Two earthquakes hit the south of the Philippines and the one was 7.3 on the Richter scale. At the moment 144 are dead and 297 missing. Two typhoons also covered Manila. The streets are like rivers. Taxis wade through the water like boats. The people here seem to be used to extreme weather conditions and accept their fate without being too fearful. The street people who live on the sidewalks in the city are wet as sewer rats and the little kids hide under cardboard boxes. Umbrellas break in the high winds.
Catherine Labuschagne one of our dear church members from Cape Town was in one of the earthquakes. Her hotel was one of the only buildings left standing. Two church buildings also collapsed and killed church members.
Jako Filjon a dear friend and partner in ministry left the day before the earthquake badly damaged the hotel where he was staying.
I spoke to 6 people in a conference room that the Philippine Bible Society so kindly allowed us to use. The pastors showed interest in becoming part of Harvester.
Many years ago the Holy Spirit told Nola, ‘things in the earth are increasing with a speed.’ Here in Manila they tell me they have never had so many typhoons in one year as the past three years.
Thinking of Japan, it had the great earthquake and tsunami with the nuclear disaster in 2011. I visited Tokyo shortly afterward. People were wearing masks everywhere because they were afraid of the spread of nuclear outfall. When I was there, the aftershocks of the earthquake ceased completely. I went to hand out a tract that someone translated into Japanese: ‘Return to the Living God.’ But people were not really interested in receiving the tracts from me. So I placed them in strategic places like bus stops, shopping malls and taxi ranks. Then I returned to see if they were taken. They were all gone! Since then we have published many tracts. They are freely available to anyone that wants to use them. Just write to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a list of the available tracts. We translated the tract, ‘Return to the living God’ into 9 languages already including Xhosa and French.
It took me 7 visits to get to the stage where pastors show interest in working with Harvester. I never go out consciously thinking about making proselytes because I know the Kingdom of God is far greater than what we are doing at Harvester. I minister in most churches to help and advance their vision, but when some approach me showing interest to get involved with our vision, I make a concerted effort to reach them. The Lord adds people to the church.
I taught on spiritual vision. There are many seminars and books on ‘vision’ and how to be a ‘visionary’, but a spiritual vision requires no self-effort. It is divinely orchestrated. Paul said he had to be faithful to the heavenly vision he received when Jesus appeared to Him on the way to Damascus.
Elisha helped the king of Samaria to defeat his enemies by telling him their strategies. He received this information supernaturally because he was anointed prophet in the place of Elijah. The alien king conspired against Elisha and sent a whole army to arrest him. When Elisha’s servant Gehazi went outside and saw the great army he was so alarmed that he ran back inside their house and told Elisha about the threatening danger. Unperturbed Elisha prayed: ‘Lord, open the eyes of the young man!’ And then the young trainee prophet received spiritual vision: he saw the armies of heaven, the chariots and horses and realized that those that are with them are more than those who came against them!
Elisha received spiritual vision when he walked with Elijah and saw how the chariot of fire divided between him and his master before a whirlwind took Elijah up to heaven. Elisha could impart this spiritual vision because he also saw it.
Those who receive spiritual vision can impart it to others.
The prophet Habakkuk wrote: ‘write the vision down, for although it tarries it will come to pass, so that those who read it may run with it.’
Once spiritual vision is earthed and established others may ‘read and run with it’.
The vision God gave me supernaturally was through two prophecies and one visitation. An old prophetess Aunty Raper prophesied that I have a calling from God and that God will use me in other lands. The other prophecy was through Kenneth Copeland when he visited Johannesburg and prophesied to me that I should go into the full time ministry and spend working hours with the word of God until God leads me out into a healing ministry to the nations. I also received a divine visitation when the Lord spoke to me about the church and I realized an accurate church is the genius of God at work in the earth. That is where I got the title of my book: ‘God’s Genius’. I wrote the vision down so that those who read it may run with it.
When you receive spiritual vision you have to believe that you received it and then obey the vision. When Joseph saw an angel in a dream telling him not to be concerned but to take Mary as his wife because what is conceived in her is divine, he had to believe the vision when he woke up.
As you start running with a vision there will be opposition, but if you hold on steadfastly there will be a glorious reward.
Our vision at Harvester is to reach the entire world for God and to establish five strong home base churches in five continents and reach out from there. The one in Cape Town has been established and has reached out to many parts of the world already. We have many Harvester churches in other lands, but it takes time to establish a church on a new frequency. People do not let go of old teachings very easily. Israel had to wander through the wilderness until a whole generation passed away before the new generation moved into the Promised Land.
Once you read a vision and receive it by faith you may run with it. Be sure that opposition will come, but if you remain faithful to the heavenly vision you will receive a glorious reward.
Many teachers quote the scripture: ‘without vision people perish’ and then tell people how to develop their own vision. This is fine and it helps to get things done, but a divine vision is something that comes without might, not by power but by the Spirit of the Lord. It takes no effort to receive it. All you need is faith. Those who receive Harvester’s vision have to receive it by faith and then read and run with it.
From Manila I will also go to other countries including Laos for the first time. A Laos airline crashed at take-off on Friday and all the passengers were killed. I have to get to Laos within a week or two, but I trust God as he protected us here in the Philippines that he will do so when I go to Laos.
Asia is mostly a Buddhist continent and there is still much persecution of Christians in many Asian nations. So, one has to be very careful about emails and letters. It is often better to have no materials or not even a Bible with you when you go through customs.
Many years ago, I was urged by the Holy Spirit to go on a mission trip without my Bible. I did not understand it back then. I remember how concerned I was going without my favorite book! When pastors pick me up for meetings they ask me, ‘where is your Bible?’ I learned to answer: ‘it is inside!’ Jesus, Peter and Paul never walked around with a scroll. The word of God was inside of them. They were given what to say by the Spirit. I am comfortable to go without my Bible to nations where the possession of the Bible can hinder your entrance into that country. They cannot take out what is inside.
I remember reading about Bertoldt Brecht, the German dramatist deported by the Hitler regime. When they burned all his manuscripts they asked him how he is going to ply his trade when he left his country.
‘My manuscripts are inside. You cannot destroy them. I can write them again.’ I never thought when I studied drama at UCT that I would one day say the same thing!
It shows you how the small details of your life all add up in the end – for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. His purpose is clear: to conform us to the image of His dear Son Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:28 – 30)
Three pastors expressed desire to become Harvester churches and to help us establish a church and Miracle Bible College here in the Philippines. Another pastor that is part of a denomination offered his help and assistance because he believed in what I shared. I meet with them before I go to discuss strategy. Rey Halili, an elderly man, has been instrumental in setting up this vision meeting and inviting pastors from independent churches to attend.
Although not many attended due to unforeseen circumstances, we do not despise the day of small beginnings.
Apostle Andre Pelser