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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…