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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Holy Spirit ministry in Siberia

We are currently in the city of Novosibirsk, which is the largest city, and in many ways, the capitol city of the Siberian region of Russia. It is a city of more than 2 million people. There are few churches for such a large city, perhaps 25 in total. We are here to teach in the missionary school and preach in Cornerstone Church of Novosibirsk.

On Sunday October 16 we participated in the Sunday morning gathering where there were nearly 550 people present. The church has many young families with children. This is always delightful to see. In most Russian Protestant churches the children are brought to the front of the hall and prayed for before they are dismissed to the children’s meeting.

The church also has a really talented worship team. We enjoyed the time of song and praise very much.

Pastor Vasily Dotsenko led the service. Vasily is a former drug addict and criminal who came to Christ about 10 years ago. Today he is a powerful, but gentle leader.

His beautiful wife, Natalia, is the worship leader and is our friend and co-worker as she helps us with our translation needs. Michael had the privilege of preaching in the morning service.

It was an interesting time. The Holy Spirit moved in a quiet but powerful way. The message was very simple. The Scripture text was Luke 6:6-11. Michael asked that each of us put ourselves into this story. Each of us is like the man with the damaged hand in the story. Something in each of our lives is broken. Most of us live with shame, anger, bitterness and woundedness, however, just as Jesus met this man and made him whole, Jesus wants to meet us at our place of brokenness and He wants to restore our lives and make us whole. As the message began to draw to a close there was a real presence of the Holy Spirit in the hall. People began to weep as they realized that Jesus was truly there to bring wholeness into their lives.

In the Scripture passage Jesus ask the man to “Stand, come here, and stretch out your hand.” When the man did so Jesus made him whole. Michael asked everyone in the hall to do the same. Stand, raise their hands and ask Jesus to heal the broken places in their lives. It was a powerful moment. The Holy Spirit was present in a very real way. People were being touched and we believe that God did a healing work in many lives. Michael then called for those who had never publicly proclaimed Christ as Lord and Savior to come forward and do so. Nine people came publicly to repent and make a decision to simply follow Jesus. One young man was weeping openly as he gave himself over to the Lordship of Christ.

It was a wonderful, powerful, miraculous morning! Christ was glorified and people met the Risen Christ! The next day we heard many people testify to the fact that Christ touched their lives through this simple Gospel message.

Romans 1:16a For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…

1 comment:

Amrita said...

These are showers of blessings