Martin Janssen has been a part of JoshGen since 2010. He has a raw hunger to see the lost come home and the Kingdom advance – in power. We asked him to share some of his journey with us:
“I don’t for a second believe that it’s realistic to claim to have knowledge of the most powerful truth in the universe and not see evidence of that reality. For this reason I am realistic in my expectation to see the proclamations of The Gospel followed by evidence worked by the power of the Holy Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 (NIV) says:
“For we know, brothers & sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our Gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.”
In 2013 after a season of seeking the Lord in fasting and prayer, I received a prophetic word out of the blue from a friend of mine, Robert. “The Lord says go for a run! I am not kidding,” he said. It was so random that I felt this might be the Lord, so in obedience I started running.
Little did I know that a whole new world was about to open up to me. I put on a pair of sneakers I owned and just started running the streets. I fell in love with it almost immediately!
That was about 10 years ago, and I love running to this day. But this testimony isn’t really about running at all; but about a different kind of training. The highly valuable training I began to undergo was about the Lord teaching me to use spiritual gifts in everyday life, taking opportunities for power evangelism, and seeing signs and wonders in the streets.
You see, something started to happen during those early morning runs. I began to notice people – all types of people wandering around the neighbourhood. Broken people, dirty people, scary people, addicted people, dangerous people, demonised people… all sorts of people.
It was then that something started to happen that upset the apple cart of my life – challenging my insecurity, confronting my fear of man and above all, my selfishness. I started getting words of knowledge when I ran past some people. I would hear a condition, or the name of a limb. Other times I would hear the Holy Spirit whisper to me ‘there’, ‘him’ or ‘stop’, and knew it meant that I had to stop and engage in evangelism.
Many, many times I would run past a person and ‘know’ that I had to speak to them, but in my selfishness or fear I would run straight past them. Sometimes I would run past a person and then hear a stern ‘Stop! Go back!’ from the Lord – strong enough to force me to override the inner coward in me, and to go engage with them.
This was the place where the Lord taught me about Power Evangelism.
During this time I started working in the Salt River/ Woodstock area and commuted to work on my bicycle. I saw so much brokenness in this area too – gangs, drugs, prostitutes, beggars, vagrants and amputees were everywhere. It would be quite overwhelming and I would often speak to God, saying things like ‘Shoh Lord, what do you want me to do to help in a place like this?’.
A few minutes later on my way back I saw a peculiar site – I saw a lady had stopped and was addressing the group of men who were fighting and the crowd of spectators. Even though I was driving in a vehicle I heard her words as she rebuked them with her finger pointed at them – “ You will stop this right now! In the Name of Jesus!” And the whole crowd that was eager for blood a moment earlier stood there meek, mild and ashamed as this lady confronted them. As I beheld this sight I heard the Lord say to me “See Martin, you wouldn’t go, so I sent someone else to do the job”. That was the end of me.
That broke open a season of street evangelism in that area that saw me preach and pray on the streets of Salt River regularly for over 4 years. I would cycle into the area on my mountain bike, stop near the circle and shout ‘Come here!’, and people would come running to me.
God was very gracious there. I would explain The Gospel in the most simple ways, pray for them and the Lord would confirm my words with healings and miracles. So many people got healed in those ‘street church’ meetings that word spread throughout the area. I would cycle through the area, or drive in the delivery van and people would shout at me ‘Pastor, Pastor’ – or my favourite ‘Fire, Fire!’.
It was beautiful to witness, and I felt a holy fear regarding what I was seeing there so I was very careful about how I spoke about what was happening. Sure, I shared some testimonies, and I spoke to some people of what I saw. But for the most part I hid it all in my heart.
It was about obedience to the Lord, obedience to the Great Commission, and also standing up to that inner coward in me to overcome my fear and stepping out in faith.
One example was the one morning I called for anyone who needed healing and a man named Moses stepped forward. His hand was completely paralyzed. This was quite a big disadvantage to an unemployed man that was looking for work as he could not use a shovel, or any other large tools for that matter. There was quite a group that morning, so I asked everyone to pray together with me that Moses may be healed. We laid hands on him and then he went on his way.
Two days later I found Moses at the morning meeting and he had received a partial healing in his hand – it was no longer paralysed and he could already squeeze the hand into a fist. So, we testified before the group of what had happened and then prayed for his hand again. Moses was blessed and went on his way again just as before.
The next time I saw Moses his hand was completely healed and restored! In joy he could share the testimony to everyone gathered on the street that day. There was rejoicing as many had seen with their own eyes a hand fully healed and restored in Jesus Name!
The Great Commission is for all believers. There is a part for each of us to play in preaching The Gospel and sharing the testimony of Jesus in our day. There is a world full of hurting and broken people out there – they are the harvest of souls that needs to be saved; a harvest of souls our Lord purchased with His blood.
Many of us will never go on international outreaches, some will never even go to the streets or the townships. But what about that neighbour, or colleague at work… the person on the bus, or the teller at the shop?
Those are the moments where two worlds collide, and we will be fortunate to see the sparks that are the evidence of those collisions – signs, wonders and miracles by the Holy Spirit confirming the Word with power – Jesus Is Lord!