When you buy a home, a car, a refrigerator, a cell phone, what are you looking for? Results that last. Dependability for the long haul. Yet when many people support charities or Christian ministries, they often think of none of these factors. They should. Whether you’re committing to a material investment or donating tithes and offerings, lasting results should be considered. Which brings me to a Russian man named Vitali. I first met him in September, 2011 when I spoke in Poltovskaya (Krasnodar region), Russia. I had taken a ferry from Crimea, which has been much in the news since Russia invaded and took control in early 2014. This was our first ministry venture into Russia.
During the Poltovskaya seminar, the enthusiasm of the crowd was electrifying. Hundreds sought deliverance, but I concentrated on a 27-year-old man named Ivan. I later learned that he had recently been released from three years in prison for drug dealing and violence. It took eight of the biggest and strongest men in the room to control Ivan’s demons of Murder, Hate, and Witchcraft. When he was finally freed after a lengthy battle, his soft demeanor was a sharp contrast to the belligerence of his demons. At the end of the seminar, before I left for Moscow, a young couple made a special request. They asked me to officiate at their marriage ceremony the next day. At first I thought I’d say a short prayer, but they wanted me to do the whole wedding, traditional Russian style.
Fast forward to our most recent mission to Ukraine, teaching, for an entire week, more than 1000 students at the New Generation Bible College. Among the students was Vitali. During a class break he approached me and explained that he was the man for whom I had performed the wedding ceremony in Poltovskaya, six years ago. Vitali shared an update. He and his wife are very happily married “and happier every year.” They are making plans to adopt children. “At first when I saw you at the seminar, I was afraid to come near to you. But then I saw your kind eyes we started to cry,” he said. “We knew then that we wanted you to perform our ceremony.”
Then, Vitali shared the best part. “I and my wife are now pastors and have four churches in Krasnodar region. We do healing encounters and deliverance ministry. Thank you, pastor Bob. It is a great honor to know you.” Then a smile came across his face as he said, “When I tell people that Pastor Bob did our wedding ceremony, they know that when I pray for them they have to get rid of their demons.”
Six years later, results that last.
An encouraging word: HOW RICH ARE YOU?
I am truly blessed! I have farmers all over the world who grow food for me, and people who ship it to convenient locations. Teams of people design and manufacture technological devices to make my life easier. I have air conditioning, clean hot and cold running water, a box in my kitchen that heats up food almost instantly — all this without the need to haul wood and build a fire. The list goes on and on. As Americans, we take for granted so many amazing blessings that happen in our life on a daily basis. But it is easy to complain about the smallest discomfort or inconvenience. 1 Timothy 6:6 says that “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” Let’s take our eyes off of ourselves today and reach out to those who are truly less fortunate by sharing our blessings and God’s message of hope, love and freedom.
Bob Larson has trained healing and deliverance teams all over the world to set the captives free and Do What Jesus Did® (Luke 4:18). You can partner with Bob and support this vision to demonstrate God’s power in action