The Lord was again anxious to save and to heal in Iloilo, Philippines. Iloilo is located in the Western Visayas on the island of Panay. It marks the center of the country. It was here that the gospel of Jesus Christ was preached in the local Sports Complex Grandstands from June 14-17, 2006.
The Power of Unity
I am told that this was by far the largest gospel gathering to take place in Iloilo within the last two decades. Also, This Hope Festival seems to have been a high-water mark for church participation in the area. Cooperating churches found unity easy as they rallied together for the purpose of winning souls for Jesus. The results were encouraging and participating pastors and congregations became eager to develop more relationships with other churches throughout the region.
A two-day Fire Festival was open for all pastors and church workers to participate. The Lord visited the assembly with a move of the Holy Spirit on the second day, stirring hearts toward soul-winning. They received the challenge with joy and dedication. Many began to strategize new ways on they could effectively reach out to the lost and hurting in their city. It was wonderful to see the pastors meeting together and challenging one another.
Many Received Jesus
Hundreds of people received Jesus into their hearts for the very first time during the evening meetings. The counselors did an excellent job of connecting with every person who made a decision (left – a counselor assisting a young man filling out a “decision card”).
The gathering ranged from 1000 to 3500 on any given night. Rain contributed to low attendance on the second night, but the covering in the Sports Complex Grand Stands provided enough shelter for the Festival to continue.
Night after night, hundreds of people made a decision to follow Jesus Christ. They accepted His invitation for forgiveness and eternal life and were miraculously born again!
This Festival was a bit unique because of so many stories of family members coming to the Lord.
Bringing Families Together
God created people and families. They are His perfect design. Whatever He has created, Jesus also desires to heal.
One woman had a terrible rash that extended from her feet up to her chest and her legs were in great pain. She received her healing with tears of joy on the second evening. On night number three, we prayed for runaway children to come home. Then on the final night, this same woman’s wayward daughter came to the meeting and welcomed Jesus into her heart! They had not seen each other for many years, but Jesus had seen every stray step and was faithful to lead her home.
While in Iloilo, I met a young man, 15 years of age who is a real soul-winner for Jesus. He had been praying for the salvation of his parents and saw them stand to receive Jesus in their heart on the third night. He was overwhelmed with excitement.
Many Received Healing
Many physical healings were witnessed throughout the Festival.
The crowd cheered on the second night as a young girl walked onto the platform to give testimony of her healing. It was well-known by many people that she walked with a severe limp. But the limp was now gone! The Lord had touched her and she now walked with two strong and healthy legs.
There were many vision problems restored as well. One young lady (right) had cataracts developing over her eyes which greatly hindered her sight. She was desperate for her healing. And during prayer, the fog seemed to melt away and she was able to see clearly again!
Another woman came forward in tears to tell how Jesus had touched her eyes and granted her sight (left). She seemed to be very surprised that such a miracle had taken place! However, her gratitude to the Lord brought tears of joy that made it difficult for her to speak and share the testimony of what had happened to her. These and many other miracles took place
The Reports Continue
Throughout the few weeks following this Hope Festival, reports of healing and salvation continue to be heard in the churches. When they visit a family or a person who attended the Festival, they are shocked to find out about a healing that took place. Other reports hear stories of repentant family members who have been wonderfully born again and restored. Praise God for all that He has done!
Our next Hope Festival will take place in Sorong, Indonesia this coming August 23rd through the 26th. We are believing for many to welcome Jesus into their hearts during this event.
Radio will once again be used to broadcast the meetings throughout the region for those who are unable to attend. However, we continue to add to its effectiveness. This time, pre-recorded messages specifically designed for discipling new believers will be aired on local radio for two weeks following the Hope Festival. This will be done in concert with the follow-up efforts of local churches.
As our efforts and love for the people in Asia grow, we thank God for your faithful prayers and financial support. Individually, we can accomplish very little. But by working together, Asia will hear and know the love of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Yours in His Work,
Evangelist Jason Betler
Jason is founder and evangelist for The Nations Hope and lead pastor of Life Tree Church in San Jose, California. He talks a lot.
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