The number that counts is always ONE
Because our focus is on mass evangelism here at Christ for all Nations, sometimes the numbers can be almost overwhelming. Over 80 million decisions for Jesus since the ministry began! It certainly is something to celebrate and praise the Lord for.
But you know what? We never lose sight of the fact that God is not in the numbers business. Or rather, the number that counts is always ONE. He leaves the ninety-nine to find the one lost sheep. He meets each and every one of us on an individual, completely personal basis.
Today, I want to share with you some wonderful, personal testimonies. For every one of these precious people, Jesus intervened in their lives, meeting them right in the place of their suffering. God saw them, He heard their cry, and He turned their lives around. I believe your own faith will be built and strengthened as you read these documented stories of God’s healing power – and His loving mercy for each one of us.
Jovita B., Uganda
Hospitals and Witchdoctors failed me
In 1979, then 16 years old, Jovita became completely, profoundly deaf. For the next 36 years, she heard absolutely nothing. She says, “I went to the doctors and to hospitals, but they could only tell me I was deaf, not what had caused the deafness. I knew it was wrong, but the pain I had and the hearing loss drove me to the witchdoctors. They said it was a certain kind of demon causing my deafness.”
Neither the witchdoctors nor the hospitals could help her. She continues: “At the thought of being deaf for the rest of my life, I would cry out, ‘Oh Lord, please take me from this world.’ That was the only remedy I could think of.”
Then Jovita found her way to the CfaN campaign in Mbarara, Uganda. “As the preacher began to pray, all of a sudden, I started hearing sounds. Then I heard voices, something I hadn’t heard in 36 years! My ears were opening and my joy was building. The louder the sounds got, the greater my joy was. After 36 years of not hearing, now I can hear. It’s a miracle! It’s my miracle”
Elizabeth M., Cameroon
Many gave up on me, but God did not
“Every morning was the same. I would wake up and take over 10 different pain medications. Then my friend would help me pull on pressure pads to help me walk and bear the pain. The doctors didn’t really know what was wrong with my knees. They gave up and told me I had to live with it. After so many years, I had built up a strong tolerance, so the medications barely had any effect.”
Elizabeth’s desires were so very simple. Immobilized by the constant pain, all she longed for was “the little things”; to be able to cook and clean, to bend down and sweep her own floor. She felt that people pitied her when they saw her, and she was embarrassed to not be able to care for herself.
Then came the day that she made her way, painfully and slowly, to the CfaN campaign in Douala, Cameroon. “When the evangelist was praying, I felt something go through my body from my head to my feet, something I had never felt before. I knew that God was performing a miracle in my life. I just knew it! Right in that very moment, he told us to test ourselves, to check the part of our body that couldn’t move. And that’s when I stood up. That’s when God healed me! That’s when I received my healing”
Elizabeth J., Nigeria
You can’t imagine what I went through – I went through hell
For 18 years, Elizabeth J. suffered with agonizing pains in her abdomen. The pain was so severe, it kept her bedridden for days – and sometimes weeks – at a time. In 1998, she was in hospital for two weeks without being able to eat at all. Her family were sure she was going to die. In desperation, Elizabeth and her husband spent every cent they had on consultations with voodoo priests, doctors and hospitals.
One day, after visiting the hospital yet again, they heard the sounds of the CfaN campaign nearby, where Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke was preaching. They decided to go and see what was happening. Elizabeth tells it in her own words…
“As I got there, the preacher was saying, “Jesus loves you and He died for your sins.” I said, “Wow!” And I felt something hitting me within. I said, “Am I going to be forgiven from the background I came from, and from my own set of sins I have committed?””
Elizabeth was captivated by the message, and as she listened, she knew what she had to do.
“I just felt it was for me, and I lifted my hands and said, “God?” Then I knelt down, and I said, “Jesus, here I am, here I am. Save me, save me!” Then the preacher asked for those who want to be born again to walk to the altar. But I was the first there. I ran. I ran to grab my salvation. I ran!”
The second night of the campaign, Elizabeth felt to compelled to go again. This time, she rejoiced, dancing and dancing before the Lord, praising him for her newfound salvation.
“You have accepted me, God!” she cried, “Today I am asking you for my healing.” But as the preaching started, that terrible pain gripped her like a vice.
“The pain started small, and got more and more, bit by bit. But as it increased, I yelled, “Devil, you are a liar! You are late, because I am Christ’s hands now!” Then the preacher said to put your hands on the place where it hurts, and praise God! The pain died right down. In that moment, I had my healing.”
Coulibaly, Ivory Coast
Paralyzed and helpless – until God called him
Coulibaly was the leader and primary breadwinner for his entire extended family, so when serious illness and paralysis suddenly came upon him, it was a disaster for them as well as him.
“I remember waking up in the morning and my body was shaking. I tried to stand up and I fell down. There were no warning signs and symptoms before this. It happened so unexpectedly. I was told I had kidney failure. After a few years on medication, I started to get better – and then, out of nowhere, I became completely blind for three weeks. My sister and a friend would help me with daily tasks. I prayed to God every day that he would heal me, so that I could feed and provide for my family. Some days I felt like a failure.
I was lying in hospital when one of the nurses gave me a flyer for the CfaN Gospel Campaign. The next day when I was back at home, my daughter gave me another one. And that same day, my sister gave me another one. I knew this was God calling me to receive my healing.”
Coulibaly was helped to the campaign grounds, where his family sat him on the ground.
“I remember as soon as he (the evangelist) said “Amen”, I felt all the pain leave me, and a rushing wind flowed through my body.”
Up onstage, Coulibaly’s sister, who had cared for him so long, was there to bear witness at his side. With a shining face, she confirmed how he had suffered with kidney failure and paralysis for seven terrible years.
Coulibaly told the crowd, “As I was sitting there, I lifted my hand. It was shaking, and I couldn’t understand what was happening. I fell back, and I heard, “Amen!” Then the preacher said, “Do something you could not before.” I tried to lift one foot, and it was very light. So was the other one. So I stood up!”
Before a crowd rejoicing wildly, Coulibaly showed that he could walk freely and unaided for the first time in seven years, his sister beside him, laughing and praising God.
This is the power of the Gospel!
My dear friends, this is what the Gospel is all about – how Jesus finds us where we are, in the circumstances of our lives, and He turns everything around. I can’t wait until we get to heaven one day, and we hear all the joyful testimonies of his saving, healing grace. Imagine the stories we will tell one another in His presence on that day!
For each one of these people, life will never be the same. Their families, friends and colleagues have been confronted by the mighty power of God. And we, too, are witnesses to His glory when we read and share these powerful stories.
Thank you sending us to the nations to bring the power of the Gospel to millions – each ONE the apple of His eye.
Together with you in the harvest
Evangelist Daniel Kolenda