A short report from our recent Hope Festival in Sorong, Indonesia 30 June – 3 July 2010.
Opening night, our Indonesian ministry team along with hundreds of local counsellors came believing for a flood of salvations. But heavy rain came instead. Most found cover while others danced and worshipped God in ankle-deep water. We continued and I preached the gospel while the field in front of me began to more resemble a rice patty, filled with water! We also prayed for the sick but could not take testimonies.
“Sometimes,” I joked with our team, “the rain has to come first so that the coming harvest can be a good one. Rain makes things grow.”
The message rang out without interruption over the next three nights. Attendance held each night at around 3500. Each night, we saw hundreds of people responding to God’s offer of salvation. The counsellors did an excellent job connecting with them as well. Many prayed with such repentance and sincerity that I could hear people crying over their sins as they prayed.
The call to repentance is bitter-sweet. It is the soul getting a new taste for life as a person decides to leave their diet of sin and take in the righteousness of God through Christ. What was once their favorite food has proven to be sugary junk food. In contrast, the food of Christ is the best tasting and most nourishing food any soul could have. Jesus has tasted the worst taste in the world! He tasted “death for us all” (Hebrews 2:9) so that we can “taste and see that the Lord is good! …Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” (Psalm 34:8)
There were many testimonies of healing in Sorong and space only permits me to share a fraction of the stories.
One man suffered with the effects of a stroke for more than three years. It had left him paralyzed on the right side and bedridden for two years. Jesus healed him completely! He came forward with great excitement, even dancing on the platform with me! He was throwing punches into the air like an amateur boxer. The paralysis was gone! I asked him who it was that gave his healing, “JESUS!”, he shouted!
Another man had kidney pain so severe that he was previously hospitalized and could not stand up because of the intense pain. Jesus healed him and he demonstrated his flexibility, reaching his ankles without pain.
A woman came to give her testimony.She previously had a tumor on her uterus which was removed in Jakarta. She also had surgery for appendicitis. Both surgeries were successful but left her with terrible pain and fevers (possibly due to infection). She told us she was a teacher but unable to work for more than a year because the pain was so great. She came forward to tell everyone how Jesus had healed her that night! The pain was gone and she was already thinking to go back to work!
In all, around 800 people recorded a decision for Christ and I expect more during the next Hope Festival that we are already planning.
I hope you will be a part of it so that we can rejoice together!
Asia must be saved!
Jason Betler is the founding evangelist of The Nations Hope, and an ordained minister of The Foursquare Church. A "dad joke" enthusiast, Jason and his wife Angelique reside with their three children in San Jose, California.
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