GTS II Outreach Update: Berlin & Dresden

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Berlin


Arriving in Germany, we headed out for a morning of team-time where Gwen cast vision for our time in Germany. This led into a time of prayer where Sarah shared a powerful picture she had received from the Lord: she saw the ‘Harvest’ not as a picturesque golden field of wheat, but as an orchard with ripe fruit hanging in the balance. If not picked in time, it would fall to the ground. The weight of this hit us all as we interceded for souls in Germany.

That afternoon, we enjoyed a Shabbat dinner with Anica’s family. Many of the members of their house church joined us in the meeting room which had been transformed into a dining hall. Together we welcomed in the Shabbat rest with a variety of different cultures and languages represented!
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Global Outreach Day


Joining together with believers all over the world on Global Outreach Day, we took to the streets of downtown Berlin with a few local churches and poured out the love of God and the Good News of salvation through worship, drama, dance, personal prayer and preaching! We were given the opportunity to perform our team’s dance 3 times throughout the day, with loudspeakers projecting the message of redemption across the busy plaza that was consistently filled with a few hundred people. After each presentation, a team member was able to share the Gospel and boldly call for a response. A number of people responded throughout the day and we rejoiced in knowing they had stepped into a new life of knowing God. Throughout the day we also went through the streets in pairs, asking the Lord for ‘treasures’ and praying for healing. We saw many testimonies of the love and power of God invading individuals’ lives, and despite the refusals sometimes encountered, we were able to see how truly ripe the harvest is to laborers who respond to the call. That evening we joined a city-wide youth worship event, worshipping together with hundreds of passionate teenagers who are creating a place for God to move in their city and bring revival. At the end of a long day, it was refreshing to be in the presence of God with like-minded believers and just to worship – some of the team also received prayer during the prophetic ministry time afterwards, words of refreshment and encouragement. 

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Die Kreative

Livia, a GTS alumni living and studying in Berlin, invited us to join her at church, The Creative, and begin a connection with them. It was a new experience for most of us, as the church met in a cinema building! We were greatly blessed by the worship, and afterwards a stirring message was shared about growing in faith through God answering the deep questions of our hearts, and being brought out of false identity and into a place of full trust in Him and complete freedom. Again, at the end of the service several of the team members received prophetic ministry and soaked in the atmosphere of worship, while the others enjoyed coffee, refreshments and fellowship with the church members downstairs. In the afternoon, both before and after lunch, we went out for worship and evangelism on the streets and had many short but amazing encounters. Before heading back to our hostels, we found a grassy spot in the park and shared testimonies from our recent times on the streets, amazed and grateful for the Lord’s faithfulness. FROS7067

Serving at the Refugee Camp


Today our team split into groups, one of which went to a nearby refugee camp and served there for the day. In the morning they joined the bi-weekly devotionals held for the staff, and were able to pray over and bless the camp manager, who is a believer. Two of the team members also prayed over one of the refugees, who recognized them from the dance we performed several days previously in the city square! Between breakfast and lunch, the team was able to sit and hear stories of different people who had been seeking refuge. Seeing pictures on the news is one thing, but meeting people and seeing the longing in their hearts for home is another. We were so blessed to be able to sit with them and honored to pick up parts of their stories, despite language barriers.

The rest of the team came to a place where one of our leaders had worshipped many years ago as a GTS student, in front of Angela Merkel’s office. There had been a powerful testimony released from that time of worship, and we were excited to see what the seeds sown years earlier would bring forth at this time. We began with some team time and devotions, then led into worship and declarations over that place of influence in Europe. Testimony: As we were there, a young man stood near to us and listened intently almost the entire time we were there, leaving only a few minutes before we left. He was visibly touched and began crying as the Holy Spirit moved on him. One of the students engaged in conversation with him, and as he asked the man what was going on, he replied that he was “dancing with God in my heart”! It turned out this man did believe in God, but in a more New Age way, and asked for prayer that he would find “the way”, which the student was able to share is Jesus! One of the leaders was also able to share with and prophesy over a friendly police officer who came to check us out.

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From there we passed the Reichstag, the beautiful and historic governmental building across from the Chancellor’s office, and went to a memorial of the Roma-Gypsy people murdered in the Holocaust. After lunch, the whole team met back together for an afternoon of free time and shopping, then enjoyed Mexican food for dinner and returned to the hostel.

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Exploring Berlin


We began our day at the preserved site of the Berlin Wall. Walking through the outdoor exhibit, audio displays and picture boards told the stories of famous escapes, memories of family members, and destruction of the wall. From here our group split up, one group going to the refugee camp to play with kids and the rest went up to a high place where we worshiped for an hour and prayed for Berlin. From there, we split in to three groups, going to a youth meeting to minister and pray for the young believers at The Creative, another to the refugee camp to serve dinner and the rest went down a busy shopping street evangelizing.
Each group returned with testimonies. The youth group was a small group of young believers passionately pursuing God and encouraged through connecting with the team, the refugee camp touching the hearts of the those who were blessed to go and the evangelism team having encountered numerous people and blessed them. Germany is a changed nation and the people keep talking about how they are so filled with hope for a move of God across their land; people were open and willing to receive like never before!

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Dresden

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We departed from Berlin to Dresden, our final stop on outreach. Along the way, we stopped at Wittenberg, the village were Martin Luther lived. Though the famous church were he posted his 95 point thesis was closed for reconstruction, we were able to see the door (now a bronze memorial door with his 95 points engraved on it) and enter the church were Martin Luther was ordained. Gwen asked one of the workers if we could worship inside to which they said, “that is what this church was built for.” There, before an amazing alter surrounded by old paintings depicting Gods love throughout the Bible, we worshiped. As the sounds of our praise echoed through the centuries old domes and the presence of God filled the halls, we cried out for new reformation to sweep across the nation of Europe. In the end one of the employees thanked us for lightning their day with the sound of our praise. We then drove the rest of the way to Dresden, the capital city of the state of Saxony. UEIZ7367

A Day in Herrnhut


With great excitement, we filled up our vehicles on Thursday morning to drive the 1.5 hrs. to our Herrnhut Gateways community. Arriving in Herrnhut, we gathered together for a short time of worship together and then headed out for a tour of this historical town. Herrnhut was founded by Count Nicolaus Zinzendorf as a city of refuge for Moravians fleeing from religious persecution. A man of great importance and status, he lived a life of humility that inspires us all. Hearing of slaves who were counted unworthy of even hearing the gospel, he brought a slave to Herrnhut to share his testimony and inspired an entire community of people to be willing to sell themselves into slavery just so that they could share the gospel. The Moravians began a one hundred year period of 24 hour prayer and many were sent out as missionaries, sold themselves into slavery, packing their belongings in a simple wooden coffin, knowing they would most likely give their life for the Kingdom.
As we stood in the cemetery where these faithful ones were laid to rest (known as God’s Acre), we were inspired to consider our own lives and what we are willing to give to share the Gospel.

That night, we joined a prayer house in Herrnhut, The Jesus House, and took a one hour prayer and worship watch. As a ministry, they are visioning to rebirth the 24 hour prayer movement birthed in Herrnhut and see the ancient wells re-dug. We were so blessed to join them for one evening to re-dig these wells and to see a fresh move of God in the region. BMNE5435

Praying in Dresden University


Another GTS alumni we had the joy to connect with was Rachel-Ann. She now lives and studies in Dresden and leads a campus prayer group at her University. Two to three times a week, a few students gather together to pray for each other and their fellow students. We were overjoyed to join them for the morning, worshiping together and bringing encouragement to their group as they continue to press in for a move of God in their city and university. Following worship and prayer, we joined them for lunch in the school cafeteria, a fun experience for everyone!

Cafe Ministry and Proclaiming the Gospel


That night, we headed to the club street of Dresden to join a Christian cafe that is reaching out to refugees. They are seeing many come accept Jesus as savior, who then in turn bring their friends and families who also get saved. While our worship team did music inside, others stood on the street to invite people in and pray for people. The locals do a Bible story drama each week, which Elizabeth and Muriel joined in acting out. They put on a great performance and the message of God being mighty to save was received by all. Following the music portion of the night, we took to the street in front of the cafe to perform our drama. After the powerful drama, Mark and Sarah shared their testimonies and Paul shared the gospel, inviting people to come for prayer. Revival broke out as Jesus invaded the street! People came forward to receive Jesus as savior, others received healing and many seeds wee planted! One American girl we met in the street shared how she had never seen anything like it before and declared, “this is revival!” 
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Team Debrief


With outreach coming to an end, we headed to the Great Gardens of Dresden to remember all that God had done the past month. Sitting under a beautiful shade tree, we each took turns sharing about our highlights, what we experienced and what we had learned. It was a beautiful and precious time to recall the testimonies we had lived and to look forward to the coming season. With each passing year our gratitude grows for the opportunities God gives us to go and serve Him in the nations. It is a beautiful thing to experience the cultures He has made, to seek out the deposits He has placed in each nation and to come alongside of them to encourage them.

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Outreach Update: GTS I in Dresden

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With one more week of outreach ahead of us, we packed up the vans and made our way to the city of Dresden. This city is the capital of Saxony, a state in east Germany. For years the cry of our heart has been “Saxony for the glory of God.” What a privilege to end this amazing month in the city we have been praying so long for!

Prayer Over Dresden

Shortly after we arrived, we drove to a point that overlooks Dresden and met for a time of prayer over the city. Kristina shared her heart about her love for Saxony, the vision she has for this region, and how special it is for her to be home on outreach. After a time of worship we began declaring the purposes of God over this city and region.

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Work Day

One of the churches we connected to, Jesus Gemeinde, has recently bought a very large, old building. Right now they are in the process of restoring the building with the intent to have meetings that could hold up to 1300 people. So for a full day we came in to work on various projects to help them reach their goal. Before work began, they shared their desire for us to not only work practically but to bathe this place with prayer and worship. As we worshipped in the morning, the man in charge of the building project shared a picture about the structure behind us being torn down in a few days and how God wants to remove the negative things from our pasts to build us into something greater. We worked for a few hours and took another worship break during lunch, and before we left for the evening we worshipped again. We truly did bathe the place in praise! It was such a great reminder for all of us to set our focus on the Lord in the midst of every project or circumstance.

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Prayer Breakfast in Borlas

On Wednesday morning we drove to a village called Borlas to have a prayer breakfast with a long time friend of Gateways, Charlotta, and her ministry partners. She has a beautiful home that is dedicated to worship, prayer and discipleship. She has such a big heart for Dresden, to see Yeshua transform the lives of the oppressed there.
After our breakfast we moved into a time of worship together. The Holy Spirit was moving among us and different ones had prophetic words of encouragement for Charlotta and her team. What a joy to pour out all that we have received in this season on this ministry. After only a few hours, we left feeling like family with these precious people.

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Home Groups

After our prayer breakfast, we enjoyed each others company for a while before we split into small teams to attend different home groups within Jesus Gemeinde. Many of us were able to share testimonies from the school year and pray for the members of the group. Other groups were able to lead worship and minister prophetically. It was so great to hear about all of the ways God moved through our team when we all met back together that night.
One of those groups was specifically for business people but they all really wanted to know about our time in Greece serving with the refugees. As we shared together, everyone was mutually encouraged by all God is doing inside and outside of the church.

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Daytrip to Herrnhut

One morning we woke up quite early to hop in the vans and make the drive to Herrnhut. The whole team had been desiring to visit since we heard that Germany was one of our outreach destinations. When we arrived we were ecstatic to see the GTS II Team who had also come for the day. We gathered together with the Gateways Hernnhut team for a time of worship and prayer over the city and region. After worship Norm shared his heart about the Lord awakening hope in the region of Saxony.

After worship we were taken on a tour of Hernnhut where we were all encouraged to pull on the testimony of this city for our own lives. Here, Count Zinzendorf opened his home to those escaping religious persecution and ultimately helped establish a night and day prayer movement that lasted for over 100 years. Having a rich spiritual inheritance from his family, this man had such an influence on the missions movements in the 1700s. It was so meaningful to receive so much revelation out of one man’s life and sacrifice. At the end of our tour we went to a tower overlooking Hernnhut to pray for an outpouring once again in this village.

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Evening Service at Emmaus Church

Some of the team had the opportunity to go to Emmaus Church in Dresden for a service normally for youth but because we were coming to minister they opened it up to the whole congregation. After a time of worship, Iulian shared a testimony of the love of Yeshua healing his heart and overcoming the fear of man. Next, Alicia shared a testimony of her radical pursuit of the Lord and how through that He has given her the desires of her heart. Gabriel shared a powerful message beginning with sharing his heart for the nation of Germany and receiving God’s passionate love for the German people. He gave some of his testimony of how his life changed as he dedicated it to the Lord and how it brought him to a place of hope. He encouraged the church to look at their lives and called them to a higher place of rededication. Afterwards, people were invited forward for prayer and the students were released to pray over those God highlighted to them.

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Childrens Ministry

This outreach has been full of children’s ministry and we had one more very special opportunity this week. A faithful woman from Jesus Gemeinde has a beautiful ministry of reaching out to kids of various ages in a rough part of town. She explained that most of the neighborhood is primarily atheists and are not very open to the Gospel. Most of the kids come from single parent households and have had a difficult upbringing. This selfless woman has given her all to pour out every ounce of love that is in her to serve these children and their families. Usually there are very few to no volunteers so we came to add some strength to her program. For us we expected it to be two hours of games and crafts, but it was so much more. Some of us even got to share a little about our lives and connect with a few of the moms who hung around for a while. As we left we were very moved at the selfless act of one woman and how significant her work is.

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Erev Shabbat

With only a few more days of a very full trip, we sat down to a very nice dinner prepared by Kristina for Erev Shabbat. We invited many guests to attend and to share in the joy of entering His rest. As we took a deep breath and recited the traditional prayers, new life and refreshment filled our spirits again. We enjoyed fellowship around the table as we shared in the traditional German meal together.

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Sunday Afternoon Services

On Sunday we had one last opportunity to serve with Jesus Gemeinde. There are a few different locations that have recently been planted by the church. We had the opportunity to split into teams and be at three different services. Most of the time we spent was pouring into the children in their Sunday school classes. In one service we were invited to lead worship and in another pray for the core leadership team of that specific location.

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Debrief

To end the outreach trip we had a time of debrief together. Throughout the day we each shared our hearts about how the Lord has moved in our lives this month. Each one took time to share their highlights, challenges, and how they will take home what they have experienced. A common highlight was serving in the refugee camps and how perspectives changed towards refugees. As we ended our time of debrief together we lifted up our voices all together praying for the nations that we have ministered in.

Outreach Update: GTS II Lviv, Ukraine & Poland

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Sunrise Prayer in Lviv


After a night of worship, we began our first full day by waking up before sunrise to go pray at the top of a hill in the center of Lviv. This hill is special because it has a 360 degree view of Lviv and it was a place Norman, who pioneered a trip to Ukraine a few months earlier, had received a word of knowledge to pray on a hilltop. We climbed over three hundred stairs to the top where we began to worship and pray over the city as the sun rose, declaring open heavens and calling Lviv into its destiny. This led into releasing prophetic words over three young Ukrainian women who had joined us after hearing the invitation the night before at worship. Remi released a word about revival moving from the west to the east of Ukraine and only then discovered these three were all refugees from the east. In the midst of turmoil and difficulty, their hearts were encouraged and strengthened, touched by God’s love. After the time of intercession, we headed down to the city for some fun, exploring and spreading the love of God through smiles.

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Bethel Work Days


While in Lviv, we had two work days to serve the Blessings at their ministry house, ‘Bethel’. Gardening is a huge cultural aspect of Ukrainian village life, and after many years, this year the Blessings received their own plot of land that belongs to their house. Through gardening, they are able to be a witness to all their neighbors, who are amazed that Americans embraced the Ukrainian lifestyle. In the morning, the guys cleared the land of tree stumps and prepared it for planting, while the girls planted the flower bed and herb garden outside the house. Once the guys finished preparing the field garden it was a team effort to weed it and put the first seeds into the ground! Another job we were able to do was to re-vamp the game room. With the desire to eventually facilitate a youth group in their game room, our team  of artists livened it by adding character through twinkle lights, fun phrases and more.

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Walk of Faith


During our week at the house, we were blessed to begin each day with worship, joining with the family when possible. After worship one day, we were honored to hear Mr. and Mrs. Blessing’s life testimony of their walk of faith with God; from His calling them to Ukraine and the journey to purchasing and building Bethel house. The whole team was blessed and challenged by their relationship with God, that through the years was built on God’s miraculous faithfulness, and their unwavering trust. All the way down to the refusal of raises and ridiculous opportunities that were offered to deter them from God’s plan, they threw themselves into opposition and trial because they trusted in the words God spoke to them. They shared with us to wait for God to fulfill His promises in our lives, encouraging us through the vision God has promised them (Bethel house), a 21-year vision they have carried. It will now come to full fruition this fall, in the grand opening of Bethel house; a house of refuge and rest, first for the Jewish population making Aliyah, and second for believers in need of a place to stay.

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That afternoon we went to an orphanage where we acted out several Bible skits spontaneously for the 2-8 year olds, who were very responsive, open, and joyful!! We lead them though several kids’  action songs, played outside with them for a short while, and loved on them, but got even more blessed in return.

From there we went to Living Word church and ministered at the young adults meeting. The team led worship in English and Ukrainian, then Keturah shared her testimony about Jesus never leaving her even in her darkest time, and how with God life’s adventures are so much better and more exciting. Paul shared a message about that which is of eternal value in the kingdom – love and worship, for that is what will last for all eternity. He also encouraged the congregation of Living Word in their calling to be worshipers and to release praise in the city.

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Visiting the Jewish Community


On Friday, several team members had the opportunity to volunteer with the Jewish community, visiting the elderly as they prepared for Shabbat. They were greeted by the reformed rabbi of the city, an influential, interesting and educated man, who just had been promoted to be the assistant head rabbi of Ukraine. He was appointed based on his knowledge and connection with communities of other beliefs, such as Muslim, Buddhist and Christian, and had studied carefully the entire New Testament. His witness of the New Testament was very positive, saying he had gotten only good out of it and it cannot be separated from the First Covenant; both are connected and fulfill each other! The team then drove to an apartment where we were privileged to hear the stories of an elderly couple who survived WWII, traveled the world and were involved in the beginning of the Zionist movement. Two of the Israeli students sang in Hebrew and were joined by the couple as well. As we left, the wife tearfully expressed her desire to be in Jerusalem and asked the students to promise the next time they pray at the Western Wall, to tell the Wall that there is a woman who wants to be there but cannot. That evening at the Shabbat table we lifted them and the rabbi up in prayer as we lit the candles of shabbat, that the revelation of Yeshua would flood their hearts. With joy, we entered into shabbat rest and enjoyed a wonderful family dinner with the Blessings.

Youth BBQ


On Saturday, we enjoyed a rare opportunity on outreach: a slow-paced Shabbat. Beginning with a delicious brunch, we then enjoyed time in the sun, playing games together and personal time with God. In the afternoon, youth and young adults from Living Word church came and fellowshipped with our team outside on the lawn and in the newly updated game room. We re-charged and ended with a traditional Ukrainian barbecue dinner, leading up to our farewells.

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Joining Living Word’s Sunday morning service, our team led worship and shared testimonies. Muriel shared the testimony of God’s faithfulness in her life; she spoke of how she sees He was speaking to her even when she wasn’t pursuing Him and about how much more He will speak to us if we are walking with Him! Krista then preached a fiery message in Ukrainian, provoking the congregation to hunger for revival in Ukraine, to stand before the Lord and say “I am satisfied, but at the same time I’m not satisfied and want more of You!” At the culmination of our trip in Ukraine, a cry was released for the sound of revival, the scent of fresh water (Job 14:7-9) to spread in Ukraine. After the service, the Blessing family treated us to coffee at Lviv’s best coffee shop and made us dinner, sending us off fully satisfied and grateful for all the Lord did in Ukraine.

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Arriving in Oswiecim, Poland

Upon arrival in Poland after an overnight bus, we were met with unexpected complications and obstacles in our transportation. While spending the morning in the train station, the students decided to take time in prayer together as a class, repenting to one another and calling one another up to a higher place in vulnerability and accountability to each other so that we can see greater works released through the remainder of outreach. Once breakthrough came, both spiritually and physically in our transportation, we drove to Oswiecim, where we stayed at a large Catholic boarding school and met our contact Roman, a local pastor who shared with us the vision of their ministry in Oswiecim to bless Jewish communities in Poland and Ukraine. That evening we worshipped together and as Heaven opened above us we stepped into a place of sweet ministry over their team. Following that morning’s prayer time, the students stepped into a new place in ministry and spoke out God’s heart over Roman and his family.

The next day began with a tour of Oswiecim, starting at the house where Roman(our contact) experienced revival when he was in his early twenties. He shared that,”the revival was one like Azuza street”. The testimony of that time is a testimony he’s still receiving from, and longing to see released again. From there we moved on to the only synagogue that was left standing after WWII, hearing about how active Jewish life was before the war in a city who’s Jewish population was around 70%. We ended our tour in a castle museum with a tower that gave a 360 view of Osweicim. Here we lifted God’s name high above the city and prayed for revival and restoration between Israel and Poland.
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Life Mission Ministries


That same night, we drove to Ustron and met up with a ministry called Life Mission Ministries, a church with an amazing heart for Israel. They gathered their youth together for a special youth service with our team and gave us freedom to lead the service. From the moment we began worshiping, we could see these youth were not ordinary youth and carried a passion for God that isn’t seen every day. Elizabeth shared her testimony, followed by Peter giving a word of encouragement to ‘Believe the Gospel!’ Rachel Dirrol brought a message recounting how God has used young people throughout history; the heavens were opened for us to release prophetic words over each one of the youth that were there. Much to our surprise, in the end the youth turned and blessed each one of us with prayer, pouring their hearts out before God.

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Auschwitz-Birkenau


Today we visited the concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The team was silent as we walked though the different barracks where people had lived, and then were lead through the gas chambers, listening to the atrocities carried out there, God working in each of our hearts so tenderly in different ways. As we pondered the history of what happened and the questions that were stirred in the hearts of each individual, one thing remained the same: God is good! No matter what your circumstance is there is always hope in the living God. At the end of the tour, our team stood in the Birkenau cross roads at the selection point, there we lifted Auschwitz, Birkenau and all that happened there up to God and repented for generational and national antisemitism. We worshiped and took communion together with Roman and his team. At the end, Roman poured the wine from communion out on the ground and declared that Yeshua’s blood cries louder than the blood of Abel and brings redemption and victory in the place of death! That evening we took time as a team to process what God was doing in our hearts and allow Him to continue to work within us. We then joined Roman’s team in the town square, a place that had at one time been dedicated to Hitler, there we stood to worship God and declare His name and love over that place. We ended our evening fellowshipping together over dinner and prepared to board a bus to Germany the following morning…

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Outreach Update: GTS I in Passau

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On our last morning in Greece we woke up early to board our flight to our next outreach destination. After looking forward to Germany for months, the expectation in our hearts for the next two weeks arose. We had a few bus and train rides to Passau, a city in the state of Bavaria, where we were warmly greeted by members of Ruben and Melissa’s sending church, EFG-Passau.

 

Prayer Meetings

Each evening of the week we were invited by the church to participate in their daily prayer meetings. They have been meeting every evening for the last eight years crying out for a move of the Holy Spirit in their congregation, city and nation. It was such a blessing to join together in pouring out our hearts for this place. Each meeting we prayed for the Lord to break the spirit of apathy and that the German people would be raised up into their true identity. The momentum grew every evening as we cried out for a move of God in this region that would ripple across the entire nation.

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Work Day

We had the opportunity to split into teams on Wednesday to do various work projects together. One team stayed at the church to spend time deep cleaning and working outdoors. While that was happening, the other half of the team went to an asylum home to help get apartments ready for refugee families to move in. Though we knew we had our work cut out for us, we all partnered together to make it look the best we could. Some of the people who lived in other flats came to join us as they saw how hard we were all working. The woman leading the project at the home told us what an inspiration we were and expressed her gratefulness as we left. It’s such a privilege to be able to prepare a safe place for these refugees to live. May the presence of the Lord fill these homes!

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Praying Over Passau

One of our days we split into two groups to pray over the city of Passau. One group went to a spot that overlooked the city to worship and intercede for the city. Another group went to the point where the three rivers– Donau, Inn, and Ils– come together. With our teams effectively surrounding the city on both sides of the river, each group spent a few hours praying and making declarations over Passau.

After spending so much time in prayer over the city this week, we went out to do street evangelism in hopes to reach the very people that we have been praying for. We were very encouraged by the encounters that we had with people. One woman was so touched by the radiance she saw in one of our team members that she began to cry. After explaining that the radiance was Yeshua in her, this woman explained how she had walked away from her faith but this experience is drawing her back. What a testimony!

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Overnight Trip to Freilassing

On Thursday about half of the team was sent out to Freilassing, another city in the region of Bavaria, for an overnight trip to join with a church there. We made the two hour drive full of expectation for all that God wanted to pour out.

When we arrived we had the opportunity to spend time with refugees who have made a connection with the church. Most of the afternoon was spent sharing in conversation over coffee and cake and after a time of fellowship we helped them learn a simple English worship song about God’s goodness. We began to sing it in the many different languages that were represented. A member from the church then shared a message on the power of the Trinity and on Pentecost. After the message Kristina introduced the team and shared with them several testimonies from our time in Greece. Next we were treated with one more song and a second round of coffee and cake.

A Night of Worship

After our time with the refugees, we were able to minister in worship, testimony, and prayer ministry at the church in Freilassing. Preston and Abby led a powerful time of worship as they welcomed the presence of the Lord and invited the church to fully enter in. Emory shared a powerful testimony about God’s faithfulness in her life and Jessica spoke about the way Yeshua has transformed her life just by asking for more of Him. Joni gave a timely exhortation for the congregation from the life of Jacob about honesty and vulnerability with the Lord.

At the close of the service we stepped into a time of prophetic ministry for individuals that were highlighted to us in the service. It was so beautiful to see the so many being touched by the Spirit. For a while many people continued coming forward to receive prayer, mostly just desiring for more of God in their lives. Even after the service ended, so many people stayed to continue in worship and receive prayer.

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Street Evangelism in Freilassing

After an amazing night of worship and ministry, the team was ready to hit the streets for a time of street evangelism. One of the members of the church who came with us is a very gifted prophetic artist and led one of our groups to reach out through art. Another group went to a nearby hospital to minister and some of us stayed in the city center. One of the teams had the opportunity to pray for a precious family believing for a baptism of the Holy Spirit.

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Worship Night in Passau

When the team who went to Freilassing arrived back in Passau we had a some time to rest before jumping into another evening worship service. During an amazing time of worship, Ruben and Kristina invited the church to come forward to enter into a deeper lifestyle of worship and adoration. The team was released to anoint the people with the oil from the land in Cyprus as we prayed over each one. We want to be a people given to worship crying out for the fire of God to fall upon the altar of our hearts. Eventually exuberant praise was released as we worshipped and danced declaring the joyful call of the Lord on our lives! We ended with singing “I exalt thee” in German lifting high the name of Yeshua. All night the atmosphere was thick with the tangible presence of God.

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Family Festival

Early in the week a team went into the city to invite refugees to a family festival hosted by the church and by a world wide organization, Royal Rangers. Our team had the great joy of serving throughout the day in various ways like leading games and preparing food. There were activities for everyone including a soccer tournament that many of our guys got to participate in. One of the favorites for both children and adults was the face painting station.

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The goal of the day was for people to have fun and encounter the love of God. For over five hours we poured out all we had to give with enthusiastic energy to make this day special for everyone. The festival was a huge success and we are so thankful to have had the privilege to be a part of it.

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Sunday Morning Church Service

Our last service in Passau was the Sunday service at EFG-Passau. At this point we had all received such a heart for this church and this city and couldn’t wait to see how God would pour out His Spirit again. The students performed the drama we had prepared in Cyprus as a representation of the transformation they have experienced in their lives. Immediately after the drama, Daira went straight into a testimony of the joy and freedom she has found during this season of consecration. Believing it was a word also for the church, Jerome shared next about finding a fire for the Lord that he has never felt before. Ruben preached to his church in German. Even though most of us couldn’t understand what was being said, the expressions on the faces told it all. The staff and students who received specific words came forward to release them over the people and the rest were released to pray over any who came forward. It was beautiful to watch the Lord move among His people.

One of the most encouraging things for us was when our team was addressed by the pastor of the church. He shared about the impact we had made on him and the church. Many of us listened in tears as we realized the ways that God had used us this week. We have been so honored to serve alongside this community.It’s amazing at how after just several days, our hearts can be so knit together and at home in one place.

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After church we spent time in the city with some of the members of the church who became close friends throughout the week. We had dinner and ice cream as we remembered all of the wonderful things God did in our midst this week. Saying goodbye wasn’t easy but we were so thankful with all that the Lord poured out this week. As we drove away we prayed blessing over Passau, continuing to trust in His faithfulness for this city!

Outreach Update: GTS I Athens

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Arrival in Athens

After an amazing week in Thessaloniki and a long train ride to Athens, we were greeted at the train station by our hosts from Athens Christian Center. From the very beginning they showed us such generous hospitality and made us feel at home right away. After meeting Pastor Stavros in Cyprus just a few weeks ago, we were so excited to work and connect more with his church.

Preparing and Serving Food at the Refugee Camp

Most of the week we partnered with the church’s efforts to reach out to the refugees. First, we helped organize their food storage area before preparing the sandwiches to distribute in the evening. We quickly entered into an efficient assembly line of egg peelers, humus spreaders, cucumber cutters, and sandwich folders. We had a great time as a team, sharing stories and laughing together while we worked.

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After making the sandwiches, the team piled onto the metro to journey to the port. On both distribution nights we were able to connect with people coming to receive the food and play with the children while they were waiting. Just like the morning, we entered into another rhythm as each one collected different food items to distribute to those who came. Between the two days we made and served about 2,300 sandwiches. More than that, we had an opportunity to serve those that Yeshua came to serve.

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Childrens Ministry at the Port

One of the greatest joys of the week was spending time with the precious children at the port. Upon our arrival the atmosphere was flooded with joy and laughter. Countless swings of the jump rope and games of soccer turned out to be more than we could have expected. The smiles on their faces gave a glimpse of hope in the midst of their circumstances; to play a part in that was such an honor for us.

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During one of our afternoons, while some of us played with the kids, others were able to connect with some of the families in deeper ways. Despite the language barrier, we were able to communicate with one another sharing back and forth about our lives. As one student spent time hearing from a father about his life, he expressed that it’s people like us that make a difference and mean so much to them. Another student was asked by a man if we were believers and he responded with a yes. The man responded that he guessed as much because of the way we carried ourselves and the way we treated one another. What a testimony! At this camp we were not able to share the Gospel but our one purpose was to love. Through that love and the countenance on our faces this community saw Yeshua in us!

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Celebrating Batel

We love birthdays, but we especially love them on outreach! After an afternoon of children’s ministry we surprised Batel with the traditional Gateways Beyond birthday song and some gifts. Later in the evening we sat down for a nice dinner to celebrate her life. It has been such a pleasure to have Batel a part of the GTS this year. We have seen the Lord do so much in her life and we are believing for great things to come for her!

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Prayer Meeting

On Wednesday night we were invited to participate in a prayer meeting at Athens Christian Center. After Preston led us in a time of worship we heard a powerful message from Pastor Stavros about the finished work of Yeshua in our lives. When we have the revelation of being righteous and spotless before Him we are able to approach the Throne with boldness. After his message we began to pray for the needs of the church, city and nation. There was time for our team to release prophetic words of encouragement before the meeting ended. Almost everyone on our team received a word for a specific person! It’s so clear that the Lord is speaking to each of us and we are so encouraged to see the willingness of each student to step out in boldness on this outreach.

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Organizing a Warehouse

Because of the way we served at the port, we were asked to come to the old airport of Athens to organize a warehouse of donations for refugees. We were up for the challenge and eventually found ourselves waist deep in boxes of items that needed to be sorted. The staff were so grateful for a team as large as ours to help. Our hope is that we continue to carry a testimony of a spirit of excellence and joy in the midst of any project.

Childrens Program at a Syrian Church

On Friday night as most of the team spent the night distributing food to the refugees, Julie, Daira, and Joseph went to a Syrian church to lead a children’s program. The circumstances of these families are beyond what we can imagine and it was a true privilege to serve them. We were so grateful for the opportunity to spend time with the children so that their parents, who would be persecuted in their own country, could fully and freely enter into worship that night. When we left the parents hugged and kissed us goodbye thanking us for all we did. Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest difference!

Touring Athens

We took one full day to tour the ancient parts of Athens. So far on this outreach we feel like we have been following in the footsteps of Paul in Acts 17. We started in Thessaloniki, visited Veria, and ended up in Athens. We went to the Areopagus where Paul preached to the men of Athens declaring the sovereignty of God and testifying to the resurrection of Yeshua. Paul was addressing the religious spirit in this city and inviting them into greater understanding and relationship with their “Unknown God”. Though he was mocked by many, several believed and followed him. After the Areopagus we ventured to the Parthenon. We took some time to gaze out at the breath taking views and explore the different exhibits at the top after we learned the history of this sight. We ended our day with splitting into smaller groups to spend time in the oldest section of Athens.

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Worship Together with Athens Christian Center

For church on Sunday we gathered at a hotel in downtown Athens. On this particular Sunday there were several different pastors visiting from Jordan, Albania and Israel. It was so special to have our leader Matthew joining us for the service as well. During the service each pastor shared a short word of encouragement and testimonies of what God is doing in the midst of their people. Matthew shared a word of encouragement for the church about the nation of Greece and the Mediterranean region. This is an opportune time for the Kingdom of God to come in glory and power to this nation. He invited Pastor Stavros and the visiting pastors to come forward and link arms together. This was a powerful representation of the mystery of the Gospel being revealed in our day, Jew and Gentile coming together in unity. Through this salvation will come to the shores of the Mediterranean. After Matthew spoke, Pastor Stavros shared the message he prepared on what church, the family of God, should look like. We are to be a people purposed to seek the presence of God together and to love the way Yeshua first loved us. We took communion together, first singing about the power of His Love with the family of God around us.

Testimony: Earlier in the week a few of the students befriended the security guard at our hotel. They prayed for him and invited him to church the following Sunday. He came and during the ministry time at the end of the service Ruben and Esteban came to pray for him. He was crying before they even approached him. But as they ministered to him, he decided to give his life to Jesus. Through simple conversation and an invitation to church, this man met his Savior!

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Outreach Update: GTS II Odessa

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Happy Birthday Peter!

Before travelling to Odessa, we needed to celebrate something huge; Pete’s 21st birthday! We started our last day in Mykolaiv at the local bowling alley… at 9 in the morning, we had the entire place to ourselves. We celebrated Pete with some friendly competition and unsuccessful attempts at bowling a perfect game. We love celebrating birthdays at Gateways Beyond and Pete’s was one for the books.
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We then boarded a bus for our quick transition to Odessa, and the next step in our journey through Ukraine. Roman, our main contact in Odessa and a fellow GTS Alumni met our team as we arrived in Ukraine, and prepared us for a week of ministry at his family’s congregation.

Touring Odessa

We started our first full day in Odessa with a tour of the cities landmarks and Jewish roots. Odessa is beautiful in everything from it’s architecture to it’s landscape. Just walking around the city was a blessing and fuel to the fire for our intercession over Ukraine. Later we joined Roman for a city-wide youth night of worship. As we entered into worship the presence of God filtered into the church as we praised His name, and we were given the opportunity to lead part of the night and minister to the young people that had gathered together.

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Connecting with the Congregation

That following day we rejoined the congregation for Shabbat service and we had the joy to lead worship and we lifted the name of Yeshua high in English, Hebrew and Ukrainian! After the meeting, we joined the youth of the congregation for fellowship over lunch, where we learned more about one another, Ukrainian culture and it’s beautiful language. We then had a sweet time of worship together and released prophetic words over them, calling them into greater freedom, boldness and identity as sons and daughters.

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A day of practical service

On Sunday we were taken by some of the local believers to a warehouse outside the city, where they stored (among other things) some chairs for a new congregational building that is being built. With much vigor and enthusiasm we beat the dust out of the chairs, breathing fresh life into them for future use. We then loaded them up and transported them to the new building site. There we witnessed the manifestation of an incredible journey of faith, as the pastor came and shared with us their vision for the future of the building. They envision a building capable of seating over 5,000 messianic believers, making it the landmark for messianic Jewish believers in Southern Ukraine. They are praying for a center of revival to equip new believers in discipleship. We then took time to pray into their vision and join them in worship and intercession in their unfinished building.

Evangelism by the Black Sea

After enjoying a delicious cultural lunch with the congregation, we went to the boardwalk along the beach of the Black Sea. As we dipped our toes into the water we took the spare time we had to do a little treasure hunting, and street evangelism. We are excited to see the fulfillment of the seeds that were planted for God’s Kingdom that day.

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Next stop: Lviv!

That evening we boarded our second overnight train to our last, but not least, stop in Ukraine: Lviv. We were all excited to arrive in Lviv, but none of us were as overjoyed as our very own Krista. Her dream of her Gateways family converging with her own family in Lviv was finally becoming a reality! The Blessing family welcomed us in their home with Texan accents and Ukrainian hospitality. Their home is a story of a 20 year-plus faith journey centered around holding fast to the promises of God. Upon arriving we enjoyed some much-needed rest, and prepared for a night of worship in their living room. The evening was a sweet time with the Lord, where He ministered to each an every individual in such an intimate way. There’s no better way to start our last week in Ukraine, as we prepare our hearts for what He has in store here in Lviv.

OUTREACH UPDATE: GTS I Thessaloniki

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Traveling to Greece

The day we have been waiting for the whole school year had finally arrived! In the morning we gathered to pray before we loaded the bus and made our way down the mountain. With the community around us we joined hands as they prayed a blessing over us and launched us into outreach. We took time to have each staff and intern go through the bus praying for the students and stirring ourselves in faith for the month ahead of us. Our hearts were full of expectation as we arrived at the airport. Not wanting to wait to get to our destination and for outreach to begin, some of the students approached people at our gate to bless them. We had a quick flight to Greece, but upon arrival found out there was a national strike of the public transportation workers. We began to wait and pray in confidence, knowing that the Lord could open the right doors for us! He did just that and we made our way to Thessaloniki where we would serve the next week.

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Sunday Morning Church Service

After just a few hours of sleep we walked to Anagenesis church. We had come to pour out what we have received over the last four months. Our team led worship and hosted the children’s Sunday school program. This church has begun to open their doors to refugees to join their services and have recently seen many of them come to faith. Jeremie had the opportunity to share a testimony about finding his identity in Jesus during the time in Cyprus. Ruben gave a powerful word about the nearness of the Lord and the close relationship that God desires with us. We could feel the nearness of God as the Holy Spirit began to move in the hearts of the people. At the end of our time people from the congregation began to respond and the students were released to minister to them. What a special morning to witness God pouring out his love all over the people in the church.

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Church at Evangelical Church of Thessaloniki

After an incredible time at church in the morning, we were expectant for God to show up powerfully again at our evening service. We connected with a church who is catching the revelation of Israel and the One New Man expression. We joyfully shared some songs in Hebrew with the congregation, and our team had the opportunity to give three testimonies.  Batel talked about God changing her heart for her own nation. Gabriel told how Romans 11 has birthed a passion in his heart towards intercession for Israel. Ruben shared about how the Lord met him with His love, and revealed the Father’s heart for Israel. At the end of the service we were so encouraged to hear how the church was impacted by all we poured out. As a Messianic ministry, it is one of our greatest joys to see people catch the revelation of Israel.

Testimony:

Joseph had a word of knowledge for someone with hip and knee pain during the service. When he was meeting people, he felt led to ask a certain man if he knew anyone with those issues. The man did, and he got his friend who had been struggling with these issues for a long time. After Joseph prayed for him the friend said he felt about 70% better. Joseph prayed again and the man was healed completely! Praise the Lord!

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Serving at the Idomeni Refugee Camp

Most of the week we traveled to the Macedonian border where we were able to serve at the Idomeni refugee camp. Some of our time was spent serving in practical ways like preparing meals, distributing food and bathing small children.

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The most precious moments were definitely visiting the tents of different refugee families and spending time with the children in the camp. Each team that visited had the opportunity to connect on a personal level as the refugees welcomed us to their home. Although they are in this situation, they show genuine hospitality to their guests.

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We were able to pray for many of the people we connected with and even give them Bibles translated into their languages. Every day we left with hearts filled with a greater burden and compassion for these precious people. It’s our desire that we would bring hope to the hopeless and that our lives would be an expression of the Father’s love! For us the greatest gift we can carry is love.

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Receiving Refugees

One of the highlights of the week was receiving a group of refugees at Anagenesis church. Several women and their babies came to the church for an opportunity to have a warm shower and a break from the intensity of life at the camp. It was such a pleasure to spend time over a cup of tea and some snacks getting to know them. Though there was a language barrier we were able to communicate through simple means, and to share the love God has for them.

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Day Trip to Veria

On Wednesday we took a day trip to Veria, an ancient city mentioned in Acts 17. Veria was primarily a Jewish settlement until the Holocaust. We visited what is believed to be one of the oldest synagogues in Europe, and a place that the apostle Paul probably preached. In the middle of a prayer time our German team members offered up repentance for the history of their people. It was such a beautiful picture of redemption and restoration for this city. As we closed our time in the synagogue, we couldn’t help but worship the Lord in this rich and historic place.

We then made our way to the city center to worship and do some street evangelism. Immediately the Lord was moving among us in mighty ways. All over the square there were small groups of people praying together as everyone boldly stepped out to share the love of Yeshua with those around us. It was inspiring to all to see the openness of people in this city. It would be safe to say that probably everyone came away with a testimony of healing or salvation that day. He surely is moving powerfully in Veria!

Testimony: As we worshipped, a woman heard us from her window and was moved by what she saw. Eventually she came to us with a cake she baked just for our team. One of our students shared with her and this woman gave her life to the Lord.

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Street Outreach

Aside from serving at the refugee camp this week, a significant portion of this week was spent in the city doing street evangelism. Each day we had a time of worship in the city squares and the parks to lift high the name of Yeshua over this nation. As people would gather our team was released to reach out. We had many opportunities to share our faith and pray for those in need. For some of us the Lord was giving us words of knowledge that guided us through the day. All over Thessaloniki people were being touched by God.

During one of our times on the streets, our team was worshipping and a national news station asked if they could record us for a broadcast at a later time. Ruben began to pray out and declare the gospel over this nation for all of Greece to see. At another point the students were able to perform the dance that they prepared for this outreach. A message of hope was released through their movement. Afterwards, Andrew got up to preach the Gospel to all who were watching.

We saw people healed from long time illnesses, many hearts encouraged, and many others get saved. The whole team is so hungry for more and we are longing to see the Lord encounter people wherever we go. As He continues to show up, we are growing more and more eager to see a move of God on this outreach.Thessalonikki-Evangelism

Shabbat in Thessaloniki

On Friday night we went to a restaurant overlooking the city to celebrate Erev Shabbat. We reminisced about all the beautiful ways that God has met us this week as we ate traditional Greek dishes. The next morning we were blessed with some extra sleep and a day out in Thessaloniki. It was refreshing to have a day all together after such a full week.

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Youth Meeting

On Saturday evening we hopped on the public bus and headed for a youth service at the Apostolic Church of Thessaloniki. Upon our arrival we were aware of the contagious hunger for the Lord that filled the atmosphere. Some of their staff led worship in Greek, then our team was invited to lead the rest of the worship time. After worship, we had Danielle and Michael share testimonies. Danielle shared how, through the GTS, God has completely healed her heart and made her brand new. Michael described his journey in finding satisfaction in Yeshua alone. It’s amazing to see the students come alive and release the life inside of them. After the testimonies Lionique brought an exhortation about having courage and stepping out of the boat to run after the desires and dreams God gives us. We eventually moved into a time of prophetic ministry reaching those who desired greater vision for their lives. Immediately each member of the youth group came forward and the Holy Spirit showed up in a powerful way. We had a  time of fellowship over a meal before we hugged goodbye hoping to one day meet again!

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Sunday Morning Church Service

On our last morning in Thessaloniki we were at Anagenesis church for another Sunday morning church service. Along with some from the church, Preston and a small team led worship. We had several students give testimonies about the ways we saw God moving during our times of street evangelism this week. Kristina brought the message, preaching out of 1 Kings 17, on the widow who gives all she has in the midst of a drought. It’s promised that the she will not run out or run dry. This church has taken a position to stand strong and care for those in need while resources are limited. Kristina’s word declared that they would not run out of provision and that the Lord would multiply their resources.

The service transitioned to a time of communion and, though it’s something we are used to doing, it was the first time for some of the new believers. Singing the familiar words of “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus,” we were reminded of the life Jesus poured out, for our redemption, on the cross. It only got better as two, very new, Iranian believers confessed their faith again as they entered the waters of baptism, dying to their old man and being raised to new life. This was such a significant way to end our time in Thessaloniki. Our next stop is Athens where we are believing for more of God’s Spirit to be poured out wherever we go and on whoever we meet! 

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OUTREACH UPDATE: GTS II Ukraine

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Outreach has begun!

Landing in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital city, we quickly settled into our hostel and headed out. Navigating the public transportation system, a few metros and buses later, we joined the last night of a national Messianic Retreat. After several hours of worship in Russian and incredible words of knowledge, during which hundreds of people received ministry and deliverance, we broke matzah together and celebrated the love and sacrifice of Yeshua that unites us. The following day we participated in their Shabbat service, at the largest Messianic congregation in Europe! Joy and celebration were overflowing, as dancing lines circled around the room, with hundreds of people intertwining and filling the hall with sounds of praise. Three hours later, we found our seats and Rabbi Boris shared a message in the glory of God, and waves of joy swept the congregation. At the end of the service, our team prayed over a friend who attends the congregation, ministering words of life and the love of God over him and his friends.

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Touring Kiev


Our last day in the city we enjoyed a tour with two sisters from the congregation. They met us at the Maidan Square, where they told us about the recent revolution of 2013 – 2014 that had happened there. From there we walked through the city, visiting various sites. One of the highlights was stopping by the local synagogue and getting to walk inside. While there, we sang songs in Hebrew and released prayers of revelation for the people.

Our day concluded in Babi Yar, the site of a Jewish massacre during WW2. What is now a beautiful park full of life was once a ravine with ‘five fingers’, where tens of thousands lost their lives. As we sang “The love of God is stronger” and prayed, a few people had the same sense of the ‘five fingers’ of the ravine being God’s hand that has always been over His people – even in the hard times. Our guides also shared of recent anti-semitism, stirring us to pray for peace and to say, “We will never forget. May it never happen again.”
That night we boarded our first Ukrainian train for a 13-hour overnight journey to Mykolaiv.

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Mykolaiv: Our next destination

Arriving in Mykolaiv, we were welcomed with a wonderful homemade Ukrainian lunch. The church flung wide their doors for us, hosting a special city-wide Renewal Service for our visit. Pastor Edwin released us to fully host the meeting with only one request – that we pray for every person in attendance. The church was filled with hungry, excited worshippers as their church’s team opened in several Russian songs. As our team continued the worship there was a strong anointing for prayer after Krista released a prophetic song in Ukrainian, and a call was given for anyone who was hungry to come forward for prayer. The entire church flooded the front. In groups of three, we spent the next two hours praying for everyone who had come.

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Visiting a Rehabilitation Centre

Early the next morning, we had an amazing opportunity to venture out into new territory for a GTS Outreach. The congregation we were ministering with is connected to two rehab centers for recovering addicts and alcoholics. One rehab center for women and the other for men, so the team divided into a boys group and a girls group and set off for the countryside to connect with the rehab homes. Although we were separated, both teams had an amazing time and near identical testimonies from these precious men and women. It began with a quick meet and greet followed quickly with an exchange of stories, testimonies and cake with tea. You could see in the eyes of each individual that there was a deep hunger for the Lord. So we went into a time of worship and prayer, singing together and laying hands on one another; contending for a greater depth of freedom and healing both corporately and individually.

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Youth Service

That same evening, we gathered for a city-wide youth meeting. Rahel shared a powerful testimony about the love of God for her country and for Ukraine and about breaking off shame and stepping into our rightful identity as heirs. The students performed the drama/dance they had prepared in Cyprus, which led into a call to receive personal prayer. Similar to the previous night, our team prayed in groups with a translator over countless youth as literally everyone came forward for prayer – several times over! Various team members shared testimonies and words of knowledge from the stage during the prayer time, and we witnessed many healings at both services! The night ended with our team forming a fire tunnel to bless everyone there and the Holy Spirit was released in such power that many people could barely walk before they even entered the tunnel, and were carrying / supporting each other so they could make it through the entire way!

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In two days, Holy Spirit had knit our hearts so closely together. A few of the church members came to our hotel, on Thursday morning, with homemade cakes to fellowship one last time before we departed for Odessa. Full of expectation from all God had done in our first few days, we boarded a bus for the short journey to Odessa…

ETHIOPIA: Outreach Week Four – Brothers Dwelling in Unity

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No Ordinary Love Ministries

Our team went again to spend more time with the children under the wings of No Ordinary Love Ministry. These children have been separated from their families and villages as many of them have been trafficked into Addis. Our team simply sang with them, played and acted out Bible stories, but it made a great impact. As we left many smiling faces said “good bye” to us. It was a pleasure to come back to NOLM one last time as we love the work this ministry does in reuniting these children with their families.

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Beit Abraham

Before leaving Cyprus, we gathered toys, school supplies and clothes for our sponsorship kids in Ethiopia. Today, we were joined by the Gateways Beyond Geneva team, who also had their outreach in Ethiopia, in presenting them with these gifts. On that afternoon we did not just pass out goodies but we also used the time to share the good news with the children’s families to bless them. Afterwards we played with the new toys, made balloon animals, painted faces . . . it felt just like a birthday party! The day became even better as Alysse and Tal prayed for a young girl who was deaf in one ear. As they prayed for her, God opened up the ear and her hearing was restored. She went on playing as if nothing was ever wrong, but we were ecstatic as we saw this miracle before our eyes!

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Addis Kidane Church

This year we were invited to minster in a small church in Korah – the poorest area of Addis. We arrived very early and were right away amazed at the incredible level of faith and dedication we witnessed in the church members. They were so hungry for God! Kaily and Rahel shared testimonies of the Lord’s work in their lives and Kristina, brought the word. It was her first time preaching in Ethiopia, and she delivered a powerful message that opened up a door for us to impart the “running anointing”. We pushed through each row laying hands on men and women releasing the Spirit of God over them. The church was so encouraged by what the Lord was doing in their midst. One woman’s back received complete healing as the team prayed! Some of our students were also deeply encouraged by experiencing the Spirit of the Lord moving through them in levels that they had never experienced before!

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A Father in Ethiopia

Mr. Gerald is a special man who has white hair, a kind countenance, and a fiery passion for God’s purposes in Ethiopia. He has ministered in this nation for nearly 50 years and has been instrumental in fathering this generation of leaders within Ethiopia. In many ways, Mr. Gerald is the one who prepared the way for us to minister in Ethiopia today and without him we would not be here. It was a great honor for us to be able to sit at his feet and hear from him. His love for God and Ethiopia saturated his speech as he told us stories about his experience in this land. We were sobered as he informed us that we are the ones to follow in the footsteps of men like him and others who have faithfully walked with God and one another. We eagerly look up to these men as we desire to carry the fire that has consumed and marked their lives. He continued to inspire us as he shared on different topics including the one new man expression, motivation for missions, and love for God. Students and staff alike dried tears from their faces as Mr. Gerald wrapped up his discussion leaving us pondering, inspired and more in love with God than before.

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Ethiopia Arise

We were very excited to spend more time with the children and staff of Ethiopia Arise to pour out love and encouragement. The children enthusiastically joined in the songs, singing loudly and imitating all the hand motions. This made it easy for us to be as silly as possible when we took on the roles of animals in the story of Noah’s Ark. The founders of Ethiopia Arise had requested that we spend extra time ministering to the children. So after acting out our drama, we made room for the Spirit to inspire our hearts for them, asking for specific prophetic words for individual children and staff. Pretty soon a line formed as the students one by one began receiving words from the Lord of purpose, identity, and encouragement to call out in the children. As the students stepped forward boldly to speak what the Lord was speaking to them prophetically, it was clear that they also stepped into greater levels of freedom and more of their own identity.

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Road Trip to Woliso!

We made our way two hours south of Addis to visit the town of Woliso. Here we were able to connect with our friend, Pastor Derese, who organized a small conference for us. As usual, we opened with worship. Anica then shared a powerful testimony about how she encountered the Lord after giving up control and allowing Him to make Himself real to her. Alicia then shared an exhortation and Remi brought the word. It was a message on God’s design for unity which rocked the church. Remi asked all those in the congregation who experienced some level of division but desired to step into greater unity to come to the front and speak blessing over their church leaders. Likewise, Remi urged husbands and wives to do the same in blessing each other. He shared word of knowledge for a couple who could not have children. As they received prayer, the presence of God filled the place. We found out later, this particular couple was being sent out as missionaries to another part of Ethiopia. As this word was released, they felt as though the Lord was not only being faithful to them personally, but also foreshadowing of the fruitful season ahead of them as they are sent out.
After the meeting we met at nearby hotel for lunch where we saw multitudes of mischievous monkeys precariously jumping from branch to branch. Not only did we have the pleasure to witness the power of God release people into their destiny, but also the beauty of God as we watched His creation swing in the trees.

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One Final Sunday

Our team marched forward onto the stage as has become the normal at churches over the past month. This week, however, felt different. It wasn’t because it was our last service, or because the church greatly differed from the others, but we corporately felt the Lord brooding over this congregation. As if in confirmation, rain began to pour from the sky, pummeling the iron roof. As we opened up in worship the presence of God began to fill the room like we hadn’t quite experienced before. Seamlessly between worship and the message students stepped forward releasing words of knowledge and prophetic encouragement over different members of the church. It felt as if we could have prophesied the entire morning, but we transitioned handing the mic over to Alex and Pam who shared an exhortation and testimony. Reuben then shared a message encouraging the leaders to steward revival by raising their young people in the fire and then releasing them into the nations. After a powerful time of impartation and prayer, we made our way home where we enjoyed a traditional Ethiopian meal. We perched around larger round baskets enjoying tibs served on injera. We ended the night with a traditional coffee ceremony in which the host will roast, grind and brew coffee before our eyes. Not only do we fall more in love with Ethiopia during church services connecting with His heart for the people, but also by enjoying the aspects of the culture that sets it apart from others.

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Lamb Feast with Geneva

During our last few days we have had the pleasure to be with our family from Gateways Beyond Geneva! The community in Geneva was leading a GTS outreach in Ethiopia for the first time ever, and it was a pleasure for us to join them for a short time to witness them experiencing the land. Sadly, however, our outreach was coming to a close. We joined with the Geneva team to enjoy traditional lamb tibs. Affectionately named “meat feast” this meal was primarily composed of freshly slaughtered lamb meat seasoned with traditional spices, green chilies and tomatoes. After enjoying our fill of meat and injera, the Geneva team loaded their bus ad departed for the Ghion Hotel leaving us to wait a few hours until our own departure. This departure, however, would be our last as we said “caio” to Ethiopia – at least for the time being! It was pleasure for us to spend our last evening with our brothers and sisters from Geneva.

Final Debrief

As our month of outreach comes to an end, it is so important for us to gather and process what the Lord has done in each of us individually. Throughout the month, each of us has faced personal challenges in overcoming fears, embracing broken people, sickness and fatigue, seeing mass poverty, longing for home or facing the reality that home is right around the corner. However, amidst the challenges that we face during these outreaches we also experience the glory of breakthrough as we step out to preach the gospel, heal the sick, love the fatherless and the broken, embrace a foreign culture, and embrace one another as we walk together during this month. Many stories and tears were shared as we identified with each other’s challenges but even more so as we rejoiced in one another victories and breakthroughs. The afternoon was bitter sweet as we recognized the end of our outreach had come. We will not quickly forget this past month but we are strengthened as we look forward to the next season.

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ETHIOPIA: Outreach Week Three – Revival in the North

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Road Trip!

With an invitation to a conference up in the north of Ethiopia, we journeyed out on a thirteen-hour bus drive one day and another four hours the next day in order to get from Addis Ababa to Gonder. Split up into different busses, we drove over the mountains and through the valleys of Ethiopia. There was a lot to see as we passed by many small villages and fields of cows. We even crossed the Blue Nile that made its way through a large canyon. It was a great way to see more of the country itself since we spent most of our time in the city. We also used the time to get to know each other even better as we had good conversations, played games and even wrote a song!

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Boat Tour of Lake Tana

On our long bus drive up north, we had a one night stopover in Bahir Dar, a city right on the banks of Lake Tana, one of the biggest bodies of water in Ethiopia and the head water of the Nile. After breakfast the next morning, we went to load boats for a tour of the lake. It was such fun to be out on the water singing random songs at the top of our lungs. We even heard that we might see hippopotamuses in the water. Though we did not spot any it was a lot of fun for us as we saw many other animals like pelicans and eagles that were soaring over the waters.

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River of God Conference – Session 1

As the Melkane Yesus Gonder Congregation heard of our team coming to Ethiopia, they arranged a conference for us, gathering together both the gentile church and the Messianic Jewish community in Gonder. Our team filed in the brightly colored church to join the worship that was already ringing out. They warmly welcomed us and passed the service over to us. The first speaker of the night was Johnathon, an intern, who encouraged the congregation to lean on God, acknowledging Him in every circumstance while looking to grow in intimacy with God through everything. Ruben then preached a word encouraging the people that the Lord is not bringing the water for refreshment but rather for victory. He had a word of knowledge for all those who had problems speaking whether in a stutter or for lack of boldness. Three people came forward representing three generations: one child, one middle-aged man, and the other an older man. After receiving prayer, the middle aged man, who was Muslim, was not only healed but also led to salvation! The young boy was also instantly healed of a speech impediment and also fell out in the Spirit where he saw a vision of a man in white clothing pick him up and hug him. The Holy Spirit rushed through the room and we were amazed at all that the Lord did in just the first short session!

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River of God Conference – Session 2

After a short lunch break we entered the compound again expectant for what the Lord had for this session. Opening the service was Krista with a word of encouragement, followed by David who brought the message. David challenged the congregation by saying the people of God are called to go out with the gospel to the nations. He continued by stating “our circumstances do not define who God is but God defines our circumstances.” As the night continued David began to explain that he felt there was a prophetic mantle available for Gonder. He began to call Gonder into her destiny of raising up prophets. The GTS team went out, hands dripping with oil, to anoint the congregation imparting the movement of God and calling for the sons and daughters of God to be revealed. It was clear that the Lord was moving among the people as new tongues were released and exuberant worship broke out at the end of the service.

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Pure Religion Sponsorship Program in Gonder

Gateways Beyond International partners with Pure Religion in Gonder to support Messianic Jewish children who are awaiting the aliyah process with their families. These children are supported monthly with finances but also with prayer and friendship by the Gateways community and alumni around the world. As we were in Gonder, we were excited to meet with these children and their families to encourage them in their waiting but also to present gift bags to them. We joined with them in worship after which different members of our team shared testimonies and encouraging words with these precious families. We prayed for them by laying hands on them to encourage and empower them in their waiting. It finally came time to hand out the gift bags out to the children – the event both the children and the team eagerly awaited! It was a joyous morning as we praised God and enjoyed time together.

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River of God Conference – Session 3

After the incredible outpouring of the Holy Spirit that we experienced in the first day of the conference, we could not even imagine how much more the Lord had in store for today. Sarah brought a word of encouragement calling out and strengthening the daughters of the house, Tal shared her testimony, and Remi shared the word of God. Revival broke out and our team started anointing the members of the congregation. Healings and salvations once again broke out! Two young orthodox ladies who had never been to church accepted Yeshua as their Savior! At the beginning of the conference yesterday morning, Ruben felt strongly that a move of God would be released through the children there. Tonight, we witnessed the children laying hands on our team, praying fervently without any prompting from adults. It was the atmosphere of revival! This time was impacting for our student body as well. Kaily shared what she experienced saying:
“On the second night as things were getting close to the end I made my way up to the front because everyone was gathering up there for worship. As soon as I got there Remi started praying for me. About the Lord marking my life and that it will never be the same again. I did not feel anything in that moment but I said to the Lord that I receive it. When I sat down, very clearly the Lord said to me: “Why won’t you let me love you?” I was such a mess, all I could do was cry. I had never realized that I was the one standing in the way of seeing God’s love for me. It broke my heart in a new way and something inside of me changed. I feel so different.”

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Sealing Our Time in Worship

On Monday morning our team gathered together with Pastor Samuel, his wife and his father, to have a time of worship together. Lifting up Gods name we sang and praised. Hotel staff came to listen as they heard the sound of worship traveling through the hallways. Since Samuel and his family visited us, we used the time to release words from heaven over them. God showed us the importance of this family and their role in the coming revival in Ethiopia. It was such an honor for us to be with these three to see how God would use them. Mutually encouraged, we departed and started our trip back home.