A chat with Jan Ransom

I come from a nominal Christian family; I was an only child, born in Northumberland to a nurse and Navy officer. We settled in Portsmouth, where eventually my parents ran a small hotel. Sadly, my father died of cancer when I was 20. As a child I used to be sent off to Sunday school and I went to church, but there was no talk of Jesus. I went to a Polytechnic in Sheffield, and completed a home economics diploma. I joined the army in 1975 at the end of my diploma, going in as an officer, a Second Lieutenant.

I became a Christian after eight years in the army when I was posted to Germany. It was through a man called Ian Durie and his wife Janie. He was a Major at the time, and I think they prayed for me for 18 months while I worked with him. He was such a professional guy, and I really respected him. They were kind to me. I was posted from Germany, over to Bovington, and within about a month of me arriving at my new post, this 12-page letter arrived in the post from Ian, with the message of the gospel, filled with scripture and a commitment prayer at the end of it. As I read, I just knew it was the truth and that Jesus was going to be my saviour at that moment. I immediately prayed the prayer of commitment. I was 29 years old. While I was still in the army, I started listening to teaching tapes from Ellel ministries, about preaching the good news and binding up the broken-hearted, setting the captives free and releasing the prisoners from the darkness. As I listened, I believe God was putting a desire in my heart to be involved in this ministry.

In 1997 I went to visit the revival happening in Pensacola, Florida. It was a place of repentance, and the Holy Spirit was there. I read a book on fasting while I was there. The author had done many 40-day fasts. I was convicted by the book, and prayed, “Lord, I want to do this.” I started on a one day fast, and then I did a weekend fast. God spoke to me powerfully during the weekend that I was fasting. I understood fasting is something we should all be doing. Jesus said in Matthew 16:6, ”Moreover, when you fast…“ not ‘if’ you fast. In Matthew 17 Jesus explains to his disciples why they did not see deliverance, “this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Eighteen years after becoming a Christian I left the Army, in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. It was 2002. I enrolled on a course with Ellel Ministries, and that is when I did my first 40-day fast. It was out of that fast that Flame International was born in 2003. I felt called to go overseas to places and people that are traumatised. Initially we thought this would be a women’s ministry but then in Sierra Leone the men asked why they couldn’t receive it, so from that point on, we’ve ministered to both men and women.

I teach that we are made in God’s image. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, it says, ‘May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ We are spirit, soul, and body. Three in one. We find that when we minister to people’s spirit and their soul, their body gets healed.
On one mission to Wau in South Sudan, Val Batchelor told us about a young lady in her late teens who was cooking for the team. She told us she had a stomach ulcer and was in pain and struggling to eat. When we asked whether she’d experienced trauma, she told us that at 14 she was walking through the market holding her 2 year old sister when her sister was shot dead by the rebels. She chose to forgive that day, and we asked the Lord to lift off the trauma. The next day she was completely healed and was able to eat!
Last month, in Armenia, we prayed for an elderly man who said he had spoken badly about the president of Turkey. He said, when he heard the teaching on Bitter Root Judgments, he realised that he didn’t like the president of Turkey very much. He said, ”As I repented, and as I forgave him, my arms were healed from pain.“

I think God uses people who are obedient to him. If God tells me to do something, I just do it. Do I struggle? Of course. Do I rebel? Of course. Do I get on with it eventually? Mostly I do, yes. In some ways, that’s helped by being in the army, because when you’re in the army, you must do as you’re told! Once I was praying for this guy; after 10 minutes of praying my best prayers, we were not getting anywhere. As I walked away, I heard the Lord say, “lengthen his arm”. He put two arms out, one was an inch or so longer, so I commanded the shortened one to be lengthened, and it did.

We’ve learnt in Flame International that we always go in love. Whenever we go on mission the primary aim must be love, not deliverance, because you can get hooked up on the deliverance. And I’ve learned that if we’re humble, God does extraordinary things. It’s not us doing it, it’s God.

You get challenged by what you teach. At Flame we regularly teach on things Forgiveness and Bitter Root Judgements, so I’m constantly being challenged to forgive people! I just must keep short accounts with God as I’m in this business. It’s all a process of sanctification.
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