KINGDOM ADVANCEMENT IN MANIPUR & NORTH EAST INDIA

 

I’m finally home after my long stay in Manipur North East India over the period 16/4/2013-16/6/2013. I’ve decided to condense my report to four major encounters of the Holy Spirit and simply to summarize the rest. A lot more could be said. Now I have learnt a lot more as to how to evangelize the State and even the other States of North East India.

 

Four Major Encounters and then a summary of others:

 

My pre-trip prayer was that I would continue to see the sovereign hand of God move in Manipur. There is more blessing when God works sovereignly than when with us as individuals. I learnt this from my last trip. This is really my third trip on my own and I’ve been learning a lot about the people and how God wants to interact with them. I have been learning progressively about the nation and what the nation really needs is the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon believers. I’ve seen this in measure in previous trips and it has really been an on-going progression towards that objective. My second trip was about signs and wonders, but this trip was about the baptism in the Holy Spirit and salvation and I wasn’t disappointed in what our amazing God did.

 

  1. There was the threat of a cyclone and this made me miss one of the church preaching assignments. The young pastor Hegin was very disappointed, but came to see me three days later. Firstly some background. The chief of his village agreed to allow them to erect a church building, but later told them to pull it down without giving any reason. This involved considerable lost expense. The chief is of mafia type background which is not uncommon in Manipur. This meant that they are forced to worship in homes or outside. It is only a small church of around 25 adults. Hegin asked us to help him convince the chief to allow them to construct a church building. I asked him if he had done everything he could. The only thing he hadn’t done was to pray for the chief of the village. I also told him he needed to find a way to help the chief and the village any way he could. Basically to be salt and light.

 

There was a young Evangelical Bible School graduate living with Minthang who was studying the way Minthang conducted ministry. He didn’t believe in the baptism in the Holy Spirit. When I was speaking with Hegin, Kiran would repeatedly argue with me concerning the issue. Hegin kept telling him to keep quiet because he wanted to hear the things I was saying. I walked him through the scriptures, all the time Kiran was arguing, but Hegin was able to receive what I had to say.

 

On his three hour trip home in the hot sun, he pondered over the things he had learnt. When he met with the members of his church he told them the things that I had taught him in that short time. His members said ‘what we have only received the Holy Spirit and not been baptized in the Holy Spirit? What do we have to do? Hegin said I’m not really sure I think we should sing a song first. When they started and he lifted his hands he was instantly filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in tongues. He then laid hands on the 25 people there. Fifteen of them were baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues and most were slain in the Holy Spirit. He said that people were running around although I don’t exactly know what he meant. He also lost one member who said he had already been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

 

The next day five of them went out and three people were miraculously healed. The chief heard about it and told people in the village not to have anything to do with the church. However, later he came to Hegin’s home. He asked him and his wife what has happened? Hegin replied nothing. The chief said: “you went to Imphal the other day and something has happened and I want to know.” Hegin said I saw an Australian man called Colin that’s all. Then asked: “what did you tell him about me?” Nothing, Colin just told me to pray for you. “Oh is that what happened. This healing you can keep doing and also tell Colin that one day but not yet I am going to be a Christian and be his best man.” Now I have no idea how God had been dealing with this man but somehow God clearly has been encountering him in His own sovereign way.

 

Many people have since started coming to Hegin’s church which has grown considerably due to the continued miracles that are taking place. As a result the other pastors of the area have started coming to him and asking him why his church is growing so quickly.

 

I also want to add that Hegin asked the other Evangelical churches for help, but they would only do so on the proviso that he came under their covering. He wouldn’t give up his right to believe what God wanted him to believe.

 

This testimony is nothing less than inspiring. Inspiring, because it was a sovereign move of God (other than me teaching the word for an hour to a hungry young pastor). It is an example of modern day Pentecost and about power to witness which took place immediately as a result of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. People are being added daily to the believers in an obscure village in Manipur India. All praise and glory to our Mighty God who uses the simple to confound the wise.

 

  1. Some more background information for you. The Hindu’s are actually quite hungry for the gospel. They are more than prepared to come to church if it is worth going to. Almost without exception Hindu’s attended each meeting I was preaching at, particularly in the more rural areas. Because I had visited previously, I suspect when people were aware that I was preaching again that they invited more people on this trip.

 

On one such occasion 14 clearly Hindu women were at a rural church, Mai Bam is the Pastor’s name (pronounced my bum no joke and not being rude). They were very attentive to my salvation message and the comparison I made between Hinduism and Christianity. My interpreter said if he preached the message that I did, he would get a bloody nose. All of them made a commitment coming to the Pastor’s home to inform him what they had done and that they would attend his church from now on. The day after this, five Hindu men came to see Mai Bam who was a bit worried at first as he didn’t know what to expect. They said they wanted to hear my message.  One of them said he had been waiting for five years to hear this message.

 

When I returned the next Sunday, the small church was filled with about 15 Hindu men. Five men returned the next day to tell the Pastor they had accepted Christ.

 

As a result of Mai Bam’s and Cumthang’s (who is the VCC worker for that area) follow up, the church has now approximately tripled and they are very excited thinking that they should reach the entire village at this rate in about six months.

 

So what can be said about this? The first thing is that we shouldn’t assume that the Hindu’s can’t be reached because they can. The second thing is that we shouldn’t underestimate the circumstances about how God has been working in the lives of those still to be saved. I didn’t get a bloody nose and showed that we need to be bold even if that happens. Particularly in our own churches.

 

  1. Again I preached at a church at which I had been before. The pastor is Holy Spirit filled who has some Unitarian beliefs. I sticky taped a question on the wall that said: Is the baptism in the Holy Spirit and receiving the Holy Spirit the same thing? I placed a ‘YES’ sign on one side and a ‘NO’ sign on the other. I told the congregation which consisted of about 30 young people and 15 older people to make a decision about the question, to get up and sit on the YES or NO side. The Pastor and the few that were with me sat on the NO side: they are not the same while the rest of the church sat on the YES side. I remarked to the Pastor that it must be lonely at the top. I also said that anyone could change sides at any time during the teaching and I asked this often throughout the teaching time.

 

I also placed scriptures on the board describing the receiving the Holy Spirit experience when Jesus breathed on his disciples and said receive the Holy Spirit in John 20:18-23 also stating that the disciples went fishing and caught nothing. On the other side I had used other key scriptures from Acts about Pentecost and 3,000 coming to Christ. At first one came across, then five then ten to the NO side saying that the two gifts were different. By the end of the preaching only ten people sat believing that they were the same.

 

The Pastor took up all the seats and the congregation lined up in a square around the church walls. As Pastor David and I prayed, Pentecost hit and people were baptized and slain in the Holy Spirit, prophesying, dancing and worshiping God.

 

We laid hands on people but it was really an amazing outpouring of the Holy Spirit and an amazing move of God.

 

  1. While I was talking with Kiran about Hinduism, Lian a police officer and good friend of Minthang’s sat and listened. He was raised a Hindu, but everything I said made sense to him. A few days later he came to me and I preached Christ to him and he accepted the Lord. The next day he brought his wife and she did too. The next day she brought her friend and she did too. Lian wants to leave the police force and evangelize his village. He is also a very good musician. They are all attending church at the Diplomatic Centre.

 

Kiran’s father was a Hindu priest. Kiran claims he had healed many people. His father came to see me and hear the gospel. He made Jesus Saviour and Lord of his life when I did a comparison between Hinduism and Christianity. He also said that he had no confidence about his eternal destiny until now and that of all his children Kiran was the only one in whom there was some good. Kiran’s brother came later and he also got saved. Kiran’s mother always wanted to be a Christian but couldn’t because of her husband. I suspect she is now saved don’t know.

 

  1. Other:

 

  • The first woman I prayed for said she had a lump on the breast. When I prayed she said it had gone. She was very excited.

  • Pastor David’s daughter had recently had a baby girl with a blocked bowel. The doctor said an operation was necessary costing around $2,000 which is a lot of money for them. We prayed and within two days the blockage was gone and the child is still well and passing everything normally.

  • I preached at a residential tutorial school. The owner wasn’t a Christian but had trained in a Catholic University for his teaching qualification. I preached to about 50 primary school aged students. One of the interpreter’s congregation obtained the assignment. I was asked by the interpreter not to go all out. I gave a salvation message and nothing more leaving it to the hearers. The owner of the school said to the students: “You have heard the truth, now you have to make up your own minds.” A pity I didn’t go all the way it seems it was o.k. to do so.

  • I preached at a youth seminar to about 400 students.

  • I conducted a seminar about reaching Manipur. 73 pastors attended. I didn’t specifically discuss the baptism in the Holy Spirit but made a small reference to it. Two pastors asked me to preach in their church next time. Many of them said it was the best seminar they had ever been to.

  • Many Hindu people were saved in the rural areas.

  • There is a Hindu family who has lost nearly every male that has become a Christian to some type of accidental death. Before I arrived they experienced another accident. One brother died in a car accident and the other is recovering from his injuries. I prayed for the wife of the one that died. She was amazingly filled with the baptism of the Holy Spirit and had a real encounter. Praise God because what could I say to her other feel her pain? She is also six months pregnant.

  • On a funny note: it’s amazing how many great things happened as a result of arguing with Kiran. By the way after seeing everything that has happened he believes in the baptism in the Holy Spirit and is searching for the promise.

  • I went deep into a Muslim village to see what God would do. I just had a cup of tea and said hello to some of the locals. It was very, very intimidating. I could feel the demonic oppression. They will be very hard to reach but we know we have a great God that can do the impossible.

  • I need to say that I didn’t see a great deal of healing this trip. I did in some measure, but the purpose of my trip was the emphasis of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and Salvation and what an amazing outpouring I saw. All glory to our mighty and Sovereign God. 

  • I’d like to share with you an interesting story. The Muslims invited Minthang to one of their evangelism meetings. The speaker was supposedly someone who had converted from Christianity. The Muslim ‘convert’ converted because he was offered much money and wives if he converted. He did so and became very wealthy. Minthang could only take two people with him. Minthang was the only Christian leader invited. There were about 175 people attending. He wasn’t allowed to interrupt nor ask any questions until the speaker had finished. Finally, Minthang’s question was simply: ‘is it true that you have no assurance of your salvation when you die and if so why should I convert to your religion when my religion offers me that assurance?’ The speaker dropped his head and couldn’t answer (he actually knows the truth). Minthang’s friend said: Would you go to work not knowing how to get there? That’s what your religion is like because you have no assurance of salvation and that is stupid. They became very angry and Minthang and his friends were asked to leave. It was very dangerous.

  • In my next stay we are going to ask the Muslim leaders to attend our seminar in appreciation for allowing him to attend theirs.

  • Minthang spent two months in outlying Muslim villages evangelizing. In all that time he made two converts placed in churches. At one house he was met by three beautiful women who said that they would marry him if he converted to Islam and he would be given great wealth. They were absolutely serious such is the Muslim resolve to win Manipur.

  • Minthang had great success in Assam reaching the Muslims. He had friends in government jobs in the town of Dharranga. He held a week’s long seminar entitled Empowerment. 70 Muslims converted to Christianity and attended churches. It can happen God can find away if we are prepared to pray the price.

  • It is hard to estimate the number of people I ministered to over the two months. Perhaps close to 1,000 certainly not many more.

  •  One very funny experience: I was preaching to a group of Hindu men and women in a home church. Anyway what I do is say that I have Barabbas the murder in the car and I say to them that I am going to get him. Anyway I pretend to walk to the car and get him and this little boy of five or six takes off running as fast as he can thinking that I am really getting this murder. He slams the door of his house for protection. It was so funny. Naturally Barabbas doesn’t come and what I do is ask do you want to see him? And then start pointing to all the people there because Jesus died in Barabbas’ place, Barabbas being symbolic of us all. They are just like Barabbas. They take the point.

  • I preached in about 49 churches and home churches.

  • I preached in one Baptist church in which the leaders understood for the first time about the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

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