Nigeria

A Wave of God’s Healing Power

I’m expecting blind eyes to open, deaf ears to open, the lame to walk.  I’m expecting the miracle power of God to show itself forth during this Healing Rally.”
Those were the first words out of Richard Roberts’ mouth as he spoke at a news conference upon his arrival in Ibadan, Nigeria.  His great expectations were broadcast, via television, to millions of people throughout Africa and Europe.
“I’m ready to preach tomorrow night at Liberty Stadium,” Richard continued enthusiastically.  “Just turn me loose!  And you watch—God will confirm His Word with miracles, signs, and wonders.”
But before the crowds could even assemble the next evening, God’s healing power was already on the move in Ibadan.

A miracle that couldn’t wait

Later that day, Richard visited Ibadan’s police headquarters, where he had a special time of prayer with the police officers.
Just as he was about to walk out the door, he turned back to the police commissioner with a word of knowledge from the Lord.
“Have you been having difficulty with your back?” Richard asked him.
The police commissioner nodded yes.
“The Lord is healing your back right now,” Richard told him.  “You’re the first healing in Ibadan!”
The commissioner was stunned.  His back was instantly healed.  And the miracles had only begun…

A warm Nigerian welcome

At the invitation a year ago of Dr. Samuel Abiara, pastor of Christ Apostolic Church, and 1,300 other local pastors, Richard led an Oral Roberts Ministries healing team to Nigeria.  The 40-member team—five doctors, including an eye surgeon, a dentist, several nurses, young evangelists, and others—came to bring God’s love, hope, and healing power to the precious people of Ibadan.
And after a year’s anticipation, when at long last Richard stepped off the plane onto Nigerian soil, he was warmly embraced by his host, and welcomed by many local pastors who had helped to sponsor the meetings.
As healing team members began preparing for the free medical and dental clinic, Richard toured the nearby University College Hospital, where some of the team’s doctors would perform surgeries and hold teaching seminars.  He also made a special visit to the ICU, where he prayed over each patient.
He then met with the governor of the state of Oyo at the state capitol.

“We’re here because of love.”

During the next four days, the ORM medical team treated over 1,000 people at the free medical and dental clinic, and gave out hundreds of thousands of dollars in medications.
“We’re here because we love these people,” said Dr. Mike McGee, a Tulsa physician, “and we want them to know God’s love for them and His healing power.”
The medical team was joined by local doctors in an effort to see as many patients as possible.  They also prayed for each patient individually and encouraged them to attend Richard’s healing services in the evenings.

‘I once was blind, but now…’

Tulsa ophthalmologist Dr. Lin Brister brought a unique and precious gift—the gift of sight—to many people in Ibadan as he and his team performed 61cataract surgeries.
“It’s a miracle-working surgery,” said his wife, nurse Clair Brister.
The morning after her surgery, when one patient’s bandages were removed, her smile told the happy story.
“It’s very fine,” she said, “I can see clearly now.  Now I can see everybody!”

‘It’s like a celebration!’

During the four nights of the Healing Rally held at Liberty Stadium, over 25,000 people gave their lives to Jesus Christ, and countless others received healing.
Each night the ORM medical team sang a special song they had learned in the Yoruba language, much to the enjoyment of the crowd.
Brenda Isaacs commented on the spirit of the people at the services.  “They’re so exuberant in their praise,” she said.  “There’s no holding back their zeal and their enthusiasm.  It’s like a celebration.”

A wave of God’s healing power

At a chapel service held the day before Richard left for Africa, Dr. Frank Hultgren– one of several intercessors who paved the way in prayer for the journey—had a special word of prophecy for Richard and his trip to Ibadan:
“In the second or third meeting, I saw, in a vision, the power of God hit the crowd.  People were healed.  Eyes were opened.  Ears were opened.  Crippled legs walked.”
On the second night of the healing rally, the prophecy came to pass.
“The minute I touched the microphone,” Richard recalled, “miracles started happening almost instantly.  Just as Dr. Hultgren prophesied, I saw healing coming from the left side of the stadium—a wave of it—and people instantly started to get healed!”
Dr. Leanne Benton, worship leader, was on the platform with Richard.
“There was a wave of healing in the stadium,” she said. “Dr. Hultgren had prophesied it, and Richard recognized it.  I saw it—there was an actual physical breeze that came across the stadium.  The tangible presence of God came in as a wind.  God’s healings were instantaneous.  I’ve never seen or experienced it before.”
Healing team member Dominic Russo described it this way:  “The second night, Dr. Roberts didn’t even preach.  All of a sudden, a wave of healing came—people starting yelling all across the stadium.  People were being healed everywhere!”

‘Can you hear me now?’

One of the miracle healings that night was a young girl who had been almost completely deaf much of her life.
When she came to the platform to testify, Richard asked her, “Can you hear me now?”
“I hear you, sir,” the little girl replied.
Richard handed her the microphone and moved further away.  “Can you hear me now?” he asked.
“Yes, sir,” the girl replied.
Each time, Richard’s voice became quieter and quieter as he asked, “Can you hear me now?” And each time she replied clearly and without hesitation, “Yes, sir.”
“Shout hallelujah!” Richard cried.  “God is a good God!”    Laughing, he swung the little girl up in his arms as the whole crowd rejoiced together.

‘Nigeria’s finest hour’

By the third night, more than 50,000 people were packed into Liberty Stadium.
When Richard, dressed in native Nigerian clothing, declared, “Tonight I am becoming an honorary Nigerian,” the audience roared its approval.
At his invitation, they stood to their feet to give God praise for His goodness.
Looking out at the vast sea of people waving their white handkerchiefs like freedom flags toward heaven, Richard exclaimed, “I wish my wife and daughters were here to see this!
“Tonight is a night to pray for Nigeria,” he told the crowd.  “But before we pray for Nigeria, I am beginning with you.  Tonight is the night to give your heart to God.  The miracle starts with you.”
In response, thousands gave their hearts to the Lord, and their eternal destination became heaven.
At midnight, the service was still going strong.  One team member sent this text message home to the States: “It’s midnight, and nobody has left yet.  What a service!”
At 5 o’clock the next morning, many people had still not left.  They had stayed for an all-night prayer vigil for Nigeria, organized and led by local pastors.
On the last night of the rally, all the team members joined Richard on the platform as he thanked the people for their warm reception in Ibadan.
“God has a due season,” Richard told the crowd. “The Bible says, ‘If you don’t give up, you shall receive in due season.
“Expect a new miracle every day!”

Freed from years of suffering

Over the four days of the rally, multitudes of people came forward to share their healing testimonies.
One man had had tormenting pain in his head for 23 years, but when Richard prayed, the pain was gone.
A woman who had had asthma all of her life was able to breathe freely.
Another woman who was struck with blindness three years ago had her sight restored to her.
One after another, people came forward to tell how God had set them free.  Many had suffered for years with their conditions, but now there were tears of joy and relief as they celebrated their healing.

Stepping up and reaching out

Upon his return to the United States, Richard reflected on his experience in Nigeria.
“I thank God for the anointing.  I thank God because I know that He is still in the saving, healing business.  I know He’s still performing miracles, and I expect that anointing to get stronger and stronger—not for me, but to be a blessing in the lives of people everywhere.”

Thank you, Partners!

My heart is still soaring when I think about what God did in Nigeria—the thousands who gave their hearts to Jesus Christ, and the miracles of healing.  This Healing Rally was what God’s called us to do through the merging of God’s healing streams of prayer and medical science, and I want to thank you for your partnership with us.
We still need your help.  Next year, we plan to go to the country of Niger and hold the first-ever national healing rally.
Dr. Mike McGee, a Tulsa physician who lived in Niger for a year doing medical missions, plans to be part of our team again next year.
Our free medical clinics are a real door-opener to areas in need.  Dr. McGee hopes our team can bring in some much-needed medical equipment, and by working with the local doctors and medical students, have an opportunity for some real “relationship evangelism.”
You don’t change a country—you change people, and then people change countries.  And when you sow seeds to this ministry, you help us to reach out to people across the world.
Thank you, Partners, for sending me—because preaching and praying for the sick is what I was born to do.  And when you send me through your financial gifts and your prayers, I believe you get a harvest on every soul won to Jesus.  Thank you.  Thank you so much.                                                   —Richard Roberts