Last year March, the pandemic brought Ethiopia to a standstill the week before we were meant to crusade in Asella. All mass gatherings were cancelled and our crusade along with them. Now, we are back—and we are ecstatic to be back! Still, like all crusades, this one is not without its challenges. On Tuesday, the government declared a nationwide state of emergency due to advancing rebel forces. We stand in prayer with all Ethiopians for peace in their nation and do what we can to bring that peace about. What can we do? Preach the Gospel! We are thrilled that our meetings in Asella have not been cancelled by the local government. In fact, the security forces here are being very supportive. We need to abide by a strict curfew but this is quite doable.
We got off to an excellent start today. The people are understandably a little apprehensive but we know that they will grow in confidence over the next few days and attend in big numbers. Our meetings are joyous, prayer-filled, power-packed and peace-proclaiming. We preach the Prince of Peace who is able to bring peace between man and God and peace between man and man. I ministered from Isaiah 61 and touched on many of the wonderful things that Jesus will do for anyone who calls upon His name. He will wash their sins away with His precious blood, make them rich with His presence on the inside, heal their brokenness, liberate them from the prison of iniquity and give them beauty for ashes. How glorious! The result to the altar call was splendid with thousands calling upon the name of Jesus for salvation and liberation. Ushers distributed follow-up material and assisted with the completion of prayer request cards.
We prayed for the sick and many streamed forward to testify. We unfortunately only had time to hear one testimony but it was a splendid one. Nesesse is a middle-aged lady who had been besieged by demonic activity. Her body was in agony and her mind tormented. She sat right at the top of the grandstand, in the furthest corner from the stage. It was there that the Lord found her and radically touched her. “I vomited,” she explained. “As soon as I had vomited, the pain vanished and my mind cleared. Jesus has set me free!” Jesus is now her Lord and Saviour and Nesesse dropped to her knees on stage glorifying Christ the King. Hallelujah!
Heartfelt thanks for your prayers. They are desperately needed and are already bearing abundant fruit. Asella for Jesus, Ethiopia for Jesus, Africa for Jesus!
Our crowd doubled in size today and the people listened to the Good News with superb attentiveness. A mere 10% of the population of Asella are born-again believers. After this crusade, that percentage is going to increase exponentially! I preached from Luke 15 and the stories of the lost sheep, lost coin and lost son. This is one of my most favourite messages to preach—partly because I get to act like a sheep—but primarily, because it makes the glorious truth abundantly clear that Jesus has been appointed by God to be our Great Shepherd and to rescue us from the devil and hell. Men and women, young and old responded with tremendous zeal and called on Jesus together, asking Him to become their Shepherd. It was a spectacular moment. All of heaven is rejoicing and our team with them!
We prayed for those in need of healing and testimonies quickly followed. Etenesh is 40 years old. The past four months have been an agonising torment, both her legs having become excruciatingly painful and covered with open sores. She could barely walk and struggled with her day-to-day responsibilities. Her sister invited her to the crusade and she came—already a believer—desperate for a miracle from Jesus. Her Lord did not disappoint, touching her legs in a mighty way. The pain has vanished and the wounds are healing before her eyes. What a mighty God we serve!
Meron is a 23-year-old young lady. Since childhood, she has been unable to hold anything in her right hand or bend her right arm. What a frustrating ailment! She was severely limited because of it. Today, our Saviour set His daughter free. Her hand is now strong and flexible. Her arm can bend and flex fully and all discomfort has completely vanished. Praise the Lord!
Zewide lost her son four years ago. The grief drove this precious 52-year-old lady mad. She attended our crusade today, heard the Gospel message, received Jesus as Saviour and was completely delivered from all psychosis. Her mind is now sound and her heart filled with joy. “I am free!” she expressed. “I praise my Lord Jesus!”
Dear friend, thank you for your continued prayers. Ethiopia is in desperate need of some good news and you are helping us bring the very best news—the Good News that Jesus saves! Tomorrow we continue.
What a day, what a service! Jubilant praise and worship was followed by a passionate message on that dear old Pharisee, Nicomedus—preached by yours truly—and the miracle of being born again. The entire crowd it seemed (which had doubled again in size) rose to their feet, stretched their hands heavenward and declared their belief in Jesus being the Son of God and His blood having the power to wash away their sins. Right there, each one of them became the dwelling place of the Almighty and Heaven became their guaranteed destination. We treasure these times of confession. They make every moment of sweat and toil preceding a crusade, so very, very worth it.
We were delighted to welcome the mayor to our service today. He has requested to use our sound and stage set-up tomorrow morning to brief the inhabitants of Asella on the state of emergency regulations. Our mass church service will commence as soon as these announcements have been made, all congregations in Asella to close their doors so that we can gather together to worship the Lord. We are happy to allow the government the use of our equipment and are praying that many who attend the town meeting will stay for the church service and encounter the Saviour of their souls. Please stand in prayer with us on this point.
The mayor and his military forces were gracious enough to allow time for my entire salvation message, altar call, distribution of follow-up material and a speedy yet power-packed prayer for the sick before they closed the service. I had wanted to start teaching today on the Holy Spirit baptism but a security sweep of the stadium and our equipment is required before the town meeting in the morning. Tomorrow, we will ensure that we catch up on this teaching and also, on hearing testimonies of the mighty wonders that the Lord has been working.
Your intercession continues to carry us. Crusading in heated political climates is never easy. One needs to remain flexible, vigilant and exceedingly prayerful. Through your support, we are persevering and thousands are receiving the Lord here in Asella. Heartfelt thanks. Together with you, Ethiopia is being saved!
Today concluded our time in Asella and it was a Spirit-saturated, God-glorifying, Christ-magnifying conclusion!
This morning, our mass church service followed hot on the heels of the government-called town gathering. We went from state of emergency announcements to King of Glory pronouncements. Hallelujah! All evangelical churches in Asella closed their doors and gathered on the crusade ground. What unity, what celebration, what thanksgiving! We awarded certificates and copies of the Amharic version of my book, “Spirit of Fire” to key pastors and volunteers on stage. They will have their own ceremony to distribute to the rest. Naturally, many who attended our church service were not yet believers and they were our target audience. I preached on the sickness of sin, an ailment that does not attack our bodies but rather, our spirits. I taught how only Dr Jesus can cure this sickness, using the medicine of His blood, shed on the cross for us. What a splendid response! Thousands called upon Dr Jesus and asked Him to liberate them from this damning disease.
Come afternoon, I invited a dear friend of the ministry who is visiting us from Sweden to share with the crowd. Hosanna Amanuel is a fiery evangelist in her own right and ministered powerfully. Ev. Samuel Murrombe followed hot on her heels with a crystal-clear Gospel message. He shared his testimony and also, preached on the sign from Heaven who can get us to Heaven: Jesus Christ! The response was enthusiastic and heartfelt with thousands once again calling upon the name of the Lord for salvation. I then shared a message on the Holy Spirit before we prayed for all in attendance to be filled from on high. What an avalanche of divine impact hit the crowd, many being completely overwhelmed by His presence and power as the Spirit filled, healed and delivered. We prayed for the prayer requests that had been submitted during the crusade period as well as for the nation of Ethiopia before we concluded our time together.
Healing testimonies collected today included those of 52-year-old Worknesh and 28-year-old Abay. Worknesh had been going from doctor to doctor for the past three years and was no better. Her entire body was wracked with agonising pains. A migraine headache plagued her constantly. She was unable to bend her arms or grasp anything with her hands. She was convinced that she had some deadly ailment—cancer perhaps. Worknesh attended our very first service and Jesus touched her. The pain is no more, the migraine is gone, her arms are strong and hands cooperative. “I have been carrying heavy things with no difficulty,” she testified, elated. “My whole life has changed. I can do whatever I need to do. Jesus Christ is my Lord forever!” Eight months ago, Abay fell from a height of several meters and landed on his left side. The pain had been excruciating and his back and ribs had never fully recovered. Jesus fixed what still needed fixing and Abay twisted and bent on stage—even doing a few pushups—showing off his newfound pain-free state. He was understandably overjoyed. We praise the Lord!
Dearest friend, the Gospel has gone forth with power and Asella will never be the same again! We are on the frontlines here, proclaiming the Prince of Peace while conflict rages. Please continue praying fervently for Ethiopia. This precious nation belongs to Jesus and no weapon formed against her shall prosper. Amen and amen!