Hi, I’m Tom Rotolo, and I’m the founder of City Quake. I have been a Christian 43 years, and I have been going passionately after the power of God and the love of God in my life for all 43 years.
I became a Christian way back 43 years ago at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. And I’ve been after the, the main question that I’ve had in my life from way back has been, “How do you reach the hard ones?” The very day I became a Christian, a guy shared the four spiritual laws with me. So he shared a track with me, and you think, oh, you know, tracks are not very good, whatever…It was powerful for me because I had never heard the story of how Jesus died for all my sins. Like, I heard that Jesus died for sins, but it didn’t connect and I didn’t realize that the Bible promised eternal life. So from that very day, I was excited. Actually on the way home from the Student Center at the University of North Carolina, I was talking to people about Jesus, not because Carl, the guy who shared with me, told me I had to, I was just so excited to know what Jesus had done for me. And I just started living for the Lord.
Every day my life changed radically, so much. I stopped doing a lot of things I shouldn’t have been doing. I started just loving the Lord and living for Him. But from that day, I noticed a question started going through my mind. And that was, How do you reach those? How do you reach those that are atheists, that are from another religion, another background, or had a bad experience with Christianity? And I knew the answer was in the power of God. I knew the answer was the way that Jesus did it, but I didn’t know how to get there. I didn’t have any good models for healing, you know. The model for healing that I had was like somebody on TV, like putting their hand on somebody, and it looked like they’re pushing them. Or, or the prophetic in church, or somebody standing up talking King James English, you know, “Thus saith the Lord…” and, and I just thought those models just aren’t going to work good in a grocery store, you know.
So, I was trying to figure out, how do we do this for people? How do we open their hearts up because the blindness sometimes is so thick in people’s hearts and minds.
Fast forward, I became a pastor, two church plants, christian counseling center planted in Connecticut, and I’m just chugging along, but it’s a long story…John Wimber, comes along in the 80s and he’s the one who started the Vineyard Christian Fellowship. He was talking about signs and wonders, miracles and he was telling stories about [things happening] at the airport and at the restaurant and things like that. I thought, I got to listen to this guy, I want to hear him more and I end up becoming a Vineyard pastor and pastoring a church up in Connecticut. But still, I felt like I didn’t quite get there – He died in 97. – and I felt like I’m still not there.
Here’s what I was thinking, If I could get to my batting average of being 500, meaning that when I prayed for sick person, half of them would get healed, then I would start doing it at like a coffee shop, or, you know, out there, but until then, I’m going to practice in a church setting and I’m going to pray for Christians. At that point, my batting average is like, not very high. It was like maybe 5% of the people were getting healed. And I thought, I don’t want to embarrass God, you know, out there in the world. So I kept thinking. I looked around, – Randy Clark, he’s another vineyard pastor. – he started Global Awakening, and he was seeing maybe 10-15% in his meetings, healing meetings. So I started hanging out with him, going with him, traveling with him some and, and my percentages were going up! I was seeing more people healed and some of them, you know, some conditions that were like, not just a pain in the knee, you know, it was some other conditions.
Then in 2000, I went with him to Brazil, where he brought a team of about 100 people to Brazil and had these meetings in some churches around San Paulo, Brazil. And I felt like I stepped back in the book of Acts. It was like everything that I read in the Bible I was now seeing in these meetings, because we’re having 70,80, 90% of the people healed and there was like, some that were indisputable, like, blind eyes, people that were blind from birth seeing, deaf ears hearing, or tumors literally shrinking under your hand. You’d pray and they would just disappear. People that have been paralyzed for years, you know, I mean, not just, they get in the wheelchair on the way in because they’re limping a little bit and then they got up later. Now, these are people who’ve been paralyzed for years and years, couldn’t walk, and are literally running around the room. And I’m thinking, Oh my Lord, this is so amazing to be able to experience something like this. But then also I was thinking not just, I want to be in more meetings like this, I’m thinking, what if we could transport this from some Paulo, Brazil to a Costco or Walmart or something like that. And I say, “revival would break out!” I mean, the people would, it wouldn’t be me having to say, “Come to Jesus,” it’d be the person who just got healed, saying, “The Lord has healed me.” They’d be declaring it and I thought, that’s what needs to happen in the United States.
I was telling Randy Clark, “Hey, we need to do more of these.” He was like, “Yeah Tom, I would love to but I lose so much money on these trips outside of the United States. I have to save for like a year. I ended up burning out.” [I said,] I’m gonna write you a plan Randy. I wrote him up a a plan on the flight home of how the Lord, I thought, could work in terms of bringing these teams and getting people out of, getting pastors and leaders out of, the culture of the United States and into the supernatural environment.
I wrote him up the plan. He said, “Yes, I’m going to try it. Tom, help me do it.” And so I cut down on some of my counseling, you know, some of my pastoring responsibilities, and in 2001, we did four trips to Brazil. They were all off the charts. I ended up going to work for him full time, for Randy and Global Awakening, and had the most amazing time working with him for seven years. But here’s what happened about two, three years into it, I wasn’t quite happy. Like, I was loving all the power. I was loving all the supernatural testimonies, we’d have hundreds 1000s on every trip we’d go. But all the testimonies that would happen there in Brazil, and then on the people that came back to the United States, they all started with something like this…They were all at our church service Sunday and our healing meeting at the conference we just had. And as much as I love what came next, I wanted this testimony to start with, “At the restaurant…At the gas station…At the convenience store…” You know, I mean, I wanted the testimonies outside the church.
So I was scratching my head and thinking about this and how can we do this? How can we get it out? And Bill Johnson comes on some of these trips with Randy because they’re really good friends and he begins to share what happened at the – They’re out in Redding, California. – at their Bethel School of supernatural ministry. Some students are going in the streets and they’re praying for people at like In and Out Burger and Barnes and Noble and the grocery store. And these people were coming to the Lord in literally minutes! Like not just like people who are close to coming to the kingdom. These are like atheists and drug dealers and witches. I’m hearing these stories and I’m thinking, and I’m actually telling Randy Clark, “Randy, we need to do something like this. We need, you know, this is all happening at their school of ministry. Let’s start a school of ministry on the east East Coast in Pennsylvania.” Because we’re in Harrisburg, just outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. And so he’s like, “Yeah, let’s do that, Tom.” And he said, “You do that though, because I’m really busy. I’m traveling a lot. But you start that.” And I’m thinking to myself, I’m really busy too, but I’m really hungry and I want to try this. I want to see if this can work here in what I think of more hardened ground of Pennsylvania.
So in 2006 we started the Global School of Supernatural Ministry. This was the day that changed my life really. We had 50 students, full time students. I wanted them trained up in power evangelism. So I knew we had to go out, I knew I had to send them out. So we’re getting ready the next day. I’m going to divide up these 50 students into 25 teams of two, send them out for about two hours and have them come back. And I’m praying, “Lord, I hope this works.” Because I had seen it happen in Brazil and in India and Pakistan at that point, but I had not seen it in the United States. So I’m praying, “Lord, tomorrow when they go out, these 50 teams, would You let at least two or three of the teams have a good experience so that people wouldn’t get discouraged and not want to do evangelism anymore?”
So we send them out the next day, and they come back after two hours. And I asked that question a little bit afraid, like, Oh, what if nothing happens here? I said, “If you have a testimony, something God has done, come up and share it.” All 50 students stand up. And I’m like, I thought they misunderstood my question. I’m like, “No, no, not not,” – I clarified. – “like not a testimony from like five years ago, or how you came to the Lord. This is only for what just happened in the last two hours.” And they’re like, look at me, like we understand. That’s why we’re standing up here. And I’m like, Okay, go for it then. And so I stood off to the side. And I’m listening to these testimonies, one after another, and I’m overwhelmed. I’ve not heard these kinds of testimonies in the United States before, and literally, people are getting healed, people are coming to Jesus. People are…
One story, cool story of a suicide getting diverted that day: Two ladies that are leaving the mall, they’d already prayed for a couple people, they’re about to leave the mall and one of them gets a pain in her lower back. And she says, “I think I just got one of those words of knowledge.” We haven’t even taught on words of knowledge yet, but she, but she knew about it. And the other lady says, “You know what, I just got a pain in my back. Let’s look for somebody with a pain in their back.” So they look around, there’s a kiosk there and they go up to the kiosk. Some people, some ladies are there at the kiosk, and it’s just like a jewelry kiosk. But they say, “Do any of you have a pain in your back?” Well, these ladies are looking at them like, What are you? Where are you from? What are you doing? But one of them says, “I have a pain, I have a pain in my back.” And they say, “Well, we want to pray for you.” Well, the lady says, “Okay,” and starts looking back at the jewelry. She’s thinking they’re going to go home and pray for her and they’re like, they realize that, they go, “We want to pray for you now.” And she goes, “At the mall?” They’re like, “Oh, it’ll just take a second.” She goes, “Okay.” Now she’s really like, not on page, like, just really uncomfortable, but they say, “We’ll pray really fast.” And they’re like, “Can we put our hands on your back?” She goes, “Okaaaay.” You know.
So they pray for her really quick, “In the name of Jesus, pain leave.” And that, and when they say “Amen,” the lady says, “Amen.” Meaning, get away from me now. And they’re like, “No, we want you to test it.” And she goes, “Alright, well, it mainly hurts when I walk.” And so they’re like, “Well just walk around just a little bit.” So she starts walking around, she starts trying to make it hurt, you know? And she can’t make it hurt. She comes back and she’s like, starting to cry and she’s looking at them, like studying them, and she says, with all sincerity, “Are you angels?”
It was around that time when Touched by an Angel was on and, and she’s trying to figure this out. And they’re like, “No, we’re here from the Global School of Prophetic Ministry and we’re out here praying for people.” And she goes, and she’s really crying now, she goes, “You don’t understand. I was at home this morning, I woke up this morning, I was so depressed. I feel like I cannot live another day. I have a loaded gun at home. I came here to this mall, to this jewelry kiosk to buy a ring, put it on my finger and go home and shoot myself. Are you sure you’re not angels?” And they began to just pour out the love of God into her and tell her about Jesus and the plan, the good plan that He has for her. And it just totally disrupted the enemy’s plan.
Over the years now, we’ve seen that happen hundreds and hundreds of times where people had a plan, they were going to commit suicide and the Lord interrupted it that day because a Christian stepped out in love and prayed for that person, loved on that person. Anyway, it’s stuff like that, that day changed my life. And I said, “Lord, I want to use the rest of my life, if You’ll have me, training up the church in power evangelism. And so the Lord gave me the download for a ministry called Power and Love. It’s a four day activation conference where people go out, not only hear speakers and worship in ministry, but they go out, because we have to learn to overflow out there. Over the years, we’ve done 116 Power and Loves. I’ve now started City Quake, which is now to spread it more within congregations. But it’s basically taking the power of God out there with us.
As Christians, we really have put a bushel basket over our light. We’ve had this amazing power of the Holy Spirit in us and we all know it. But the problem is, we’ve not gotten confident in it. We’ve not gotten confidence in Him, I should say. He wants to flow through us today. But here’s what I love, I love when Christians who, who know that God heals today, know that God speaks to us today, and they step out for the first time. They step into somebody’s life and they say, “Hey, you know, is this going on in your life right now? Are you having pain in your lower back or are you having problems in your shoulder or whatever?” And the person goes like, “How do you know that? Are you psychic?” And they’re like, “No, I’m, I’m just a Christian. I hear God and I want to pray for you.” And, “All right, if you want to.” And then they pray for them, and that person’s healed, it opens them up to the Gospel. And we’ve seen that happen, I mean, not just hundreds, not just 1000s, but 10s of 1000s of times where Christians will get excited about, “I know that the power of God can flow through me today.” Jesus said that, that we’re going to be able to display our good works in such a way that will bring glory to the Father, what was He talking about? He says, “Let your light so shine that they would see your good works and bring glory to the Father.” How does that work? The only way I know how it works is the supernatural coming through our works.
Yeah, I was a good person for a long time. I was a pastor, you know, I’d open doors for people and be nice to people. But people never came up and said, “Wow, you’ve got an amazing God,” you know, but when you begin to pray, and…You know, I just thought of a story. A couple weeks ago, I was in an appointment and I was talking to the receptionist, and I just happened to say to her, you know, I set the stage by saying, “You know, sometimes God speaks to me and I think He’s talking to me about you.” And she was like, “Okay.” And I said, you know, and I had no idea actually what I was gonna say. I said, “Sometimes God speaks to me…” and I had no idea what I was gonna say to her. And she goes, “Okay.” Then I was like, Okay, Lord, You gotta give me something, and I just thought, marriage, there’s a problem in their marriage. And there’s a couple of people around, so I got a little quieter and I said, “Are you having a struggle in your marriage?” And immediately she begins to cry and I knew I was onto something. And I just, I said, “Let me just pray for you real quick.” I said, “What’s his name?” She told me his name and I began to pray for her and her husband. And she was just like, you could tell she was like, I don’t know what to make of this. But just being able to have that, where it opens up the crack in people’s lives, to be able to make them want to know more.
In the past, I was always trying to force what I knew about Jesus into people. Now I don’t have to, I don’t force it anymore. I let them want to know it. Because there’s hope! Christians that are out there that feel like there’s got to be more. There is more, and it’s watching the Holy Spirit work through everyday. It’s an adventure that we get to be on, not this boring life, and we just wait for the next conference or the next exciting meeting. The supernatural is not supposed to be external to us, just happening out there in our meetings. It’s supposed to be flowing through us every day. Jesus said that the rivers of living water are supposed to flow through us, and I just hope they’ll flow through every person listening to this podcast.