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Pain Evangelism

Robert and Kathie Fetveit are the Executive Directors of Elijah House.

Pain Evangelism: meeting people in their pain and employing sound biblical principles to lead them to healing in every area–spiritual, physical, emotional, relational–and to salvation.

An oft-repeated criticism of inner healing is that it is all about helping Christians feel better about themselves and others while neglecting the Great Commission — “Go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel…” (Matthew 16:15, NAS). Nothing could be further from the truth! Jesus’ ministry is the prime example of what is meant by “Pain Evangelism!” He modeled the art of seeing and meeting people in their pain, leading them to healing AND saving faith.

After returning from His encounter with Satan in the wilderness, Jesus stood in the synagogue in Nazareth and read from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed (Luke 4:18, NAS).

I first heard the word, “evangelism,” connected with the word, “pain,” several years ago when a Japanese friend we had met twenty years earlier in YWAM, called from overseas. While praying and fasting for ten days on Prayer Mountain in South Korea, he sensed the Lord clearly directing him to contact Elijah House. (He did not know what Elijah House was or what its ministry was about. He hadn’t even hear of it!) When he called the USA office he was surprised to find that Kathie and I were on staff, and that I was the Executive Director! He shared the instructions he had been given: “Contact Elijah House, learn their principles for healing hearts, and then teach your church in Japan. Set up offices in strip malls, and name them “Help Centers” for those who are trapped in addictions or who are contemplating suicide. Use Elijah House tools to do “pain evangelism.”

My friend asked me if I thought this would work. My response was a resounding, “Yes!” Our Elijah House team began schools to train workers from his church and the surrounding area. In turn, these workers taught the principles to many more — even in their church school, training kids as young as five to identify foundational lies, bitter root judgments and inner vows. It was so much fun watching these kids minister to one another!

The leaders opened “Help Centers” and began ministering to the hurting. In the process, they led many to Christ! They had learned that the mind responds to knowledge while the heart responds to pain. Wounded, hurting people become desperate and seek answers. Our friends simply shared the principles EH teaches about letting go of bitterness and coming to repentance and forgiveness. Seekers at the Help Centers would ask: “Where do these principles come from?” The team responded: “from the Bible.” Surprised by this, most seekers wanted to learn more, and, more-often-than-not, they eventually asked: “How can I be saved?” In their pain, they were open to something — anything — that works. When they discovered relief, they desired to go deeper, to gain more peace. Jesus, in His love, offers healing and salvation to all who come!

When the church is well equipped with tools for bringing healing to the heart, we will see an evangelism explosion!

The world doesn’t want “theory.” It doesn’t want to hear Bible verses quoted, unless from the mouths of persons with transformed and loving hearts. Hitting people over the head with the gospel only alienates them. Telling people how they “should” live without teaching them how or modeling it to them, can inoculate them to the truth. This can often elicit greater resistance to the Gospel, and can end with feelings of hopeless and despair.

How can we get equipped? First, by seeking and experiencing healing and deliverance ourselves! Our lives are a testimony to how God turns our failures into glory, our trash into treasure. He transforms weakness into strength. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price for my sin, so that I no longer have to serve sin. That’s what salvation is about. And that, too, is what inner healing is about — not just (as I mentioned earlier) “helping Christians feel better about themselves and others.” If salvation is a healing experience, inner healing needs to be a process whereby the truths of salvation are brought home to the heart. “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12, NAS).

The recent typhoon devastated much of the Philippines. We saw pictures of houses being blown off their foundations. Now they have to rebuild on those foundations. The good news of inner healing is the emotional and spiritual counterpart to that —we help people rebuild their lives on a healed foundation. Crisis teams are rushing to the devastated areas with water, medicine, clothing and shelter. But survivors also need healing for the trauma they have experienced and are still going through. Some of our Elijah House workers are now rushing to the scene as well. Through “pain evangelism” they will bring the good news of the love of Jesus to hurting people.

People are looking for authentic Christians — redeemed people who, having been set free from patterns of sin and failed relationships, can more quickly heal from the storms of life, and help others to do the same. Let’s practice what we preach and win the lost by living the gospel. Let’s broadcast a message of hope and healing through our lives and healed relationships!

The video below is a demonstration of Sandra Selmer-Kersten ministering to someone with unhealed trauma. This video is an hour long but worth the time. The first 22 minutes is a biblical explanation of Healing Trauma followed by the demo. We advise you to set aside some time to watch; you will learn some invaluable keys to healing while being lifted and blessed through the process. This sesson is part of our `NEW` Healing Trauma DVD teaching series available in our webstore!

What else is new at Elijah House?

Are you aware of the many other new outreaches and products coming out of Elijah House?

Along with annual live prayer-counseling schools, we have added over 100 video schools throughout the U.S. and Canada (recently revised and re-filmed!), and scores of others (both live and video) in several languages, offered through Elijah Houses in eleven other nations as well as other locations. The new schools feature a number of new teachings along with the time-honored basics. Those who complete the schools have the opportunity to attend an international internship. Some have gone on to join an international network of prayer counseling referrals who minister one-on-one.

We offer seminars on inner healing, the prophetic, and other subjects, as well as a newly revised and updated Prophetic School.

Adding to our already extensive line of books, CD’s, DVD’s, art prints, etc., in September we published the long-awaited Healing the Earth, by John and Mark Sandford! In the next month or two, our newest series, “Healing Trauma” will be available for sale. We are in the process of filming and producing several more series of videos — on the basics of inner healing, on shame, anger, and how to bring healing to our own children. We are looking forward to producing many other new books and products in the years and decades to come.

After nearly forty years in the ministry, Elijah House is still a work in progress! For information about products and outreaches already available, articles on many subjects, information on our various Elijah Houses around the world, locations of future events and seminars, or how to sign up for a school, visit

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