The Ukraine Border Miracle
By Pavel Goia
Robert owned a construction business in Italy and was successful in many ways when it comes to human standards. However, he had a deep hunger in his heart for a closer walk with God, and through a series of circumstances became convicted to leave his job and go into full time ministry, trusting that God would provide and lead.
After spending some time in Africa, one day he was convicted to gather supplies to help the poor in Ukraine. With the help of friends, he loaded up four eighteen semi-trucks with clothes and supplies. He knew it might be difficult to get across the border, but he was excited and enthusiastic to see what God would do.
However, when they came to the border, the guards would not let them through. In fact, they were told that all they were allowed to carry across the border was two suitcases. After that, they would be charged by the kilogram. Of course this would be a lot of money, which they didn’t have, so this was not an option. Thinking maybe that they didn’t have enough faith, Robert and his friends went and prayed and prayed, but still the guards would not let them bring the trucks through. Day after day the answer was always the same.
Finally, discouraged, they gave up and unloaded the four semi-trucks of clothes in a storage place. Then they contacted the pastor at the nearest church on the Ukraine side of the border and told him that they’d brought supplies, but couldn’t get them across the border, so they gave him the combination and lock codes and they returned to Italy.
Excitedly, the local Ukrainian pastor recruited six men to go with him to the storage unit and they each packed up two suitcases of clothes and carried them back across the border. Slowly, day-by-day they made this same journey, moving the contents from the storage unit across the border to distribute to those in need.
It wasn’t long until the head guard began asking what they were doing. They told him that they were taking clothes to help the poor. “No one does this kind of thing for the poor. You can’t be serious!” the guard mocked them. But they insisted that this was indeed what they were doing.
Next he challenged them, “If you’re Christians, can you prove that there is a God?” Right then and there, the Pastor and his friends sat down and gave the guard a Bible study on God and the trinity. The next day they gave him another Bible study, and the same after that. Every day for a whole month they gave this guard a Bible study on their way across the border.
Finally at the end of the month, the guard was so convicted that he called the other guards together (there were eleven of them) and he asked the Pastor to give the same study to his comrades. After another month, almost all the guards were so convicted of the truth that they decided to be baptized.
At this point, the head guard of customs told the Pastor, “You don’t have to take this luggage through a couple suitcases at a time anymore. You can just drive the trucks through and you can take everything, and we wont charge you.
It had taken a few months, but God had opened the door, not just for the Ukraine Pastor and the church, but for those at the gate. You can only imagine how surprised Robert was a few months later when he heard what God had done. While God hadn’t answered his prayers immediately, even in the time of waiting he realized there was an answer.
Sometimes we pray and pray and pray, and still we don’t see an answer. But we are to trust that God has heard our prayers, and will answer in His own time and way, for His glory. We must learn to trust God and believe, even if we don’t see Him working at the time. No genuine prayer goes without an answer.
Pavel Goia is Editor of Ministry Magazine and an Associate secretary for the Ministerial Association of the General Conference.
World Church Prayer Requests
January 29 - February 5, 2021
• Pray for those who are being hit hard with the new strains of the Corona Virus. Pray for health and healing, and strength for those who are hurting.
• As we live in such tumultuous times, pray that the peace of God would fill all our hearts, as we look forward to the coming Blessed Hope!
• Pray for the upcoming February 6, 2021, “Reach the World” personal outreach day, hosted by the Sabbath School and Personal Ministries department. Pray that believers everywhere will take personal outreach seriously, and find effective ways to share the love of Jesus.
• Pray for the upcoming World Youth Day, which occurs March 20, 2021. Pray that many young people will also take part and lives will be changed for eternity.