The fliers we handed out on the streets of Lima promised God has a miracle for you at Coliseum Dibos. Those who came were not disappointed. As in Jesus time, there were many, many miracles on this Marilyn Hickey trip. Blind eyes were opened, deaf ears healed, stiff swollen limbs return to normal, tumors disappeared. God promises that if you preach His Word, signs and wonders will follow. Those nights in Lima, His Word accomplished what it was sent to do.
It was May, 1999, and I was on the trip to Peru and Chile with Bible teacher and evangelist Marilyn Hickey. I had been eyeing the trip for months, wanting to go but hesitating. At the last minute, I decided to go. It was a decision I will never regret. Life now has a different pace. I have more trips planned, new friends, and a passion for South America, especially for the open hearts I saw in Peru and Chile.
This was not a trip where we ”roughed it.” In both Lima and Santiago, hotel rooms were comfortable and beautiful. I soon found that the only elements missing on this trip were time for evening meals and sleeping. The pace was fast and hard. Get back from a tour at 5 PM. Be on the bus at six to go to a church or to the Coliseum. Attend and minister till 10 or 11 PM, then back on the bus. Find something to eat, bed late, then up for early morning prayer.
Prayer Set the Stage
Mercy Wood’s prayer each day was optional but well worth the effort. Usually starting at 6 AM, the hour included praise and worship, intercessory prayer for all phases of the trip and for families at home. If time allowed, it included an encouraging word from the Lord and a Bible lesson. Mercy, a Californian, short in stature with flaming red hair, was a hard task master. She repeated again and again that we weren’t just touring, but were praying for the whole country – for souls in the country. She encouraged us to familiarize ourselves with the country and to pray in the spirit while traveling.
Like Mercy, our group was unique – a collection of 137 travelers – young and old, black, white, oriental, singles, couples. Some were pastors or wives of pastors. We came from across the United States and from five other countries. Over half had been on trips with Marilyn before. “I’ve been on two of the China trips and two African trips,” they would say. Many knew each other. As a first timer, I felt like a rookie, at least to start.
From what I observed, most of the group came from average means. They saved to make this trip or depended on the Lord providing the money, some receiving an “expected” gift at the last minute. We were quite a team – Marilyn called us the most enthusiastic of the 23 trips she had led. Our passion was not shopping but handing out tracts and ministering. In Peru we handed out 33,000 cartoon tracts in Spanish (by Chick publishers) and 27,000 in Chile. We ran out before the end of the 11 day trip.
Ministry in Peru
Most of our ministry took place in Peru. There was one church meeting and three Crusades held at Coliseum Dibos – a sports facility in Lima. In parallel with our group activities was the training of 700 pastors and leaders in their week’s conference. This was led by Marilyn, Sarah Bowling – Marilyn’s daughter and TV co-host – and Reese Bowling – Sarah’s husband who manages Marilyn’s Denver Colorado-based ministry.
Our first meeting was at a church called Christiana Agua Viva – Christian Living Water. The church service started at 7 PM. Knowing that we were there to minister, the people started asking for prayer even before the service began.
This was the largest church in Lima – 3000 people with some 15,000 in the barrios – suburbs. Music was really rousing and translators dynamic, following Marilyn’s excited intonation to a “t.” Marilyn spoke on how to be healed of hurts and offenses. Next Marilyn prayed for people to be born again and a large percentage of the church came forward. She then called those who would like to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Another large group came forward. Then we lined up to pray for the sick. We saw miracles that night. But we especially felt the warmth and love that bonded us to these wonderful people.
As a contribution to ministry in Peru, Marilyn had gathered 700 pastors and leaders from throughout the country offering them a week of training. Her ministry paid for transportation, food, hotel and books. Teaching included how to break family curses, how to pray for the sick and many other subjects. On Friday, their last meeting, our team went to the church to bless and lay hands on the graduates. We formed a prayer tunnel, praying as graduates passed between us. Many of the leaders were crying, overcome by the heavy presence of the Lord. Some were unable to walk and had to be helped or carried through the line. It was an emotional time for all, taking more than one and a half hours.
Our group also received ministry. After huge buffet breakfast each day, there was more prayer led by Sarah and Reese – both are powerful prayers. They and others prayed for the folks back home, the tracts to be effective, for protection and deliverance from sickness and for protection as we traveled. Marilyn gave us each a copy of her hardcover book on Proverbs. After the prayer we had excellent teaching on Proverbs by Marilyn, Sarah, or Reese.
Success in “Tracking”
For our first day of “tracking” – i.e. handing out tracts – buses took us to a section of Lima called Miraflores. We went by twos or threes and handed out tracts. A new friend Rena and I found a short side street that had a stoplight. When cars stopped for the light, we handed tracts through the car windows. There are thousands of taxis in Lima. Many stopped traffic just to get a tract. Buses also stopped and we would get as many tracts as possible to people through windows and doors.
We also gave out notices of the three evening meetings at Coliseum Dibos. The small flyer printed in blue had a picture of Marilyn and said in Spanish “GOD HAS A MIRACLE FOR YOU! For the first time in Latin America – the woman that God has used to bring hope and life transformation to hundreds of thousands around the world. Meetings with Dr. Marilyn Hickey, 20 to 22nd of May, 7 PM at Coliseum Dibos, free admission.”
People in Peru were not familiar with Marilyn and her TV and radio programs. However, God made a way for some extra publicity. Because her church in Denver, pastored by Marilyn’s husband Wally, was involved in the disaster at Littleton, Colorado, she was invited to speak to the Peruvian legislature and before good morning Peru, the country’s most popular morning TV program. Rachel Scott, one of the young victims, was a member of Marilyn’s church and Cassie Burnall was “saved” in their church’s youth group.
On good morning Peru, Marilyn was asked for the answer to this horrible dilemma of teen murders. She said that our schools educate the mind and develop the body, but we don’t develop the heart and character. She told them directly that only Jesus changes hearts. The interviewer kindly invited viewers to come to the evening meetings.
The First Crusade Night
The first night at Coliseum Dibos, Thursday, we had approximately 2700 people. A very lively praise and worship time started the program. Our group was spread out in the stands. The crowd was very excited. At one point we had a clap offering, i.e. continuous clapping for the Lord, that lasted 12 minutes. Marilyn spoke about healing telling about the many miracles from past Crusades. The first thing she prayed for was bad backs. So many people stood for healing that we were only able to lift our hands and pray toward the crowds. She would then ask people who experienced a healing to come forward to the stage. Many, many healings were experienced – bad backs, stiff limbs, blind eyes, and deaf ears. People who were interviewed on the stage were asked to exercise the limb, bend or walk, or to cover the good eye and read something, or cover the good ear and repeat words spoken behind them.
The greatest miracle was when Marilyn asked people to come forward to receive Jesus. Crowds rushed out of the stands and poured forward. Perhaps one third came forward. Then she invited those already born again to come forward to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It seemed like another third of the crowd came forward. The stands were almost empty. When we went to the right hand side of the Coliseum and lined up to pray for people, there were not many left to pray for. While we were in the prayer line, some of the people we had met in church found us and greeted us with hugs and joyful reunion. They handed us notes of people to pray for and business cards.
The following days the Crusades got larger. We ran out of invitations to the Coliseum the second day. Some of us wrote time and directions on the tracts while we sat at lunch. Word was getting around. Ed Pottinger, a team member, made a summary of the attendance at the meetings. Conservative estimates of attendance at the first Crusade was 2700, the second, 3200 and the third 3900. Those saved the first night 470+, the second night 750+, and third night 900+. Those baptized in the Holy Spirit 400+, 700+, and 900+ consecutively.
Ed also wrote a summary of some of the healings observed. “There were so many single blind eyes open and single deaf ears opened that we lost count, well in excess of 25 deaf ears opened. Many people were delivered from demonic possession. A seven-year-old girl with a swollen and frozen shoulder was completely healed with all swelling instantly leaving. A 40-year-old man deaf for over six years had both ears opened. A 60-year-old man, deaf in one ear for over 30 years and deaf in the other ear for one year, had both ears opened.”
“A young girl with malformed bones had her legs straightened which allowed her to walk better. A young lady with knees locked had them loosened allowing her to walk free from her wheelchair. The middle-aged lady with back problems was totally healed allowing her to bend freely without pain for the first time in years. Various tumors totally and instantly disappeared, including two breast tumors that one of our women team members prayed over. This along with similar reports from other team members means that so many tumors were healed that we have no current count.”
“An eight-year-old girl with the thumb frozen since age one, was healed with total mobility restored. A 30-year-old lady with a growth on her eyelid for three years was healed with the growth totally disappearing. Healings were reported for throat, back, and leg problems.”
Ed also noted that during tract distribution in Lima, over 1000 people received the Lord as their personal Savior and many miracles of healing were reported. He felt that the receptivity of the people to the gospel indicated the beginnings of a revival, with our one-on-one ministry in the streets strengthening the local evangelistic efforts. He also told the story of one of our buses breaking down. While the driver was investigating the problem, a man climbed over a wall and ran across the street to receive a tract. As soon as he prayed to receive Jesus as Lord, the bus engine immediately started.
During daytime hours, we took bus trips to tourist sites – remembering Mercy’s instruction to observe and pray. We visited an archaeological Museum and the privately owned gold museum with its many rooms of artifacts, weapons, jewelry, and mummified bodies. We visited the ruins at Pacha Comach – dedicated to the moon God. We saw Pacific beach areas with roads under construction. We saw a horse show and had lunch at Hacienda Tres Canas, reconstructed to look like an old ranch.
Santiago, Chile, is much different from Lima. Much like New York City, it has tall buildings, many many bank buildings, and busy well-dressed people scurrying to and fro at great pace. We stayed at the Carrera Hotel, across from the capital area. In our tours of the city, we saw outstanding architecture, European in style. Again there were many hungry hearts. Most people would take tracts if they were extended, but not break their fast walking pace. Some would pretend they didn’t see you, just in case you weren’t going to offer one. When you did offer one, they gratefully took it.
Some downtown streets were open only to foot traffic, making them shopping mall areas which were excellent for “tracking.” In Chile, over 27,000 tracts were distributed with reports of over 400 being saved in the streets. We also took several tours, including a trip to Posada Santa Clara, a ranch in Zuniga, where we had lunch.
At our only church ministry in Chile, over 175 were saved and 100 filled with the Holy Spirit. Also, according to Ed’s notes, a middle-aged man with nodules in the stomach was healed with the nodules disappearing while he was being prayed for to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Many other healings were reported including one blind eye opened.
Can this type of ministry take place here in Maine? I believe it can and will. God’s word hasn’t changed and the need is getting greater and greater each hour. Prayer, faith, and serving him will bring it about.
DLH – Published in the Good News Connection
Now in her 80’s Marilyn Hickey is still strong and very active. She still travels and teaches on several TV networks with daughter Sarah Bowling. In her worldwide travels, she teaches healing principles to native pastors and leads small groups as well as large crusades. Some of her largest crusades have been in Arab countries. With the endorsement of their governments, she has taught and prayed for thousands and seen many receive the Lord and be healed and delivered. She has an expression “I love Muslims and Muslims love me.”
Daughter Sarah has a global humanitarian ministry called “Saving Moses” that meets the most urgent and intense survival needs of babies/children who are 5 and under where help is least available.
To learn more, see: