Fingerprints of God

I call the testimony as the Finger Prints of God because of the fact that when I look back at sequence of incidents that have happened in my life since childhood, the fingerprints of my Lord Jesus appear very clearly.

  • My Family
  • The Early Days
  • Spiritual Milestones
  • Breakthrough!
  • Build for Me a Temple
  • Is there really a need of one more?
  • Divine Orchestration
  • Important Events
  • The Rhema Church on the Move!!
  • A VISION in the Heart!!!
  • The Headlines

My Family

I am the youngest in my family besides two elder brothers and one elder sister. My father has retired from government services as a head master of a secondary high school and my mother works as a teacher. My family was a nominal Christian family in the beginning when I was very young. But I remember my mother praying for us all. This has impacted my life a lot. I believe what I’m today is because of my mother’s prayers and father’s discipline. Now I am married to Blessy for three lovely years and we are expecting our first child – Stephen Burns in October, 2006.

Since childhood, pastor Burns had such a zeal and passion for the kingdom of the Lord. Saved at the age of 12 years he had had many a divine encounters which led him to be one of the most influencing pastors in his area.

The Early Days

I accepted Jesus as my Lord in one of my Sunday school classes when I was around 13years but soon I lost the thought of “The Holy” in my life until my 15th year when a man of God – Dr D. G. S. Dinakaran came to Kurnool in 1991. I remember on one of the evenings of the crusade God speaking to me very intimately regarding my relationship with him and myself walking down to the altar and surrendering my life to God once again.

Later days were different in my life. As I entered my +2 level studies it became more and more obvious that God was interested in my life more than just being His child. God led me to start a small bible study group and within very few days the impact in the college was so much that many of my friends, most of who were from non-Christian background began to accept Jesus as their Lord. By the time I left my junior college, I had already led more than 40 friends of mine to the Lord and impacted more than 300 students of my college (that’s the whole strength of my college). In fact, I gave the first baptism of my life while I was in the college at the age of 16.

Before I came out of the college I was very sure in my heart that God had much better plans for me besides studies. I finished my college studies with an 85% marks and through an entrance test I got admission into the medical college in my own city, Kurnool. As I entered the medical school I prayed: “Lord, help me to be a witness for you in this place and help me to impact the lives of the people with your love and power“.

Spiritual Milestones

  • As I shared, I received Jesus in to my life as my Lord during my schooling at the age of 12.
  • I was water baptized in 1992 at the age of 16.
  • The same year I made a decision for the full time ministry in one of the conventions of the Indian Evangelical Mission, a missionary organisation in India.
  • I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1993.
  • From December 1993, as I entered my medical school I knew pretty well that something good and something big is in Store for me.
  • From 1993- 1997 God took me to various places and to many new people to be a witness for him. I was able to sense that the Lord was opening new invitations into the lives of people of whom the youth became the major portion.
  • In May, 1997- I had the privilege to attend a Pastors and Leaders conference in which a servant of God- Rev. John Paul Warren was ministering and I had a profound encounter with the Holy Spirit. I had a protocol from the Lord through a vision which forever changed my life.
  • In 1997 itself, as I attended a unique meeting called BORN AGAIN ’97 conducted by Bob Weiner, Weiner Intl Ministries, USA- My life was thoroughly challenged and I was led in such a way by the Spirit of the Lord that gave me entirely a new perspective about life and ministry.
  • As I learnt more about the care cells and discipleship through relationship from my mentors, I understood the value and the need of rising up leaders in order to be able to reach out to this vast nation.

Breakthrough!

It was in May 1997 I remember very clearly that God wanted me to attend a leader’s and pastor’s conference organized by Morris Cerullo world evangelism while I myself was desperately preparing to attend another conference. Under the persuasion of the Holy Spirit I went to Hyderabad for the conference.

On one of the days as I was worshipping the Lord I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in that place when the man of God – Rev. John Paul Warren just passed by me and I was struck down by the power of the Spirit of God and in that posture I could hear the gentle voice of God speaking to me something like this: “Son! I have brought you here with a purpose. Today I want you to know that I want to use you and empower you with the gifts. Be strengthened. “I came back from the conference so excited. As I was praying the following days I sensed the presence of God coming upon me in a very unique way and God spoke to me one more time “I want you to start praying for your city and I want to use you for this city”. I asked “Lord how this is possible with me now“. He said “I am going to bring to you some young people who will work along side with you and be with you to take this city for me” I asked Lord if there would be a name under which we can all come together it would be very nice.

“Then the word OPERATION MOLTED struck me as if spirit of God was eager to let me know of this. OPERATION MOLTED would stand for ‘Mission Of Love To Every Door’ – the door of every heart and every door of every house in the city. Since I was not much used to such kinds of divine encounters, a great excitement was building up within me and I could feel a spiritual hunger, a kind of thirst to see my city transformed. It was the beginning of a different kind of spiritual travel.

Within few days I had another divine encounter. The Lord woke me up while I was sleeping in the midnight hours and just me to pray. Later God showed to me the faces of some of my Christian friends and I jot the names of them down on the paper and then he asked me to go to them and talk to them about what all he has put in my heart which I did for the next few days. As I spoke to them I was very encouraged to see that they also were very much ready to do what he placed in my heart. So on the scheduled day we gathered together to start praying for the city. We gathered every Friday, fasting to pray.

In the later half of 1998, a clear mandate was received from the Lord to establish a church in the city. Under the unction of the Holy Spirit and His guidance, the Rhema Global Ministries was born on the 15th of August, 1999 with 10 members.

Build for Me a Temple

As we went on praying for the city a sense of faith began to raise up within my heart that Kurnool would find it’s time for the revival. Our prayer was to spare the city from eternal punishment and to use us to take this city for him. We claimed the city as according to Ps 2:8. The Lord by this time had spoken to me very intimately through the verses like:

Gen 13:14 – 17 “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look to the north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you…. Go; walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you”.

It was during the later days of 1998 I felt a pressing impression in my heart from the Holy Spirit towards shepherding of his flock. I never had a passion in such a measure so as to go on to becoming a pastor. Though I respected and honoured the pastors it was not my cup of tea those days. But it came again and again into my heart that it was time for me to deal with it. God spoke to me time and time again from the book of Haggai and I could not resist the thrust any longer. (By this time I wanted to add a Christian name to the one which I already had. and God impressed me with that of “JOSHUA” – the fact that the book of Haggai opens with the words to Joshua struck me so powerfully and intimately)”. Go and build the house “was a direct call for me. I had many questions to ask to God like… Lord! Am I not too young to b a pastor, Lord! My profession does not really suit to a ministry some thing like this. So what about it? Lord! Kurnool has already many churches. Is there really a need of one more? And some other questions. Though I kept this inspiration aside, God did not.

Is there really a need of one more?

In early days of 1999 during the national cell church conference at Nagpur I was challenged by the teachings and especially the devotion by Rev. Naomi Dowdy, senior pastor, Trinity Christian Centre, Singapore. On the third day the Lord spoke to again. “Son what did you do about what I asked you to do!?” I said. Lord! I can’t do this. I am too young to do this. He again replied. “Now you are becoming too old to do what I wanted you do and you are letting the time go by”. I felt something happening on the inside and I came back determined to obey the Lord. I shared this with my friends and prayed. Again as I opened the book of Haggai one day I felt the Lord was communicating something very important. As I read the 1st chapter 13th verse I felt like stopping and pondering upon those verses from 13-15. ” …They began work on the house of the Lord almighty their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year…” this meant a lot to me because it was two years back, in 1997, the Lord gave me the vision of reaching out to the whole of Kurnool city. And it seemed like he wanted me to start the church on the sixth month (June) 24th- as I understood in my spirit.

But due to a great struggle in myself I could not do it on the date specified. On that day during the late hours around 11pm, I knelt down in my room and spoke to God what was going in my heart. And asked God to show his favour in obeying the call. Later God inspired me with the date August 15. In that way with a lot of prayer and faith we had the inaugural service and thus ‘The Rhema Church‘ was born.

And truly it was a birth of History Makers for the Nation. From then on the road was t ough but enjoyable, challenging yet victorious, testing, trying, refining and moulding.

Divine Orchestration

As I finished my medical graduation and the internship in June, I intended to attend a short time bible school exposure so that I can have some in-depth teaching on some important areas of the spiritual life. I was planning to go ‘The Eternal Light Ministries‘, a well renowned bible school in Bangalore for which I also got the invitation letter to join. But on the other side God had a different plan for me. I came in touch with Pastor Steven and Margaret, two of the Singaporean missionaries in India from Trinity Christian Centre -Singapore and they told me of a 6 month course called ‘Blazer Track‘ due from the month of June to October, 2001.

And I felt led by the Spirit of God and decided to attend the track. I had no idea of how the track would be or from the where the finances would come. But as I prayed over and over it became clearer that God wanted me to be there. At the end of the track, I knew for sure that if it were not to be God’s purpose and orchestration I would not be in the track and missed too much of God’s portion for my life. I am amazed to look at the divine orchestration and the divine contacts God has brought in to my life.

Important Events

During my stay at the conference of Morris Cerullo World Evangelism, in Hyderabad. God showed to me the nation of India in the form of a map and I saw that it was chained with iron bars. As I kept on looking, suddenly the chains broke apart very violently into pieces without any person’s intervention-under the influence of a hidden divine force. After the chains broke in to pieces, I saw a cross being lifted up on the nation and the shadow of the cross fell right across the whole nation (you need to understand that India, by shape, in a map has two horizontal wings and two vertical wings the lower vertical one being longer than the upper one – a shape which is almost like that of a cross). What the Lord was focussing to my eyes was on to the foot of the cross. To my awe, the foot of the cross was placed in an area that was spread across two main places – Kurnool and Bellary.

And the Lord said that these two places are going to play an important part in bringing the whole nation under the shadow of the cross. (By the way you need to understand that Bellary which is very adjacent to Kurnool, is in the state of Karnataka and it has already produced quite number of servants of God who are travelling the length and breadth of the country to impact the lives of the people with the love and power of Jesus. The move of the Holy Spirit is very obvious in that region). The Lord said Bellary had its time and that it’s time for Kurnool to take its rightful position. So this was as if God was calling me on to the front lines of the battlefield and asking me whether I want to be a history maker. And I said, YES!

God was calling me

On to the front lines of the battlefield

And asked me if / not I want to be a history maker.

And I said, YES!

The Rhema Church on the Move!!

I sense very strongly in my spirit that the Rhema church has a long way to go. I am not going to settle anything less than a very obvious revival in the city of Kurnool and the city taken for the glory of God. It’s my prayer that God would give this city and the Nation as our inheritance and spare them from eternal punishment.

We as team of young people (by the way 65-75% of The Rhema Church is young people [average age would be 23-25] and they are zealous-on fire for the Lord.) We want to stand in the gap for our people, the people of India and we want to be the generation of 2 Chronicles 7.14 and the people who are called for such a time as this.

We want to stand in the gap for our people,

The people of India and

We want to be the generation of 2 Chronicles 7.14

We want to expect great things from God and attempt great things for God. The church is very small now but with a B-I-G dream. We are willing to stand on the front lines of the battlefield to see the kingdom of God established and demolish the kingdom of the devil. And the heart cry of the Rhema church is PLUNDER HELL – POPULATE HEAVEN!!

READ THE EXCITING VISION, THE LORD GAVE TO PASTOR BURNS ABOUT THE NATION OF INDIA

A VISION in the Heart!!!

In my heart is a dream, which I believe to come to pass in HIS time. And this is what I desire to see 15 – 20 years down the road from now. Try to SEE this with me… (I am narrating this as if You would be a member of the Rhema Church, Kurnool- India for a better perception.)

On one fine day, in the city of Kurnool, you rise up early in the morning at 5 am. You are preparing yourself to go to the early Morning Prayer gathering in the church. Around 30,000 – 40,000 people are meeting at this time to pray each and every single day. After the prayer you return back from the prayer and turn on the television to “Praise the Lord T.V Network” and you join the worship team therein and later prepare yourself to go the work.

You are ready to move out to your workplace and on the road in front of your house you meet your friend who also happens to be your neighbour. You greet him with a smile and you ask ‘hi! Good Morning. How are you today?’ without any hesitation he replies back- I’m fine, ” this is the day that the Lord has made and I’ll rejoice and be glad in it ” (by the way his family as a whole has come to know of the Lord Jesus Christ only a few days back).

The children come to you to go to school. They get inside the car and you drive them to the school where they study – “Joshua Generation Higher Secondary School”. At the school’s entrance as you see them off, you are able to hear children singing – “I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart “. You feel joyful in your heart to have joined your children in this school which has been the best in the city and more so because they teach the children about Eternal things besides their lessons. The teacher, every morning before the start of the classes makes every student to pray and together they read the bible and carry on with the lesson after a short devotion. On the top of the school building is something by which you are so encouraged. It is written: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of the knowledge.” You are pretty much sure that your children are in a safe place.

From there you move on in to the busy traffic stream and you stop at the traffic signal terminal and you notice at the back side of the police man, wearing a jerkin, it is written – “my presence shall go with you”. (The police department has been recently been impacted by the power and love of the Lord Jesus through the Christian community in the city). In fact the corruption rate has come down by large and to see the jails vacant is not a rare sight now.

As you enter your work place you greet your manager and you come to know that he’s been aiting for you because he wants to share with you what God has spoken to him in his TAWG (Time Alone with God). (In the work place too 90% of the staff are born-again evangelical spirit filled Christians). Later in the afternoon, during the lunch hour you attend the Care – Cell in the office. Besides the one that you leading there are around 4 – 5 cells scheduled at the same time in and around your office.

In the evening on your way back home you go to the near by market to fetch some vegetables. And you notice that the shop keeper of the shop to which you have gone, is busy sharing gospel to a person who came to buy the vegetables while the other helpers of him are looking after the sales. This has been very common picture in the market place from quite a few days. On your way back you go in to another shopping complex to buy the grocery and almost every shop you enter, you see a sign board: ‘ Dear customer. 10% of your pay goes to the ABC Missions. Yes, the entire business district has been passionate about the Love of Jesus and they have been continually supporting missionaries preaching else in the world. After the shopping you return back from the market where you find and enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit and you are refreshed on from inside.

You bless the person and after your purchase you return back to the home where your family is waiting for you to go the park side to spend the evening time. After a while you set out, along with your family to the “Garden Of Eden- Park” and as you enter and walk through the cool of the shade of the trees you hear from the audio systems there this song … “Then sings my soul my saviour God to thee…..” (The government has recently consented to play the Christian music in the public places.) You come across cell groups gathering under the trees and this place has become a place for the transformation of the lives with the love and power of Christ, lately.

Before you sleep, you turn on the T.V to ‘XYZ TV Network‘, a national Secular Television Network and as you lean back to watch, the news reader begins the late night news.

The Headlines

  • In Nagpur, around 10,000 people have accepted Christ as their Lord and many hundreds of sick people have been healed of their physical sicknesses. Two persons have been raised from death, which make the total of the dead people raised to 20! (You remember that your very best friend has been preaching there since four days and there has been a downpour of the power of Holy Spirit during those days).
  • In the state of Maharashtra, the finance minister and the home minister of the state have surrendered their lives to Jesus today!
  • Revival just broke out in Kashmir. And people are literally running to the churches to give their lives to Jesus and since the churches are not able to contend the crowds, which are becoming bigger and bigger as hours go by, all the churches in Kashmir are running 24 hour services.
  • …..
  • …On and on…

Yes, this is what is India going to witness in the days to come. City after city, state after state, the love of Jesus is going to fill the hearts of people and until the soul is won, let the prayers of the saints rise up. AMEN!!

And the day is not far when the nation will be thoroughly blood washed, washed in the blood of JESUS and the vision will come to pass. AMEN!!

‘Whatever you have commanded us we will do, And wherever you send us we will go!’ (Joshua 1: 16)

“The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands”

Your co-worker
Joshua Burns