Max at Chernobyl, UkrainePastor Max & Igor
PREACHING IN UKRAINE By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
My first crusade in the Ukraine was in 1989, while that country was still a part of the Soviet Union. After that I spent a lot of time there and in other Eastern European countries.
A journalist by the name of Larusa happened to be in a meeting we had in Truskavets and witnessed a young lady receive an instant miracle in her eyes.
A journalist from another state had brought the girl for a two week vacation to the relax- spa there. When she heard me speak and pray in the outdoor meeting, her eyes were immediately healed.
Larusa approached me saying, "You must come to Chernigov and hold meetings there!" I responded that I did not know anyone there. She countered that she knew everyone, having been a journalist for 30 years.
I stated that there must be at least one Pentecostal Minister who would invite me. She said she would locate such a man. In a short time she contacted me saying that she found a preacher who held meetings in his backyard. He couldn't read or write, but he had been imprisoned and brutally beaten by the Russian Communists and had not cried, 'uncle'.
I SAID, 'THAT IS THE MAN'!
She knew all the important people in Chernigov, which is 90 kilometers from Chernobyl. While with the Minister of Religion to get a permit, I preached the Gospel and he and his assistant both received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. The Minister then took me to the Hospital where there were about 100 sick little children with blood diseases from the Chernobyl nuclear explosion.
I met the doctors and nurses and shared the Gospel, and they all prayed the sinner's prayer. The leading Doctor led me into a very large ward. Mothers who heard I was to be there, also brought their children for prayer. The leading physician introduced me and said that if anyone desired me to pray with them, I would do so.
Then I brought a short gospel message and asked everyone to pray asking Jesus to come into their hearts. I prayed that Jesus Christ would heal them all through His precious blood that was poured out on Golgotha. Doctors, nurses and mothers wept while I prayed.
The Minister of Religion brought me to a large auditorium in the centre of the Media Complex, where there were more than 200 journalists, reporters, technicians, secretaries, print-men and truck drivers who represented radio, TV, Newspapers, Magazines and other departments. I was introduced and given the microphone with applause.
I said, "Okay, what are your questions?" There were no questions. I asked, "What do you want me to do?" They said, "Preach to us!" Through my interpreter I poured out the message of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for us all on the cross and His glorious resurrection from the dead . Many were weeping and about 167 men and women knelt at the front before me, asking God for His mercy and grace in Jesus' name.
GOD TOUCHES THEIR HEARTS!
Then I was taken to the Summer Palace made of concrete, with open doors and windows and concrete pews seating 4,000. About 5,000 were present, standing in aisles, open windows and entrances.
While I was preaching, a woman standing in a packed aisle began shouting, "I am a great sinner and need to be saved", while swinging her arms hitting peoples' faces. I realized this was a repetition of the woman in the Bible, shouting, 'these men are of the most high God.'
I shouted, "Satan be quiet and come out of her." She immediately fell to the floor and the message of Jesus went forward. Every single person there cried for mercy and I prayed for the sick for hours, laying hands on hundreds of children.
On another occasion, I was invited to preach at the Truskavets High School in the English Class with about 300 students. I have never experienced such respect and orderliness in any University or High School in Canada. When I and my interpreter had concluded the message, I asked them to bow their heads as I prayed.
Then, I asked those who desired to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour to stand up, they all rose to their feet and repeated the prayer of repentance and forgiveness. It was powerful!
The Principal asked to speak with me alone after the meeting. She stated, "Reverend, I must ask you one question. When you asked if somebody desired to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, I thought that maybe six people would have responded, but the entire class immediately stood to their feet and prayed with you. Why? Why did they do that?"
I answered, "Principal, I believe you know the answer. Why do you believe they did it?". She said, "They were Empty." I said, "You are absolutely correct. They were empty and Jesus met that need. And, you, Principal, Are you EMPTY?"
"Yes, Dr. Max, I am empty." I asked, "Would you like Jesus Christ to come into your heart and fill that empty place?" Then we prayed together and she asked God's forgiveness and received Jesus Christ into her heart and life! Praise the Lord! Amen.