Seasons of Change for Wakiso, Uganda

It’s strange to even discuss seasons when referencing a tropical area, for other than rainy and dry seasons, there are no significant changes.  The trees keep their leaves and they stay green.  The days are all about 12 hours long.  But when talking about spiritual seasons, there definitely was a change of seasons in October — especially for the Wakiso area, a suburb of the capital city of Kampala.

That evangelism is widespread throughout Uganda is well known.  However, there is great need for continued evangelism and discipleship, as evidenced by this last church planting team made up individuals Dean and Carol Niforatos are discipling in Colorado and joined by a team from West Virginia led by Shannon and Joseph Coenen.  Over the course of 10 days, more than 400 came to Christ, about 750 were filled with the Holy Spirit as began praying in tongues, almost 200 experienced physical healing, and nearly 30 were delivered of demons!

Clearly evangelism is not finished in that area!! As can be expected, neither is discipleship.  One young man was set free from demons after having attended a local cult church.  He thought he was being faithful to Jesus, yet was being led astray by a worker of the devil.  Pastors who attended the daily trainings responded that their faith was encouraged and their skills refined.

Yes, there has been a change of spiritual seasons for Wakiso, Uganda!  We are still getting reports of new people coming to Christ through the efforts of this newly planted church.  Muslims are being saved, more are being delivered of demons, the numbers attending daily prayer meetings are increasing.  Wakiso will not be the same in Jesus’ name!

Please continue to pray for Wakiso and the incredible growth numerically and spiritually taking place in the church.  The church is already outgrowing their currently rented space, and we are praying for enough funds to purchase land for this infant church.

Don’t Give Us A Name. Give Us A Long-Lasting Effect.

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls. — Prov. 11:30
Who dares despise the day of small things... — Zech. 4:10

Dean Niforatos Dir. Spiritual Oversight

Dean Niforatos
Director of Spiritual Oversight

When Shannon asked me to write an article and share a word as well as a testimony, I resisted just rattling off what I have seen Jesus do in a ‘large’ scope. Too much of our thinking in the Body of Christ today is caught up in the splash of production and large numbers.  We lose sight of the God who does things in the realm of the invisible.  We lose sight of the God who starts world-changing movements in obscure places and uses people who are ordinary to do the extra-ordinary!

I was greeted on my last ministry trip by a young man who had gotten born-again and Spirit-filled 4 years previous at meetings I had done.  That young man’s life was transformed thru the ministry of a great pastor at a church no one knows nationally (and has not been advertised in ‘trendy’ Christian magazines).  But the church is doing the work Jesus told us to do in being Spirit-empowered disciplers of those we lead to Christ.  The result?  He and his family are church members, he is a leader in one of the ministries the church offers the community, his family has been faithful in tithing so he has seen advancement in his job with increased salary and they are in a home he never dreamed he would ever be able to afford.  And thru all this, he praises the Lord and testifies for Him, seeing a number of others come to Christ thru his witness.

This describes the powerful effect of the Kingdom of God and how it grows from a seed into a fruit-bearing plant.  With no advertising, no fanfare or promotion of man, yet with eternal results that are growing each day as the fruit begets other fruit.  And all this is happening outside of the view of the news you watch or listen to.  Yet the world is being changed and an area transformed.

We at GOF get excited about this as much as the large crusades.  And what excites me is that my investment into our own ministry is bearing fruit when I am not awake, when I am traveling, when I am not even aware of His invisible hand.  This testimony I shared is playing itself out in countless lives that have been transformed through the ministry of the Holy Spirit through the faithful giving, praying and labor in soul winning of all of those involved with GOF.

This has caused my prayer life to increase.  I find myself more and more asking Jesus to hear the prayer Carol has prayed over us for as long as I can remember: Jesus, don’t give us a name, don’t give us a ministry; give us a powerful, long-lasting effect everywhere we go!

It is a well-established fact that when the Spirit of God is working powerfully, the spiritual results are usually deep and abiding. Souls saved or blessed in powerful outpourings are, on the whole, more likely to continue steadfastly than is the case at other times. There is more connection between the manifestation of God’s power in individuals and spiritual steadfastness that leads to true culture-changing revival than some have realized.  

That is why I strongly believe the hour is upon us to deepen and intensify our prayers for the lost around us and around the world, while also intensifying our witness.  And we need not concern ourselves if it is noticed by others, rewarded with praise, of even acknowledged by our leaders in the Body.  Let us never forget the words of our Savior, for they are reward enough!

Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you... — Matthew 6:4

Are Post-Christian Nations Seeing A Move of God?

Dean Niforatos recently returned from an outreach in Belgium, which actually impacted several nations due to his preaching at a Bible college in the area.  But before going much further, perhaps some background should be given.

Belgium, along with Europe and many other western nations, is considered post-Christian.  Post-Christianity, in short,  is a decline of Christianity toward secularism.  George Barna identifies several factors of post-Christianity, many of which you may see in your own life and/or culture:

POST-CHRISTIAN DESCRIPTORSHaberfield_St_Davids_Uniting_Church

  • People identify themselves as atheist or agnostic
  • Disagree that faith is important in their lives
  • Have not prayed to God in the last year
  • Have never made a commitment to Jesus
  • Disagree the Bible is accurate
  • Have not donated money to a church in the last year
  • Have not attended a Christian church or house church in the last year
  • Agree that Jesus committed sins
  • Do not feel a responsibility to “share their faith”
  • Have not read the Bible or volunteered in a church in the last week

EFFECTS ON EUROPE

Europe in particular has gained a reputation for being one of the greatest exporters of secularism, atheism and ideologies hostile to Christianity.  What was once a missionary-sending continent is now considered a missions frontier.  The effects of post-Christianity is apparent:

  • 9 out of the top 12 atheist/agnostic countries in the world are in Europe
  • At least 20 European nations have less than 1% evangelical presence
  • 3 European nations hold the highest suicide rates in the world
  • 1/3 of children in the European Union have been born out of wedlock
  • The Netherlands became the first country to legalize “mercy killing” or human euthanasia and Switzerland has a privately-run “suicide tourism” industry of suicide facilitation sites.
  • 25% of the European population is considered “unreached”– double the amount in America and just a little below Africa
  • Considered post-Christian, Europe is also considered to be in an anti-Christian era.

Last summer we included Europe — and Belgium specifically — in our Concert of Prayer.  You may find it helpful to read more about Europe and Belgium, and include them in your own prayers.  Obviously, others outside of Concert of Prayer are praying for Europe as well, but it is always encouraging to see the Lord directly answer prayers you prayed!

EuropeTESTIMONIES FROM BELGIUM

While Dean was preaching in Belgium last month, a pastor from a mainstream church brought his congregation to an evening service.  That in itself is a miracle, but by the end of the service, ALL of them were baptized in the Holy Spirit praying in other tongues, including the pastor!  There was one woman who was unable to attend with the rest of the congregation who came the following night, very upset that she missed out.  She told of how she herself led many of the congregation to Jesus, and now they were all praying in tongues and she wanted it too.  Yep, you guessed it, the Lord baptized her in the Spirit that night and now she too prays in tongues!

A member of a church in a different European nation was requesting that Dean visit his church.  When Dean heard the church’s name and location, he realized he’d already been there several years ago, and that the time spent there was fruitless and frustrating.  The church member replied, “Yes, we were that way.  But we’re not that way anymore.  Things have changed.”  Indeed, God is at work!

Last year while Dean was in Belgium, a man was brought who had mental problems and trouble seeing.  He had to be taken out of the room and Dean went to pray over him at the end of the service.  God gave Dean a word that Jesus would visit the man the next day.  This year, word was sent that indeed the very next day Jesus walked into the man’s room and healed his eyes, healed his mental disease, and baptized him in the Holy Spirit all at once!  The man has been in his right mind, walking with healed eyesight, holding a job, and not needing medical assistance since that day.  In fact, others have heard his story and given their lives to Jesus!

YES, EVEN IN THE USA

And while you might be thinking that America is becoming just as post-Christian as Europe, know that the Lord is working in the USA as well.  Encounter, a young adult ministry and discipleship program led by Dean and his son, Luke, has been increasing in number and growing in spiritual maturity.  A couple weeks ago the Encounter group led the church services where many people were healed, delivered, and baptized in the Holy Spirit.  Testimonies of supernatural divine provision have been coming in as well.

Joe & Linda Meyer, who planted a church in Illinois have led people to Christ and baptism in the Holy Spirit.  Mary Mielke, who works with internationals living in the United States is noticing a softening of hearts and increased interest in Christianity.  Shannon Coenen’s home church, like many other churches across America, is experiencing direct answers to prayers offered in corporate prayer meetings and seeing additional people come on a weekly basis to seek the Lord.  Multitudes of mainstream churches are inquiring more about the role the Holy Spirit plays in the Trinity and work of the church, even questioning why their church doesn’t seem to have power in their ministry.

DON’T STOP PRAYING

Clearly the Lord is working and turning the hearts and minds of men, women, and children to Himself in parts of the world that are post- or anti-Christian.  While encouraging to hear such great testimonies, now is the time to press in even harder with our prayers!  Much of the world is spiritually hungry, but not sure what they hunger for.  Let our prayers be part of providing their spiritual food and our reward be their souls in Jesus’ name.  If you find it helpful, here are some specific points to pray for the post-Christian world.

WilliamboothI consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.”       

— William Booth, Founder of the Salvation Army

 

Haven of Hope And So Much More

Dean Niforatos and Shannon Coenen just recently returned from time spent in Malawi, located in the southern part of the African continent.  Usually Africa involves heat and sweat, but Malawi was in its cool winter season — no snow, but plenty of cool breezes that required layering up for the outdoor meetings each night!  But the fire of God fell upon the people in mighty ways and great things took place!

The short version of the story is that the widow home, Haven for Hope, was completed and dedicated, area churches received ministry where about 250 accepted Christ as their personal Savior, more than 1,000 were baptized in the Holy Spirit, and the Lord did miracles.  But there is so much more to the story.  Read more