Independence Day

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July 4th!  Happy Independence Day America!

Besides being a day to celebrate freedom in my home country that I love; it’s also an important date in my life, as two significant events have happened on this day.

The first was back in 1999, I was part of a mission’s trip that went all the way around the world.  On July 4th, our team was ministering in the country of Slovakia.  It’s a night I’ll never forget for as long as I live.  It was the night when everything in my life radically changed.

That night my eyes were opened to the reality of the spiritual world that surrounds us.  For the first time in my life, I understood that demons are really real.  But I also understood for the first time how powerful and real our Yahweh God truly is.

What happened that night was that I was attacked by demons.  Literally.  I felt one sitting on my chest, they were throwing shampoo bottles around the shower room, and breaking ceiling tiles causing them to crash to the floor.  It was all pretty dramatic.  But that is how the enemy is, he puts on a big show to try and scare us but, really, he’s nothing compared to Jesus.  Just a mention of the name of Jesus is it all takes for the demons to flee.  I was bound by chains of the enemy, even though I was a Christian.  I had open doors in my life that allowed them access to me, since I had not completely surrendered my life to Jesus.

That night, I had two girls praying with me, and as they proclaimed the name of Jesus over me, I started feeling some of the heaviness leave.  After praying for a few minutes, they thought everything was gone, but I knew there was still something wrong.  The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said “It’s your CDs”.  So I took my CD case and pulled out the first disc, Alanis Morissette.  (At that time, I had no idea the spiritual effect music can have on a person.) I held the disc over the trash can and broke it.  As I broke it, several things happened:  I felt huge chains in the spirit break and fall off of me and another ceiling tile came crashing to the ground.  I gasped for breath as I was overwhelmed with a sense of freedom.  In the next second the Holy Spirit filled me and I felt His presence for the first time.  I was overcome.  This was way beyond anything I had ever experienced before.  Up until that moment, I had no idea that God was so real!

My life forever changed that night.  I was completely free and filled with the Holy Spirit!  Reading the Bible became exciting as it spoke directly to me.  I couldn’t wait to pray because it was a conversation with the living God.  I would hear Him speaking to me.  I had never known it was possible to be so close to God; or that He was so much more than wise words in a book or so much more than a far away being judging us.  Jesus is SO MUCH MORE and I love Him so much!

July 4th, 1999 was my independence day!

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July 5th, 1999.  In Slovakia testifying of how I’d been set free the night before.

After I experienced the true freedom that Jesus brings, it’s been my life’s desire to see everyone else set free and filled with the Holy Spirit.  He’s the only True and Living God and He wants us to know Him and experience Him!

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The team I traveled with all the way around the world.

The second reason July 4th is an important date is that back in 2003 it’s the day I stepped on that plane that would take me to Ukraine.  I was planning on a three month internship, little did I know it was what God had in store for me!  Nor could I have imagined that Krivoy Rog would become my home.  But I’m so glad that it has!

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With Nadia, a girl I met at the orphanage in 2003.

He really does know us better than we know ourselves!  If we trust Him with our lives, He does lead us and guide us to places we would have never dreamt of – but He always knew!

I love Ukraine!  I know that the Father has so much more in store for that land.  I know that revival is knocking at the door and that there will be a great awakening in Ukraine!  I’m so honored that I get to serve the Ukrainian people and see change happening there!

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