JUAN C. MILLER
REVIVAL IN BORNEO
We flew to East Malaysia which is part of the island of Borneo. To our surprise, we saw a different spirit. Later, when we learned what God had done several times among the scattered tribes in the jungle, we understood why.
The aboriginal tribes of that place have among them the famous ex-headhunters. These had the custom that every young man entering his maturity had to bring the head of an inhabitant of a neighboring village. This happened until missionaries brought the news of the gospel and great changes took place in them.
Later we continued our journey inland, where we got a closer look at the influence of the tribes. There we had the opportunity to visit a “Longhouse” – that measures between 200 and 250 meters long and houses between 200 and 250 families; each family in their little house within the big house. They are raised from the ground more or less three meters, because of the wild animals and the water.
It was in Borneo that we found the why of spiritual openness there, different from what we found in West Malaysia. Some of the aboriginal tribes of the place knew several revivals, where miracles and signs accompanied those moves of God. The first move they knew was in the 1940s.
One tribe, the Lun Bawang, in Borneo, despised by the rest of the tribes, lived practically drunk, one hundred days out of each year they were under the influence of alcohol. A book that tells how God intervened on their behalf is entitled “Drunkards Before Dawn.” This tribe reached such degradation that the men after headhunting was prohibited, turned to drink. The only sober ones, the government report said, “were the dogs.” Carelessness caused plagues and pests to come. This led them almost to extermination, so God intervened. The tremendous changes that Christianity brought to these evicted people have made them, today, one of the tribes with the highest percentage of professionals.
In 1973 another sovereign move of God began in a secondary school among a group of young people, in a place called “Bario.” There this group of young people met at night to pray, a few hours after classes. Inspired by the book “Like a Mighty Wind” by Mel Tari, they believed that God could also move sovereignly among them. They prayed, “God if You did it in Indonesia, You can do it here too.”
And the answer came from Heaven. Deep regret, accompanied by cries and groans, washed over them. The conviction was such that even the smallest things for them were big, such as answering badly or being late to class. It was seen as something terrible in the eyes of God. The teachers were very upset at first, especially since they spent the whole night in prayer and would soon have to face final exams. The Spirit of God began to bring conviction among the teachers until they too began to cry out to God. This started with a group of 20 or 30 people and unleashed a revival so great that it can still be read about it in the government archives.
We had an interview with a witness of that move, and he shared with us the precious things that happened there and in his own life. He told us how when God brought forgiveness and reconciliation, many wrote letters asking for forgiveness. When the time for the exams came, the young people passed with all honors. Also when it was time for the end of the year holidays, suddenly and without explanation, the government sent that school an amount of money as compensation to the teachers, something that was never given before or after. The teachers with the money were able to return to their homes and also visit other villages. In this way, the revivals spread through them to other places. “Bario” in their language means “wind,” and it was the wind of the Spirit of God that blew on many.
The young men who returned to their villages carried with them the fire of the Spirit affecting even other tribes. God gave them the word of knowledge. Many times they took their relatives by the hands and described their sins, exhorting them to repentance, often indicating where they kept some talisman or any object of witchcraft; those repentants fell on their knees crying out to God. They stayed there from early morning until late afternoon, often for several days, until the entire tribe turned to God.
During that revival, they witnessed many miracles. When the Spirit of God told them to go to one of the villages, after traveling for long hours and night fell on them in the middle of the land with luscious vegetation, in front of them a phosphorescent, transparent light appeared illuminated two or three meters around them. The wild animals did not bother them and that light went before them accompanying them. When they entered the village the people were amazed, and when they told them what God had done, a revival sprang up in that place. In every little village where these fiery hearts arrived, the fire of revival embraced them.
On another occasion, the Spirit of God told a group of young people to visit a certain village. They also arrived after traveling the dark paths of the jungle at night. The Spirit of God told them to take branches or leaves. They did so; when they broke the branch of a tree it became a light in their hands. Those who witnessed such a miracle thought that when the people of the tribe saw that light they would be greatly affected, but to their amazement when they arrived the light was fading.
In December 1973, in the town called Ba Kelalan, during a meeting, people began to fall under power and speak in other languages. A woman, the wife of a chief of the tribe, was ready to give birth. She fell under power and remained like that for two days; when she came to, she gave birth to her son in perfect condition. Many villages witnessed the great visitation of the Lord.
After they experienced the conviction of the Holy Spirit and repentance, they were inundated by a wave of unspeakable joy; they started jumping screaming and laughing. When the missionaries came, they said, “That’s not from God.” During the pastors’ conference that we had as soon as we arrived in Malaysia, we spoke with a person who had witnessed that move of joy in the year 1973. He told us the following, “Only now do I understand about joy and laughter after we had experienced it. Unfortunately, the missionaries later suffocated that. But these days, listening and seeing what God has done in our midst during this pastors’ conference, I can understand what happened then.”
In the years 1984-1985 God again poured out His grace on that land. Strange signs accompanied this new move. God raised up a prophet from among them and his word was heard. The signs that arose there reached the ears of a reporter from Malaysia’s leading daily newspaper. This one flew in a helicopter to that place to mock and destroy everything. During his stay there he was an eyewitness of great signs in the skies, of which he took photos and, consequently, they were publicized through the said newspaper.
On September 20, 1984, an angel appeared to them and directed them to gather on a small hill. They took with them a can of about twenty liters of water. They also put another large can with some grains of rice. They separated those cans a few meters apart and began to pray. The water turned into oil and the rice grains into flour. This happened repeatedly.
On April 9, 1985, the prophetic word again came that at a certain time God would show a sign, a fireball circling the skies for several hours. On May 9 it happened again, this time it was seen by three hundred people. A ball of fire moved rhythmically to the sound of the songs they were singing and when the rhythm of the songs changed that ball of fire followed the perfect rhythm of the songs they were singing. Sometimes it appeared on the mountain and other times five hundred meters in front of them.
On May 25, another group of three hundred people went up to the mountain to pray. While they ascended they saw a person above with outstretched hands, dressed in white, walking in the mountains, surrounded by an angelic choir. When they reached the indicated place they found it all covered with bushes; there was no ground on which to walk freely.
On July 15, 1985 there were more than a thousand people gathered. God told them that He would show them His signs, and fireballs appeared in the sky.
Warlocks and wizards have a very great influence there. One sorcerer tried to challenge the power of the God of these Christians. He had to surrender and accept that there is only One greater than all powers of darkness and that is God. The conversion of this sorcerer opened the doors for many in that region to give their hearts to Christ.
Signs after signs gave testimony of the power of God manifested to those people, such as fire descending on a mountain and leaving a cross on it, devouring all vegetation in its path.
Among so many photos taken during that time there was an enlarged one where angels clearly appear blowing the trumpets. We were having lunch with the secretary of the minister of agriculture and he allowed us to take several photos of the wonderful events that took place at that time.
THE WRITTEN HEAVENS
His hand has not been shortened to continue calling the hearts of those who are and will be His. In 1990 a group of young people from a school were accompanied by their teacher to a camp. The place where they gathered was near a beach. After changing plans due to inconvenience arising from the bus in which they were traveling, they settled in a lonely place. They prayed and asked God to sanctify that place. When they got together to sing and pray, the Spirit of God came upon one of the teachers inviting hearts to repent.
The Spirit brought conviction to the hearts of those teenagers, who stepped forward and fell down and asked God to forgive their sins. Moments later one of the young women said that at two in the morning the Lord would manifest Himself to them. They put all activity aside, even food, and kept their hearts in prayer until two in the morning. The house where they were staying faced the beach; the night was dark; there was no moon. At two in the morning, the sky began to clear as if it were dawn, increasingly clear.
A cloud appeared, then another and others began to move and form letters, then words and even phrases. The first word that appeared, very big in the sky, was “joy.” Then the clouds moved again and another word “love” formed; then “peace”, “I love you.” The girls were screaming, laughing, crying, they didn’t know what to do. God was telling them that He loved them. “Christ is coming soon” was one of the many phrases they saw written in heaven; just as an immense throne appeared that covered the whole place, and a crown above the throne. They also saw an open book and a hand moving with a writing pen. Then the immense face of an old man with a beard appeared, the face and the falling tears were perfectly visible, and underneath it was written “Go preach the Gospel.”
They also saw an immense sword wave in the skies. The group was extremely ecstatic by everything that had happened. They did not sleep that night, they continued singing, praising and shouting. Most decided to be baptized the next day. When the first of the young women entered the water, the rest of them started screaming and pointing upwards. The teacher looked up at the sky, in the middle of the day the clouds had formed an immense book and a hand with a pen that remained still. When the young convert came out of the water, the hand in the sky began to write in the book. This sign means that those who were baptized that day had their names written in the Book of Life.
Malaysia has seen the sovereign work of God, mainly among the tribes, but now the time has come for other ethnic groups that make up that nation. I firmly believe that you will hear even more about this country.
How many more things could be shared about the grace of God on that nation, facts that speak of God’s mercy poured into the heart of man and His protection over His children, but this would take a lot of paper. I hope this short report can inspire your faith and praise to our magnificent Redeemer, Jesus.