By Larry & Deborah Mininger
FRESH FRUIT FOUND IN FINLAND
The Apostle Paul and company “went through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep… So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily” (Acts 16:4-5). In the last 26 years, Deb and I have conducted significant ministry in Finland. However, as the years elapsed, contact information changed and pastors have resigned, retired and moved. I thought that perhaps the days of open doors to Finland were over. Then Pastor Anthony Holmes from our home church sent us a word from the Lord. He said, “Do not consider doors closed and ministry over. Here is what the Lord says: “You were faithful in going to the nations using a pick, shovel, and wheelbarrow to do My work. If you will go again you will find doors open still. There is a hunger for your ministry awaiting you! If you go again, I will send you with new power tools of the Holy Spirit and you will accomplish much in a short time.”
We went again to Finland and discovered open doors and fresh fruit! It was the most productive trip in recent years. We preached 17 meetings in 12 cites in 24 days. Churches of various flavors were strengthened in the faith and some increased in numbers. We thank God for His amazing faithfulness to direct us to hot spots. Plans are now made to return and invest even more in certain locations.
A PAKISTANI MAN IN FINLAND
In a Rihamäki Church, I was preaching when the Lord gave a word of knowledge. There was a man who had given up on receiving the Holy Spirit baptism. When I asked who it was, a Pakistani man responded along with 12 Finnish people. After some short instructions on asking and receiving, I said to the group, “Let’s all surrender our tongues to the Holy Spirit and trust Him to give us the utterance.” As is sometimes my custom, I repeat a phrase while speaking in tongues. That night I did it 3 times. All 13 people where instantly and gloriously baptized with the Spirit including the Pakistani Brother.
Before they all sat down, the Brother informed the church saying, “When Pastor Larry repeated a phrase 3 times in the beginning, he was speaking perfectly in my mother tongue of Pinjab! God said to me very clearly: “I will help you!” and repeated it 3 times. All unbelief, fear, and resistance melted away instantly. I received gloriously!” God can still restore real languages to His surrendered Pentecostal people when He sees a heart that longs after Him!
ENCOURAGEMENT FROM ESTONIA
About 5 years ago, an Estonian Pastor and his wife, Aarne and Küllike Heide, had a child named Mia, who had a condition that the medical community termed as “Downs Syndrome.” I have counseled many families who have lost a loved one, yet I never knew a mother to be so crushed, heartbroken, and discouraged. She could only see herself tied down for the rest of her life caring for the child. God gave her a word that “He would turn even this situation around for good. The child would need some special care but would one day be okay.” When Deb and I visited her in the hospital, she was so shattered that the word of hope hardly took hold of her soul that day.
Now, 5 years later, Deb and I again visited this Estonian family in their Parnu home. Pastor Aarne greeted us at the door. After hugs from him and the 3 other children, I felt somebody clinging to my leg. Yes, it was little Mia! She had the brightest smile and the Estonian language flowed from her lips with “I love you!” Sweetness was flowing from her like a fresh mountain stream. I noticed her mother Küllike hanging back to observe this once in a lifetime scene. She was waiting her turn for a hug. I wish we could have captured the mother’s smile and sheer delight radiating from her countenance as she proudly watched what was taking place.
Later in the evening when the opportunity was right, Küllike gave this report: “Little Mia is certainly the greatest angelic gift that God could deposit within our family. She is the embodiment of Christ’s love that lives in our home 24/7. I do not know how I would have survived the ministry and life pressures in the recent 5 years of my life if it were not for Mia. God knew exactly what our home needed when He gave us Mia. I could not see it that first day in the hospital, but I see it now and would not trade my life for anything in the world!” Dear readers and friends, this is truly the greatest and most remarkable change for good that I have occasioned to witness!
DEBBIE’S BUCKET LIST
Deborah and I are so grateful to be included in World Mission Ministries’ invitation to the World Pentecostal Summit in Hong Kong. It was so meaningful to us! When the event concluded, we were able to join a 4 day tour to Beijing, China. Deb always dreamed of climbing the Great Wall of China. It was on her bucket list. She was able to climb along with Dr. Beacham and Susan and other IPHC folks. But Deb was not content to only reach the first official level of the wall. She had to reach the ultimate high point. She made it and has the “heroes metal” to prove it. Going up was an incredible feat for her but coming down was torture. Her legs wanted to give way on those uneven steps and it was dangerous for her. She wants to send Harold Presley a special thank you for helping her down. She needed his assistance to keep from tumbling. God bless you Brother Harold for taking such care of my wife when I was unable!
Photo Credit: Larry & Deborah Mininger