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The silence of the great hall in Cochin was broken only by soft, choking sobs. The Spirit of God was moving over the room with awesome power convicting of sin and calling men and women into His service. Before the meeting ended, 120 of the 1,200 pastors and Christian leaders present made their way to the altar, responding to the call of the North.
They were not saying, Im willing to go, but rather I am going.
They made the choice to leave home, village and family, business or career and go where they would be hated and feared. Meanwhile, another 600 pastors pledged to return to their congregations and raise up more missionaries who would leave South India and go to the North.
I stood silently in the holy hush, praying for the earnest pastors crowded around the altar. I was humbled by the presence of God.
As I prayed, my heart ached for these men. How many would be beaten and go hungry or be cold and lonely in the years ahead?
How many would sit in jails for their faith? I prayed for the blessing and protection of God on them and for more sponsors across the seas to stand with them.
They were leaving material comforts, family ties and personal ambitions. Ahead lay a new life among strangers. But I also knew they would witness spiritual victory as many thousands turned to Christ and helped form new congregations in the unreached villages of North India.
With me in the meeting was U.S. Christian radio broadcaster David Mains, a serious student of revival. He had joined us in Cochin as one of the conference speakers. He later testified how the Lord had taken over the meeting in a most unusual way.
It would hardly have been different, he wrote later, had Jesus Himself been bodily among us. The spirit of worship filled the hall. The singing was electrifying. The power of the Holy Spirit came upon the audience. Men actually groaned aloud. I have read of such conviction in early American history during times like the two Great Awakenings, but I had never anticipated experiencing it firsthand.
But the Lord is not simply calling out huge numbers of national workers. God is at work saving people in numbers we never before dreamed possible. People are coming to Christ all across Asia at an accelerated rate wherever salvation is being proclaimed. In some areas like India, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand it is not uncommon now for the Christian community to grow as much in only one month as it formerly did in a whole year.
Reports of mass conversion and church growth are being underplayed in the Western press. The exciting truth about Gods working in Asia has yet to be told, partly because the press has limited access. Except in a few countries, like Korea and the Philippines, the real story is not getting out.