By CFFM Staff
“What do you want?”
“I want to preach the gospel of Jesus until I die.”
This was the most common response given when Rev. Tonia Shroyer, one of our pastors, worked and trained Christian leaders in India and Nepal. Under the oversight of Movement Church and TellAsia Ministries, Pastor Tonia and a team of women ministers from all over the United States delivered Bibles and helped train spiritually hungry Christian leaders.
“One of the most fun things for me is they were ‘Jesus people!’” Pastor Tonia noted.
She reminded us that when God is involved, language and culture are hurdles to overcome, not barriers to build. His power does not discriminate – truth sets people free no matter where you are.
“People are the same everywhere,” Pastor Tonia said. “That’s one of the biggest takeaways from my trip. Demographics may be different, but people all want love, a hug, to talk about their children, and what you want to impart. The love of Jesus is the same anywhere you go.”
She was hit hard with this truth while leading a meeting for 75 men. The goal of the trip itself was to train and equip women, as you can read in “When God Calls, We Answer,” but the TellAsia group informed the team: ‘if you’re going to be here, we are going to put you to work.’ That meant that there were some extra meetings and visits added to the original itinerary!
One of those was a men’s leadership training. Pastor Tonia volunteered to be the forerunner for that meeting, and at the end of the event, set up a prayer and healing line. She was expecting some ‘new thing’ for this new-to-her country and group of people. But God told her, “I heal the same wherever I go.”
Although His healing power may be the same, He still cares and ministers individually. The men were respectful and engaged, but hearts truly opened once the power manifestations of the spirit (part of the list in I Corinthians 12:1-11) started to be operated.
“Once revelation and word of knowledge hit home, they started to cry and all lined up,” Pastor Tonia said. They later asked her to come back on a future trip and teach “How to Hear from the Holy Spirit.”
Pastor Tonia remembered Movement Church’s Pastor Jeff Jones, who visited Christian Family Fellowship with his wife Gayle. During a Sunday Service of impartation, he encouraged the congregation, “don’t be afraid to say what the Lord tells you to say.”
God’s messages didn’t just come through prayer lines and victory tunnels. They showed up in dreams as well.
Part of the itinerary was for the six women to be split up into pairs and sent into villages. The night before, Pastor Tonia had a dream that felt more like a vision. She didn’t know what exactly it meant, but she knew it wasn’t good. And Pastor Tonia was pretty certain it wasn’t a side effect of a vaccine either (one of the explanations offered to her).
Through a perfectly timed text and a chain of discussion, she ended up in conversation with David, the TellAsia Indian liaison who had planned the village trip. David asked her to describe the dream.
Pastor Tonia remembered seeing a huge wooden wall and looking at two white women from behind. They were holding on to the wall, and when they got tired, they fell and just hung off the wall.
“David said immediately, ‘we’re not going,’” Pastor Tonia shared. “He told me ‘listen, if the holy spirit shows or tells you anything else, I want you to tell me right away.’”
The women were instead split up into two groups of three and sent somewhere else. Pastor Tonia later found out that hanging is how some Indian villages execute people, using hanging and rape as their own form of martial law. Who knows what the group was saved from because God worked through Pastor Tonia, and the people around her listened.
Even though situations may be different, God is still operating in the power manifestations here in the states. Pastor Tonia said she wants to press into the prophetic even more, both as an individual and as a church.
God has something to say to you or through you – are you ready to hear and speak it?
To hear more and see photos from the trip, watch Pastor Tonia’s Sunday sharing on India and Nepal.