Faith for Souls #3:
1800 Saved in 8 Days!

By | 1 Aug 2023
Jesus rescuing from the flames

When you want what God wants, for the same reason He wants it, all of Heaven is behind you. You cannot fail!
Jerry O’Dell

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?
Jeremiah 32:27

‘1,800 Saved Within 8 Blocks in 8 Days!’ read the headline in the newsletter of the veteran missionary evangelists Jerry and Marilyn O’Dell who had taken me to Africa.

What a blessing! Think of it; I had never taken a mission trip before, yet so many were saved — most of them Muslim.

The believers there were ecstatic because revival had come to that church. The nightly meetings were like an indoor mass evangelic campaign. The lost and the new converts followed us to church to attend them.

Excitement was everywhere!

Jerry O’Dell had been one of my instructors at Rhema Bible Training College. While pastoring my first congregation in rural Arkansas, Jerry came twice to minister at our small church. Jerry had also invited me to join him on a mission trip for several years. This was my first trip with them.

For Success in Business, Do God’s Business

On the first day of the outreach, 200 workers came. Before this, I had taught three sessions during the lunch hour about ‘Success in Business by the Holy Spirit.’ On the final day, I gave a challenge. I announced, “Now, if you want to be successful in your business, be about God’s business — win the lost to Christ. Come to the outreach on Friday; let’s evangelize this neighborhood.”

We averaged about 300 attendees for the ‘Success in Business’ sessions. By week’s end, about 200 came out to share the Gospel of Jesus! The statistical average for a church outreach is only about 3% of the congregation. We had 66% — that was a miracle! Hearts were expectant.

439 Born Again in One Afternoon

I preached Faith for Souls. I enrolled them in ‘Jesus’s School of Winning the Lost.’ We went out into the streets of Lagos, Nigeria. Four hundred thirty-nine were born again in one afternoon. Miracles were happening in the streets (see Mark 16:15-18; Matthew 10:7-8; Acts 6:3-8; Acts 8:5-8; Jeremiah 32:27).

A brother named Jeffery shared that as he was witnessing to an older woman, a man walked by with a bad limp. He finished praying with the woman to receive Christ; the man limped by again. Finally, the brother spoke to the man. ‘Jesus Christ can make you whole!’ He reached out and touched the man’s leg, which was instantly healed!

A Girl Who Could Not Talk

The next day was Saturday. We had about 150 workers because some could not attend. We saw 400 more receive Christ! Many children also accepted the Lord.

As we wrapped up for the day, Peter, my interpreter, and I stood near the road, waiting for the others. A small group of kids approached us. They explained that one girl in their group could not talk. She just made grunts as if her tongue could not form the words. ‘Peter, do you want to pray for her, or do you want me to?’ (I meant, “Do you want to work a miracle, or shall I?” He motioned for me to pray.)

Jesus Did Unusual Miracles

Following the Spirit, I told her (Peter interpreting), “This is unusual, but I am going to touch your tongue.”

Jesus had done many unusual things ministering to people, as in this account in the Gospel of St. Mark:

Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee.

Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him.
And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly.

Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.
And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.
Mark 7:31-37

Sometimes God leads in unusual ways to get a person’s attention so that they will react from their heart and trust God (Hebrews 11:6).

God Loosed Her Tongue

I touched her outstretched tongue, grasping it with my thumb and forefinger. “Be loosed in Jesus’ Name!” Then, turning to Peter, I instructed him to tell her to count her numbers. She did! Peter then sang a native childhood song. She sang along! The other girls all chattered at once. Finally, Peter said, “They are saying she could not do that before; she could not do that before!” Praise God. God had loosed her tongue!

Did That Really Just Happen?

Heading back to the church, Peter spoke of the next step in his work, from foreman to general contractor. He was excited about what God had told him during the ‘Success in Business’ sessions.

I stopped him. “Peter, did that girl’s tongue become free, and now she can talk plainly? She could not speak, but now she can?”

“Oh, yes!” he responded and then resumed his conversation about his new business. I was in awe. I wanted to pinch myself — was it but a dream?

A Woman Pled for Her Deaf Child

On Monday, the third day of the outreach (we had rested Sunday), a woman approached while out in the neighborhood. I had just shared the Gospel of Christ with a Muslim man who received Jesus as Lord. The woman spoke to me in English. She attended the church meetings. This woman had an eleven-year-old daughter who was deaf. She asked for our help.

The woman explained that her husband was Muslim and had taken their daughter to mosques, juju priests, and witch doctors and had done everything he could to help her, yet she remained deaf.

Surprised and unprepared to think about it, I just responded from my heart. They placed the girl in front of me. Then, remembering what Jesus had done in the Scriptures (see Mark 7:33 above where “He put His fingers in his ears”), I did the same.

Deaf Spirit, Go!

I spit on my fingertips, placed them into each of the girl’s ears, and commanded, “Deaf spirit, go in Jesus’ Name!” The young lady was turned to face her mother behind her. I told the mom, “You watch her face. You tell me if she can hear.”
I snapped my fingers next to the child’s right ear. Her mother’s face lit up; her head nodded. She smiled. However, I could tell from the girl’s reactions that she could hear. With every snap on either side of her head, the girl would twitch in that direction. We brought the girl’s older brother up. His sister was tested in front of him. Again, he affirmed her healing. I think we tested her before yet another person — I don’t remember. But then the father came outside. Others gathered.

Upon seeing her father, the girl got still — she seemed a little intimidated. We tested the girl before her dad, but she did not respond. She sort of “froze up.” Imagine hearing when you have never done so. We said our goodbyes and went on our way.

The Muslim Father Came to Christ

Another large church service took place that evening. People packed the place. The African worship was beautiful.

But what especially made the evening was the close of the service. They gave the invitation to “Give your heart to Christ.” I sat in wonder as I watched the same father, his hand on his young daughter’s shoulder, walking together to the front of the church. They came to give their lives to Jesus. Jesus had opened this man’s daughter’s ears, and he knew it.

Lord Confirms His Word

T.L. Osborn used to say, “Miracles are the Dinner Bell for the Gospel.”

The Scriptures tell us the Lord confirms His Word.

And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with (them) and confirming the Word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
Mark 16:20 (NOTE: “them” is not in the original Greek. The Lord confirms His Word when we preach it.)

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the teams gathered to go out. New workers were coming in each day. By the fifth day, over 1,800 were born again, confessing Jesus Christ as the Lord of their lives! We made follow-up visits on Thursday and Friday, visiting those newly saved. Not only did we affirm they had received Jesus, but additional family members prayed to receive Christ as well! Glory!

Could This Happen in My Life?

“Oh, could anything this marvelous happen in my life?” Absolutely! How? By having Faith for Souls. That revival of a great harvest of souls did not begin with the outreach on Friday. It started on the Wednesday night before.

We got permission from the senior pastor (of this church of about 3,500-5,000 members) to evangelize on Wednesday. The pastor responded, “Yes, we could take people out soul winning.” He released faith.

Seeds for Revival

At the final teaching session on “Success in Business” (Wednesday day), I had issued a challenge. I challenged them to “…be about God’s business. Win the lost to Christ, and He will bring success to your business.” Seeds for revival had been planted.

The Lord Told Me 2,000 Would Come to Christ

But late Wednesday evening, I heard the Lord speak before I slipped into bed. I was in my pajamas, coming out of the bathroom. The Lord said to me, “2,000 will come to Christ” (including an outdoor night service I preached, we reached all 2,000!)

When I heard that word, I had a choice. I could receive it and say, “Yes, Lord, I believe it!” (Luke 1:38; Hebrews 13:8) Or I could doubt that God could use my labors in such a way. How could I could embrace this word that 2,000 souls would be won to Christ? Because, in my heart, I have Faith for Souls.

I Am the God of America Too!

Flying back from Africa, reflecting upon all that had happened, God again spoke within me. His voice boomed within my heart:
“I am not the God of Nigeria only; I am the God of America too!”

What He did there, He can and will do here or where ever you live —if we have Faith for Souls.

A Note About Mission Trips

Let me digress a moment and talk about taking mission trips.

First, you do not have to cross the globe to impact others. Across the street will do. All need to hear the Gospel. I loved what T.L. Osborn would say, ‘The World is your Estate!’ (As you will discern, T.L. Osborn was one of my most outstanding mentors. Though I only spoke a few words with him twice, I have listened repeatedly to his messages and read his books and literature. To this day, I can still hear his voice.)

You Do Not Need Money

Second, you do not need money for foreign missions and trips worldwide. Let me say that again. Money is not what you need. What you need is a word from God.  

What do I mean? If you seek God and He impresses upon your heart that you are to take such-and-such a trip, you have all you need. Why? Because by His character, if He has commissioned you to go (even on a short-term trip), there are two things He has already provided.

  1. The physical means (the provision)
  2. His Word to go with you.

He never lies. He only calls if He will also provide the way. The physical provision, the grace, and the anointing to carry out the work are all contained in His word of direction to you.

Let Me Give You an Example

In my lifetime, I have made 70 mission trips abroad. 10 of those were to India. Twice to Africa. German-speaking Europe, throughout much of the United Kingdom, South and Central America, and more. I crisscrossed the United States, preaching, teaching, and demonstrating Faith for Souls as church members and pastors, and I went out into their communities. These God adventures around the world are a delight to tell.

After almost every service, believers would approach me and say, “I want to go on a mission trip…if I only had the money.” In response, I would explain what I am attempting to explain here. Few understood. How can I not need money to go?

A Louisiana Man Got It

One young man from Louisiana named Rustin understood. Rustin was an unlikely candidate. He was the church custodian and worked in a side business as a handyman. He had four children; one was an adopted child, and his wife was homeschooling the children (so he was the sole breadwinner). Life was tight as it was.

But after cleaning the church one evening alone, Rustin entered the sanctuary to seek God. He worshipped, prayed, and waited. Finally, Rustin asked the Lord whether he was to take a mission trip (he and I intended he would accompany me to India).

As Rustin Waited Upon the Lord, He Spoke

As he waited upon the Lord, the Lord spoke to his heart, “Yes, you are to go with William to India.”

The next day, he called me and shared his experience with the Holy Spirit. I gave him straightforward instructions: describe in a letter what you believe the Lord wants you to do.

Rustin did this. But before he shared the letter with anyone besides his pastor, his pastor told him to wait. He (the pastor) wanted to discuss the topic with the congregation. So the pastor shared with the church what Rustin believed he was to do, and then they received an offering.

Provision Came, To the Dollar

The cost for the ticket (the sole expense Rustin would have as my travel companion) was $1,536. The offering received for Rustin for India was the same amount — to the dollar!

Rustin was overseas for three weeks; his wife received groceries, clothes, and cash gifts. The church even paid his salary while he was in India with me. His family had more provisions while he was not home working. Why? Because he sought the Lord — and heard from Him.

More Trips Followed

Rustin made two trips with me to India. On that first trip, he helped me to dedicate three new churches and freshwater wells. On the second, he and my Indian counterpart, Melchizedek, served as campaign managers for a mass ten-day crusade in Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, India, which reached about 40,000 (combined meeting attendance) with 3,500 decision cards for Christ.

Rustin later worked with his other family members in various parts of the world, including Ukraine. (They still assist believers they know during the current Russian assault upon Ukraine.)

We Need a Word From God

What we need today is a Word from God. If we hear and trust His direction for our lives and ministries, we can accomplish much more for the Kingdom of God.

What is Faith for Souls? How Can I Get It?

How do I get Faith For Souls?’ I did not always have it. Instead, I had “fear” for souls. Just the idea of witnessing made me tremble inside.

My First Experience

You should have seen me the first time introduced to witnessing. I was a freshman at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. I had known Jesus as Lord for only a couple of months after Rick, a water polo teammate, had led me to Christ.

Then the Lord sent another man, Gerald, to instruct and disciple me in a Bible study. Gerald would sometimes show up unannounced at my dorm room to nurture our friendship. He would often take me for ice cream, or we would ride bicycles.

Come on! We are Going Witnessing.

One afternoon, Gerald came by, and I greeted him, “Hey man, what’s happening?” (expecting a trip to the soda shop).

But he responded, “Come on! We are going witnessing.”

“Witnessing?” I asked uneasily, “What’s that?”

Gerald explained that we would talk to perfect strangers about God and Jesus. I must have turned three shades of green, then white! Utter horror shot through my chest. But I went because of pride and not wanting to lose face before this man I admired. I did not say a word until Gerald had paved the way and proved that “these are not hostile natives” and they “would not eat us!”

What was it I lacked? What do we all need?