Born to Evangelize, Bred for Crusades
It wasn't until David went to a conference in Memphis that he encountered other believers his age who really were pursuing the Lord. He describes the trip as "awkward," as his ideas about what Christianity looked like were constantly challenged.

Born to Evangelize

by Fia Curley
10/4/16 Training and Events

Fresh off his most recent crusade in Guyana in South America, David Ursin has an irrepressible eagerness to continue preaching the gospel to the masses. Towering well above six feet, with an easy smile and clear eyes, the 2013 International House of Prayer University (IHOPU) graduate speaks about crusades and leading the masses to Jesus with evident passion. Currently residing in his hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, David is not just ready but is working to make evangelizing in the vein of Reinhard Bonnke and Daniel Kolenda his full-time career.

His career path may not be that surprising for some. As the son of a Methodist pastor, David always knew he had a desire to evangelize. He readily admits that in high school he was the kid always inviting classmates to church, wanting them to be saved. He’ll also readily admit that he was extremely lukewarm.

“I was always the good kid. I tried to be a good person, but everybody in my youth group was going out and getting high or drunk or hooking up with whoever they wanted to. I was trying not to, but I was by no means perfect. Because I was trying, everybody looked up to me—it was, like, “man, he’s really going for it”—but in reality I was lukewarm. There was really no one else my age really going for it it, so being lukewarm made me look like I was on fire. So I thought I was doing great.”

It wasn’t until David went to a conference in Memphis that he encountered other believers his age who really were pursuing the Lord. He describes the trip as “awkward,” as his ideas about what Christianity looked like were constantly challenged.

“I had never met people like this,” David said. “They loved to read the Bible. They loved to pray. They loved to fast and loved to talk to people about Jesus. They loved everything that I was trying to do because I was supposed to, but they liked it.”

The trip served as a wakeup call. On his way back home to Iowa, he called his mom from the airport, telling her, “I don’t think I’m saved. I don’t.”

“I saw how lukewarm I was. On one side, I saw my youth group who was consistently going out and getting high, getting drunk, and having sex every night with whoever they wanted, and on my other side, was these guys from Memphis and I was right in the middle saying I have got to make a choice.”

David speaks soberly about the moment that changed his walk with the Lord. After that one trip, he saw the impact of having other believers around him provoking him to love the Lord well. His life was so drastically challenged, he tried returning to Memphis. The guys he had stayed with were open to David returning as long as he enrolled in college.

“I had zero intention whatsoever of doing school.”

So David stayed in Iowa, still desiring a clear direction to pursue. His father had just received word that he was going to be moved to a different church the following summer. With a desire to have a stronger relationship with the Lord and no idea of what to do next, he set aside one day a week to fast and pray. After two weeks, he felt the Lord direct him to call one of his friends to talk about things. That friend listened to David’s predicament and suggested the International House of Prayer of Kansas City and their internships. David’s mom attended the house of prayer in Waterloo, but he was unfamiliar with the one in Kansas City or what was going on there. But he was open.

After a trial visit to IHOPKC, David decided to pursue the Onething internship which would begin a couple weeks after his parents moved.

The internship provided an environment with other believers his age who were passionate about the Lord, although David felt like the only person who had come to IHOPKC unfamiliar with Mike Bickle, Misty Edwards, or the other worship leaders and the music they produced.

Toward the end of the Onething internship, many were asking David what his plans were for after the internship. He was thinking about auditing some classes through IHOPU, but people kept suggested he enroll in IHOPU. Again, David fasted.

“I went home and I said, ‘Lord, You’ve got to bring somebody along who can tutor me. Lord, if You want me to do school, You’ve got to bring somebody along who can actually help me write papers.’ Because I literally cheated my whole way through high school.

“I’m thinking, ‘I can’t cheat my way through Bible College; that wouldn’t look very good.'”

Although David said the prayer, he admits that he didn’t think much of it until days later someone came up to him to encourage him to attend IHOPU and offered to help David write his papers.

During his first year, the school experienced tangible moves of the Holy Spirit’s power. Many people were physically healed. And in this environment David learned key elements to help share the gospel.

“I can look back and say that ten-month period definitely taught me how to pray for the sick; it gave me boldness to pray for the sick, gave me boldness to prophesy—to hear the voice of the Lord and say, I know that’s the voice of the Lord and to step out and actually say it.”

Familiar with the basics of approaching strangers to talk about Jesus, David was able to incorporate what He heard in conversations with the Holy Spirit to share truth to hearts that were opened to the gospel.

Throughout the next three-and-a-half years, David tackled school one semester at a time, learning about the man Christ Jesus.

Right before his last year at IHOPU, while pursuing possibilities for that summer, David was surprised that he wasn’t selected to work at a camp he had actually attended when he was younger. Only later did he find out that Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke had contacted Mike Bickle, founder and director of IHOPKC, and asked him to recommend ten of the top evangelism students at IHOPU to participate in a five-day training which Evangelist Bonnke was leading.

David found himself in Florida as one of 100 participants from across the nation and Canada to receive training from one of the most prolific evangelists of this generation.

“I had no idea why I was there,” David said with a slight laugh. “I came back and I thought, ‘that was a cool experience and praise the Lord.’ I didn’t think much of it but then Evangelist Daniel Kolenda emailed all 100 of us who went to that program.”

Daniel Kolenda, who has also worked with Reinhard Bonnke, had decided to lead an apprenticeship program for those who had participated in the five-day training. He had a list of requirements that needed to be met in order to participate in the year-long program. David met all the requirements. He was chosen as one of six people who got to move out to Orlando and be personally mentored and trained by Evangelist Kolenda.

“He taught me everything there was and is to know about how to do mass crusade evangelism. He taught me what to do and how to do it. What not to do. He taught me everything there was. This is the first time that Daniel has ever done something like this. He hasn’t done one since.”

Since then, life has been busy for the IHOPU alum.

After that year, Evangelist Bonnke hired David as his crusade director to relocate to the crusade city to help organize all the logistics before the crusade takes place. After serving this way about a year, David decided to set out on his own to do what he felt he was trained to do.

Now, as a full-time evangelist, David has set up his own nonprofit organization, Making Jesus Known, with the goal of seeing countless people come to know Jesus. He has begun the work of ministering to the masses through crusades—raising funds for a crusade in Zambia and preaching to seven thousand people in Guyana, in which about 200 people received salvation or rededicated their lives to the Lord.

David desires to participate in four crusades next year. Two are scheduled and two still have to be solidified. But he’s noticed the Lord has started opening his eyes to the need and potential in the Middle East.

“My heart is slowly turning toward Muslim-populated nations,” David said. “I want to go into some places that could honestly get me killed.”

David says he feels equipped and ready to do what he’s called to do. And although the training he received from Reinhard Bonnke and Daniel Kolenda helped direct him toward evangelism, he sees the benefits of IHOPU in his outreach work as well.

“Just having clarity of what the gospel is, and what the gospel is not—I always refer to Stephan Venable—because he taught me who Jesus is and how to relate to Him. He’s not an evangelist per se, but he’s at the ACTS school right now teaching missionaries about Jesus, so when they go out, they’re preaching the right Jesus to people. IHOPU as a whole taught me the depths of the gospel.”

For those who are not sure if they should attend IHOPU—the school that helped plunge him into his calling—or don’t think of themselves as great students, David speaks from firsthand experience.

“You have nothing to lose and everything to gain if you come. It won’t be a waste of your time.”

Fia Curley


    Fia Curley served on the NightWatch at IHOPKC for many years, participating in prayer, worship, and intercession from midnight to 6am. Currently attending college in New York, she enjoys blending her passion for prayer, worship, and journalism as she labors with the Lord to see His goodness revealed to families, government leaders, and immigrants from non-Christian nations.

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