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Candy Gunther Brown on Miracles and Democracy
Candy Gunther Brown if professor of religion at Indiana University and an expert on both the global charismatic movement as well as healing and how it is measured scientifically. As content creator for Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice, I was able to conduct an interview with her which you can read here. An excerpt:
MICAEL GRENHOLM: You edited the anthology Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Healing, which discusses various aspects of this international and rapidly spreading movement. In its final chapter, you write: ”The globalization of divine healing networks fuels the twin engines of supernaturalism and democratization, which together forcefully propel the global expansion of Christianity.” Could you expand on that?
CANDY GUNTHER BROWN: People in the Global North are taking cues from Christians in the Global South who tend to pray more expectantly for healing. Likewise, Christians in the Global South have tended to rely on pastors and leaders to do the praying; they’ve taken cues from the expectation of Christians in the Global North that any believer can pray effectively for healing.
This is a very interesting thought. I’ve often said that the North should give more money to the South in order to fight poverty whereas the South should share revival fires to the North in return, and while I think that Brown agrees with that she points at something more fundamental. Church democracy is great and biblical (1 Cor 14:26) and it’s actually something besides finances that us Northeners are able to share to our brothers and sisters in the Majority World. (more…)
Heidi Baker and Iris Global – an Introduction
In May 1976, a 16-year-old girl called Heidi was kneeling at the altar of a small Pentecostal church at a Choctaw reservation site in Mississippi. She had been saved just two months earlier, and now she was astounded as she suddenly saw a white light coming over her while she heard a voice, audibly, that said “I am calling you to be a minister and a missionary. You are to go to Africa, Asia and England.”
Heidi married Rolland Baker, grandson to the great missionary H.A. Baker, and God took them on an amazing adventure across the world. Today they live in Mozambique and help thousands of orphaned children, planting thousands of churches and witnessing amazing miracles such as blind people seeing, deaf people hearing and dead people coming back to life. I’ve made a video about them and their organization Iris Global which you can watch below:
Heidi and Rolland have inspired me so much in my vision to combine miracles, evangelism and social justice, and I pray that they will continue to make an impact in Mozambique and all across the world for the glory of God.
Iris Outreach in Unidade, Mozambique!
I live to get updates from Iris Global’s YouTube channel. As I’ve written before, Iris combines development assistance and poverty reduction with evangelism and the power of signs and wonders. Just like Jesus and the apostles, that is. This video is from an outreach they made in Unidade, Mozambique. What they do is that they show the Jesus film to the local villagers, they preach the Gospel, they pray that the blind will see and that the deaf will hear, and they help the poor. People are saved, healed and empowered.
My Facebook friend Rosalyne Field is one of Iris’ long term missionaries in Mozambique. She’s posted the wonderful pictures I share with you here, and she often share the joy of spreading the Kingdom in the bush-bush:
Scientists, Journalists, and Doctors on Healing
I’m currently writing on a minor thesis in systematic theology on belief in miracles. I will compare Pentecostal pastor Surprise Sithole in South Africa, former arch bishop of the Swedish Lutheran Church KG Hammar, and pope Francis. One of the books I’m reading as a background for my study is Craig Keener’s excellent Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts. For the thesis, I’m mainly interested in his church historical and philosophical chapters, but for my life I’m interested in every single page of this 900-page book. Here’s a very interesting excerpt from Chapter 11: Supernatural Claims in the Recent West:
Scientist, Journalists and Doctors
John Polkinghorne, the scientist-theologian noted in chapter 5, reports a woman whose left leg was paralyzed from an injury. Her doctors had given up trying to do more for her, indicating that she would remain an invalid for life. In 1980, she reluctantly and without any positive expectation agreed to meet with a priest conducting a healing meeting. On their second meeting, she had a mystical vision in which she was commanded to arise and walk. “From that moment she was able to walk, jump and bend down, completely without pain. Her husband, an orthopaedic charge nurse, on examining his wife, found that a large ulcer, which he had been dressing, had also healed spontaneously.” Polkinghorne concludes that one may think what one will, but the account “cannot simply be dismissed on a priori grounds as not having possibly happened.”
Others have collected further claims, and some have investigated them. As in Jamie Buckingham’s supportive follow-up of claims involving one ministry (see below), some popular authors have investigated some of the claims available to them. For example, one investigative reporter for the Eire Daily Times recounts that he did follow up and confirm numerous reports of healings, as well as debunking some others. Some of the confirmed cases were instant and dramatic answers to prayer, and some involved cures never attested as occurring apart from claims of miraculous intervention. Some other investigators have gone further.
Revival Report from Maramba Healing Campaign, Zambia
Cristopher Alam is a Pakistani-Swedish-American evangelist who is travelling around in Africa and Asia to preach the Gospel, heal the sick and cast out demons. He prioritizes to minister to the poor, and just the other day he wrote on his Facebook page about simple lifestyle:
“Wise Words from the Apostle Paul:
Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 1 Tim 6:5-12″
Just recently, Alam has been on a healing and Gospel campaign in Maramba, Zambia, and experienced countless miracles and salvations. Here is an excerpt of all the images and texts he published on Facebook:
Maramba, Livingstone, ZAMBIA. Our Gospel Crusade here began tonight. A large crowd came out to hear the Gospel preached. Thousands responded to the altar call to receive Jesus and then many were healed….. A girl who was deaf since she was a baby received perfect hearing. Another girl who had badly blurred vision was received perfect sight. Others were healed in their legs ad different parts of their bodies. Demon possessed people were set free.
All Glory to our Lord Jesus! This was our first night. Let us join together in faith for great things from God during the rest of this week! (more…)
The Blind See and the Deaf Hear in Mbeya, Tanzania
Two friends of mine here in Sweden have studied a year at SOS Mission Bible School, and a few days ago my Facebook feed was filled with testimonies about miracles thay had seen in Mbeya, southwest Tanzania, where they had done a missions trip. Mission SOS have put several videos from this event on their Vimeo, and I would like to share these amazing testimonies with you:
Update 1 Mbeya 2014 from Mission SOS on Vimeo.
First we have an intro video, where the campaign coordinator shares that miracles are taking place even before the campaign has started.
Update 2 Mbeya 2014 from Mission SOS on Vimeo.
Then comes the report from the first night of the campaign, where many were healed and saved. A young girl shares how she prayed for another girl who was totally deaf, and she starts to weep of joy when she explains how she was healed! (more…)
Glory Report from Iris Global in Mozambique
Iris Global is the best missionary organization I know of – they combine evangelism, poverty reduction and the power of the Holy Spirit, all soaked in worship and passion for Jesus. Last weekend they did an outreach in the “bush bush” (i.e. very rural place) of Mozambique to share the love of God – and it was truly a success. I follow Heidi Baker, the leader of Iris, closely on Facebook and found that she posted these amazing pictures:
“Pointing out scripture to a village chief and his mother. They both came to Jesus that day…..”
“Baptizing people in the ocean this afternoon near a remote village that never had a gospel witness before today…”
Healings and Salvations in Kitwe, Zambia
I love to read reports about evangelistic campaigns in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and just two weeks ago my Facebook feed was filled with testimonies from my Facebook friend Tommy Lilja who organized a campaign in Kitwe, Zambia. Many were saved, healed and baptized with the Holy Spirit. Here is what he reported (translated from Swedish):
Resting after having eaten some french fries. A good first night. A little bit chilly. Many healings. A man around 25 years old had been blind since he was 10, he was healed, another young man shared how his ear “popped” when it opened and he received his hearing again.
Thousands came to receive Jesus. So many were baptized in the Holy Ghost, a real breakthrough. It was a life-changing meeting. Many came broken, sick and without hope. But they went home with Jesus and hope for a bright future. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was there and the Pentecostal revival is spreading across the world.
“At the cross the work was finished
You were buried in the ground
But the grave could not contain You
For You wear the Victor’s crown” (more…)
The Blind See and the Deaf Hear in Sire, Ethiopia
“The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.” (Matt. 11:5).
My Facebook-friend Per Åkvist is a passionate evangelist that has seen a lot of miracles on his Joshua campaigns in eastern Africa. Two weeks ago they had a campaign in Sire, and my Facebook feed exploded with testimonies of God’s grace and healing power. Here are som photos Per published, with his comments in the captions.
A Modern Miracle: Healing Oil Appears from Nowhere
Not only are they practicing community of goods and spreading the Kingdom through evangelism and social justice, the Jesus Army in the UK is a church that flows in the wonderful miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. They’re also experiencing a lot of signs and wonders. This testimony is from a series they’ve published called Revival Fires that I got at home:
During a Jesus Fellowship ‘covenant band’ (a small group meeting) in London recently, a mysterious oil appeared on the hands of three of the four women present while they were praying and worshipping.
They laid hands on the other woman in the group and the oil began to appear on her forehead and on her hands also. One of them attempted to wash the oil off with copious amounts of water only to find that the oil appeared again.
The next day, during lunch time the same four women began to pray for Ruth, a young woman who had had severe pain in her neck for the previous two months. The pain was so bad that Ruth had become housebound and was on large amounts of morphine to control the pain.
As they prayed they watched her face change from the chalk-white colour they had become accustomed to to a normal healthy rosy glow. Ruth found a large degree of healing and was able to run and dance about and later to walk around the block. At the same time, another woman who had become deaf in one ear through an ear infection was healed when she felt oil dripping into her ear.
The most powerful effect of the experience was an anointing to pray for others, and in particular to intercede for people in the housing estate where they had been meeting in Sharon’s flat. In the month since that evening, two residents of the same block of flats have come to Sharon’s door in tears, wanting to find faith in Jesus.
“Tell my wife, Jesus is the son of God!”
I just received these glorious news from Christ for all Nations’ mission campaigns.
Dear Mission Partners,
This has been one of those nights that are hard for me to describe. As always, our emphasis was on the preaching of the Gospel of salvation, to which many thousands responded. But when the Gospel is preached the inevitable result is miracles. Even though I hardly said anything about healing, the Holy Spirit loves to confirm the lordship of Jesus and manifest His Kingdom through supernatural demonstrations.
Tonight we saw so many healings: A man blind for ten years healed. A woman with an issue of blood healed. A deaf man healed. A lady threw her walking stick away. A woman took off her neck brace. I even danced with the woman who had been lame. But the most moving testimony came at the very end. I asked our video team to quickly give me the raw video watch it above so you can see for yourself what happened just a few moments ago.
A man who had been deaf for almost two years had just arrived in town from another city by train and had unwittingly ventured into the city centre (Independence square – where our campaign is being held). He was a Muslim. He had no intention of coming to a Gospel meeting and he could not understand anything that was going on anyway, so he lied down and went to sleep. But when he woke up, to his utter amazement, he could hear! He came to the platform and stood before me trembling, overcome with emotion. He had a look of shock on his face. “My name is Mohammed,” he said, and he proceeded to tell me his story.
When Heaven Invades Africa
The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the good news are being preached to the poor. – Mt 11:5
I’ve known Andreas Cucca for over a year through the internet, but today I got to meet him in person for the first time. He is working with the Swedish organization Go Out Mission and has participated in almost 20 crusades all over the world, primarily Western Africa and Southern Asia. I kindly asked him if he could share some miracle stories, and he just went off like a cannon ball:
“Wow, where should I start? The blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, cancer tumours disappear! I prayed for a mute man in Guinea that hadn’t been able to speak since he was born, now he was between 20 and 30 years old and his first words were Jesus, hallelujah, amen. Another time I proclaimed that the lame were healed and a lame beggar outside the campaign area was instantly healed, everyone went wild when they saw it! And another time we had prayed that the blind would be healed and a man came to the stage and said that he used to be blind but now he could see. However, his eyes still looked really blurry so we wondered if he really was telling the truth, but he could grab my nose when I asked him and while he was there on stage, I saw with my own eyes how all bluriness disappeared and his eye became normal. It was a creative miracle!”
And so on and so on. These things I expect from missionaries to Africa nowadays, I get surprised if they haven’t seen the blind see and deaf hear. A couple of weeks ago I met James Thompson, an Australian guy who together with his wife Sarah had served for Iris Ministries in Zimbabwe. He shared the most amazing testimonies about a sweet, blind old woman that could see her grandson for the first time after God healed her, as well as about a deaf-mute who started to hear and speak:
Testimonies from the Durban Awakening
With four days left before I’m going to South Africa, I get really excited when I hear about the current outpouring in KwaZulu-Natal. Famous and controversial healing evangelist Todd Bentley is leading meetings at a church in Tongaat, and people come from all over the world to take part in what God is doing. Many get healed, saved and filled with the Spirit. Christian News Wire reports:
Todd has been touring South Africa this month and many healing miracles have been documented. These include a girl who was born deaf in both ears and mute, who spoke for the first time and a man blind in his left eye who was instantly able to see. Over 10,000 people have attended the meetings in Durban and hundreds of Muslims and Hindus have committed their lives to Christ.
“Something is really happening here in Durban SA. It’s a move of God,” said Todd Bentley. “It’s an explosion of power. The hospitals are calling for prayer. They are bringing the sick from the hospitals too. One man that was crippled and blind from kidney failure was healed. This is the closest I have been to revival since Lakeland!”
The meatings are being broadcast live at God TV, and people watching the outpouring get touched as well. On their website, God TV share some testimonies:
NAME: DR H
FROM: TONGAAT, SOUTH AFRICA
I am a registered medical doctor and the revival is taking place at my church. I have a patient who has been diagnosed with a large cyst on her uterus 2 years ago. She came in yesterday for consultation saying that she wanted an ultrasound done. Upon asking her why? She replied that the day before whilst she was seated at church, Todd Bentley said “Place your hand on the body part that needs healing.” She did, she felt electricity going through her uterus. I did the ultrasound upon her request… THE CYST IS TOTALLY GONE!!!
Mighty Miracles in Malawi
The Lord executes justice for the oppressed, he gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. (Ps 146:7-8)
Christopher Alam was born in Pakistan, fled to Sweden when he became a Christian, moved to the United States after a while, and today he travels through Asia and Africa to preach at big gospel and healing campaigns. The power of God is powerfully manifested as the poor and broken experience all kinds of biblical miracles. “God [has] chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom” (Jam 2:5). Alam reports on his Facebook page:
MZILIKAZI, MALAWI: Several thousand people received the Lord Jesus tonight. Many deaf ears were opened. A lady who was carried to the crusade got up and walked perfectly! A baby had a huge tumor the size of a grapefruit that instantly and totally disappeared. A totally blind girl received her sight. A man who became totally blind at night and a girl who almost totally blind also received their sight. A girl with one totally blind eye was also healed. Many others were healed from different diseases and infirmities.
All Glory to our Lord Jesus who Alone is Worthy! What a wonderful Lord and Savior He is!
Friday Night: Tonight was a great night. I asked Pastor Dennis Hunsinger from Penn-Del to preach and I prayed for the sick. Pastor Dennis shared a powerful testimony on how God had healed him from cancer. Several thousand received Jesus and there were many miracles tonight. Lots of deaf ears opened tonight. A blind lady received her sight. Many others testified of the wonderful miracles that the Lord did in their bodies.
All Glory to our Lord Jesus!
Amazing Testimonies from Kampala, Uganda
Two months ago I wrote about the great Christ for all Nations campaign in Gulu, Uganda. Here are some testimonies from the earlier Kampala campaign, written by evangelist Daniel Kolenda:
Last night we were received by the president of Uganda, his wife and his whole family at the state house, where we had dinner and wonderful fellowship. Afterword evangelist Bonnke preached the Gospel and we prayed over the first family.
Tonight evangelist Bonnke preached a powerful evangelistic message and thousands responded. Then we prayed for the sick and wonderful miracles of healing began to take place
An old lady who was totally blind in both eyes received her sight tonight.
A father carried his daughter from the hospital with the intravenous catheter (from an i.v. drip) still attached to her arm. She was inflicted with both typhoid fever and malaria.
Tonight she was totally healed and she walked, unaided, up onto the platform to testify.
A man who had a severe back injury in a motorcycle accident was confined to a back brace. Tonight, after the power of God came on him, he ripped that brace off and began to dance and jump!
- A lady who had four lumps in her breasts said that, during the prayer, she felt heat cascade over her and she felt like things were leaving her body. Afterward, she checked her breasts and found that
all the lumps had completely disappeared along with all pain!
A woman who had fallen into a pit and broken her arm went to the doctors, who put it in a cast, but it did not heal properly – it was twisted and misshapen. But during the prayer she said she could hear popping and cracking coming from her arm. Before her very eyes that twisted arm snapped into place and is now perfectly normal! (more…)