The last time we visited El Salvador we invited a pastor friend of ours who has a healing ministry. I contacted several churches in El Salvador to arrange a week worth of meetings. Some days we had two services, but mostly the services were in the evening.
What is amazing is that the churches would block off streets for our services, making them outdoors and open to anyone. The churches provided a platform and worship music. The attendance at these meetings exceeded 150 people per service. Word of our services was word of mouth. Everyone who was interested was welcome. The people who came were expecting to see miracles. Our pastor friend, an evangelist, would start sharing the word while he waited for the Holy Spirit to manifest with signs, wonders, and miracles.
Suddenly, the meetings would shift and the miracles would begin. The evangelist would begin to call out people in the audience and reveal their needs. Think, this had to be God because the evangelist did not speak Spanish and his words had to be translated. Our interpreter would listen and have to translate to Spanish and then back to English. We saw miracles every night. One night at a large church which had seating for 3000, our evangelist ministered and the alter was full. Over 100 people at this service were slain in the spirit on the platform.
These services would last for several hours until all of the needs had been addressed.
The evangelist would be exhausted after the services, but he always made time to meet with the church leaders to answer any questions.
I had asked one of my favorite pastors if I could teach a class on healing during the daytime. He pastors an Assembly of God church in El Refugio, El Salvador. He permitted me to teach in the afternoons for the week. My interpreter was a young lady who had never read the Bible or attended church. The people who attended my class would then go to the evening services. So, they were in classes or meetings for 3 to 5 hours each day. Everything my translator heard and repeated, to her was truth. On day three of our class, she taught and answered questions without turning to me for answers. I asked her what she was saying, and she said she was telling them the same things I would have said. The Holy Ghost had saved and entered into this young lady through hearing and repeating the word of God.
Now I have said all this so that I could tell you about a miracle I and my translator were part of. This meeting was similar to others we had experienced during the weeks.
People in wheelchairs, blind, deaf, and other needs filled the outdoor service. We watched as the evangelist started to walk the isles of the outdoor service praying and laying hands on the needy.
One couple stood out to me: a wife and her paraplegic husband. The evangelist stopped by them and prayed for the man. As the evangelist moved on, the lady rolled her husband out of the crowd and into the church so that her husband could see the platform. This was close to where I and my translator were seated. So, I gathered my newly saved translator and entered the church and found the husband in his wheelchair. I got down on my knees so that I could make eye contact with the man. I laid my hand on his chest and prayed for healing, miracles and life. My translator repeated my prayer.
Then I took the man’s fingers and loosened them. He looked me in the eyes and again I laid hands on him and repeated the prayer. My translator repeated my words in Spanish. My compassion for this man blossomed into faith. I stepped back and raised my arms and said “hallelujah.” He attempted to raise his arms and repeat what I had said. We worked on this for several minutes. Then I told him to move his right leg and he did. My translator laughed and said you are telling him in English and he doesn’t understand, but God is giving him understanding.
Next, I lifted the man up in a bear hug. I started to drag him, but my translator got on her hands and knees and started to move his feet like he was walking. We did this three or four times and each time we prayed life and healing and miracles into him.
Finally, strength entered his legs and his body. He smiled at us and miracle upon miracle we led him out of the church and onto the platform. He walked and he smiled at the audience and the audience reacted with cheers because they all knew his former condition. I will never forget the miracle God provided and how the faith of my translator never wavered. Faith cometh my hearing and hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
John & Adora Riggs are active missionaries to El Salvador and live in Delaware, Ohio.