The Outreach Begins
One of the saddest things about Soviet era Russia is that creativity was killed. Miles and miles of massive apartment buildings, with very little architectural differences between them, span the streets of most cities. In every city there is a large meeting hall for events… and the building looks the same in just about every locale.
We rented the one in Tolyatti for our outreach. On the first night, despite the lack outward beauty, the place was electric. We were so excited. We had come to bring revival to this city and finally it would begin. We were not disappointed. Each night there was only standing room only in the 1000-seat auditorium.
We gave out free Bibles and strangely the people wanted all the American visitors to sign their Bibles. At first I resisted, as it seemed sacrilege to do such a thing. However, when it became clear that it came from a pure heart—that they simply wanted to remember us, I gave in.
On Friday, John Cava preached a message on receiving the Holy Spirit. At the end of the message our team was released to lay hands on everyone who desired to receive—and that was everyone!
It was beautiful chaos. Each one on our team, whether a housewife, a teen or a businessman or businesswoman, was laying hands on dozens of people. There were no ushers to bring order, just people crowding around, seeking to receive the Holy Spirit. It was amazing.
As I was praying for one woman, I noticed a younger woman next to her. She was not dressed in the most modest apparel, but that was not what caused me to notice her. It was that her face was contorting in an extremely creepy way. Suddenly she fell to the ground and began to writhe like a snake.
(Let’s take a break here. I know that some of my readers do not believe in such things as demon possession. Let me just say, that when Yeshua ministered, demons manifested. When the power of God comes on a city, demons get agitated. If you believe in the New Testament, then you must believe in the passages where Yeshua casts demons out of people [Matt 4:24, Matt. 8:28ff and so many more].
Furthermore, we, His followers are given the charge to also use His authority to cast out demons and set people free.
As you go, proclaim this message: “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. [Matt. 10:7-8]
And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons… [Mark 16:17]
This is part of our calling!)
When the woman fell to the ground, I had no idea what to do. I had read in the New Covenant about casting out demons, but had very little experience. Fortunately, Blanche, a fellow team member, was well versed in the subject and she was next to me.
For the next forty minutes or so we commanded the demonic powers in this woman to leave. Sweat was pouring off my face. This was not easy and I cannot tell you that I was full of confidence that this woman would be set free.
A great crowd gathered around us, gawking at the wild scene. While occult practices were not new to these people, seeing two Americans praying with authority over a Russian woman who was slithering beneath them was different. When the woman would begin to talk in a creepy voice Blanche would say, “Shut up in the name of Yeshua!” And by golly, if her mouth didn’t close. It was like someone literally zipped up her lips and she could not open them. I was amazed.
Why are the Cooks here?
After what seemed like eternity, and about the time that I was wondering if we had done all that we could do for her, several people rushed into the building. They were dressed like cooks, but they moved towards us as if they were serious. I thought, Why are the cooks here? Then it hit me; they were paramedics. Someone, concerned for the woman on the ground writhing like serpent, called them.
And just when they got about two feet from where we were, a peace and a presence entered that area and the woman calmly got up off the ground, lifted up her hands and began to sing beautifully in other tongues. She looked like a different person altogether.
Her name was Irina and she was a whore. She was forced into prostitution in order to support her son and herself. And her story does not end here.
Check back tomorrow (August 30th) for Part 3, I am blogging one post a day. Thanks for reading! Please share with your friends. The Facebook thingy to the left does work, even though it doesn’t seem to be counting correctly. We are working on it.