"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this." Is 9.6,7
We pray that God would pour out into your spirit a fresh Rhema of the unconditional gift and mission of His Son. It has been a privilege and a blessing to serve, laugh, and rejoice with you this year. We look forward to a mighty new year in His grace fully depending on Him with you to bear fruit that would remain. We cheer you on in His Will for this new year!
When our team of 7 arrived to Kyiv we landed at a Baptist hostel that warmly received us and soon we met "MILA". She is originally from China and it's not clear how she got to Ukraine but she met Christ and was hired by a Ukrainian Baptist church as a cleaning lady doing menial jobs on their church compound.
She came to meet us one evening after her work. "Why do you have so many on your team that were Muslims before?" she asked in slow but deliberated English. "Well that is the team that God has put together for us for this city", we answered. She continued in asking us a few questions about our mission here and when we told her reaching Muslim students in the universities here was one of our targets, her face lit up.
"I have been praying for years and sending emails to churches in the United States that they would send missionaries here to reach the many Muslim foreign students, but I received not even one email back." She went on to say how every evening she would go to the center of the city with tracts in Arabic, Turkish, & Farsi looking for students to share the gospel with. When asked how it came to be that she had such a burden for these students she told us that she didn't know how it came to be but God put it in her heart. She herself thought it was strange being Chinese, living in Ukraine, & evangelizing international students.
"May I have your permission to send those students that are interested to your meetings?" she asked politely, "your team is an answer to my prayers – I got no reply from my emails pleading for missionaries here but God sent you!"
"Sure you may but we don't have a meeting place yet" I replied. "Well, I have an idea for you – someone who will help you" she told us how she met a man at a bus stop thinking he was Chinese by his appearance and how she tried to share the Gospel with him. It turned out that he was Korean and a pastor in Kyiv. "He will call you tomorrow morning and he will give you his place to use for free" she said confidently.
Within 24 hours we were sitting with this Korean pastor who was asking us to take his facility and use it for our church services and Bible school. This facility is in a part of the city where 5000 university students live. We are all still pretty stunned at how this all came about but God's economy is radically in difference with the way the world does things. God does not need a large resource of capital, money, or powerful people too accomplish His "strange work". He uses the small, simple "Lydia's" that have availed themselves to Christ such as yourself.
Thank you for your prayers and support. Something special is happening in Kyiv and it's the Lord's work. Please enjoy the slide show below of the team we have in Kyiv. Click here if you do not see it
Nehemiah 4:10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.
As they built the wall they faced a wearing down of the burden bearers and the ever growing amount of trash and refuse. The trash needed to be removed and they needed to be renewed in the anointing and the filling of the Holy Spirit in their work. This can so easily happen in the ministry and the solution is the Cross. The Cross deals with all the old trash that can pile up in our lives that hinders the work. This leads to spiritual health and a vibrant ministry of the Word through the Holy Spirit.- p. Schaller
Our annual conference ended about a week ago with p. Schaller with many other pastors attending. This was our biggest conference ever! There was so much joy and I don't think I've laughed so hard in a week!
We had visitors from Uzbekistan, Almaty, Siberia, Moscow, Poland, Budapest, Israel, the US, and from 8 cities in Ukraine! Soon I'll add the link of the messages that were preached here this week.
Enjoy the slide-show below: if you can't see it click here
As he made his way through the makeshift security checkpoint and passport control at the simple Ashgabat Airport – pastor Vladimir Tomachev remembered the words of his wife as he packed his bags the night before; "don't take your Bible, they will only confiscate it at the border when you return from the conference in L'viv, Ukraine."
He thought "how can I go to the conference without a Bible?" Upon the thought he went to the customs control point that of late had not been often visited by travelers due too the fact that too few had much to declare as they flew out of Turkmenistan.
"I would like a declaration form please" he asked the customs officer. The customs officer surprised replied "why, what do you have of such value that you've like to declare? Do you have a large sum of hard currency?
"No." said pastor Vladimir
"Do you have some rare antique or artifact you'd like to take out of Turkmenistan to Ukraine?"
"No." he said plainly. "I have something more valuable"
"Well what is it that you have that is of such value?" The officer asked inquisitively. At this point a small gathering of customs control officials gathered around this curious man who asked for a customs form.
"It's my Bible." He said as he pulled out a leather bound black Bible with bright gold edges.
"With eyes that grew bigger the officers asked "is that real gold on the pages?"
"No. The real gold is on the INSIDE"
P. Vladimir came from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan to our conference here in L'viv Ukraine and shared this testimony with us. There it is forbidden to pass out bibles and literature at evangelism. Church activities are closely watched and freedom to worship is strictly controlled by the government. Please pray for the two churches we have in Turkmenistan and the vision they have to reach the Beluji people – a widely unreached people group that only have the Gospel of Luke translated in their language.
John 1:45-48: Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
Sometimes people are blinded to reality because they live in the opacity of the obvious or apparent. Nathanael said "Nazareth!? Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Nathanael could not see beyond the opaqueness of the reputation of Nazareth. Nazareth was known to be a city where Jews lived that were sympathetic to the tyranny of Rome. They were considered betrayers and not lovers of Israel. Nathanael possibly was corrupted in his perception because he too had been betrayed or dealt badly with by Nazareth. As Nathanael, we as people see others through the eyes of how we are seeing ourselves. When people are beguiled they see only deceit and trust no one – nothing is clean – everyone is dirty. This is because of duplicity in the soul and guile in the heart.
But when Jesus met him, Jesus said to Nathanael (which means "gift of God") "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" Nathanael shocked says, "Whence knowest thou me?" "…when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee" Jesus replies – Love incarnated sees beyond time, the obvious and sees Nathanael deeper than Nathanael sees himself or Jesus form Nazareth. Jesus has clarity and sees through Nathanael's own opaque image of himself and sees no guile = the opacity of Divine Reality
When we think of Ukraine and the work here we must ask ourselves 3 questions:
1.Can we see through the opacity of the material, known, obvious, & reputation as though it was transparent and see what is truly opaque and absolute Truth or do we live in what we know about people or a country? = The love of The Cross crucifies the opaqueness of sin and corruption and makes us see the true opaque nature of things as God has made it through the finished work. Acts 11:7 And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat. But I [Peter] said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth. But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
What is transparent is really invisible; "white (clear) as snow". A window, though transparent & invisible is still there but doesn't blot out the opacity of Truth of the Finished Work behind it. Thus Paul said, "nevertheless I live … yet not I"
Is it a clean work? Are people clean? Are you clean? Are we stuck on the opacity of sight and blinded to what is truly opaque?
Faith sees deeply and love discerns God's mind for people = thus we have a ministry
Tomorrow our conference begins and many already have arrived. Thank you for your prayers and support to get many people here that otherwise did not have the means to come.
In January 1992, P. Schaller, P. Matti and a sizable group of others, arrived to L'viv, Ukraine where we had our first Ukrainian Conference with visitors from Poland, Hungary, Russia, Baltimore and Kyiv. This conference, located at a run-down Soviet resort in Bruhovicha just outside of L'viv, marked the beginning of a vision that the Holy Spirit gave to us at Greater Grace for the Ukraine. By the summer of 1992 we were living in L'viv starting a Bible School and a ministry of the Word by faith in the unfailing love of Christ for Ukrainians. This November 21st, 18 years later, by the mercy of God, we begin our Ukrainian National Conference titled "The Key to Our Joy!"
We are gearing up for our largest conference ever with visitors from Russia, Poland, Hungary, Central Asia, Iran & the US. Included in the conference and fellowship will be a special missions session and leadership training.
We are extending an invite to YOU to join us at this momentous event that begins Sunday the 21st & closing Wednesday the 24th.
To contact us regarding very reasonable registration and housing rates please call me here in the States: 1.410.575.3838 or in Europe call p.Myhailo in L'viv (+380964257411 or email@example.com).
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15
October 3, 2010, Pastor Mihail Obrecht, a loving husband, godly father
and a mighty Russian pastor full of faith, joy and vision, was
promoted to be with the Lord in Heaven. He died from the injuries he
suffered in a car accident September 30, 2010 on his way to a Bible
Please be in prayer for the comfort and support for Olga, his wife,
his 3 children, Daniel, Samuel and Mihail and the Greater Grace church
of Kaliningrad, Russia.
You can see more photos of his family and church in Kaliningrad at their website: http://church-eng.fullblessing.ru/
Here is an excerpt from p. Jon Post's email he sent me from his trip to Turkmenistan. It's really stirring. Please pray for the churches there and our future visit there in October.
"....Turkmenistan is a treasure - exceeding my expectations - though I wasn't sure what to expect. Leaders there are held in high esteem, especially the president, whose picture is displayed in every bus and every public building. Through natural gas wealth, they are rebuilding the capital in white imported white stone - and it's beautiful. Life is not as busy or complicated as in Westernized cities, though Internet cafes can now be found in the capital and smaller cities. And the believers are few, humble and precious!
Some of the things that we shared, especially with the men in Mary (city), were far from their (Islamic) Central Asian culture, like God's call to lay down our lives for our wives. There, the men are served meals in a separate room from where the women and children eat, so meals times are automatically a men's meeting. Yet they listened to the Word of God with such responsiveness. They don't get many мisitors, and while I was there Pr. Vladimir had daily church meetings. We had a great time in the Word and later at the baptism of several of the believers.
One family lives 100 km from Mary, but met us by the highway with a bucket of tomatoes from their garden as we traveled past. They witness to their neighbors and pray for a church to be started in their village.
Pr. Genya says they know about 300 believers in the city and villages around Mary. He would like to move there, but needs a job, which is hard to get if you don't have a large sum to pay the person who hires employees. Please pray for that - a job. Also pray for a young woman in the church, who is being beaten and threatened by her Muslim father and told to deny Christ. Mary is 4 to 6 hours from the capital of Ashgabad by car, and he and Pr. Vladislav travel there weekly (and in July it was over 130 F. with no AC in the car! I suspect that they may have taken a taxi then.).
David is currently in Siberia, having just finished helping with a youth camp there and will next go to Moscow for a week before flying home for more Bible college. Our church in Almaty, Kazakhstan is also preparing for Bible college soon, as is our church in Bishkek too. We are praying for the Lord to really bless and anoint those times, that lives would be transformed and lives prepared for God's calling...
“You show and make obvious that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, not written with ink but with [the] Spirit of [the] living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Cor 3.3 (Ampl.)
“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord God, when I will send a famine in the land, not a
famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but [a famine] for hearing the words of the Lord.”
Amos 8.11 (Ampl.)
As I write to you I am on a 27 hour trip to Warsaw from Almaty, Kazakhstan. We just finished a week long Central Asian Conference with p. Matti Sirvio and with guests from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, & Kazakhstan. Jesus was very precious in our midst as most of the attendees of the conference have personally experienced persecution, harassment from the police, confiscation of all their Bibles, notes, tapes and personal belongings and have spent hours upon hours being questioned at the police station by KGB. Some have been so warned that the next time they are caught meeting or sharing the Gospel they would be jailed.
During the conference one of the Central Asian pastors preached a message about the famine of the Word of God. He said that when we are not allowed to have the Bible in our possession we must become the Bible to people. He himself this past year has spent much time at the police station threatened with jail time because of the church meetings he was leading. Now, because his church cannot meet in public places or even in their own homes; they meet to hear the word preached at an organized sport event or birthday parties. He preaches to his congregation with no Bible - no one can bring their Bible in case their meeting is raided by the authorities. There is truly a famine in the land of the Word.
Be praying for this persecuted flock as they may be at times tempted to draw back or become discouraged.
"I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you vowed a vow to Me. Now arise, get out from this land and return to your native land." Gen 31.13 (Ampl.)
Jacob was at a point in his life where he tired and was worn down by the manipulation of Laban his father-in-law. The relationship with Laban he had was a relationship that he would benefit from and would be able to twist to his meet his needs. But as it always does eventually; it changed. Instead of Jacob getting what he wanted from Laban, he was slowly deceived and taken advantage of - to where his wages were changed 10 times and he became a slave to that very situation he thought would benefit him.
This is the way it goes with youth. So often they make a deal with the world with the promise that they can freely take and enjoy without price. But slowly like Jacob with Laban - they are robbed and taken advantage of till there's nothing left.
Jacob decides to leave and Laban pursues him. The world will always go after someone who decides to leave and follow the promise of God that speaks to them from an anointed pillar from an earlier meeting with God. But thank God he intervenes and meets Laban on the way and warns him. Jacob meets Laban - they part with the very God of the Promise as their border.
It's interesting to note that all through Genesis 31 that Jacob refers to God as the God of his father and ancestors. For Jacob, God was not yet a personal intimate God to him - but rather the God of his parents that he respected and feared.
But as always, God engages Jacob - God is not satisfied with a relationship that is impersonal with us. He will engage youth with a crisis to lead them to a rich communion and promise. Esau's coming to Jacob caused fear and distress for Jacob and we see Jacob pray for the first time in chapter 32. Still he addresses God in the prayer as God of his fathers. But that changes as he begins to wrestle with Jesus Christ Himself resulting in a personal relationship with the God of Abraham. Jacob's name is changed to Israel because now Jacob knows the Person of God. He begins his adventure of faith as a young man that has power with God.
So it is I think with us. Some of us grew up in this church and we too made a deal with Laban, the world, yet had a respectful relationship with the God of our parents. But that changes as we see the true colors of the world and we hear the promise of the God of our parents,"get out of this land with Laban and I will deal well with thee."
Mat Laflamme and I visited the Finnish summer camp at Antaverkka - Ylojarvi, Finland. Many of them told us that they sensed the presence of God in the meetings, worship and games and some of them got baptized at the end of the camp. At the end of the baptism we had a spontaneous time of worship and singing as you can see in this video here::
George Mueller's life and ministry was an outpouring of a revelation he had gotten of grace shortly after he had gotten saved. He was so awed at God's grace and his goodness that he sought some way that he could prove God's goodness to England. So in 1834, when he was 28 years old, he founded the Scripture Knowledge Institute. This led to a vision for the 100s of thousands of parentless destitute children living on the streets. Five branches of this Institute developed: 1) Schools for children and adults to teach Bible knowledge, 2) Bible distribution, 3) missionary support, 4) tract and book distribution, and 5) “to board, clothe and Scripturally educate destitute children who have lost both parents by death.” The Mission Statement: “The orphan houses exist to display that God can be trusted and to encourage believers to take him at his word.”
He built five large orphan houses and cared for 10,024 orphans in his life. When he started in 1834 there were accommodations for 3,600 orphans in all of England and twice that many children under eight were in prison. One of the great effects of Mueller's ministry was to inspire others so that “fifty years after Mr. Mueller began his work, at least one hundred thousand orphans were cared for in England alone.”
One morning the plates and cups and bowls on the table were empty. There was no food in the larder, and no money to buy food. The children were standing waiting for their morning meal, when Mueller said, "Children, you know we must be in time for school." Lifting his hand he said, "Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat." There was a knock on the door. The baker stood there, and said, "Mr. Mueller, I couldn't sleep last night. Somehow I felt you didn't have bread for breakfast and the Lord wanted me to send you some. So I got up at 2 a.m. and baked some fresh bread, and have brought it." Mueller thanked the man. No sooner had this transpired when there was a second knock at the door. It was the milkman. He announced that his milk cart had broken down right in front of the Orphanage, and he would like to give the children his cans of fresh milk so he could empty his wagon and repair it. No wonder, years later, when Mueller was to travel the world as an evangelist, he would be heralded as "the man who gets things from God!"
He did all this while he was preaching three times a week from 1830 to 1898, at least 10,000 times. And when he turned 70 he fulfilled a life-long dream of missionary work for the next 17 years until he was 87. He traveled to 42 countries, preaching on average of once a day and addressing some three million people. He preached nine times here in Minneapolis in 1880 (nine years after the founding of Bethlehem Baptist Church).
From the end of his travels in 1892 (when he was 87) until his death in March of 1898 he preached in his church and worked for the Scripture Knowledge Institute. At age 92, not long before he died, he wrote, “I have been able, every day and all the day to work, and that with ease, as seventy years since.” He led a prayer meeting at his church on the evening of Wednesday, March 9, 1898. The next day a cup of tea was taken to him at seven in the morning but no answer came to the knock on the door. He was found dead on the floor beside his bed.
The funeral was held the following Monday in Bristol, where he had served for sixty-six years. “Tens of thousands of people reverently stood along the route of the simple procession; men left their workshops and offices, women left their elegant homes or humble kitchens, all seeking to pay a last token of respect.” A thousand children gathered for a service at the Orphan House No. 3. They had now “for a second time lost a ‘father'.”
He had read his Bible from end to end almost 200 times. He had prayed in millions of dollars (in today's currency) for the Orphans and never asked anyone directly for money. He never took a salary in the last 68 years of his ministry, but trusted God to put in people's hearts to send him what he needed. He never took out a loan or went into debt. And neither he nor the orphans were ever hungry.
That was the chief passion and unifying aim of Mueller's ministry: live a life and lead a ministry in a way that proves God is real, God is trustworthy, God answers prayer.
Regarding ministry Mueller said: "We should begin the thing in a right way, i.e. aim after the right state of heart; begin inwardly instead of outwardly. If otherwise, it will not last. We shall look back, or even get into a worse state than we were before. But oh! how different if joy in God leads us to any little act of self denial. How gladly do we do it then"
Regarding his inner life he said this: “I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished...But in what way shall we attain to this settled happiness of soul? How shall we learn to enjoy God? How obtain such an all-sufficient soul-satisfying portion in him as shall enable us to let go the things of this world as vain and worthless in comparison? I answer, This happiness is to be obtained through the study of the Holy Scriptures. God has therein revealed Himself unto us in the face of Jesus Christ."
It is said George Mueller had a 6-Point Strategy for finding the Will of God. To live by such faith, Mueller had to have his own will swallowed by God’s.
1. Get your own will out of the way
“I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people generally is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever that may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.”
2. Feelings are the sure path to delusions. Avoid walking that path.
“Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.”
3. Seek the will of the Spirit in connection with the Word
“I seek the will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.”
4. Consider providential circumstances [a call for sanctified common sense]
“Next, I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God’s will in connection with His Word and Spirit.”
5. Get on your knees in the throne room
“I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.”
6. Make a deliberate judgment, and then keep testing it with prayer
“Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge; and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters, and in transactions involving the most important issues, I have found this method always effective.”
Mr. Mueller urged others to try this life of faith in the goodness of God - he wrote:
"My dear Christian reader, will you not try this way? Will you not know for yourself . . . the preciousness and the happiness of this way of casting all your cares and burdens and necessities upon God? This way is as open to you as to me. . . . Every one is invited and commanded to trust in the Lord, to trust in Him with all his heart, and to cast his burden upon Him, and to call upon Him in the day of trouble. Will you not do this, my dear brethren in Christ? I long that you may do so. I desire that you may taste the sweetness of that state of heart, in which, while surrounded by difficulties and necessities, you can yet be at peace, because you know that the living God, your Father in heaven, cares for you."
As you may have heard p.Matti speak on Grace Hour of the violence and ethnic conflict on the Uzbek and Kyrgyz border; please continue to keep our churches in both countries in prayer as the conflict could easily spread into the regions where we have our churches. At present our people there know people that have died and lost loved ones in the violence. In Osh and Jalalabad where the conflict has been we hold contacts.
One article states today that Roza Otunbayeva, Kyrgyzstan's interim leader, says the death toll from ethnic clashes in the country's south could reach 2000, manifold higher than the official figure of 200. 1 million people have been affected in the region and 400,000 are now with out homes. 100,000 ethnic Uzbeks have fled from Kyrgyzstan acroos the border into Uzbekistan. Her comments on Friday came shortly before she visited Osh, the southern city wracked by clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks over the last few days. "I would multiply by 10 times the official figures," she told the Russian daily Kommersant - "Because there were very many deaths in the countryside, and our customs dictate that we bury our dead right away, before sunset."
Let's keep these people in prayer as well as the plans for our Central Asian conference we have every year in Kyrgyzstan.
Ezekiel 10:8 “And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man's hand under their wings.”
This is quite an interesting verse to read in the midst of the description of these awesome and powerful creatures whose purpose was to cover the Throne of God upon what was the “likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.” Ezekiel chapter 1 as well as in this chapter we read the description of the inner courts of God’s Throne and yet think of it – we read that under these mighty angels’ wings that ministered and executed the Mind of God was what appeared to be a Man’s hand. Not only were their faces, feet and bodies covered – they were also supported and lifted up by the hand’s of The Man that sat upon the Throne.
The Hand of Jesus Christ lifted Peter up out from sinking into troubled waters and also lifts up the Cherubim that guard the Throne. This same Hand is the Divine support in a ministry that is not our own but God’s. Just as the Cherubim are bourne in their ministry, so are we, the NewTestamentChurch lifted up in the endeavor that was commissioned 2000 years ago.
Though there are the gifts, the office, and the authority given to the Church in this present lost world – there are the gentle human Hands of the Christ-Man that lift us up, that bear us on to carry us where we would not have imagined or would have had the audacity to ask for. These are Hands that no man can pluck us from. This is the Divine support and comfort we have in our lives and in our ministry.
Yesterday my wife and I’ve returned from 2 fruitful months in Kyiv, Ukraine. These months have been surprisingly fruitful and God went beyond our expectations. What was to be a trip to visit our church in Kyiv that has no pastor turned out to be a harvest. God provided a location for BibleSchool an office as well as a place for services. We also were led to several people who’s heart the Lord had opened. When my wife were shopping at the market God brought to us the Ambassador of Serbia in Kyiv and his wife to minister to. Among those that we were able to minister to were 3 Iranian men that expressed their vision to be pastors in their own country. I am not at liberty to go into the details but keep them in your prayers.
God also brought two ladies to our fellowship in Kyiv from Minsk, Belarus: Lena & Olga, that lost contact with our ministry. They had moved to Kyiv to work not knowing that we were there yet God had a plan for them beyond their sphere of comprehension.
Bill Toppi is now in Kyiv for another month - keep him in prayer as he oversees the work there in our absence.
Thank you for your prayers.
p. Christian and Gosia Moore
Enjoy the slideshow below of our visit in Kyiv. If you cannot see it click here:
Two weeks we met together in a 16th century castle in Lwówek, Śląski in Poland for a conference dedicated to prayer. There we met Christ in the Word and fellowship.
Here is the story of William Still that I read recently that really spoke to me; He was a young man that God used mightily in Scotland.
“William Still at GilkumsonSouthChurch in Aberdeen was a young man when he was called to that congregation. It had had liberal pastors for many years before he came. In fact, when he started the ministry in the Church of Scotland, you could have counted the evangelicals in the Church of Scotland on your hands. And so he went into a difficult situation to minister at a dying, downtown church in Aberdeen. After he had been there for a few months, an older lady in the congregation called him and asked him to come by for a visit at her home. And this is what she said to him. When I called she said to me, “I have been praying for many years that God would send a man who was a little bit out of the usual to do a work for the Lord here in Aberdeen. And from what I hear, you are the answer to my prayer.” She told me this: “I have been a widow for seventeen years. Formerly, I taught a Bible class for over 100 girls, many of whom have since gone to the mission field, and yet it was only after my dear husband died and I was by then rather frail and only able to sit at my fireside and pray, that the Lord gave me this burden. It was as if he had said to me, ‘you have served Me long with these girls and in your local congregation, but this is the task of your life, reserved for you in your eighties. You have to pray something for Aberdeen.’” Mr. Still ministered in that congregation for almost sixty years, and he nurtured all the leaders of the evangelical movement in the Church of Scotland right in the halls of the prayer meeting and in the sanctuary under the preaching of the word - Sinclair Ferguson, James Phillips, George Phillips, and we could go down the list. The faithful prayers of that woman used by God to be a blessing to His church.”
Enjoy the slide show of the conference. If you can't see it click here:
"And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him." - Gen 32.1
"...and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come..." - Gen 33.14
God has His way of intercepting people - His people. He is a Saviour and that is how He works. In the hustle and bustle of the capital city of Kyiv, Ukraine - many people are meeting the "angels of God" ("God's army" in the Hebrew) along THEIR way. It is at this Divine intervention that they see something that they've missed all their lives - the Grace of God and a Heavenly ladder. Not a ladder up to heaven for them to climb up - because there are many of those in this world - but a ladder down from Heaven where the Son of God Himself descended and intercepted people. This is the Cross.
When God intercepted Jacob in chapter 32, Jacob then could be led by God in chapter 33. He subsequently leads his own in the way that God led him - softly. This word "softly" has a meaning in it in the original that denotes secrecy, intimacy and almost a charming. When God meets people there is an intimacy that follows that impacts the entire way they do things.
Esau proposed that he go on ahead and prepare the way before Jacob all the way to Seir. Esau had a lot of energy, ideas, and ambition in his flesh. He was a driven person that never was intercepted by God along his way like Saul the pharisee was on his way to Damascus to reek havoc on the Church.
Jacob on the other hand "led on softly" at the pace of his cattle and at the capacity of his children. If he was to "overdrive" them one day they would all perish. This slow pace frustrates Esau and the post-modern religious culture we live in. The fruit of Jacob was tender and it was frail - it easily could perish along the way and therefore needed time, nourishment and much much grace. God leads His flock on softly according to their capacity and strength. He'll lead us and bear us up till we arrive to His destination of the Finished Work in our lives. We won't die before He is finished.
We now have been in Kyiv for 3 weeks and already we see a flock here. God has provided every need as it arises and we sense the soft leading of the Spirit of Jacob on us. He has provided a 3 floor location that is in the center of the city for our residence, meetings, and Bible School.
Daily we meet people that have been Divinely orchestrated to meet us - such as yesterday we met the Ambassador of Serbia and his wife who have extended an invitation to meet again. It is like we have arrived to this city as if we arrived to a home that has everything prepared to receive us.
We have a group here of about 20 people (including 4 Iranian men that are new believers) that we have ministered to on a continual basis over the last few weeks. We will be here for another 2 weeks and then we'll go to Poland for a conference in Lwowek, Slaski April 30-May 2. After which we'll visit the Polish churches and then on May 10th we'll fly back to Baltimore.
It is our desire to return here in the summer and if God permits to stay here for a longer term with a team.
This year's European Conference was a hallmark time in the Word, Fellowship and in the Spirit! Approximately 1,100 people from 33 different countries attended this year's conference. Be sure to check the links below for the mp3's, videos, and Russian translation
Yesterday we arrived to Lviv, Ukraine with Pastor Jim Morrison. He is the senior pastor of GGCF in Marlborough, Mass. He is speaking at a conference here for the Ukrainian pastors that are preparing for ordination in the Fall. God willing we will see 5 faithful Ukrainian men get their ordination when P. Schaller visits.
We are excited and humbled to see the hand of the Lord moving in this country and we are asking for your prayers as we go to Kyiv on Saturday in time for Palm Sunday.
"I asked God for strength that I might achieve. I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey. I asked for health that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity that I might do better things. I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among all men, most richly blessed." - By an unknown Confederate Soldier
Last night p. Schaller read this in a prayer time we had right after our Wednesday night church service regarding prayer:
"There were many blunt-edged, self-centered, subjective prayers hammering at Heaven's door clamoring for answers. But God was teaching us, and no school can compare with God's school of hard knocks. Mostly our prayers were stimulated by our fears and the desperate desire to escape from the hands of the communists. From our little corner on the periphery of things we were distracted by the tension of our circumstances and the pressures of duress, to say nothing of the accusations that were being cooked up against us by hate-filled men. Because of all this, our praying focused on our fears, our empty cupboard, and our uncertain future. And while this is the natural impulse, that does not make it the will of God for our praying.
"Our constant struggle was to pull God over to our corner of things until we learned that self-preoccupation in prayer leads to discouragement and depression and that the more our prayers turned inward on our circumstances, the more they became subject to the law of diminishing returns. We were like the disciples when they were caught in a terrible gale while Jesus lay asleep in the stern of their swamped boat. Their preoccupation spilled over in their frenzied shouts, 'Master, carest Thou not that WE perish?' (emphasis mine). Their only thought was about their predicament and the Master's apparent unconcern. For us there came a day when our prayers changed. Worshiping together one morning, we came to see that the story of the storm and the sleeping Savior had a lesson for us on the availability of personal faith for the emergencies of life and that there was really no need to disturb the Lord with our troubles. So as we went to prayer we said, 'Sleep on Lord, for we are not going to waken You.'
"However, after a year or more of other strains, and realizing that nearly all the other missionaries were out of China, we lost our recklessness, and fear began to pile up again. In this predicament God taught us to pray in the spirit of the prayer of the Son, '"I delight to do Thy will, O my God," and since You have placed us here in Communist China for some good and acceptable purpose of Yours, we joyfully abandon ourselves to stay on here as long as You need us here.' We found our strength, not in dreams of escape, but in complete surrender to whatever God wanted to do with us, realizing that God's claims are absolute and that we must accept them without bargaining. When God seems to come into our lives like a sword-blade, it is only that He might separate us from ourselves and draw us to Himself.
The thunder-clouds that we had dreaded so much were suddenly transformed into sweet blessing. Like John Bunyan, we almost wanted to pray for greater troubles because of the greater joy they brought in God's assurances. At last our praying had ceased to be an egocentric quest for personal deliverance from trouble and had become a Theocentric tryst that sought first and only, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' We ceased trying to relate God to our problems because we wanted to relate ourselves totally to God's purposes, opportunities, and victory.'' (Used by Permission of Overseas Missionary Fellowship).
It's a joy to be back home in Baltimore for 10 days now already. In a few short weeks we go to Eurocon and then on to Ukraine. P. Morrison will visit L'viv and do a leadership conference for the Ukrainian pastors. Then we return to Kyiv. We covet your prayers...
"Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Or shall a nation be brought forth in a moment? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children." - Isaiah 66.8
The story is told that a woman went to her pastor with a perplexing problem she was having with her children. "Pastor, my husband and I are good Christians, we are faithful to church, we tithe, we don't live in sin and we love our children very much, but they are rebellious and do not want God. Please tell us, and be honest, we won't be offended, what is the problem?", the pastor responded; "Since you have given me the freedom to be straight with you I will ask you one question. When was the last time your pillow was wet with sleepless tears of prayer for your children?" The woman was taken back; "Never" she said.
That night she began to petition Heaven in prayer alone in her living room after everyone had gone to sleep. Not long after God began to move; as she finished her prayer one night her son came downstairs and asked, "mom, what does it mean to really be saved?" A few days later her other son came to her wanting
..."as soon as Zion travailed she brought forth her children"
Paul travailed until Christ was formed in the Galatians (4.19) and because the Thessalonian church was so dear to him he labored and travailed night and day for them.
Things don't happen hap-hazardly - a nation is not born in a day, a church is not planted without loving travail in prayer and patience of hope.
God impregnates His servants with a heart vision of Christ's thought for people and then we begin to go into labor as a woman does when she is giving birth. There is much pain and effort but the joy of the hope of what will be is incomparable. When the child is born the pain of the birthing is immediately forgotten.
What God puts in the hearts of His servants is unexplainable - unspeakable. If we were to be asked "what will come of your labor?" I don't think we could accurately describe what it will be. We can only say "it'll be as God has said".
When we surrender to Him and His all capturing Cross it leads us to our knees to travail in prayer for what He is travailing for. What is brought forth is much more beautiful than we imagined. It's a Miracle. "Cast not away your confidence, for it has great recompense of reward"
I arrived from Saint Petersburg Russia and from Helsinki Finland on Sunday to Kyiv, Ukraine. Here we have had daily meetings and strategic prayer times for what to do here. We have a team of ten Ukrainians ready to put their hand to the plow.
God loves this nation, we sense a travailing love that is moving us. Please pray for us as we have the privilege to serve the people here with the Gospel of Grace.
Next week on the 29th we have a Ukrainian Leadership seminar in Uzhgorod with a large group
coming from Budapest.
Thank you for being on your knees for us.
Here's a shot a prayer strategy meeting with some of our Kyiv Team.
Short update from Russia...
(I'm writing this blog entry from my mobile phone)
After a conference with P. Schaller and the pastors & saints from all over Russia & Ukraine we celebrate Christmas today with the church in St. Petersburg Russia. There was a service, worship led by Matt ("baby") Roberge and then a desert fellowship. P. Vladislav from Turkmenistan, P.Misha from Kaliningrad, P. Tolik from Uzhgorod & P. Yura from Almaty were there and there we rapped with a beautiful group of Russians for several hours. The time was precious as we spoke of His Name and His Anointing. We certainly had a visitation from God during the conference. Shortly after desert we all ventures out into -10 degrees snowey weather and did outreach at Dvorsky Pl the center of St Petersburg where there were festivites and thousands of thousands if people gathered at a special Christmas presentation. (See photo below).
I preached today on Joshua 5 that any blessing we posses now is because we made hard decisions by faith in honor of Jesus Christ and His promises. As soon as the Israelites crossed the Jordan they were eating of the fruit of the promised land. God wants us to eat of the fruit of the decions we make by faith in His Grace Promises. Though the Istaelites didn't know it - the Canaanites were afraid of them Josh 5.1-3.
But they didn't stop there, in the face of their victory passing into the promised land they could see only a few miles away the next faith adventure: "Jericho".
We are called and led by Promises not by Law. By the Law we posses nothing but by faith in Grace we posses our possesions and experience all that God has for us.
Thank You for your prayers. Will write next week.
P.Alexai, & me in Dvorsky Pl St. Petersburg Russia.
Happy New Year to you all that read our blog. Last night many of us heard the message that we have 3 loaves of bread given to us by God as a provision for our lives. (You can download the message by pastor Schaller from this blog if you haven't heard it).
This Sunday I leave for St. Petersburg Russia with 3 loaves of bread for the January Conference with all the Russian Pastors and p.Schaller. After the conference I'll stay behind to spend Russian Christmas January 6-7 with the saints in p.Alexai's church in St. Pete till the 17th. During that time we'll have outreaches, fellowship, raps and visits.
January 17th I'll fly into Kyiv, Ukraine with Peter Merry and begin to build up the church we have in The capital of the Ukraine. Please keep is in prayer as my wife and I focus this year on edification of our church in Kyiv.
Church growth is spoken much about these days but real church growth begins when there is edification and comfort by the Holy Spirit & the Word as we see in Acts 9.31.
When we serve the Body with the 3 loaves God has given us there is a multiplication.
We covet your prayers.
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God bless you,