It’s been a few months, but true to my word I have a testimony for you all that I’ve been wanting to share for a while. I hope it speaks to you all the way it did to me. I hope also to share more documented stories in the future. Please pray for me as there is still opportunities I am in prayer over. It is possible I might start fundraising again soon for these things.

 

Healing of a Village Administrator

We came to work with a man named Denis. This man in particular has a special place in my heart. Amidst the stiff and most often lifeless tradition of the orthodoxy, this man went against the traditional religious grain. He walked with authority, and his words reflected the steps he took. Wherever he was, there was good conversation and often it led to life and prayer over those who were not yet gifted faith that was transformational.

I deeply respect him. Most of my team was unable to relate to him as I did, but his friendship was an oasis to me. Again, yet only to say the least, he and his family have a special place in my heart and I hope deeply to see him again.

I had just returned from a gravely discouraging round trip journey to North America back to Ukraine, and I remember how refreshing it was to see him again and share stories and testimonies of what the Lord was doing in our lives. I can’t remember exactly how I felt in that moment, but I remember being eager to be a helping hand again in his ministry. We continued in our conversation and he began sharing an account of healing from a village that he had been visiting regularly to share the gospel.

When Denis would preach in the villages, he would give an opportunity to receive the gospel or the laying of hands for prayers of miracles and healing at the end of his message or testimony. Sometimes we would go around and take requests from everyone that was within the sound of his voice. Some were receptive, and some were not. This particular day he was telling of however, one of the village’s political authorities had a request that I used to think was quite bold to put before the feet of Jesus.

She told Denis of how she had been dealing with chronic level pain and stiffness in her legs. When she was younger, she was able to bend her knees to grab something off the ground or a low sitting shelf, but now in her older-middle age she could only bend mainly at the hips and the spine. Healing. She wanted physical healing. To any reader or re-teller of this witness account I guess I would have to ask: do we boldly approach the throne with holy expectancy despite the oppression of darkness? How often do the foolish shame the wise in this regard?

Selfishly I wish I had more wisdom on these topics, and truly while I would not boast in myself as a righteous man, too many times I have come to understand in real time the meaning of the proverb I just paraphrased in the paragraph above.

Denis and his helpers for the day lay hands on her in prayer and asked the Lord to heal her, prayed for the requests given by the others, and went on their way. By this time, as Denis was telling me the story as I drank my tea, he began scrolling franticly through his phone to show me a picture of this woman. He showed me a photo of her that I vaguely recognized – Her shoes, her skirt, her sweater – and just a short time later I found myself in the same village. As I sat on a park bench, with all who had come to hear, she began to share of the miraculous healing she had received in Jesus’ name. I could tell she was beyond amazed because of how she herself told the story.

Slavs and Eastern Europeans as a whole are not “mean” as people make them out to be or as their expression from our standpoint would suggest, rather they are just stoic. Only smiling when it is genuine and much more reserved (usually at least) in public. When this woman was telling this story, she told it with undoubtable emotion alongside precise and unmistakable animation. I watched her witness to her people, pretending to struggle as she did before, imitating her injured self, then reach seamlessly toward the earth as she described her healing encounter to the village crowd… that she was prayed for and was healed… that she cried out to God in faith – the God we call Rafa – and He heard her and renewed her sense of hope through His hands of Love and miraculous healing.

We went to the village office to drop some aid packages, crammed ourselves into a small room with a table, and we shared a meal with some that came with us and one or two others that were present. This woman of authority who was (is) well standing in the village, served us our lunch. Her smile was beaming, and her voice a joyful one that was not present the last time we ate at her village office’s table. Denis was there at the end of the table and as I looked at him he pointed to her, looked back at me and said, “this is the woman who was healed.”

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