When I arrived in Odessa I was taken to an appalling tuberculosis hospital to minister to some young guys, Dennis, Vova and Sergei, from our Homeless Children’s Center who had once lived in the drains under the city. They were very sick. Sergei gave his life to Jesus as we served them communion and prayed for them. However, Dennis died two weeks later. In heaven now, he has a perfect body and is breathing unpolluted air like never before.
I ministered in some needy churches around Odessa including the great little church recently planted by my Ukrainian manager Oleg. They are doing a valiant work in letting their lights shine for Jesus in a dark place. Many are coming to the Lord and staying in the church – where their needs are being met for clothing and food (physical and spiritual) and being equipped in evangelism.
I also checked on the needs of the orphanages that we support here before the snows start falling. I visited to an orphanage of mostly abandoned babies that needed pampers. It’s been a long time since I bought pampers especially in their hundreds. The children and staff were so appreciative or our visit.
I had a delightful time teaching on evangelism in a Bible School near the Moldovan border, to 25 students from Ukraine, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Alaska. These humble students just wanted to be equipped to win their nations for Jesus.
I went with Oleg and his wife, Tanya, to the town of near Odessa where Oleg grew up, to visit the poor and some in hospital. That was a very blessed day giving the needy food parcels, shoes and clothing for the winter. We counselled and prayed for many and led quite a number to Jesus. The lady with three children, whose husband (once a pastor with a thriving church) had run off with another woman, was still struggling in an incomplete very cold house (in the photo). She so appreciated our visit, prayers, and the shoes and clothes for her children. Please pray with us as we commit ourselves to provide the funds to finish the home.
One evening I was invited to minister at a Gypsy Church. What an amazing meeting. Everyone could speak, ask questions and challenge the preaching at anytime. That was exciting. Many came to the Lord that night and the prayer time was electric with God’s presence. At the meal time afterwards a Moslem man, after a period of argument about healing and miracles, embraced Jesus and his Lord and Saviour.
I had a happy time with the Betel Fellowship in Vagnhärad, southern Sweden, at their Sunday morning service. Pastors Ake and Lise Wallman hosted me. Ake and I are on the board of the Baltic School of Ministry in Latvia that trains young people for ministry. In the afternoon we visited a man just diagnosed with a brain tumour who had been very resistant to the gospel and whose daughter has just had a miscarriage. As a result of their needs they were now so open to the Lord. We prayed for them and then led them into a relationship with Jesus. What a sweet time of fellowship we had with people in the fellowship.
I was extremely busy in Latvia. For the first three days I enjoyed teaching at the Baltic School of Ministry and equipping the students in Power Evangelism using the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They soaked up the information, keen to put it into action.
Over the weekend it was a delight to share the Word of God over the air from the Riga radio station. On the Saturday morning it was precious to see so many people, living below the bread line, come to the Word of Truth Russian Church to collect their food parcels and w arm clothing as well as attend Saturday church. Their response to God’s word was marvellous.
In the afternoon I accompanied the youth team to minister to the precious children at the Spriditis Orphanage (the very first orphanage I began supporting 19 years ago). On Sunday morning it was a joy to preach at the Word of Truth Church and see many come to the Lord. On the Sunday night it was thrilling to challenge the young people at a very special youth rally.
That week was very exciting indeed. I enjoyed the challenge of conducting my outreach seminars to the Latvian military, navy, air force, the national guard and military police. I shared with them at their bases and the commando training camps in the forests. It was freezing cold but their attention to the gospel was tremendous. It was great to see young men and women opening their hearts to the Lord.
My final two days in Latvia ministering to the military were tremendous – conducting seminars “Winning over Stress – at Work and at Home” were a great success, especially to the older soldiers in the National Guard. They had done their tours of duty in places like Afghanistan, Kosovo and Iraq and were now guarding their country and the president. These aging men and women were deeply concerned about their future as they were growing older and the nation was struggling economically. Many came to the Lord during those seminars.
I visited a fascinating palatial old building in Liepaja that was once the Russian Czar’s residence and reception house in Latvia. The commander of the National Guard took me to one of beach gun-fortresses on the Baltic Sea coast that was once one of the country’s defences against the Soviet fleet. This country has an amazing history.
Upon arrival in Tel Aviv we were whisked to the hospital to pray for a Russian Jewish pastor in hospital with kidney failure. Jesus just shone out of this dear man even with all his great suffering.
On the first Sabbath here I had the joy of ministering to the Beit Immanuel Congregation and the Jewish children in Tel Aviv. There was a wonderful spirit of worship in the meeting and a great hunger to receive the word of God. Their response was tremendous.
In between meetings I enjoyed talking with pastors from other groups for future ministry here. Sasha Rodionov, my Latvian manager, was with me translating into Russian for the huge number of Russian Jews that we share with. He is a very accomplished preacher in his own right and has been translating for me in Latvia for the last 18 years since he was 17.
One night we went to minister to a small Russian Jewish congregation in Sderot, adjacent the north end of the Gaza Strip. This place has been under rocket attack for so long that the city council has had bomb-proof rooms added to every flat in every apartment block in the city. The builders are either Chinese or Arab companies. Ironical! The Sderot community consists of mainly Russian Jews – a great harvest field indeed, as I told the Congregation when teaching them how to win their friends and colleagues to the Messiah .
We had an incredible experience visiting Eilat on the Red Sea. Apart from amazing ancient rock formations we visited their full scale version of the Jewish Tabernacle in the wilderness. What a moving experience – being inside this old time wonder. The sweet older lady, Kamit, who did the presentation for us spoke about the setting up of the Tabernacle from Exodus 26 and described the blood sacrifices for the sins of Israel. I sensed a beautiful anointing on her. Then she quoted the scripture from Hebrews “and without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sin”. Her face lit up as she said that all of the blood sacrifices pointed to the perfect sacrifice of Yeshua and that people needed to receive and confess Him. What a blessing she was. She and her husband came to the evening meeting and said they were so encouraged.
We had a very sweet meeting that night in Eilat with two Russian Messianic congregations attending. I taught them on Evangelism using the gifts of the Holy Spirit which was very enthusiastically received. The prayer time afterwards was electric with God’s presence.
After a busy day in Jerusalem it was a great joy to minister to the leaders of the Rishon Le Zion Messianic congregation on the coast south of Tel Aviv. These leaders consisted of men and women from Israel, Russia, Latvia, Korea and Poland – a very exciting mixture. I focused on the greatest common denominator – Jesus and His commission to reach the lost and disciple them in His work on earth. This was a precursor to the open meeting on Friday evening for the Rishon Le Zion congregation made up of Jews from Israel, Ethiopia, Russia, Germany, Latvia and Finland. Many visitors came to the Lord that night and almost everyone asked for prayer for so many needs and burdens they were dealing with. A wonderful presence of God touched needy hearts.
South Africa – Dobsonville Sewing School
The Special Ladies of Soweto (who have Aids) are doing exceptionally well and the numbers are growing as the ladies gain more experience and confidence in the use of electric sewing machines. They are producing excellent quality items that are selling well on the markets. The many HIV children who come with their mothers 3 days a week and growing healthier by the month as they have their serum with good food and learn from the pre-school and Bible teaching.
Deborah’s manager, Maki, writes – Our centre has developed big time and the folks are reaping good harvest. Every day we experience more of the grace of God. God has put in my heart to hold revival services from 1st to 4th Dec 2011 at our centre. The response is outstanding and we are going to pitch a 15m by 15m tent. We will be praying and celebrating the Jesus Christ our Lord with the families of those affected by HIV and TB as these are prevalent in our community. On Sunday the 4th we plan to bless the children by having great Christmas party for them.
This has developed far beyond Deborah’s or my expectation.
Thank you so much!
Thank you for your prayers and your great kindness and generosity. What an encouragement you are to us. We are so blessed with your friendship and partnership in the gospel. Thank you so much on behalf of the needy people and children whom we are privileged to reach and help. Please continue to stand with us for the needs of the orphans through this very cold winter.