For a long time up through the mid-20th century, Argentina had been very resistant to the advance of the Gospel in its cities. But the1949 revival significantly softened the heart of this nation as it laid a foundation of costly prayers and faith-filled obedience. Revival subsequently rippled throughout the country in dozens of cities, but God was not done yet. The next step would take place in 1954.
Christian leaders in Buenos Aires in 1954 had been planning an evangelistic campaign for their city for some time. When their first choice of a speaker was not available, the invitation went to a relatively unknown American healer-evangelist by the name of Tommy Hicks. Since 1952, Hicks had received several prophecies and visions drawing him to the harvest field in South America. As Hicks prepared to board his flight from LA to Argentina, he prayed with friends that 50,000 souls would be won to the Lord. While on the airplane, Hick heard the word “Peron” in his mind several times. When he asked a stewardess about the name, she revealed that Juan Peron was the current president of Argentina. Hicks took this as a sign from God that he must meet Peron.
Upon his arrival, Hicks explained to the group of Christian leaders who had invited him that two things had to happen before the campaign began. First, he must have a personal meeting with Juan Peron. And secondly, they had to reserve a stadium that could hold at least 25000 people. Both requests seemed impossible, both from a logistics perspective and also because President Peron was belligerent towards any Christian groups not affiliated with his political agenda. It would require nothing short of a miracle! Because Hicks knew his requests came from the Lord, he headed out the next day to the President’s residence at the Casa Rosada. He was initially detained from proceeding, but when Hicks later prayed for healing over a state employee, that person was instantaneously healed. This was the key that let Hicks gain access to a meeting with Peron. Hicks laid out his requests and affirmed his belief that God heals today. When Peron questioned him and asked if God could heal his severe psoriais skin condition, Hicks prayed for him. Once again, God healed the sick person. In response, Peron granted Hicks use of the 45,000 person capacity Atlantic Stadium and granted them full access to promote the event and preach the Gospel wherever they wanted.
The campaign began on April 14th, 1954, opening to a crowd of about 6000. Over the next 8 weeks, the Gospel was preached every single evening, followed by prayers for healing. The Good News, accompanied by the spectacular power of God to restore those who were sick, captivated the city. Ever-increasing crowds attended the meetings. Even when a critic raised his voice, there were 10 other people who could testify of how they themselves or a relative had been directly healed at such a gathering.
The whole nation was abuzz with what God was doing in Buenos Aires. People starting to fly in to see the situation for themselves, hailing from various countries like Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay. When the crowds exceeded the limits of the Atlantic Stadium, Hicks and his team gained permission to use a new stadium that was almost twice the size. And still the people kept coming. Well over 100,000 people made eternal decisions to trust in Jesus for their salvation. Hundreds of new ministries and churches were birthed as a result of heightened openness to the Gospel. Many Christians re-committed themselves to serve the Lord, and some were even sent out as missionaries to other nations. God fanned the flames of revival through 1956 in Argentina, wooing the hearts of the people with evidence that God indeed is good and mighty to heal and save the lost.
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