The term “iron fist” was often used to describe the rule of dictators like Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin as they terrorized Eastern Europe. A German official in the 1940’s, said he foresaw: “an iron curtain would fall over this enormous territory controlled by the Soviet Union, behind which nations would be slaughtered.”
The iron curtain represented the isolation and oppression over Eastern Europe until the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991. However, there is still very much an iron fist rule in the East Bloc. Today its dictators are in the form of mafia and organized crime; those who intimidate to corrupt democracy and exploit the vulnerable––largely through young women and children being sold for sex.
As our team of 5 women set off for this region of the world, we felt the weight of the powers and principalities we would confront. Even stronger, we felt the excitement of joy and expectation, knowing our authority through Jesus would be sent out and we would see nations set free.
We faced the “iron curtain” reality in the concealment of exploited women and ignorance of the issue in the Polish and Ukrainian society. As widespread as awareness has become in the West, especially concerning key regions in Eastern Europe, it’s amazing to see how unaware these nations themselves still are. We must pray for a mighty tearing of this curtain and for a holy fear to turn many hearts. Our team was privileged to walk in His authority, see the fruits of His Kingdom, and prophesy of the fullness to come in Poland and Ukraine.
All throughout our ministry, we witnessed the power of a gentle touch as opposed to a steel grip. Even the hardest hearts softened quickly when confronted with a kind word and compassionate eyes.
Our team was shown such grace in the opportunity for street outreach to exploited women. We were invited to a safe-house, welcomed into an AIDS clinic and spoke to a group of graduating orphans about the dangers of trafficking lures.
The situation in Ukraine is especially dire. Statistics say that every one in three people in Ukraine has AIDS and that this country has the fastest growing AIDS epidemic in the world. This is evident as 90% of a local church congregation we visited had contracted the disease.
Despite this tragedy, we saw the Lord stir up zeal in the church. A Ukrainian pastor asked for training teams and materials to help the congregation start an outreach and an aftercare program in their region. Other church leaders in Ukraine invited us to speak at national conferences on the issue of trafficking and God’s heart for justice. We connected with leaders from Israel, Ireland, Poland and Ukraine––many wanting to screen Nefarious in their countries. The Lord definitely sparked a fire in hearts among His church.
God has done quite a work during this significant time in Eastern Europe!