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Ukraine Fire!

MDCC Mission trip to Ukraine--November 2008

We left Detroit on Saturday, November 15 and arrived in Kiev on Sunday the 16th then traveled all day via train and taxi’s to central Kirovograd in central Ukraine. I got food poisoning on the way, which made the last part of our travels very difficult. Late Sunday night we dropped into bed in our rustic apartments—typical, small East European units with simple furnishings, hot running water and toilets that flush on their own (amenities we didn’t have on our first visit to Ukraine five years ago).

Monday—we rested, prayed, and had team meeting. We perceived a force of depression in the atmosphere of our apartment and the region. Upon dialog with the Lord, Lisa sensed that Lord saying that He would mark us with joy and that He was giving the believers in Ukraine an impartation of joy. The joy would be a sign and wonder and draw people out of isolation and to inquire of Christians to discover the reason for their joy. Lisa also had prophetic words for each of the team members and challenged them to stretch and grow into the next steps of maturity in ministry. Our team consisted of Heather Aldred, Lindsey Mack and Sylvia Phlippeau. Nadiya Stuzchuk joined us for three days while she was vacationing in her homeland.

Deliverance and prophetic preaching

Tuesday through Thursday, we taught at the Catch the Fire Ministry School. Forty students were enrolled—over half from Russia. The students were very receptive and there was a "clean" atmosphere around them. From the get-go, the Lord was moving in worship and in the first teachings. Spontaneous deliverance was taking place throughout the school—something we have not seen in prior visits. During worship, during teaching or ministry—individuals would cough, yawn, burp, bend over or exhibit some other manifestation that we perceived was deliverance from some level of demonization. The only other times I’ve witnessed this kind of power demonstration was in Kyrgyzstan a few years ago, at Derek Prince deliverance meetings that he would hold in Detroit when I was in my early twenties, and in meetings held by John and Maureen Sanger that Lisa I participated in when we were first married.

As I started out the teaching I began to preach spontaneously about the way of the cross and being "People of the Way." Lisa was not present for this beginning session because she had been up a lot in the night with jet lag. When she arrived an hour later, it was her turn to teach. She had not heard anything I preached. As she began, she also began to receive a revelation about being "People of the Way." Lisa proceeded to spontaneously preach almost verbatim the things I had said in the first session. It was amazing!

All day, the teaching was clear and well received.

Toward the end of an entire day of teaching about the cross being a heavenly message and the cure for the old man, one student began experiencing gripping head pain. It kept getting worse until she was weeping and holding her head in agony—almost like she was experiencing an aneurism. Lisa and I went to pray for her and I felt led to rebuke a spirit of witchcraft and control. The woman experienced immediate deliverance and relief from pain.

When I checked the internet on Tuesday night, there was an email from someone at our church sharing a dream with me. The message of the dream was "Don’t forget to pray for the sick." Then I read the email from John Sanger with Roger Webb’s report of the miracles in Cleveland. John encouraged us to expect greater things. I did not share these things with Lisa Tuesday night because she was already asleep when I got home. However, in the night, the Lord spoke to Lisa about his desire to heal during the next day and He gave her words of knowledge. When Lisa shared about her prophetic encounter with the Lord during the night and I shared about the emails I received, we knew the Lord was up to something exciting.

A day of visitation—healing

On Wednesday, the presence of the Lord was strong in worship. As I started to teach, I felt led to pray for the Russian students. As they stood, I received a word of knowledge about the Lord healing kidney disorders. I asked those who struggled with kidney problems to come forward. Immediately power to heal began to flow in the room—the likes of which I have never experienced in our ministry. Lisa shared her words of knowledge received in the night and the Lord ministered in power for most of the morning. The healing anointing was palpable. Here are some of the highlights:

* A woman with 36 years of pain in shoulder. When we prayed the pain increased and traveled through out her body. The Lord delivered her from a spirit of infirmity and the pain was immediately gone.

* One woman who responded to word about kidney problems had pain in kidneys, in her back, and across the front of her waist. As we prayed, the pain immediately left. Shortly thereafter, the woman went to the restroom then came and reported to Lisa that there was "sand in her pee." We believe the power of the Lord dissolved the woman’s kidney stones and she immediately passed them.

* Lisa and team spent some time with another woman who had pain in her kidneys. After some time, she began to cough from deep within. She was delivered and the pain was gone.

* One woman in her mid-60s had arthritis, pain in knees and calves, and swelling in feet. As our team prayed, the pain completely left and she was loosed to bend. Later, she came running up the stairs to tell Lisa, "Look, look! I’m running up the stairs, I cannot wait to get home. I’m going to tell EVERYONE!"

* Man with back pain received deliverance and pain left.

* A woman named Luda had lower back pain healed, then she walloped by the power of God!

* A pastor named Leyanna had experienced constant heartburn. The next day, after receiving prayer, she had breakfast (expecting to experience the heartburn) with NO symptoms.

* Woman with no discs in lower back—she could hear and feel the bones clicking together—experienced freedom from pain.

* Ludmilla, a pastor, healed in back, head, and ankles.

* One lady started experiencing numbness all over her body as we preached. She laid on the flood with difficulty moving. As Heather prayed, there was so much power going into her body. Heather exhorted her to get up and she was delivered.

* Sveta, young woman, healed of lower back/spine pain.

A day of visitation—Garden of Eden

Early Wednesday afternoon I gave instruction about the cross being the Father’s provision for the old man. As I preached on Romans 6:6, people were yawning, burping, moaning, weeping…receiving deliverance from sin and demonic presence that attaches to the old man. Then, the students nailed their lists of sins and generational curses to a wooden cross. The presence of the Lord that swept in at this point was awesome. Heather described the atmosphere like this, "The place was entirely clean, pure, peaceful holy. It was like the Garden of Eden before the fall where there was no awareness of the existence of sin—only the goodness of God." The Lord was holy in our midst and we were holy in His presence.

A day of visitation—berserk with drunkenness

As we broke for lunch, the anointing remained strong and thick. The move of God continued unabated. After the lunch break, we returned and had powerful time of worship. Then, I released Roma, the worship leader, to impart drunkenness and the power to preach. The place went berserk.

We ended the day with a ministry time to keep the students in the Gospel of Truth and imparted a Spirit of Remembrance.

Comments from students

* "Wow! I can see clearly now. What have I been believing?"—Roma, a gifted worship leader in Ukraine.

* "There is only One Message. We usually are getting a bunch of separate messages and move in and out of the flow of the Holy Spirit. But today there has been one continuous flow."—Roma

* "I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about the cross. I have fallen in love with this cross. Than you for coming to tell us."—Katya

* "Lust and addiction were chasing me. I tried to deal with these forces with fasting and prayer. I released that this is real. The cross is NOW! It is powerful. I thought I would burst out of my skin. I had to get up and start jumping. I am not ashamed to share these things publicly because that old man is dead. I am new!"—Andre

* "I asked God to speak to me about this teaching and He did. He showed me a computer and said that my old man is like a hard drive and the cross has wiped out all the data."—Dima

Day three—plowing through to the Faith Tunnel

Thursday was a good day, but required more focus effort on our part to plow through the spiritual atmosphere. The worship dynamics weren’t as healthy and the students were not as engaged. It was like we had a spiritual breakthrough on Wednesday, then on Thursday the Enemy wanted to rob the word.

While the corporate dynamics were more difficult, Heather and Lindsey experienced clarity and power in their personal prophetic ministry to the students. Each day, Heather and Lindsey would spend an hour or two prophesying in 15-minute segments to five to seven students.

We persevered through the day, taught on the New Man, then completed the teaching sessions with an exhortation to persevere in the Truth of the Gospel through trials and temptations. We ended the day with a "Faith Tunnel" where we imparted the faith of God—the substance of God that believes in the effectiveness of Jesus’ death and resurrection. There was so much power hitting the students—it was disproportionate to what Lisa and I were feeling. Something from God was really being imparted to them. The students would come through the tunnel dazed, stunned, almost knocked out. Some layed flat on the ground for a long time, finally getting up in a "drugged" like mode. Others shook with the power of God for over an hour. Most could not go through the tunnel more than once. Lisa felt was it the most powerful ministry tunnel we’ve ever seen to date—not because of the outward manifestations but because of the authenticity of Divine impartation.


Friday, we traveled to Verchnedneprovsk for another ministry time at Good News Church. Friday evening was a regional meeting. I preached on being Possessed by Truth from 1 Timothy 4:15-16 and many people responded to ministry.

The next morning, we met with the leadership community (about 60 people), including four pastors. The atmosphere was light and loving. The prophetic was flowing. The Lord gave Lisa a word to share in the middle of worship. I worked with Volodiya, the pastor, to have Lisa share it. It was a break from their known structure to have a prophetic word released in the middle of worship, yet it opened the way for the Lord to move. The Presence of the Lord was released and Lisa and I began to move in a prophetic breaker together, ministering to Pastor Volodiya and his wife and the worship leader.

My sharing/teaching went very well. I shared our story and the anointing was strong.

I shared of my experiences with the Presbyterian church, as a Lutheran altar boy, Jesus’ movement, charismatic movement, living in community, Pentecostalism, Oral Roberts University, Word of Faith, Vineyard Movement, and finally the River. I share how all these movements had good features and God was doing things through them, but that it was my observation that when you went beneath the surface to the real lives of individuals that most people in all of the movements were just trying to survive and did not have an agent of maturity working in their lives.

I spoke to the pastors and leaders about John Wimber’s description of the church being a Hospital, Army, School, Temple, and Family and how many pastors try to make their church one of these things. I shared our own history and going through cycles or seasons of trying to help the church become more healing, more mission oriented, more relational, or whatever. Our efforts always seemed to fall short and people would fail to mature.

I showed how our experience the last three and half years has been different from our past. Our almost exclusive emphasis has been on the message of the cross and to present everyone perfect in Christ. The message of the cross, the Word of God, a conscious recognition of union with Christ in his death and resurrection—this Message has a power all of its own (Col 1:6) and is the agent of maturity in a believer’s life. When this word is grafted on the inside of a believer, it shapes their worldview and helps them overcome in real life circumstances. Maturity occurs and believers become overcomers.

I shared how the message of the cross when built into the corporate environment of the body begins organically creating an atmosphere of healing, of worship, of instruction, of family, and of mission. Jesus is building the church, through the members discovering their union with him—not us trying to build the church.

The Pastors and leaders were moved to tears and expressed strong desire for us to return. We are praying about where the Lord will have us go in the future with our connections in Ukraine!