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Raising the dead in India

J. Lee Grady, the editor of Charisma, puts out a regular email that energizes my faith. I recommend subscribing to it – it’s free. His last one was great: Harry Gomes was an unlikely candidate to become a Christian evangelist. He grew u…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Lee Grady, the editor of Charisma, puts out a regular email that energizes my
faith. I recommend subscribing to it – it’s free. His last one was great:

Harry Gomes was an unlikely
candidate to become a Christian evangelist. He grew up in a poor village in
rural India
where there were no believers in Jesus. His Hindu mother believed she would
receive salvation if she wrote the name of the Hindu god Rama 10 million times.
After she filled dozens of notebooks with the god’s name, she killed herself.

Harry became an atheist after his
mother’s suicide. Depression and hopelessness hung like a cloud over his crude
home when he was a young man. After he obtained a college degree in business he
began to suffer from leukederma, an unsightly skin disease. Because of the pain
and humiliation caused by his condition he often considered killing himself.

Then Jesus literally walked into
his life.

Harry had a vision of Christ and
was miraculously converted. He was later filled with the Holy Spirit, and Jesus
appeared to him again—this time to commission him to reach India’s millions. Since 1993,
when Harry sold everything he owned to purchase some property for a ministry
center in the city of Coimbatore,
he has sponsored 187 crusades in eight different Indian states. So far, 11.5
million people—mostly Hindus—have made decisions for Christ in his meetings.

“People still say that India
is only 3 percent Christian,” Harry says, laughing loudly. “Actually the number
is probably more like 11 percent. They are using old figures.”

In India, where old traditions die
slowly, Hindu extremists are trying to hide the growth of Christianity in the
world’s second most populous nation. But reports indicate that large numbers of
Indians, particularly the Dalits, or “untouchables” of the lowest caste, are
converting to Jesus.

Today in the village where Harry
grew up, there are now five churches—and 90 percent of the 1,500 residents have
become believers in Jesus. All this growth has occurred in less than 15 years.

Harry is a vivid example of how India
is changing—and his unusual ministry demonstrates how New Testament-style
miracles are shaking a nation. He has seen more than 240,000 people healed of
chronic illnesses. And five people have been resurrected after distraught
family members brought their dead bodies to his meetings. One of the incidents
has been captured on videotape.

“I make sure people know that I am
not the healer,” says Harry, who is remarkably humble and soft-spoken. On
promotional fliers that are distributed to thousands of homes before his
crusades, he tells people to expect Jesus to touch them. He does not typically
lay hands on anyone. The miracles take place while he is kneeling on the stage.

Sometimes police come to his
meetings to arrest him for breaking laws against using magic or superstition.
“But they become believers when they see the miracles,” he explains.

Harry Gomes is one of my new
heroes. Not because he sponsors big meetings, or because he sees powerful
healings, but because I see in him a humility that seems lacking in the
American church.

He speaks often of brokenness. He
sometimes spends all night in prayer. On a typical day he prays for hours over
the individual prayer requests of those who have attended his meetings. When he
prayed for me this week he spent half his time confessing his own weaknesses
and asking for God’s mercy. His selflessness convicted me to the core.

I couldn’t help but think that
there is a connection between this man’s humility and the obvious spiritual
power released when he preaches the simple gospel of salvation.

And the fact that he is spending
his summer in the United
States gave me hope that God is giving our
nation a chance to reclaim the power of New Testament Christianity—so that we
too can see a wayward generation raised to life.

To subscribe to Grady’s monthly email, click here and check the box for Charisma Online.

Posted with permission from Charisma Online, June, 2007. Copyright Strang Communications Co., USA. All rights reserved. www.charismamag.com.

Comments (7)

  • Dear lee: I enjoyed your article on my friend Harry Gomes. We have preached together in several crusades in India. We preached together in Kenya in 2006. He is the most humble man I know, and he does in fact spend 5 to 10 hours a day in prayer. He has one of the amazing testimonies I have ever heard. I wish you would encourage him to write a book about his life!
    This man has truly given everything for the gospel. He gave up a prosperous business for the gospel, he sold EVERYTHING, and gave it toward the ministry. He even had to sell his house to a relative and is now renting that house back from them.
    He was crying after a meeting in 1999 because of the debt, and financial pressure. I told him he has one of the greatest healing gifts and a heart for souls, but if he did not have faith in the area of finances many people would not be touched by his ministry, that could have been.
    I preached on finances, and giving at his church, and that it was scriptural to take up an offering and his churches giving Quadrupled right away. They used to have a box in the back, and you could give if you wanted. Then I told him that americans like to be presented with a persons vision, then be challenged to give. He was able to raise money for a sound system and stage for his crusades. Since then God has given him extreme favor, and many people have gotten behind his ministry.
    His ministry is bearing much fruit,and I appreciate you writing about him, and getting to know him! In Christ David Braasch

  • My son imran left the world on 7/9/08.I am a single mother had only one child I dont want to belive, he should come back or tell him to take me along his words I will never leave u mom can u help me .

  • We have been praying for God to send you our way. Our dad just passed away and your presence would be a tremendous support in our prayer for his resurrection. If God is not guiding you to join us in person, can you join us in a prayer by phone? God Bless!


  • Brilliant Article!

    I would implore you to post response to the following questions and comments:

    1. Please identify the village where Mr. Gomes grew up, where he claims that 90 percent of the people today are Christians. I would like to independently verify the facts.

    2. Please identify the five people who were raised to life after they were confirmed dead. Their names and addresses please. Remember, the gospel writers identified clearly those three whom Jesus raised to life–daughter of Jairus from Galilee, the son of a widow from Nain, Lazarus of Bethany. Providing their identity will make the story more believable, and verifiable.

    3. Of the 30 million Christians in India, according to Mr. Gomes, 11.5 million became Christians through his crusades since 1997. (If he tries to tell you that he is referring to the so called secret Christians, please remember that you are a disciple of Christ only when you confess him to be your Lord. You make that confession even to a census officer)

    If you are in the business of God, in whom there is no falsehood, please give truth a chance.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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