Lakeland Revival Miracle Healings Continue

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LAKELAND, Fla. -- Since April 2, what appears to be a powerful move of God is shaking Lakeland, Fla.

And maybe the most interesting thing about what's happening in Lakeland is that it isn't just happening here, but all over the earth simultaneously. Revivalist Todd Bentley, 32, of Canada has been the leading figure when it comes to the thousands of healings.

Available Online around the World

"We're in 214 nations a night. Potential audience of 400 million. And 10 hours a day we're literally around the world, people are seeing what's happening here in Florida," Bentley said.

That's because God TV made the unprecedented -- and extremely expensive -- decision to pre-empt all their primetime programming and broadcast the Lakeland meetings every night. Thousands more are watching on the website for the church where the revival ignited. It's called, appropriately enough, Ignited Church.

"550,000 different computers have logged into the webcast. That's incredible," said Ignited's senior pastor Stephen Strader.

And those watching get to see some pretty special miracles.

Leaving Wheelchairs Behind

The first night CBN News was here, eight handicapped people were healed and left their wheelchairs behind.

Cancer had put Dara Erickson in a wheelchair. "I had tumors going up and down my spinal column. And it wrapped around my spine and cracked my backbone," she said.

Her healing came progressively during four days and nights of meetings. "I guess it was the fourth day, I was out of the wheelchair. And I could walk. I felt my legs get stronger and stronger and stronger."

Caroline Tollefsen-Gonzales can't stop moving and flexing her right hand. Before the revival, it was shriveled up like a pain-dispensing claw because of a rare syndrome.

Rare Syndrome Healed

"It attacked the joints, the muscles, the bones, the skin. And it was unbearable," she said.

Caroline sent CBN News a medical report a neurologist wrote last year about Caroline's right hand, labeling its condition "Permanent Impairment" and writing there was "nearly no range of motion of the fingers with claw-like deformity, and pain from the fingers to the elbow."

But the first night Caroline came to the meetings, she received a total healing. Flexing her hand by her face, she said, "I have never been able to do this since it started."

Click the player to watch CBN News Correspondent Paul Strand's report.

Kathryn Condesa was in so much pain from a degenerative condition that had hit all around her spine, she was taking nearly killer doses of four highly-addictive narcotics.

Doctors had also filled her with some formidable metal. Pastor Strader said, "They put two metal rods six inches long with four bolts that were three inches long into her back to hold her in place. It was literally impossible for her to bend."

Moving Without Pain

Kathryn came for a healing to the morning meetings still going on at Ignited Church. When Pastor Strader asked for those in pain to stand, he saw Kathryn stand first.

"I just prayed a simple prayer: 'Jesus, heal the lady,'" Strader said.

Kathryn then remembers Strader blowing towards her. "And he blew and said, 'you're healed.'"

Strader then watched Kathryn nearly collapse over the chair in front of her. "And she had totally bent over the chair, just like a jackknife. Totally bent over, for 20 minutes."

Kathryn recalled, "He said 'can you touch the ground?' And I said, 'I don't think so. But let me try.' And I bent over and I touched the floor and I was shocked."

Strader became extremely excited. "And we said 'go to the doctors and see if the rods have disappeared because it's impossible for you to bend over.' She has the x-rays. The rods are still there. How can she bend over with rods? That is unbelievable."

Not only is Kathryn healed, but she tossed away the addictive drugs and hasn't had one withdrawal symptom.

Ruptured Discs, Cerebral Palsy -- Healed

One miracle had a comedic touch: a man with two ruptured discs hobbled up to the stage. He had to use a cane to walk. But then his back was healed and he started jumping all over the stage. so much so, that the ushers couldn't even catch him.

Teresa Pemberton had had 22 leg surgeries. Suffering from spinal stenosis and cerebral palsy, she could hardly walk much less jump before coming all the way from Tualatin, Oregon, to get a healing in Lakeland.

And she did.

Teresa recalled, "The Lord said 'jump' and I jumped and I could jump."

CBN News asked her if that had been impossible before. She said it had and explained, "My left knee was bone-on-bone and I needed a knee replacement."

Michelle Latham's leg was crushed in an ATV accident, her hip broken. Eight surgeries and multiple pins and plates later, her doctor told her, as Latham recalled, "You're just going to have to use a cane for the rest of your life."

Joints, Muscles Restored

But when she came to the revival, Michelle heard Todd Bentley talking about her.

"He called out 'there's a girl who's broken her hip and it's gone into her lower back,' and I felt God completely touching my hip. And as I was feeling it, I felt the muscle grow back, and a second later he says, 'and muscles will grow back.'"

But in this particular revival being beamed all around the world, much of the healing is going on not here, but out across the nations.

"We get hundreds of stories a day of people that are around the world getting healed watching the broadcast. It's contagious through media," Todd Bentley told CBN News.

There's a silver lining here for all believers who want a piece of this action. It appears the anointing on Bentley, Strader and all those others God's using in Lakeland is highly transferable, and they're hearing back from Lakeland visitors who've returned home.

Revival of Impartation

"We hear stories everyday of just normal ordinary people. businessmen, businesswomen. praying for people in the Walmart, praying for people in Starbucks, in the mall. Many young people. Stories of people getting out of wheelchairs, healed of back conditions, healed of deaf ears," Bentley said.

Pastor Strader said enthusiastically, "This thing is just explosive. It's going around the world."

A visiting pastor prophesied the anointing to heal isn't just infectious, but it will be stronger on Christians back home than it's been in Lakeland.

Lakeland leaders have made imparting the anointing to heal as important a part of the revival as the healings themselves.

Look at what happened with Michelle Latham the day after her healing when she, family and friends visited Disney World, and God told them to speak to a fellow the Lord revealed to them was named Frank.

"And we said, 'is your name Frank?' And he said, 'that's what my father calls me.' And we said 'can we pray for you,' and God tells us to pray for his knee," Latham said. "We didn't even know he had a knee problem. And I tell him the testimony about my knee. And he lifts up his leg and he has one of the similar scars. He said 'I had knee surgery and I need healing.' I said 'can we pray for it?' And God healed his knee right there in the parking lot," she said.

Not Somebody, THE Body

All the leadership says the same thing: this anointing to heal is for everyone in the Body of Christ who wants it.

"And our focus here in Florida every night is I lay hands on every single person who comes -- whether it's 5,000, 10,000 -- And I'm praying every night, 'God, give it away, give it away, give it away.' And that's the focus here: impartation," Bentley said.

Some are saying this is the most contagious anointing the world has ever seen. Because, as one visiting pastor said, the touch for healing isn't just on somebody, but on the Body.

*Original broadcast May 7, 2008.

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CBN News
Paul Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Sr. Washington Correspondent

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