Good Wednesday evening! My first flight today is 3:!5 p.m. out of Kansas City. I will route through Minneapolis, then Amsterdam, then Moscow, and finally fly to Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. Arrival is scheduled for Friday 5:00 a.m. So in total it’s around a 28-hour trip from our house to Krasnoyarsk. The time zone there is exactly 12 hours ahead of Kansas City time. You’ve probably never heard of Krasnoyarsk, and yet it’s a city of a little over a million. On the trans-Siberia highway and railway.
My deepest trip into Siberia was last November when I went to Chita. Krasnoyarsk will be my next-deepest venture into Siberia. I will actually fly past Novosibirsk to get there. It’s located north of Mongolia, so it’s out there. It’s four time zones from Moscow. (when you’re that far north, you pass through time zones a bit faster)
The host church is Church of Christ the Savior. If you’re interested, here’s the church site: www.hve24.ru
I met the pastor when in Chita last November, and hence our connection. The church has a strong ministry to those caught in drug and alcohol abuse. Drug and alcohol abuse is a huge problem in Russia, it seems that so many medicate with those means, and then get trapped. So many of Russia’s prisoners are incarcerated, at least partially, due to substance abuse. I am looking forward to ministering with these wonderful leaders and saints. The ministry schedule:
Friday night; Saturday morning; Saturday night; Sunday morning. (and I think Sunday night, if I have enough voice) Monday return.
Thanks for your prayer help. I’ve been working hard and heavy on the book I’m writing, and making excellent progress, I’m nearing the shore on completing the first draft. Thanks for praying into that, too. We all just need Jesus so desperately for EVERYTHING, don’t we! So I bless you in prayer, too.p.s.
We just received our sample copies of the Chinese translation of SECRETS (produced in Taiwan). Please bless this translation with your prayers! You can see the cover at this link:http://oasishouse.com/collections/translations/products/secrets-of-the-secret-place-chinese-translationFriday 7:00 a.m.:
Greetings from my hotel in Krasnoyarsk, where I have arrived safe and sound. This city has more new homes being built right now than anywhere in Russia, I’m told. There are cranes everywhere, so there’s much construction happening. The land is not as flat as Kansas City, there are some small hills that circle the landscape, providing interest. I’m so grateful to God to be here.Friday 10:00 p.m.:
I’m back in my room after our first night. It was a good opener, the Lord’s grace was with us. We had trouble with the sound system—they are renting a hall, and the sound people didn’t have the time to get everything right. I’m hoping they can work on it now, and have it in better order for tomorrow morning. But we got by OK, we just could not get the in-ear monitor system to work, so we used floor monitors instead. And it was workable. I don’t think it hindered the ministry at all. The group was very quiet, subdued, attentive tonight. There were several “firsts” for them that they were processing: first time together, first conference in Krasnoyarsk, first time to be with me, etc. I think tomorrow will likely be more relaxed and responsive.
The “mother church” for the movement of the Holy Spirit in this region, for this union of churches, is in Kansk, which is around 3 hours east of here. My host, Maxim, was installed as pastor of that work when the founding pastor moved to Moscow to start a work there. Four months ago, Maxim left that work in the hands of another, and moved his base to Krasnoyarsk, which is the central city for this region of Siberia. Since he is the bishop for the region, he feels this city rightfully needs to be the center of their activities, and he’s right. So he is pastoring a church here that is 4 months old. And is bishop to all the churches of this region, which is around 40-60 I believe. Many of the churches are represented at this conference. I would guess around 400-500 folks are gathered for this conference, it’s a strong turnout. It’s their first time to hold a conference in Krasnoyarsk, and so there was ample risk involved, but I think Maxim was comforted tonight with the turnout. Everyone is very eager to be here.
It’s bedtime, I need to get on a Siberian sleeping schedule, so will send this off for now, and hit the hay. Please pray for the 2 Saturday meetings tomorrow, 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. I’m planning on doing the Luke 11 and Luke 18 parables on prayer.Saturday 9:00 a.m.:
My driver is a young man who is farming the land here. He said that potatoes and carrots grow well here — anything that grows in the ground like that. But if you're going to grow tomatoes and the like, you have to use a greenhouse, because of the brief growing season here, at the 56th parallel. Apples can’t be grown here, but crab apples can.
They are saying attendance for this event is at 600. 35 of the 39 churches in the Union in this region are represented. I am attaching to this email a pic of one service.Saturday 10 p.m.:
This morning’s meeting was the conference highlight. Strong grace on the message, and powerful ministry following. The pastors formed a “fire tunnel,” and everyone in the room walked through and received prayer from the pastors. The saints here are quiet and reserved in their responses, but so eager to receive everything God has for them.
Then we had a delightful lunch at a restaurant with the pastors from the region.Then the 4:00 p.m.
service. I sensed the Lord’s grace on the message, but the people were struggling with weariness after an intense conference, which is totally understandable. My host, Pastor Maksim, is thrilled with the conference, as it’s their first of this kind in Krasnoyarsk — attendance was strong, and the movements of the Spirit were strong. Thanks be to God!Next up:
I am speaking in the 10:30 a.m. service tomorrow of a church here in Krasnoyarsk that is connected to Bethel in Redding, CA. They use the same facility that the conference has used. The church’s name is Christian Life Church. I’ve already enjoyed great fellowship with the pastors, and am looking forward to preaching on the cross in the morning. Then from there we go to a 3:00 p.m. service at Maksim’s church. I will do as much in that service as I’m physically capable of. Then we will have a little break, followed by the banya at 8 pm. That should get me ready for a good night’s sleep, in preparation for the long Monday trip home. Sunday 7:00 p.m.:
We’ve had a great day. This morning’s service was really alive, the kind of electric anticipation that I remember being in the Russian church back some 15 years ago, which some of the churches have lost. There is real life in the Spirit here. I spoke on the cross, and at the close around 30 people came forward to declare for the first time publicly their loyalty to the cross of Christ. (More than that came forward, but some of the folks were believers already.) Then we shared in Communion, followed by a time of receiving divine healing. Several came forward to give testimony to their healing, and many more were in a line to give testimony, but there was no time to hear everyone’s testimony of healing. The Lord is so good, gracious, and kind to His people! By the way, I posted a short video clip of the worship service on my public figure Facebook page, you’re welcome to check it out. Now I’m starting to pack, and getting ready to be picked up in 45 minutes for the banya. Yes!
Good morning, friends! This morning I’m flying to Asheville NC, and then driving 45 minutes to Brevard, NC. This will be my first time to Brevard. I’m ministering this weekend at Open Arms Tabernacle (Church of God). I have been with some of the leaders of this church in years past at conferences hosted by Steve Holder, whom the Lord has used to bring fresh breezes of worship to many churches in the Church of God (Cleveland TN) denomination. Steve and his wife Melinda have come to be cherished friends of mine, and it turns out that Steve will be with me at this weekend of ministry in Brevard, so that’s an extra bonus for me. I am scheduled to speak Friday and Saturday evenings, and Sunday morning. Saturday 9:00 a.m.:
Excellent opener last night. A worship team from a church in SC led the worship service and did a tremendous job, just great people. Then the Lord helped me to share from the word. The Lord’s presence was meaningful. Saturday 9:00 p.m.:
This evening’s service was strong in grace. I ended up changing my message just before the service, and the new direction was clearly of the Lord. Jesus the Author. Then we ended the message by showing the baseball film (youtube). The confirmation of the Spirit and the affirmation of the saints was sweet.Sunday 2:30 pm:
Good afternoon from the Asheville NC airport, where my flight to Atlanta is delayed a few minutes. We had a marvelous service this morning, thanks so much for praying me through! There was so much affection and appreciation expressed, really just very sweet. Next:
Wednesday I’m off to Siberia. Back to you in a few.
Today I’m flying to Newburgh, NY, and then by car to Kingston, NY, to minister this weekend at King’s Fire Church in Lake Katrine, NY. This will be my second time to this church. I had a great time with them a few years back, and am looking forward to this return. Services are Saturday night and two Sunday morning services (first service is an hour). p.s.
My son Joel wrote and produced this production with Caleb Culver:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avOJ3uvscZc&spfreload=10Saturday 5:00 pm:
Greetings from Detroit airport. My flight out of Kansas City this morning was delayed by 75 minutes (due to a mechanical), just long enough that I missed any potential for getting to Kingston in time for tonight’s meeting. I am arriving into Albany now at 9:30 pm tonight. So the Saturday meeting is cancelled, and I am doing the two Sunday morning services only. I guess it was just my turn for a mechanical. Sunday 9:30 pm:
Greetings from Atlanta airport, where I’m boarding soon for KC. We were sorry to have to cancel the Saturday meeting, but this morning’s services were strong in the Lord’s grace. Great time in First. Quite a few folks stayed over to take in second service, since we announced I would do a different message in Second. I think Second was even stronger. Five folks came forward to express first-time in a public context their loyalty to the cross. The presence of the Lord was very strong. Then we had Communion, just wonderful. Everyone had a sense of being in the presence of the Lord. So good. And what God is doing in this church is really fresh and vibrant.
Early tomorrow morning I will make my way, by car, to Sedalia, MO (a 90-minute drive) in order to minister in the Sunday morning service at Antioch Fellowship. It will be my first time with this church, and I’m looking forward to making this new connection. I had met the pastor some months ago at a pastors fellowship luncheon in the KC area. It will be great to be with them. Please agree with me for safe driving, and a powerful time together in the word and presence of Jesus.Sunday 5:00 pm:
I’m home now, after a blessed road trip and morning of ministry. I had a delightful time with the intimate family at Antioch Fellowship. They responded to the ministry so warmly. Afterwards, a dish to pass lunch was shared by a group called the Burning Bush Class. This is a 2-year class that has gone through the Secrets book together. They shared what the book had meant to them, and it was both humbling and heart-warming. A lunch I’ll never forget.
This evening I’m flying to Denver, and then going by car to Estes Park, to participate in a worship seminar on Saturday. This will be my first time to Mountain View Bible Fellowship. I have been with my host, Alan Denney, on a few occasions in the past, but this will be my first time to be with him since his affiliation with this church. Alan is now leading worship at this church, and has pulled together this conference with guests that include Jared Anderson (from New Life in CO Springs, a well known songwriter). I am scheduled to teach twice on Saturday at the seminar, and then in the Sunday morning service. I need to arrive tonight in order to be on site for Saturday morning.Saturday 4:30 pm:
We’ve had an excellent seminar today, now it’s over, and I’m back at the home where I’m lodged. A great time with Alan Kraft, Jared Anderson, and others.Sunday 5:30 p.m.:
Greetings from the Denver airport, where I am waiting for a flight that is now delayed an hour. This morning’s service was excellent. The Lord helped me, and the response from the congregation seemed quite warm, considering that I am a different package from what they are accustomed to.
Saturday 7:00 p.m.:
Greetings from Mexico’s second largest city (around 8 million in the metro area). The city is reasonably flat, with some rolling hills, and then the occasional hill bumping up off the plateau. Today is unusual for this time of year in that there has been no rain today. So it’s a gorgeous day! My morning walk was just PERFECT, very refreshing morning air. Approaching the city by plane last night brought us through some most interesting cloud formations. The people here are extremely warm and friendly, just delightful folks. I arrived last night too late to make the meeting, so I brought today the message I was planning for Friday night. On being a friend of the bridegroom. Getting the sound to work was a bumpy beginning, but we got it going, and off we went. I sensed the Lord’s help and grace in the delivery. Afterwards they treated me to a Mexican dinner — it was almost like having shared fajitas. The food was placed in the center of the table, and everyone just helped themselves. Great fellowship, some amazing new friends. It is a high honor, in the kingdom, to share with such excellent saints.
I will be collected tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. for the 10:00 service, and will likely begin preaching around 11:00. Then we will have to go almost directly from the platform to the getaway car, to whisk me off to the airport, for a 2:45 pm departure for Houston. Tight, but doable. Sunday 4:00 p.m.:
Hi from the sky. The Lord was with us strongly today in the ministry of the eye covenant message. His presence was so meaningful to me. When I was done I slipped out quickly for the airport, so I don’t really know what kind of response and ministry took place after I left, but the presence of the Lord in the midst was tangible. It was such a quick trip, in and out, but even so I am so grateful to God for enlarging my heart and family still more.
Quick update on today. I brought the Eye Covenant message today to the Intro to IHOP internship, and had a blessed time with them. Much grace on the message. Thanks for every prayer!Friday:
This morning I’m leaving the house early, making my way to Guadalajara, Mexico (via Houston). This will be my first time to this city. The host ministry is Aposento Alto Internacional, and I’ve been invited to minister in an annual conference they hold in July. I have no recollection of meeting my hosts, although perhaps they have attended events in Mexico where I have ministered. I’m looking forward to making new friends, and seeing a new part of the family of God.
I am scheduled to speak tonight (Friday), once on Saturday, and Sunday morning in a joint 11:00 a.m. service. p.s.
On a different note, we just learned this week that the Chinese translation of SECRETS, which has been 3 years in process, is finally printed in Taiwan and now available. It was actually completed in February, but we didn’t get news of it till now. Please bless this translation in prayer!Friday midnight:
greetings from Guadalajara. My air travel was disrupted today, and I had to take a later flight to Guadalajara, arriving too late to preach in tonight’s meeting. I’m disappointed. I will still minister once on Saturday (around noon) and Sunday morning. Thanks for praying!