Renewal in Poland

PolandI did not know what to expect when I accepted the invitation to minister in Olesnica, Poland, at the kind request of Pastor Pawel Cieslar, the region’s former district superintendent. This was the kind of visit where as much happened outside of the church services as within them, which is always a thrill for an evangelist!

This began with a tourist visit to the Polish city of Wroclaw, when we were able to pray for a man on the street who was giving out photographs. The following day, our friend and interpreter, Mirek Opalinski, was attending a twenty-five year school reunion close to the Czech border and my wife and I accompanied him. I had opportunity to share a simple Gospel message with this group at the conclusion of our evening and offered to pray for any who were sick. The first lady, Helena, stepped forward and was healed instantly, in front of the rest, which led to many of them gathering and asking for prayer. It was amazing – suddenly, the reunion had become a revival! Shoulder pains and a trapped nerve in the neck were healed and we also prayed for a lady suffering with terminal cancer. The Polish church are staying in contact this group, recommending places of fellowship for them to attend in their area. My interpreter, Mirek, was telephoned in the UK by Helena some fourteen months later to report that she was still perfectly well and that her problem had not returned. Jesus heals!

In the three services I held in Olesnica, it was a joy to see Jesus healing again. A young child received corrected vision in a failing left eye and her mother rejoiced as she testified to this special miracle. Several senior aged ladies were excited as the Lord touched and removed pain from various parts of their bodies – one even began dancing with joy, and I am sure she could have been eighty years’ old! Another gasped as her fingers began to work again after a long season of immobility, while still another found strength return dramtically in her semi-paralysed right arm. She raised it up before me with no problem!

Poland    Poland     Poland

Although not an exuberant or emotional church, many of those who received prayer spoke about feeling ‘heat’ or ‘electricity’ on their bodies while I was praying, not necessarily an emphasis of my meetings. One person was quite overcome by this experience and felt unable to speak for a little while as she could feel the Holy Spirit upon her. A lady testified that she had been cured of a shoulder restriction while I was preaching, and a further visitor to the church, quite unused to a Pentecostal meeting, was very happy to discover that her bad eye was no longer irritating her after prayer. Certainly, my abiding memory of the services will be the sight of four people coming forward to receive Christ as Saviour on Sunday morning. In recent years, I have learned to preach the Gospel properly, not avoiding the challenge to people to forsake their sin and to call upon God’s mercy. What a privilege to see actual tears of repentance flowing as these dear ones found Christ for themselves.

After the service, Pastor Pawel took me to see one of Olesnica’s well known families: devout Roman Catholics but not followers of Jesus Christ, who they had been in one of the weekend’s services and had witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit. We were asked to visit their home to pray for their son who was epileptic. I prayed for him, and could not say if he was healed or not, but I also took the opportunity to share the good news about Jesus with the gathered family. In a scene not unlike something from the New Testament, I called out in prayer for the mother’s legs to be healed and she was cured instantly, and much to my amazement began dancing and spinning around the room, free of pain. She even tried to offer me money for her healing. “How can I charge you for something that God has given to us freely?” was my response. I trust that this family come to the church and give their lives to Christ soon.

Poland   Poland   Poland

The Lord also worked something very special for the family of my interpreter Mirek – his mother and father had both refused to attend the church and his mother especially became angry when we spoke of the Lord. I took the opportunity one evening to pray for Mirek’s father who suffered with a back condition. Gloriously, he was healed and very happy about it too! Imagine my surprise when his wife, Mirek’s mother, who had been so antagonistic to the Gospel, was waiting for us to come home on the final evening so that she also could receive prayer for her leg and knee problems. What a faithful and merciful God! She was immediately healed and began thanking God in the Polish language and clasping her hands together religiously. As we left for the airport the following morning, she greeted us with the news that she was so much better and it was exciting to see how God had now worked in this whole family. Apparently, we are welcome back to their home any time!

As is common everywhere, I should not neglect to mention that there were many with whom I prayed who were not obviously touched. I laid hands on at least three deafened ears and not one of them opened. A girl’s shortened left leg did not grow longer as we prayed, and a worship leader with a painful slipped disc remained unchanged after prayer, as did her husband who had a difficult skin complaint. In addition to this, both Jane and myself were struggling with ill health throughout the trip. But God is faithful. I trust one day that we will visit Poland again. It was full of surprises!

A few months after returning from the trip, Pastor Pawel sent an email to thank me and to report some recent updates. Here is an extract: “On Thursday, when you preached and did not pray for any person individually, there was one healing while you preached. One lady had pain in her arm and could not lift her arm. When she returned home and went to the bathroom to change and dress for the night, suddenly she discovered that she was healed and can lift her arm all the way up and no pain. This lady gave her testimony two weeks later in the church when she was sure that her healing was true and we all praise the Lord. She is completely healed and happy now. We were all blessed by your preaching and teaching and we still talk about it.”

Praise God!

September 2008

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