What follows is an amazing story of revival and many miraculous healings that have occurred in Venezuela after evangelist Steve Ryder was called to go to this once wealthy, oil rich nation recently described by Bloomberg as the most miserable country in the world. And why would God choose Steve Ryder, a former bank robber?
“The Spirit of God spoke to me, and you know what He said? ‘I don’t want five-star evangelists’. I was shocked.”
“But I would always demonstrate miracles first. One of the gifts is the gift of knowledge. God will reveal something to you.”
“You’ve got to believe what you do. I believe. God anointed me many years ago to do it when I first started,” Steve declared.
Statements made by a humble pastor and evangelist whose ministry has impacted 73 countries. Recently returned from Venezuela Steve reported on the miraculous move of God that took place in this very troubled nation in its darkest hours.
Venezuela, the most miserable country in the world? And for many not so good reasons. Its long-standing corrupt leadership has been blamed as the main contributor to the petro-powerhouse’s economic free-fall from riches to rags.
The Australian pastor and evangelist saw as many as 120-thousand decisions for Christ over a two-week period and during his outreach he was given the keys to the nation’s capital city. But how about this. Steve was handed a written document that authorises him to have anyone jailed in Venezuela set free!
Steve, back home from the impoverished central American country and its population of 34-million people, witnessed some amazing events.
Steve gave Vision listeners an insight into what God did in the volatile capital of Caracas as he ministered to the huge crowds gathered to hear the gospel. No stadium was big enough so the streets were the only option.
Steve said local pastors in Caracas had described the incredible response by their people to the call of God as a historical move never seen before.
“Those were their words. This is because the pastors from different denominations really came together and united because of the hardships,” Steve said, saying that the Bible tells us when God’s people unite together He pours out the blessing.
“And we have seen a blessing that’s unbelievable in the natural,” Steve shared and explained how this latest visit to Venezuela came about after seeing a news report covering the strife and turmoil in the country.
“No food on the shelves and people on the streets demonstrating so I rang our interpreter, Alfredo, who lives in Colombia and asked him if he knew anyone in Venezuela.”
“In these two cities we had a revival. We saw 10-thousand get saved. They saw so many miracles they were so excited,” said Steve as he explained what happens at these incredible meetings.
It was after seeing the miracles that took place in these two cities that the local pastors then arranged the Caracas meetings.
Revival had swept through the first city where organisers had only expected around 10 to 15-thousand.
“There was 85-90-thousand in the crowd straightaway,” Steve calculated. “They’ve never seen anything like it.”
Now this wasn’t in a stadium, they don’t have them that big. This was on a street.
“They built a big stage and the police blocked it off. It was a kilometre long and three-quarters of it was jam-packed with people,” said Steve who’s seen crowds like this before. He recalled similar outpourings in Europe when the communist Soviet Union collapsed.
“I was in a revival in Eastern Europe when the Berlin wall came down. I was the first evangelist to go in and we saw great things there but it was a different situation.”
“But this one (in Venezuela), absolute poverty, no food, no jobs, the nation is basically bankrupt. But where God opened the door was to the media.”
“We’d also paid for television and radio advertisements before we arrived so the country had been blitzed before those two meetings last November,” Steve said, saying he’s been back again twice this year.
For Steve Ryder the story goes back to his first visit to India and the city of Calcutta.
“I went all night. A miracle took place and the Indians just flocked. The only way to keep order was to pray for everybody until it was all over. That was 5 o’clock in the morning,” Steve recalled, saying he’d flown from Melbourne, Sydney, then Madras before arriving in Calcutta.
“I’ll stay as long as they’ll allow me to stay and minister. That’s why we had a major revival in Eastern Europe,” Steve Ryder said and began to explain the ministry format he follows that has seen God open the doors to the 73 countries so far in response to his evangelical calling.
“but I would always demonstrate miracles first. One of the gifts is the gift of knowledge. God will reveal something to you. And once they see a miracle it just opens up,” Steve said, adding that Reinhard Bonnke was his classical evangelist.
“Now in the last meeting I called seven people up. A deaf and dumb woman, a cripple, every one of them got a miracle straightaway. Before you’ve done anything. Can you imagine?”
“I will say things like, Let’s see if God’s here. Now that’s what’s developed in my life over the years. You’ve got to believe what you do. I believe. God anointed me many years ago to do it when I first started,” Steve declared.
Steve said that for the most recent outreaches in Caracas there was a team of doctors there every night, complete with white gowns and x-rays.
“What happened was unbelievable. There was a man who’d been shot in the back twice by robbers. This man had his spine shattered in two places. And the doctors said you can’t do anything for him. It’s impossible.”
“I just prayed and laid hands on him and he got out of the wheelchair and walked. Can you imagine those doctors?” Steve Ryder expressed, saying they saw some of these doctors cry when they saw what was happening.
“I think this was a time in God for that country. Imagine what the other countries around them are going to think.’
“Of all the places, Venezuela being the blackest, God’s having a revival where there’s a revolution taking place. Imagine that witness,” Steve stressed, saying he’s now been invited to Cuba and other nations in response to what has happened in Venezuela.
Steve said it goes back 40-years. I was very strong at preaching salvation. You must be born again. And because I’d been filled with the Spirit in a ‘special place’ without any knowledge and because it’s from God, you become strong.”
Steve was in Melbourne back in those days, ministering in Catholic circles and he’d become charismatic. They wanted to question him and he said only if you bring your Bibles and ask questions from the Bible.
“Well within ten minutes they had nothing to say. I went into another room and one of the men asked if God would do that for him, fill him with the Spirit. And Steve said God would. And in that room Steve said he saw Jesus as he prayed for the man to receive the Spirit.
“He had lung cancer and it was so bad they just clamped him and told his wife he had 12 days to live. His name was David and I’d never gone to a dying man before,” Steve recalled.
“I did my best to make sure he was saved and he was saved. And as I was walking out god gave me a word to go back to him and tell him that by the stripes of Jesus he is healed,” Steve said, saying when Jesus was on the cross he bore our sicknesses away.
“So I went back and said ‘David, we need to say it. Like the salvation, we confess Christ. You need to confess what Christ has done for you on the Cross too.’”
“One month later he’s out of hospital. His scar disappeared off his body. He worked for the government and needed a full medical to get his job back.”
Pastor Steve Ryder said that’s how his ministry really started.
“When you witness something like that it does something to you. Did I get miracles every day? No. You grow in faith and that’s what’s happened over the years.”
Pastor Steve Ryder … (founder of Reach Out For Christ) preached the Gospel to 250,000 people in the riot fueled cities of Venezuela … and an amazing response … 120,000 decisions for Christ.
While on parole for armed bank robbery in the 1960’s Steve Ryder was apprehended by God at a Billy Graham Crusade, where he gave his life to Christ.
Steve then became the first prisoner in Australia to complete a Doctorate of Theology by correspondence while completing his prison term.
Since his release from prison in the mid 1970’s … Dr. Steve Ryder founded Reach Out For Christ Ministries and has planted Churches all around the world in Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Cyprus, Greece, Philippines, Portugal, Pakistan, United States and of course Australia.
Dr. Ryder has and continues to fulfill the work of an Evangelist, preaching, particularly in the realm of Divine Healing – the blind have seen, the lame have walked and the dead have been raised!
Apart from doing the work of an Evangelist, Dr. Ryder continues to Pastor his local Church and Reach Out For Christ headquarters on the Gold Coast, Australia – preaching faith and equipping the Body of Christ for the work of the ministry.