The Mordecai Project Newsletter
England, Indonesia and Singapore, March 2007
My journey to England, Indonesia and Singapore was incredible. I was gone for three weeks, rode on seven planes, slept in five different beds, preached 22 times and ate all kinds of food including British bangers and mash, Nigerian moi-moi, Japanese shabu-shabu and an unusual Asian fruit called durian (which I will explain later). There is no way I can possibly tell everything that happened on this journey but I will try to give you the summary.
** First of all, thanks for praying. I felt incredibly covered on this trip. No sickness, no bad food or water, no travel disruptions. I am blessed to have so many people who are committed to interceding for me.
** When I arrived in London I was taken to a Christian retreat center in southern England called Ashburnham Place. This amazing facility was once a medieval manor, complete with a church that was organized in 1390. About 70 ministers came for a time of teaching and refreshing. These precious people—all pastors and church planters in England—were from diverse ethnic backgrounds. There were people from Congo, Senegal, Ghana, India, Wales, England and the Caribbean. I taught the Word and prophesied over people in the morning, and then my friend Doug Beacham did the evening meetings.
** Although Christianity is in crisis in England, God is sending immigrants from many parts of the world to keep the fires of revival burning. One Nigerian denomination has 200 churches in London alone. I was blessed to spend time with many immigrant pastors who live in the UK—along with precious Anglo ministers who are contending for a spiritual awakening in their homeland.
** Something really special happened on the last night. I asked our retreat coordinator, Harold Presley, if we could do a foot washing since I had taught a lot on humility. I wanted the Anglo ministers to wash the feet of the non-Western ministers so we could demonstrate that we are committed to serving them. After they were seated, three Congolese men sang a worship song in French and the Holy Spirit began to move spontaneously. I took the microphone and began to sing in the Spirit, and my prayer language changed to sound like an African chant. It is hard to even describe this scene. Suddenly we were caught up in the glory of God. For about 15 minutes we worshipped together and everyone was dancing and singing. I think the Lord was so happy that we were dealing with all our racial barriers that He just poured out His presence on us.
** After the retreat I went to south London to speak at the Total Woman conference, which was sponsored by a large Nigerian church, House of Praise, pastored by Andrew and Yemi Adeleke. Today there are hundreds of Nigerian churches in London and they are some of the most vibrant congregations in the city. There was incredible hunger in the women---I stayed and prayed for many of them individually at the altar for two hours after my session. Many African women suffer from worthlessness because their fathers were polygamous, and because fathers prefer sons rather than daughters. One thing I noticed about this trip was that demons manifested often after the ministry times, and the Lord brought great freedom to those who have been in bondage to addictions, worthlessness, depression and abuse.
** On Sunday morning I also spoke at the House of Praise’s two locations and then did a special men’s banquet in the evening. Speaking to Nigerian men about how to treat their wives is not an easy task. In Nigerian culture, even among Christians, men have a very dominant attitude and often keep their wives in the dark about their financial dealings. I offered them a message called “God’s Secret Lovemaking Techniques”—which got their attention. (Those secrets, by the way, are 1) treating your wife as an equal; 2) learning to serve your wife; and 3) releasing your wife into her ministry.) I felt I was plowing hard ground, but the Word always has impact—and several men came to the altar to repent of abusive attitudes. I was concerned because the men seemed so quiet in that service (they usually respond verbally to preaching.) But when I asked Pastor Yemi about it, she said the conviction of the Holy Spirit was at work. “They were quiet because the Word was sinking in,” she said. I am sure the tape of that message will be passed around among the men and women there for quite some time.
** After a 15-hour journey I arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia, and we began the Apostolic Women Arising conference the next morning. The team consisted of Naomi Dowdy, Barbara Wentroble, Indri Gautama and me. I preached a new message about Mary Magdalene called “Your Restoration Is Complete”—and I hope to distribute this one in the States even though it includes Indonesian interpretation. I emphasized the fact that Mary Magdalene was delivered of seven demons—she found total freedom from her past. Just as I had seen in London, women came to the altar and began to manifest demons. Indri’s prayer team came to help pray for them and they were set free—one after about 15 minutes of coughing. It is awesome that the message of the Word itself is what removed these evil spirits. God’s Word is powerful!
** Among the 1,000+ people at the conference, which included Indonesians from as far away as the Papua region (a nine hour flight from Jakarta), we had a group of people from the country of Brunei, a tiny Muslim kingdom on the tip of Malaysia. These people have been persecuted for their faith but they were able to come to AWA. One lady told me how she was arrested and jailed for 21 days. She is paying a high price to serve the Lord but she believes God has her placed strategically to pray for revival to come to her nation.
** I also preached a message in Jakarta called “Let the Esthers Arise” in which I challenged the women to see that the spirit of genocide is at work in their nation. Although it is relatively safe to be a Christian in Jakarta, there are many parts of Indonesia where Muslims are killing or maiming believers and sometimes targeting women. Even Christian girls have been beheaded there, and we saw photos of a girl who was burned with acid but survived to tell her story. Women in Indonesia tend to be timid, but we saw more boldness in them this year and the Lord poured out even more courage upon them. I believe God is positioning His women in Indonesia today to unravel Haman’s plot and liberate their people from a demonic death covenant.
** I love being with Indri Gautama’s church. It has grown to 1,700 and is mostly young people who are being trained as leaders. I have become good friends with the guys on her worship team and they wanted to take me out one night to eat durian, a local fruit with a mixed reputation. Some people (including Indri) hate durian because it has a bad smell and it looks dangerous—with brown skin and thorny spikes on the outside. But I decided to take the risk and try it. We found some in Chinatown at a roadside durian stand, and they guys cut the big, brown pod open. It did smell very peculiar, but the moist fruit inside was—in my opinion—very tasty! The crowd at the AWA meeting was happy to know that I gave durian two thumbs up. And I even got a great sermon illustration from it. (The trials in our lives don’t look good or smell good, but if we praise God in the midst of them we will find something surprisingly sweet inside!)
** When AWA ended I spoke to a group of Christian leaders who are a part of Transformation Indonesia, a national group committed to unity and revival. I challenged them to put aside gender prejudice so that men and women can work as partners in the harvest. Then I spent the next two days with my friends at City Blessing Church, a growing congregation that is launching the Indonesian version of Charisma magazine. I spent some time training their staff, and then spoke at both of their Sunday services. On Monday I addressed a group of 70 Christian media leaders and challenged them to form a Christian media association so that they can work in unity to transform the country. They got so excited about this that they spontaneously scheduled the first meeting and set an agenda.
** After saying goodbye to my friends at City Blessing church I flew to Singapore to be a part of Naomi Dowdy’s annual missions conference at the church she founded, Trinity Christian Center. This is an amazing congregation that has grown to 5,400 members and is very active in world missions. In fact all 42 of their staff pastors spend 6 weeks on the mission field every year and the church sends teams to many places including Banda Arce, Indonesia, where the tsunami killed so many people. People from 20 nations came to this conference, and my heart was knit with so many pastors including one from Nepal. There were more than 130 people from Taiwan. I was very humbled that Apostle Naomi asked me to speak to the leaders of her network the first day. Then I addressed the conference twice and also spoke twice at two of Trinity’s services.
** Pastor Dominic Yeo was trained by Naomi and was placed in senior leadership at Trinity two years ago. I was amazed that he asked me to speak during weekend services because it was the weekend they do their annual missions pledge. I shared a message from the life of Gideon called “From Wimps to Warriors” and challenged the congregation not only to give their money but to give their time and their lives to the cause of missions. Then when they took up the pledges, the combined amount from all the weekend services was more than $8 million Singapore dollars (more than $5 million U.S.) And remember, this is in a country where your donations are not tax-deductible!
** This experience showed me that Asian Christians have not only caught up with us in Americn but they have surpassed us in so many ways. I believe in the days ahead we will be drawing more and more from what Jesus has deposited in Asian church leaders. It was truly humbling to minister to these passionate, committed people.
** While I was in Singapore a Christian publisher from Taiwan met with me to seek permission to publish my book “10 Lies the Church Tells Women” in Mandarin Chinese. This has been a dream and I am thrilled that the door has opened. Please keep this in your prayers as we work out the details.
** Time does not permit me to say much more. People always ask me, “What was the highlight?” Even though I love the meetings and the powerful times of prayer at the altar, the best thing about these trips is the time I spend with the people---building relationships is what ministry is all about. Not only did I get to spend time with mentors like Barbara Wentroble, Doug Beacham and Naomi Dowdy, and the Charisma Indonesia team--Agus, Jusan, Rudy, Kong, Swanky and the rest--but I met some new role models: Polish apostle Paul Godawa, Pastor Dominic Yeo in Singapore, and Pastor David Mohan, who pastors the largest church in India (with 30,000 members!). I also spent time with dear American friends who happened to be in some of our meetings: Trey Jones from Georgia, Jay Pike from Michigan, Laurie Vervaecke from Utah and Tim Salley and Al Argo and their wives from the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Singapore, and I met a Nigerian brother, Sola, from England who I hope to work with in the future.
P.S.: While I was traveling I wrote three online columns about my experiences. You can find them at www. Fireinmybones .com. The columns are (1) “A New Role Model for U.S. Churches—in Asia,” (2) “The New Face of British Christianity” and (3) “A Radical New Sound in Indonesia.”
Posted by Lee Grady on March 6, 2007 06:10 PM