Wednesday, February 12th, 1997
Empowering Ordinary People for Extraordinary Exploits is the name of an AD2000 prayer training conference sponsored by Christian Information Network and the World Prayer Center, taking place at New Life Church in Colorado Springs this week, February 12-15, 1997. AD2000's Director of Publications, is at the conference, and will be posting a daily report.
My day started before the conference registrants arrived, at a luncheon for the fifty or so international speakers and host staff. Each of the twelve "tracks" of the conference are being led by a varied team of four or five individuals. After lunch, each one had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the other speakers and share in two minutes a little about his/her ministry. There was not one who did not have an exciting story of God's work. It became clear that with leaders like these, every session will be rich with spiritual insight.
Peter Wagner, coordinator of the AD2000 Prayer Track, acted as host and emcee for the luncheon. He opened the afternoon with an expansive statement:
"AD2000 is the greatest catalytic organization for world evangelization that has ever existed." He stressed that its success or failure depended on the two factors of 1)interpersonal relationships and 2)communication.
The speakers were from dozens of different countries. Here are a few highlights of their story snippets. Hopefully we will hear more details from many of them in the plenary sessions.
In the "Home-based Intercessory Prayer" team introduction, leader, Doris Wagner, Peter's wife tearfully introduced Lai-Kheng Pousson from Singapore as a woman who had once saved Doris's life. Doris had been alone in a Singapore hotel with a flesh-eating bacteria consuming her knee. As she lay helplessly in bed, Lai-Kheng telephoned. "God told me to call you, is anything wrong?"
Luis Bush, director of the AD2000 and Beyond Movement (leading the "Involving Believers from All Walks of Life" sessions) introduced Asuncion Arimany of Guatemala. Peter Wagner piped up that Asuncion was rather remarkable because she had blithely gone to a drug lord asking for (and receiving) permission to prayer walk on his drug plantation, (and to borrow a hammock from him for the journey).
Fred Markert, from Strategic Frontiers, will be leading the team training prayer journeyers. He got his start in strategic prayer when he was a new believer in Germany. One of his first prayer walks was to the Pergamum museum in Berlin, where the Pergamum "throne of Satan" now rests.
Trev Gregory, the International Prayer coordinator of Operation Mobilization shared the simple fact that he had been born young and educated beyond his intelligence. Then he described his prayer walk, thirty days from London to Berlin. The Russians soldiers posted in East Berlin at that time, were confined in a barracks. He and his teammate decided to pray outside the barracks. The guard spoke only Russian and they only English, so they prayed for a translator. In a few moments, a police car drove up with one, so they were able to share the gospel, eventually with not only the sentry, but the commandant and the men inside. They discovered later that a nearby church had been praying faithfully for ten years to reach this barracks, and had readied 250 Russian Bibles for the day that they would need them.
Jim Orred, the YWAM Director of Reconciliation Walks, invited us to come and prayerwalk the route of the Crusades, from five days to two months. The walks are now tracing the routes leading to Istanbul, then after April 24th, will be going from Istanbul to Israel. Public events will commemorate the falls of Antioch and Jerusalem. He reported a warm response from Muslims, who have been maintaining the cultural image of bloodthirsty Christians slaughtering innocent Muslims for the past 900 years. March 1-13 will be a tour from Pitsburgh.
Jim Montgomery, the founder/director of DAWN, will be on the "Church Planting Strategies" team. He said that his highest degree was graduating from Peter's Sunday School class in California. He shared that in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy repeated five times "the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord...," DAWN has grown from only 2 countries twelve years ago to over 100 countries today.
Tom Phillips, the director of International Students, held up the example of one of his staff, Star Thurman, who arrived to work in Colorado Springs with International Students. The only problem was that not one of the seven colleges in town would allow ISI permission to work on campus. Star had prayer walked each campus and soon all seven opened (the administrators were even willing to send out her mailings for her).
Bob Weiner, on the same team as Tom and Jim above, had the arguably the most exciting story. He leads Maranatha campus Ministries. He was working in the USA, when God called him to take his ministry to Russia when the Berlin wall came down. God impressed him to go into 300 cities and bring back youth from each for training, teaching them to win ten to Christ and to disciple ten. The thirty five thousand trained went back home to start cell churches, some of which now number two or three thousand. When God called him again, he was impressed to again, bring one from every campus (12,400) to train to win ten and disciple ten. Because of the work of 30 million intercessors in the Praying Through the Window II, the work moved quickly. Now 7,000 have said they will go and plant churches. Bob said, because of the prayer, it was the smoothest, easiest training they have ever done.
Wynne Stearns passion is distilling what God has doing in terms which can be passed on to the half of the world that is its children. Her team is called "Involving the Next Generation." She reminded us that the finest church planters of the future are now 10-12 years old.
On the same team, Jill Harris told the story of a 4-year-old she knew. As soon as he came to the Lord, he wanted to be a "cowboy missionary." Everyone chuckled until he was reading the prayer requests for the African country of Lesotho. One of the great needs there is "cowboy missionaries." He is now 12, and has saved $600 for his first missionary journey when he turns 16.
George Otis, Jr., the Director of Spiritual Mapping of the Prayer Track, will be on Peter Wagner's team, "Move of the Holy Spirit in the 10/40 Window." His spiritual mapping book is nearly complete, distilling 1200 or more interviews and consuming $400,000 dollars in research costs. The book tries to answer the question "Why does spiritual darkness linger where it does?" He is working on the first ever international conference on spiritual mapping.
Iqbal Massay, the indefatiguable Pakistani author, AD2000 regional leader, and missionary to Muslims, said how necessary prayer is to unlock the Muslim world. Thirty five percent of the Muslim women who have come to Christ Iqbal has met, have done so because they had a dream or a vision of Christ.
During the prayer time that ensued, a representative of the Crisis Relief Task Force pleaded that we don't have time for conferences. Today 66 thousand people will die without having a chance to hear about Christ. She asked God to make us like interlacing muscle fibers, all working together for effective labor. "Give us children, lest we die!"
--"Live" from Praying with Power conference, Colorado Springs.
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