A village church meeting as people were responding to the message of the love of God
The ministry team of Paul & Loring Hammond & Daniel Caudell in village
September 2001 : Russia
This has been a very busy two months for Elijah ministries. I thank you for your prayers and your support. In September a small team, Paul & Loring Hammond, Daniel Caudell and myself, traveled to the Perm region of Russia located north and east of Moscow. To reach this area it is a 24 hour train ride. It was an experience for all of us. We left JFK International Airport on the 17th of September. Yes, just one week from the day that has changed the world. It was so moving for all of us as we met with the pastors and leaders of churches who informed us that they had held all night prayer meetings for the USA in its time of great trouble. This knitted our hearts all the more to these dear brothers and sisters of Russia.
We traveled into the rural areas ministering to towns and villages assisting the local pastors and encouraging the body of Christ. These believers are truly committed to seeing the completion of the great commission. One of the pastors, Andre has planted several churches in his area of Ilinsky. One of the places that he has established he walked 70km to reach these people. Thats a 13 hour walk one way and he did this once a week for several months. He was filled with joy as we went with him to a village called Zapoli. Where there had never been a Christian gathering. What a blessing to see 35 people come and crowd into a three room house to here the good news. God, always faithful to His Word, poured out His Spirit and 28 of the people present received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They ranged in ages 8 years to 78 years. A Church was Planted, the first organized meeting was the next week. We traveled to other villages meeting in house churches and experiencing the wonderful presence of the Lord.
We returned to the city of Perm a city of 1.75 million people where we ministered in our host church, the New Testament Church. Pastor Edward Grabovenko began this work 9 years ago and now has around 2,700 members. He has over seen the planting of 86 churches in the region, a thriving bible school and has recently started a rehabilitation center for drug and alcohol addicts. On Sunday I preached at the 4 services they have because of the number of people coming. The other team members joined the worship team and ministered with them. On several occasions they led the worship. It was an incredible experience when our team did a song in English and the other team sang the chorus in Russian, there was such a release of power in those times.
We traveled on into another Republic of Russia, Udmurtia, to city of Izhevsk. This is a city of 850 thousand people. Like many other places in this area of Russia there are very few churches. Cities with large populations have no churches that declare the Word of God and Jesus as Lord. Izhevsh was such a city, 9 years ago Yuri Degtyar came to the city and began to preach Jesus. The Udmurts are from the Finny-Ugorsk ethnic group. They worship the god Inmar who has responsibility for the heavens. Inmars mother is Mukylchi, like Jezebel is responsible for the underground sphere and is the territorial demon. The Udmurt people, to this day, still worship the dead, the power of rivers, weather, forests and most of nature. They continue to offer animal blood sacrifices to these gods. Their idolatry is woven into all of their culture, marking clothing and buildings with depictions of their idols.
After 9 years of faithful service Pastor Yuri has a church of 2,500, a powerful bible school and over 150 churches that have been established in the region. There is yet very much to do. Each Saturday he and his family go to another village and begin to sing and preach in the streets to anyone who will listen. We were honored to work alongside these dedicated brothers and sisters and to encourage them. They truly appreciated our coming and ministering to them. We saw many saved and were able to minister to hundreds through the laying on of hands and prayer. I am so very proud of this team.
We returned to the USA on 2 October and then on the 10th of October Daniel and I were off again, to Australia. What a contrast. We left Russia as it was beginning to snow and arrived in Australia to the sun and the beaches. I was one of the speakers at the International Apostolic Ministries of Australia annual conference. It was held at Lakeside Christian Center. Bill & Pat Pryor pastor this great church. I was also able to teach on reaching the Nations for Christ. I met additional brothers from India, Philippines and Pakistan. There are plans being made to go into Pakistan, PTL!
Please be in intercession for us as we are scheduled to travel to India in the month of November. I will be conducting a seminar for Pastors and leaders in Hyderabad. We will also be ministering in open-air crusades in the towns and villages in and around Tenali. WE ARE REACHING INTO THE UTTERMOST PLACES! YOU ARE HELPING!