There in the slums of Mozambique, Heidi Baker prayed for every single blind person she ran into, despite the fact that nothing ever happened. But God had promised her that one day she would see people healed, so rather than give up, she continued to pray over and over again. A year passed and no one she prayed for ever saw, but she had faith in the promise nonetheless and kept trying.
And then one day it happened. In a little mud hut church, she prayed for a blind woman as her eyes changed from white to grey to dark shiny brown. Then they headed to another church where another blind woman was healed. The next day they headed to a village, preached the gospel, and told the crowd to bring them their sick. A blind woman came forth and was healed yet again. Healing ministry has become a necessity in Heidi’s evangelistic technique. She doesn’t just tell people the gospel, she shows it to them. And as the deaf and blind are healed time and time again, villages get to see Jesus with their own eyes as they give their lives to him.
This is a Biblical technique. Not only did Jesus walk into cities and heal people, generating crowds to come and hear the gospel, but his disciples did the same. After Jesus ascended into Heaven, Peter and others continued his tactics. He walked into the town of Lydda and healed a paralyzed man, causing the town to receive Jesus into their lives. It also caused some residents of another nearby town to fetch Peter and ask him to raise a dead woman back to life. He did so, which led many of the residents of that town to receive Jesus, too. Heidi Baker is just one example of people around the world continuing to walk in the evangelistic ministry of Jesus and Peter.
Western evangelism has more or less become apologetics, which is surely born out of the enlightenment. Since we don’t care much for the spiritual realm or the supernatural, we rely heavily on mentally and logically “enlightening” people that Jesus is real. Apologetics aren’t bad and the church needs such wisdom, but ultimately it’s the Holy Spirit who saves souls, not debate. When we are open to all the of the Biblical ways in which he works—both natural and supernatural—we broaden the scope of evangelism and become more effective.
*This devotional was created out of the themes of Acts 9:32-43 found in today’s reading at CommonPrayer.net. Heidi Baker’s story can be found in her book, Birthing the Miraculous. You can also see her supernatural evangelism at work in an older documentary called, Finger of God.