[editor's note: Please keep in mind that the information included in this message was originally intended to update David Wilkerson's World Challange supporters, and as such, some of the information has changed considerably. We've included this message to help give a historical perspective on how God was using David in the mid 1980's, and to help show the transition from the Crusades ministry to the present day Times Square Ministry. This article stands as a testimony to God's leading and faithfulness.]
We wish to share with you a report of victory and blessings. It is our desire to keep all our friends informed about what God is doing through the ministry entrusted to us. May the Lord keep us from boasting in the flesh, while at the same time giving all glory, honor and thanksgiving to our precious Lord.
First of all - in answer to numerous inquiries about Gwen's health, we send you this up-to-date report. As you can see from her photo. taken this past week, she is rejoicing in a marvelous healing. She is enjoying her best health in years. is without pain, and there are no signs of Lupus disease.
We were humbled by all the encouraging letters and the prayers and intercession on her behalf. She was released from the hospital and spent three weeks recuperating in the home of some very close friends - while I ministered on the streets of New York City. I came home to a healthy wife. She lost 25 pounds of water and was radiant. We believe it is a direct answer to the prayers of many faith-filled friends. We thank all our friends for caring so much.
Detroit Outreach Report
We have just returned from our inner city outreach on the alcohol-sodden streets of Detroit. I am not putting down the city of Detroit, but the alcoholism there is pandemic. To witness the power of the Holy Spirit breaking demonic opposition was something to behold.
Our open-air street meetings were attended mostly by alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, and the poor and homeless. The results were apostolic - like something from the Book of Acts. I was not able to finish my message on any night - because of sinners coming out of the crowd to be prayed for. As soon as we started to deliver God's Word of mercy and grace, alcoholics and addicts would come forward, weeping, calling out to be delivered.
One night a female alcoholic staggered on stage, laid face down on the floor and gripped both of my feet. She would not let go - crying out to God for deliverance. I had to go on preaching while she held on. Later, we prayed with her and made arrangements to follow up on her and get her into our inner-city church there.
Alcohol and drug-crazed hecklers could not hinder the Word from going forth. Before I could finish preaching. destitute sinners would come up to the makeshift stage and cry. "Enough preaching - I need help! I need God! I'm hooked, I'm wasted - I need a miracle! Lay hands on me and ask Jesus to save me.
It took an hour or more each night just to pray with all the sinners lined up to be ministered to. After I prayed with them, they were each paired off with a counselor for further ministry and follow-up.
I was heartbroken night after night as ghetto mothers came forward weeping, confessing to me that they had forsaken God, left their dead churches, and were drinking and using drugs. Little children stood by as their mothers poured out confessions - "I'm a terrible example - I drink. I smoke pot - I prostitute for money to get drugs."
Others confessed, "I'm a terrible mother. No wonder my kids are all in trouble. I used to go to church, but now I'm drifting deeper and deeper into sin. I need the Lord! I need to set an example."
These mothers were broken in Spirit, deeply convicted by the Holy Ghost and desperate to be changed by the power of God. We believe a good number of them are going to go on with God. Pray that our followup workers will have good results in getting them into fellowship.
A demon-possessed teenage girl came up for prayer and told the crowd she wanted Christ as Lord. Then she added, "But I don't want to give up Claremont, my 'good' demon. He lives in my house and gives me psychic powers. I want Jesus and my Claremont." A young man who had also been in the occult came out of the crowd and hugged her. I heard him say, "I was drawn to you the moment I saw you.
I told him this mutual attraction was demonic - and they both agreed. We do not pray for demon-possessed youth who refuse to denounce their past occult activities and involvement. She and the young man left - to go to her house to communicate with her "Claremont." Young people who overheard our conversation were shocked. One said, "No occult for me. How blind can you get - to think Christ would cohabit a body with demons."
Last year, while preaching on the streets of Detroit, a pregnant 13-year-old girl came forward for prayer. She was planning to get an abortion. My daughter-in-law, Kelly, counseled with her. The girl agreed to have the baby. During our street rally last week I had the privilege of dedicating that baby to the Lord. I asked the Lord to send that child into His harvest field to be a true soul winner. The grandfather began to weep and stepped up to me and cried - "I need Jesus. This child needs a Christian grandfather." Pray for both mother and child. The mother, now 14, needs to break from the old life, and the baby needs Christian love.
Ministers of various denominations who attended the street rallies stood by - some quietly weeping as they witnessed the awesome convicting power of the Holy Spirit. We opened each street rally by having everybody bow their heads as we took dominion, in the name of Christ, over all the hindering power of Satan. Immediately it became easy to preach, and sinners would begin to cry. What mighty releases we beheld as the Word went forth in freedom and with special anointing for the hour.
We do not count heads. We are not at all interested in numbers or in giving glowing reports. And we are deeply committed to follow-up. After our Saturday night meeting, ten converts showed up in our Sunday morning church service at Church in the City. The alcoholic lady who laid out on the street was there, sober, and brought 16 cents "to give to the Lord."
I get a bit weary of hearing from some who say, "But do they really stick? If they don't get really saved, fully discipled and brought into a complete biblical knowledge of God - aren't you just aborting Christian babies?"
People who say such things do not know or trust the power of God and His Word. We are to go out into the byways and hedges and compel them to come in. We must go forth as sowers and sow gospel seed. We must faithfully proclaim Christ's love, mercy and grace to the lost. We must call on sinners to repent and believe on God's Son, then follow them up to the very best of our ability. But we must trust the Holy Spirit to finish the work. He is both author and finisher of our faith.
I fear that some ministers and workers would rather spend their lifetime polishing saints, than to go out where human need is so desperate and sinners so lost and hungry. We need more workers to go with us!
Our workers were setting up the stage and loud speakers on a Saturday night, when a grim-looking man warned, "Better get out of this neighborhood because some of you will get shot. You have no right to come to this neighborhood, and I warn you, you stay at the risk of your lives."
Our workers didn't even wince. They ignored him, blessed him and kept right on setting up. No one was wanting to die a martyr, but all were ready, if necessary. The only precaution I took was to leave Gwen and our grandson at the hotel. There was no incident, and God blessed mightily, Thank God for workers today who are still willing to hazard their lives for the sake of Christ.
What a joy to see converts from last year's outreach now getting off welfare. One boy gets up at 5:00 a.m. and works odd jobs to pay his own way. Christ puts a desire in them to work, to attend God's house, and to help others instead of being just a taker.
From what I have observed this summer on the streets of New York City and Detroit - the Holy Spirit is moving in a unique manner in the inner city. While churches have been fleeing to the safer suburbs, God is raising up young ministers who are hearing the call back to the inner city.
My own son Gary is pioneering an inner-city church in Detroit called Church in the City. Others, very dedicated, are also doing the same with apostolic results. It's beginning in nearly all our major cities.
I think it is marvelous that God is raising up such dedicated young ministers and wives who care nothing about recognition, bigness or numbers. They are non-materialistic - they weep for the lost - they live right in their integrated neighborhoods - and the peopIe of the streets respect them. They know these young people could have taken easy assignments in safe and prosperous areas. But instead, they are going back to the cities, buying old abandoned churches and starting all over again with all new converts from among the worst of sinners.
I told these street crowds, "If Jesus came to Detroit. He would bypass every cathedral, every influential religious leader and come down here where you live to give you His Word." And I believe that with all my heart.
I am not belittling suburban churches or suburban pastors. In Detroit those suburban pastors help support us, as do their congregations. They are just as loved and important to the Lord. I simply am trying to make a point, that God also has a special breed of servants who go to the down-and-out. Thank God for them.
Boston Outreach Report
We have just experienced a miraculous breakthrough in Boston. This summer we have had several street outreaches, totaling 26 street meetings. In the first 20 meetings there was blatant resistance. This came as no surprise, as we were warned not to go into these neighborhoods. Even the police hesitated going into some of these areas of high crime, poverty, drug addiction and alcoholism.
In one park, our workers were ridiculed and mocked openly as they passed out gospel tracts and prepared for the showing of THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE movie. Several tough young men came up to our workers, jeering and fighting and threatening. But our workers were not scared off. That night they showed the movie and a crowd of several hundred gathered around to watch. When the invitation was given for those who wanted to accept Christ to come forward, the first ones who came were those same tough young men who were picking fights earlier in the day. They made sincere apologies and repented, crying out to the Lord for forgiveness.
Another night, during a meeting in the heroin-center of Boston, several hundred young people, men, women and children gathered around our workers. When the invitation was given, 35-40 responded to the Lord.
One woman, 39 - years old and the mother of 5 children, came forward. She had been a heroin addict for 10 years; the tracks were visibly bulging up and down her arms. She was contemplating suicide - but she came forward with tears, seeking help. She confessed her sin, cried out for mercy, and is now preparing to go into the Teen Challenge program for women this week.
Several others with a tremendous hunger for God also came forward for prayer. As a result, we have started a new Bible study in this neighborhood.
Rodney Hart, our street pastor in Boston, was converted 9 years ago through the Teen Challenge ministry. He was steeped in all types of narcotic use and crime. He and his wife Lynn, who was a teenage alcoholic, graduated from Teen Challenge and Twin Oaks Leadership Academy. They have worked with our ministry for the past 6 years.
His associate, Mike Schiusser, was a heroin addict for 7 years in Chicago, where he was in and out of jails. He was converted through the Teen Challenge program 7 years ago and has been a part of our ministry since completing the course of study at Twin Oaks Leadership Academy.
These precious young people worked in our first street outreach in Boston 2 years ago. Rodney, who is a Boston native, felt a deep burden for this city, so remained and planted a new church that now has 50- 60 members and are currently meeting regularly in a house. We also work closely with Tom Hinton who has a new inner-city church in one of the neediest neighborhoods.
This summer we had 25 young people come in to help with the street outreaches. For most of them, this was their first time in the inner city. They were scared, but after seeing the hunger and openness of the peopIe, they immediately felt compassion and reached out to them. Some now feel they are being called to the inner-city ministry.
Pray for the workers and the new converts from the Boston outreach. Pray for the many drug addicts that will be going into Teen Challenge programs, as a result of this summer's outreach.
Please know - and I speak the truth - it is the giving of our dear friends who help make all this ministry to the needy possible. We simply could not evangelize, follow-up, establish ghetto churches, distribute food, clothing, literature to those in need - without the faithful monthly support of our caring friends.
Thank you for your prayers and support.
Used with permission granted by World Challenge, P. O. Box 260, Lindale, TX 75771, USA.
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This data file is the sole property of World Challenge. It may not be altered or edited in any way. It may be reproduced only in its entirety for circulation as "freeware," without charge. All reproductions of this data file must contain the copyright notice [i.e., "Copyright © 1999 by World Challenge"]. This data file may not be used without the permission World Challenge for resale or the enhancement of any other product sold. This includes all of its content with the exception of a few brief quotations. Please give the following source credit: Copyright © 1999 by World Challenge, Lindale, Texas, USA.
This material is solely for personal use and is not to be posted publicly on other web pages. The Lorain County Free-Net Chapel holds exclusive rights from World Challenge, Inc. to publicly post these messages on its web page. You are free to download, copy, print and distribute this material, so long as you do not post it on a different Internet site. You may, however, link this site to reference these messages.
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