November 2010

November 2010

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Church of God World MissionsYou may have read this on Facebook or our Blog, but in case you have not, we want to share this short story, and short clip. We welcome your prayers for our family and for this ministry.

An Unexpected Hospital Ministry

A missionary is to go where they are sent and to be able to respond to any situation. There are many times, however when uncertainty about what lies ahead fills one with anxiety and inadequacy. We are after all prisoners of our flesh. But in these times we must don the armor of God and stand. First taking time for prayer, long or short, we seek the will of the Father. And when the commission to proceed is given, we grip hold the promise of scripture, and trust that in these very circumstances, we will be filled with the Holy Spirit and be able to speak the word of God with boldness and authority. Valeriia and I have been recently placed into one of these new and unexpected assignments of ministry. God has sent us to the hospitals.

Spontaneous Worship

For the last two weeks we have been addressing the health of Valeriia’s mother. She has been in and out of the hospital for tests, transfusions, and facing surgery. Most recently she has been transferred to the Oncology ward for further testing. Our eyes see the seriousness of her condition, but our faith prays away the fear of the unknown. We pray for healing, we pray for the right words, we pray for peace. Mom is an Orthodox Christian. She participates in the rituals of religion. She knows about Jesus Christ. We hope for her to get to know Him personally. We pray for the words to say, the opportunities to say them, and the opening in her spirit to listen. But it is not our prayer that she just hears our words of faith, but that she hears the voice of God Himself speaking, Spirit to spirit. And that she hears Him for eternity.

A second assignment has been given to us. I was at my desk the other day and my Ukrainian cell phone rang. The woman on the other end spoke English and said, “I know you don’t know me, but I want your help?” She goes on to tell me that she is calling from North Carolina because her sister in law is traveling in Ukraine and has just had an emergency surgery. She continues, “Could you please go and pray with her? She is a scholar doing research. She is all alone. She is seeking spiritual guidance.”
“Of course I am willing to go, but Ukraine is a very large country. It all depends where she is” I tell her.
“Well I really don’t know exactly, but I have the name of the town here. But I can’t pronounce it”
“Spell it” I said
So she began, “U-Z-H-G-O…”
I cut her off, “Uzhgorod?”
“Yeah I think so, do you know where that is?”
“That’s where I live! Which hospital is she in?”
“Again I am not sure, but here is her cell phone” She gave me her number.

Of course now I am very curious how she came about my information. She tells me that she was praying and asking God to send someone to share the Gospel with the injured sister and to let her know that God hears her prayers. As she finished praying, she thought to call Church of God World Missions. She was given the names and contact information of several missionaries in Ukraine and she began to call. I was the first person she contacted. I assured her that I would call and go to visit her sister.

After I hung up the phone, I shared this with my wife Valeriia, and knew that we were on the threshold of a wonderful testimony. A bit nervous, anxious, and intrigued, I called the woman.

We introduced ourselves, shared our amazement at how God had orchestrated us hearing about her situation, and set a time to go and visit her. It turns out, the hospital is two blocks from our home. We went to the hospital and met with her. We spent the first bit of time just listening as she shared about how she felt so alone, in pain, and scared about being in a foreign hospital. She is advance speaker in Russian and Hungarian, however, most everyone in this hospital speaks Ukrainian. Somewhere near the end of our conversation she asked the question, “How do I get enough faith to be able to endure the excruciating pain?” She must have daily redressing, cleaning, and flushing of the open wound from surgery. I prayed a quick prayer, “Lord your scripture tells me that you will give me the words to say when I need to say them. Here is a woman seeking you, and asking me how to find you. Lord, use me now as never before. I do not know what to say, and I do not want to say the wrong thing. Please I am nervous. Do not let me fail in serving You.” As I prayed, my wife began to speak. She began to share a testimony from her past.

“There was a time many years ago that I had a recurring ulcer that caused me incredible pain. Nothing could be done to make the pain go away. It was a time in my life when I was recently saved, and was growing in my faith rapidly. One day I was walking, and the pain hit me. It hit me so hard it made me double over and clutch at my stomach. In that moment, I pleaded with God. I prayed, Lord make this pain go away. Heal me! I cannot take it anymore. In that moment, I sensed His presence and understood what He was telling me. “Which do you believe more, My word, or in the pain in your belly?” I focused on the promise of His word and pushed back the pain. In moments, it left me. Ever since that day, I have never felt the pain again.”

The woman listened intently. We prayed, she wept. She said, “I want to believe, I want the pain to go away.” It was time for us to leave. As we walked home I looked at my wife and said, “This is what I love most about missions, knowing that we were able to do something so simple, yet so huge for this woman alone in the hospital.”

The next day we called and asked, “How was the morning treatment?” She first made a point to let us know how much our visit had meant to her, and then she answered my question.

“As I was lying there fearing the treatment that was about to happen, I thought about what your wife said. I pictured a bright light, and out of that light I saw Jesus walking with his hands open reaching toward me. He had a halo. It did not hurt as much. The pain was bearable.”

We continue to check on her as she is healing. I took my laptop and helped her send some emails to friends and family. Again we prayed. I know that the Holy Spirit is ministering to her, here in this Ukrainian hospital, and we thank God for allowing us to have front row seats.

Victor had Surgery

Spontaneous Worship
One of the young guys from the youth group and member of the Praise and Worship team had to have surgery today. Many of us showed up at the hospital to support Victor and his family. It went well and now he will be in recovery.

There is a short video online of us all after church a few weeks ago having spontaneous worship. Earnest began to play the keyboard, and Leza was singing, then the boys joined in, and then dancing started. It was awesome. Victor is the boy in the green stripped shirt that begins dancing so wonderfully midway through the clip.

Join us in Prayer…

Pray with us
• Valeriia’s mother for healing, and Holy Ghost visitation.
• The American Woman in the Hospital for healing and total surrender to Jesus Christ.
• Victor from the worship team had surgery. Quick recovery.

  • Paula Thomas

    So good to hear from you two! Belated Thanksgiving to you also.

    How awesome God orchestrated your contacting the American woman after her emergency surgery! Why does that seem more common out on the mission field??

    I’ll continue to pray for Irina’s healing and hunger for Christ in her life. Is the cancer in her breasts or abdomen? That too is a God-able thing. I just heard that the Hebrew word for teeth is ‘mouths.’
    In Isaiah 41:15 God says, “I will make you a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth.” We reap our harvest – and our healing – with our mouths…with whatever we speak…with our words of FAITH as you both have been doing. Your words of faith go out like a combine & bring in the harvest. Father, we praise & honor You for the harvest you are bringing to Jason, Valeriia, Irina, and the woman in a nearby hospital whom they visit. We call in the Wiser’s harvest. Harvest come to them in Jesus’ precious name.

    God’s grace & peace to you all, Love, Paula