Bill Thomas' Report - February, 2006
REPORT ON PASSION MADURAI
The organizers put me in this heavily Hindu community "because you have been in India several times and would know best how to minister there." A Hindu made his field available for the four days of meetings. He reasoned that Jesus would bless him for doing so. Dozens of volunteers and two bulldozers cleared out the weeds and dirt. The believers gave themselves to days of prayer and fasting. As for the attendance, we were told that there were "two" audiences: those who occupied the chairs on the field and those who stood "outside" of the field, on the sidewalks or at the open windows of their homes so as not to be seen. For the four nights, about 4200 came onto the field. Only God knows how many others were listening. 368 commitment cards were collected. But these numbers do not tell the whole story because there were not enough counselors.
As always prayer for the sick and afflicted were offered. It pleased God to touch many. A woman who had been deaf in her left ear for 20 years testified that she could now hear; a young girl who had bad eye sight and could not see objects that were far away said that she could now see better; a man who could hardly walk was healed and walked properly; a woman with boils on her arms came the first night. The next day she said that the boils had begun to diminish. At a noon-day meeting where I preached, the battery in a woman's hearing aid went dead. When she removed the apparatus, she found that her hearing had been restored.
When it comes to praying for the sick, I always invite the believers to pray and the pastors to go among the people and pray also. I want it to be seen as a ministry of the BODY and not just of Bill Thomas.
My co-laborer, Peter James Meduri ended up replacing an evangelist who cancelled out at the last minute, so he had his "baptism of fire." He also preached in schools and in local churches. Pascale Benmann, the soloist, sang her way into the hearts of the people.
OPPOSITION from some Hindu militants prevented me from preaching the first meeting which was held on public grounds. All I did was sharing my testimony and offer a prayer for the sick. John Arul (the main organizer) preached to an audience of 500. To avoid trouble, the next day we moved to a church courtyard. This reduced the size of the audience to @ 400 per night. At least 30% were Hindus. But the loudspeakers carried the service far beyond the courtyard. 280 people responded to the invitation
God was pleased to confirm the Word. This is what attacks the Hindus and also what frightens the militants. For they know that their idols are powerless against, demons, sickness and afflictions. There is also the fact that the gospel brings dignity to the outcast and lifts up the untouchables.
A little boy, brought by his aunt, had been deaf in both ears for two years. God had mercy on him and healed him. A girl was to go for an operation on her eyes. This would have cost about $250, a huge sum for a poor family. The Lord performed the operation then and there and gave her clear vision. A woman who was demonized was set free. So in spite of opposition, the Spirit of God moved among us. I want to thank you for your prayers of intercession. PLEASE KEEP IT UP. You can see that God is honoring them. This is NOT just the ministry of me alone. It is all of us together. YOU and ME.