Friday, February 14, 1997
The crowd had grown today, Valentines Day, but afternoon classes had moved to larger quarters, so I was not aware of anyone listening in doorways. Again there was so much going on in each session it was difficult to choose.
In the morning, the theme of the plenary was church planting, a panel emceed by T.. Peter Wagner introduced T. by explaining that the Bible school he founded had graduated more church planters last year (400) than Fuller Seminary had in the last 20 years. From T. himself, we learned that, since starting in 1990 with 30 students in two chicken coops, the Bible school has graduated 1500, who have planted 3,000 churches. The curriculum he listed was quite dissimilar from many American Bible schools, featuring only practical courses such as "Praise and Worship, Prayer, Gifts of the Spirit," and other courses which would prepare students to go as evangelist church planters. (In contrast, A., an Anglican priest, yesterday had mentioned how his seminary education had left him unprepared for the spiritual warfare he experienced in Vancouver, Canada.) He showed a brief video highlighting an evangelistic meeting in a village, including footage of two women manifesting demonic possession being delivered. T.. came to the Lord through Doctors at the hospital where he was an administrator. His ministry started part time. Now the Bible school's satellite schools are operating in other countries. Similarly, every church that the school graduates plant are designed after the "Decapolis" model that is to build ten satellite churches.
But it wasn't until he visited Colorado Springs last year that T. learned about unreached people. This year, at Bible School registration, he asked students about their people-group. He learned that there are 100 different people groups among his students.
P., the director of International Students (ISI), brought one of the defining messages of the conference. He shared the fact that there are over half a million international students from 188 different countries studying in the US. Over half of the number are from the 10/40 window countries. They are the future leaders of the world and they are receptive. While there are 3,000 schools with international students, only 600 have ministries to internationals, including all ministries put together. He believes that the enemy has blinded the church to the potential of this situation. He is looking for half a million host volunteers who would want to befriend international students for the gospel. He further stated plans to place an indigenous leader in each home country to follow up the students when they return. The audience stood and prayed that God would release the 2400 campuses which had no international ministry and to raise up a half million believers to befriend and win each international student.
In order to illustrate the potential of young intercessors, Bob Weiner shared how his daughter, Stephanie at age 11, was called to a short term training program in New Zealand. But she discovered upon arrival that the lesbian student body president had removed all ministries from the campus. The course was canceled. Stephanie boldly approached her "Im going to pray for you. I am not leaving your country until you get saved."
That night, Stephanie had a dream of the girl suffering in Hell. She got out of bed and began "groaning and travailing" in prayer for the salvation of this girl. While other Christians urged her to "snap out of it," that they had already prayed to no effect, she continued in intense prayer. The Lord eventually spoke to her that "because of your prayers, she will be saved within a few days."
Sure enough, the girl knocked on the door of a campus minister and asked how to be saved. "I just keep thinking about what that little girl said to me." Soon she was giving her testimony in open air meetings and all campus ministries were reinstated. Stephanie returned home to graduate at age 15 and fulfilled her goal of being on the mission field full time by age 19.
Bob says we have produced counterfeit conversion by suggesting that one might be saved without repentance. Part of repentance is turning to Christs lordship. Separating salvation from lordship is a demonic deception. Bob urged us not to create a generation of "Kumbaya Christians" in "Kumbaya youth groups," but to disciple young people to have a passion for the lost. Bobs method includes every believer having a list of ten people they want to win, and spending at least an hour a week with each of those people. In his Maranatha congregations, only new converts are allowed to join, no transfers from other churches. It builds tremendous trust with other pastors.
In the "Move of the Holy Spirit in the 10/40 Window" panel, Dr. Sam-Seong Kim from Kazakstan via Korea, Iqbal Massey from Pakistan, and Emeka Nwankpa of Nigeria all described stories of miraculous healings, revelations, conversions. During the question and answer period, someone asked why these works of the Spirit are not common to the same degree in the US. The panel replied that 1) Westerners have too analytical of a mindset 2)They don't have the same level of problems, learning faith just to survive 3)Opulence removes the need for prayer 4)The movement of the Spirit in Jerusalem has gone around the world and is now at the ends of the earth because we are in the end of time.
Another speaker (we'll call him Habib) shared the spiritual hunger of the people of Israel. The Jews are arriving with very high hopes of their new life in Israel, and become disillusioned. Palestinian Christians have been continually abused by Israeli police and laws favoring the returning Jews. "We (the Palestinian Christians) are not angry that you are blessing Israel, but open your heart to the Palestinians. Israel is a body with two lungs, Jews and Arabs." Habib handed out Bibles and Jesus video at Bethlehem on Christmas eve. The government assigned him a special table, but the people pressed too hard and it became unruly. A policemen said "Hand me the Bibles. I'll show you how to do this." He gave Bibles with one hand while holding his rifle with the other for hours. Not one Bible or video was found tossed away. What was he going to do with the Bible he received himself? "Put it in my heart."
Taiwanese bookstore entrepreneur, Andrew Chang, said that it was only his second time to testify in English. He is preparing and praying for the day when mainland China will be the largest market in the world for Christian books. The four streams of Chinese Christianity are beginning to bond together in love. Chinese are committed to prayer for the rest of the 10/40 window and are rapidly adopting the goal of the AD2000 movement (a church for every people and the gospel for every person). They specifically are looking for the opportunity for Chinese to go as witnesses to Muslim countries. They pray for a missionary agency sending out laborers from China and for a large gathering of open worship in Tienamen Square.
Why has China undergone such intense suffering when Russia has been released? God showed Chang that it is because China is "winter wheat" which establishes deep roots under a cold snow until the Spring arrives. We all joined together in an outpouring of love for China by singing his song, "Give me a heart for China." Chinese from the audience came forward and wept while we prayed for China to open. Peter Wagner said "God did a tremendous thing tonight in our hearts."
"Among the 99 names of God in the Koran, Love is not there." -- Habib
"The prophet sees what God wants to do and does it. The theologian comes after and says why it worked." -- Jim Montgomery
China is offering 1,000 English teaching positions. Call 1-800-715-3292 for information -- Bob Weiner
"A good father leaves an inheritance to his children. The greatest inheritance you can leave is the nations following Jesus." -- Bob Weiner
"Jesus is always a success story. He has never failed." -- T.
"Tell us where your spiritual itch is, so we can scratch appropriately" -- Tom Phillips
"We must pray to break generational curses. The curse against illegitimates as excluded from congregation of Israel reaches ten generations. That is why Gen X does not feel comfortable in church." -- Bob Weiner
"I'd rather die than have them shoot me" -- Dora Akueteh, MD, from Ghana (when called out of the shower by LA police, thinking she was a burglar)
--"Live" from Praying with Power conference, Colorado Springs.
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