We have been invited to a major city in Russia and now have the dates nailed down (August) and I need to be prepared to teach 21 times in six days of events. I am excited about the doors that the Lord is opening to this ministry. We are going to a large city and a rather large church that has already planned and organized things this far in advance.
We are thinking of going in under a religious visa and not just a visitor visa so the meetings can be held in public and even advertized. We will be watched or observed I am sure but it allows us more freedom then going in without the right to preach publically. But, we will have rather large crowds – probably, I am told, the biggest audiences that we have faced in this ministry so far. I am in need of several weeks of research and writing to have the material written and organized before I go as the schedule is so busy that there will be no time to prepare and even little time to review the teaching beforehand. So, there will be a need to set aside and protect adequate and quality time to read, research and write the material I will need to add to what I regularly teach… and that will need to happen the next two months and these months are already fairly busy. Pray please!
Today – Wednesday – I taught all day (3 sessions for a total of 6 hours) and then another team member taught the evening session using some material he and I co-produced together. We had it translated into Russian so we could hand it out to everyone.
After a quick supper I met with a couple we had ministered to in Moscow, Russia last September-October (2009). He is a bishop of a number of churches surrounding the city of Moscow (within 350 Km). We prophesied over him and his wife and taught them for a week. They were really blessed. They came to our School this week to continue receiving training for their ministry (they also pastor a church). On the way here they had heard some things about our struggle with a Union here and had a question or two and did what few others are doing – having Christian integrity and checking out the facts and not believing an ‘evil report’. So, the garbage being spread about us has opened up opportunities with some to explain what has really happened and we are not losing friends but gaining allies.
This couple have invited us to their Union (Network) as soon as we can get there and to work with them for several weeks. We have agreed to come as quickly as we can and we will work later tonight – much later – to arrange dates and reschedule things in our calendars to allow us to go and serve this wonderful couple. The wife of the man (a prophetic voice) commented that this problem and opposition we are facing – that God will use it to open many doors for us … opportunities to minister that would not have been there otherwise. I agree.
Then after the evening service and ministry we met with pastors from western Russia (Caucasus area) where we ministered in the fall of 2009. We did a wonderful work for the Lord there over 8 or 9 days and the people and the churches were really blessed. When there we were already being asked questions about the issues we are still dealing with in the attack of the opposition we are facing. Well, they have heard a lot more – an ‘evil report’ by biblical standards and definition – and have come with great offenses. We were to be with them in July but they cancelled our visit a number of months ago when they heard more from the evil report (gossip, slander). But, at least they came. And tonight we met with them to discuss the evil report they have heard. And, to answer all their questions and place some facts in the story they have heard (we have all the records of correspondence with us) and set things straight. Then, we were able to talk about rescheduling time to come and minister to them.
However, we are not rushing to rebook dates as they had been given prime time almost a year ago and then they cancelled the planned trip to work with their leaders this July. So, we have given away all available dates through to February of next year or maybe even later. So, they will not receive preferential treatment but simply stand in line like everyone else and ‘suffer the consequences’ for their behaviour and lack of biblical reaction to the evil reports they listened to and actually believed.
Tomorrow (Thursday) again I teach all three day time sessions on the gifts and callings of God available in the Church and someone else (I hope) will teach the evening session (we have not decided that far ahead in our planning meetings). After the evening service I meet with some leaders from Kazakhstan to plan our next visit to them – and to answer the concerns over what they have heard from others about this ministry as the ‘evil report’ had spread that far away from the center of the churches involved many, many months ago.
Then we will need to plan out Friday’s teachings… I already know what I am teaching at the only session on Saturday (The Apostolic Model of the Future Church). As well, I have been thinking through the Saturday afternoon event with the entire youth of the church (a sizable group). This is an event outside the parameters of the School and something I was only asked to do late last night – but I will manage it.
Sunday we do a Sunday morning service at which I will preach (no idea what yet) and I do know what I want to share in the leader’s meeting in the evening. One out of two is not bad.
The weather is decent – not hot but not cool. The church building is not air conditioned and so it does get warm as the day progresses and the humidity increases. The food is great and there is too much of it. We have a great place to stay (with my administrator and his wife) and the church building has indoor washrooms. There is a God! And there is an ample supply of Diet Coke – love this country.
We all appreciate your prayers for everything that is happening here and everything that we are planning during the two weeks while we are over here. Prayer is very, very powerful and seriously important to everything we do here. Thank you for partnering with us in this powerful way.