In an earlier article ‘Awesome Testimonies: How God has Guided me into His Perfect Will’ (2nd March 2018) I wrote that my husband and I had received two personal prophetic words calling us to serve Him.
In the first prophecy, the Lord confirmed the longing of our hearts when He told us that there was a work for us to do for Him, and it was for that purpose that He had brought us together. The second prophecy, some time later, made it clear that we were called to work in India. God led us by a series of beautifully dovetailed steps to apply to join a large international team working for Him in Uttar Pradesh, Northern India. The first photo shows my husband and me enjoying a ride on a cycle rickshaw.
The Lord’s timing was perfect. When we heard about the forthcoming mission in India, there was just enough time for my husband and me to arrange to have the mandatory vaccinations and obtain malaria medication. It took me three days, making phone call after phone call to several travel agencies, before I managed to arrange air travel to fit in with the schedule we had been given.
First impressions of India
As we walked out of Delhi Airport a little before midnight in early April, the first thing to strike us was the overwhelming heat; it was almost unbearable even at that hour. Our next impression was how simply delightful Indian people are; they are so gracious, so kind and so very helpful. Everything in India is colourful, in fact I soon discovered that they have colours that we have not seen in the West. How I enjoyed dressing like the elegant Indian women! Punjabi suits are very comfortable and easy to wear and I felt immediately at home in them. I loved the ‘chunnis’ – scarves which are an essential part of the Punjabi suit. They told me there are twelve ways to wear the scarf. I greatly enjoyed experimenting!
The sheer volume of traffic on the roads took our breath away. All manner of vehicles, and even an occasional elephant with his rider, were going in whatever direction they wanted to go, with no apparent right or wrong way. To us it looked like total chaos – yet it seemed to work. The streets in India are incredibly crowded. Forms of transport are varied and very different from the West. Women balance sidesaddle on scooters, maybe even holding a child on their lap. It looked decidedly risky to me, but they easily keep their balance, and manage to look elegant; they obviously enjoy riding like that.
Surprisingly, we saw people standing talking in the middle of the road, and a horse-drawn cart in the middle of heavy traffic.
People often sit on top of lorries and buses like this, and even sometimes on top of trains too.
This is a school ‘bus’ in Punjab. The boys were sitting while the girls were standing.
Indian roads can be extremely crowded, with people travelling on a wide variety of forms of transport. We saw men walking among the moving traffic, even stopping to chat as though they had all the time in the world. It’s not unusual to see a horse-drawn cart, or occasionally someone riding an elephant in the midst of the traffic. We have sometimes seen camels, and oxen pulling carts on the roads too.
The Adventure Begins
A mission to the Hindu people of the area was the main purpose of this exciting trip, with practical hands-on training for us all in praying for the sick, leading souls to salvation in Jesus and counselling them. Forty churches of various denominations, covering a large area of northern India, were participating in the mission. The many hundreds of people attending the meetings sat on the ground on large sheets, as the photo below shows.
As the Word of God was being powerfully preached, the Lord moved in mighty miracle power, healing one person after another just where he or she was sitting. These were desperately needy people who had not even asked for prayer; God sovereignly touched them by His power. It was exactly as the psalmist wrote in Psalm 107:20: “He sent out His Word and healed them.” Miracles were happening spontaneously all over the grounds, to the amazement of that vast congregation.
There were many miracles in every one of the meetings. People rushed forward as soon as the preaching finished each evening, and formed a long queue to climb onto the platform to give their testimony of what had just happened to them. They demonstrated, beaming from ear to ear, that they could now do this or that thing that their condition had previously prevented. It made a profound impression on the crowd when a Hindu priest who had suffered from a serious heart condition for twenty-five years, testified in delight that he was now totally free. The priest had been completely healed by the power of Almighty God and immediately gave his life to Jesus.
In this photo, people were praising God for all that He had done for them by His miracle healing power, and that their lives were now transformed by Jesus Christ living in their hearts. Six thousand Hindus found Jesus as their Saviour in that glorious mission and churches over a wide area were well prepared to welcome them.
Our team consisted of people from several countries. Prayer formed a vital part of our work. Christians around the world had already been faithfully praying for a long time for this significant outreach. In our team there was a group of intercessors who prayed together throughout every evening meeting – just twelve of us – and we prayed as one with enormous power. We were a small group of seasoned prayer warriors. As an intercessor, I knew that my place each evening was with the intercessors who, unknown to the congregation, were deep in prayer in a curtained-off area immediately behind the platform. However, on the first evening I was torn between taking my place with them and my curiosity to remain in the meeting to see what might happen there. To my shame, I selfishly made the wrong decision and stayed in the meeting. I soon realised my mistake, and deeply regretted it. Never again that week did I fail to be where I knew I was supposed to be!
It was thrilling to be an intercessor behind the scenes during those evening meetings. There was considerable danger from a hostile militant group and the Indian Army had to be called in to protect the team during the mission. An escape plan was explained to us and we were put into groups of six and had to stay together as far as possible. Every group leader constantly checked to make sure that the group members were all present. I had to let our leader know when I moved out of the meeting area to join the group of intercessors. Before the first meeting, we were shown on a large chart exactly where buses had been strategically parked out of sight in case a sharp exit was called for. It would be a huge undertaking to evacuate one hundred people in case of immediate danger. The Indian soldiers who were guarding us were extremely courteous and, to my surprise, smiled and saluted us respectfully when we arrived at the grounds each evening.
As the meeting proceeded, someone would come to update the intercessors from time to time on how things were going, and telling us what most needed prayer. We learned at one point that militants were already climbing over the walls at the far end of the field, bent on disrupting the meeting and throwing the congregation into panic. They were determined to prevent the preaching of the gospel at all costs. We intercessors stood in a straight line in our allotted intercession area directly behind the platform, binding the power of those hostile disruptive demons which were the driving force behind the militants. We took authority over them in the Sovereign Name of Jesus and commanded them to leave. Suddenly the young men turned round and every one of them fled from the area. Every knee will one day have to bow to the Name of Jesus; He is King of kings and Lord of lords. God answered our prayers and the militants’ evil plan came to nothing.
On another occasion, our group of intercessors was told that we should take authority over the Hindu ‘trinity’: the three highest gods of the 330 million gods worshipped by Hindus: Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer. There was extremely strong spiritual opposition to the preaching of the gospel. We prayer warriors fought through in prayer, taking authority over the powers of darkness in the mighty, sovereign name of Jesus. As all opposition melted away, many souls were born again by the power of the Holy Spirit who opened their eyes to see that Jesus is indeed the Way the Truth and the Life. (John 14: 6).
There are many roadside shrines dedicated to Hindu gods, and statues or pictures of their gods are to be seen almost everywhere in India. The photo above shows an indoor market stall where tea and snacks were on sale. It was rare to see any stall or shop that did not display images of some of Hinduism’s 330 million gods; they were everywhere.
Some 6,000 souls were born again into the Kingdom of God through that glorious mission. These precious people passed from death to life spiritually: from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son. Scores of very sick and infirm people received astounding miracle healing through the power of our risen Lord. What rejoicing there must have been in Heaven! That part of northern India would never be the same again; the impact made by the gospel there was profound.
Our first visit to India was both unforgettable and life-changing. It was thrilling to witness God at work in thousands of lives. The opportunity to pray for healing for individual people after the meetings and counsel them, if they needed that help, was a new experience for my husband and me. The people responded warmly and received the answers they needed.
For the members of our large international team the mission was a valuable hands-on training experience. This stood my husband and me in very good stead in our future mission trips as a couple. We have been privileged to see some notable miracles. On one occasion, a lady whose hands were so badly deformed that they were claw-shaped, that she was unable to do anything at all for herself, was instantly healed after prayer. To our absolute horror, she knelt down on the ground, kissing our feet as though in worship. I said to the Indian pastor whom we were helping, and who acted as our interpreter, “Quick! Tell her to get up! We ourselves have done nothing at all – it was Jesus!” If she had not stood up immediately, we would have knelt down on the ground with her. All glory is for the Lord, and He will not give His glory to another (Isaiah 42:8).
Miracles are always awesome to behold and I am truly sorry for those who have never seen the power of Almighty God moving in this way. Miracles are becoming more frequent as we are now living in the Last Days. It is breathtaking to see people who are being healed from the excruciating pain of the life-threatening conditions that have crippled their lives. Human compassion yearns for those who are suffering to be relieved of their pain.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt the greatest miracle of all is when people come to Jesus just as they are, realising how much they need Him, and ask Him to save them. All their past is instantly forgiven and they are set gloriously free from the weight of it. They become brand new on the inside and are on their way to Heaven. What a Saviour! Do you know Him? The choice is yours: eternal life with Jesus in Heaven, or eternal horrendous suffering in Hell with Satan. ‘Forever’ is a very long time to regret having made the wrong decision.