It was a fortnight before the start of the Jesus Festival when they began to do preparatory work. Apart from members of the outreach mission "Christ for all Cities" who came from Kyiv, the effort was joined by pastors and leaders of five churches based in Horlivka.
The news spread fast about the miracle meetings to be held in the city, which was due to advertising on local TV and radio as well as on video screens set up in the central square and the city market. There were hundreds of posters put up about the city to provide information about the Jesus Festival and programmes by the Planet D ministry. The Festival hit the headlines of the city's most popular newspaper. Also, the event was vigorously advertised on the most visited local website.
For three months in the run-up to the Festival, pastors and leaders of different churches prayed hard for the Festival's success and as well as for the salvation of people and their affiliation with the local churches. There were several interchurch prayer meetings. During two weeks about 150 members of different churches brought good news in Horlivka's streets and squares. They prayed for people and invited them to attend the Jesus Festival. As a result of this street evangelism, over 1, 350 people repented and received Jesus into their hearts.
Scores of believers from different congregations helped maintain order at the Festival and ministered in all places where assistance was needed. They helped to produce and place advertisements, as well as provided bed and board for the members of the evangelistic team. Also, they supplied electric heaters and technical venue facilities.
The ministers devoted a great deal of time, money and effort, all this being in spite of cold, fatigue and sleep deprivation. As to worship, ushering, follow-up care, prayer and provision, all this work was done properly and efficiently.
The first day of the Jesus Festival (Friday) saw a full house, with lots of people standing in the aisles. Still more people came on Saturday. The sermon delivered by Pastor Henry was vivid and abounded in interesting examples, the message being clear and comprehensible. The believers and those experiencing such things for the first time devoured each word said by Pastor Henry. The subject he dealt with was practical, illuminative and relevant to everybody's experience.
God accompanied the sermon with miracles and signs. There were so many healings that the service could hardly accommodate all the testimonies. After the healing prayer had been said, one could see people discard walking sticks and crutches. Many of the audience regained normal vision and a number of speech defects disappeared. Stiff joints were beginning to move and normal hearing was coming back. There were several men who had suffered injuries and developed occupational diseases when working in a mine. Having been tormented for years, they were healed at the service. Being in raptures, people saw haematomas, indurations and growths dissolve. Many were crying for joy, praise and thanks being given to God.
About 150 people came out on the stage to give their lives to Jesus Christ and completed prayer questionnaires. A follow-up team made up of believers from different congregations helped the newly-converted to understand what their first step in Christ was about. They prayed for them and gave them gifts provided by the mission "Christ for All Cities", namely the New Testament, the Book of Life and the book "The Foundation of Faith of a Born Again Believer" by Pastor Henry. Besides, each new Christian was handed a list of Horlivka-based churches with venues and time of meetings being specified. Special attention was called to fact that a true Christian is to pray and read the Bible on a daily basis, to have fellowship with other believers and attend church meetings.
There was continuous prayer which was done during the services in specifically allocated room. The effort was maintained by 20 people from different churches.
A special grace of God visited a seminar for pastors, leaders and ministers. The seminar was attended by ministers coming from other cities and towns. Believers from different congregations approached the pastors to give them a hug, to encourage them and to express their appreciation. Many of the attendees experienced deliverance from resentment, bitterness and pride, their hearts being filled with God's love and peace. The pastors embraced and hugged each other too. The relationships that had been lost years ago were coming back with long-term bitterness and resentment evaporating.
God gave Pastor Henry a special message, which, as one of the pastors put it, was more than relevant to the city's spiritual situation and the atmosphere in the local churches. Pastor Henry closed the sermon by praying for the ministers.
While having a meeting with Pastor Henry, the attending pastors were asking him questions. There were a lot of questions about what principles Pastor Henry employs in his life and ministry. The pastors were also interested in organisational aspects regarding missionary work. The atmosphere at the meeting was friendly and amiable. And although Pastor Henry had to leave earlier to hold a service in a local church, the pastors were staying on and kept on fellowshipping with each other.
The Planet D ministry conducted two seminars and held two memorable services with a turn-up of over 200 children and their parents. The children were happy to play games and participate in competitions. They raffled and enthusiastically watched a play. 180 children and their parents completed questionnaires to state their purpose to be part of children's ministries and Sunday school.
The seminars for children's ministers saw a group of thirteen ministers coming from four churches. Those present gave a keen ear to the issues in question and borrowed long-term experience from the workers of the Planet D ministry.
The Jesus Festival held in Horlivka resulted in a multitude of people converting to God and rekindling their desire to follow Jesus Christ. The event provided a great encouragement to the local Christians who were an active part of the evangelistic campaign and the Festival. Furthermore, it enhanced their desire to serve God in their congregations. The local pastors are grateful to Pastor Henry for the changes the Jesus Festival has brought to their area. Praise the Lord for all His works!