Let Faith Arise

In this study we are going to be looking at Judgment and Suffering and how they are related to spiritual renewal and awakening.  

Before we start, I want you to think about a question. 

How would you define a revival?   

God is moving in amazing ways around the world.  Do you have eyes to see? 

Many of us have prayed for revival.  For an awakening that would change our land and our world.  But what would a revival look like?  Would we recognize it? 

I traveled a lot when I was in my corporate career prior to becoming a missionary.  I have also worn a mustache almost continually since I was a sophomore in high school.  Well, several years ago I was traveling for a few weeks.  A few days before I was to go home, I was shaving. I think I was about half asleep when I took my razor through half of the right side of my mustache.  Needless to say, I could not go to work with only a part of my mustache, so I decided to just shave it off.   

I went home a couple of days later. My key was in my backpack, so I went to the front door and rang the bell.  I knew my wife and children were at home. 

My youngest daughter who was about 6 at the time opened the door.  She took one look at me and turned around and ran towards her mom who was in the back of the house yelling “stranger, danger: stranger danger”. 

My daughter cried when I left for my trip and I know she was eager for me to come home, but she did not recognize me when I came to the door.   

Even though we yearn for it, if you saw God moving in our nation, would we recognize it? If you saw God shaking up world and calling people to him, could we see it? Would we praise God for it?  

ReachGlobal Crisis Response serves people during and after crisis events.  This includes: 

  • Hurricanes 
  • Earthquakes 
  • Wildfires 
  • Floods 
  • Tornadoes 
  • Tsunamis  
  • War 
  • Racial conflicts 
  • Refugee crises 
  • And others 

We have found in every case, in every culture and in every people group that God creates a mission field during and after every crisis event.  People feel vulnerable, they no longer have all the answers.  Their security bubble has been shattered and they are more willing to listen to the message of the gospel.   

My role in our ministry is to: 

  • lead training for churches to help them prepare for local crisis events. 
  • work with churches nationally and internationally to tell them about our ministry.  
  • Encourage churches to send teams to serve. 
  • Lead basic trauma care training programs and lead basic trauma care discussions with people impacted by crisis.  
  • Encourage pastors; and 
  • Serve as needed at our ministry sites.   

For the past two years I have been serving in Poland and Ukraine.

While in Ukraine and Poland, I meet with churches and pastors to encourage them and let them know they are not forgotten. I ask you to pray for us as we seek God’s will for our continuing ministry in Ukraine and across Europe.

If you have your Bibles turn to the Revelation of John, chapter 16. 

Now let’s look at The Revelation of John

In Revelation 16:1-7 we just read about judgment.  Do you believe that God judges’ sin?  That He judges the world today?  Let’s look what he told the Israelites when they came out of Egypt.    

In Deuteronomy 28:15-19 we read 

We have seen a tremendous number of crisis events in just the last three years.  From war in Ukraine, to storms, floods, and draught to increasing geo-political tension, rising anxiety and depression and mass movements of refugees around the world. 

People, especially world leaders, like to think that they are in control.  That they can fix political issues, that they can solve “climate” related issues, that they can eliminate hunger.  That they can control a pandemic. 

But God shows us we have only the illusion of control.  He is showing clearly that He is the only one in control. 

People keep trying to “fix” things” instead of falling their knees and crying out to God for forgiveness.   

Let’s go back to Revelation 16, what is man’s response to God’s judgment? Let’s read Revelation 16:9b; 10b-11 

16:9b They did not repent and give him glory. 

16: 10b-11 People gnawed their tongues in anguish 11 and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores.  

We see in these verses that even though judgment and the consequence of their sin is all around them, people ignore what God is doing in the world.  They are blind and their hearts have been hardened. They refuse to repent. 

Man’s Response

We need to remember again this is a spiritual battle. The enemy attacks from many directions.  Some attacks come disguised in the veil of religion.  The head of the Russian Orthodox church, Patriarch Kirill I said on September 25, 2022 that “Russian soldiers who die in the line of duty in Ukraine have all of their sins forgiven” – comparing their sacrificial death to that of Jesus. 

This is not the gospel it is heresy.  It is what Jesus said of scribes and pharisees in Matthew 23:27-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”  

Spiritual Battle


We know we serve a Sovereign God, and we need to remember that He is in control.  However, we also battle against an enemy that knows he has lost.  Our enemy’s goal is to destroy.  The enemy continually disguises what he does.  He presents himself as an angel of light, but he is nothing but darkness and full of evil.   

I asked you earlier what does Revival Look Like? 

We need to remember that God works in very different ways than we do.  His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts.   

We pray for revival, but the revival that God brings may not look like the revival for which we have been praying.   

Praise God that he is faithful.  That He will call His own to Him.   

Our job is simply to be faithful.  To tell those around us that we are all sinners and separated from God.  But because of his love for us, Christ died in our place so we can be forgiven and reconciled to God.  We simply must trust and believe in the promises of God. 

When you see tragedy or crisis, or individual suffering look to see what God is doing.   

At our church we have a young family that lost a very young daughter in an accident.  The family is grieving but they are also standing on God’s promises.  They know they will see their daughter again.   

Through their witness and testimony members of their extended family have been brought back to Christ and the church.  People in the community are seeing their faith.  Losses and suffering can be extremely difficult, yet God is at work. 

Sorrow and Judgement in Ukraine

The war has impacted millions of people in Ukraine.   

Ukraine has a population of a little over 44 million people and over 1/3 of the population has been displaced from their homes.  

Although bombing is occurring in many parts of the country, the war is concentrated in the eastern part of the country.  It is interesting to note that the eastern part of the country is primarily Eastern Orthodox and much like Catholicism there is little hope and grace in the Orthodox church.  Most people go there to be “born, married, and die”.   

The central and western part of Ukraine has many evangelical churches.  In fact, Ukraine is one of if not the most evangelized countries in Europe.   

We see Ukrainians fleeing to safety towards the center and western part of the country and the evangelical church in Ukraine has responded in a huge way.  Most of the evangelical churches have ministries to the refugees / displaced people.  Some of the churches we are working with are housing and feeding hundreds of refugees a day.  One church we are working with in Kyiv has over 40,000 refugees in their city to whom they are trying to minister. 

What is God Doing?

We read in Romans 9:18 “So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.” 

I believe God has hardened the heart of Russia’s president, but to what end?   

I believe God is telling all of Europe and the world that they cannot trust other “gods” (governments, money, businesses, social structures, etc.).   

God is telling people that instead of putting our faith and trust in government leaders, government institutions, our jobs, our money, even our families that we should fall on our knees before him. God is calling all the world to repentance, to turn from their sin and to acknowledge that he is the only True God.  

What is happening in Ukraine is hard.  So are the repercussions of the Ukrainian war.  Hunger has increased significantly across many parts of the world.  There is energy insecurity, political instability, mass migrations caused by hunger and lack of opportunities, and on and on. 

When we see crises occurring in the world and even in our families, we should be looking to God to see what he is doing. 

Do you thank God for the Pandemic?  

Maybe we should.  Many Muslims in the middle east have come to faith during the pandemic because they could not go to the mosque.  Some started watching Christian programs online and came to faith.  Some of these are now in online global bible studies that started during the pandemic.   

What about the refugees on the southern border of the United States?  Is God bringing them to the US border to bring the gospel to them? Or is God bringing them to the border so they can share Christ with people in the US? 

What about the food crisis in Africa? And the millions of refugees moving across borders all around the globe? 

What about political instability and racial tensions?   

Are we looking with God’s eyes or are we looking with the eyes of man?  

Are you more interested what God says about a crisis or what your favorite news channel has to say? 

God tells Isaiah in chapter 6: 9-10 And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ 10 Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes. 

Do not harden your heart to those that need Christ.  Do not harden your heart to what God is doing in the world. 

Challenging Norms

The war in Ukraine has shattered people’s perceptions of the European model.  No one thought they would see a major war between two of Europe’s largest countries.   

The flood of Ukrainian refugees across Europe has been one of the fastest movements of people groups that has ever occurred.   

Yet in this difficult time, ReachGlobal’s missionary organization and evangelical churches across Europe are responding to minister to the needs of the refugees and local communities.  There is a great potential for this crisis to cause large numbers of people across Europe to question their beliefs, those who felt so secure just a year ago and saw no need for God. 

One of our Evangelical Free Church missionaries in Romania told me that he has never seen the church in Romania so energized to help and serve. 

We need to pray that God would use this crisis to bring revival across Europe. 

Our Mission

What is our mission? 

Our mission is the Great Commission.  To go and take the gospel to all the world.   

John 4:35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.  

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”  

Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”  

John 20:21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 

Our mission is clear.  Our mission is to go and tell, to take the gospel to all the earth. 

The mission is for all Christians.  Are you willing to go?  Are you willing to send others?   

Transforming Communities

Our ministry always partners with a local church.  In Poland, we are partnering with a church that is right on the border of Poland and Ukraine.   

In Poland over 93% of the population are Roman Catholic and 50% of these people claim to be atheists.  The Polish Catholic church is very closed to evangelicals.  In the area we are serving, the local priests refer to evangelicals as a cult.  The priests even curse those that go into an evangelical church.   

Our church partner is a small church with a young pastor whom God put in the role of lead pastor in November 2021. Just a few months before the Russian invasion.  

It is a wonderful story of how God moved this young man and his family to this small city and small church to have a large impact on his community and Ukrainian refugees.  The church has ministered to over 1,000 refugees since late February and has a heart to serve the local community and the refugees. 

Because of the fear in the local community of going to an evangelical church, our partner has opened a community center and coffee shop in the middle of the town’s square.  Through this center and coffee shop we are offering bible studies, English as a Second Language, Polish as a second language (primarily for Ukrainians), art classes, sport ministries and more.  The goal is to use this facility to build relationships in the community and with the Ukrainians to have the opportunity to share the gospel.   

The community’s perception of evangelicals is changing. 

I asked you earlier “what would a revival look like?” 

Transforming People

What does revival look like?  

  • People Serving and Giving Sacrificially 
  • Churches Working Together 
  • Meeting People’s Needs – Physical, Spiritual, Relational, Intellectual, Emotional 
  • Challenging Perceptions & Norms 

I want to tell you that there is revival in Ukraine.  Hundreds and thousands of Ukrainians are coming to Christ.  One of the churches in Ukraine that we work with and help support has seen its congregation grow from 70 before the invasion to over 300.  With people having to stand outside the building and listen to service through speakers because there is no room.  At one Sunday service a few months back, they had 33 come to faith and this is happening all over Ukraine. There is another church in eastern Ukraine that has gone from 120 people prior to the invasion to now over 1,000 with many people coming to Christ. 

Churches of different denominations are working together.  As I mentioned earlier many of these churches are housing and feeding dozens to hundreds of refugees a day.   

Though this is a very hard time, it is beautiful to see God calling people to faith.   

This war is challenging Ukrainians, Europeans, and countries around the world to rethink their views of the world.  Many who thought their lives were safe and comfortable have been upended.   

Yet we know when crisis comes that God creates a mission field. 

Mission Focused

What does revival look like? 

It is mission focused. It is taking the gospel everywhere. 

It is Churches turning into places of rest.  It is basements, attics, and classrooms turned into sleeping areas for displaced Ukrainians.   

It is large numbers of church members coming alongside to serve.   

When I ask Ukrainian pastors how I can pray for them, they ask for us to pray first for revival.  Then somewhere down the list they ask us to pray for peace.  They see God working.   

One large church we have been working with finished a building project a little over 3 years before the invasion.  They wanted to sell their old building but could not find anyone interested.  Instead, organizations and businesses started coming to them offering buildings for them to purchase at steep discounts.  The church kept saying that they didn’t want another building, but the prices became so cheap the church said OK, we will take them.   

The government also offered this same church a local army base that had been shut down.  It was a reasonably large facility with many buildings.  The church again said we don’t need an army base, but the government kept insisting and finally sold it to them for around $5,000.   

Over a three-year period prior to the invasion, God kept bringing buildings and facilities to this church and they did not know why.  Now we know why.  They housed and fed hundreds of refugees a day through the summer and saw many of these people come to Christ. 

This story is a beautiful reminder that nothing surprises God.  We just need to follow and trust him and leave the results to him. 

God at Work 

So, What Does Revival Look Like? 

It is God at work; through crisis, through suffering, judging sin, calling people to repent, to trust him.  It is His people being willing to go, no matter the cost. 

Again, What Does Revival Look Like? 

Near the fall of the Roman Empire, Christian churches were not spreading the gospel to the “barbarians” to their north in Europe and Scandinavia.  

So, what did God do?   

God brought the Goths, Franks, and Saxons to Rome.  They raided and ultimately destroyed the Roman empire killing thousands and carrying away many Christians back to their lands as slaves.  Many of these Christians were faithful to the gospel and over time the people groups in what is now Europe were won to Christ.   

This revival did not look like what the Christians in Rome were hoping for or praying for.   

What should we think of regarding Pandemics? Mass migrations? Wars? Natural Disasters?  Refugees? 

It is God at work.  Do you have eyes to see? Do you have ears to hear? 

What does revival look like?  

We are seeing large growth in Ukrainian churches, and we are also seeing growth in Polish churches.  In Poland we are seeing people look at Evangelical churches in a new light.  They see how evangelicals across the country have supported and are supporting the Ukrainians refugees, while the Catholic church has been largely absent.   

We have also seen a great amount of growth in the percentage of people in churches that have become part of ministry.  Instead of 20% involved it is 60, 70 or 80% or more of the people that are involved. 

It has changed the priorities of many Christians and caused them to ask God how they can serve.   

We have seen many lives transformed.   

The mother and daughter in this picture and her son came to us in Poland at the beginning of the invasion.  The 21-year-old daughter is the national weightlifting champion of Ukraine in her weight class.  While she probably only weighs a little over 100 pounds, she can clean and jerk over 200 pounds.  The story of how they escaped from Ukraine is incredible.  None of this family were Christians before they came.   

They did not even know where to go once they left Ukraine, but God directed them to the church where we serve.   

Over the last 10 months, they have heard the gospel many times. 

By being faithful to God’s call to welcome and serve this family, to build relationships with them and consistently share the message of the Gospel with this family, the son came to faith this summer.  Just a couple of weeks ago, the mom sent me a text telling me she had come to faith.  Continue to pray with us that her daughter will soon also trust in our Savior.    

The Great Commission

So how can you help? 

Call to Action

Pray.  I need prayer.  Our ministry team needs prayer.  The churches and pastors that we are serving need prayer.  Those who have been so tremendously impacted by this war need prayer.  Government leaders need prayer.  Russian leaders need prayer.  Your church needs prayer. 

Pray as the Ukrainian pastors do for revival.  Pray that God would draw large numbers of Ukrainian, European, Russians and others around the world to him through this crisis. 

Serve.  Our ministry needs you to serve.  We need people to serve in Poland and other crisis response sites in the US and internationally.  We also need people to join our ministry.  There are many more requests for our help than we can meet.   

Your church needs you to serve.   

As Christ said, the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” 

Give.  We need support for our ministry.  I need your support. I need to raise an additional $1,000 per month to continue my service in Ukraine.  Your missionaries need support.  Your church needs support.   

If you are a follower of Christ, you have the shirt, you have the shoes, you have the shorts.  Don’t just sit on the bench.  The coach – Christ – is telling you – Get in the game.  What are you waiting for? 

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 

Will you walk in the works that Christ has prepared for you? Are you willing to go anywhere God wants you to go? Are you willing to send others and support them so they can go?  

Are you ready for revival?