We continue from yesterday's meditation about how the revival in Argentina started with gatherings of people crying out to the Lord in prayer. Dr. Edward Miller, a witness of much that happened in the early days of the Argentine revival, writes about it in his book, The Secrets of the Argentine Revival. Miller writes:
“Obtaining the use of press and radio to promote the evangelism was ridiculous even to consider. Under President Peron's decrees, all religious activities were closely monitored and censored. All meeting schedules had to be reported to the police authorities sixty days in advance. Special permission had to be granted for any special meeting, and it was extremely difficult to gain approval for large gatherings. Tommy Hicks’ desire for a big stadium was ridiculous to consider; furthermore, it had never been done before. The prevailing mood of the committee did not indicate the possibility that any miraculous governmental change of decrees was even remotely possible. However, God had sent Tommy Hicks to Argentina and told him to speak to Peron and speak to Peron he must.
The committee warned Tommy Hicks that high American government officials had been insulted and refused an interview, so how could an unknown, unrecognized and unimportant preacher from the United States ever get an audience with Peron. But Tommy Hicks believed in his God, and he went to his hotel room to pray. He knew that God had sent him, and that God was bigger than any dictator. The next day Tommy, with an interpreter, walked up to the Casa Rosada or Pink House, where the government offices were located. As they neared the door, an armed guard, who also served as a porter, stopped them with a machine gun aimed at Tommy’s chest and asked brusquely, “Who are you? What do you want?” Pastor Hicks carefully explained to him what he wanted; to hold a salvation–healing crusade. The more Tommy explained, the more interested the guard became. Finally, the guard asked, "Do you mean to say that God can heal?" "Yes, He can, and He will," replied Tommy. "Well, can He heal me?" queried the guard. "Yes, He can. What is your problem?" asked Tommy. "I have hepatitis, and my liver is killing me right now," the guard answered. "Give me your hand," responded the evangelist, and right there, he prayed the prayer of faith. The power of God surged through that guard's body, and in a moment, his pain and sickness were gone.
Feeling the power of God, the guard was utterly astonished. He instantly felt a release from his pain. In total amazement, he said, "Why it's all gone; all the pain is gone!" "Of course it's gone," replied Tommy, "God has healed you." The guard responded, "You come back tomorrow, and I will get you in to see the president. The next day the guard greeted Tommy and his interpreter cordially and escorted them to President Peron’s door. The president greeted Tommy and his interpreter and asked the reason for their coming after asking them to be seated. Pastor Hicks carefully explained to Peron the plans for the citywide salvation and healing crusade planned and asked for full rights for the evangelicals to meet in stadiums and sporting arenas. He then explained the way of salvation and healing to the president.
President Peron, at that time, was suffering from a particularly advanced case of a skin disease called psoriasis. No physician had been able to cure him, and it had become steadily worse, even causing Peron to have to deny all photographs of himself. Peron, listening in amazement to Pastor Hicks, asked him, "Do you believe that Jesus Christ heals today the same as He did while He was here on Earth?" Tommy answered, "Of course I do. Here, give me your hand." Again Pastor Hicks prayed the prayer of faith for President Peron, and as the power of God flowed into him, he staggered back under the impact. Before the eyes of the onlookers, Peron's skin became smooth and soft as a baby's, and he was instantly made whole and complete. Amazed, he stepped back and exclaimed, "Caramba, Dios mio, estoy curado!" (Good heavens, my God, I am cured!). At this, President Peron sat down and signed the total freedom for the evangelical church in Argentina. In a moment, God did what was impossible for man to do.
“Why was no one there when I arrived? Why did no one answer when I called? Is My hand too short to redeem you? Or do I lack the strength to deliver you? Behold, My rebuke dries up the sea; I turn the rivers into a desert; the fish rot for lack of water and they die of thirst” (Isaiah 50:2).
God can do the same today as He has done before and throughout church history. It’s time to cry out to Him for His hand of deliverance and salvation for the lost. Keith Thomas
In desiring to keep these meditations to a 3-4 minute read, we’ll come back to this story tomorrow, but if you can’t wait, the series is found on the All Studies page, scroll down until you come to the series called: On Fire With the Holy Spirit, The study is called: Revival Changes Nations.
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