Mission Trip To The UK
For the past twenty years, I have been honored to be involved with many people in mission trips all over the world. In November 2012 I invited Bishop Bill McMahan to be a co-celebrant in the ordination of four ordinands for priest in Wigan, England in the living Faith Church of Bishop Steven Evans. The ordinands were Denis Bradley, David Colborn, Mikah Evans and John Gaughn. We were greeted and treated hospitably by the entire church. We were able to minister to the congregation in the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit. A lovely ordination service was held at St. James of Poolstock. It was well-attended by family and friends.
Following the ordination, Dr. David Brewer, Pastor John, Bishops Bill and Steve and Archbishop Doyle traveled to Wales. It was a lovely trip along the seaside. The mountains, sky, and sea were unspeakably beautiful. We travelled to Manorbier for a concert and strong preaching by the Rev. John Gaughn. The concert was hosted by the Rev Jon Fiddy and was well received. Some of the guests committed their lives to Christ and others rededicated themselves. Bishop Bill and I were honored to stay in a beautiful home of a couple named Denis and Carol Andrews. We were blessed by their generosity and hospitality. Later we returned back by the Moriah Chapel where Evan Roberts’ ministry began the Welsh Revival in 1904.
As Archbishop, I invited Bishop Steven to travel with me to Chennai, India on a Mission and Conference. We were hosted in the home of Rev. Dhas and his family, which consists of the Reverend Isaac Dhas, Mallika, his wife, and four daughters, Regina, Gail, Maria, and Veronica, who were blessings during the entire mission. Bishop Steve and I alternated preaching assignments and we both ministered in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Many people reported healing, deliverance, and encouragement. We ministered in one church which had no walls or roof. The pastor reported that the people of this village made their living catching snakes and selling the meat. We visited the St. Thomas Mound in Chennai where the Apostle Thomas was killed by a Hindu spear. An orphanage welcomed us and sang a song and we passed out gifts of candy. The children gave me handshakes and kisses on the cheek.
The pastors’ conference near Chennai had over a hundred and twenty pastors, some having come as far as two thousand kilometers. There was much singing, preaching, and many pastors were ordained. Most of these came from Orissa Province and had traveled a long distance to be in attendance.
Bishop Steve and I said our good-bye’s to our new found family in hope that we would visit them again next year.
Mission Trip To India
In summary, it was a remarkable mission time packed with preaching, teaching, and healing. Along with archbishop Doyle Volentine from All Nations Christian Church International we flew into Chennai and were driven about an hour and a half by our host Rev. Isacc Dhass to his home in the country. He, his wife Mallika, and their dear daughters Rev. Gail, Maria, and Veronica, along with Rev. Davies, were great hosts and showed us hospitality and true Christian fellowship. Every evening after dinner the family gathers together for about an hour, to worship, study scripture, and pray. What a good example that is for us to embrace as families in the west.
My first task was to dedicate some land where a church is being built, that took place just a few hours after arrival, then the church visits and preaching started. The churches were located deep into the country, at nights after reaching the end of the road where motor vehicles could drive, we were led by the hand through the forests towards candle light services and enthusiastic singing. These churches are filled with very poor uneducated people, often they are snake catchers who live in shacks with little food and in the natural little hope. Despite their financial lack they generously presented me, on three occasions, with traditional silk shawls. In one of these villages as I was ministering they brought a two year old Hindu girl to me who couldn’t walk, her knee and foot were twisted from birth, the need for the miraculous power of God becomes so real in these circumstances, I ministered healing to her body in Jesus’ name, and I, like the others who watched, was greatly inspired to see the knee turn around 60 degrees and perfectly straighten out. The natural mind can get amazed at what the eyes are seeing, this is because the spiritual gift is operating in faith and it’s in the spiritual realm not the physical. When faith births something miraculous into the physical realm it is a joy to see and all praise should and does go to Jesus! What a joy to see her walking away with a straight knee. Another little girl had an enlarged heart and was only given a short time to live, she testified that the pain she had been feeling was completely gone after prayer, she believed Jesus had healed her. One elderly lady testified to complete healing in her knees and was running around, kicking her legs out,fully restored by the power of Jesus’ name. Many other people came forward and testified about their healing during that evening and in every service there were powerful healings taking place.
The Pastors conference saw around 200 pastors gather, these were mainly very financially poor pastors from the villages and one group had travelled over 2000 kilometres from North India. This group of men and women had seen many colleagues martyred for their faith by radical Hindus. With a Gospel power and fervour seldom seen in the modern day western church they continue to travel around on motorbikes and foot visiting the remote and dangerous villages sharing the Gospel and pastoring the people. All Nations Christian Church International were pleased to sponsor the travel and accommodation of these faithful ministers for the conference. One of them, who will be featured on the soon coming video, broke his foot in a motor cycle accident over a year ago. He was too financially poor to receive medical treatment and so he had been in pain and unable to walk properly for over a year, this had been impacting negatively on his ministry. What a joy it was to minister healing to him in Jesus’ name, he testified with utter joy to the meeting that the pain was completely gone and he could walk without hinderance, his foot was healed in Jesus’ name! I had told the conference that morning that like Paul “….my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). What a thrill it was when this great testimony rang out through the room from a face, not creased in pain anymore, but rather, shinning with joy! Glory to God!
There were so many testimonies that it would take pages to include them all but on reflection one that stands out significantly was the conversion of our Hindu cameraman who followed us around for four very busy days. At the start of the week he had commented that we were kind people to be visiting these poor people in the remote villages. He didn’t understand why we would do it, why we loved the people so much. He also liked the fact that wherever we went we were presenting every child present with a bag of gifts. On the last day, just as we were about to travel to the airport, I had the opportunity of explaining where that love comes from, I explained that religion doesn’t provide it, but yielding to Jesus Christ as Lord does, I soon had the privilege of leading him (via a translator) to Jesus as his Lord and Saviour.
One of the great personal things that happened for me was meeting some truly Godly ministers and servants of our Lord Jesus. The ordinations of 38 pastors and one
bishop-elect was a time of great privilege for me. Unlike me, these ministers had not had the resources to study at theological colleges within recognised universities. Instead, they had spent their lives ministering the Gospel with a strong faith, a love to see the poor saved, and a devotion to the bible. Frankly, their way sounds more biblical to me and it certainly reduces the potential for the many liberal, skeptics to influence. However, they have been devoid of
any recognition or sense of belonging from a wider group, most, if not all respected denominations, expect formal theological training to at least degree level before ordination. How interesting that the ones who are probably great in the Kingdom are found in what might be regarded, by some, as the humblest places on the Earth.
Many of these ministers’ colleagues had been martyred for their faithful ministry and yet these precious soldiers for Christ were unable even to receive ordination? How unbiblical and moribund the church has grown. I was entirely humbled at the privilege of ordaining these faithful men and women who had shed blood and lost friends for the Gospel, but I was reminded about why I had excepted the offer of consecration as bishop in the first place: “Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed forever. And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and say, “Please, put me in one of the priestly positions, that I may eat a piece of bread.”(1 Samuel 2:35, 36) Here I now was Putting people into those priestly positions through ordination, and in addition, by money given through ANCCI this was actually now helping them eat a piece of bread, quite remarkable. As I often find myself saying these days, you couldn’t make it up! Praise be to God!