A few times in life we find ourselves in the middle of history yet understanding that the moment belonged to the future. At the Singapore Expo last night during the Empowered21 Asia Congress was one such moment for me as Pastor David Yonggi Cho was momentously honored for his leadership and service to the Spirit-empowered community.
University founder, Oral Roberts, was a mentor to Pastor Cho. I remember Pastor Cho visiting Tulsa, Oklahoma and my assignment was to carry his briefcase as he moved around the campus. Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea was the fastest growing church in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement. Even as a young student, I sensed the spiritual depth of this great pastor and felt honored for the opportunity to serve. But I did observe his intense prayer focus, for everything.
Fast Forward three decades, in the midst of the Jerusalem 2015 E21 Global Congress planning, I visited Pastor Cho in Seoul, and quite unexpectedly, I found myself alone with this giant. To my surprise, we prayed together for the global event. It marked me again that his prayer focus hadn’t changed.
Once again, Pastor David Yonggi Cho, is standing before me and the 7200 believers gathered from 49 nations. While he has ministered to greater audiences of hundreds of thousands, there was no mistake—this was an historical spiritual moment and I had a front row seat.
Empowered21 is celebrating Pentecost this week and believers from across the global and Asia have gathered to declare Acts 1:8 and to pray for all nations to experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. During the E21 Congress, the E21 Asia leadership has selected spiritual fathers to honor for their lifetime of service and leadership in the Spirit-empowered movement. Pastor Cho was recognized as the founder of one of the largest churches in the world (800,000 people) and for establishing Hansei University in South Korea and Bethesda Christian University in USA.
After receiving a medal of honor, Pastor Cho, Dr. Billy Wilson, Global Co-Chair of Empowered21 and President of Oral Roberts University led a score of international leaders in a prayer of blessing of this amazing man.
Then in an amazing moment, Pastor Cho came to the pulpit and for the next 38 minutes, time stood still as the Expo fell silent, not a soul moving. There was a realization in the room that we were receiving from a spiritual giant. We would never have this moment again and every word was important.
It was particularly moving to hear Pastor Cho recount the miracle healings in his life. At age 17, he was completely delivered from tuberculous. Recently, he experience a heart issue and was prepped for surgery. However, upon waking, doctors informed him that no surgery was necessary. He was completely healed!
Pastor Cho declared the Word of the Lord to be true! The same God that healed a young man, and healed an old man, is the same God that offers healing to all. Again, noticeably present was the emphasis on prayer.
Unlike the previous personal experiences with Pastor Cho, last night was unique. The sense was a giant mantle falling upon thousands of Elisha’s receiving the challenge to take up the cross and carry it to the ends of the earth. Prayer does change things!
Serving a Movement, Empowering a Generation!
Executive Director, Empowered21
Vice President, Communications and Marketing, ORU