Finishing in Kazakhstan and Preparing for Ukraine – Report to My Local Church

Week two in the country of Kazakhstan has drawn to a close and it has been a fantastic week of watching our heavenly Father bless His children and touch them in special and profound ways. A life-changing touch for many.

Again, we have done several public services and the rest of our time has been devoted to training the leaders of the church in this area. We have taught and prophesied at four services a day all week. We are tired and as good as it has been (and it has been great) we are looking forward to having a day off. Tomorrow (Monday) will hopefully be that day.

We start our travels home Tuesday – and due to the 12 hours time difference (we get to live the same twelve hours twice) we arrive home the same day we leave here. We are on a 2:30 a.m. flight from Karaganda to Astana and then a 5:10 a.m. flight to Frankfurt, Germany. We leave Frankfurt at 9:55 a.m. and arrive in Calgary at 11:50 a.m. (the flight takes a little over 11 hours) and then at 1:15 p.m. I board another plane to Regina. It will be good to be home – always is!

Thank you for your prayers … and we would appreciate your prayers for Bob (travelling to Calgary with me and then on to Saskatoon) and for Dima and Miroslav as they fly back to Kiev and then take buses and trains to arrive home in their respective cities. We will all be tired and so your prayers would be greatly appreciated.

And, if you feel led – we could use your prayers for our next trip in mid-January to Ukraine to work in three different cities and with 4 different churches.

The Unnoticed Church – Kazakhstan Day 16

It is a Saturday.

A full day of meetings here in Karaganda. We will have meetings with the pastor and his wife (an apostle and prophet in disguise) over an early lunch and that will last well in to the afternoon. Then, a brief opportunity to get ready for (physically and spiritually) the evening service – the first of five here in their local church.

The place is packed. The sanctuary is one big room in an old school that still functions and rents them the space. In the middle of the room is a wall that goes 2/3 of the way from the back to the front so preaching is done by constantly having to switch “sides” making sure to look in the direction of the other half – most of whom cannot see the others in attendance as their view is blocked by the wall. Not ideal but we will work with it.

You enter the building by parking some distance away and then walking past three actual segments of the building going around the back of this rather massive structure and entering by an unlit door on the back side which faces an area of trees and grass. Up a dark stairwell to the main floor and through several unmarked halls and corridors into this room. You don’t hear a sound until you are through two thick metal doors (and the walls of the building are over a foot thick as they construct them of concrete and brick. From the outside there is a dim light that can be seem through one small window that does not have regular glass in it. You would literally not know there was anything going on in this building and. From the outside, the activities are totally undetectable. Fascinating. Once inside the second door you are hit by a wall of music and feel like you have literally walked into a hidden meting of the underground church – and you have. There are up to 150 people worshipping God. Three or four vehicles were visible where we packed the van that drove us here so obviously many of these people walked here for the service.

Wonderful service – 4.5 hours of worship, prayer and the teaching of God’s Word. I taught on the need for the church to become supernatural and for Christians to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit as they fellowship with Him. I had started the teaching on Friday night – our first “public” service here in the city. Well received and they were excited to hear God’s Word preached and taught. Then, of course, the team prophesied.

Lunch out with the pastor and several of his leaders (in someone small apartment) and then back to another service in the evening when Bob taught on the supernatural church building very well on the principles and ideas that I had taught in the first two teachings on the subject. He had written the material and the teaching during the course of this trip. More prophetic ministry ended the service.
We arrived back where we are staying after 11 p.m. as we went out for a late supper after the service and we were tired to say the least. Breakfast (complimentary where we are staying) is flexible so we told them we would be down at 9 a.m. as we will be picked up at 9:45 a.m. for the start of another exciting Sunday in Kazakhstan.

The Beat Goes On – Kazakhstan Day 15

The day started with some quiet time to myself which is rare on these trips especially when you bring a team along with you – which I always do. Then we met with one of our team members from Ukraine to discuss the situation I wrote about several days ago as he is part of the leadership team for the group that is involved with the accusations and comments and criticisms which have now spread to four nations but have never been addressed to me personally. I know what some of the issues are simply because I have heard them now from enough people. Gossip is a disease and it spreads offenses everywhere it is tolerated. One of the Ten Commandments is `Thou shall not bear false witness` and it would be good for many of those involved to reread and think about Exodus, Chapter Twenty a few times.

We had a three hour meeting and heard some fantastic things that have been going on regarding the discussion of my ministry in Ukraine and surrounding nations. None of these issues have been addressed to me personally and up to this time I had only heard them and become aware of them through rumours – now I was hearing some of them from the perspective of someone who is a member of the leadership team where these things are going on. My heart is grieved that so much time and energy is being spent speaking about me and not speaking to me. And, that the members of this leadership team have obviously taken something that should have been confidential and spread it to many not on the team and even not in the network that this team leads. That is obvious simply by the people who have asked us questions about what they are hearing as we have travelled to various nations. The Church once again fails to live up to biblical principles.

My feelings about all this hassle is simple. I don`t need it. I feel like simply going on doing what the Lord has sent me to Eastern Europe to do – and do it with and for those who appreciate my ministry and that trust me and the teachings that I do. There is lots of work even if this group shuts my teams out of their network. However, it will effect a lot of the young apostles and prophets in training who go to their churches as I will have to drop them from our mailing and training lists because the pastors whom they submit to will be told we are off limits and I will not go against local authority. The other reaction is simply to stay home. I am old enough and tired enough and done this long enough (I started preaching in 1968) that I often think that I have had enough hassle and crap and it would be good to slow down a lot and read more – maybe even write a book. Or, maybe just stop ministering all together and do what others my age do – retire. It is looking more appealing all the time. Maybe it is just that one likes to be appreciated for what they are doing.

So, the beat goes on and the Church is once again wounded by those who lead her and do not do so biblically. I will answer emails received regarding the concerns and am planning to meet with the leader in Toronto and the Council that leads this denominational grouping in Kiev, Ukraine as soon as possible but it will definitely be some time in the new year and not before. Already it looks like I will need to cancel my January trip as three of the four churches I was to minister in are in this denomination and they are uncertain as to the relationship between their leader and my ministry. Uncertainly will lead to cancellations. However, this morning I received an email from another church – no longer a part of this network or denomination – asking me to come and minister to them. The process to set that up has begun and it may be what January’s planned trip turns out to be all about.

Keep praying – we still have three more days of ministry and then three full days of airports and jet planes before arriving home. Appreciate everyone who reads these daily blogs.

A Good Day of Fellowship – Kazakhstan Day 14

An uneventful day as we packed and left the sanatorium and headed back through the winding country roads, as well as some snow and ice, into the city of Karaganda. I am told the name meals “black rock” as it is a very big coal mining and thus hydro-producing area in this district of the nation of Kazakhstan. It is a relatively clean city and parts of it are fairly modern but there is little construction going on. In Kiev and Moscow there was a lot of construction being undertaken but here we have only seen one set of high cranes and they were building an apartment building. So, either the recession has hit here or all of the construction resources are going into Astana which is not far from here.

Astana is the new capital city where the dictator (president) decided to take a small town and totally transform it into a modern space-age city that would welcome the one world government and the one world religion. He has even built places for them to function and operate from. (see article and pictures posted elsewhere on my web site)

We are staying in a very new and modern hotel and I have my own bathroom, shower and real toilet with a real seat on it. There is a God in Heaven. Long hot shower felt really good. The bed is rock hard and just has a box spring and no mattress. I placed the floor rug under the sheet and a big towel above the sheet so there is some padding for my hips and spine and it has turned out okay. Can’t say it is comfortable but it is okay.

Lunch in a Kazakh restaurant with national foods at 1:00 p.m. – I ate cow tongue for the first time and ram meat for the second time – and the food was wonderful. However, it is always surrounded by and filled with lots of meat. There is meat – lots of it – in every dish, soup, and plate of vegetables. Meat everywhere. So, for our late supper the team asked if we could just order salads. We went to the same restaurant and we ordered salads and some of them had meat in them. However, it was a lighter meal and they made tremendous fresh salads. They mix so many different things together that you never see combined when in my nation and it is more than interesting, it is very good.

All of this allowed us to finally come to know our host and his wife and their right hand man (whose wife is not saved) and simply sit for a long period and fellowship. Between the two meals my Canadian team member and I sat and sorted through our impressions of what the Lord would have us do at the five public services that we start tomorrow (Friday) evening. I had been told that they would like my gifts seminar that I did twice in Russia and that we are translating the manual into Russian for future teaching opportunities. However, it will not always be the same people attending the services so the seminar format will not work and so we are switching content and teachings on the fly here. In about 90 minutes we believe we discovered the mind of God for this situation and so then spent some time sorting and thinking and writing before the salads and more fellowship for supper.

Late meeting after that with my administrator and then finally some time to be alone and think and pray. An easier day – and one in which we received gifts to remind us of Kazakhstan – books for the Canadians and iPods for the Ukrainian team members. Very kind people and very considerate. The first two good meals of the week as the food at the sanatorium was always cold, there was never enough, and a lot of it was not allowed on my diet which is restricted because of a disease that I carry in my body. So, good food, good fellowship, a great hotel room and a great deal of kindness.

Relocating Once Again – Kazakhstan Day 13

The last day of our ministry in this venue and tomorrow morning we move to the main city of Karaganda. During the day we will check in to where we are staying next, eat out at a restaurant with the pastor and his wonderfully kind wife (our hosts for this whole week), and then have an evening of fellowship with them over a second meal. This will be a time of questions and answers – not really time off or down time.

However, that is tomorrow. Today … we held two sessions as usual. And, as usual, the worship was heavenly and very powerfully anointed. They certainly know how to worship, do so with their whole hearts and express their love for Jesus openly and emotionally. Refreshing!

Bob taught the morning session on the Prophetic Purifying Process (a repeat which he has taught often here in Eastern Europe and an excellent teaching – simply excellent) and it was well received and revealed some new truths to many who have received prophetic words since their arrival here. In the afternoon session I spoke on the church as it is now and as it will be. Another way to say it – the pastoral model and the apostolic model. It was the first time that I have ever spoken on this subject although I have begun to write some articles on it in my e-newsletter and one day hope to publish a booklet (60 page book) on the subject after finding the time to write and rewrite the material. During both services we did a fair amount of prophetic ministry.

As we were breaking for supper (after a 5 hour session) we were asked if we could continue into the evening even though it was not on the schedule. Because we were asked by the pastor in front of everyone we agreed because we submit to the pastor as the leader / elder here. However, if we had been asked privately we would have said a definite no as we are tired and still have 5 more days of ministry and need to pace ourselves very carefully from this point on. As well, it was the fifth or sixth surprise of the week as the agenda and work situations continual change without consultation or involvement of the team in the decisions. However, they always directly affect what we are doing and how we are doing it.

So, after supper we held another unscheduled meeting which went from 8:00 to 10:30 and after worshipped we did not teach but simply prophesied over a number of couples who were not going to be with us for any of the other scheduled events this week. I then headed directly to my room for some quiet and time alone and even ignored several knocks on the door. I didn’t need more company or more work. Just some time to sort some feelings and concerns.

A full day – and tomorrow we head back into Karaganda and begin the last 4 days of the schedule here in this part of Kazakhstan. Then back to Almaty-Ata for 24 hours for some follow-up to our week there and then we fly home … leaving here at midnight Sunday and arriving at home on Wednesday at 4:00 a.m. body time … a long haul. Prayer needed. Thanks.

Outside Opposition – Kazakhstan Day 12

Tuesday’s Report…

It is now Wednesday as I type this as Tuesday was such a full day that time was not there to think through the day and record activities and thoughts. Although the pace here for actual sessions has been decent – a 3 hour session and a 4.5 hour session with a break in the middle – I have still been busy with other meetings and appointments in the times when not ministering publicly.

A good example of this was last night where after supper we had the night off and so I went to my room. Shortly afterwards I ended up with two team members in my room – both on my advisory council – and we talked for three hours (until 11:15 p.m.) about another ministry which is very influential here in Eastern Europe which is questioning our ministry here in this neck of the woods and questioning my prophetic abilities and my ministry in a specific church during a past visit. They have recently spent considerable time delving in to my theology and speaking about my ministry at length during one of their leaders’ meetings. All without my knowledge and without being able to speak for myself and say what was really spoken and done. They are influencing some of the leaders and churches where we do minister and so we are expecting some doors (opportunities) to close. As in our nation – people do not usually check out the facts but simply believe what is being said and pick up an offense and run with it as well as spreading it to others. In fact, in both Russia and now in Kazakhstan we have been approached about the “issues” and ended up discussing what little we know to defend ourselves against some false impressions being spread by others (we are not always sure whom).

However, I learned long ago to let the Lord fight my battles and to not spend my time fighting, arguing, and discussing. Like Nehemiah when invited to the Valley of Ono to discuss what he was doing with those in opposition I too have been invited to discuss working together with this group. However, it appears to me that we really have little in common and that the original purpose of a joint meeting which was to discuss our understanding of apostles and prophets and cooperating (walking parallel) has been dismissed and now they want a meeting to discuss a number of other issues most of which I am uncertain about what they really are and those that I am aware of have spread to so many people that they may be irreconcilable by this time.

My advisory council members involved in my ministry here and thus aware of what I do and don’t do and the integrity I do walk in have advised that I not waste any more time on the matter – and they do consider it a poor way to invest my time – as they don’t think it is fixable after all the reports and comments that have been spread – obvious due to the fact that everywhere I go the topic comes up. They suggested I write and let the leader involved know where I stand and why I am now unwilling to spend time and money to come and see him to deal with all of this.

I am prayerfully considering their advice and am still uncertain how to proceed in this situation.

Another Change In Location – Kazakhstan Day 11

We flew in to Karaganda this morning at a little after 11:00 and we were picked up at the airport by the pastor and a local business man. A long drive into town where we literally drive through the city coming out on the other end and going back into the country. It was like driving in my home province … flat, bald prairie with the occasional set of shrub bushes. Felt good to see open country after 8 days in a valley between a bunch of mountain ranges and huge mountain peaks which blocked the view.

We went into the country – I mean, into the country. Forty minutes out of the city we turned off the main drag onto a side road (still “paved” sort of) and wove around the countryside for another 20+ kilometres until we ended up at an old sanatorium converted to a health spa. Here we are to hold the leaders meeting for the next three days. Let me just say that in Canada this would n

Another Sunday – Kazakhstan Day 10

It was a busy day … and that’s okay as we came to minister and to work for the Kingdom. We are excited about the opportunities that the Lord has opened for Ralph Howe Ministries and so we are not afraid of hard work knowing that as we do what He has called us to do we are honouring Him and expanding the Kingdom in this area of the world. Exciting.

I was up early to prepare myself and my message for the morning service at a local church here in Almaty. The service started at 10:00 and ended at 2:30 and it was powerful. I shared on the revolutionary concept of prayer that Jesus modeled for us and how we have regressed and settled for a form of prayer that has absolutely little to no power. The message was well received and people here are obviously hungry for Go’s Word and for the truth. The message was followed by a prophetic word over the church we were in and so we had all the leadership come up front and we prophesied over them as representing the church and her vision. Powerful and very full word for the church and, as always, totally different than the word we prophesied over the Korean Church and its leadership the day before during our last service there yesterday. Each church family has a unique role to play in the Kingdom and in each region of the world. We then prophesied over a number of men and women.

Following the service we met with a woman who has a Jezebel spirit (they are spread all over the world) and spoke into her life. The pastor was there as well and he had asked us to become involved in this difficult situation that had been going on for years. She argued with us and justified her behaviour or basically denied what she was being accused of doing. However, dozens have heard and seen what she is doing against the authorities of this church and so she found a very unbelieving audience in the three apostles involved. She said she repented but the spirit realm would tell me that it was all surface and she does not think she has done anything wrong. n fact, she still thinks the pastor is wrong in his actions and teachings and that she, the authority, is right. She will need to be asked to leave and very quickly I am afraid.

Then out to a nice restaurant for lunch / supper as it was after 3:00 by this time and we began again at 5:30 to worship and teach at a second service for the day. It was another full house and it was an absolutely essential service as it was in this service that I located two apostles – two young men – one called by the living Jesus Christ to be an apostle in His Kingdom the other a five-fold evangelist. I look for them in every situation I am invited to minister in and had not found them yet in this particular ministry and then here they are. It was so good. I sat with them afterwards and talked to them personally. What a blessing to me personally. Great young men who are sold out to Jesus – actively involved in their local church supporting the pastor and ministering where they can. In the teaching time I shared my testimony and the people were very receptive and wonderfully gracious.

Then we were taken back to where we were staying as we needed to have a late supper and pack as we were being picked up at 7:00 a.m. to head to the airport and the city of Karaganda (population 670.000). We arrive there before noon and start work immediately – and we still needed to pack before going to bed and getting up at 5:30 to get ready (4 guys and one small bathroom / shower)…

Note to Local Church Back Home – Off to Karaganda

As you read this I will have just finished my second Sunday in Almaty-Alta and will be boarding a plane for the city of Karaganda. Tomorrow morning (Monday) we will begin ministering in this northern city as we start the second week of ministry here in this great nation of Kazakhstan. God has truly touched many lives and we are standing in faith and believing it will only get better and more powerful during our second week of services here in our second ministry venue.

People here are hungry for God’s Word and are open to whatever God is wanting to do. It seems that there are no hidden agendas or expectations. They come to worship (which we do for hours at a time) and to receive from our Heavenly Father and He never fails them. He is faithful and He teaches them many new truths they were not aware of before, new skills, and deposits new hope into their hearts in a somewhat ‘hopeless’ situation. He ministers to them prophetically touching their past, present and future – impacting their lives for all of eternity. They will never be the same again. Neither will I. These are life-changing trips for us as team members as well. You cannot help but change when you spend this much time in worship and the Word every day for weeks at a time … soaking in His presence and absorbing His Word deep in the heart (even as I teach it this happens to me personally).

I appreciate your prayers for this trip and all that is happening to strengthen these fine men and women of God. I wish you could be here and experience the joy and the excitement that is literally tangible as they receive fresh manna from the hand of their loving heavenly Father. Amazing! We serve an awesome God!

Switching Locations Once Again – Day 9 Kazakhstan

Saturday … We have been on the road ministering since 9:00 this morning. It is now 11:00 p.m. and we have just finished eating a late supper and discussing some issues in one of our team member’s local church – known as a business meeting, I think.

We held two services in a Korean Christian Church in a small village about 40 minutes from the main city of Almaty-Alta. We drove through major smog both ways – so bad that you could hardly see at times to drive, your eyes burned from the pollution (even while inside the car with the windows closed) and you could taste it in your mouth and down your throat. Terrible amount and type of pollution. Not sure how the residents of this valley live with it – but then maybe they don’t live long. That would not surprise me at all.

Both services were packed out with some standing at the back door. We went from 10:10 to about 1:30 and then had a lunch which we ate in a smaller building on the grounds. It appears to have once been a very small house and now doubles as a coffee room and a Sunday School room… Lunch was a business meeting with questions being fired at me as fast as I could answer them. It went on long enough that Miroslav, who was interpreting, asked it to stop so he could finish eating and have a bit of a rest. I was so glad as I too was really tired of talking and answering questions having already taught for 90 minutes and then ministered prophetically for almost 2 hours straight.
Miroslav and I left everyone as soon as we had eaten and went for an hour long walk – one to get away and have some personal time and even some quiet and two to see the neighbourhood and have a look at the local market. Good walk and it was good to stretch. You could barely see the fairly large mountain range which we were at the foot of in this village – smog – coal dust and smoke.

When we arrived back I had a great conversation with a young 23 year old I had prophesied over the day before in this same church. He came back for the second day and he speaks decent enough English that we were able to carry on a very excellent conversation. He is a great young man with a tremendous future ahead of him – both in the business world as well as serving the Lord Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. I enjoyed the conversation very much.

Then into our second worship service for the day. It started at 4:00 and ended just before 8:00 p.m. A team member taught and did an excellent job and then I called all the leaders of the local church whose facilities we were using to the front and we prophesied over the local congregation and the leaders about what God was calling them to be and how God would use them to impact the nation. It was a lengthy and powerful word and released something in the spiritual realm – everyone could feel it and it was obvious that we were working with great unity and people from many churches stood in faith for this local congregation and rejoiced about the word they were receiving.

We then prophesied over a number of seniors as we had chosen mostly young people in the morning service (they vastly outnumber the seniors by the way). So, some good words over some very wonderful seniors who are not having an opportunity to retire but will certainly feel re-fired by the prophetic ministry they received tonight. Then, after ministering to half a dozen people we called it a night.

It is now 11:30 and we are facing two services tomorrow in a different location (we are staying ahead of religious police) – 10:00 and 5:30 p.m. with a meeting with a Jezebel lady after the first service and that will be followed by a fellowship meal (a nice way to say another business meeting). Then after the evening service back to where we are staying to have a late supper and pack as we fly out to our second location on Monday morning and start work Monday afternoon in this second city of 65,000 people (compared to 2 million here).

Your continued prayer support is greatly appreciated!