Pastor, Kings Gate Christian Fellowship, London, England
Ordained minister with New Zealand
Assemblies of God (AOG)
Ministered in over 60 nations to thousands of people for 33 years
Lincoln University, NZ, degree in agriculture/dairy science
Married to Jane
Three children: Lisa, Michael, and Sarah
Ian McCormack: The Perfect Wave
The 700 Club
A FATAL STING
Ian grew up in New Zealand and from a young age shared a passion for the outdoors, all sports and particularly the ocean. He was raised as an Anglican, attended the "Church of England" and was confirmed in the church at age 14. "I would pray as a child, and went to Sunday school and youth group, and yet I'd never really had a personal experience with God," shares Ian. His mother did not force him to come to church. However, she did tell him something that would ultimately save his life, "Whatever you do in life, wherever you go, no matter how far you think you've gone away from God, if you're in trouble and in need, cry out to God from your heart, and He will hear you. He will really hear you and forgive you." Ian chose not to go to church because it was basically just religion to him.
After college Ian worked and saved some money. Then at the age of 24 he set off on a two year trip around the world surfing all the major surf spots including Australia, Bali, Java, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Ruenion Island, Mauritius and South Africa. In 1982, on route back to New Zealand for his younger brother's wedding, Ian stopped in Mauritius. One evening he went diving for lobster with some friends. He was stung by five box jellyfish whose poison can kill a person in four minutes, depending on where you are stung. Ian was taken to shore by boat then left alongside the road. He remembers feeling the poison pulsating and moving through his blood stream. In a desperate search to save his own life Ian went looking for help. He found a couple of taxi drivers at a gas station and begged them on bended knee for one of them to take him to the hospital. They walked away since he had no money. Finally, one came back and decided to take Ian to the hospital, but changed his mind along the way and shoved Ian out of the car at a tourist hotel. There he saw a friend who called an ambulance for Ian. When the ambulance came, Ian's body was completely paralyzed.
On the way to the hospital, Ian began to see his life flash before him. He saw a vision of his mother, who was a Christian, praying for him. It was as though she was speaking out those words she had spoken so long ago; "Ian, no matter how far from God you are, no matter what you've done wrong, if you cry out to God from your heart, He will hear you and He will forgive you." Ian didn't know what to pray, so he cried out that if God was real, God would help him pray. Instantly, God showed him the Lord's Prayer. Ian prayed from his heart and gave his life to the Lord. "I didn't understand it at the time, but that was my prayer for salvation," shares Ian. He says an incredible peace came over his heart and fear left him.
When he arrived at the hospital a nurse and doctor tried to save his life by injecting anti-toxins and dextrose into his body, but within a few minutes, Ian died. "I knew my spirit had left, I had gone somewhere, and yet I didn't know I was dead," shares Ian. He found himself in complete darkness. At first, he thought he was still in the hospital so he tried to reach out to find a light switch. As he reached out, he found he wasn't touching anything. When he tried to touch his face, his hand would go right through it. Ian began to sense that it wasn't just a physical darkness, but a spiritual darkness. He had a cold eerie feeling that there was something or someone else there, and it or he was looking at Ian. From the darkness, Ian heard voices screaming at him telling him to "shut up;" that he "deserved to be there;" and that he was in hell. Then be began wondering why he'd gone there, because he'd prayed just before he died, and asked God to forgive him of his sins. As he questioned why he was there, a brilliant light shone upon him and literally drew him out of the darkness. The light lifted Ian off the ground and he began to ascend up into this brilliant white light, like a speck of dust caught in a beam of sunlight.
INTO THE LIGHT
"I was happy to be out of that darkness," shares Ian. As he followed the light he found himself inside a long narrow tunnel. At the far end of the tunnel he could see a radiant light which drew him closer at an incredible speed. This light passed through Ian and he could feel a wave of warmth and comfort flood his soul. It wasn't just physical, but it was giving off a living emotion. One wave of light gave off peace. "I had tried alcohol, I had tried education, I had tried sport, I had tried relationships with women, I had tried drugs, I tried everything I could think of to find peace and contentment in my life, and I'd never found it. Now from the top of my head to the base of my feet I found myself totally at peace," reveals Ian. As he came out of the tunnel, Ian found himself standing in the presence of awesome light and power. He heard a voice ask him, "Ian, do you wish to return?" Ian was still trying to figure out where he was when he responded, "I don't know where I am, but if I am out of my physical body I wish to return." The voice then said, "If you wish to return - you must see in a new light." Ian asked, "Are you the true light?" Words appeared in front of him, "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5)." Ian had never read a Bible before in his life so he didn't know these words came straight out of it.
Ian thought, "God is light. I see no darkness here, I have just come from darkness - I see no evil, no shadows - this is pure light…He knows my name and I didn't tell Him, only God could do that - He knows what I am thinking before I even speak, only God could do that." Ian also thought that God must be able to see everything wrong he had done in his life. He felt totally exposed and wanted to move away from the light. As he drew back towards the darkness a wave of light swept through him and he felt pure love flow over him. Ian found himself weeping uncontrollably in God's presence. As Ian stepped closer into the light he could feel a presence healing his broken heart. Suddenly the light opened up and Ian could see Jesus standing in front of him. His garments were shimmering white in color and His hands were outstretched as if to welcome him. Standing a few feet away from the Lord, Ian tried to see His face, but he didn't know that no man can see the face of God and live. As Ian moved his face into the radiance that surrounded His face, God moved - and all His Glory moved with Him. Directly behind Him it opened out into a brand new World - green pastures, a crystal clear stream, and rolling green hills. Ian could see the same light that was on the presence of God was radiating throughout this entire creation - totally untouched by man - perfect creation. Ian knew he belonged here, that God had created him to live here.
A CHOICE TO RETURN
God asked Ian, "Now that you have seen - do you wish to step in or do you wish to return?" Ian thought, "I don't want to return. I wish to step in. I have no one to go back for and no one has ever loved me…I wish to step in." God didn't move, so Ian looked back behind to say goodbye to his life on earth. Then, standing behind him in a vision in front of the tunnel was his mother. When he saw her he knew that she was the one person in his life that had shown him love and prayed for him every day. He knew it would break his mother's heart if he died because she would have no way to know that God had heard his prayer in the ambulance and forgiven him of his sins. Ian didn't want to be selfish so he decided to return, but God said he must see things in a new light - God's Heavenly perspective, not his temporary earthly perspective. God also showed Ian a vision of his family, and thousands and thousands of other people that would not get a chance to hear about Him if Ian did not return. Ian was perplexed as to how he could possibly return back down the tunnel and back into his hospital bed. God said "Son, tilt your head; now feel the liquid drain from your eye. Now open your eye and see." Ian was immediately back in his physical body. The doctor trying to save Ian's life had a scalpel and was prodding the base of his foot. Ian started to move, which terrified the doctor, nurses, and orderlies. Ian found he had been dead for a period of some 15 minutes. God completely healed Ian and he walked out of the hospital the next day. Over the next 6 weeks Ian read the entire Bible and has never been the same. He has shared the Gospel and what God has done for him in over 60 nations around the world. In 2009, Ian and his wife, Jane, felt the Lord lead them to London, UK to plant a church.
THE PERFECT WAVE
The movie "The Perfect Wave" is about Ian's near death experience. The film was produced in South Africa by producer, Bruce McDonald and stars: Scott Eastwood (Clint's son), Rachel Hendrix, and Cheryl Ladd. The movie will premiere in the U.S. on July 11th and Wal-Mart will stock DVD's in their stores on September 16th. Ian received minimal compensation for the film. He worked with Bruce for five years to help develop the film. His goal for the movie is "to save the lost."
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