Suzanne’s story (Part 2): First three people she prayed for were totally blind

Suzanne Pillans preaching to over 100 000 people in India (PHOTO: File picture)

In Part 1 of Suzanne’s story she shared how a horse played a key part in her coming to Jesus when she was a young riding instructor.

In fact, she says, she has learned much from horses that has helped her to be used powerfully by God in the international evangelism field.

“I learned from the horses a lot of godly principles. Because you cannot train a horse until they’re yielded. They need to trust you and then yield to you, Their muscles, their body, their mind, and their will — even their emotions, are submitted to the rider before the rider can have that horse to such fine aids, that they can dance to music and dressage.

“So, the more yielded a horse is to his rider, the more possible it is to turn that horse into a champion. And I realise it’s the same with God. The more yielded we are, the more He can do in and through us.”

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Responding to my marveling at how she has been used to train thousands of evangelists, win millions to Christ, establish hundreds of Bible schools and much more — and still be serving the Lord with passion in her seventies, she said: “What I learned — none of me, more of God. The more yielded I am to God, the more powerfully He moves. I know I could never do it on my own, so I think my greatest strength was my reliance on God, because I know I can’t do it. So I yield to Him and let Him do it, and He’s never let me down.”

Suzanne during my recent interview with her

Responding to a question about what she had learnt about hearing God, she said: “Listening. Waiting for that light touch of His guiding hand and then obeying him exactly as He tells me. Not more, not less, exactly.”

Suzanne grew up in South Africa but in 1993 she and her husband, Wilfred, moved to England at the prompting of the Lord. There, God “miraculously” enabled them to buy a piece of bare land in Oxfordshire where they built up a riding school. Later they also established a Christian holiday farm. These ventures provided them with a living and key funding for her growing ministry.

During the hard, early time of establishing the riding school they lived for three years in a mobile home without electricity or running water “which I believe God allowed to prepare me for having to sleep on mud hut floors in remote villages in extreme heat”.

During her early time in England Suzanne was deeply moved by a book, Why Siberia? by an international evangelist David Hathaway. She wrote to him and he insisted she join his team on a trip to Israel.

“We met at the Garden Tomb [in Jerusalem] and the Lord spoke to me there. He said: “If you abide in Me, I will abide in you and go with you wherever I shall send you.”

The next day, she said she was invited to join a mission trip to Kenya to do children’s ministry. She had no formal ministry experience but as a riding instructor she had worked a lot with children.

Days before the start of the Kenya mission, the main speaker, told her he could not make it. “Will you step into my shoes or cancel the trip?” he asked her.

“So, I thought, well, I’m not going to cancel it, I’ve paid the ticket.”

Suzanne and a friend flew to Kenya and started what was to be a life-changing God adventure. ” We leave the tar roads. We leave the gravel roads. We’re going down this riverbed in this big four wheel drive truck past a couple of HIV AIDS funerals on the way to the village.

“We come to the thatch-roofed village and I’m shown into a room with no ceiling and loads of rats running along the top of the wall And a little thatch roof toilet at the bottom of the garden. And then I’m told that they’re [local people] walking four days to receive their healing and I can’t heal anyone.

Suzanne Pillans with children in an orphanage her ministry started in Bala, Kenya. The ministry also started a school and some of the kids in this picture are wearing their new school uniforms (PHOTO: File picture)

‘So we get up early. I said: ‘Come with me, Ruth. We’ve got to pray for our lives.’ We find a rock. And we start to call on Him. ‘Please Lord, do something. Please Lord, help. Only You can heal them. Lord, we can’t heal anybody. Please Lord, do something.’

“And we continue praying like this for a good half hour. And after that, the Lord speaks. He says: ‘If I can cry through your eyes like this, I can also heal through your hands like this.’ We go back to the blue and white tent. There’s about 300 people in there. One bulb in the middle of the tent. It’s run from a noisy generator and I’ve got to give my first ever Gospel message in the dark. I can’t see my Bible but the Lord had warned me: ‘You don’t use notes.’

“I give the Gospel message. And then came the scary part. ‘Is anyone sick?’ And to my horror, 30 people rush forward. To my second horror, the first three are totally blind. And my third horror, the second one is the wife of the local witch doctor.

“‘Hmm. Lord. Hmm.’ And then I remember Reinhard Bonkke’s first miracle in the power of the Holy Spirit. It was also, when the man of God never turned up. And I realised that I was in the same situation. I said: ‘Lord, can I use the same words as Reinhard Bonkke?’ I didn’t even know about using the name of Jesus then, but if Reinhard Bonkke used it, I better use it.

“So. In a German accent: ‘In the name of Jesus, blind eyes open!’ Suddenly she says: ‘I can see!’

“‘ What?’

“‘I can see.’

“‘Can you really see?’

“‘Yes, I can really see.’

” ‘So. go and testify.’

“Now for the witch doctor’s wife: ‘In the name of Jesus. blind eyes open.’ She could see. I didn’t even use the German accent. I forgot. And she’s still healed.

“Third one, same thing. Wow! The next one was a paralysed arm. He had fallen down a cliff and banged his head on a rock, causing a paralysed arm. I pray over his head and suddenly the arm comes alive. My goodness! All 30 people were instantly healed. I tell you, we praised the Lord until 2 in the morning.

“I think we all floated home. I saw 224 healings in the next few days. It was glorious. So that was a first crusade. I came home, wondering if the anointing stays in Kenya, or does it go with you. And all of a sudden, I’m invited to a church in Cirencester.”

Suzanne shared more of her amazing testimony with me. The Lord swiftly answered her question about the anointing, as miracle healings followed in Cirencester and immediately thereafter in the Philippines, where she was invited next.

As Suzanne continued to yield to the Lord’s will He continued to use her in amazing ways across Africa and Asia. She preached to 140 000 people in India. She launched groundbreaking bicycle ministries for evangelists to take the Gospel to remote villages that missed out on urban crusades. Bible schools started and are still flourishing. The Lord inspired a number of books. Orphanages were started.

Last year, she and Wilfred, now 80, sensed it was time to return to South Africa. They currently live in Colleen Glen on the outskirts of Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth). Suzanne has joined a group of intercessors in the city. She is active in radio ministry across Africa, reaching out through five radio stations twice a week. In response to Covid-related food shortages she began teaching Farming God’s Way over radio in West Africa and is hearing encouraging testimonies out of this initiative. Suzanne’s Ministries has grown into a global network with offices in England, New Zealand and Australia. And currently they are establishing an office in South Africa.

“I may be going to Sierra Leone soon,” says Suzanne, who is still listening for the Holy Spirit’s directions.

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