Africa's Miracle

One of the most astounding spiritual awakenings in history is shaking Nigeria today. I saw it for myself in December, when I traveled to the city of Lagos to attend the largest Christian gathering on the planet. I was one of the 2 or 3 million people who attended the Holy Ghost Congress, a three-day celebration sponsored by the Redeemed Christian Church of God--a denomination that is starting three churches every day.

The numbers associated with this African revival are mind-blowing. On the second night of the congress, I walked for 30 minutes into the crowd and never reached the back. A quarter of a mile further from where I stood, throngs of people were seated under a gigantic, pavilion-like structure with a metal roof that can seat an additional 1 million people.

I was told there were 10,000 ushers in the audience that night. They were stationed across a field that was wired with 2.5 kilometers of electrical cord for the sound system. Workers spent an entire year making the crude wooden benches that covered the dusty ground.

To capture the energy of the moment, I moved near the front of the crowd--just as the praise team began to sing a chorus accompanied by congas and traditional talking drums. I began to sway to the rhythm, and in a few moments I found myself in a frenzied circle with several young African pastors--who probably didn't realize until that night that some white men can actually dance.

When the music ended we hugged and high-fived, and then I listened to their testimonies of courage in the face of suffering. All the men were from northern Nigeria, where Muslims in recent years have killed Christians, burned churches and attempted to impose strict Islamic law.

Bisi, a pastor from Kwara state, told me: "Some Muslims believe that physical violence will stop the growth of the church in Nigeria." Another minister, Fakulade, said Muslims in the northern city of Kaduna have been known to put a price on a pastor's head.

Then I met Emmanuel, a 21st century apostle who has established "prayer cells" all over northern Nigeria, focusing his evangelistic efforts on Muslims. Islamic gangs have tried to murder him twice, and he showed me the scar on his throat to prove it. "A Muslim is afraid of two things: God's love and the Holy Spirit's miracles," he explained.

Emmanuel says the persecution has kept him "sharp in the Spirit" and increased his passion for God. "Because of our isolation, and the resistance we have experienced, we got to know Christ in His reality. It helped our Christianity," he said.

This man's die-hard commitment to spreading the gospel in the face of hostility gave me assurance that the Holy Spirit is working today to overcome the threat of militant Islam. If such boldness spreads to the millions of new Christian converts in Nigeria, Africa and the Middle East will be transformed in our lifetime.

Yet I can't help but wonder about my own country. Recent studies show that church membership is actually declining here. What's it going to take to jolt the American church into revival mode?

Hopefully some of this African zeal will infect us on this side of the Atlantic.

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • There are some ways the Holy Spirit will never lead you.

    4 Ways the Holy Spirit Does Not Lead You—and 1 Big Danger

    Wrong teaching, ignorance, laziness and a failure of the five-fold to equip the saints for the work ...

  • Chuck Pierce

    Prophetic Word: 'The Winds of Heaven Are Now Entering the Earth'

    Chuck Pierce says we need to brace ourselves.

  • What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    Start saving for emergencies today with the $500 Savings Challenge by brightpeak financial. It's chock-full of inspiration, great savings tips and the motivation to make a dent in your savings—for real! Go to to sign up!

  • Lee's ministry photo

    10 Ways to Pray for a Troubled America

    God is always willing to rescue His people if they pray.

  • Hillary Clinton

    What if Hillary Clinton Wins the White House?

    Polls have Mrs. Clinton leading by 11 points. The church must be prepared.

  • Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

    Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

    Whether it's purchasing a property, remodeling or refinancing, Christian Community Credit Union has a loan package that's customized for your budget and situation.

  • Holy Spirit prophetic

    7 Ways to Cultivate Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit

    Too many of God's people are led by fear, doubt, man-pleasing, presumption, assumption, idols ...

  • God doesn't usually shout, so you should listen carefully.

    What Happens When You Actually Listen to God

    It will surprise—and most likely shock—you.

  • Is there any unconfessed sin in your life?

    Scripture Says Pain, Health and Sin Share This Unexpected Connection

    If you're experiencing chronic pain, this may offer you the answer you need.

  • Guarding the gates of your heart will keep the demonic and evil out of your life.

    Keep the Demonic Out of Your Life With This Oft-Overlooked Spiritual Warfare Strategy

    The enemy knows his limitations. Limit him.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit