Note from Stephen Gibson: Paul Gray, of Palestine, Illinois, was the speaker this year for the IHC and church tour in Ukraine. He did some great preaching, and his cheerful, friendly personality made friends everywhere we went. We almost had an unwanted adventure when we got lost and almost blundered into the war zone, where Americans are not appreciated, but God was watching out for us.
The Lord gave me that scripture weeks before my trip to Ukraine! I feel my life has been blessed abundantly because of Steve Gibson inviting me to accompany him on the mission trip for IHC. From the very moment we stepped off the plane in Kiev and met Pastor Roman and our interpreter Vita, there was an immediate blending of spirit!
For the following two weeks, there was not a moment but what I was fully aware that I was exactly where God wanted us at that very time! I told my wife upon arriving home that I could not recall one negative incident on the entire trip! Of course we had many, many hours on very rough roads and some very late night traveling, but through it all, we knew that God was using us to fulfill His purpose!
Not only did we hold three conventions in various places, but God opened new doors of ministry in churches where Steve Gibson had never been before. What a thrill to find new groups of believers and see that they are so responsive to the message of Holiness! Whether it was a small house church or a church with 1,000 members, they were eager to know that there is a deeper life available to the Christian!
Church after church eagerly looked at the material that Steve Gibson and others have written as a ministry training series [Shepherds Global Classroom]. Already some of it is translated into Russian! One of the new doors God opened was a large Baptist Church, and the pastor said, “I lead 1,000 churches in Ukraine and Russia, and we have been praying for study material like this to be placed in our people’s hands!”
We don’t know how much longer Ukraine will be open to the Gospel, but if we could meet the challenge here to supply the funds needed, there could be an explosion of the message of holiness throughout that region that could continue even if the door were closed again to missionaries! Again, I thought of the promise the Lord gave me: “So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (amplified)