Charles and Frances Hunter have never been ones to call it quits, but on Oct. 2 the couple known for their worldwide healing ministry will host their last citywide Healing Explosion, to be held at the Astrodome in Houston.
"I think it will be a historic event because we're going to train 10,000 people how to minister healing," said Frances Hunter, 88. "When we anoint the 10,000 people on the healing team, do you have any idea the explosion of power that's going to go out?"
The training sessions will be held Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, and Frances Hunter believes the Oct. 2 Healing Explosion will affect people around the world. They've already received reservations from India, Indonesia, Korea, Peru, Ecuador and the Ukraine.
"We believe that these 10,000 people who are going to be on the healing team ... [will] go back to their churches, and they're going to start teaching their people so our churches can really come alive with the power of God."
The Hunters have been teaching Christians how to minister healing for more than 30 years. Known as the "Happy Hunters," the couple has hosted healing crusades worldwide since the mid-1980s, written dozens of books on healing, and produced training videos about healing ministry, which they will soon release on DVD. In 1990, they began the World Evangelistic Census, a campaign that mobilizes people to do door-to-door evangelism while taking a census of the world.
Recently, both Hunters have had their own bouts with illness. Charles Hunter, 84, had six major spinal operations between May and December 2003. Frances Hunter had a bout with breast cancer, which eventually led to a mastectomy. "In the hospital [we] still laid hands on the sick, and they'd get healed," Frances Hunter said, adding that she led her surgeon to Christ.
The first Sunday they were able to return to their church, Lakewood Church in Houston, "a lady comes up from behind me, throws her arms around me and says: 'Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Five years ago I was in stage-four breast cancer. You laid hands on me, and I was totally healed.' And there I sat with a bandage still on me.
"That's the amazing thing. ... Jesus didn't say you had to be healthy to heal the sick. He just said you had to believe."
That's the crux of the Hunters' message, teaching that Jesus gave all believers authority to minister healing. Frances Hunter hopes their ministry will reach a new generation, and they plan to teach participants at the Healing Explosion some of the new things they have learned.
"A chiropractor showed us how to get carpal tunnel syndrome healed," Frances Hunter said. "We put our fingers on their wrists, the thumb on one side and the index finger on the other, and we command the ligament and tendons to relax. We command the carpal tunnel to open up, and we command any blockage to dissolve in the name of Jesus."
The Hunters also encourage people to take care of their bodies, but they say there's no substitute for God's power. A former neurosurgeon agrees. He's been praying for the sick since the 1980s when he was first exposed to the Hunters' teaching.
"There are thousands of people who have learned to heal through their videos," said Dr. Phil Goldfedder, who retired three years ago. "I remember laying hands on a man with a back problem, and he was healed. I was as surprised as he was."
Eventually Goldfedder began to ask patients if they wanted him to pray with them, and many were healed. "The problem was learning how to write it on the chart," he said.
Jim and Sue Daniels have been praying for the sick since they met the Hunters in 1983 at a church in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. They said when they applied the principles they learned from the Hunters, their grandson was healed from injuries he suffered after a fall. Years later, a friend of his was healed of scoliosis.
Both in their 70s, the Daniels are two of the many healing ministers who have been invited to attend the Healing Explosion, including Marilyn Hickey, Mike Francine and Rodney Howard-Browne.
"For [the Hunters] to do something like this is mind-blowing," Howard-Browne said. "To do it when you're in your 40s is a big deal, but to do it when you're in your 80s is mind-blowing. I feel that if the Lord has said this is the last Healing Explosion, we as the body of Christ need to get behind them."
Adrienne S. Gaines
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