Kiev & Kharkov, Ukraine Oct. 13-22, 2003
This was my first trip to the Ukraine, and in many ways reminded me of the people and churches in Romania that we have ministered to previously. We ministered in a total of five churches, and in each one we saw God save, heal and encourage His people in this former communist country. The meetings were packed with powerful praise and worship, some of the best I've heard anywhere in the world! It was awesome to worship to songs I knew well in English but were being sung in Russian. One service lasted for nearly 7 hours in Kharkov, with the worship alone lasting for almost two solid hours! Young and old alike were pressed near the stage as the praise exploded in this disco hall that shares duty with the Father's House church in this city - truly the best use of a disco hall I have ever seen!
The photo above is a picture of a man who came for prayer for healing of his left foot during one of the services. The foot had been damaged, and it had limited movement. As we prayed for a few minutes, he indicated that he felt heat on the foot and ankle and soon after had complete mobility once again. If the healing wasn't enough, God then began to give me a word for the man concerning a new business, and that God wanted him to step forward in that and not to hesitate. The man burst into tears, and fell to the floor crying, shaking and eventually laughing for nearly twenty minutes as the Holy Spirit ministered to him. After the service, he shared with me how he had previously received a new business idea, but had been afraid to step forward in that, not sure if he was really hearing from God. The word was confirmation to him to "launch out" in faith! So not only did Jesus heal him, but He also gave him the encouragement he needed to start this new business - isn't God Great!
Like the previous trips to Brazil this summer, the salvations and healings were numerous and awesome. The total stats for the 43 member team were: Called into ministry – 17; Rededications – 26; Salvations – 136; Inner Healings and Deliverances – 231 and Physical Healings - 1311. And think of it, each salvation, each healing has a wonderful testimony with it!
One of the most memorable testimonies for me on the trip occurred with the salvation of a lady that came to some of the meetings from Moscow. It's amazing how God will bring someone from another country just so they can receive Jesus! I'm pictured at right with Natasha from Moscow in the middle, and her cousin Val on the left. Val was one of our team members who lives in Philadelphia, but has family in Russia. When Val knew that she was going to Ukraine, she invited her cousin Natasha to come to Kiev for a couple of days and attend some of the meetings. Natasha, prior to coming, was an unbeliever, but was interested in hearing more about Jesus.
Val said after the first night's meeting, Natasha was very confused about the gospel message and accepting Christ as Savior. So, Val and I and another brother prayed for Natasha the following morning on the way to the meeting. The worship and message were powerful and intimate, and when the invitation was given for those to come forward who had not accepted Christ, I looked over at Val and Natasha and saw no movement toward the alter. As I sat there and prayed, the Lord gave me a mental picture of myself getting out of my chair, walking up to Natasha, extending my hand to her and inviting her to come forward, and then walking up front with her. I was a little amazed after seeing this, and sat there for a couple of minutes. No one had come forward yet, and Gary was getting ready to close the invitation. I just knew I had to act on what I saw, so I got up, just like I saw, walked over to Natasha, extended my hand to her, inviting her to come, she then placed her hand in mine, and I escorted her forward to receive Jesus!
Val was in tears, and so was I! Several others then came forward to receive Christ, the floodgates were open! I shared this with Val and Natasha afterwards, and Natasha said that had anyone else asked her to go up, she wouldn't have gone - go figure, but God knew, I just got to be the messenger. So, we now have another sister in Russia, and I believe that her husband and children are soon to follow - pray for them! Pastor Bob
Here are some other testimonies from other team members on this trip:
Growth Shrinks down to NOTHING in a matter of minutes!
In the morning session, my wife Cathy came to get me to help her pray for Ema. Ema had a growth about 2/3 the size of a man's hand in the middle of her back. I put my hand on the growth and began to pray in the name of Jesus. First prayer nothing happened. Second prayer I began to feel the growth shrink under my hand. I prayed that God would send an angel to remove it. During re-interview Ema said she could feel hands or something working from the inside out. The growth was now so small I had to get Ema to help me locate the spot on her back. After a little more prayer, the growth was completely gone. Praise God! John Brock, General Contractor
Ten years of pain..GONE!
The last woman I prayed for had a disease in her upper back, and had had it for 10 years. As we prayed, she felt my hand as if it were on fire on her back. I just let her soak in God's presence, praying as the Holy Spirit directed. Soon she started moving her neck and shoulders and finally said she had complete freedom of movement, and the pain was all gone! Nancy Hilton, Homemaker
Three Children in One Family.ALL HEALED!
Three children (brother, sister and cousin) came up together for prayer. The older one (a boy about 10) had a heart condition from birth and a liver condition for 6-7 years. After prayer he reported that his heart felt completely better. He inhaled deeply to "check his body out: and had no further pain. Then his liver pain completely left. His sister (~8 years old) had a sore back with pain on her spine between her shoulder blades and slightly lower. After praying she reported this pain was completely gone. Jennifer Bushhouse, Homemaker
Perseverance pays off on these two testimonies.
A man in his late thirties, early forties had a sinus condition that was causing pain in his teeth. I prayed - nothing. Again, nothing. Third time, while I was praying, he all of a sudden started laughing and began to walk away. The interpreter asked him for me what was going on and he said it was all gone now, thank you! Nancy Hilton, Homemaker
Suzanne and I prayed for an older gentleman who had had pressure in his eyes for a long time. As we laid hands on him and invited the Holy Spirit to touch him, God's power started flowing through him. After some prayer he felt better. Then we prayed again and all the pressure left his eyes. He was so grateful for this miracle. Since we had to leave the building, he'd had to follow us outside to ask for prayer, but God did not disappoint him! Jessica Novatsky, Merchandise Analyst
Tumors shrink right before our eyes!
We were ministering in Henry Madava's church during the morning session. One lady came up to me and asked me to pray for her knee and also told me she had a problem with her stomach for about 10 years. A while back she lost her 26 year old daughter and has been grieving for her ever since. As I invited the Holy Spirit to come and asked God to heal her, the power of God came over the lady. She started shaking and fell to the floor. I laid my hand on her knee and prayed for the healing. Then I asked her how her knee was doing, and she said it was about 50% better. I continued to pray for her on the floor. She was shaking on the floor and started groaning because of the intense pain in her stomach. I asked her how she was doing to which she replied: "My stomach is hurting really badly now, plus I have a tumor in the lower part of my abdomen." Then I put my hand over hers on her stomach and asked God to send His fire upon her and heal her. I commanded the pain to go in Jesus' name and interviewed her again. The pain started leaving her stomach but had not left yet.
I asked about the knee and it was about 80% healed. So I continued asking for more of God's healing power on her and asked God to complete the healings He has started. I asked her about the pain in the stomach and she told me that all the pain was gone but the tumor was still there. God's power was going through the lady and I kept pressing in. Then all of a sudden she screamed and started groaning again. I asked her what happened. She said, "I have a sharp pain in my lower back." "Oh God....," she cried out groaning. I asked whether or not she had this problem before or the pain just moved from the stomach area. She said she had the problem before. I commanded all pain to go in Jesus' name and asked God to completely heal her whole body of the problems she might have. Then the power of God hit me and I felt like a bolt of electricity went through my body while I had my hand on the lady.
The lady jerked on the floor. Then I asked her to get up and check her body out. I helped her up and interviewed her, "Is there any pain in your knee?" She started bending her knee and said, "No pain!" I asked, "What about your stomach? Do you still have the tumor?" She started touching her stomach and said, "I don't have any pain in my stomach. When you were praying for me I had both of my hands on the tumor and I felt how it was going down. Now it's all gone!!! Thank you Jesus!!! Before my abdomen was so big - now it's so much smaller! Thank you Jesus!!!" Then I asked her to check her back. She started bending back and forth and there was no pain. Her countenance changed. On one side she was extremely amazed, but on the other overwhelming joy and thankfulness filled her heart. She couldn't stop thanking Jesus for what he has done for her. Then she hugged me, thanked me for praying for her, and asked me to pray for impartation. After she received her miracle she wanted to pray for others. As I laid my hands on her and prayed, the fire of God hit her, she fell to the floor shaking. Her life will never be the same again and mine either after this great miracle! God healed her completely. What an AWESOME God we serve!!! Suzanne Novatzky, Software Engineer
The Great Physician heals a Physician!
A woman came up for prayer who had a great deal of pain in her feet and had difficulty walking - as if there were nails sticking up through her shoes. I asked her about the pain using hand signals. Gradually she started to feel the pain leave her legs and then her feet. She then asked for prayer for her lower back. The pain left her body in all three places and she began jumping up and down. She picked up her cane that she had dropped and laughing told the interpreter "I'll give this to someone for a present". She told the interpreter that she was a doctor. Just before she told us that, God gave me a word that she was a woman of great influence and that He was going to use her to bring thousands of people to Jesus Christ! Kathleen Catanio, Pastor
Once again, Jesus proves He is the same yesterday, today and forever!