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Archive for November, 2009

Crusade report

Good Shepherd International Fellowship
Philippines Outreach
October 2009

The Mission Team

The Good Shepherd International outreach October 13 -26 to the Island of Luzon in the Philippines yielded tremendous fruit.
A team of six Americans (the team) ministered in seven Good Shepherd International Fellowship (GSIF-www.gsif.org) sponsored evangelistic crusades in unchurched barangays (villages), lead three GSIF sponsored ministers’ seminars and spoke in churches and at ChurchMultiplicationCoalition’s(CMC-www.4cmcinternational.org) first Luzon Regional Conference. The team consisted of Art and Nancy Defenderfer, Gaylord Enns and Shirley Trejo from California, Nelson Seibel from Pennsylvania and Raymond Walker from Hawaii.

The Successful Crusade Pattern

The crusades coordinated by CMC are usually held in a barangay that has no church where a local pastor has a burden to start a church. These pastors and the local CMC coordinators are usually members of a local trans denominational ministerial fellowship.
In the early afternoon of the crusade day, the Filipino band members set up at the crusade site. Typically this was a concrete basketball court at the center of the barangay or on the grounds of a centrally located elementary school.
About 3:00 pm the team members started handing out invitations to the crusade from house to house in the barangay with the local pastor and his workers.
From 5 – 5:45 pm the band filled the barangay with what Cedric(head of GSIF-Asia) described as, “full blast volume, super fast; not churchy songs.” The music drew more and more adults, youth and children to the crusade site.
About 5:45 pm the entire crusade team gathered in a circle to intercede one last time for the people in the barangay, the crusade and the weather. Finally they ministered the Lord’s Supper to one another and prayer walked the basketball court.
At 6 pm Cedric introduced the barangay captain (and/or other barangay leaders, such as the principal of the school) to the gathering crowd. After they briefly welcomed the people, the team members from America were introduced.
Each night one of the team members was assigned to greet the people. Uncle Raymond became the peoples’ favorite greeter. He began and ended his salutation with a hardy Hawaiian, “Aloooooha.” Another team member then gave a brief testimony of their conversion, followed by the main evangelistic message by Gaylord, Nelson or Art. That night 125 people prayed to receive Jesus out of the 215 who attended.
After the alter call, those wanting prayer lined up in front of one of the six U.S. team members. An interpreter was assigned to each line and another Filipino recorded everyone’s contact information and any testimony.
Following the prayer time the new believers were exhorted to follow the “Four Steps to Christian Growth” — Pray, Read the Bible, Fellowship, Share Jesus with others. See Arthur Defenderfer Facebook site to see how Nancy did this) The new believers received follow-up material and an invitation to return the next afternoon for a free New Testament.

Preserving the Harvest – Crusade Follow Up

Some of the crusade team members returned to Dangdangla to follow-up the crusade Grace, a singer in the crusade band began the follow up by reviewing using the “Evangecube”, a cleverly designed Gospel presentation that uses pictures imprinted on a three dimensional cube.
After the Bibles were handed out, the local pastor invited the new believers to volunteer to host a new Bible study in their homes. In Dangdangla five Bible studies were established. By the end of the October outreach thirty seven new Bible studies were established in six barangays.

Another Crusade and a Miracle

Thursdays’ crusade was held in Barangay Lubing, a more suburban area. The venue was a lovely basketball court with a stage, both protected by a high metal roof. When the music team began there were only a few present. This spurred the team to pray more — and as usual the Holy Spirit did His part — 143 prayed to received Jesus.
In Lubing a man in his 70’s who was blind in one eye, received his sight after Shirley prayed for him.

Pastors’ Seminars

On Friday, October 16th the first of three GSIF, “Love and Unity with a Mission” seminars for forty four pastors and church workers in San Fernando. Some braved hindrances from landslides and flood damage to attend.
At this and the following two minister’s seminars, Gaylord, Nelson and Art sensed a genuine hunger for the truth in the pastors and church workers. Gaylord ministered on the the primacy of the Command of Jesus to us to love one another as he loved us. Nelson taught on the importance of characteristics and message of the Kingdom of God. Art pointed out that all of us must receive healing in our souls so that we will automatically love one another enough to work in unity to sustain a world transforming revival.
In different ways Gaylord, Nelson and Art underlined what Jesus prophesied — that if we loved one another in our being, with our words and with our deeds as Jesus did — the world will know that we are his disciples.
Everyone that attended each seminar received Gaylord’s’ book, Love Revolution: Rediscovering the Lost Command of Jesus and sincerely enjoyed having him sign their copy.

Crusade Victories Amidst Challenges

On Friday afternoon it started to rain and Cedric became concerned about the danger from landslides Cedric prayed fervently and displaying typical Filipino flexibility directed the team to minister in a church located in the middle of the most crime ridden area in San Fernando. God moved in a mighty way that night and sixty seven accepted Christ.
Our most spiritually challenging crusade was on Saturday, October 17th in Sevilla. The team sensed a spiritual darkness over the barangay and a downpour began just as the band began to play. The rain was so intense it scattered the crowd.
The team refused to give up and moved the crusade along exactly as planned while quietly rebuking satan and the storm while praying for God’s intervention. God gave victory — the rain stopped as the evangelistic message began. Eighteen received Jesus.

Ministry in Pangasinan Province

On Sunday morning the team spoke in local churches, then traveled south to Pangasinan Province where they held four more crusades. In Pangasinan the team clearly saw how the landslides and floods destroyed crops and properties as a result of a recent “super typhoon”. That passed over Luzon Island three times. Cedric said that when the typhoon hit his house, “It sounded like a 747 was on top of our roof.”
On Monday morning, October 19th, Gaylord, Nelson and Art ministered to 237 pastors in Dagupan at the second GSIF pastors’ seminar.
Probably the most memorable crusade was held at an elementary school in Lambayan, Pangasinan on Saturday, October 18th. The school principal who greeted the crusade crowd had lived in Lambayan her whole life. She was so impacted by the crusade that she released the entire school to attend the follow-up session the next day (314 teachers, students and new believers attended).
This is how this crusade changed Lambayan as reported by Cedric – But the best miracle for me, was … our first crusade in Pangasinan, with the school… were there was not a church there, and they are now meeting there every Sunday, a church of around 200 attendees, and they have said that there was never a missionary who went there, and they felt that they were forgotten by God, but guess what, GSIF ministries went there and proved to them there that God sure does love them… That’s the best miracle I’ve seen on our crusades… and the very first time they clapped their hands for getting a Bible… imagine, they never even had a Bible before… super great our God is !!!!
The next three crusades, October 19 – 21, were in the rural barangays of Sonquil, Calberg and Sundcoy. Each one showed what happens when God’s love and the Gospel touches the open hearts of Filipinos. In these three crusades over 840 people heard the Gospel, 360 prayed to receive Jesus, 23 new Bible studies were started and one new church was birthed. In Suncoy over 500 people heard the Gospel, one crippled man walked and the Lord sovereignly delivered a lady from a devil.

Ministry Connections Discovered in Manila

At the invitation of CMC President Jill Boyonas, Gaylord and Art ministered in Manila at the first CMC Luzon Conference. Alongside CMC leaders from the U.S. and the Philippines they spoke to sixty CMC Regional Network Chairpersons and ten candidates for CMC Provincial Network appointments.
As Pastor Powell Lemons, a CMC Board Member and seasoned crusade evangelism leader, reviewed the history of American missionary work in the the Philippines, Art was amazed that he and Powell had worked with some of the same evangelistic pioneer leaders in the Philippines, including Filipino Romeo Corpuz, “the father of crusade evangelism” in the Philippines and evangelist Bill Baxley from California.

Sharing God’s Heart for Souls

Gaylord and Art were very impressed with the sincere hearts and the church planting vision of the CMC leaders. They well on their way to their goal of planting churches in the 26,000 unchurched barangays in the Philippines.
Gaylord and Art were deeply moved when CMC President, Pastor and businessman Jonathan Morris shared with tears his 1999 supernatural encounter with God. What God whispered to him shook him to the core of his being and launched him on a quest to encourage, mobilize and network national pastors all over the world to work together to multiply churches in unevangelized villages.
After studying the results of crusades on church growth one year after the crusades were held, Jonathan found a significant key to church growth. When local pastors would establish Bible studies with the new believers the day after a crusade, up to 34% of those who accepted Christ at the crusades were still attending church. When no Bible studies of new believers were established there was frequently no church growth after one year.
Based on Jonathan and Jill’s extensive crusade experience, their research in the Philippines and observing a successful church multiplication model in India, they established CMC in 2006. The CMC model has proven successful in the Philippines and is spreading to other countries.

Partners in Ministry

The partnership of GSIF with CMC makes spiritual sense. Both are committed to working and networking in love and unity across denominational lines and national boundaries. GSIF’s mandate from God mandate to encourage pastors and to impart to them the spirit of love and unity, helps preserve and enlarge the harvest. In the words of the psalmist, Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity… for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life forever more. (Psalm 133:1, 3b)

A Glorious Conclusion

After ministering in churches in Manila on Sunday morning, October 25th, Gaylord and Art spoke to 215 pastors and church workers at the final “Love and Unity with a Mission” seminar. Following the seminar one of the key leaders told the Art, “This was the best pastors’ seminar that we have had.”
All together, the team ministered personally to over 2,500 people including 506 pastors and church leaders at the GSIF seminars, 1,816 people in the crusades and 75 leaders at the Luzon CMC Conference. At the crusades 923 people prayed to receive Jesus, 588 attended the follow up sessions, 37 Bible studies were started and two church were established.
The team gives their sincere appreciation to Jill and the CMC leaders for their heart felt love of souls, their hard work and their visionary leadership. They praise God for their ever resourceful coordinators and their special friends — Cedric and Joy Panis.

Contact Art if you want to assist in the work of the GSIF. (gsifus@gmail.com)

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Testimony Time

Exo 34:10 And He said: Behold, I make a covenant. Before all your people I will do extraordinary things such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of Jehovah. For it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.

Details of a miracle

My heart had been acting strange for a few months—beating irregularly and pounding in my chest. Sometimes I could feel it miss beats. I was often dizzy, light headed and out of breath.

After Daddy died of the sudden heart attack on 9/19/09 I became more aware of these issues.

On Wed 10/21/09 I visited my primary care doctor to check out these problems. She listened to my heart and heard a heart murmur much larger than the one I have had for years. (For as long as I can remember I have had mitrovalve prolapse, a problem associated with the valve that shuttles blood from the left atrium into the left ventricle.) But this problem was something more than that.

Because of this my doctor ordered an EKG which I had that same day. This test showed that the new problem was in my right atrium. On my referral records she noted, “right atrial abnormality.” She suggested that my right atrium was enlarged due to having to work extra hard to get the blood into the right ventricle because of a problem with that valve. She said this new problem with my heart was most likely due to some sort of virus that had affected that portion of my heart and damaged the valve.

She suggested I take it easy and have further tests done as soon as possible.

That night I woke up during the night with an immediate knowing that I was under spiritual attack. And I’d opened myself up to the problem because of something I’d done months earlier.

A few months ago, before Daddy died I would go out for walks and prayer time and was completely burdened down with wanting something in my heart. I didn’t have words for what I wanted—all I knew is that I needed to be loved and Jesus’ love the way I’d always known it before wasn’t enough.

And so I would cry and cry for it and it was intense and didn’t seem to be letting up and I wanted this love so, so bad with the groanings too deep for words. One day when I was out praying it hurt so bad I let the hurt and pain and confusion take over and said, “I just want to die of a broken heart.” (I am Italian and get very passionate and intense about things.) Even at the time I said those words I knew that I shouldn’t be saying them. I was vaguely aware that I might be opening the door to attack.

Well anyway on Thursday morning after realizing this, I called some people for prayer. They called others. On Sunday 10/25 at church I told everybody what was happening to my heart and also relayed to them what I’d remembered saying a few months ago on the prayer walk.

They had me publically renounce the lie I’d spoken. Then everyone prayed for me.

As they prayed I felt a warming in my heart, but didn’t say anything. I felt God was healing me, but later in the day I felt just as bad as before—weak, out of breath etc … Craig (my ex-husband, who is a physician) came over that night and actually could feel my heart pounding in my chest. He said not to worry that they could do a surgery to repair the valve.

On Monday with my heart pounding and skipping I went to the clinic at UC Davis for an echocardiogram and an exercise treadmill test. Sitting in the waiting room I happened to read John 11:4 about Jesus and Lazarus. Jesus said, “This sickness is not unto dearth, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”

But as I read the Scripture it clearly came to me, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the children of God may be glorified by it.” I thought of how in John 17 He talks about sharing His glory with us. I thought of how in Romans 8 it talks about all creation being set free into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Then they called me for the test.

Everything was totally normal! The echo was 100% normal. I had no right atrial problem and no mitrovalve prolapse. EVERYTHING WAS NORMAL AND IN GREAT SHAPE. They said the right atrial problem on the EKG must have been a “false positive.” They could not explain how the mitrovalve problem that I have had for years was gone. (I even had an echo from 2006 that showed this problem.)

The tread mill test was also completely normal.

And my heart is healed more than just physically . . .

In the days since my Dad’s death, I have been overwhelmed with the love of others for me. People have been so loving. It seems that everywhere I go people love me. And I am not afraid to receive their love. In all the recent trials I guess I’ve finally come to the end of myself so that now I can receive. I am so needy that I am finally humble enough to receive it. I’ve stopped being the strong one, the giver, and just become the receiver.

This is what my heart was longing for all along. It was longing for the love of God as it comes through people. This is what has healed my heart physically and emotionally. Truly He is the healer of the broken hearted and we get to participate with Him in that work.

Amen and Amen. Thank you all for praying and for seeing this through to completion!!!!!!!!

Love,

Mary

Davis, CA

10/27/09

 

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