It is an amazing part of the country. We are so blessed to be here … mountains, valleys, cities that are small and compact and yet have such beautiful places to walk… As we have been walking each day – in 25 C weather – we have been picking and eating apples, pears, grapes, walnuts, hazelnuts, and plums just on the side of the roads (there are no sidewalks to walk on so you often just walk right on the roads along with the locals). The fruit and nuts abound and are there in public places for whoever wants to pick and use them. We have been enjoying the fresh fruit and the nuts (which we crack open with a rock).
The services (almost always with just leaders) have been amazing. We are certainly relying on the Holy Spirit as the topics are chosen as we speak with them at the beginning of the day and so there is no time to prepare, think and pray. Simply respond, teach and minister. Every day is a different place and a different group of leaders – thus a different set of needs, problems, issues and areas that they wish to grow. It has been challenging and very tiring – certainly not a relaxing time of ministry.
In between, of course, there are the extra unscheduled meetings for emergencies. This morning, for example, during breakfast the pastor came and said he needed 30 minutes of our time. We are living in his church building and a former drug addict still in recovery is doing the cooking for us… It seems he has run in to the Spirit of Jezebel and the Spirit of Absalom and it has come to a serious confrontation point and he needed my input. So, an extra meeting right away even though we were about to drive out for 18 hours of ministry to another set of leaders in another city. Priorities – we helped by listening and advising him and his team what to do. Then left for the meetings an hour away without any time to think, pray or plan and prepare. Daily we have held at least three meetings like this – unscheduled and unplanned for. It has added to the weight of the ministry.
We have been having a major impact on each church and leadership group we have been with so far. This is apparent due to the feedback they so willingly supply. As well, the prophetic ministry has been amazing and extra special. A new level for my ministry with a new flavour. More on this another day after I have opportunity to think about it more. As well, we are receiving feedback from our last visit – healings, major miracles, changes in life situations that seemed impossible, family reconciliations, marriages being reunited … as we listen and marvel we have asked each of those sharing with us regarding what the prophetic ministry has accomplished in their lives since our last visit to write to us and give us the details. As soon as we receive these testimonies we will translate them and begin to publish them in our e-newsletter. It has been a real encouragement for me and for my team.
I have just returned from Mineralny Vody. A busy day. It is 1 hour from where we are living (staying). The church is in a city of 100,000 and is one of only three born again churches in the city. It has about 40 members. The building was purchased about 8 years ago but due to a dispute with the mayor of the city they cannot obtain rights to power, gas or water. So, at night they have a generator that gives them power. They bring water to the building and simply go without heat. In the winter they have to shut it down and rent a facility to worship in from another church. This dispute has also prevented them from putting up a fence, cleaning up the land, repairing some of the outside of the building and limited what they have been able to do in the inside. Governments are not in favour of born again and Spirit-filled churches. The church has been to court three times to overturn the ruling of the mayor and all three times have been denied.
However, in spite of the building and the facilities (bathroom by flashlight and no flush to mention just one) the Lord honoured our time with the leaders and we prophesied over many of them as well as taught them about prophesy and prophetic evangelism. We share a meal at both ends of the events and so had some great fellowship times and even managed a laugh or two. Of course, the conversation centered around what the Lord has done and is doing for them individually and as a corporate body of believes. I believe God is happy with the day and with what we were able to accomplish in His Name while with these wonderful people.