Impact International Ministries - Discipling The Nations Through God’s Word & Demonstrating God’s Mercy To Children Around The World

 

 

 

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Testimonies

 

"FRUIT THAT REMAINS"

Impact Ministries International Newsletter 2006

 

Jesus said in John 15:16 “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as presenting all that I AM], He may give it to you.” Amplified

 

In weakened moments of exhaustion or discouragement, we have asked the Lord why we couldn’t be normal people.  By this we mean, “Why couldn’t we have a nine to five job, do business investment like others do and prosper by the work of our hands?”  God’s answer over the years has been, “I am jealous of you.  I have called you; I ordained you and I separated you to My chosen calling.”  If it’s in the bounds of the Gospel, even the smallest and most feeble beginnings flourish under the watchful grace of God.  Churches are established by the hundreds; Salvations are coming in by the thousands at such minimal effort on our part.  It wasn’t always this way.  For years we saw ones and two’s, we have suffered the pruning and reproving by God in our lives, until this very hour of God’s awesome ingathering of Harvest.  This Season of dramatic and dynamic, soul winning HARVEST has affected our hearts and our ministry.  We owe our intercessors our very lives and through their prayers, they have CO-HARVESTED WITH US AMONG THE NATIONS. 

 

This SUMMER Sara and I returned to LVOV, UKRAINE where we witnessed a mighty miracle of God’s keeping care over a span of thirty years.  In nineteen seventy six Sara and I led a team of thirty five pastors, church leaders and dedicated Christians from Canada and United States into the heart of a nation under siege in the Western Ukraine. The city of Lvov today has over a dozen churches but in 1976 there was only one struggling, registered gathering.  Our team came along, each carrying a minimum of three pairs of jeans.  Some by faith filled suitcases with as much as sixteen additional pairs of jeans and by the mercy of God, all of these items came through the border without confiscation or customs penalty.  In that year it was illegal to bring more than one pair of jeans into that country because on the “black market,’ the Communist Party Elite were paying between $300 and $400 U.S. dollars per pair of jeans (or that equivalency in Russian Rubles).  A Levi Strauss leather, label was sold to the Elite for as much as $50.00.  These were sown onto inferior, Czechoslovakian jeans as a status symbol amongst their youth culture.  Therefore, the Communist Party was indirectly funding the building of a church in Lvov by means of Jeans (and JESUS)!  We never saw the finished building until July of this year, 2006. 

 

Standing outside of the church after the service, Sara strikes up a conversation with a family that by divine appointment had lingered behind in the courtyard.  The conversation struck up along the lines of, “It has been thirty years since we have been here last and we saw such little fruit in those days.”  Sara commented that somewhere in Lvov, we had built a church with “Jeans and JESUS”.  The family that was being addressed exploded into a volley of excitement.  The husband taking the lead in the conversation by saying, “My wife and I are some of your fruit that has remained.”  “I was the arresting Officer at the border crossing in 1976 and you were sentenced by our court to ten years imprisonment for smuggling Bibles.” He said, “Do you remember the man with the paralyzed arm that God healed.”  “I was the other officer on duty at that time.  The church in Lvov, by the avenue of the prophetic heard from God that you were under arrest. The Lord gave them your name saying, “Richard and Sara are facing ten years of imprisonment.  Pray that they will be released.” God divinely linked Pastor Richard Strum at Redmond Assembly of God who stood up that same time, nine time zones away and said in the middle of their church meeting, “Stop everything.  Richard and Sara are in danger.  Let’s pray for their deliverance.”  East and West came into agreement around the throne of God and the Lord, Jesus Christ released us.  In the words of the judge, “I don’t know why we feel lenient towards your case, but you are free to go.”  We now know, thirty years after the event the rest of God’s story. 

 

The customs Officer continued the story by stating, “When you were released, I was so enraged that I made it a one man personal vendetta to have you rearrested.  Two years after this arrest, I heard that you were preaching in an unregistered, wooded area in Ukraine and I went with the intention of arresting you.  I listened to your preaching, just a little too long and God arrested my heart.  That evening as a response to my wife and my mother’s prayers, I was Born Again and you are my ‘father in the faith’.  I never had a chance to personally thank you until today.  This church of over 1,000 members is your fruit that has remained over the years and keeps bearing fruit to this day.” 

 

When Sara and I heard this testimony, we both wept for joy.  How many other places and other times have we sown in faith and not by sight, the GOOD SEED OF GOD’S WORD, NEVER SEEING THE GERMINATION OF THE SEED UNTIL YEARS LATER OR PERHAPS EVEN BEFORE THE VERY THRONE OF GOD.  The ‘GOOD SEED’ OF GOD’S WORD never returns lifeless or VOIDIt always births forth remaining and lasting fruit; sometimes thirty, sometimes sixty and sometimes a hundred fold.  

 

Your labors in Christ are not in vain.  The smallest acts of faith are multiplied by His Grace and often mature into great testimonies of His mercy and favor.  We have been encouraged to keep on sowing and to keep on growing in our calling in Christ Jesus.  In these summer harvest months, when our Spiritual Harvest is the greatest, our physical supplies often are at their leanest.  So it is this summer.  Sara and I need an army of partners to stand with us as God is calling us to the nations.  Africa, India, China, Latin America, the U.S.A. and the Former Soviet Union are churning in our Spirit.  We are sowing the SEED of God’s WORD in the Russian Far East, in China, in Islamic Nations and the Middle East and we need God’s people to come alongside of us, lifting our hands and encouraging our hearts with their prayers and their monthly support.  None of the miracles that you have heard about through us could have ever happened without intercessors, prayer partners and participants in our financial burden.  This summer, we have returned home to empty coffers because we have poured everything we had into the HARVEST and into purchasing Scriptures for the needy.  IMPACT MINISTRIES have just spent tens of thousands of dollars on additional SEED OF GOD’S WORD, ORPHANS AND ORPHANAGES AND CRUSADE AND OUTREACH COSTS.  Our immediate response has been multiplied thousands of decisions for Christ.  Our long term response, we may not fully know until we both, you and I together kneel before the throne of God.  The Word admonishes us, “Be not weary in well doing, for you shall reap reward if you faint not.” 

 

HARVESTING TOGETHER IN CHRIST,

 

Richard & Sara Michalski,

Impact Ministries International

 

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