Two weeks ago, the team rolled into Ukraine. Since we were going outside of the EU again, the truck crew spent around 7 hours at the border getting across. Since the crossing, we have played 9 shows across Ukraine. For most of these shows, we have been joined by our brothers in the band NUTEKI. It has been so much fun to play with them and minister alongside our brothers from Belarus. Along with NUTEKI, we have also been joined by a large group of Steiger Ukraine missionaries. I love seeing how God is moving in Ukraine-specifically in the young people here. They are so passionate about Jesus and really want to see God change the hearts of those in their country who don’t know Him.
We have seen God move in amazing ways during our tour here. Locals have shared with us that sometimes, really popular bands come through these cities and they don’t attract very large crowds. However, we have been drawing an average of 1,500-2,000 people at our shows. In the city of Zhytomyr, my translator and I spoke with several young women after the show. I shared my story with them about how Jesus saved me and changed my life. All of them started to break down in tears and when I asked them if they wanted to know Jesus like I did, they all said yes. So, I prayed with them all to receive Jesus as their savior. Praise God! I am so grateful that He truly is a loving father that really cares about the weary and brokenhearted.
Later, at the same show, I met a young man who had his hand in a cast. He explained that he broke it while riding his bike. We asked if we could pray for him, and he said yes. After we prayed, he was able to move his fingers, which he said he had not been able to before. So awesome! I asked if he had any pain still, and he said he still had a little bit of pain. So, we prayed again for the pain to leave. When we finished, he was just overwhelmed and shocked. All pain was gone! He literally went home that night and cut off his cast because his hand was completely healed. God is good!
A few days later, a small group of us had the opportunity to have a morning television interview and share the gospel. David, Ben, and I were able to share Jesus with many people on live television while talking about our concert and tour. God has opened so many doors and given us so many opportunities to preach and love the lost.
Although there have been many great experiences in Ukraine, we have also been met by hardships. Sometimes smaller things, like my sustain pedal breaking, constant sound/tech issues when trying to get ready for the set, and sometimes more serious issues like a punk spraying some of our team with pepper spray when we are in the middle of a set. In the city of Poltava, I was driving the van in the city when the trailer detached from the van and slammed into a parked car. Although it was a very scary experience, we were thankful that nobody was hurt and only one other car was involved. Unfortunately, the driver of the other car was very angry and unreasonable, and when the police finally arrived-they were no help. They took my drivers license and our registration-as if to use it to write down information for the insurance report. Instead, they kept our documents and demanded that we pay the driver cash-which is extremely sketchy, or they would keep my license and our registration. Without our registration papers, we cannot cross over the border. So, after hours of dealing with some corrupt police and an angry driver, I realized I hadn’t even prayed about the situation. I prayed right then, and went to a nearby cafe to call my parents and ask them to pray and spread the word. As soon as I hung up, the manger of the cafe came over and asked if I was having problems with the police. He explained that his good friend, who was also at the cafe, was a layer and wanted to ‘be my advocate’. I told them what had happened and what the police were demanding from us, and they began to laugh and say, “Yes, that is bad. This is not happening. We are not going to let this happen to you.” The lawyer went outside and immediately began to take over the situation. He basically told me, “You can go relax and eat lunch, I will take care of it. I will get you in an hour or so.” A couple hours later, he had our registration papers returned to us, and is going to get my license back from them in a few weeks. He is actually going to go to the court for me, do all of the work to get my license back from them, and wants to do it all for free. I was so overwhelmed by God’s kindness and immediate response to my prayers that I was moved to tears. Even as I write this, I am deeply moved as I am reminded by how much He loves me and really does provide for me.
I love Ukraine, and I am blessed to be here. All the hardship and stress has been worth it, because Jesus is doing a good thing here. I am so honored to partner with Him in this.I can’t believe that He has brought me here.
In a few days, we will be driving to Moldova for a show, then back to Poland for a big show in Warsaw.
We are well past the halfway mark of the tour, and our heart is to continue running the race as if to win. We don’t want to slow down. We are ready for what God has in store for us in these next countries and want to see Him move in power.
- The situation with the Ukrainian court having my license-that it would be returned to my lawyer quickly.
- We will be crossing borders in a few days-that all the paperwork will be in order and that we will not get stuck there for hours or rejected.
- For many people to come to our show in Moldova and in Warsaw so they can hear the gospel.
- Overall heath of the team. A couple months on the road has been causing a bit of fatigue.
- One of the Steiger vans was stolen during their outreach in Amsterdam. Please pray that God would provide in a supernatural way.
- ‘Post-tour life’ for myself and others on the team. Pray that God will give clear direction on what steps to take next.
- All of the people who prayed to receive Jesus at our shows-that they would get connected with the church and continue to seek Him.
- We are still waiting for confirmation for shows in Italy and France. Pray that the city councils would give us favor and allow us to come and preach the gospel.