India and China – My Health and HIS Glory!

It is 3 a.m. in the morning, and I need to share with you a simple truth that God has revealed to me in the quietness as I am again “wired” on steroids. (This reminds me of the five years of short nights in the 90’s as I was on steroids.)   After sixteen months of staying out of the hospital with my breathing issues, I again last week had to return for a few days of tests and massive steroids to treat the inflammation of my airways which were shutting down.  This happened just as we were beginning to make final preparations for a team to go into India in March to train pastors from my book Shepherding Horses, which has been translated in numerous languages to help pastors in nations on every continent.  It is amazing how God uses simple analogies to help us understand His eternal truths.

“Why did this happen?” many of us asked God, just after we got word in November that my disease of seventeen years has gone into remission.  After walking one to two miles a day for the last year, I was suddenly not able to breathe even while standing.  I could literally not even walk to the bathroom and back without stopping and fighting for air.

I am home, feeling much better, and gaining a little strength each day.   I hope for a full recovery in order to resume my new “normal” lifestyle and intend to be on a plane to India within eight weeks.  But, here is why I still need to go.  The Holy Spirit simply showed me:

A Comparison

There are only two nations in the world with one billion people, India and China.  The Church is rapidly growing in each of these nations in totally differently ways.

  1. In China, this growth has been mainly underground with “house churches” and has now gone to above ground churches in many areas.  This has happened as the people moved to the cities.  The government has been open to new freedoms, but there are still pockets of persecution.  In India there have been massive crusades, healings, and many people have been raised from the dead. Tremendous persecution, church burnings, and the killing of many believers have occurred particularly in the north with much greater freedom and open success in the south.
  2. These are two key nations that I have visited four or five times over the last few years and made some close friendships in each.  As President and an Ambassador for FCCI / Christ@Work I have been able travel with teams of business leaders and visit 25 nations over the last decade.  What a joy to meet believers in places of relationships around the world.
  3. The “god” of China is money and power.  So, for all the new Christians, the “secular / scared divide” is huge.  They can easily compartmentalize their lives and be dishonest in the workplace while loving Jesus and being a leader in the church.  The “god” of India is religion.  Just as in Jesus time, the religious leaders are sometimes the biggest problems, not the sinners.  Christ came to save us sinners, but religion tries to mask the real problem. We have not helped from the West by many times importing into India all of our religious baggage and practices and pride rather than simply Christ.  So many times, the people simply ADD another religion. Or, even the Christian church tends to adopt the world’s methods of growth.  (The way the “god” of the USA is pleasure, followed closely behind by possessions, and finally by pride and power.  See I John 2:15, 16)
  4. Therefore, God showed me.  To deal with the business leaders of China (which is the most powerful group) I had you send a team of five men in December to help with the integration of faith and work.  The church got our churchy religious baggage in the mission movement and the notion that “business and the marketplace are dirty and must be separate from the church.” Our team, as many others have been, was very well received and the message is really needed.  The government in fact encourages interaction with business leaders from the USA and Taiwan because they discovered that our “capitalism” without values and ethics does not work.  They do not necessarily care if we bring Christianity, but they want us to bring relationships to do business and values.  What an Open Door that we as business leaders have that even the “church” cannot enter.

But, in India the pastors need to see that the focus is not to be upon crowds, the platform, the church buildings or programs, or even the miracles.  The focus is to be upon the risen Christ and HIS glory.  The focus is to be upon HIS method of discipleship which gets lost in all of the churches’ “success with huge numbers”.  The pastors are simply to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, who will then go and make disciples in their daily sphere of influence. Shepherding Horses is about pastors and church leaders building bridges of relationships, affirming, equipping, commissioning, and releasing.  Just as the non-professional grew the church in China without missionaries for thirty of more years, the church in India will only have true rapid growth when every saint is involved where they live, work, and play.

Understanding the Battle

So, when we began to plan our trip to India, we made the enemy mad.  He could see our strategy.  Hundreds and thousands of groups work in India and do great jobs in crusades, training, education, and orphanages. But, our training will go right to the pastors, who will train others, and eventually impact a network of 100,000 pastors across India.  Yes, there is persecution around the world in Iran, where God is using visions and dreams to bring many to Christ. But, Christians are killed there every day.  In northern Nigeria, the believers are under huge challenges and face death.  But, in India we have an opportunity to see an entire nation transformed in the midst of heavy persecution. That is when the church grows the most.  In the USA, we are a stagnant church because we have adapted to the easy life.  The blessings of God have become our curse because we have focused on them instead of Him.

So, I finally understood.  It is NOT about me, just one of millions of Christians involved around the world.  It is about HIS glory and one nation.  When I was asked in the fall to go to India next year, I was better physically but had not been able to travel overseas in nearly two years.  My disease appeared heading into remission.  I asked to pray and wait until December 1st to respond to the invitation to train pastors in four cities (now five). In November, we got good blood test results, great reports from all the physicians, and encouragement to go on the trip.  We announced to friends and family that after three years the disease had gone into remission.

Simply, people stopped praying, Satan got upset, and NONE of us saw the spiritual battle for a nation that was taking place.  So, when a small infection or a virus or bronchitis shut down my airways the last few weeks, then many asked “Kent, are you still going to India, where it is crowded and dirty and could really damage your airways?”  I said YES!  But, now as I understand that this is NOT about my health but HIS glory and the transformation of a nation. NOW I must reply, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  The action is just beginning, not ending.”  We are in a spiritual battle for the millions of souls in an entire nation.  We have the rare opportunity to encourage and equip hundreds of pastors and church leaders who are on the front lines of the battle.  They face hardships of all kinds and persecutions and simply need our support and help in preparing them to be used to disciple an entire nation for Christ.

If the basic truths that we have shared across the US and around the world with pastors will give them some small help, then I will not miss this opportunity. Pastors across Africa and Europe and even Asia have told me, “how did you know that this was an issue here, I have never heard this before in bible school or seminary, and why have you not come earlier?”  We must go.  I am just one simple businessman.  But, God has given me a unique message for the church and pastors and workplace leaders.  It is biblical to the core.  As the pastor builds bridges of relationships, he equips the leaders to model Christ in their huge sphere of influence.  The church is scattered, not just gathered. The HORSES are allowed to be themselves and run free.

A small team of us (pastors and business leaders) will leave around March 8th and return March 25th after visiting five cites.  Please pray for my health.  However, if I can just get on a plane, then I will be going.  I fully anticipate doing just that.  This is a SPIRITUAL BATTLE for a nation.  The battle is being fought where we cannot physically see it.  But, it is there.  This is about God the Father’s glory, the method of Christ His Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit working through us His saints.  I am NOT asking you to go, I am not asking you to give (although there will be real financial costs for this large training process), BUT I am asking you to PRAY!  Prayer is NOT just a tool; it is where this battle will be fought.  So, start now instead of eight weeks from now.  A nation hangs in the balance. YOU have the power to see God work in a huge way.  He wants you to ask, seek, and keep knocking.   I thought that this was just another trip and training many pastors.  It is NOT about training, or pastors, or me, or my health issues, BUT it is about a line being drawn in the sand by the enemy. Breath is the essence of life.  It is a miracle that I am still around.  So, if Satan is this mad to target a little guy like me, we must have discovered a hole in his armor.  Let us bring together all the forces of hundreds of believers praying and let help bring down the “religious strong holds” of India.

Pray simply that God will be glorified, Jesus’ methods will be adopted, and the power of the Holy Spirit will be released!

Thanks for receiving these insights with me from our Father.

Your brother, Kent

 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)

 Therefore, I will live in the temporal world of the visible, while focusing on the eternal world of the invisible relying on His grace and power.

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About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

3 Responses to India and China – My Health and HIS Glory!

  1. Guy Madison says:

    This is tremendously powerful Kent and I see what God is doing here with you. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in me, me, me and what I’m trying to accomplish in taking care of my family and living the “American dream”, that I forget about all the good that needs to be done around the world. I am encouraged and inspired by all that God is using and will use you to do! Glad you shared these truths with us. I love what I am doing and what God is doing through and in me, but sometimes I really wish I was going with you. Either way, I will be with you in Spirit and in prayer.
    Guy

  2. Sandie Anderson says:

    Kent, I will pray for you, your team, and the people you will be training for the battle. You have drawn the line in the sand, and I pray that there will be thousands of people here supporting you in prayer as you deliver God’s message of discipleship.

  3. Cathy Westum says:

    I want to go too!

    Break a leg over there (not literally)… God will reveal why you’re so driven to serve over there.

    God bless,
    Cathy

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