Enjoy this amazing true story from the life of George O. Wood, General Superintendent for the Assemblies of God from 2007 until 2017 (and General Secretary from 1993 until 2007).
In 1949, George Roy and Elizabeth Wood, an American Assemblies of God missionary couple serving in northwest China and Tibet, were forced to leave the area and a local leader named Pastor Mung took over the church of 200 people. The Woods returned to America and, by 1985, both of them had passed away without ever knowing what had happened to the church they started.
In 1988 the Wood’s son George returned to China and met with Pastor Mung and his wife, who were now in their 80’s. For 28 years the Communist government had done their best to extinguish the church. Pastor Mung was not allowed to preach and he spent nine of those years in prison for his faith. It was illegal to baptize or “indoctrinate” anyone under 18. When the government finally allowed Pastor Mung to reopen the church in 1983, there were only 30 (mostly older) people in attendance.
Assuming that the church was on its last leg, George Wood asked, “Pastor Mung, how many believers do you have today?”
Pastor Mung’s wife brought them a cardboard roll held together by yarn. The first page was filled with writing – five columns: name, age, gender, address, occupation. There were around 20 names. George Wood continued turning over page after page with the names of the baptized believers. Finally, he asked the Mungs, “How many believers do you have now?” Pastor Mung replied, “One thousand five hundred believers.”
In disbelief George Wood asked, “How did this happen?”
Pastor Mung smiled as he shared his secret for church growth. It was not a technique or a program. He simply said, “Oh! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. And we pray a lot!”
Pastor Mung died in 2006 at the age of 96. But when he passed, the number of baptized believers stood at over 15,000!
In the natural, all seemed impossible. But in the supernatural, all things are possible! On what will you focus? The natural/the impossible? Or the supernatural/all things are possible?
In Numbers 13:2, the Lord gave Moses instructions about preparing to enter the land He promised them, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites.” Notice what the Lord said about the land: “…I am giving (it) to the Israelites.” They did not have to worry about taking it, conquering it, or somehow getting hold of it. All they had to do was receive it, because the Lord had promised it to them already.
The Israelites should have remembered the Lord’s promise later in the chapter when the spies reported back about the inhabitants of the land – powerful giants with fortified cities. Their conclusion? “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are” (v32). What a sad decline from v1 to v32. Yes, it is true that the enemy was formidable, even terrifying. But they forgot the promise from the Lord that declared He was giving them the land. No, they could not do it in their own limited efforts. But “nothing is impossible with God” (Genesis 18:14; Numbers 11:23; Luke 1:37).
What has the Lord promised you? Salvation, provision, health, protection? Receive it! And don’t give up on it because, like the Israelites, you don’t think the Lord can follow through on His promise. He is faithful! He will do it!
This Sunday, October 29, we will continue our teaching series, “Faith Strong!” with the challenge: “Get Ready to Receive the Land!” (Numbers 13). When the Lord gives you a promise, step out and receive the miracle! Please invite someone to join you at 10:35am either in the building or online for the Live broadcast on Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We Livestream every Sunday at 10:35am to both locations.
"Refresh" is refreshed! It is now Saturday, November 4, 11:30am. Women and children, this fun time of creativity, good conversation, and important connections is for you as we prepare for our upcoming December 2nd “Christmas Lunch and Treasure Trade”. Bring a friend and one of your delicious favorite foods to add to the lunch table.
Aloha ke Akua!