John Gilman Journeys to India After Receiving a Vision from God
John gave his life to the Lord when he was 11 at vacation Bible school. When he was 12, a missionary from India came to his church. John started telling his friends that he was going to be a missionary to India. John went to Bob Jones University where he was exposed to a great deal of stage production and film-making. He landed a job at Newport News shipyard and later resigned to work at WXRI, CBN’s radio program. His first jobs included working as a cameraman, art director and audio engineer. He was one of 5 full-time TV staff. Soon John was very involved in all of CBN’s production work and not only hosted The 700 Club, but also became the director of programming.
One day in 1968, John was at home watching The 700 Club. Pastor John Osteen (Joel Osteen’s father) was being interview by Pat. Pastor John told a story about a trip to India he had taken the year earlier where a boy with severely deformed feet was instantly healed. As John heard the story, tears filled his eyes and he said, “This is the Jesus I want to know.” (John’s spiritual background did not include moving in the gifts of the Spirit.) The next day, Pat introduced John to Pastor John saying, “John is seeking to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.” Pastor John suggested they go somewhere where they could pray for him and went into Pat’s new office. “Within two minutes I was worshipping in heavenly languages,” says John. “Suddenly a vision appeared on the blank wall in front of me. It was a screen and the life of Jesus began to unfold in color as I worshipped and praised God with a loud voice.” He asked God, “What will I be doing in 10 years?” John said that God didn’t have to answer him because He showed John the vision on the wall with the life of Jesus.
Ten years later, John resigned from CBN, started Dayspring International and went to India. He set up the first ever projector and movie screen made out of eight bed sheets. That night he showed a movie of the life of Jesus produced in India. “This is a story of the move of God’s Spirit,” says John. “It would be a privilege if I could thank Pat and CBN for what God has wrought and talk about this precious experience still so desperately needed by many today.” CBN has greatly supported Dayspring International.
India is a country with over 1.2 billion people. It is a nation scarred by hopelessness, pandemic disease, extreme poverty and rampant illiteracy. It is also the most religious nation in the world and has the largest population of Hindus. One of the largest Muslim populations also exists in India. Less than 5% are Christians. A rigid caste system debilitates an estimated 250 million Dalits (India’s “untouchables”) who can never rise above their station. Their religion refers to them as “unborn.” They cannot worship in temples and are taught they have no right to peace of mind. Over 300 million people make less than $1 a day. More than 73,400 babies are born every day and nearly 23,804 people die every day in that country who don’t have a relationship with Jesus. More than 2 million people are exploited in sex trafficking.
Dayspring transforms villages by starting churches, schools and training centers to show God’s love.