Excerpt from the book
After graduation, I set off with a friend on an itinerant speaking tour. We started with a couple of invitations, and I threw my heart into preaching. I loved speaking, and according to feedback, was a gifted speaker.
I was also discovering the other gifts God had placed on my life. One of these was the gift of healing.
Having personally experienced God’s healing power as a teenager, I had no problem believing that Jesus could also heal others. I wanted to see people set free from suffering and regularly looked for opportunities to pray for the sick.
My first healing miracle happened during a series of meetings in a small village church where I was the guest speaker.
One night, a lady suffering from leprosy came forward for prayer after the message. The disease was eating her face, and the odour of decaying flesh was so powerful it was hard not to gag. Believing that God would heal her, I stepped out in faith, laid my hand on her head, and began to pray with fervour.
Immediately the woman’s skin started to change. Right before my eyes, the patchy skin, covered in lesions, became smooth and clear like a newborn baby! The transformation was extraordinary, and the woman was screaming and crying with joy as she touched her face.
The atmosphere in the church was charged with excitement as people saw what God had done! All through the church, people were clapping and praising God, and a sense of anticipation filled the air. It was an incredible miracle, and I felt so excited that the Lord had moved in such a way.
The following night the same lady brought her father to the meeting. He was paralysed down one side, and depended on his walking stick to get around. I watched as this elderly man struggled to enter the church building, and anger started to build inside me at the sickness that had caused this man to be so restricted. I was angry at the devil who had come to steal this man’s ability to walk, kill his joy of life and destroy his dignity. This was a holy anger!
After the service was over and the invitation was given, the man came forward for prayer. Expectation filled my heart. I had been waiting for this moment and believed that God wanted to heal him. I declared with authority over the man that he was not born to lean on a stick but to walk free. Then I commanded him to walk in Jesus’ name.
The man, who had seen the astounding transformation on his daughter’s face, believed that God could do the same for him. He started to straighten up. Like a creaky old door that gets a good oiling, his bones and muscles that had been dead were now responding to new life from the hand of his Creator. The walking stick was left on the church floor that night as God healed that man miraculously, and he walked out, free from his paralysis. Hallelujah!
Feeling humbled and grateful, I was thrilled that the Lord was so obviously working through me, and I knew my faith was growing through these experiences.
My younger brother Johnny was now also preaching, and we, along with three other young men from the Assemblies of God church, decided to team up to organise preaching rallies. We spent the next three years backed by the church, travelling all over the islands of Maluku, preaching the Word of God, and leading many to Christ. We discovered that, even amidst the strong ‘anti-Pentecostal’ current, there was a deep hunger in people for the power and reality of God.
Those years were a rich time for all of us as we learnt how to hear the Holy Spirit clearly and follow His leading, whether we were in small church gatherings or more significant rallies in town centres and football fields. It was valuable training ground as we developed in our giftings and proved our faithfulness with whatever God gave us to do.
After several years travelling around the Maluku islands, we felt it was time to spread our wings and go further. We were beginning to receive invitations to speak in other parts of Indonesia and, as a team, were praying about where to go.
I had four invitations to go to Java and was praying and fasting and asking the Lord which one to accept. After several days, I felt the Lord lay on my heart Surabaya, a large city in East Java, so I went to check my invitations, and one particularly caught my eye.
It was from a group of travelling musical evangelists. The Asaph Band were booked to play at a number of open-air rallies, and they needed a speaker. It looked interesting to me, and on closer inspection I realised that Asaph had a month of upcoming rallies in the city of Surabaya!
Buoyed on by this confirmation, I wrote to tell them I was coming.