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Stuart Briscoe, author and long-time pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, tells about the time he traveled to Poland during the cold war. He was involved in several weeks of itinerant ministry, and one winter day his sponsors drove him in the dead of night to the middle of nowhere. Briscoe walked into a dilapidated building crammed with one hundred young people.

It was a unique opportunity, and through an interpreter he preached from John 15 on abiding in Christ. Ten minutes into his message, the lights went out. It was pitch black.

His interpreter urged him to keep talking, and so he did. Unable to see his notes or read his Bible, he continued. Then, after he had preached in the dark for twenty minutes, the lights suddenly blinked on, and what he saw startled him: everyone was on their knees, and they remained there for the rest of his message.

The next day Briscoe commented on this to one man, and the man said, “After you left, we stayed on our knees most of the night. Your teaching was new to us. We wanted to make sure we were abiding in Christ.” (Marshall Shelley, Changing Lives Through Preaching and Worship, Random House, 1995, p. 147. From a sermon by C. Philip Green, “Breaking Free”.)

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