The Vilnius official city guide for tourists states a painful truth with admirable honesty.
The last time an Ellel ministries mission team crossed this border it took over 13 hours.
As we left Wroclaw in the transit van, I felt the Lord encourage me to put the new warfare teachings that He had given me in Poland into operation against the spiritual enormity of the border crossing that lay ahead. Only God's Spirit could move you to faith for such an enormous undertaking, but after a few moments pondering I obeyed and spoke out what the Lord was putting on my heart and then encouraged the team to enter into 'high praises'. (Psalm 149:6-8)
The spiritual reaction to the warfare against such powers was very rapid. (a lesson for the presumptuous here!)
I was driving the transit van and within minutes I became very ill and had to be relieved prematurely at the wheel. I lay in the back hour after hour as we crossed Poland - stopping off a Warsaw for a McDonalds - and then on towards the infamous border crossing. In a cramped van it became almost unbearable for me and no one knew what to pray for my debilitating illness.
When we reached the Polish border post there were only a few vehicles in front of us and the officials just stamped our passports and waved us through. This despite the fact that we had some four nationalities on board plus a large load of expensive P.A equipment. One hundred metres ahead the officials did the same.
We crossed through both in 13 minutes. The team faxed Ellel Grange to say that we had 'seen a miracle today'
The moment we crossed the second border post my illness lifted instantly, and from lying across members of the team in a very ill state, I suddenly leapt up and out the door to do a highly energetic jig on the tarmac outside! Quite a transformation!
At that very moment the Lord gave me His warfare proclamation (Psalm 149: 9)for Vilnius. The words were 'Bel bows down';. I stood there repeating them again and again. It made no sense other than it was a scripture. Isaiah 46:1a) As I looked for these words in the Bible the Lord followed this up with a second word, from Jeremiah 51:44. "I will punish Bel in Babylon and make him spew out what he has swallowed. The nations will no longer stream to him. And the wall of Babylon will fall"
Later three crosses were built upon the middle hill to commemorate the murder of seven monks, and sadly today it is the place which seems to draw young people to in order to commit suicide.
The third hill is used regularly and blatantly by satanists on and the Pastor took some of the team up to show them smouldering ashes on an altar upon the wooded hilltop overlooking the city.
As we looked into the very foundational facts of the city we could now understand what the Lord was assuring us He would do through the evangelism warfare. It is best demonstrated by these two illustrations.
Street evangelism in the very centre of Europe!
As the Ellel team and the local church team worked together, the results on the street were very exciting. People stopped in sizeable numbers for every evangelistic show (about one every half hour) and people were getting saved on the street. I remember seeing people weep as they heard the gospel. The local church team members told us that they had not seen this happening on the streets before.
While staying in a 'normal' house in Vilnius, I had to put on six layers of clothes to survive the cold nights, so I could only imagine what he and his family went through. When I returned home we were able to raise that amount exactly thanks to a concert by Alan Cunningham, Manna International Ministries, and the generosity of Northern Ireland people who heard of his plight on local radio when we advertised the concert! In September the photographs arrived showing Juras and his lovely family enjoying their new home (above).
I have often reflected on this from Juras's point of view. He earned around £10 per week as a pastor in Eastern Europe. He needed £6,200. He prays for a miracle. God answers by sending the money from Northern Ireland, more than 1,000 miles away. Imagine his thoughts! What a God we serve! He is able to do abundantly more than we could ever imagine! My God not only owns the cattle on a thousand hills, He owns the hills as well. He is able to supply all our needs. Ask Juras!