I would like to start my paper by saying that I would not have came to RBI or to the River if the ministry did not put soul winning number one. My Christian life began by going to a church and sitting under a pastor that emphasized soul winning. When I left to go to college in Tulsa, OK a couple of years later I did not find that the rest of the Word of Faith charismatic movement shared the same zeal to win the lost. Because I was young and impressionable I lost my first love, soul winning. However, the Lord was so gracious to lead me back into his perfect will for my life and also the perfect will of every believer to be a soul winner, witness for Jesus.
This began in 1998 on a mission’s trip to Peru. I began traveling to Peru on mission’s trips and got to see thousands come to Jesus as well as countless miracles. I can’t tell you how happy and fulfilled I was to be an active part of the great commission. However, I was so shocked when I would come home many times to a church that did not feel the same. I didn’t realize that for years I had been associated with luke warm Christians who had lost their first love. We had simply been religious.
I found out the hard way when I would pour my heart out for the lost to Pastors. For the most part it was like facing the Pharisees’. I had a head on collision with religion! I was basically told to sit down and shut up. I spent the next few years overcoming the hurt and bitterness of some of this. It turned when the Lord showed me supernaturally through a man named John Bevere to pray for people that persecute you.
As I began to do this the Lord began to work. Within six months I ended up at a GAT in St. Louis, MO. When I came I did not even realize that Pastor Rodney’s ministry focused on getting people involved in soul winning, or that he had a vision to see a hundred million people come to the Lord. That meeting in St. Louis changed my life forever! The first person I met was Jake Peterson. We went out on the street the first day and won souls! This was an answer to mine and my wife’s prayers. That night in the meeting the power of God hit me and I was in the floor laughing as being washed out!
The process has really never stopped. I am so glad to finally be living here in Tampa, going to RBI and the River. I know that the Lord is preparing me and my family for what he has in the future, and that is to become even more equipped to be a part of shaking nations and taking the gospel to the entire world. I am so happy to be part of a Bible school that puts soul winning number one! I think Oswald J. Smith said it best, “Bible teaching without evangelism will result in stagnation.” Thank God that River doesn’t get stagnant because it is always flowing. Thank God I’m in the River!!!
I was saved at the age of 40 while in a rehabilitation center for drug and alcohol abuse. Someone had shown more interest in me than I did in myself. I didn’t realize it at the time but God put him in my life for a reason.
While soul winning once, I was praying with a young women just sitting on her front steps. She repeated the words with little conviction. Then, I asked her if she’d like to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit? She immediately perked up and said “Yea, I’ve heard about that”!! We joined hands and prayed. Well, she started crying, and shaking, then laughing, then started speaking, and her eyes popped open, I’d said “just let it go, close your eyes”. Well, we both nearly fell down the steps because she started speaking in tongues!! Next time I will be more aware of my surroundings while praying for the Holy Spirit.
I know it was the Holy Spirit working through ME, an ex addict who found God. Here I was witnessing and praying with someone in a similar situation as mine once was. To see them receive the gift of the Holy Spirit was overwhelming!!
This situation reminded me of how a Christian brother who once prayed for me must have felt.
Now, I’m involved in our bus ministry, which brings people who responded to the believer’s prayer to church. I enjoy this because we get to know each other both personally and spiritually. We have Bible studies in their neighborhoods, and prayers for healing in their homes if they can’t get out.
And I think, Wow, this is ME…Remembering the person I was, now praying for people. And all because I got involved in something I wasn’t even to sure about. And through Gods Grace and Mercy I’m there now to pray for and with those people that I used to know and once was. God does work in mysterious ways! AMEN!!
Soul winning has taken on a new dimension where once before it was all about winning as many souls as possible, now it also includes ministering to the person after you have led them to the Lord. Some of the more recent experiences have included healings, and prophecies. One of the more powerful testimonies that I remember was as I was praying for this lady who had extreme pain in her hands and arms.
She had been like this for over two years, and her hands were crippled, so, as I prayed for her the power of God was present to heal her and she was able to move her fingers and her hands returned to normal. She started clapping her hands and praising the Lord in a loud voice. She then went back into her house to grab some documents and returned with documentation showing that someone had poisoned two years earlier. This pain had lingered for two years.
Another experience, that happened was at the bus station people are so receptive when it comes to receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior. As we approached one young man who was twenty one years of age, he had already accepted the Lord, but he wanted to know how to lead others. Within an hour and a half of meeting us he had learned how to lead others using the script and had lead fourteen souls to Christ.
The same thing happened with nine year old child in an apartment area; he walked with our team, and led eight souls to the Lord in just over an hour. Being part of the River under the ministry of Dr. Rodney Howard Browne is a life changing experience not only for me, but for every life that we reach out to. It is the Gospel of Christ.
When I first got to RBI the very idea of soul winning scared me to walk up to a complete stranger and share the love of Jesus with someone that I have never meant, and the areas that we were going in to were even scary to me. However as time progressed I began to see how important it was.
As I began to get in to the idea of soul winning I started to be changed by God in the inward setting. I began to believe more on the idea of healing for now. I began to be thankful for what I had and I got boldness for God. This change was one of the many things I am thankful to the school for. In one of our out reaches I walked up to this group of boys who where most likely in the middle of a drug deal when I walked up to them I was nervous, but God took over with a Holy boldness like I have never felt before.
I went through the script and they all said the prayer and then God told me to ask if any of them knew Jesus before this and one of them was obviously high and said “ I believe in the sun not Jesus and I got my boys” he was obviously trying to distract every one so the spirit of the Lord inside me was not having it. I looked at him and said” God did a lot for you.
Here you are with your boys and someone can come down the street and shoot you and they just might take a built for you however this is my fiancé and as much as I would love to say that I would take the beating Jesus took for us for him I know that there is no way I would be able to do it without denying him so they would stop, but God loved you that much he had his son do it for you and me, I guarantee you none of your boys would” at that minute it was silent and it felt still none of the kids friends said a word and that is when I saw the guy that seemed so big and bad break he started asking questions and I could tell that he would be forever changed which in return has changed me for life and made soul winning worth it to me.
Every time I step out to go soul winning I ask God to take me to the next level to the next area to change me as he changes the people I am talking to.