Sunday in Russia

Sunday in Russia and it is still early. I am up as the floor is hard and the “mattress” thin… It is another cool day – yesterday was a very warm day and the first since I arrived. Back to overcast, cool, and rain it seems. I prefer cool as they heat their homes and buildings up to 26C+ and I just die. You open a window and everyone puts on a sweater or their coat. Hopefully the church building (see pictures) today will be a bit cooler.

They added one new event to the day. So, my day looks like:
10:00 breakfast meeting
11:00 Service until 2:00
2:00 meeting with the youth
3:30 lunch at a local restaurant (soup)
5:00 second service
8:00 late supper and meeting
11:00 bed

Somewhat normal. The youth meeting was added and I am glad. The Church of Jesus Christ that I am working with here until tomorrow at noon has a few youth. The majority of people are 50+. So, I wanted to encourage the youth and minister to them for a few minutes. It makes a really busy day but Gof’s grace is sufficient as always (picture of a youth named Max).

Monday I head to Taigil where I was a week ago for four days. it is a stop over for the night on my way to Yekenterinburg. I arrive in the latter on Tuesday morning and minister Tuesday and Wednesday to a house church before heading to the airport on Thursday at 4:00a. The trip is coming to a close – the end is in sight.

Please pray for Pastor Dima, Leo (rehab leader), Regina, and the other leaders here in the local church. pray for the youth – several of whom have just returned from compulsory military service (2 years) and are having some major adjustments – especially Timothy. Pray for Max as he is a young man just called out to be an apostle (in training) and he is a bit overwhelmed and reaching out for information, encouragement and support. I want to be a help when I can. Please pray for our safe travel on Monday (driving and roads here are seriously different than back home). We have a 4 hour trip – Sergei, Marina, Alexei, and myself (that has been my team for this entire trip).

Could you also pray for Faraz – he and his wife are from Iran and they have been living in Armenia for about two years. They are now at a decision point. They can’t stay much longer in Armenia as foreigners and they can’t return to Iran because they are born again believers. They have asked that we pray … I promised them that we would.

Your participation in this ministry is highly valued by me and those I am working with.

Saturday and Downhill to Home

I am well over the hump – past half way and now with just less than a week to go before arriving home. I am ministering right now in the city of Lysva at The Church of Jesus Christ. It meets in a 100 year old building that looks like it is 150 years old. They have plans to repair and fix it up but at this point the inside is still rough and almost just as it was when they bought it. However, God doesn’t seem to mind and He is certainly blessing people.

Today the schedule is:
10:00a meeting with the leadership team of four plus one extra from another city
3:00p service
6:00p rest
7:00p Service
Then a late supper and bed hopefully.

The nights have been late working through to the very end. The mornings are good as I have opportunity to think, pray and write until 9:00a when they serve breakfast and the day begins. As this is day 12 of the trip (counting travel) I am beginning to “feel the pace” and would appreciate your prayers for physical and spiritual strength as well as patience with people (when tired I tend to have a little less patience with stupidity and constant demands).

Thanks to those who have been writing letting me know they are following along through the blogs and are praying for me. A special thanks to Jacob in Ohio – a great young apostle with a seriously large heart for God and His people. Thanks for writing Jacob – the highlight of my early morning here in Russia.

Sunday sees two big services (3 to 4 hours in length) and a meeting with leaders.
Monday – a morning with the leaders summarizing the visit and then a 300 Km drive to the next place (one night) before heading on Tuesday morning to Yekenterinburg for two days of ministry (Tuesday and Wednesday) before flying home on Thursday (31 hours)… as I said, over the hump and on the way down to home.

Pictures: The people gathering for Friday evening service and the pastor and worship team starting our time together.

Friday in Lysva

It was a long 10 hour drove and then some time to find where we were staying. They had me assigned to stay with a single lady (older) because she had wireless. It is midnight and I said “no” as I am a married man and will not stay with a single lady. It took another half hour to sort things out – we had already dropped the interpreter off where she was staying and so some of it was accomplished by phone. So, I did have a place to stay that was ‘biblically correct’ as we are to avoid the appearance of evil. And today they will figure so sing better out than I had (sharing a room and sleeping on a 1 inch foam on the floor.

However, it is Friday. Meeting with the leaders of the church here in the city of Lysva. Size unknown to those I asked. It is in the mountains, lots of mining, is modern and has a young population. Observations so far from my limited drive through the city. I will see more today. After the meeting with the leaders I am having lunch with the leaders (anyone think this might be the second meeting of the day – me too). Then an hour to prepare for a public service in the evening.

No idea yet what the rest of the schedule looks like. I am here today (Friday), Saturday, Sunday, and half of Monday and then I am facing an 8 hour drive to a place we are staying for the night followed by another drive (1.5 hours) on Tuesday morning to get to the last place I will be ministering during this trip.

Please pray for the leaders of the church here in Lysva whom I will be working with for almost four days. Pray that this visit will help them to form great and solid foundations for the work they are doing here for the King of kings. Pray for me as I settle in to another place tonight where I will hopefully be able to settle in for the remaining three days. Pray for all the people who will be attending the evening services as well as for the day time activities as I train and equip people throughout each day.

Thanks for being a part of this ministry The Lord has given to me to accomplish in His Name. Pictures will be added as I am able to get a better connection to the internet.

Thursday and on the move again

It is early Thursday as I write this… Yesterday was a powerful day with tremendous worship, hungry hearts, and powerful prophetic ministry. In fact, it was one of the most powerful prophetic days I have experienced in many years. The flow of God’s now Word was amazing.

In particular, I choose people at random and ended up ministering almost exclusively to one church (there are four in attendance). The senior leaders, the junior leaders and everyone in-between including several who were not saved. It was amazing.

Great young people who had very powerful words spoken over them. This was a church that was part of the plans for my time here but whom were really only slightly involved. They were powerfully impacted and changed forever. Tears were plentiful and healings abounded as God repaired the damage done by religion and set His people free to move forward in power.

I spent the afternoon between services outside the city visiting with the leaders of yet another church of the four churches I am working with here. Four hours plus around the kitchen table talking, answering questions, and praying for physical healing among several of their key leaders. Again, life changing and the lead pastor could not thank me enough. The second in command said later in the evening, during after service coffee (11:00p), that he had so many of his questions answered during the afternoon meeting. He is a fairly high official in a strong bank in this country and was greatly impacted by the last four days of ministry.

Today I drove to the city of Lysva after the regular morning service and a lunch meeting. We left the previous city at 2:00p and arrived at midnight. A 10 hour drive. Ministry here starts today (it is 1:00a as I type this) and involves two new churches that have just broken free from religion and begun to find new life. More foundational work. Please pray.

My apologies for the late posting – just now got a connection to the internet… First in over 24 hours. Hopefully I can stay connected for the next four days here in this city. Pictures to come as I get the phone hooked into the internet.

Wednesday In Russia

The day has ended … It started at 8:30a and ended at 12:30a.
9:00a Breakfast with several people asking question
10:00a Service with four churches – their leaders – represented / Total 40 people
1:00p Meeting with two men to prophesy over them (not connected to the four churches but in attendance)
2:00p Lunch and discussion with leaders of a one month old church
6:50p Rest
7:00p Evening service
10:30p Coffee with main leaders
11:30p Install modem which does nor work
12:30a bed

Today’s schedule is about the same (Wednesday) just the church leaders in the afternoon change … a second new church with lots of questions and concerns.

It has been a powerful time with much foundational work being accomplished in the life of individuals as well as a number of new churches. People have travelled in from other cities and been ministered to. Now they are inviting me to come to their location to minister to their church and people. So, the plan was already started to go to Moscow in September to minister – afterwards I will fly to this area and minister in three or four cities and continue what has been started this trip.

Apostles lay foundations and work with foundational issues. That is literally all that I have been doing since my arrival. This has been the most “apostolic” trip I have ever undertaken. Powerfully productive, life-changing, and life-giving to those who are finding out how to plant and how to build their local church. God’s will is being done minute-by-minute.

Tomorrow – Thursday – a morning breakfast meeting, a morning service, a lunch meeting and then another 7 to 8 hours of driving as we head to four days of ministry in the city of Lysva. Your prayers for the remainder of my time here in Yugorsk and then in Lysva are greatly appreciated.

Pictures: Two brothers prophesying over someone and a tremendous drummer – who is really sensitive to the Holy Spirit and added so much to our times of worship.

Report On Monday and Plans for Tuesday

Yesterday (Monday) began with a great frustration. We needed to fill in forms to register me as a visitor in the city. Another money grab as I am already registered as I entered the country, I registered and obtained a visa before leaving my country, and, and and… The leaders where I was working had filled in the form (hours work) and then noticed several errors so they went back to the church office and did it again. When we arrived at the post office to register – back home again as they wanted the original registration of the house where I was staying. Then the forms needed to be totally redone as they had put my name in in English (the form didn’t give directions) and they wanted it in Russian. 90 minutes later I now have a piece of paper that the border control people NEVER ask for when I am leaving the country. NEVER!

The drive was great – 5.5 hours, 750 Km +, speed (well, you do the math). I spent the time answering questions. Beautiful drive through the forest and mountains of central Russia and some lakes were still ice covered. There is still some snow on the ground. It was really cold late last night. But we arrived safely, had coffee, fish soup, and started the service. The room we are in is seriously and totally packed out. People standing along the walls. They have come from 4 different ministries. During the next three days I will meet with each individual ministry (the ten plus attending from each ministry) to answer their specific questions geared to their situation. I ministered on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as asked and then prophesied over a number of people while training and equipping others to minister prophetically. It was a great night.

The service was followed by more fish soup, thick coffee, and about 15 people squeezed in to a small room that sat 8 comfortably. More and more people just kept coming in. We talked, we laughed, and laughed, and laughed… finally around 11:45 we headed out to take me to where I am staying – after sorting out a temporary internet connection for me. I sorted my belongings as I am here until after lunch Thursday… settled in, and bed. I was tired.

Today:
Meeting during breakfast at 9:00a
Service (seminar) on the Church Jesus is building at 10:00a
Lunch (meeting with one of the ministries represented) at 1:00p
Break at 4:00p
Supper at 6:00 (with more questions, I am sure)
Public open service at 7:00p – topic: Evangelism

I appreciate your interest in what is happening here. Things are tense due to the political situation but I am somewhat away from where all that is currently happening so safe. It simply makes moving around and official government (forms and registrations) somewhat more difficult and tense. Please continue to pray for Russia and Ukraine and for my ministry here in this part of Russia.

Pictures: worship leaders last night and part of those attending the first night…

Sunday and Now Monday – Russia

Sunday was a full day. Breakfast meeting with my hosts, Sunday service (almost 4 hours), lunch/supper with three pastors between 3:00 and 5:00 and then a leaders meeting from 5:00 to 8:30p (35 leaders in attendance). This was all followed by another “supper” meeting from 9:00 to midnight. Welcome to the ministry.

I taught on what it means to follow Jesus… and what He expects of us as we follow Him. It was well received and certainly made people think. Of course, all teachings are shortened somewhat as it takes twice the amount of time due to each phrase and sentence needing to be interpreted. The prophetic ministry was the easiest so far and from the feedback I received from the pastors it was accurate, on target, and just what each person needed to hear – ministering first to where they were at and then to their potential and possible future.

The leaders meeting could be divided in half – the first half on evangelism and reaching the lost; the second half on how to lead as a team and accomplish the vision of the church. This latter dealt with vision, the DNA of the church, the ways they would operate, organism and not organization, what to do with the major number of seniors who attend, as well as the need for apostles and prophets. It was a very powerful time and got fairly heated at times. Russians are very passionate about things they believe in deeply.

Today (Monday) – early up, pack, ready to go by 9:00a I need to register here in this city as I was here more than three days. This is a legal requirement. Then an 8 hour drive north to my next stop. There I begin ministering at 7:00p to 50+ people from four smaller ministries and churches from a wide area around the city. Most of these works are still very much being established and so a lot of what I will teach will be very basic and foundational. I am sure it will be a busy four days before moving on to the third city and then the fourth. I am excited about being in a new place which is hungry for insight and prophetic ministry and willing to receive the ministry of an apostle.

Please pray for today, the travel, the next four days of ministry… much appreciated.

Pictures – three young men learning to prophesy – all three are pastors sons.

Saturday – Still In Nizhny Tagil

Saturday was a powerful day here. As I write it is early Sunday here and mid-evening Saturday there. I have been praying for APEX and others who meet to worship on Saturday nights.

Yesterday I met with a pastor from Yekenterinburg, then with the three main leaders from the church here in Nizhny Tagil. By three we were in worship and the first of two services. I taught, as asked, on the prophetic. Then we (two young men helping me – they had received words the day before) prophesied over a good number of people before the coffee break at 5:00p During coffee I met another pastor (Dima) who has been downloading and using the material we post on line at www.ralphhoweministries.com and saw there I was going to be here. After coffee and another very short teaching he was the first one we ministered to prophetically. The evening ended at 8:30 with conversations and prayers – a different lady with cancer, a man with a severe mental disorder, several who needed prayer for various other issues… and had opportunity to hear some feedback on the prophetic words.

The feedback from the previous visit here and the prophetic words given has been amazing. And, even some of the words given this time have already been confirmed. Many are having their desires to serve God confirmed even down to details like the people group, the country, the situation… one lady yesterday was so excited during the prophetic word that she kept interrupting as we were speaking it she was so excited. She would yell, praise God, cry, laugh … only later did I receive a report on how accurate the word was and how deeply it ministered to her dreams and prayers. One young man got a second word in two days and everyone thought I had simply forgotten that I had called him up the day before. The second word answered all his frustrations from the first word received the night before. He had been discussing things with God during the day as he was frustrated with the word he had received on Friday … and God spoke to the three areas of his frustration answering his cries from during the day.

There were several things from the first visit here that had been relayed incorrectly to the leaders by my team member and administrator at the time. Correcting these miscommunications really helped clear some things up about ministry after services ended and how long I wanted to be with people after the end of the service. It was good that the local leaders were able to bring up their concern and receive the corrected understanding. I am working at building strong relationships that will be long term, lasting, and beneficial. These little things can hinder that. So, it was a good thing to have them out in the open and straightened out.

Today – which is just beginning here and will be almost over when you wake on Sunday and read this – I have a morning service (still do not know what I am preaching on) and then lunch. The afternoon I will be meeting with 30 of their leaders from this church. I have not been told what is happening in the evening. Tomorrow we leave in the morning for our next location – and it is an 8 hour drive followed by four hours of ministry. Your prayers for safe travel and beneficial conversation would be greatly appreciated. There will be four in the car as we travel – my interpreter, the two lead pastors from here who are helping with the next two places I minister (they provide relational oversight to the leaders in both churches), and myself. Of course, it will be 8 hours of talking… it will be a long day.

Picture: Sitting – the lead pastor from here in Nizhny Tagil. Standing – the pastor visiting from Yekenterinburg

Friday in Nizhny Tagil

It is early Saturday morning here and thus late Friday evening in Canada. My day has just begun and your day just ended. As you read this I will be in the middle of Saturday evening’s service (topic still undecided) having had a full day…

Friday saw a 5 hour discussion with the leaders – including eating breakfast and lunch together. There are a lot of questions, much discussion, many new insights, and powerful times of self-discovery as The Lord reveals things to each one of us. Many “aha moments.” Then an afternoon service when I spoke on The Supernatural Church which includes a small part of my testimony. This along with worship took up the whole two hours. Coffee break and a time to relax and watch others interact and enjoy fellowshipping with each other. Then the evening service from 6:00 to 8:30 (we went over the 8:00p end time that had been officially set).

I taught for just a few minutes on the nature of the prophetic. Then I spent several full hours prophesying over people. Some names came from a list I was supplied, most were simply picked out of the congregation. I prophesied over several pastors (not knowing they were) and, as a result, have an invitation to minister at a group of churches going by the name of Cornerstone. I will hopefully organize that for September when I will be in Moscow for a week – and then here in Yekenterinburg for a week (just organized the second have of that two week trip).

At the end I spoke to at least half a dozen people one-on-one (my interpreter is wonderful and does not mind doing these extra things – so different than some I have worked with). I spoke to a young man who came for the first time and who has a serious drug addiction problem. We spoke for a few minutes, he allowed me to pray for him, and then I spoke with his mother. Earlier I had prophesied over both in the main service. Several people came up and gave me feedback from my last visit and how things have drastically changed since they received a prophetic word. And, one young man reported back regarding a prophetic word I had given to him just the night before – 24 hour turnaround.

After wards, a room full of people back where we are staying as we ate supper together… it began to thin out around 10:00p and by 11:30 I was working on emails and thinking of bed. Another full day. Day two here in Tagil…

Saturday – today here – I met with a pastor from Yekenterinburg who drove here to talk for an hour, then 3.5 hours of chatting with the leaders (a daily event), ministered in the afternoon service (3:00 to 5:00)… now into the evening service. More on Saturday tomorrow.

Please continue to pray. Thee is so much to do and teach, so many questions to answer, so many new areas to explore and discover as I listen and comprehend what they are asking and why… It really does require supernatural focus and concentration. Thanks for your part in this apostolic trip. Your prayers are much appreciated.

I am posting pictures on Facebook under Ralph Howe Ministries should you want to see a few of the people and places…

This picture is Alina who lives in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She teaches English and with her husband is planting a church in the capital city. She is also a teacher of English. She is a super terrific interpreter and always there for me when I need to speak with someone no matter how late or how long the day. Please pray for her….

First 24 Hours

It has just turned Friday here as I type this. I arrived where I am staying around midnight last night, 24 hours ago. We talked until 2:00a and then headed to bed. Body time was 2:00p and so I was seriously tired. I had been up 36 hours. Slept till 8:00, showered and got ready for the day. By 10:00 everyone was up and others were arriving and a questions and answers began – and lasted till almost 3:00p

First service was at 3:00 and because it was a national holiday the church building was full. Taught on what the church Jesus is building will look like and some of the major changes that we will need to see and be a part of. Then 40 minutes of prophetic ministry – training others to minister prophetically as well.

A coffee break at 5:00p and then a second service lasting to 8:30p I taught on the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit because the leaders asked me to. It was well received and then I prophesied over numerous people. Then, thinking the day was over, I relaxed a bit while waiting for the car. When we arrived back where I am staying we had supper and then at 9:45p we headed across this good sized city with big sized potholes to pray over a lady dying from cancer. She was recently sent home from hospital to die. Nothing more that doctors could do. But, then we know Dr. Jesus. Prayed with two others from the church – then prayed for and over a non-believing daughter and headed home…

Well, even then we had another 90 minutes of questions and sharing … and just ended at midnight. So, now an hour to catch up with emails and regular life things… and thinking through tomorrow, well really today now. Then by 1:00a hope to be in bed. Half of today’s now yesterday’s) events were not on my agenda that I am working from – supplied by the leaders. We are simply being fluid and moving with the wind of the Spirit. Trying and it can make one tired – but it is fun, I must admit.

Picture is of pastor’s son (Matthew) called out today to be a leader in the Church that Jesus is building. A powerful prophetic word for this 16 year old. Please pray for him. Tomorrow’s schedule – two services and a meeting with the leaders… and whatever else He has planned I guess. Please pray.