14. A WALK IN A MIRACLE
Papua New Guinea-Today, Sunday, December 14, 1980 – I arrived in Papua New Guinea. It was unreal, awesome, powerful, and glorious. No words could describe my arrival at the airport, except to say that it was straight out of the book of Acts.
I knew no one in the country, and had never spoken to anyone in the country. I had told one friend in Australia that I was going to New Guinea. He had telephoned missionaries and told them of my walk there. Many of my tapes and books had been circulated through New Guinea without my knowing about it at all, so I expected no one at the airport. But as the plane landed I could see crowds of people lining the airport fence. They began to wave and shout. As we came off the airplane I saw “one way” fingers pointed toward heaven. The words were about Jesus Hallelujah! Glory to God! They were waiting for us. Hundreds of people were screaming “Praise God,” “Hallelujah!” I shall never forget that crowd.
I came through Immigration and Customs without any problems. You could hear the Jesus cheers, singing poured through Customs. It was electric! Finally I walked out with Joshua, my son, and Mike Ooten, my friend. The crowds grabbed me, screaming, tearing at me, pushing and shoving to touch me. They took the cross over their heads and began carrying it out of the building. They grabbed the bags, some going one way and some another, and then they grabbed me and lifted me above their shoulders and began carrying me out of the airport. A sea of black faces … the airport was in total confusion!
I knew no one. I lost Joshua and I couldn’t see Mike. How did all of these people hear of me? I didn’t know anyone would be here. We expected no one, but the power of God had fallen. A lady fell at my feet and was saved and immediately filled with the Holy Spirit. It was indescribable!
I was dripping wet with sweat in the scorching heat. I was soaked in water. I led a huge man to Jesus. The crowd had gathered and I found a spot and stood on the back of a truck and began to preach. The power of the glory of God came. Hundreds of people praying, welcoming Jesus into their lives. This was my arrival in Papua New Guinea.
December 15, 1980 -Well, today followed in the steps of yesterday … great and glorious mighty beyond words.
I was in town at noon and a man came to see me about a man named Joe, who was head of one of the biggest gangs in Papua New Guinea, and one of the most wanted criminals by the law. “Joe is hiding. Would you meet him?” he asked.
I went into a backroom to meet him. The power of God fell on him immediately and he began to weep and was saved. It was awesome! He rounded up about 30 of other gang leaders from around the city and they came to see me at the Christian Crusade Center, where I was staying. I spoke to the group and there seemed to be no response, but then I asked them to come to the cross and pray. Many were saved. People began calling out to Jesus to change their lives and to save them. It again was an awesome experience. Gang leader after gang leader came up to the cross and knelt and prayed and gave their lives to Jesus. Everyone was shaken. Leaders of the two largest gangs in Port Moresby were converted in one day.
Unbelievable! Tomorrow night we will have a Rally.
A lady who was a social worker who had been trying to help reach these gangs came to me, very shaken and crying. “This is the cross, you are the man. For a year I have been seeing this cross in my dreams and a white man leading me. I saw the white man and I was following him. I knew I had to follow him, and then I could build my own life. This is the cross, which is why all the people are coming to you. This is God’s time for New Guinea. This is God’s timing!”
This is unspeakable we are living in God’s time. Oh, there was a great story in today’s newspaper that covers this city and most of the nation. I did two radio programs that covered the entire nation in the various languages of the country. They call me “Cross Man.” In this country there are over 750 languages. It is one of the most primitive countries in the world. The jungle of New Guinea, where many horrible World War II battles were fought in the surrounding islands, is an area of many islands and different languages. Many of the people still carry spears, bows and arrows, while there are a few cities trying to modernize. It is into this place that the Lord has led me.
Today, as I carried the cross through Port Moresby, we saw hundreds and thousands coming to Jesus. The whole place is shaken by the power of God. I prayed for five people today to be healed and all five were healed. This is the truth; one man came up to me when I was in a big crowd of people. I had just finished speaking and, as I looked at him, I saw his arm was drawn back and his fingers were drawn. He couldn’t move his fingers. His arm was limp. It would only twitch a little bit. He had a stroke over a year ago. The Lord spoke to me, “Pray for him and I’ll heal him.”
I was shaken. “Lord, this is like an impossible case. What do I do?”
And I felt God telling me, “Pray for him and I’ll heal him.”
It took all the faith I had, but finally I looked at the man and said, “Sir, in the name of Jesus, God wants to heal you. Reach out your hand and arm to me. I want to shake your hand.”
Everyone was standing in amazement. The man reached out his arm and, before my eyes, his fingers stretched out, his wrist was loose, his arm was strengthened and he was healed completely I saw it. I was shaken and the people were shaken!
Today we gave out over 12,000 gospel tracts and 5,000 Jesus stickers. How many people met Jesus, I don’t know.
Thursday, December 18 – A day that is straight out of the book of Acts. Today was awesome! If you can imagine a hill and a valley of houses surrounded by hills and as far as you can see, people running down the roads toward the cross. All traffic stopped, a swelling sweeping crowd following behind the cross. Old ladies running with babies in their arms, little children pushing and shoving, trying to get near. Young people who don’t know Geneva from Jesus, trying to get Jesus stickers, trying to hear the word of God. It was awesome! The leader of every street gang in town was now walking beside the cross. We saw hundreds saved. We preached to crowds of thousands and thousands. Today we gave out about 11,000 tracts, 6,000 Jesus stickers – – – it was unbelievable.
Along the street today a woman was standing with a little child in her arms. As I came by I stopped and shook her hand. Jesus spoke to me to pray for the child to be healed. The child was four or five years old and had no control over her legs; they were just hanging and flopping. I said, “Lord, oh, no, this is going to be embarrassing if I have the lady stand the child up and her legs aren’t healed.”
The Lord said, “Pray for that child and I’ll heal her right now.”
I answered, “Okay.” And I prayed.
After I prayed I looked at the child and could see her legs still flopping. I hugged the child and the mother, put my cross on my shoulder and started walking off. The Lord said, “Stop, stand the child on her legs. She is healed I stopped, tried to back the cross up through the crowd, and finally got back to the lady with the child. I took her in my arms, tears running down my cheeks. It was so tough for me to stand the child up. It would be so embarrassing, but the Lord was saying, “Do it, do it.”
The child’s legs were still limp. She had enlarged knees. I prayed for her again and I tell the truth, I lie not. I bent down, stood her on her feet. She didn’t walk for she had never walked, but she stood strong on her feet. Her joints were perfectly normal. I was speechless! Glory to God! The crowd went wild.
I must say this. Most of the time I don’t see people healed. There have been only a few times. Normally it is when I’m walking down the road, passing along, that I see people healed and, usually, when I see them healed they are all healed and are usually healed every time. This healing power lasts for only a matter of minutes or a matter of hours, or sometimes for a matter of days. Everyone is healed, not just a few. I have no explanation. It is astounding to me. But most of the times when people ask me to pray or come up to be healed I don’t see the healing. Only once in awhile and when God does the healing, it is complete and is astounding. Praise the Lord!
I’ve been here less than a week and I’ve seen 120 gang members saved. Every gang leader in Port Moresby is now converted to Jesus Christ. The main leader who was converted the first day has now turned himself into the law and is being taken away to the prison where he had escaped. But soon he’ll be released for they said they had never seen such a change.
There has been a drought here. It hasn’t rained since March. People have been praying for rain. Today it rained the heaviest rain on record. All the people were saying, “It’s the cross! It’s the cross! The cross came and it has begun to rain.”
Today I carried the cross through the largest village in Papua New Guinea. The chief and the old men of the village presented me with the most important thing they could give me, a necklace with a huge boar’s tusk with shells all around it and two nuts. I was made me a New Guinea tribesman. They also gave a similar one to Joshua. Now we are real Papua New Guinea people!
Well, if I said this was a glorious Christmas Eve, it would be a poor adjective. This day is beyond words!
I started carrying the cross today at 8:00am in Mount Hagen. Hundreds followed us everywhere. People in grass skirts, some in little bark G-string skirts, others with feathers in their hair, some in western dress. All came to hear the word of God, and to see for a moment what was happening. The man with the cross was here. The power of God poured out. People were on their knees with their hands raised. People were crying out to Jesus. I preached over and over. At noon today I preached in a huge market. Then right out side of the primitive jungle I saw two very old men sitting at the foot of the cross touching it. One was wearing a G-string and the other was in old pants. They were so precious. I asked a fellow to try to talk to them but they couldn’t communicate. They seemed to have heard about Jesus but knew nothing about the cross, yet they were drawn to it. They were touching every bit of the cross, looking at every inch of it. Finally, we found someone who could interpret and both of the men gave their lives to Jesus.
I preached on this Christmas Eve night at the Philadelphia Church. It was one of the greatest movements I have ever seen. As I was preaching in the crowded building, with a sea of black faces surrounding me, around the walls and out the door, the Lord gave me a vision. I could see all the people for 2,000 years; the black, red, brown, white, every color, every look, of every description and I could see them all glorying to the cross, glorying in the Lord.
I was preaching on the Scripture passage where the angels sang the night that Jesus was born, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men.” The angels were glorifying God and I was thinking of all the people through all the ages of every color that had gloried in the cross and gloried in Jesus. I was crying, the people were crying. It was awesome. You could feel inside the church that the angels were there!
It seemed as though Jesus must have been standing outside the church. No one saw anything, no one was looking out, but I’ve never been in a meeting where I felt the Lord was just standing there and all around. His glory, His angels. We glorified God like in Revelation 5 where it says, “Worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessings.”
These were primitive people and God was visiting them and they were all crying out. It went on and on and on. The whole church was caught up in the glory of the Lord and we glorified God and praised Him. I never wanted to leave this place for it was the greatest Christmas Eve I had ever spent in my life, but I had to leave. I was to preach on down the road. I continued on with the cross. The people followed me. They were singing and clapping. It was just beautiful as we walked with the cross. Joshua was with me, and my interpreter, Charles. We had left the Protestant Church and we went to the Catholic Church. The priest had asked me to come that night and preach at this, the most important Mass of the year, Christmas Eve Mass, just as it turned into Christmas Day. The word was out that I was coming. Thousands of people packed the church and stood all around it. Seas of people inside and out. We pushed through the crowd as they priests wanted me to bring the cross to the front. I carried it up to the altar. The priests were Polish and American, so when I got there they had me speak and the glory of God came strongly and powerfully. I shared about Jesus and people coming to the cross of Jesus at His birth. The people were smiling and crying. I prayed for the people to invite Jesus into their hearts. There was no way to have an altar call, for there were so many people you couldn’t move. But it was glorious! Jesus was there! I don’t think it could have been any more wonderful than it was the night Jesus was born except we could have seen him face to face. It seemed that the Lord was all around the place, too!
The priests took me to the back into the little place where they lived and we ate some cake and prayed together. We cried and made a circle and hugged each other, and spoke of the beautiful love of the Lord. I stood there with those priests who had sacrificed marriage and children, full of the love of Jesus, working and giving their lives in the cause of Christ. That Christmas Eve night, first in a Protestant church, then in a Catholic, the unifying bond of Jesus Christ was the greatest Christmas Eve I’ve ever had. I’ve seen a great move of God’s Spirit in Papua New Guinea. It is powerful!
Praise the Lord, it has been 11 years today, December 25, 1980, that I have been carrying the cross around the world. And here I am in the jungles of New Guinea on Christmas Day. Hallelujah!
All down the road today there is nothing but a sea of black faces. People were pouring out of the mountains onto the narrow trail. As far as you can see, women suckling babies, carrying loads, old men, young women, hundreds, thousands – people rush up saying, “I’m a bad sinner can you help me?” What an awesome, awesome time!
January 1, 1981- God performed a mighty miracle today. Peace was the word and salvation came. This is a time of heavy violence in the nation and in this area it is at its worst. There is war between the tribes. No traffic on the highway today, only Army and police patrols. Load after load of them drove down the highway toward where the fighting was centered. We were warned by the Christians not to walk but I felt we couldn’t concede one day to the devil. We can’t concede one moment to him!
We were on the road at 4:30am. Crowds all along the way were waiting to see the cross, not to fight. The police were amazed. It was all peaceful. The first peaceful New Year in many years. All were waiting for the cross to arrive.
Today deep conviction, the glory gets more, more, if it’s possible. We climbed up an 8,093 foot mountain today. Not many people were at the top, but when we came down, wow! It was unbelievable! We met a crowd of about 100 men, all carrying spears and bows and arrows. I preached to them. They had on little G-strings and war marks all over their faces. I found out they had come from miles around. One of the chiefs handed me a spear and through an interpreter said, “We welcome you. We have gathered to greet you. You are a man of God.” Then he held up the spear and presented it to me. He said, “This is our spear of war, but the cross has brought peace to us. We surrender the spear to the power of the cross. We have heard about Jesus and the cross, now we’ve seen it.”
They all knelt and gave their lives to Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!
I was walking down the road one day and saw a group of about 50 people. Through the interpreter I found they had walked for three days to see the cross and to see me. I shared with them about Jesus. They had walked for three days and had sat on the roadside for three days, and then I showed up… six days to see the cross!! After I preached and shared everything I knew about Jesus, I kissed them and prepared to leave. As I started to walk away, my interpreter Charles said, “Arthur.” “What?” I asked, as I turned back to him.
“These people say you said that Jesus was coming again and that we should be ready for His coming, that He had been born, lived without sin, died on the cross, rose again and ascended into heaven. We have a question to ask you. We heard that the man with the cross was coming and they walked for three days and waited for three days, then you came. They are wondering if they should wait for Jesus here at the roadside or should they go on back to their village?”
Tears poured down my cheeks as I thought of the tremendous thrill and excitement they had for the return of Christ. It was so powerful to see those who were so excited about the return of Jesus, should they stay and wait for Him or should they go back to their village. Glory to God.
January 5- A sea of people as far as the eye can see, clear to the top of the hill, all the way back down to the road, the road completely blocked. It was chaos. The largest meeting I’ve had so far. Thousands and thousands of people. They crowded around. It was awesome. I preached a sermon in the center of the city. People were weeping, they were on their knees, they were crying. It was just unbelievable … unbelievable! Glory, glory!
Today was another one of those unbelievable days. It was glorious, a day of salvation and joy. Thousands welcomed the cross into the city. The highway was blocked as thousands poured into the streets. All the police were trying their best to keep a little bit of order, but it was hopeless. There must have been 25,000 to 30,000 people lining the roads for miles into town. It was impossible to stop and preach to all of them because the entire road was blocked. One can never know what is it like to see this… the people along the road, in the trees, standing on the tops of cars, sitting on top of houses, waving and cheering, pushing and shoving, pushing and shoving to see and follow along for awhile. The power of God fell as I preached hard. At noon it was a sea of people. Thousands prayed and confessed Jesus Christ as their savior.
Tonight I saw something I’ve never seen in this same way before. Normally I only preach and never pray for the sick to be healed, but preaching outside at a Rally tonight I felt the Lord tell me to pray for the sick. I wanted to resist, but the Lord said, “No, do it now.”
I asked all the sick people to raise their hands and for everyone to look around for the sick near them, then I prayed over the crowd to be healed. There were screams and shouts from all over the place and then I asked for all who had been healed to raise their hands. Many people raised their hands. I asked if there was anyone that wasn’t healed if they would raise their hands and there was no one! Everyone was healed! Probably 150 people. Some were healed of the most terrible afflictions that one could imagine. The place was shaken! God never led me to pray for a crowd of people to be healed again for months, it was one time. Again, I don’t understand it, but I know His power to heal is real. Praise the Lord!
The front page of the local newspaper showed a picture of a little nude black boy. He had gotten lost in front of the hospital as a huge crowd had surged past trying to see the cross. He was swept up in the crowd. The police had looked for him all over the city and finally two people found him wandering along the road far from where he had been reported lost. A picture of this little boy and then the picture of me and the cross on the front page. What a sensation!
Glory to God… the glory fell today! I preached time after time in this town and then tonight, as I stood to preach, the glory of God came. People began to weep and to wail … it was unreal. So strong was the conviction of God that I stopped preaching. I felt God say “120 people will surrender to preach.”
I gave the invitation for preachers. When we counted, 120 people were standing at the front to go out and preach the good news of Jesus. Hundreds and hundreds of others were saved. It is a spirit or repentance that has been sweeping this place, deep conviction of sin. People overcome with guilt and sadness with a desire to be clean.
One man came running up and said, “Give me a new name.” “What do you mean?” I asked.
“A witch doctor gave me my name,” he said. “But now I know Jesus and I want a new name.”
I gave him my name.
Today I took a boat from Mudang to Wewak. It was an unbelievable trip. A trip that was supposed to only take about 12 hours took 24 hours. A huge storm came up and the boat almost sank. Waves swept up and over the boat. I was sick without stop for 24 hours. Got off the boat where crowds of people were waiting for me to preach and to see the man with the cross.
Glory to God! Today I saw over 5,000 people converted. It was a massive response. People as far as you could see in every direction in this small town of maybe 2,000 or 3,000 people. The police and Army said there were from 10,000 to 15,000 people in the town.
Manus Island- Mike and I arrived here by airplane, unloaded the cross and came into the little town. Today was a day of the glory of the Lord. It was just one of the most wonderful days that one could ever live in this world. Unbelievable, awesome. Crowds were gathering before we got up. I preached 22 times today, from 8:00am to 12:30 the next day. Almost non-stop, preaching every where; in the market, stores, schools, the hospital, a radio station, at the government headquarters. There was a little boy that followed me all day and he called me his father. I loved him, oh, I loved him. Everyone from all over the island is coming to see the cross. Deep conviction, everyone wanting to shake my hand. I have never seen such hand-shakers! People under deep conviction!
A committee from the Catholic Church asked me to speak there tonight and carry the cross. The Evangelical Church decided to unite with them. When we gathered at the Catholic Church, people were everywhere. All over the altar, all over the floor, the seats. Standing inside and outside were hundreds and hundreds more. It was glorious singing. It was pouring torrential rains, yet no one outside left. They were soaking wet hour after hour. It was awesome. I believe it was one of the more spirit-filled meetings I have ever seen. I preached in the glorious power of the Holy Spirit. I stood the cross up and began to preach as the people wept and wailed. Seven people stood and gave testimonies of their having received Jesus as personal Savior, and then as I gave the invitation, crowds of people flooded the front. People were weeping. Their hands were on the cross. It was unbelievable. Hour after hour after hour. I finally went over to the priest’s house at three o’clock in the morning and we talked, returned and the church was still packed, people crying and weeping. In the early morning hours I lay down and went to sleep. It was just an unbelievable February 10th.
February 11 – Well, yesterday was a most unbelievable and glorious day. What could top yesterday? Today! In the morning I met with the Acting Prime Minister of Manus Island and then went to the airport. I’ll never forget two ladies that met me there. They had come all the way across the island to see me. They had arrived too late, so they got a ride to the airport just before the small propeller plane arrived. Two ladies came running up, their front teeth were rotted out, and they were chewing beetle nuts, which when mixed with lime makes a red juice which is a kind of dope. Their hair was a mess and they were smoking cigarettes, but they were smiling and crying and hugging me. They were so happy. I knelt and prayed with them and they gave their lives to Jesus Christ. I think it is one of the most beautiful scenes of pure love I’ve ever witnessed, for they weren’t concerned about their hair, their dress, or their missing teeth… but smiling, and with open arms they welcomed me at the airport.
We flew in today to Kavieng on the island of New Ireland. It was unbelievable. All of the businesses in town, all over the island, were closed. People came from surrounding islands as far as 100 miles away by boat. For over 200 miles on land people had come to see the cross.
The town will hold maybe 3,000 people, but there were at least 15,000 people in the area today. A whole city was blocked off. The police had put up roadblocks and barricades. The schools were closed and the government offices were closed. The Pastor said that most of the people he had never even been in the city. They had announced on the radio that I was coming and the word had spread by mouth. Deep conviction was everywhere. I cannot describe the spirit of the people.
I preached impassioned … the whole place was shaken by the power of God.
In less than three months in Papua New Guinea, I had preached to over a quarter of a million people. Almost 70,000 people had confessed Jesus Christ and I had preached 493 times in less than three months.