A Chronicle of Renewal and Revival

Posts tagged ‘revival’

Porn Online

EVERY REVIVAL SETS US FREE  ~  an urgent wake-up call.

The age of innocence is over …  we are the first generation that will have to talk to our children about porn. We have to tell our kids that pornographic sex is fake and real sex is about love, not lust.

The children’s extensive knowledge of porn terms was not only startling, it superseded that of every adult in the room – including the sex education consultant himself. The adults in attendance were incredulous at the thought that not only did this kind of porn exist, but that a 14-year-old boy may have actually watched it.

‘That’s illegal. Where are you getting this stuff from?’
‘Facebook,’ the boy said. ‘It just pops up whether you want it or not, sometimes via advertisements.’

It’s horrifying enough for parents to know that children can get porn via the internet. But to think they get it from Facebook – the social media currency that has become a universal must-have for teenagers globally – will strike terror into their hearts.

Letting our children consume it freely via the internet is like leaving heroin lying around the house. 

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The moment I knew internet pornography had cast its dark shadow over the lives of millions of ordinary British teenagers will live with me for ever.

I was sitting in the smart drama hall of a specialist sports college in the North of England with a fantastic reputation.

Before me were a group of 20 boys and girls, aged 13-14. Largely white, working class children, they were well turned-out, polite, giggly and shy.

Martin Daubney, ex-editor of Loaded, with his wife Diana and his son Sonny
Martin Daubney with his wife Diana and his son Sonny

I’d been invited to sit in on a forward-thinking class led by sex education consultant Jonny Hunt, who is regularly asked into schools to discuss sex and relationships. To establish what these kids knew about sex – including pornography – he had asked the children to write an A-Z list of the sexual terms they knew, no matter how extreme.

Most of these children had just hit puberty and some were clearly still children: wide-eyed, nervous, with high-pitched voices.

But when Jonny pinned their lists on the board, it turned out that the children’s extensive knowledge of porn terms was not only startling, it superseded that of every adult in the room – including the sex education consultant himself.

The adults in attendance were incredulous at the thought that not only did this kind of porn exist, but that a 14-year-old boy may have actually watched it.

When questioned, they had all – every child in a class of 20 – seen sodomy acted out in porn videos. I was stunned they even knew about it – I certainly hadn’t heard of it at that age – let alone had watched it and as a result may even have wanted to try it.

By the end of the hour-long class – and three others that followed with other children – I was profoundly saddened by what I had witnessed. While teenage boys will always be fascinated by, and curious about, sex, what’s now considered ‘normal’ by under-18s is an entirely distorted view of intercourse and the way relationships should be conducted.

It seemed as if the children’s entire expectation of sex had been defined by what they see in online porn. The conversation was horrifying enough, yet there was worse to come.

In the playground, I interviewed a brave group of seven bright boys and girls aged 14-15 to ascertain in more detail what online porn they had witnessed.

One boy calmly recalled watching a scene too graphic to describe in a family newspaper, but which had involved an animal.

‘You’re watching bestiality?’ I asked. ‘That’s illegal. Where are you getting this stuff from?’

‘Facebook,’ the boy said. ‘It just pops up whether you want it or not, sometimes via advertisements. You don’t have any control over it.’

A girl added, ‘On Facebook, you just scroll down and it’s there. If any of your friends like it, it comes up on your home page.’

These kids were balanced, smart and savvy. They were the most academically gifted and sporting in the school. They came from ordinary, hard-working households. This was not ‘Broken Britain’.

Some were clearly shocked by what they had seen on the internet.

It’s horrifying enough for parents to know that children can get porn via the internet. But to think they get it from Facebook – the social media currency that has become a universal must-have for teenagers globally – will strike terror into their hearts.

I asked the teenagers: ‘On a scale of one to ten, how likely would you say it is that boys and girls your age are watching porn online?’

The reply was a chorus of tens, nines and one eight.

When I asked the children if there were parental controls on the internet at home, they all said no, their parents trusted them. They all admitted their parents had no idea what they were watching, and would be shocked if they did know.

What I saw at the school was awful, but sadly not unusual.

The findings were backed up in a survey of 80 boys and girls aged 12-16.

It proves the vast majority of UK teens have seen sexual imagery online, or pornographic films.

According to the survey, the boys appear largely happy about watching porn – and were twice as likely as girls to do so – but the girls are significantly more confused, angry and frightened by online sexual imagery. The more they see, the stronger they feel.

But what impact is this steady diet of online depravity having on the attitudes of boys and girls towards real life relationships, and on their self-esteem?

Could it even have a wider impact on their lives, blighting their ability to function in the world, get good qualifications and jobs?

What I discovered left me truly shocked and saddened.

My interest was deeply personal, too, as my own beautiful little boy, Sonny, is now four. Even though he has only just started primary school, the Children’s Commissioner estimates boys as young as ten are now being exposed to online porn.

I wanted to know what I could do to protect my own son from a seemingly inevitable exposure to hardcore material in just a few years’ time.

I used to be sceptical that porn was as damaging a force as the headlines and David Cameron – who recently said it was ‘corroding childhood’ – suggest. In the past I’d even defended pornography in university debates, on TV and on radio. I claimed it was our freedom of choice to watch it and said it could actually help add to adult relationships.

Research for ‘Porn on the Brain’ TV film

What I saw during the making of the film changed my opinion of pornography forever.

The true stories of boys I met whose lives had been totally taken over by porn not only moved me to tears but also made me incredibly angry that this is happening to our children.

And the looks of revulsion on those poor girl’s faces in the playground enraged me.

I feel as if an entire generation’s sexuality has been hijacked by grotesque online porn.

To find out what porn is doing to young men, and the girls they have relationships with, we spoke to them via online forums and discovered that there were many young lives seriously blighted by an excessive, unhealthy relationship with pornography that can begin when they are as young as 12.

We learned that some had lost their jobs, others had broken relationships, failed exams, or got into serious debt through using porn.

Take the 19-year-old man I got to know. He was handsome, articulate and in full-time employment as an apprentice electrician. But his life was dominated by his porn habit.

‘Every bit of spare time I have is spent watching porn,’ he says. ‘It is extreme. I can’t hold down a relationship for longer than three weeks…’

Having established, like the recent Children’s Commissioner report, that ‘basically, porn is everywhere’, we set out to discover what all this porn was doing to their brains.

Was it having any effect at all? Could it be addictive?

We found Dr Valerie Voon, a neuroscientist at Cambridge University and a global authority on addiction.

Then, in the first study of its kind, we recruited 19 heavy porn users who felt their habit was out of control and had Dr Voon examine their brain activity as they watched, among other things, hardcore porn.

She showed them a variety of images, both stills and videos.

These ranged from images known to excite all men, such as bundles of £50 notes and extreme sports in action, to mundane landscapes and wallpapers – all inter-spliced with hardcore porn videos, plus pictures of both clothed and naked women.

The ways in which their brains responded to this diverse imagery were compared with the responses of a group of healthy volunteers.

She was interested in a particular brain region called the ventral striatum – the ‘reward centre’ – where our sense of pleasure is produced. This is one of the areas where an addict will show a heightened response to visual representations of their addiction – whether it’s a syringe or a bottle of vodka.

 
'Letting our children consume it freely via the internet is like leaving heroin lying around the house'

‘Letting our children consume it freely via the internet is like leaving heroin lying around the house’

What we discovered was a revelation. When shown porn, the reward centre of normal volunteers barely reacted, but that of the compulsive porn users lit up like a Christmas tree.

The compulsive porn users’ brains showed clear parallels with those with substance addictions.

Everybody on the project was astounded, even Dr Voon, who admitted she had been ‘sceptical and ambivalent’ about the study at the outset.

If porn does have the insidious power to be addictive, then letting our children consume it freely via the internet is like leaving heroin lying around the house, or handing out vodka at the school gates.

And this toxic effect is filtering down directly into young girls’ lives.

The most shocking testament came from Professor Gail Dines. Regarded as the world’s leading anti-pornography campaigner, she has interviewed thousands of men and women about sex and pornography.

‘When you interview young women about their experiences of sex, you see an increased level of violence: rough, violent sex,’ she says.

‘That is directly because of porn, as young boys are getting their sexual cues from men in porn who are acting as if they’re sexual psychopaths.

‘Pornography is sexually traumatising an entire generation of boys.’

By talking with sexual addiction experts such as Professor John E Grant of the University of Chicago, Dr Paula Hall, the UK’s top sex addiction therapist, and Professor Matt Field from the University of Liverpool, we learned that the teenage brain is especially vulnerable to addiction.

The brain’s reward centre is fully developed by the time we’re teenagers, but the part of the brain that regulates our urges – the pre-frontal cortex – isn’t fully developed until our mid-20s. The brains of teenagers are not wired to say ‘stop’, they are wired to want more. The implications of this study are profoundly troubling.

So who is going to take on the responsibility for protecting our children until they are old enough to do it for themselves?

Can we rely on schools? It strikes me that the current sex education system in the UK – where schools are obliged only to teach the basics of reproduction and the perils of sex, which they can opt out of anyway – is hopelessly outdated.

In the internet age, our children are turning to online porn for an alternative sex education – the worst place they can go.

The Mail claimed a victory in July when David Cameron announced that by the end of 2014 all 19 million UK homes currently connected to the internet will be contacted by service providers and told they must say whether family friendly filters that block all porn sites should be switched on or off.

But our TV show proved that determined children will always find a way around online blocks.

Ultimately, the responsibility lies with us, the parents. The age of innocence is over.

Like many parents, I fear that my boy’s childhood could be taken away by pornography. So we have to fight back.

We need to get tech-savvy, and as toe-curling as it seems, we are the first generation that will have to talk to our children about porn.

We have to tell our kids that pornographic sex is fake and real sex is about love, not lust.

By talking to them, they stand a chance. If we stick our head in the sand, we are fooling only ourselves.

By Martin Daubney in Britain’s Daily Mail, Mail Online, edited & emphasis added.

Every Revival sets us free  ~ an urgent wake-up call

Why put this article (even edited with offensive terms and images removed) on a revival website?  Because it’s an urgent wake-up call.

Every parent, pastor, youth leader and teacher should be aware of this. Some Christian homes use internet blockers, but not all. Even so, as the article reveals, pornography still turns up on social media sites. So you must inform and guide your teenagers and children.

What can Christians do about it?

That question is a good topic for home groups, study groups, youth groups and families. Here are a few starting suggestions.

  • Pray.  God guides. God intervenes. God answers prayer.
  • Study. Scripture has answers. Check reliable internet information.
  • Talk. Discuss it with your teens and children. They’re exposed to it.
  • Speak. Preach and lead studies on this vital topic.
  • Share. Add this article to your own social media.

I put this into my General Blogs Index, and on social media.

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: IMAGES (PHOTOS & ALBUMS)

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Teaching Them to Obey in Love

A Teaching Them to Obey in Love

A Teaching Them to Obey in Love All

Teaching Them to Obey in Love

‘Those who love me will keep my word’

Great Commission series
by Geoff Waugh (2016)

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On Amazon (illustrated paperback in colour)
and Kindle (digital)

Contents:

Introduction

1 Love God:
Faith in God – God our Father
Follow Me – Jesus our Lord
Filled with the Spirit – God’s Spirit our Helper

2 Love Others:
Love one another
Serve one another
Encourage one another

Conclusion

Introduction

Jesus was wholly obedient in different ways at different times as a child, a student, a carpenter, a teaching rabbi, a healer, a sacrifice. We can obey in our different situations.   

The Great Commission is a call to obey everything Jesus commanded. That’s not easy! But Jesus reminded us that he now has all authority in heaven and on earth and he is with us to the end of the age:

‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:18-20)

This book is about learning to obey Jesus as we love God who loves us totally.  Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15, 23).  The greatest commandments of all are to love God and love others.   …

We encourage Christians, especially leaders, to obey what Jesus told us to do. All Christians love to speak and sing about Jesus but we may not follow his instructions. So I wrote a mission book about how Jesus trained his followers: Jesus the Model for Short Term Supernatural Mission.  It’s the first in my Great Commission Series and this is the second book in that series.

Jesus taught his followers to do what he did.  He commanded them to love one another as he loved us. He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God, to heal the sick and to cast out unclean spirits.  I hope this book will help you do what Jesus told us to do. 

Jesus said that all the commandments could be summed up in two: loving God and loving others.

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it:

Luther Quote

 ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:37-40).

Jesus described our neighbour as anyone, especially those in need.  He said that we would keep his commandments because we loved him.

Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. (John 14:23)

God our loving Father expects us to believe in Jesus, his Son, to trust him and to obey his teaching and instructions.

And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment (1 John 3:23).

What is obedience?

Jesus told a parable about two sons whose father told them to work in his vineyard (Matthew 21:28-32). One son said he would go but he did not. The other son said he would not go but changed his mind and went. The one who said ‘No’ but then went was more obedient than the one who said ‘Yes’ but didn’t go.  The story shows how we can repent, change our mind and obey.

Jesus’ parable of the two sons encourages us to repent, turn around, and obey even if previously we did not. Often we may feel guilty that we are not obeying Jesus fully and wholeheartedly.  When we pray we may remember how we disobeyed or were half-hearted or reluctant to obey. We can repent, and obey.

Some of Jesus commands seem hard for us to obey: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you; whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me; carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; sell your possessions, and give alms; those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples (Luke 6:27-28; 9:23; 10:4; 12:33; 14:33). And that’s just a few of his instructions!

We’re not all called to be Saint Francis or Mother Teresa. But we are called to follow Jesus – and that’s a challenge. Jesus’ instructions can shape our attitudes and actions. We may live it out in different ways in different places, but his commands will always guide us as we are led by his Spirit. Jesus was wholly obedient in different ways at different times as a child, a student, a carpenter, a teaching rabbi, a healer, a sacrifice. We can obey in our different situations.   

Our obedience springs from love and flows strong in God’s love.  We love Him because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).

Jesus reveals himself to those who obey him in love: “The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love them and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to them. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by them and make Myself real to them.]” (John 14:21 Amplified)

 

I Cross hands

Great Commission Series books include:
Click images to see Blog and links

A Jesus the Model Globe

 An Incredible Journey by Faith

The Great Commission Series

A Great Commission MissionGreat Commission Mission
The Teaching of Jesus on Mission
Compiled from
Teaching Them to Obey in Love, & Jesus the Model for Short Term Supernatural Mission
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A Teaching Them to Obey in LoveB
Teaching Them to Obey in Love
Those who love me will keep my word.
Paperback printed in colour
All ebooks printed in colour.
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General Blogs Index

Blogs Index 1: Revivals (briefer than Revivals Index)

Blogs Index 2: Mission (international stories)

Blogs Index 3: Devotional (including Testimonies)

Blogs Index 4: Chapters (Blogs from Books)

Blogs Index 5: Images (photos from Books)

See also Topics Index

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Signs and Wonders: Study Guide

Signs & Wonders

Signs & Wonders All_Mod

Signs and Wonders
Study Guide

FREE ebook now and this weekend

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Compiled by Geoff Waugh and Cecilia Estillore Oliver

Cover photo:
© ‘Inagako In Fall’, Japan, by Chris Asche – used with permission
.

See Blog of Topic 4: The Cross

Welcome to this Study Guide on Signs and Wonders.

Signs and wonders occur throughout the Old and New Testaments. They express the magnificent creativity and sovereignty of the Lord, described in the Bible. They are also expressions of the power, goodness, mercy, grace, compassion, and love of the Lord, and show the nature of our omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God.

Signs and wonders point to the One and True Living God, and also demonstrate that this Living God is a Personal God who is very interested in people, both individually and corporately. This same God described in the Bible is very much alive and active today just as he was then.

Our hope is that through this subject you will encounter God and be transformed in this encounter. We pray that you will be challenged and stirred up to move in faith and obedience to God who can empower you with his Holy Spirit to do what Jesus did and even greater works (John 14:12). As you learn to move in God’s power and in ways that are naturally supernatural and supernaturally natural, may you become more Christ-like in your personal life, ministry, and vocation in this world. And may you be an instrument in advancing the Kingdom of God on earth as you become filled with passion and clothed with power from on high.

We especially thank Cecilia Estillore Oliver, a medical doctor and B.Min. graduate, for her work in helping to compile and write this Study Guide.  Cecilia prepared and compiled the information in this Study Guide from materials gathered and arranged by Geoff Waugh for the degree programs of Citipointe Ministry College, the School of Ministries of Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, Australia, and made available here with permission of the college.  This book reproduces the content of that former Study Guide, adapted here for general use.

Contents

This Signs and Wonders study guide includes

Biblical Foundations:
Old Testament
Jesus’ Ministry
The Epistles
The Cross

Theological Foundations:
The Supernatural
Worldview
The Kingdom of God
Spiritual Gifts

Ministry Foundations:
Church History
Case Studies
Practices and Pitfalls
Integrated Ministry

Much of the material is developed and adapted from the course at Fuller Theological Seminary conducted by John Wimber in 1984, titled MC510: Signs and Wonders and Church Growth, used with permission.

Class Testimony

Reproduced from the Signs and Wonders Study Guide Appendix

A student we prayed for one morning in class went to her doctor that afternoon for a final check before having a growth removed from her womb. That afternoon her doctor could find no trace of the growth after checking with three ultrasound machines, so he cancelled the scheduled operation.

“My class at college laid hands on me and prayed for me,” she explained to her doctor. “I believe God healed me, and that’s why you can’t find the growth any more.”

“I don’t know if God healed you,” he responded. “But I do know that you don’t need an operation.”

Our class studied this Signs and Wonders subject. We usually began each class with prayer, and that day our prayer included praying for specific needs such as that woman’s health. One of those praying in class was Cecilia, a medical doctor. She prayed with strong faith, joining us in laying hands on the ‘patient’ student, knowing that God heals through prayer as well as through medicine. What rich resources we have for ministry – right there in the group.

See an article (a former subject assignment) by that student Cecilia.

I love hearing medical people pray for healing. They have medical skills as well as faith in God. A nurse in one of our week night meetings prayed for another lady who had severe back pain.

“L4, be healed in Jesus’ name,” the nurse commanded as she prayed with her hand on the woman’s back. It takes medical knowledge plus the revelation of a ‘word of knowledge’ to be able to pray like that. All pain immediately left the lady being prayed for. Apparently the problem was in the Lumbar 4 (L4) section of her spine.

Many people are not healed so quickly. Perhaps most are not healed so quickly in our materialistic Western society. There are many reasons for that, including our Western scepticism, lack of compassion or faith, and our sinfulness such as jealousy, competition or failing to forgive others freely as God has forgiven us.

We all can learn more together about effective ministry. That learning is enhanced and expanded rapidly when we share our experiences and learning together. The ‘teacher’ usually shares from his or her experiences, but others can do also. So the more that our ministry education fosters mutuality, the more we can learn from one another.

We call this open education, or open ministry education. It is open to everyone and everyone can be involved. It is not just for leaders. Our leaders can help us, but their main job is to equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). We can do these things in classes, small groups, seminars, training courses and home or church groups.

A Learning Together in MinistryThis testimony is also included in the Introduction to

Learning Together in Ministry
Mutual Education:
from compteition to co-operation

*

See also Renewal Journal 5: Signs and Wonders
Words, Signs and Deeds, by Brian Hathaway
Uproar in the Church, by Derek Prince

A Season of New Beginnings, by John Wimber
Preparing for Revival Fire, by Jerry Steingard
How to Minister Like Jesus, by Bart Doornweerd

Share this page with the links below to your Facebook, Twitter, Google, Linkedin and Pinterest. Share to inform and bless others.  Blessed to bless.

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Pilgrimage in Renewal by John-Charles Vockler

Church on Fire

Church on Fire 

Chapter 3
Pilgrimage in Renewal
by John-Charles Vockler

Brother John-Charles wrote in 1990 as an Anglican Bishop and the founder of
The Franciscan Order of The Divine Compassion.
This book is immediately avaible as an eBook.

Follow the links to Church on Fire

*
Until recently I would never have dreamed that I would sit down and write a testimony for a publication like this one, nor that it would have as its principle thrust my concern with and my blessings from the charismatic renewal.

I am an Anglican Bishop who was a member of the Society of Saint Francis and is now a member of the Franciscan Order of The Divine Compassion. Very early in life I was attracted both to Holy Orders and to the character and the witness of Saint Francis.

This attraction to St Francis greatly increased during my study in Theological College. I asked my bishop whether I might be allowed to go almost at once to test my vocation in a Franciscan religious community. He rightly pointed out that I had undertaken to be ordained in the Diocese of Newcastle and to serve in that diocese for five years. He added that if I were faithful in persevering in that vocation then he would be willing to release me in due course to test this other vocation to the Religious life.

However, as the years went by, other things presented themselves which seemed right and proper to do. In every case, when I sought advice, I was urged to go forward with those things. They included overseas studies and eventually a call to the episcopate in the Diocese of Adelaide. There I was Assistant Bishop before being translated to Polynesia to the Diocesan Bishop.

.
Many streams

I grew up in a Christian family. I was unable to accept the narrowly evangelical teaching which then characterized the Diocese of Sydney, that is, unable to accept it in its strict and partisan form. Nevertheless, I owe a great debt of gratitude to the teaching which I received in the Diocese of Sydney and in evangelical circles.

The narrower aspects of evangelicalism were tempered in my case by the parish in which I grew up, St John’s at Dee Why, and by the liberal attitudes of my Sunday School teachers. They had been influenced by the findings of the last century of biblical criticism and research.

Whilst a student at Moore Theological College, I was brought into touch through Christ Church St Lawrence with a third stream of influence and theological insight in Anglicanism, Anglo-Catholicism.

I am grateful to all of these. Each school of thought enriched my life and to this day leaves its mark on me. I have never doubted God, though there have been times of coldness, barrenness, and infidelity to God’s demands upon me.

I was very fortunate to find in a second hand book shop in Sydney a French book entitled (in English) The True Disciple: The Priest According to the Gospel. This book written by Father Chevrier, a 19th Century Capuchin Tertiary, had a profound influence on my life. From it I learned, among other things, a prayer which governed Father Chevrier’s life: ‘Lord, I am at your disposal’.

That prayer became, and still remains, a part of my life. It is, as I know, a dangerous prayer to pray. God has a habit of taking it at its face value.

Always there recurred the call to Franciscanism. So eventually I resigned my See of Polynesia and left to join the Society of Saint Francis. There I was enriched, very happy, and conscious of the continuing guidance and blessing of Almighty God. More recently God called me to found The Franciscan Order of the Divine Compassion.

.
Renewal overseas

My first contact with the charismatic renewal was in Paris. I was staying with a young French nobleman whom I had met first at the Abbey of Our Lady at Bec Hellouin. On this later visit to Paris I had accepted his invitation to stay with him. He mentioned that he had been booked in for a weekend conference before he knew of my coming. He invited me to join him there.

The conference was a meeting of several hundreds of Roman Catholic charismatics from in and around Paris. That weekend was, I think, one of the most moving experiences of my whole life. The joy! The warmth! The wonder of it all!

I spoke to an old priest, over seventy, whom I was somewhat astonished to find there. He said to me, ‘Father, three years ago hardly any of these young people prayed. Now, look at them! If this is what the Holy Spirit is doing for them then I want to be part of it.’

He went on to say that in the beginning he had not fully understood it but that now he too was a part of that great joy.

I can shut my eyes now and I can hear and see the people, the smiles, the love. I can hear the wonderful sound of that group of people singing in tongues. I have never heard anything so moving, so beautiful, in all my life. It sounded like a gentle flock of birds taking off and it moved me deeply. It touched my heart.

Later, when I was appointed Assistant Bishop of Southwalk, I shared in an Anglican charismatic experience, or rather, an ecumenical one in an Anglican setting. A number of Anglo-Catholic parishes had been deeply influenced by the renewal. I was invited to share in a day long meeting in one of them.

People from different denominations and from different traditions within Anglicanism had come. I remember with joy the charismatic Stations of the Cross. I could not ever imagine such a thing myself. You may think, ‘What an unlikely vehicle for praising God!’ Yet it was a wonderful and profoundly moving experience filled with deep worship of our blessed Lord in his Passion, and marked with tremendous joy.

The Eucharist, with its time for prophecy and free prayer, was again a moving experience. Until then, that was novel for me. Looking back, I see how great an influence it had on my own thinking and my own changing patterns of worship. It all seemed so right and proper.

Later on, when people were invited to receive the laying on of hands, I went forward to do so. When they asked me what gift I wished to have, I replied rather cunningly as I then thought, ‘Whatever the Holy Spirit wishes to give me.’ As people laid hands upon me and prayed I was suffused with a great warmth and joy, filled with the spirit of love and an abiding peace.

I had other brief encounters with the charismatic renewal in the Diocese of Southwalk and always found them occasions of joy and love and peace. I found there was a blessing in it all which I was slowly receiving.

I knew that I was unwilling to surrender, unwilling to give a part of me. I felt, as so many bishops still do, that this was a great movement of renewal. Yes, there was something good here, but I was also saying, ‘Good Lord, don’t let it touch me!’

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Renewal in Australia

On my return to Australia, to the Friary of the Society of Saint Francis in Brisbane, I was presented very soon after my arrival with a question. Could the brothers be allowed to go to the national Roman Catholic charismatic conference in Brisbane.

I was willing that some should go, and determined to go myself in order to keep an eye on them! We mustn’t have these young men getting up to strange tricks. I wanted to know what was going on. I wanted to protect the community from any spirit of division.

Of course, I myself was deeply touched by the whole thing. The kind of charismatic experience being spoken about at this conference, deeply rooted in sacramental piety and churchly in character, was one which I found immensely attractive.

Before this conference, I had been worried by the naive fundamentalism which seems to me to afflict so many charismatics and the undue emphasis on external signs such as speaking in tongues. This emphasis, I felt, was a phenomenon which occurred when charismatic renewal was divorced from a normal churchly and sacramental life. Needless to say there was none of that at this conference.

The workshops on prayer were characterised by wonderful testimonies. Old ways of prayer had come alive for people under the influence and power of the Holy Spirit. I was struck at once by the way in which the development of the charismatic life paralleled at so many points the classical spiritual tradition about development in the life of prayer.

The shared prayer, the public meetings, and indeed the whole conference up to the last great mass, were characterised by joy – a joy made sad by the sacramental disunity which separated us at the altar.

At one of those meetings someone prophesied that the Spirit was moving powerfully among us to heal. That prophecy was followed by one from Father Michael Scanlan from America. He said it had been given to him by the Spirit that the healing was particularly for those who were afflicted with arthritic and rheumatic pain.

While we went on singing those who had these pains were simply to claim the healing. I did so and felt a remarkable surge of power. From that moment to this the pains that had afflicted me for almost twenty years have never recurred. Now that was a pretty impressive sign given to me!

A few weeks later I was staying with the Community of St Clare. A young priest who used charismatic gifts and was a friend of that community, was speaking to me. I asked him to lay hands on me because of an affliction in my ears. That too was healed. Other physical disorders remained with me. I do not see any evidence in Christian history to suggest that physical healing will always be given, nor do I believe that healing is only of the body.

I did know that still deep within me there were parts of my life which were unsurrendered, which I was keeping to myself. I also knew that some of the things which still afflicted me were related to that unwillingness to surrender.

At a national charismatic conference in Adelaide in 1976 in which many Roman Catholics shared, I made that surrender. I was healed in yet another part of my body and received a baptism of love of a most wonderful and intense kind.

For all this I give thanks to almighty God and I praise him for all he has given me. Like many others, I came to speak and indeed to pray in tongues for the first time when alone. It began in a place where many people would least expect, while I was staying with an enclosed contemplative community of nuns.

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Effects of renewal

This experience has been pre-eminently one of love and of great joy, of a calm assurance, and of a revivifying of all that I have always believed and all that I have been given. It has meant for me a new ordering of my life, a new place for holy scripture, a new sense of priorities, a deeper peace, and I believe it has made me more readily available to people, particularly those from whom I differ.

For me, this total experience grows out of my baptism, that is my baptism in water in the name of the Holy Trinity. That is the source and origin of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit and of all that has touched my life. I prefer not to speak of baptism in or by the Spirit, but rather of a being filled up with, or of having a new flow of, grace. Words, as the mystics have found in every age, are hopeless for speaking of the deepest mysteries of life.

I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit of God is at work in his church, restoring its foundations, bringing new life, new hope, new power. Anyone would be very foolish to judge this renewal simply by those who have experienced it but misunderstood it, misused it, or over-emphasised its secondary external phenomena. My deepest reservation is the frequent association of charismatics with right wing politics.

It would be sad for these reasons to stand aside from it all. We could then miss out on the promise which God offers to his church and his world through the renewal which the Holy Spirit alone can give.

My commitments and public life do not leave me many opportunities for sharing specifically in charismatic gatherings. But whenever I can, I am richly blessed. Since these earlier beginnings I have received further healings, especially through the ministry of Mary Rogers. I am conscious of how enriched my whole life and ministry have become.

I urge all who read this, and have their doubts, to look again at the passages in the New Testament which refer to the work and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Such a study can, I believe, only lead those who engage in it to see how far we have drifted from the power and the vitality of the primitive church. That power and vitality came from the gifts and the presence of the Holy Spirit recognized, sought after, and deeply desired.

May God bless all who read this and quicken in your hearts that deepened desire for the indwelling power of God the Holy Spirit. May he bless you in your life and your work and ministry.

May he use us all, whatever our theological and spiritual character, to restore to his Body the unity which is his will and his desire, for which he died, and for which he longs with an ardour beyond our comprehension.

Miracles in PNG highlands by Johan van Bruggen

Miracles in PNG highlands

A selection from Flashpoints of Revival and Revival Fires
A Flashpoints Koorong1A Revival Fires*

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Kambaidam, Papua New Guinea, by Johan van Bruggen

Johan van Bruggen

Then came Thursday, August 4, a miserable day weather wise, although we had great joy during our studies. Evening devotions not all students came, actually a rather small group. I too needed some inner encouragement to go as it was more comfortable near the fire. We sang a few quiet worship songs. Samson, a fellow who by accident became one of our students last year, well, this Samson was leading the devotions. We had sung the last song and were waiting for him to start. Starting he did, but in an unusual way. He cried, trembled all over! … Then it spread. When I looked up again I saw the head prefect flat on the floor under his desk. I was praying in tongues off and on. It became quite noisy. Students were shouting! Should I stop it? Don’t hold back! It went on and on, with students praying and laughing and crying not quite following our planned programme! We finally stood around the table, about twelve of us, holding hands. Some were absolutely like drunk, staggering and laughing! I heard a few students starting off in tongues and I praised the Lord. The rain had stopped, not so the noise. So more and more people came in and watched!

Not much sleeping that night! They talked and talked! And that was not the end. Of course the school has changed completely. Lessons were always great, I thought, but have become greater still. Full of joy most of the time, but also with a tremendous burden. A burden to witness. …

What were the highlights of 1988? No doubt the actual outpouring of the Holy Spirit must come first. It happened on August 4 when the Spirit fell on a group of students and staff, with individuals receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit on several occasions later on in the year. The school has never been the same again. As direct results we noticed a desire for holiness, a hunger for God’s Word which was insatiable right up till the end of the school year, and also a tremendous urge to go out and witness. Whenever they had a chance many of our students were in the villages with studies and to lead Sunday services. Prayer life deepened, and during worship services we really felt ourselves to be on holy ground. …

We have been almost left speechless by what God is doing now through our students. We realize that we have been led on and are now on the threshold of a revival.

Acts 2 all over again

A young student, David, in his early twenties from the Markham Valley had a growing burden for his area of Ragizaria and Waritzian which was known and feared as the centre of pagan occult practices. He prayed earnestly. As part of an outreach team he visited nearby villages and then went to his own people. He was concerned about the low spiritual life of the church. He spent a couple of days alone praying for them.

He was invited to lead the village devotions on the Saturday night at Ragizaria. Johan van Bruggen told the story in his circulars:

Since most of the Ragizaria people are deeply involved in witchcraft practices, David made an urgent appeal for repentance. Two men responded and came forward. David put his hands on them and wanted to pray, when suddenly these two men fell to the ground. They were both praising the Lord. Everybody was surprised and did not know what to think of this. David himself had been slain in the Spirit at Kambaidam in August 1988, but this was the first time that this had happened to others through him. The next morning during the Sunday service scores of people were slain in the Spirit. Said David, “People entered the church building and immediately they were seized by God’s power. They were drunk in the Spirit and many could not keep standing. The floor was covered with bodies.” It did not only happen to Lutherans, but also to members of a Seventh Day Adventist congregation (former Lutherans) that were attracted by the noise and commotion.

David reported that there was a sense of tremendous joy in the church and people were praising the Lord. Well, the service lasted for hours and hours. Finally David said, “And now the people are hungry for God’s Word and not only in my village, but also in Waritzian, a nearby village. And they want the students to come with Bible studies. Can we go next weekend?”

We all felt that some students together with Pastor Bubo should go. …

Pastor Bubo told me, “Acts 2 happened all over again!” For three days all the people were drunk in the Spirit. God used the students and Bubo in a mighty way. On Saturday night the Holy Spirit was poured down on the hundreds of people that had assembled there. From then on until the moment the school car arrived on Monday noon, the people were being filled again and again by the Spirit. There was much rejoicing. There were words of prophecy. There was healing and deliverance. And on Monday morning all things of magic and witchcraft were burned. Everybody was in it, the leaders, the young, yes even little children were reported to be drunk in the Spirit. … The people did not want to go and sleep, saying, “So often we have had drunken all night parties. Now we will have a divine party until daybreak.”

This area had been a stronghold of evil practices. Many people received various spiritual gifts including unusual abilities such as speaking English in tongues and being able to read the Bible. People met for prayer, worship and study every day and at night. These daily meetings continued to be held for over two years.

That revival kept spreading through the witness and ministries of the Bible School graduates.

Acts 3 all over again

In November 1990, Johan van Bruggen wrote:

This is what happened about two months ago. A new church building was going to be officially opened in a village in the Kainantu area. Two of our last year’s graduates took part in the celebrations by acting the story in Acts 3: Peter and John going to the temple and healing the cripple.

Their cripple was a real one a young man, Mark, who had his leg smashed in a car accident. The doctors had wanted to amputate it, but he did not want to lose his useless leg. He used two crutches to move around the village. He could not stand at all on that one leg. He was lying at the door of the new church when our Peter and John (real names: Steven and Pao) wanted to enter. The Bible story was exactly followed: “I have got no money, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” Well, they acted this out before hundreds of people, among them the president of the Goroka Church District and many pastors and elders. Peter (Steven) grabbed the cripple (Mark) by the hand and pulled him up. And he walked! He threw his crutches away and loudly praised the Lord! Isn’t that something? What a faith!

Their testimony was given at a meeting of elders when Kambaidam was discussed. Mark was a most happy fellow who stood and walked firmly on his two legs. He also had been involved in criminal activities, but in this meeting he unashamedly confessed his faith in the Lord Jesus.

Later I talked with them. Steven (Peter) told me that the Lord had put this on his heart during a week long period of praying. “I had no doubt that the Lord was going to heal Mark, and I was so excited when we finally got to play act! And Mark? He told me that when Steven told him to get up he just felt the power of God descend upon him and at the same time he had a tingling sensation in his crippled leg: “I just felt the blood rushing through my leg, bringing new life!” Mark is now involved in evangelistic outreach and his testimony has a great impact.

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Bougainville Revival, South Pacific, by Royree Jensen

Amazing revival stories from Bougainville in the South Pacific.  New Testament events still happen. Walking on water to witchcraft island and back.  Magic discovered and destroyed.

Selections from revival stories in South Pacific Revivals. Share this page to inform and bless others – great stories for messages, youth groups and study groups. See links below to share on your Facebook, Twitter, Google, Linkedin & Emails.

Community and Ecological Transformation

Jensen Sons of ThunderBougainville Revival – South Pacific Royree Jensen (Sons of Thunder, 2009) tells the story of powerful revival in Bougainville, east of Papua New Guinea, during the decade of war from 1988, sparked by the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) to defend their land and culture from devastation caused by mining.  Spiritual leaders were worried about the western evils that arrived with the mining: pornography, alcohol abuse, drugs, smoking and immorality.  Here are selections from Royree’s story. Friday, November 6, 1987 marked the first supernatural revival event.  It was at this time that the crisis was about to boil over. The stories of that day and the period of time that followed have been told to me by Papa Luke, a genteel man – white haired, 73 years of age, a school teacher, world-travelled. He lives on Saposa Island, 30 minutes by banana boat from Buka Island.  He was a small boy during World War II and can remember the time when the Japanese invaded his island.  Having lived through so much turbulence, Papa Luke now spends most of his days sitting with God.  When we finally found him, he was sitting by the ocean reading his Bible.

Papa Luke

Both teacher and story-weaver, he began to talk, vividly recalling the day the revival began, in the circular story-telling style of the Melanesian people. “Before revival came up, I wrote a drama about God that mixed the culture with the Word of God. We had a drama group of young people who travelled around Buka area. Around this time, nine people got sick from black magic.  Out of the nine, five died and four were left. “My cousin Salome was one of the four people who didn’t die.  She was brought to the hospital in Buka but she didn’t recover, so she was referred to Arawa General Hospital. She didn’t recover there.  The Indian doctor told her and her husband that he had seen witchcraft in India and knew that this poison came from the witchcraft.  The doctor discharged her and she came home. “They had a ritual ceremony where they asked for the sorcerers to release her by making a sacrifice to free her. She was meant to get better but didn’t improve.  After black magic failed, her brother, the chief, requested for the drama group to come back to our village and pray. “By Sunday morning, my cousin was still sick.  My family brought her to the Lotu (church service).  They prayed for deliverance and healing.  She got healed immediately along with the other three who were still sick.  Five dead.  Four healed.  On that Sunday, many spiritual gifts fell.  Everyone received a spiritual gift – all different kinds of gifts. “Now the group went to the island where Salome and the others got sick.  They were going to heal the island of the witchcraft that had killed the people.  They put their hands into the ground without having to dig and they pulled out the poison.  Their hands went through the ground to the exact spot of the bones or whatever artifacts had been used for the witchcraft. Their eyes were closed but the Holy Spirit led them to these places.”  (As he told me this, he shaped his hand as they had shaped theirs – like a rigid blade extending straight from the arm.) Walking on water “Now things became wild, exciting and interesting.  Supernatural things began to happen.  By the power of the Holy Spirit, my cousin Salome discerned that there was some witchcraft poison on another nearby island (a burial site) that was put there by a sorcerer.  We began to pray.  While we prayed, fifteen people stood with their eyes shut.  Still with their eyes shut, they began walking on the water from our island to the nearby island.  The Holy Spirit led them while they walked.  When they reached the other island, they put their hands into the ground and pulled out small parcels of scraped human bone.  This powder was being used by sorcerers in their witchcraft rituals.  They brought these parcels of scraped bones back to our island, still walking on top of the water with their eyes still shut.  They did not swim. “We prayed over the parcels and threw them away into salt water.  This broke the power of witchcraft.  We don’t know how they did the walking on the water except by the power of God.  Plenty of people saw them walking on the water.  There were plenty of eye witnesses.  The distance between the two islands is one kilometre. “The effect that this had on the island was that we became very excited about God. Many became Christians and worshipped God.  … “For one week, we fasted, prayed and read the Bible. “First we went back to the island where our 15 people had walked. We found more black magic – enough to fill a 10kg bag of rice.  We prayed over it and threw it in the water.  A big flying fox with legs like a man settled on top of the house where I was staying with another pastor.  We could feel the wind from his wings.  We rebuked this evil, black magic.  It was powerful and even those who were praying fell down.  This battle went on for quite a while but the people in our church were skilled in deliverance and intercession and eventually we started to win over this black magic. “Two days later, we visited the island where the school children had died.  We circled the island in a small boat worshipping God.  We were all a little bit afraid.  First people who could discern black magic went ashore.  Then those who could fight black magic went ashore.  Then we all went ashore. “We stood together and worshipped God.  Then we split into two groups, heading around the island in opposite directions.  Just before we joined up, one team stood under a tree and looked up.  They saw a live bird that they knew was part of black magic.  They said, ‘In the name of Jesus come down.’  The bird died and began to fall.  By the time it hit the ground, only the skeleton of the bird was left. “One month before, some plantation workers had been on the island.  A man had sat under that tree to rest.  He took sick, went to hospital and died.  However, after we fought the black magic, it was okay.  Even today, 20 years later, people live there and no one gets sick.  There is good food, good fish and everything grows.  It is no longer a witchcraft island. “These things marked the beginning of the revival.  Demonic spirits were being chased out of our land.” More miracles Albert was a young Christian during the crisis.  He adds:  “I now see, feel and walk on the power of God.  I didn’t know these things when I was a young Christian but I saw it in others.  There were those who were operating on the high voltage power of God.  These were people who would walk through a hail of bullets and not get hit.  I would say that the host of heaven caught some of the bullets for me. “There was one instance in 1993 when I was leading a group of chiefs from up in the mountains to sign a peace agreement.  I was not doing this job of my own accord but because it was my job to do.  I prayed to my God, “The fighting is all around us and I am a Christian.  If You are going to go with me, talk with me tonight, Papa God. I don’t want to lead them through the bullets. “At 2 a.m., my elder son who was three spoke in English.  He did not know English.  He said, ‘Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, you can go.’  He was fast asleep.  Fifteen years later, the memory still brings tears to my eyes and a reverent awe of God.  This was not the time of meetings, conferences, mobile phones or encouragement.  This was a hard time and we only had God. “I woke up in the morning with peace.  That day, 15 of the chiefs started to run back to the mountains.  I told them that God was with us and that not one single man must run away even if there is gunfire.  I told them that, if one runs, then the guns will get us but that if no one runs, we will all be safe. “There was a place called Ambush Corner always maintained by BRA.  They knew where I was taking these chiefs and why.  They didn’t want anyone to sign peace papers.  I was in the front of the line.  The Holy Spirit stopped me and I heard a voice tell me to take the chiefs to one side.  I stopped them and said, ‘We are about to enter Ambush Corner and I am afraid that there are people ready to kill us.  However, last night, I felt the peace of God.  Don’t run but stand strong beside me.’  We walked ahead and the BRA descended upon us.  I said to them, ‘In Jesus’ name, I am a servant of God.’ “They pointed their weapons to the sky and fired them off, then they pointed their guns at us but the guns wouldn’t fire.  The chiefs kept following me saying that the peace must come from God.  The peace we enjoy today in Bougainville is because of that document. “One time, I was holding my son on my shoulders going for a tramp.  We came to a flooded river which was odd because there had been no rain so we took another route.  Later I found out that there was an ambush waiting to kill us.  The unnatural flood changed our direction.” During the late 1980s when war erupted, life was going on in its exotic daily routines in the jungle.  Yet there was one clan leader who decided to stay in his village, 2 kms from the coastline and about 80 kms from Panguna Mine.  Such villages were caught between flying bullets.  Pastor Ezekiel made a home there called Aero Centre.  Here are just a few stories that have been told directly to me some ten years since the guns were laid down. A boy’s story: “During the crisis, PNGDF men entered the little house I lived in with my mother.  I was 12 years old.  They demanded kerosene and food at gunpoint.  My mother was a Christian and so she began to pray.  They held a gun to her head but she said, ‘No’.  Kerosene was more valuable than gold for us.  Without it, we couldn’t run our home.  The soldier pulled the trigger.  The gun didn’t go off.  All this time, I watched my mother.  They pulled the trigger a second time.  The gun didn’t go off.  The soldier went outside our hut, pulled the trigger and it went off.  The gun was loaded and it exploded.  These soldiers realised that God was with my mother.  They quickly ran away.  We kept our kerosene.” By the time that 12 year old boy told me this story, he was a young man, yet the awe of God was still on him.  He had witnessed his mother’s faith in God and he is still walking in the fear of God. Ruth, a vivacious school teacher recalls her experiences of being a woman during the crisis and the revival: “In the time of the crisis, God helped my family in a big way.  We had no money to buy clothes, food and soap.  God showed us how to use coconut and lemon to wash our clothes to make them white as snow.  He showed us how to use coconut oil from our own coconut trees for our lamps.  Before the crisis, we used to buy kerosene for our lamps.  Now there was no money and no kerosene.  Salt was also not available so He showed us how to cook our food in salt water from the ocean, adding grated coconut for our flavours.  Sometimes we would boil the ocean water until all we had left was the powdery salt.  In these ways, God showed me that He loved women in their domestic situation; that even in a crisis He could provide all we needed by looking after our clothes and our bodies. “God also blessed the ground during the crisis.  Food that we hadn’t planted appeared – sweet potato, yam, taro, casava, chinese taro, banana and other fruit.  This didn’t just happen in one place.  It happened all over the island.  In fact, there is now a category of sweet potato called crisis kaukau!”  …

Pastor Ezekiel & Janet

Another leader, Pastor Ezekiel, had been a United Church pastor since his training for the ministry.  He had received the spiritual experience known as the Baptism in the Holy Spirit at the time of his salvation.  … Pastor Ezekiel was told to close down his Bible School.  Because of the crisis, all of the schools on the island had been closed down and he was to comply.  He refused.  He said that it was not his place to close it down.  God had opened it and God would have to shut it.  He was viciously beaten as a result of this decision, and on a number of other occasions.  Over 500 people, including many women, have graduated from his Bible School.  Many are now missionaries in other countries. Another extraordinary side effect of the crisis was the subsistence diet.  Many times I have heard it said that they came out of the crisis 10 years younger than they used to be because all the refined food was taken out of their diet.  They ate from the soil. “ Our bodies got healthy and strong.” Prayer Mountain A Prayer Mountain emerged deep into the crisis years. Its origins were mysterious and its role in the crisis and in the revival was equally other-world. A contributing factor to the glory of God over Bougainville and to the revival has to have been this Prayer Mountain.  In Bougainville and in other parts of the world, it is not uncommon for a geographical site to be set aside as a prayer mountain.  However, when I began to hear stories of this one particular Prayer Mountain, I knew that God had met with this people in a rare manner, not unique, but certainly rare. Pastor Ezekiel’s strength and focus on God encouraged others to become giants in faith also.  David Gagaso is one such giant.  This strong and good looking young man with a soft, melodic voice was the one who received the word from God about this mountain. David made a choice as a young man to live an uncompromising life of faith in Jesus Christ.   He was diligent in his pursuit of spiritual things leading him to a series of miraculous experiences.  Phenomena in the night sky, visions, and voices helped him locate a certain mountain on which he, his brother and friends built a bush house for prayer.  This became known as Prayer Mountain.  … He said, “In that bush house, the presence of God came down.  The place was totally covered and filled with thick fog and smoke.  We could hardly see other people in this little house.  Pastor began using Prayer Mountain, hosting prayer seminars and prayer programs. “We began to see manifestations of God. People began to receive songs and others saw angels.  We were lost in prayer and fasting.  … “In 1999, we replaced the bush house with one that had a tin roof.  At the opening service for that house, I felt the presence of Jesus Christ as we were worshipping.  Everyone was flat on the ground, face down.  Even the musicians were on the ground with their instruments.  It was an awesome incredible experience for me that I will never forget.  We had to stop the whole service because we enjoyed God’s presence so much.  It took us a very long time to come back to the rest of the service.  We could not pray or dance or sing but could only be flat on the ground before the presence of God. “Normally before people set foot on Prayer Mountain, the sky would be clear.  When people entered the prayer house, cloud would cover up the whole place even though there were no other clouds in the sky. “We never slept at Prayer Mountain, but would always come back to the foot of the mountain to sleep.  … David paused and then continued. “Our experience in the crisis produced people who can be involved in missions.  We are not scared about any situation.  We learn language easily; we eat anything or nothing; we sleep anywhere; we need nothing; we carry fire. “I personally believe that God is going to raise up very aggressive missionaries from our island.  One of the things I believe is that the Church should be involved in mission.  Our Church in Bougainville is now reaping what we were planting up there in Prayer Mountain. We prayed for Africa and now we have missionaries there.  Same with Indonesia.  We are becoming the answer to our own prayers.  I myself am about to go to a place that is not safe for Christians.” Jane took up the story.  “Prayer Mountain was where the Spirit of God fell.  Things happened that are foreign to the western mind. “It started when we took Bible School students up to Prayer Mountain for a retreat.  We planned to be there for two weeks, praying and fasting, before sending them out on a ministry trip. “At the time of this two week stay on Prayer Mountain with the students, we were not thinking in terms of a revival.  We were just being obedient to why we believed God had established Prayer Mountain. “Soon, people were lifted up off the ground during worship and prayer.  One girl was lifted up, flew past me and landed outside the building.  Other students went through the wall, breaking it on their flight, landing outside. “We tried to stop them; to quiet them down; to bring them back inside the building.  But there was a fear of God and a fear of the unknown.  We were afraid that if we stopped it, we would be touching something that was God. “One time Ezekiel was up on Prayer Mountain.  On his way back to Aero Centre, he met two ‘white men’ who were glowing.  They asked him where he was going.  He said, ‘Home’ and then passed them.  He turned around.  They were gone. “Another time a group was cleaning the building at the top of Prayer Mountain.  They arrived to find footprints all around the house.  You must understand that this is not a place where anyone lived and those on cleaning duty would have seen anyone leave the house on their way up the mountain.  They knew straight away that these were the footprints of angels.  … Ezekiel’s adds:“Before Prayer Mountain, and into the second year of the crisis, people were singing worship songs to God.  The sound of the singing was heard around the mountains. “When it was time to be in church, people would run to the front of the church, casting themselves down on the smooth rocks that were alongside the front of the church.  There were times when the dirt floor of the church was indented by the banging of heads in repentance and worship. “Then came Prayer Mountain.  We stopped at the bottom of the mountain to confess our sins and if we didn’t do this well enough on the first stop, such conviction would come on us that we would stop again.  Finally we would reach the prayer house at the top of the mountain and the presence of God would come down.  We wouldn’t talk but could only whisper because of the awareness of the Holy Spirit.  The day came, after the building was completed, for its dedication. I put a big ceremony on the doors and then we went inside.  When we were about to sing the first song we found that we couldn’t stand.  We were prostrate on the floor before God.  Prophecy after prophecy came. “We had not expected this.  The prophecies spoke against the war.  In fact, when the Peace-Keeping Forces arrived in Bougainville, God reminded us of the prophecies from that meeting.  What is more, we were praying on Prayer Mountain when they arrived in Bougainville.  … Pastor Ezekiel told me of its final days.  “By 1999, a prophetic message came that we had to leave the mountain.  God began to speak from John 4:21-24.  The message of those verses came to me as, “I am no longer just in that mountain.  Meet Me here as you met Me on the mountain.” “This process of obedience gave us further understanding of the holiness and presence of God.  “We began to question God. “Why are we not experiencing what we experienced before?” “Then God began to give us the understanding that Prayer Mountain was not just for ourselves but was for taking the Gospel to other people.  He spoke to us about mission.  Now we were to plant churches and experience things that used to only happen on Prayer Mountain.  We have done this.  For instance, we now even have missionaries in Africa. “We had to learn about the omnipresence of God.  Some young people went back to Prayer Mountain to try to get back what we had experienced but nothing happened.  It was a time and a season and a place for a specific purpose. “In 2000, we launched Christian Missionary Fellowship in Bougainville.  We are now sending missionaries into PNG and to the rest of world.” More of this story is told in South Pacific Revivals and fully in SONS OF THUNDER

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China’s Next Generation: New China, New Church, New World, by Luis Bush, Brent Fulton & a Christian Worker in China

China title

China’s Next Generation:

New China, New Church, New World

by Luis Bush, Brent Fulton & a Christian Worker in China

 

Conclusion

Someone once said that everything is true somewhere, at some time in China. This statement couldn’t be more true in today’s China. Somewhere in China there are still believers being persecuted for their faith, but for all the people that are being persecuted, many are able to worship freely. In fact, some companies prefer to hire Christians rather than unbelievers because of their integrity and ethics. In one city alone, it is believed that the Christians amount to 10% of the population and many businessmen are strong believers.

In some areas in China there is bitter animosity between the house and registered churches but for each place where there is bitterness there are thousands of house churches that are being allowed to continue. In fact, house church leaders have open discussions with local government officials and are permitted to rent and even purchase office space to hold their meetings. Also, there are cities where both the house and Three Self Churches work together, and some house churches meet in Three Self Churches!

In China there are certain versions of the Bible that are not printed and are not permitted in the country but for all the versions of the Bible that are not printed or permitted here there are several versions that people can freely purchase in bookstores and online to send to their friends. In fact, the Three Self Church has printed millions of Bibles in country and make them available at their bookstores.

It’s a new day for China, for the Church in China and for the World. We thank the Lord for the harvest that was brought in the past, the maturation of the Chinese church and for the economic strides that have made China the second largest economy in the world. However, if all this is to continue China needs to go to the next level of its maturation and reach the next generation, the 4/14ers! Now is the time for the Church of China to come together to preserve the harvest so it will last many more generations.

At the recent Asian Church Leaders Forum, over 100 Chinese church leaders signed a pledge to “commit ourselves to raising up younger leaders of the next generation” and to “pass the vision of evangelization onto the younger generation and proclaim the salvation message of the old rugged cross with creative methods.” We are excited that the church in China has embraced reaching the next generation so that a new chapter in China’s great harvest history can be written.

See Link:  China’s Next Generation

Download Book: China’s Next Generation: New Church, New China, New World (This book is not copyrighted)