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INTRODUCING ISAIAH 61 MINISTRIES

September 2006

 
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Dear Friends and Supporters:

After seven years of full time missions work in Vietnam, Holly and I returned to the USA last summer for a season of rest.  We followed a Biblical model of “Jubilee” as Roger was about to turn 50.  For 12 months (beginning in Vietnam, then continuing in Virginia) Roger did no teaching or consulting work and devoted his time to prayer, fasting, and seeking direction from the Holy Spirit.  Roger also continued on a self-study of spiritual warfare, which he had begun the last half year we were in Vietnam. 

We also visited many churches and small groups to see what the Holy Spirit was doing in the area, and to share our discoveries on the ministry of healing and deliverance with people we met along the way.  We found many people were very receptive to such a ministry, but, surprisingly, there was really nothing like what we were doing in our area.  Further, a number of local pastors and others told us that a ministry such as we were considering was needed in our part of Virginia. 

In April we decided it was time to ”test the water” as to whether we should launch our own ministry.  The trigger for action came one evening at a small home fellowship we were attending when a woman asked us three times to please teach her about the deliverance ministry.  Then the next morning she called us on the phone and asked again!  We agreed and told her that we would offer a short teaching on four consecutive Tuesday nights if she wanted to come.  Holly and I told the Lord that we would honor this commitment even if no one showed up; that is, we would worship together, study the scriptures, and review what we have learned this past year, even if no one joined us!  Although we only gave out a few invitations, the opening night we had 26 people, representing 10 churches – some of whom were people that we did not even know.  We did no advertising, yet they came anyway via word of mouth.

For four weeks I (Roger) taught a summary of the things I had been taught by others, gleaned from Bible study and three dozen books, and also the things we had learned from our 40 prayer ministry cases during the past year.  At the end of the four weeks we said that we were finished – I had no more PowerPoint slides.  However, a core group (21 people) said that we could not stop.  They wanted to know much more, and also wanted us to pray with and for them, and, some of the people wanted to be trained and mentored how to pray deliverance prayers for others.  This is how the Isaiah 61 Ministries was born.

We continued meeting and began holding individual prayer times for our core group members.   Typically this involved three, four, or even more sessions, each averaging about four hours. In just a few short months we have seen many powerful works of the Holy Spirit as people have been healed of sicknesses and physical afflictions, received inner healing, and been set free from curses and demonic oppression. 

We are witnessing people being set free as was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah, when he said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because the Lord had anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God…” (Is. 61:1-2.) 

Holly and I would have never sought a deliverance ministry.  However, we cannot deny the power that the Lord has demonstrated in our midst as week after week we see people being set free from illnesses, fears, compulsions, addictions, and other forms of demonic oppression.  We are witnessing people being healed from childhood and adult traumas and mental afflictions and illnesses.  We are learning the deep reality of Jesus’ commandment to preach, heal, and cast out demons (see Luke 9:1-2; 10:17:20; Mark 16:17-18; and John 14:12-18.)  More importantly, people are growing in their faith and love for Jesus, and in their confidence to witness and pray for others.

In addition to our small core group, we have also begun working with others.  We have held some small workshops, and Roger has received other speaking engagements.  We are working to mentor a small group so that they will also be equipped to minister with us to more people.  We are focusing our efforts on mature Christians, including pastors, who have the opportunity to influence the Church (any and all denominations) as they receive more freedom in Christ, and deeper knowledge to pray for others.  Furthermore, missionaries are near and dear to our hearts, so Holly and I have made a commitment to give priority attention to requests from missionaries who are in need of special prayer support and a few days of restoration.  We met with four missionaries this summer (these are people working in three different foreign mission fields).  We are also keeping a “waiting list” of people who have requested ministry, as our backlog is now several months. 

When it became clear that this was a calling from the Lord, we realized that we had to have a strong group of supporters around us.  We invited several of the people closest to us to give us their counsel and advice – and that resulted in the decision to form an independent religious organization, with its own Board of Directors.  Our corporate charter has been approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia and we expect approval for federal 501C3 (tax exempt) status soon.  For those of you who have faithfully supported our Vietnam ministry, we want you to know that we recently ended our 9+ year affiliation with our former mission board.  We requested that IICS release us for this new ministry, and they agreed.

The following people (representing 6 local Harrisonburg and Rockingham County churches) were selected to be I-61’s founding Board of Directors:

Elbert Detwiler, Chairman of the Board
Roger H. Ford, Executive Director
Clayton Shenk, Board Secretary
Holly E. Ford
David Michael Joseph
Shirley Luce
Jack Richardson

God bless you!

Roger H. Ford, Executive Director
Isaiah 61 Ministries, Inc.

 

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