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August 2012

I was filled by the Spirit

John Carter had an incredible experience of being filled by the Holy Spirit during the just-ended Port Moresby evangelistic campaign.

It has happened to him before when preaching in Russia. But it’s never happened to him in his twin homelands of the United States and Australia.

John feels that at Port Moresby he experienced what the Bible calls being “baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11).

This overcame huge problems that the Carer Repor faced in Port Moresby. Every problem during a big evangelistic program is many times worse than during a small campaign. With this being one of the biggest evangelistic campaigns in history, the problems were especially severe. This drained Pastor Carter far more than usual.

“The days were long and difficult,” John said in an interview earlier today. “Some days when I would go out to preach, I felt washed out. I experienced huge fatigue. I felt my spirits were low.

“But as I walked out on the stage I prayed earnestly that the Holy Spirit would fall on me. And as I walked on the stage, I was hit by a surge of power.

“Now this was different to an adrenaline rush,” he said. “I’m used to big crowds and they no longer give me an adrenaline rush.

“When it happened, my mind became very clear. Thoughts just rushed into my mind and poured out of my mouth. I had almost limitless energy. I could actually sense the Spirit of God working though me and moving through the crowd.”

This happened each time Pastor Carter spoke at Port Moresby's giant Sir John Guise Stadium. Those who have heard him often commented on the clarity and power of his preaching there. It was much greater than John’s normally-powerful meetings.

On the second-last night of the series, John says the Holy Spirit helped him in an additional way. It started raining and rained for 1½ hours. It rained for the entire hour John spoke. Organizers had to take the lectern out of the rain, leaving John without sermon notes (which were sopping wet anyway).

However, John says God gave him a particularly clear mind and the right words to say. The sermon notes were designed to link with hundreds of pictures on the three giant screens. There was no way that John could remember all the pictures. But he preached with power – synchronized with the pictures. A human being’s memory couldn’t do that unassisted.

“I can testify that when God sees the need, God supplies the power. I have no doubt that we saw in those meetings the incredible outpouring of the Spirit,” he says.

And the evidence confirming John’s comment is the evidence of the meetings themselves. On the final night John spoke to 130,000 people – possibly the largest English-speaking audience ever faced by a Seventh-day Adventist. (And possibly the largest in any language group.)

Further evidence is 2,850* people baptized on the last Saturday morning.

And there was even more evidence of God’s power later that same day when another 3000 people requested baptism.

Those people will be baptized later. However, if we could have arranged another giant baptism for Sunday morning (the task was too big to do so). But if we could have arranged another baptism, the Port Moresby program would have baptized more than 5000 people on one weekend.

Almost no single evangelistic campaign by any denomination in history has matched that figure. To God be the glory!

WRITTEN: 11 a.m. Monday August 20, Port Moresby time. 6 p.m. Sunday California time.

*Within minutes of the August 11 baptism ending, we reported there had been 2,750 people baptized, plus or minus 100. We now have a more accurate count available that says it was 2,850. However, it is possible that the total exceeded 3000. We may never know.

 

 

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