“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” – Acts 4:13
Heroes will arise from the dust of obscure and despised circumstances, whose names will be in blazoned on heaven’s eternal page of fame. The spirit is brooding over our land again as at creation’s dawn, and the fiat of God goes forth. “Let there be light.” – November 16, 1905, Frank Bartleman
Many have heard of the movie, Evita, about the wife of President Juan Peron of Argentina. A song by Madonna called “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” was made famous in that movie. In that time of Argentina’s history, something far more amazing was taking place.
In 1952, an American evangelist named Tommy Hicks was in Tallahassee, FL, when God gave him a vision. He saw a map of South America covered in golden fields of ripe harvest. As he watched, the wheat turned into men and women with hands raised who cried out, “Come, Brother Hicks, come and help us!” (Friends, the Macedonian Call continues to happen!)
At the same time, God gave Hicks a prophetic word that was confirmed verbatim three months later by a prophet.
“For two snows will not pass over the earth until thou shalt go to this land, for thou shalt not go by boat nor by land, but as a bird, flying through the air shalt thou go.”
By 1954, “two snows” later, Hicks was flying to Argentina. He had been invited by a group of pastors to speak at an evangelistic campaign they were planning in Buenos Aires. Hicks wasn’t their first choice. He was invited because T.L. Osborn had declined the invitation. As Hicks set foot in Buenos Aires, the nation’s capital, he encountered a nation that was considered by mission boards to be the least fruitful missions field in the Western Hemisphere. A census in 1949 of the three largest Protestant denominations in Argentina yielded a paltry 574 members. Argentina was gripped by occultic worship and spiritism. Hicks was unfazed. He had heard from the Lord of History.
During his flight, Hicks kept hearing the word “Peron” whispered to his spirit. He asked the stewardess if that word meant anything to her. She informed him that Juan Peron was President of Argentina.
In Hicks’ first meeting with the pastoral committee in Buenos Aires, he informed them that he had two prerequisites for the evangelistic campaign. First, he would need an in-person meeting with President Juan Peron. Second, he would need a 25,000-seat stadium for the campaign. The committee told him that his demands were impossible. President Peron only supported the state-sanctioned Roman Catholic church. Furthermore, a stadium could only be obtained by direct approval from the President. For both requests, a meeting with the President was needed.
Hicks knew what God had spoken and decided to take a step of faith. With an interpreter, he went to the Casa Rosada, President Juan Peron’s house. Not surprisingly, he was unable to obtain a meeting with the President. As he was waiting in the office of the Minister of Cults, a man limped into the room. Hicks noticed the limp and asked if he could pray for him. Complaining, the man said, “If Jesus Christ were here Himself, He couldn’t help this leg.” Hicks, who didn’t speak Spanish, said, “What did he say about Jesus Christ?” Upon understanding the man’s response, Hicks bent down and prayed for him. The man’s leg was healed immediately and all the pain left. The man Hicks prayed for was President Peron’s personal bodyguard! Hicks received an invitation to return the next day to meet with the president.
Meeting with President Peron, Hicks made a request for a stadium to host an evangelistic campaign and for full media coverage. President Peron asked Hicks if God could heal him since he had a disfiguring and incurable skin condition. Hicks prayed for him and President Peron was healed instantly! Hicks now had full permission for his crusade.
With the use of the 25,000-seat Atlantic Stadium, free access to state radio and press, and freedom to preach anywhere he wished, Hicks began the campaign on April 14, 1954, with 6,000 people in attendance. Every night, Hicks preached the gospel and then prayed for the sick. God healed the sick, the press verified and reported the miracles, and the Argentine crowds, filled with curiosity and wonder, grew. This began 54 straight days of campaigns as Hicks and the campaign quickly outgrew Atlantic Stadium and moved to the 180,000-seat Huracan bullfighting ring. By the final night, 200,000 people were in attendance! During these 54 days, somewhere between three to six million people attended the evangelistic campaign. Baptist missiologist and statistician, Arno Enns, later wrote that the Hicks campaign “broke the back of the rigid Argentine resistance to the evangelical witness.”
What was the secret of Tommy Hicks’ power? How did a second-stringer arise to such a place of shaking a nation? Franklin Hall’s newsletter wrote of the great evangelists who had fasting experiences that marked their lives and defined their ministries. The last name mentioned was Tommy Hicks. Where did he get his power? Atomic Power With God Thru Fasting and Prayer.
There are thousands of men and women nobody knows who are digging deep into the wells of revival history through extended fasting. These heroes will arise from the pages of obscurity and they will release the fiat of God. Let there be light! So give encouragement to people that nobody knows, for they may be God’s chosen vessels of power, forged in the fires of fasting!