Meki Gospel Crusade, DAY 1:
We are on the go in Meki! This town is a bustling farming hub that lies around 140km south of Addis Ababa, surrounded by villages. Many religions are represented with none in the majority and issues of witchcraft and drug addiction abound.
Recent clashes in the area between government forces and rebel groups have made the local authorities nervous and we need to abide by a strict 6pm curfew. While this is not ideal for crusade meetings, we have faced the same challenge several times in the past and the Lord always helps us to take it in our stride. The most important thing is for word to spread that the service begins and ends early—so that the people gather in time—and we laid that foundation today, starting and concluding promptly. I preached on the first few verses of Isaiah 61, which I always describe as being the job description of Jesus. The passage lists many of the wonderful things that Jesus eagerly does for anyone who calls on His matchless name. Call on His name we did and multitudes were translated from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of His Son! Our ushers worked diligently to distribute follow-up material and prayer cards.
Prayer for the sick was packed with power and while we ran out of time to hear many testimonies, the two that were heard were terrific. Interestingly, both involved stomach issues. Martu is 16 years old and had suffered from severe gastric distress for the past three years. She was in constant pain and every area of her life—from her studies to her sport and social activities—had been impacted. Today, Jesus touched her mightily and that pain disappeared. How she rejoiced, ululating on stage! Dadi, a 54-year-old father of three had a similar story. He also had been incapacitated by stomach issues and was in desperate need of a miracle. “Now, I am free!” he expressed. “After this crusade, everything will change for me!”
Tomorrow, we continue. Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
Meki Gospel Crusade, DAY 2:
Today, our crowd exploded with growth. Word is spreading that Jesus is showing up and showing off—which He always does when one lifts on high His matchless name! I ministered from Luke 15 and shared on the stories of the lost sheep, coin and son. This is one of my most favourite Gospel messages to share (partly because I get to scamper about on stage, pretending to be a sheep) and partly because the three parables when placed together, communicate the Gospel in such a crystal-clear manner. I never hear them preached together, only separately. Together, they play a heavenly tune that is utterly irresistible to the tempest-tossed soul. The response to that tune was tremendous and thousands asked Jesus to become their Good Shepherd. Hallelujah and amen!
Prayer for the sick yielded terrific results. Bahare is a 27-year-old wife and mother who attended our service specifically to be liberated from her illness. Today, she received both salvation and healing. How marvellous! For the past several years, Bahare had suffered from searing, unrelenting womb pain and also, the sensation of burning throughout her body. She was unable to work and found fulfilling her duties at home to be exceedingly difficult. Now, this precious woman is free. How she rejoiced on stage! She was ecstatic. Another mother quickly followed with her own story. Boritu is 30 years old and lives in a nearby village. The agony in her stomach had been mercilessly unyielding for over a year. A farm worker, the constant pain had drained all enjoyment from her labour. “I am completely changed!” she declared, raising her hands heavenward and praising the Lord at the top of her voice. The crowd praised Him together with her.
Tomorrow and Sunday, we will hold both morning and afternoon services. We will not only continue preaching the Gospel but also, teach on the Holy Spirit, equipping the believers here for soul-winning efforts of their own with signs and wonders following. Thank you for your continued prayers. It is going to be a Jesus-saturated, Spirit-filled weekend, in Meki!
Meki Gospel Crusade, DAY 3:
The atmosphere in Meki is electric with the praises of His people! As I sit and write this report in my room, I am listening to the shouts of a group of young people singing praises to Jesus as they dance down the street, on their way home. What an exquisite sound. Today, we had a full schedule of preaching, praying and praising. This morning, Ev. Samuel Murrombe preached the Gospel, sharing from John 3 and the story of Nicodemus. His message was bold and unashamed: You must be born again! This afternoon, I brought another Gospel message, ministering on the sickness of sin that attacks the soul, a disease that only Dr Jesus can cure. Thereafter, I taught on the Holy Spirit baptism. The response to both Gospel messages was magnificent with thousands calling upon the name of the Lord.
After prayer for the sick in both morning and afternoon services, a deluge of testimonies was heard, all manner of ailments having been vanquished. Nagao is an 18-year-old student who had been unable to hear out of her right ear for the past six years. Today, that ear popped open and her hearing was restored. “I am so excited!” she voiced. “I feel such peace. My life has completely changed!” Bonfu is a 22-year-old coffee brewer. Since childhood, she had experienced constant pain and discomfort in the right side of her chest and back. Her ailment was undiagnosable. She had learned to simply endure it. Now, Bonfu is free! “My entire body feels so relaxed,” she explained. “The pain is gone. Jesus is my Saviour and Healer forever!” Getahun is a 46-year-old farmer and father of five. His need for healing drove him to our crusade. For the past decade, his right hand and leg had been plagued by excruciating, debilitating pains. Naturally, this had made the physical activities that farming demands, very difficult to navigate. Jesus touched him mightily and his body has been liberated. “I am free!” Getahun boasted. “May God bless all of you!” Kuma, another farmer, had been tormented by perpetually itching skin for the past 18 years. His entire body itched, constantly. Now 37, he had given up hope of finding a cure—but God! The Lord intervened and now, Kuma has gone from being itchy to itchless. How tremendous! Busa is 30 years old and had been battling severe depression for seven, long years. He had been so impacted by it that he had been unable to work. Now, Jesus is his Saviour and also, his Deliverer. “I have found new life in Him!” this young man articulated. Amen and amen! What a mighty God we serve, always eager to come to the aid of anyone who calls out to Him.
Tomorrow morning, we will hold a mass church service with all the evangelical congregations in Meki, attended by local government officials. Come afternoon, we will hold our last meeting and pray for all believers in attendance to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Please continue carrying us through your prayers. We can feel them undergirding our efforts and pushing us forwards. Meki is being forever changed!
Meki Gospel Crusade, FINAL DAY:
Today was fire-filled from beginning to end! All evangelical churches in Meki closed their doors this morning and everyone gathered today on the crusade field for one glorious mass service. What a stunning show of unity! I preached on the Samaritan woman, whom we read about in John 4 and how her encounter with Jesus left her forever changed. I explained about the gift of God and how everyone who receives this gift becomes the house of God and goes to Heaven when they die. Thousands called upon Jesus and asked Him to give them the gift of all gifts—and give it He did! We distributed Certificates of Appreciation to the pastors and volunteers, as well as one hundred copies of the Amharic translation of my book, “Spirit of Fire”. We also handed out twenty solar powered audio Bibles—in the Amharic and Oromiffa languages—generously given by MegaVoice Southern Africa. A big thank you to them. These are incredible tools for those who are unable to read and will be greatly used and appreciated in the Meki community.
Come afternoon, Ev. Samuel Murrombe preached the Gospel, teaching from Luke 5 and how important it is that we invite Jesus into our boats. Again, thousands did just that and invited Jesus to be their Lord and Saviour. I then followed with one final teaching on the Holy Spirit, explaining how He partners with us and how we are to work with Him to win the lost and set the captives free. If we provide the voice and touch, He provides the power punch! We then prayed for every believer to be saturated with the Spirit of the Almighty and what magnificent, divine chaos broke out. Men and women, young and old were filled with the Spirit, speaking in other tongues and glorifying God. An army of soul-winners was born, ready to take Ethiopia for Jesus! We also prayed for healing, for all the prayer requests that have been submitted over the crusade period, for the nation of Ethiopia and the Oromia Region, in which Meki is found. It was a power-packed time and a worthy conclusion to a spectacular crusade.
Miracle testimonies abounded. Among them was Zarihun, a 42-year-old husband, father of three and merchant. Two years ago, he was in an accident and broke his left leg. That leg never healed properly. He was unable to walk on it and it caused him immense pain. Today, Jesus made that leg perfectly sound! He ran up and down the stage several times, jumping and leaping with pure exuberance. Both his wife and son were in attendance and they shared in his joy, together with the crowd. How splendid! Asaiba is a young lady of 13. Several months ago, a tumour started developing in her throat. She could feel it in her neck. Swallowing was becoming increasingly difficult. Today, Jesus intervened and that tumour has disappeared! Ecstatic, Asaiba praised the Lord. Shibine is 25 years old and has been completely deaf in her left ear for the past year. Now, she can hear! Mulu is 29 years old and had suffered from an unremitting headache for the past eight years. Morning, noon and night, she had no respite. Now, the headache is no more! Testimony followed testimony of healing or deliverance. Depression, kidney problems, womb issues, hemorrhoids—all vanished beneath a wave of His glory. Our God is great and greatly to be praised!
Thank you very much for all your prayers and support, dear friend. You have made this crusade possible. Tens of thousands have been saved and filled with the Spirit. Multitudes have been healed and delivered. Now, the hard work begins of following up all the new converts and planting them in the local churches. Please keep the pastors of Meki in your prayers as they go about this fundamental task. Amen and amen!