed the nation. Incredible. It burned the libraries, killed every professional doctors, all they were afraid. We came, in fact, my mother and I came in advance. We stayed there seven weeks just working with the pastors. The streets were so full of potholes. One of the little cars we used was a Volkswagen wagon bug. There were streets. We couldn’t drive it because it would just fall right in the hole. There were curfews, wild dogs everywhere, eating the bodies that were on the street. Just a most depraved situation. And we had a historic event. It was in Luogo Stadium, we call it Luogo one because they went back later for Luogo two. And so this was a walled facility specifically to help the people feel safe. They came. I wish you could have seen what we saw.
The pastors didn’t have shoes, any suits that they had, they’d be so proud of. But they were just thread bare. Everyone was skinny. They’d had no food. There was so much pain. Every family had seen atrocities right before their eyes within their own family. So this was the condition of Uganda when we came. Okay, so this amazing, amazing event. In fact, we produced a series after that of messages and we titled it, you Are There. Because we wanted people to come and experience this. Hear the ministry. I heard my parents preach in ways I’d never heard them preach before. And so one service after we were leaving, we were packed in this little Volkswagen and we were with this massive crowd of people trying to get out the one gate that was available, the opening in the wall. And as we’re coming near the wall, can you just picture this?
You’ve been in these masses. Picture it. And my father looked down and he saw this man, Papa Maki. And he was a beggar and he was paralyzed. He was laying there and his legs were out in front of him. And my father said, stop the car. And he got out of the car. I followed him. I knew something was getting ready to happen. I had my camera with me. He came to who we now know as mu, we call him Papa Mu soke. My father looked at this beggar man. He had been paralyzed. So his family kicked him out of the house. He couldn’t do anything to support his family. And he lived among the dogs because he could sleep with them and stay warm. It’s a very pitiful situation. And so I remember my father’s words. He looked at this, man, can you picture the dust, the debris, the dazed expression, the tangled hair, the dirty body and the smell.
Can you see it? My father looked at him and he says, Papa, what are you doing on the ground? And of course, Papa Mercedes looked at him and said, who are you? What are you? And he says, look at me. I’m a man. You’re a man. I’m not in the ground. Why are you in the ground? And of course, Zuki is just looking at him, not comprehending. And my papa took his hand and he says, Papa and the name of Jesus Christ, get up and walk because I’ve got this all documented. It’s in our books. Papa Osakis story. That man got up. He was healed. He began to walk. Now, here’s the rest of the story. My mother and I went back. Daisy Washburn Osborn, that’s a name to remember. She and I went back one year later to do follow up on some of his amazing testimonies from Lou Ggo one.
And we looked him up. That man was all groomed. He had on a business suit. He had opened a business in the market. He had his own kiosk. He was so happy. Look at this. That’s why we say restoration. The gospel doesn’t just forgive sin and heal bodies. It restores people’s dignity. This man, he wasn’t a beggar in God’s eyes. God lifted him up out of the dust and set him high. That’s what the gospel does. And of course, this is one of thousands of stories, but I love that story because it’s perfectly expressed is what you’re talking about in the dignity of humankind made in the image of God. And our ministry has always prioritized the value of people. We treat them often in these nations. Dr. King, you’ve been there. They don’t treat themselves well. The leaders are not always kind to their people. Pastors are not always nice to their people. Some cultures, they don’t mind hitting them or pounding them with a stick. It’s just kind of culture and how beautiful to come and treat people gently treat them with care and respect.
It’s, it is a priority. I remember I was in one of the cities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. One of the wonderful miracles was a woman who came to testify skin and bone. Her testimony was that she was a prostitute and she had attracted aids, contracted aids. And the clinic had just finally told her to go home and die. There’s nothing more we can do. Well, her pimp brought her to the crusade thinking, oh, she can make a little more money as long as she’s alive. And she accepted Jesus. What happened to her was so frightening. Her pimp ran away. We learned that later. So she came to testify. Her story was so precious, the way God had shown himself to her and forgave her and loved her. Now, I’m giving you an example. I told the pastors who were there with me, I said, someone has to take this woman, take her, give her a safe place, help her get clean new clothes. And the first thing I saw was a man pastor come and kind of grab her.
That went all over me, and I just stopped right there in front of everyone. I says, stop it. This is a woman, your daughter, your sister in the family of God. And I called one of the women pastors to come, and I helped put her arms around this new convert. Gently say, she’s been abused enough. Can you take this woman and love her and show her the love of God and help her have a new beginning? Now you see, that’s one person among hundreds who were coming to testify, but that conveys the heart of our ministry, that always, it’s not our heart. It’s Christ’s ministry. He cares about people, and he’s gentle with them, and he reveals a God of love and compassion, not a God who rules and controls, not our God.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (41:58):
Amen. Osborn Ministries has such a amazing legacy of ministry, but now God’s raising up a new generation of evangelists. Oh yes. What advice would you give to those who feel a heart for evangelism and want to be used by God to bring people to Jesus?
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (42:18):
Oh, that’s wonderful. God’s people, his soul winners, those that take on a personal responsibility to share what they know about Jesus, that’s what we call evangelists, those that I think all of us should be. But there are some that are very just uniquely passionate. I think from my experience and from what I see in the scripture and from the legacy of our family, the first thing I would tell this new generation of passionate evangelists, don’t try to copy everybody else. Listen for new ideas. Because wherever God sends you, that’s a unique set of circumstances. That God has a specific model for how to draw attention to himself, and he does it. He does it through notable miracles and things. So that’s the first thing I would tell them. I would tell them, practice develop Christ’s love for people. You can’t be an effective evangelist if you’re just trying to chalk off the numbers and keep track of how many people you’ve led to Christ.
No, no. You’ve got to love people like God, love them. We can’t do it on our own. They’re not always lovable, but we let Christ love them. That’s so important. And I think that’s one of the secrets of my father and mother’s ministry. They’ve always loved people. They’ve loved people. As a matter of fact, my father was invited by the late Dr. Oral Roberts. Dr. Roberts was having one of his Holy Spirit classes in the beginning of the university. And this one semester he had invited a lot of his ministry friends. I won’t name them, but all of his ministry friends, he had invited them just to come and have one session with the students. Among that number, my father was invited. I know this because now the pastor of our church, Dr. Shana Anthony, an or U grad, she was in that class that day and it was opened up for questions. And these young students, they were asking, and the big question was, what’s the secret of ministry? You can imagine you’ve been a young student. What’s the secret of effective ministry? And my father told the story of Papa Mu soke.
And by the time he was finished, I don’t know how many of those students heard his answer because he didn’t say, the secret of effective ministry is he told the story and there was not a dry eye in that place. He conveyed this dynamic divine principle of God’s intervention into human debris, how he loves people. And so I don’t think my father and mother ever read that in a book or had anyone tell them that they learned it by being among hurting people and carrying the same passion that these new evangelists carry of wanting them to know Jesus. Well, the way they need to be introduced to Jesus is through a savior who loves them, the Muslims. They don’t know anything about a God who loves most religions of the world, pagans with the witch doctor who puts curses on. They don’t know anything about a God of love.
Love is the message that penetrates these hearts. So I would always say, focus on Jesus. I would always say, focus on Jesus, because there are so many messages that proliferate now, if you just focus on Jesus, everything will be all right. I would remind them. Always expect miracles. You cannot do evangelism without miracles. That’s the proof that what we’ve said is true. That’s what Jesus did. He went around preaching and healing. And so these are fundamentals that I would always encourage young evangelists, love people, focus on Jesus, expect miracles. What was the first one? I missed it. I forgot my first one. Lift people up. Lift people up. Oh my goodness. Yes. Yes. You shared several. Yes, that’s a good one. But these are fundamentals, and these are things that don’t change with time. See, I’m representing a ministry that’s now in four years, we’ll enter our eighth decade.
That’s a long time. The whole world has changed. Nations have changed. Names of nations have changed. Politics has changed. Everything has changed. Technology has changed. But if we hold on, I would tell young evangelists prioritize the things that don’t change. Then everything else can change. If you’re in a village is one thing. If you’re in a city, it’s another thing. If you’re on the radio, it’s another thing. If you’re on your iPad, if you’re on WhatsApp, that’s another thing. If you’re face-to-face in a village, in a lepper colony, if you’re touching sick people, that’s another thing. But if you will focus on the things that do not change, your ministries will endure. The scripture talks about everyone’s work will be tested by fire. The apostle Paul warned us, it depends on what we build with whether our ministries will stand the test of fire. I think part of that testing is the testing of time.
If we want ministries to endure, look at my father and mother. They’ve been with the Lord now a while, but their ministry continues. Why? Because it’s built on the things that don’t change. It’s a secret to the longevity of ministry. And back to what you said, let me just add here. What we’re doing this year, these video pieces, we’re taking advantage of 2023. My father was born in 1923, so this would be 100 years. And so we’re celebrating his life ministry influence, not his life, only because that’s past. His ministry continues, his influence accelerates. And so this is a wonderful way to stop and reflect in my purpose in these videos is to identify milestones. When were major decisions made, when were crises faced, how do they deal with them and out of it to pluck principles that apply today. Otherwise, we’re just talking about history. That’s fine. But if we can learn from it in ways that’s relevant in this century, that’s what we’re looking for.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (49:40):
And I think in this century, God is accelerating what he’s doing in the world today. Isn’t it true when your father first went to Africa, there were so many places that had never even heard about Jesus. That’s right. And now some of the greatest churches in the world are on the continent of Africa.
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (49:59):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (49:59):
Exactly right. And so God is raising up people who are passionate about bringing the lost to Christ, right?
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (50:06):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (50:08):
It’s such a privilege to be a part of it.
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (50:09):
My father’s book, you mentioned it as part of your early exposure, his book, Soul Winning. It was not a book about mass evangelism. It was a book to challenge the ordinary. Can I say ordinary Christian? That’s an oxymoron. I’m sorry, Lord. I didn’t mean that. There can be no ordinary follower of you, but one who doesn’t feel that they’re special. And this book was to challenge everyone. If you have the Holy Spirit, you are empowered to be a witness of Christ. It was a challenge to get the people off the pew onto the streets because he wrote it when he released this book, gave it to every preacher he had on his mailing list. I think he sent to 25,000 preachers at the time in 1963. And this is the book that began the revival of personal evangelism. Before that, only the pastor could win souls or only the known called evangelists.
It was a unique thing. You wouldn’t think the person in the pew, they just taught to pay their tithe and show up and do what they’re told. And so this book came as a revolution, a revelation, really. And out of that, so many ministries have launched and people look at you 18 years old, whatever God was doing in your heart, you knew you had the equipment to do it. You had the Holy Spirit. You had everything that Jesus had, and you could do everything that God put in your heart to do. That was to the I give my father the credit. God gave him a way to say it. That was so simple. And so that revival has spun what you’re describing, this massive spread of the gospel and the founding of churches and denominations all over the world. Massive. I’m not giving my father all the credit for that. You understand? But it was that I idea that was at the right time. It took hold.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (52:20):
Yeah. I remember I had the opportunity to go to one of Dr. Osborn’s crusades in Costa Rica. I had tried to meet with him here in Tulsa, but your office told me that he was always traveling and not available. So finally, just in order to learn from his ministry, I found out he was doing a crusading Costa Rica. I went to the crusade, sat in the front row of the pastor’s conference, and he spoke for five days, morning and evening for many long hours. And the pastors would just sit there and take notes, and they would listen. And I remember in one of the services, some of the pastors got tired and stood up to leave, and he says, sit back down. He says, this is the last time in my life that I’m coming to your nation. I’m very old. Good for you. He says, sit down. You need to hear what I am going to say
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (53:12):
To you. He was probably in his eighties by that time. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (53:14):
But in that meeting, I was there. I was influenced In that meeting, I think was the first time that my friends, Michael and Christina Lust met Dr. S. And so now they have a tremendous ministry. And then I have another friend, his name is Alejandro Arias, and Alejandro was in that meeting. He was a young preacher at the time, only a young teenager, but already preaching and was impacted. And so from just that one meeting, sitting in one of the rows, three ministries that are now impacting the world,
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (53:48):
And look at what you’re describing, each of these were young people. That’s who we look for to pass the flame of evangelism to the next generation. Old people have their methods, but the young people, they’ll catch the fire.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (54:06):
They’ll take the vision and run with it.
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (54:07):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (54:09):
Amen. Well, thank you so much, Dr. Osborn, for your inspiration and your example over the years and just your love for people, and we’ll continue to have an impact for many years to come. Amen.
Dr. LaDonna Osborn (54:24):
I love you.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (54:25):
Thank you for being on The Evangelism Podcast.