by Carol Thomas
- How did you get started going to dark areas of the world? It began in Baton Rouge in 1965. I had just given my life to Christ and met with three friends from Istrouma High for prayer. After praying one morning, Fred Koch said, “I believe the Lord wants us to go across the river and preach the gospel.” I was skeptical because that’s where the nightclubs were located. But, we went and found lonely, hurting people who responded. In that moment, God placed a hunger in my heart to minister in places where no one else went.
- Describe the areas. What happens when light enters a dark world? It changes everything. Romania was very dark under communist rule –– no creativity. There was a lack of electricity and very dark at night in cities. Most buildings were gray. There was only one kind of car and one color. There were only government television and radio stations. Christians were sent to prison and lost their jobs. Not long after God sent a revival to many of the churches, a revolution erupted. People on the streets shouted, “There is a God! There is a God!” and freedom came to the nation. Twenty-five years later, everything has changed. The nation is filled with color and creativity. They have some of the finest IT personnel in all of Europe. We’ve just entered a partnership to provide Christian television programming, create an App for Romanian believers, and help them reach the massive wave of refugees flooding Europe. When the Creator enters a nation, people become like Him, very creative.
- What is the greatest miracle that you’ve seen God do through your ministry? There have been so many, but watching God hold back rain has been the most consistent. I preached in Odessa, Ukraine a year before the collapse of the Soviet Union. We had been granted a stadium by the city council. However, the day before the meeting, they revoked the permit. After losing it, we prayed, and a high-ranking military official came to us saying that he controlled the military stadium and would provide it. He also said that he would put his soldiers on the streets redirecting people. However, when we left to go to the stadium, there was a torrential downpour. We drove by the city stadium, and it was flooded. When we arrived at the military stadium, there was no rain. I preached, and several thousand people responded to give their hearts to Christ. As soon as I closed in prayer, the rain poured in the military stadium.
- Describe the response of those who have never heard the gospel. I preached in a Siberian city in the Arctic Circle. It was a place where people were sent to slave labor camps. There were no churches. Christian young people from Moldova and Ukraine travelled with me and passed out invitations for this historic gathering. It was the largest attendance for any kind of event in that stadium. Almost everyone responded to believe and follow Christ. Today, there are several churches, which were started from that gathering.
- Have you had a recent time in which you felt your life was in danger? I preached a large evangelistic meeting in Pakistan a couple of years ago. It was a week after the largest mass murder of Christians in the country. Terrorists were targeting Christians and Americans. I preached in the center of Karachi. After the first night, newspapers reported that suicide bombers had attempted to blow up an unknown target in Karachi. However, the bomb exploded while they were on their way to their target. The terrorists were killed. Needless to say, I spent much time in prayer while there.
- Where do you feel the greatest move of God is in the Islamic world and why do you feel that way? It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve experienced. The persecution of Christians is extremely severe. Yet, people are coming to Christ at an amazing rate. House churches are popping up all over the country and throughout the diaspora. I recently trained Iranian house church leaders in a country I can’t mention. But churches are multiplying. I’ve met drug addicts and prostitutes whose lives have been transformed by Christ. I don’t know how it happened, but a few years ago one of the most prestigious universities in Iran carried my testimony on their home page. It even provided an invitation for people to come to Christ. I’ve learned one thing about dark places. The stronger the persecution, the greater the display of God’s glory! His light shatters the darkness!
Sammy Tippit is president and founder of Sammy Tippit Ministries. The ministry is governed by a Board of Directors, consisting of Christian leaders throughout the U.S. and has been in existence since 1970. The ministry focuses on the dark and dangerous places in the world. The websites are: www.sammytippit.org; www.sammytippitbooks.com
Running Home: Sammy Tippit is author of 17 books, with his most recent being Running Home. It is a Baton Rouge story about a man who rescues a teenager from human traffickers and returns to Baton Rouge to discover a family he never knew. It’s filled with intrigue, inspiration, and ultimately a spiritual revival. It can be purchased at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.
About Carol: Carol Thomas with Kingdom Publishers has been publishing the LSU Tiger Bucks coupon book for almost 20 years and has recently turned it over to her entrepreneurial daughter, Jennifer Gilbert. Carol is currently publishing the new restaurant coupon and fundraising book for the schools, “City Bucks” and will be expanding in other markets next year with her fundraising business. She has recently been elected President of the EBRP Republican Women for 2016, serves on the board of the Chamber of Commerce of EBRP, and leads a Bible study for “Women In Business” on kingdom principles for success (A Bethany life B group) It is held the first Monday night of every month at La Madeline’s –Perkins Rowe, from 5:30 to 7 PM.