After an extremely early start on Wednesday morning, Trevor and I made all our connections for the 3 flights out to Dnepropetrovsk, all on time and with ease. We were greeted by Victor one of the leaders of the church where we were to minister, and the drive around the city was off on its first leg.
We were told that Dnepropetrovsk has the largest population of Jews anywhere outside of Israel and it felt like we were back in Israel some of the time! In fact, Jewish investment has renovated much of the right bank of the River Dnieper which runs through the centre of the city. This last year, the government has changed the name of the city to Dnipro in order to lose its connection with Russian domination and to be restored to its Ukrainian heritage. This gave us prophetic fuel for speaking over the people there that this was a new day for a new name, and a new move of God in the city. Trevor ministered about receiving the keys of the kingdom and opening doors into the city to bring the kingdom of heaven in through our influence, what we say and what we do, not just in church but in our jobs and in our homes. During the ministry time, the whole congregation rushed forward to receive prayer and the keys we had taken as a gift for everyone. It was a confirmation of taking hold of the authority God has placed in our hands.
We met up with Vaida a couple of times here too. Vaida was part of Revival Fires in Dudley about 4 years ago, and spent a few months interning at the ARC, before she left to work for Tear Fund. She is now working in Ukraine rebuilding homes and giving food and shelter to those in serious need in a number of cities affected by the conflict. She moves next week to be based in the East of Ukraine, which is still undergoing struggles, fighting and casualties in the conflict with Russia. It was a joy to reconnect with her and she is doing a brilliant work with a humanitarian aid organisation.
In the afternoons, we have the privilege of spending time with the church leaders and answering their questions, by giving real practical help and life experience on so many areas they ask us about – family life, managing our time, delegating to others, honouring the Sabbath by taking rest, handling finances and more! Those times we spend with the leaders are often when the rubber meets the road and we can see just how important these conversations together are, as we share our own walk with the Lord and our church and ministry life as well.
Hunger for God was evident in the meetings throughout the worship times, the focussed attention to the ministry of the word, and the passionate response to receive prayer and laying on of hands. During the evenings, there must have been around 25 healings with people waving their arms in the air to confirm God’s healing power on their bodies, healing arms, shoulders, liver problems after words of knowledge were given out.
We will already be in Verhnedneprovsk now on Sunday holding meetings, and have Milla interpreting, who has been to Revival Fires several times, by the time you receive this update. Then we are onto Kharkov on Monday for our last few meetings there.
Thank you for your prayers for us. Trevor is recovering from a cough which kept him awake half of the first night here. It is improving with medication and prayer, of course, but do continue to lift him up to the Lord, especially with him preaching and speaking every day.
Sending you our love
Trevor and Sharon Baker