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  • Isaiah 61 Ministries in South Africa

    Isaiah 61 Minister, Gerald High and his wife, Salome, returned home to South Africa this summer to visit family and work on fundraising for their ministry. But when they arrived, they found that the Lord had prepared several deliverance ministries for them, beginning with Gerald's own parents! Here is some of their report, in their own words:

    Gerald & Salome High

    "We arrived in South Africa with uncertain plans, but we were trusting the Lord to show what He had for us. We met with family and friends in Johannesburg and began sharing about deliverance ministry. My sister-in-law was really taken with the idea of freedom through deliverance and is now working on her ministry application. We then headed to the South Coast of South Africa where we lived before moving to Vietnam six years ago. My parents still reside there and after chatting about deliverance for a few hours they wanted application forms. They knew about deliverance because a former pastor of our home church had led a number of felt-need deliverance sessions; but my parents were unfamiliar with the "whole person" approach to deliverance practiced by Isaiah 61 Ministries. They rushed headlong into the forms. My dad had a temporary memory block, but after prayer, the Holy Spirit brought all that was needed back to his mind. After binding the blocking spirits, we were able to proceed. He even remembered things that he had long forgotten as he worked on his ministry application and worksheet. As an elder of his church, my dad also expressed some (understandable) anger at the church for not teaching and ministering this vital spiritual discipline. Then I preached at a local church, and the following week we had the privilege to lead my parents through their deliverances. Great freedom came through their deliverance sessions. They are now doing self-deliverance and working on what we call the "walking out" part of the process, and cleansing themselves at the end of the day from anything they picked up as they went about their daily lives. The evening after we completed my mother's deliverance prayers, we were invited to dinner at the home of an Italian couple. My parents started sharing what had happened to them and how vital they thought it was to every believer to have personal deliverance prayers to help them walk with Christ. After hearing my parents' testimonies, the Italian couple asked us if they could have ministry applications, and they are working on them now. I hope to be able to pray for them while my parents join in the ministry session for their OJT! (On the job training.)

    The following day, Sunday, I was invited to give a brief testimony of what we do in I-61. After the service another couple came up to us with questions and wanted application forms. They came for dinner last week to collect their forms and were excited to get them filled in and receive prayer. They had also told their adult son about deliverance and he said that he needs it too! I then met up with a former colleague who was a practicing Hindu when we worked together, but has since come to faith in Christ. He and his wife are interested in receiving ministry to break off any curses related to Hinduism (and other things) and they now have ministry application forms. He knows of specific curses he still suffers from, one of which was causing stomach pain when ever he spoke with me or other believers. I cancelled the curse and bound the spirit causing the pain, and the pain stopped instantly! I then explained that I would leave it dormant until we can dig it out during the deliverance. I explained that our I-61 practice is to do a whole person deliverance first, rather than just deal with single felt needs one at a time. He was happy with this and understood my reasoning. We hope to connect with this couple again soon and continue the work. We then returned to Johannesburg where I was interviewed on a Christian radio station. I touched on deliverance but could not go into much detail. All of this happened in less than three weeks! The Lord Jesus has been gracious and has opened doors for us to share the need for deliverance. We are hoping to go back to the coast to continue those deliverances while training my father as well. He has the wisdom and Bible knowledge to minister effectively. We will do follow ups for the people who have already received their initial deliverance prayers.

    I hope this gives a glimpse of what we have been doing in Africa. The Lord is opening hearts and minds to this much needed truth of the Gospel. Thank you for your prayers and support." Gerald and Salome High

  • Fords and Prices Attend Mission Conference in Rome

    In August the Fords and Prices met together in Rome for a mission conference. The event was attended by hundreds of people from all over the world.

    Rome family photo: from Left: Ryan, Rachel, Esther, Holly, Roger, Cassandra, Caleb, Lillian and James

    Everyone received much from the day and night workshops, general sessions, networking, as well as refreshing daily worship and prayer times. The children enjoyed a wonderful program organized and staffed by volunteers who joined the event to serve them.

    Roger and James: Spiritual Warfare in the Workplace

    James and Roger shared a workshop on Spiritual Warfare in the Workplace which was attended by more than 30 people. The family also had many opportunities to pray for workshop attendees who requested private time to discuss their own situations. At the closing session James and Roger were invited to lead communion.

  • Planning for the Future of Isaiah 61

    The seeds for Isaiah 61 Ministries were planted 14 years ago when Roger experienced a deep level deliverance from generational curses and spirits of infirmity. The deliverance that he experienced was so dramatic that it led him and his wife, Holly, to launch I-61 with the support of long-time friends and supporters from several Harrisonburg churches.

    In July, 2018, the Isaiah 61 Council gathered together at the VMRC Detwiler Auditorium for a time of reflection, review, and planning for the future of Isaiah 61 beyond its founding generation. We prayerfully reviewed our history, core ministry principles, mission, goals, our current status, and some of the challenges we face as a small ministry with an international reach. We recognized that we face two primary challenges: First, how do we pass on the tools of ministry to others, especially the younger generation. The ministries of healing and deliverance were central to the ministry of Jesus, but fairly rare in the Christian church today. While we have had some success raising up and discipling others how to minister deliverance and healing overseas, we have had less success here in the USA. Second, how do we maintain a ministry organization here at home to help raise prayer and financial support for our overseas work. Our budget is very small, and nearly all of the work of I-61 since we started has been by done by volunteers - either the founders themselves, or others closely connected to the founders. As we are all aging, a new generation will need to be raised up take over if Isaiah 61 will continue into the next generation. Please pray for us as we ponder these challenges, and pray that Jesus will send people to help us carry on this mission. Your suggestions are very welcome!"Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed." Proverbs 15:22.

  • I-61 Leadership Team is Growing!

    In January, 2018, two new men, supported by their wives, joined Isaiah 61's Ministry Training Program. Charlie and Betty Ritchie, of Canada, have known the Fords for over 20 years, and have been part of the Isaiah 61 community since 2011. They are the owners of Happy Heart Cafe in Danang, and Charlie is also an elder of an international fellowship in Saigon. Gerald and Salome High, of South Africa, have known the Fords for over five years, and have been part of the Isaiah 61 community for more than a year. Gerald is an Associate Pastor of the Danang International Fellowship and Salome works as a freelance artist. Please pray for these couples, and we will update you more about them and their ministries in future newsletters.

  • Homecoming 2018: Becoming More Like Jesus

    More than 40 members of Isaiah 61 Ministries, from five countries and four continents gathered in Danang from March 16-18 for our Homecoming event. This year's theme was "Becoming More Like Jesus," and included worship, teaching, small group sharing, prayer times, six meals, communion, a foot washing ceremony, and our customary boat ride on the Han River. Jesus was there too, supporting the conference as He, "confirmed His Word with signs that accompanied it," as nearly every participant received more layers of healing and deliverance. Mark 16:20.

    Ministry leaders and wives, from left: Luca & Ruthie Do, Gerald & Salome High, Charlie & Betty Ritchie

    The conference was led by the Isaiah 61 Vietnam ministry team, along with Roger Ford, and James Price. The program teaching began as Roger led an exercise on the Five Love Languages, based on the book by Gary Chapman. Five small groups were formed, according to each member's weakest of the five love languages: Quality Time, Acts of Service, Touch, Words of Affirmation and Gifts. Each group generated a list of possible reasons why that particular love language was difficult for them. On Sunday, Roger resumed teaching on this topic, with the message, "Jesus and the Five Love Languages." After using Scripture to show that Jesus was an expert at demonstrating His love in all five languages, the question was asked, "Why can't we also learn to love others using all five languages, just like Jesus?" We then had a time of group prayer to renounce any possible reasons that hold us back from being able to give and receive love more easily - just like Jesus, who said, "This is My commandment: love each other." John 15:17. Roger also challenged everyone with the question, "Do you love yourself?" The measure of our capacity to love others is related to how much we love ourselves, as Jesus taught, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Mark 12:31. Several participants received prayer and deliverance to help them work though negative thoughts, such as self-rejection, condemnation or unworthiness.

    Isaiah 61's Vietnam Covenant Community

    A significant highlight of Homecoming was sharing and personal testimonies from the leadership team. Each told how Jesus had changed him to be more like Jesus through the ministry of deliverance. Luca shared that he was set free through I-61 and became a Christian five years ago. He compared his journey with the song, Amazing Grace, asking, "How could Jesus love a wretch like me?" He said that, although it was hard, he was going to share some of his past sins, (from which he had been set free), because he knew Jesus wanted him to, because that is how we defeat Satan. "They overcame (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony." Revelation 12:11. Luca then shared how Jesus was changing his whole person, body, soul and spirit, and gave examples of each. He thanked Jesus and the I-61 family for teaching him about God’s love, and how to love others.

    James shared many stories about how Jesus has taught him how to deal with hardships. This included lessons on how to identify possible unbroken curses that Satan uses to blind us or steal from us. His examples included breaking a curse of poverty over his company, Seadev, and breaking curses that had been affecting his children and his relationships with them. Part of the key to victory from each story was learning to spend more focused, quality time with God.

    Gerald shared how sin patterns can produce a destructive cycle of sin, self-condemnation and poor self-image. He thanked I-61 for teaching him how to break the chains in his life, which has helped both his self-image and his marriage. He also encouraged everyone to learn and put into practice the steps of self-deliverance that Isaiah 61 teaches. He also shared the importance of praising God daily as He changes us to become more like Jesus.

    Charlie taught on generational sin-patterns and inherited curses. (See Ex. 20:5 and 34:7.) He said he wondered how he could have been a full time Missionary for 20 years before he heard about deliverance from the Fords seven years ago? He described his earlier Christian ministry as like conducting war with a rubber band gun, and his new deliverance ministry like war with a machine gun. He gave several examples of family curses he has recognized and broken from generational sin patterns, and the powerful results this has had on his life. Charlie ended by suggesting that many Vietnamese may be under a curse of poverty, and prayers were offered to break this curse!

    The conference was concluded with personal prayer time and a foot washing ceremony, based on the example of Jesus as described in John 13:1-15. "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you." John 13:15. As most of our Vietnamese I-61 members are first generation believers, this was the first time any of them had participated in this ceremony. We thank Jesus for all He accomplished for and through Isaiah 61 Ministries during our Homecoming 2018, and pray that the seeds planted will help us all continue to become more like Jesus!

  • I-61 International Homecoming 2017

    More than 30 members of the Isaiah 61 Covenant Community gathered in Danang from March 15-19 for our Homecoming Conference. The event included teaching, sharing, prayer, and many community-building activities. Members came representing Hanoi, Danang, other parts of Vietnam, South Africa, the USA, and Seoul, Korea. The conference theme, "God's Plan for Community," was facilitated by Isaiah 61 Counselors Bernard and Lee Hua Chan from Singapore.

    Isaiah 61 Ministries - God's Plan for Community

    The teaching included three topics: What is Christian Community, Why We Need It, and, the Keys to Authentic Christian Community. Christian Community is based on the Greek word, Koinonia, which means, "to have in common." It refers to a shared experience of faith, life, and mission. Faith: God's plan for me; Life: our need for relationship with others; and Mission: God's plan for us to serve Him in families and communities.

    I-61 Homecoming Boat Ride on the Han River

    For the first 400 years of Christianity, the Church followed these principles, meeting in small groups from house to house (see Acts 2:42-47.) That changed after Roman Emperor Constantine converted and Christianity became the official state religion. Then the era of the "Stained Glass Church" began. But God's plan was not for a building. Christians were not supposed to "go" to church; rather, Christians "are" the church, who God intends to come together in community.

    Bernard and Lee Hua Chan, Conference Facilitators

    Following the texts Acts 2:42-47, I Corinthians 12:12-27, and Ephesians 4:1-17, Bernard shared both principles and practices for authentic Christian community. The principles include (among others), unity of members, interdependence, humility and gentleness, patience, love, peacemaking, and using our spiritual gifts. The practices include (among others), baptism, teaching & training, fellowship (i.e., honest sharing of our lives), prayer, meals & communion, giving (meeting needs within the community), meeting from house to house, and witnessing (impacting the larger community).

    Lee Hua taught on the importance of the home, home-based and home-focused ministry. She shared her concern that society is growing into a "homeless generation," referring to the lack of spiritual life in families and community. Broken families are increasing, and the Bible is not being taught in most homes. She shared from Malachi 4:5, that today the hearts of so many fathers are not turned towards their children, and the hearts of the children are not turned towards their fathers. The result is so many young adults who do not know the Lord and have never experienced the love of Christ. The greatest place to model God's love to this (spiritually) homeless generation is in the home. We must open our homes to these people and show them Jesus through the principles and practices of authentic Christian community. This must be intentional, and our homes should be places of rest, refuge, they must be life-giving, orderly, and authentic. This is hard work, and requires a great deal of commitment and follow-though.

    But a life in authentic Christian community must start with "me," (each of us). God cannot fully use someone in community until that person has been saved and set-free from the curses and bondages of Satan and sin. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came to give us the fullness of life in our body, soul and spirit (see John 10:10).

    The Chan's teaching really resonated with Isaiah 61, as we have been following a small group ministry model since the beginning. We have learned how attractive a home-based fellowship can be, especially to the spiritually homeless young people we minister to in South East Asia. Although we have had many marriages in our group, the majority of our members are young singles, most of whom are first generation believers. When coming together for our gatherings we often hear people sigh, or say, "home!" as they enjoy a hug or settle into a chair. This year's Homecoming teaching and fellowship activities helped us understand more deeply the importance of building up our community and helping each of our members to grow in Christ's love - body, soul and spirit.

    Participation in Isaiah 61 Ministries begins with prayers for salvation, healing and deliverance. As a person experiences personal freedom and healing though Jesus, we then invite them to walk with us in Covenant Community (small group ministry.) Our community is growing as our members freely share their testimonies of Jesus' love and His power to deliver us from evil. We thank the Chan's for their years of support and encouragement to Isaiah 61 Ministries. We will work and ask Jesus to help us apply the principles they shared with us.

  • Deliverance: Getting to the Deep Roots

    Isaiah 61 Ministries Chairman, Elbert Detwiler, has participated in many prayer sessions over the past dozen years. He has asked after more than one multi-hour session, "How do you know when you have prayed enough? Do you ever get to the bottom?" This is a great question, which we think and pray about a lot.

    It is true, we pray long, and we pray often. Our process begins with a comprehensive initial prayer session which lasts several hours. That is followed with a season of guided self-deliverance and, typically, some follow-up sessions. We also encourage our ministry receivers to meet with other I-61 alumni in Covenant Community support groups. Small group ministry helps people grow in their own spiritual freedom as they learn how to pray for and encourage others. (See Proverbs 11:25.)

    Isaiah 61 is not alone in teaching that deep deliverance is a process. Dr. Charles Kraft, retired professor at Fuller Seminary, has written an excellent series of books on deliverance and inner healing. He teaches that deep healing often requires a layer of deliverance, then a layer of inner healing, followed by more deliverance, and more inner healing, etc. Australian pastor, Peter Hobson, recommends that, "Christians get into a continuous deliverance and restoration program as a first priority – before all our other interests and priorities." Referring to four generations of inherited curses (see Ex. 20:5), Hobson says: "A little bit of ministry for our more obvious and immediate problems is simply ministering to the tip of the iceberg, because you cannot expect to get rid of 200 years of junk from your soul in five minutes!" (Hobson, Peter, Guidance for Those Receiving Deliverance, National Library of Australia, 1990.)

    Isaiah 61 tries to keep connected and build community with as many of our "alumni" as we can, both in person, and by using social media and other communication tools; but this is not easy as we are a small ministry with a global reach. Therefore, not everyone with whom we meet and pray is able to stay connected with I-61. Those who do, however, generally experience deeper spiritual growth and more freedom as a result. Recently we received three testimonies that all speak to the importance of viewing deliverance as a journey, rather than a one-time prayer session. You may read them on the (Testimony) page, and we pray that you will find them encouraging! (From Winter 2017 Newsletter)

  • Dealing With Toxic People

    Have you ever been around someone who made you uncomfortable, but were not sure why? It may be a stranger at a checkout counter, a co-worker, friend, or even a relative. They may look clean and well-groomed, but, something about them just seemed dirty, or, perhaps they made you feel dirty being around them? Their presence might even cause you to say something or behave in a way that you normally would not. Even after you leave them, you might carry an uncomfortable feeling (or behavior) with you. These are people that might be "toxic."

    Toxic or toxicity refers to poison - some substance that can cause serious harm. Some people can carry invisible spiritual toxins that can be contagious to others around them. Jesus said: "The things that come out of the man's mouth come from the heart, and these make a man "unclean." For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what makes a man "unclean." Matt. 15:18-19. So these unclean things, though invisible, are real, and found deep inside the heart.

    But can these things inside people actually contaminate others? Yes, the Bible warns us about this. Paul teaches:

    "Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." 1 Corinthians 15:33. He also writes: "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteous and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" 2 Corinthians 6:14. The Old Testament also warns us: "Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure," Isaiah 52:11.

    We can become toxic by the toxicity, or spiritual poison, carried by others. Here is an example: Last December an Isaiah 61 member told us about a struggle she was having with her work environment and colleagues. She was the only Christian in the group, which consisted exclusively of young single people. She was exposed regularly to their ungodly conversations about drinking, partying, sexual immorality (including gay and lesbian lifestyle), and tattoos. Their unwanted comments and temptations continued day after day. Tattooing was the specific trigger that caused her to come to us for prayer.

    Although she was repulsed by the idea of tattoos, her defenses were gradually weakened by the daily peer pressure, and, her natural desire to be accepted by her co-workers. So she began planning on getting her first "gateway" tattoo (a henna tattoo, which is long-lasting, but not permanent.) Then just before going to get the tattoo, she read our Isaiah 61 daily devotion on Facebook, which just happened to be about tattoos! (See Leviticus 19:28.) We prayed for her, and she was released from a temptation spirit, plus several other spirits - all related to her colleagues and work environment. Soon after that she realized it was time to move on, and God provided her with a different job!

    If you would like to learn more about this topic, including how to pray to release yourself from the negative spiritual influence of any toxic people in your life, please listen to Roger's message titled "Toxic People" on our website, www.I-61Ministries.org. Messages are found on the Resources Tab, and may be accessed via desktop or laptop computer.

  • Congratulations Ryan and Esther Ford!

    On January 23rd, 2016, 300 guests, representing a dozen nationalities, gathered in Danang to celebrate the wedding of Ryan and Esther Ford. People flew into Vietnam from five countries just for the occasion, including Australia, China, Singapore, the Philippines, and the USA. Ryan's father, Isaiah 61 Ministries' Overseer Roger Ford, performed the ceremony.

    Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Ford

    Roger opened the ceremony by saying that over his 20 years working in Vietnam he had heard one special question many times: "What would you think if your son wanted to marry a Vietnamese girl?" He said that he always answered, "It would be fine, because, God did not create many races of people, He created only one race, the Human Race. Our separation into different races and cultures is a result of our sin; however, through Jesus Christ we can be reconciled - both to each other, and to God."

    Roger then shared that after leading Esther in healing and deliverance prayers more than five years ago, she told him that she had a dream that one day Roger would perform her wedding ceremony. Roger looked at Esther and said, "Well, Esther, I suspect that when you told me that five years ago, Ryan was not included in your dream, because the two of you had not yet been introduced! But it is fine with mom and me. We love you and whole-heartedly welcome you into our family!"

    Prior to exchanging their vows, Ryan and Esther sang a worship song to the Lord, "With All I Am," in both English and Vietnamese. After the ceremony the guests were served a traditional Vietnamese wedding meal while enjoying a program of music, an interpretive dance explaining the Gospel of Jesus, several personal testimonies and presentations by family and friends, and a special video prepared by the bride and groom.

    After the wedding many testimonies were received by guests, including one retired elder who said the event was, "Very different and one of the best weddings he and his wife had ever attended." Many of the guests at the wedding were not believers and had never attended a Christian wedding. A number of pre-believers also reported how moved they were, because they had never heard the Christian/Bible teaching on marriage before.

    The couple honeymooned in Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia. They are making their home in Danang where Ryan works with South East Asia Development Company, (Seadev). Esther is teaching, and working with children, and both serve with Isaiah 61 Ministries. The couple hope to visit the USA during the summer to introduce Esther to Ryan's family and friends. They are no longer two but one. What God has joined together, let not man separate. Matthew 19:5-6.

    Three dozen members of I-61 attended the wedding

  • Tracy - A Lesson Painfully Learned

    Tracy was born and raised in China. She learned about Jesus through a campus ministry, and after accepting Jesus into her heart she received an opportunity to go to Hanoi on a student exchange. While there she learned about Isaiah 61, received deliverance and joined our covenant community.

    In late 2013, Tracy moved to Danang to work with Seadev and also to have a closer connection with other I-61 members. Upon moving to Danang, Tracy needed to learn to drive a motorbike, and mom Holly loaned her motorbike to Tracy. When Holly gave her the keys she told her, "Tracy, every time you insert the key you should pray and ask Jesus for protection." Tracy said she would do so.

    Tracy Xiaoshu

    In late 2013, Tracy moved to Danang to work with Seadev and also to have a closer connection with other I-61 members. Upon moving to Danang, Tracy needed to learn to drive a motorbike, and mom Holly loaned her motorbike to Tracy. When Holly gave her the keys she told her, "Tracy, every time you insert the key you should pray and ask Jesus for protection." Tracy said she would do so.

    Tracy quickly adapted to life in Danang, including gaining skill and confidence on the motorbike. Then one rainy day she was running a little late. As Tracy got on the bike she remembered mom Holly's words, but she thought to herself that, "I am skillful enough now on the motorbike, I do not need to ask Jesus for help." Just a few minutes later she had an accident and ran the bike into a curb. She fell and was bruised, which made her realize that she had made a mistake thinking that she did not need Jesus to protect her on the motorbike. Tracy pondered this a long while, and then she realized she needed to confess her pride and repent from thinking such thoughts. She realized that mom Holly was right; and she needed to ask Jesus for protection, not only for riding motorbikes, but all the time and in every situation.

    Tracy shared her painfully-learned lesson with the Danang I-61 Covenant Community, and turned it into an opportunity to ask others, "In what areas do you need Jesus to help you in 2015? Are there any areas of your life that you may think that you do not need Jesus' help?" As people went around the room and shared, one by one, Tracy took careful notes and promised to pray for each one that Jesus would protect, and that we would remember to keep inviting Jesus' help in these areas of our lives. "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people." Ephesians 6:18.

    We would like to use Tracy's example and ask the same of all our I-61 friends: Are there areas of your life that you may not think that you need Jesus to help you? Please ponder this a while and invite Jesus to show you if there are any areas in your life that you have decided (perhaps subconsciously) that you can handle it by yourself. If so, confess and repent from this attitude and invite Jesus to guide and protect you in all things. "O Lord, May Your loyal love and faithfulness continually protect me!" Psalm 40:11.

  • The Clafins Return to Vietnam

    In 2015, Jeff and Gayle Claflin arrived in Danang for a one month mission to support Isaiah 61 and Seadev. Jeff, a member of the Isaiah 61 Council, reviewed and advised Seadev on the company's sales and marketing activities. Gayle, who has extensive human resource experience, helped individual Seadev team members develop continuous education goals and plans. The Claflins will also joined in the Danang I-61 Covenant Community gatherings while they were back "home" in Vietnam. Welcome back and thank you, Jeff and Gayle!

  • JCF Hosts I-61 "Alumni Refresher"

    In August 2014 Pastor Luke Weaver and Journey Christian Fellowship hosted a group of two dozen I-61 alumni, representing eight Virginia churches, for an evening gathering. The purpose was two-fold: to help us all refresh our own deliverance experiences, and, to help better equip ourselves to minister to others.

    Roger opened the evening reading from Luke 10:1+17, where Jesus commissioned the 72 to go and cast out demons. He then asked, "If Jesus followed-up with this group a week, or a month, or a year later, what would He find?" Someone in the room answered, "He would probably find some slackers!" Roger agreed, and suggested that we were gathered together because we do not want to be slackers!

    The group then reviewed the I-61 Ministry Application & Worksheet, our Rules of Engagement, sample Prayer Ministry Template, and Obstacles to Receiving Full Deliverance. A robust discussion followed. We closed by presenting these questions to Jesus together: "Jesus, am I free? Have I lost ground, or, do you want me to be more free? Is there someone You are asking me to help get free?" What is Jesus saying to you?

  • Kingdom Living: A Pastor's Review

    Marriage and family have taken it on the chin. Our culture is crumbling and the impact is negatively touching church families and marriages. Answers, protections and assurances seem harder and harder to find. Men today have been taught to acquiesce and leadership with authority is scorned. I-61 Ministries' Kingdom Living workshop calls men to allow Christ's ministry into their own lives, and then minister to their families what they have received from Jesus. This is a new, but old, idea that is quite refreshing. It combines elements of spiritual warfare and deliverance ministry with the Scriptures on marriage and family. Culture tells men to give themselves to their, careers, businesses, hobbies, etc., but does not encourage men to lead their families.

    As a pastor I have felt a sinking feeling about God's ideal for marriage. Kingdom Living opened my eyes to the spiritual roots of the struggle and God's plan to bring men and women into His order for marriage and family. The sessions were challenging, but equally fruitful. Digging deeper into the Word of God, my own life and the elements of spiritual warfare led me and my wife to new levels of freedom. Jesus promises that when we seek Him we will find Him, yes, in our marriages and our families.

    Luke Weaver, Pastor, Journey Christian Fellowship, Harrisonburg, Va.

  • Deliverance: A New, Unfamiliar Country

    One of the challenges of the deliverance ministry is the need to help people understand what it is and that deliverance from evil spirits is for today, not just a part of Bible history. Unfortunately, much of the Church does not teach about or minister in this area; therefore, when we minister with people, sometimes it seems to them like they are entering into a "new and unfamiliar country." The title for this story comes from a recent ministry receiver who sent us the following testimony:

    "I want to begin by saying that deliverance is the 'real deal.' I know that many believers are confused (as we were) about this area of the Christian life, and many churches even deny that it is real, or at least do not believe that a Christian can be demonized. My wife and I now know for sure that it is real! We recently were able to arrange child care so that we could have two hours without interruption to process with each other all that has happened since our deliverances. It seems impossible to imagine that it has only been a month as we contemplate all that the Lord has shown us and accomplished in us during that time. We had been struggling to connect in our marriage for over 2 years, and during the last 10 months the struggle was very intense. There had been some element of struggling inherent in our relationship since we were first dating, so we were used to having a hard time connecting. While we both wanted to be vulnerable with each other and pursue the Lord together with our lives, we had never fully been on the 'same page.' This spring some old friends reconnected with us and suggested that we give deliverance a try. So we decided to submit applications to Isaiah 61 Ministries.

    On the first evening of our appointment, I confessed that I did not see how one weekend of prayer would break us free from years of struggle. We had sought professional counseling and psychiatric help for years to no avail, so how would a short time with them accomplish what others were unable to do? The Isaiah 61 ministry approach has a very systematic manner of tending to the needs of those they minister to. In the first hours of our time together strongholds and family curses were identified that had been blind spots in my life. We prayed through my unforgiveness towards those who had sinned against me, [Continued from page 1] and I repented of treating them in a manner that was not in keeping with the way I had been treated by the Lord. Led by the Holy Spirit, our ministry team identified the baggage I was carrying from my father's involvement in the Freemasons, leading me to renounce the curses that had fallen on me because of vows he had made. Next, we waded through my fear - an area of my life that had allowed a stronghold to build that affected every area of my relationship with my wife. In each of these areas I felt a sense of relief and freedom I had not experienced in a long time... maybe ever. And I know I was set free from the trap the devil had me in.

    Over the past weeks our ministry of deliverance has continued through private prayer and meditation. The fear and unforgiveness that had cluttered my mind have been released and I feel a freedom to seek God and others with more peace and clarity. The ministry also had a very powerful impact on my wife. She has said that 'deliverance is like entering into a new, unfamiliar country, where you do not know anyone, do not speak the language and have to start over.' Her comment is right on the money.

    We know that the Lord has done great things and we want to walk in the deliverance we have seen. We also want to walk deliberately together. I will close by admitting that I am learning that the hardest part is for me to accept my headship responsibility to lead and fight (spiritually) for my marriage and our children. Please keep praying for us!" A man in Charlottesville, Va.

  • A Pastor Experiences Isaiah 61

    What is a pastor to do when people come to Christ but struggle to grow? The standard steps of discipleship, teaching, church attendance, prayer and Bible reading often fail to be enough. The process of accepting Christ, being baptized and making new friendships with other Christians, is less than they need. Seeking answers to these questions, I scheduled extended times of prayer with a few new and struggling Christian friends. Several things happened. People became more open about their past, sharing deep hurts and past sins. As forgiveness was extended in this atmosphere the recipients expressed new freedom and joy. To my surprise, several people experienced sensations of something departing from them. The joy of Jesus rested on them in a greater way, and they appeared to have a greater capacity to receive and share what Christ was doing in their lives.

    Over the years I have lead many un-churched people to Christ. Some of my greatest memories are the Bible studies of Mark. In the first three chapters there are three instances of Jesus confronting evil spirits. I would ask these un-churched people, "Do you believe in evil spirits?" or "Do you have evil spirits in you?" I grew accustomed to a quick and positive "Yes!"" answer to these questions. Though I had been exposed to some deliverance ministry, I never really studied or experienced deliverance ministry with those with understanding. Gradually the pieces of confession, extension of forgiveness, extended and intensive prayer ministry converged into new insight.

    After attending three Isaiah 61 banquets, I sought out Roger Ford for advice. Eventually this led to my own I-61 ministry session. There I received an unexpected and deeply moving shower of God's love. My next step was passing on what I had received. By God's design, a gentleman sought me for what both he and I thought would be a traditional counseling session. The man's desire for God, spiritual cleansing and confession, however, led to two deliverance ministry sessions. I was awed by the depth of cleansing and new freedom that this man experienced.

    God now had me ready to seek more from the Isaiah 61 Ministry. Working with Roger and other I-61 team members, I gained invaluable experience during the spring and summer of 2012. I participated at least ten I-61 ministry sessions and witnessed the power of confession, repentance, forgiveness, healing and deliverance, worked-out in the lives of people. God's grace is powerful to forgive, to truly cleanse, and to set people free.

    Deliverance ministry is not a quick-fix, give me a better life proposition that some people are looking for. It is, however, a genuine, come to Jesus as I am holding-back-nothing honesty to experience the forgiving, healing grace of Jesus. The result is true freedom. Many Christians, unfortunately, have settled for less, believing that their life is the best they can do, and then struggling to act like they think a Christian should act. Luke Weaver, pastor Journey Christian Fellowship, Harrisonburg

    I-61 partners, Pastor Luke and Sylvia Weaver

  • Is Jesus in All Your Conversations?

    In March 2012, Roger and Holly traveled to Singapore to spend time with Isaiah 61's counselors Bernard and Lee Hua Chan. While there they had the opportunity to share with the Families in Fellowship youth group. Roger shared about social media and asked the participants to think about the conversations they have on various social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Four Square, etc. These networks are growing in use and influence at an alarming rate; and many Christians are not aware of this trend, or, not keeping up with it as much as perhaps they should.

    Roger asked the youth "Is Jesus in all your conversations? Would you welcome Him into your Facebook and other social network conversations, and, would He feel welcome joining those conversations?" The youth were challenged and it was clear that this was not a question they had ever thought much about. One young man asked, "How do you put Jesus into a social media conversation?" That was an excellent conversation-starter, and, also a great question for all of us to consider!

    Parents, are you monitoring your children's use of social networks? How about your own internet conversations? Are they pleasing to Jesus? He is watching! "He watches all who live on earth." Ps 33:14.

  • Using Social Media for Jesus

    A revolution began a few years ago called "Social Media." This term refers to Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and literally hundreds of other social networks on the internet. The potential of these networks for either good or evil is significant. Many warn about the danger of addictions to these networks, or even worse. However, Paul once wrote to his friends in Corinth, "I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel," 1 Cor. 9:22-23. Therefore, we prayed about engaging social media for the Kingdom. In December we decided to try out Paul's suggestion. Isaiah 61 opened an account @Isaiah61org on Twitter (one of the rapidly growing social networks) and began offering regular "tweets" to a small group of followers. Tweets are short messages consisting of no more than 140 characters (every space, letter, and punctuation mark counts as one character). Tweets sometimes include links to articles or other information on websites which can be quickly accessed by a click. At first we wondered if anyone would be interested in our short messages. We also learned quickly how difficult it is to say something meaningful in such a few words. Every morning we would start by praying and asking Jesus if there was some short message on His heart for us that we should broadcast (tweet). Sometimes there was nothing and we tweeted nothing. Usually, however, words or ideas came through prayer and opening our Bibles. Most of the messages are simple encouragements; a few are strong warnings, which cause us to tremble and pray before hitting "post." We are still learning about social media and welcome your prayers and ideas. Please pray, and, if you feel led to do so:

  • To learn how to easy it is to open a Twitter account, you can visit www.twitter.com. If you click on our tweets you can read everything we have posted (or re-posted from others) since the account was created on Dec. 15 in just a few minutes. We would love your feedback!

  • Annual I-61 Fall Fellowship Dinner 2011

    Isaiah 61 held its Fourth Annual Fellowship Dinner October 22 at Traditions Restaurant in Harrisonburg. A record-setting 84 guests attended from Virginia and elsewhere. Many congregations were represented, including several pastors, current and former missionaries and other church leaders. I-61 Council Chairman Elbert Detwiler opened the program and the invocation was given by Pastor Timothy Vinh, Isaiah 61 minister from Vietnam. Following dinner Skip Tobin and his daughters Noelle, Melody and Jesse led a time of worship. Roger Ford gave the I-61 Annual Review and a personal testimony of how Jesus had healed him of many physical ailments. He also gave a brief overview of the core beliefs of I-61 (see summary on page 2). Following the theme "Jesus Still Heals," Holly Ford then introduced four guest speakers, who each shared a personal testimony of healing. Karen Miller shared that it was often difficult to understand her Oswald Chambers devotional book. She felt that she had "brain fog" when trying to comprehend the key point of each teaching. After deliverance (in 2005) she discovered that the devotions were clear to her - as were other Bible teachings. Jesus had healed her mind! Dawn Phillips shared how Jesus is healing her emotions. She began her journey of healing and deliverance with I-61 in 2007. Dawn has learned to forgive and been set free from anger she carried from childhood traumas. Jeff & Gayle Claflin shared Jesus is healing their marriage. They described ungodly behaviors in their relationship they realized they had inherited from their ancestors. For example, for Jeff, it was fear and passivity; for Gayle, control. After deliverance they learned they did not have to continue in these patterns. Their deliverance led to serving I-61 overseas! Finally, Jessica Hostetter testified that Jesus healed her body. Jessica had struggled with food allergies, stomach pain and "too many health problems to count" since she was two. After prayer time with I-61, Jesus set her free from every single one! (See Jer. 33:6-9.) We thank everyone who supported the dinner. Our financial need was met with a $ 6,000 net surplus. Thank You, Jesus, for blessing us!

  • The Whole Five-Fifths Gospel

    Isaiah 61 Ministries mission statement (see box below) is based on Isaiah 61:1: "The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners." When Jesus began his formal ministry He read that very scripture, then He said, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:21). As He walked on the Earth, Jesus fulfilled this mission personally. "God appointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him." (Acts 10:28.) Jesus expects His disciples to do likewise. "(Jesus) called His 12 disciples to Him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and heal every disease and sickness." (Matt. 10:1.) In fact, He said that, "Anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these." (John 14:12.) This is what the Bible calls the mystery, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27.) This is incredible truth! Believers are actually invited to use that same Holy Spirit and power of God to drive out evil spirits and heal every sort of disease and sickness. The testimonies in each issue of this newsletter are a testimony of Jesus, living in and working through His disciples to heal and set captives free. We are frequently asked, "How does this work, exactly? How do you know that Christians today are still supposed to be doing the things Jesus did two thousand years ago?" We like to explain that Jesus came to Earth to do five (5) basic things for us:

    • His blood for our sins
    • His resurrection power to give us eternal life
    • His death on a cross to break curses
    • His stripes for our healing (physical, emotional, relational & spiritual)
    • His power and authority over evil spirits

    But none of these five things come automatically to believers; we need to ask for them. Jesus is a gentleman. He "stands at the door and knocks," (Rev. 3:20.) However, each of us must decide to accept or not. Paul taught that the first point, Jesus' blood for our sins, is of first importance. (1 Cor. 15:3). Most Christians readily accept that point, along with the second point, i.e., the promise of eternal life. These two points are basic evangelism. However, that is only 2/5 of the good news! Jesus also wants to fill us with His Spirit, and authorize us to go out with His power to pray for people, break curses, heal the sick and brokenhearted, and drive out evil spirits. We like to call these three points "Jesus' PHD (preach, heal, and drive out demons). Add the 2/5 Gospel (first importance) with the 3/5 Gospel (Jesus' PHD) and you have the whole 5/5 Gospel. That is what we believe at Isaiah 61 Ministries. Christians who discover the truth of the whole Gospel are radically changed. No wonder that the devil works so hard to keep us from understanding it and why Paul called this a mystery! When Christians learn to use Jesus' power and authority over sickness and evil spirits their understanding of Jesus and the Bible goes from head knowledge to experiential truth, and, their faith soars! Which Gospel do you have, the 2/5 or the 5/5? We pray that all Jesus' followers will come to experience the fullness of the "whole five-fifths" Gospel. Roger Ford, I-61 Fall Dinner, 2011

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