Gojo is a small, mountainous, forest-encircled town that lies within the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. Its name means “hut” in Amharic and it is known for its farming of Irish potatoes. Most importantly however, Gojo is hungry for Jesus! Our first service was tremendous. Your prayers held back the rain wonderfully and other than a brief shower during praise and worship—which the people seemed to endure without much complaint—the rain did not interfere with our meeting at all. We were however notified this afternoon by the military command post responsible for Gojo that a strict 6pm curfew was being enforced from today due to increased conflict and rebel movement in the area. We managed to finish the service in good time and tomorrow, we will begin earlier. Crusading requires rolling with the punches and adapting when necessary!
I preached from Isaiah 61 and explained that the Gospel is good news because it provides a solution to the sin problem. I made clear what Jesus achieved through the cross and how anyone who calls on His name becomes the blood-washed habitation of Father, Son and Spirit. What a splendid response to the altar call! Thousands lifted their hands heavenward and asked Jesus to become their Lord and Saviour. Our ushers distributed follow-up material and helped with the completion of prayer cards. Prayer for the sick was a power-packed time and the Holy Spirit was hard at work setting the captives free. Gudise is 50 years old. She has been tormented by demonic activity for the past fifteen years, feeling things moving relentlessly within her body and causing her severe pain. Today, Gudise has been liberated! Those foul, agonising sensations are no more. Alemu is a 65-year-old widower. He has been terribly ill for the past five months with both his stomach and lungs burning constantly. Daily life had become an ordeal. “I am free now!” he exclaimed, ecstatic. “Thank you, Jesus!” Another elderly gentleman, Diro, likewise arrived at the crusade ailment-plagued and left the field ailment-free. His sight and hearing were poor and he relied on a cane due to leg problems. The Healer of broken bodies did his job and did it well! Eyes, ears and legs were made completely whole and Diro danced and ululated liked a young man, rejoicing in the Lord.
Tomorrow, we continue. Please carry on praying for us. Pray for dry weather. Pray for an end to the conflict. Pray for floodtide after floodtide of salvation, healing and deliverance. Gojo belongs to Jesus!
The hunger we are encountering here for the things of God is intense. In fact, it is so intense that one service per day is out of the question. Rather, we are preaching Jesus all day long, with a little break in the afternoon for lunch! Ev. Samuel Murrombe ministered this morning and I preached this afternoon. What stunning salvation altar calls, what magnificent miracles and dramatic deliverances! The Lord is at work and we are sprinting to keep up. The rain has been behaving itself beautifully, interfering only right at the end of the day. Heavy rain is however forecast throughout the day both tomorrow and on Sunday so we covet your prayers in this regard. We know that the Lord will not allow the preaching of His Gospel to be hindered!
This afternoon, I did not only preach salvation—sharing how Jesus is the Great Shepherd appointed by God to rescue us from the devil—but also, I started teaching on the Holy Spirit. I shall continue expanding on Him tomorrow and how He is eager to work with the believer to witness with signs and wonders following. We will then pray for every child of God to be filled from on High during our final service on Sunday. How exciting!
Some of the miracle testimonies that we heard today included the touching stories of Daniel and Baise, both teenagers. Daniel is 13 years old. Since he can remember, he has been unable to move his neck from side to side. Sleeping has always been a painful ordeal for him. The Lord completely delivered this young man from his torment today and he was understandably elated, turning his head from left to right and right to left with great glee. Another teenager, 17-year-old Baise came on stage with her father. For the past five years, this young lady has been so mentally disturbed that she required constant supervision and could not communicate with any clarity. She was brought to the crusade today bound with scarfs to stop her from running uncontrollably around the field. After prayer, she suddenly turned to her father with perfect soundness of mind and asked him to untie the bonds as Jesus had healed her. Overjoyed, her dad did just that and brought her forward to testify (see pics). What a mighty miracle! Numerous other testimonies were also heard of our God vanquishing all manner of ailments, from arthritic pain and poor eyesight to stomach ailments and kidney infections. What can we say but this: Praying in the name of Jesus packs a punch, a disease-defeating punch!
Thank you again for your faithful prayer support. The next two days will be even more glorious and we are rejoicing already in expectation.
What an extraordinary Saturday! Once again, the preaching of the Gospel was an all-day affair. I ministered this morning to a field packed with tens of thousands of eager listeners and Samuel preached this afternoon. Our field is an interesting one—perhaps our most interesting crusade ground yet—because of its dramatic gradient. It is really the side of a hill and the only open space in Gojo large enough for a mass meeting. Thankfully, our stage has been set up on the sole level spot on the slope, although one still gets the constant feeling while preaching that either oneself—or the crowd—are sliding downhill! Due to the uneven terrain, our vehicle drops us off at the entrance to the field when we arrive for a service and we take a walk through the crowd until we arrive at the stage. The people are wonderfully polite and friendly, making way for us like the parting of the red sea with big smiles on their faces—the children in particular!
This morning, I preached on the sickness of sin and how only Dr Jesus can cure us of this spirit-destroying disease. Together, we called on the Doctor of doctors to apply the medicine of His precious blood to our sinful selves and set us free. Thousands prayed in unison. It was glorious! This afternoon, the rain crept up on us, although a large number still attended the service, equipped with umbrellas and unintimidated by the chilly weather. Samuel preached powerfully from the book of Deuteronomy and the choice that we have between life and death. In short, choose Jesus and choose life; reject Jesus and choose death. Amen!
Testimony followed testimony after we prayed for the sick. The vision of 55-year-old Bersisa started deteriorating rapidly three years ago and was now exceptionally poor. An unrelenting migraine has also plagued him for the past month. Jesus both banished that migraine and restored his vision in one blessed moment. Overwhelmed, he fell on his knees on stage, glorifying God (see pic). Five years ago, a 65-year-old widow named Tolashi lost all hearing in her right ear and could no longer walk on her right leg. “I am now free!” she declared, shouting praises to her Saviour King. Gedisa is 47 years old and lives with her children. She has been terribly ill for the past year, battling an unrelenting fever and pressure on her chest. “I could not breathe,” she expressed. Today, Jesus worked a miracle in her lungs. She can now breathe easily and feels well once more. “Thank you, Jesus!” she expressed. Warkitu—now 70 years old—has suffered from ill health since childhood. Her head, back and stomach pained her on a daily basis. What a terrific wonder the Lord worked in her body, liberating her from a lifetime of discomfort. Warkitu is jubilant and we rejoiced with her!
Tomorrow, we will hold a morning church service with all evangelical congregations in Gojo gathering on our crusade field rather than in their individual churches. We will also hold our usual afternoon crusade service. Thank you for your prayers as we persevere through this final day of soul-winning. May the rain not disturb us and may every lost soul in Gojo find refuge in the embrace of Jesus Christ!
This morning, the crowd doubled in size. Our platform was surrounded by a rolling sea of humanity. I say “rolling” because of the nature of our crusade ground. It rolls and peaks, dips and drops. I preached from John 3 and the necessity of being born again. The response to the message was terrific with tens of thousands calling on the Almighty God, confessing their belief in His Son and the power of the blood that He shed for them. These moments are always the highlight of any crusade service. They are matchless and magnificent, weighty and worthy, awe-inspiring and awe-inducing! Thereafter, I taught on the Holy Spirit baptism and how to partner with Him to be an effective witness. Ev. Samuel led the prayer for the infilling and what divine chaos ensued! Believers were saturated with the Spirit of the Most High God and demons manifested. Gojo will never be the same again! We awarded certificates on stage to key pastors and ushers. They will hold a ceremony of their own to distribute the rest. Each pastor will also receive a free copy of the Amharic version of my book on the Holy Spirit and evangelism: Spirit of Fire. I know that this gift will further equip these church leaders to win Gojo and its surrounding villages for Jesus.
Come afternoon, heavy rain turned our field into a muddy mess. Wonderfully, the people did not seem to mind! They attended still in their tens of thousands, only those it seemed from the outlying villages having returned home. Ev. Samuel preached powerfully from Isaiah 55 and shared his testimony. The response was once again enthusiastic and men and women, young and old, called upon the name of the Lord for salvation. Thereafter, I prayed for the sick. What testimonies followed! Enjoy these few.
Bedesa is 60 years old. He came to Gojo for a funeral, heard about our crusade and attended one of our services yesterday. Bedesa had a large tumour on his chest and his eyesight was extremely poor. When he woke up this morning, the tumour was gone and his eyesight was perfect! Elated, this precious gentleman returned to the crusade field today to share what the Lord had done for him. He bubbled with contagious joy, unable to stand still, so great was his delight. Nurase is 42 years old. He has been terribly ill for the past few weeks, suffering from severe stomach pain and a relentless headache. He was also tormented by nightmares every night. Since he started attending our crusade—and received Jesus as Saviour—he has not had a single nightmare. Today, every ache and pain likewise ceased. Ergene is 50 years old. For the past two years, she has suffered from gastritis, kidney stones and poor eyesight. Now, the agony in her stomach and kidneys is no more and she can see clearly. “I am completely free!” she expressed, rejoicing in the Lord.
Dear friend, your prayers have undergirded us in service after service and your giving has made this crusade possible. Our sincerest thanks! The pastors are jubilant and will now labour to follow up every new convert. Let us remember them in our prayers. May the Lord give the pastors strength, wisdom and resources and may each new convert become a tree of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His spendour. Also, may every believer who has been filled with the Spirit become a mighty preacher of the Gospel with signs and wonders following. Yes indeed, Ethiopia is being saved!