David Tinney is one of our Kingdom Business Journal Authors, and a friend.
In January 2008 he had just returned from the Ukraine and wrote me this note:
Just returned from Ukraine on Wednesday night. It was a blessed trip, my wife, Judy Tinney took some extra time off from school, they were on spring break one week, and accompanied me. We were in Nikolayiv, Kherson, and Odessa, as well as a few days in Kiev visiting friends, however we did not minister in any churches in Kiev.
Things are changing in Ukraine. They are more established in capitalism; and, along with the prosperity comes materialism. However, I still sense the hunger, deep hunger in the believers. All the services were good, with one standing out above the rest. Last Saturday, I was asked to speak in a small church (45-50 members) in Yuzhne, a small city about 25 miles east of Odessa. I asked Judy to greet the church and share anything she had. As she began to speak encouragement to the children present, I sensed the Holy Spirit instruct us to “bless the children”. I waited until she was finished and she turned to me with the microphone. I then said, “I believe the Lord would have us to bless the children.” I instructed Judy to begin praying for the 7-8 children present; and, as she did, she would have encouraging words for them. One child, a girl about 10, stood out to me. As I gazed upon her, I sensed the Holy Spirit prompting me to speak to her. As I obeyed, a word came forth to her, that even at this tender age, God had gifted her with the heart of a pastor. The Presence of the Lord was very real, and as Judy finished with the last child, I was overcome by the Presence of the Lord. Frequently, when I sense the Lord in this way, I weep and find it difficult to speak, which is good; because, usually the Lord will give me specific words for those present. This time was a little different. I had felt that I would speak from Deuteronomy 28. As I waited on the Lord, I knew for certain the exhortation from this chapter was a timely word for this young church. I believe, and from past experience, that as I delivered the message, it was in the power of the Holy Spirit. Many were weeping as I preached, along with the pastor of the church. As I finished, the pastor asked me to pray for those who were in business or wanted to be. It was a powerful time of personal ministry and I rejoice that He had allowed me to be a vessel for the Holy Spirit to touch these believers.
The next morning, Sunday, I spoke in two services in Odessa, one at 10am, the other at 2pm. In the first service, a woman gave a testimony of how she started her tourism business 4 years previous after attending my business seminar in Odessa. Today, she has the original office and an additional 40 branch offices in cities all across Ukraine! I remember her and her husband from 4 years ago. They asked me to come their office and consult with them. I spent perhaps a couple hours explaining how I had started my office in the USA and another one with my close friend Nikolay Omelchenko in Kiev in 1998-1999. When I returned to the USA, they emailed me a few times and I responded, as well as sending a few American clients their way that intended to visit the Odessa area. Then, I lost track of them and had heard nothing more from them. In her testimony, she said that while attending the seminar, she received the courage to start her own business as well as a dance/drama team in the church. Today, that group travels all over Ukraine ministering evangelistically as well as in the local churches. I must give credit where it is due. On that team four years ago to Odessa, Rita and Sarah, a mother-daughter team from Siloam Springs, AR, ministered with us doing interpretive dance and flag ministry. It was they who sowed the seeds of dance ministry that is now flourishing in the Odessa churches.
As this lady, Tateyana, drove Judy and I to the afternoon service, she explained that she and her husband speak in business seminars all over Ukraine. Her husband is the president of the 1000 Club of Pastor Sunday Adelaja and a successful real estate developer. Tateyana said she testifies in all the seminars she speaks in that she received the inspiration to start her business from the seminar of David Tinney. After listening to her, I looked at her in the eyes and said, “So you’re the one spreading my name all around Ukraine?” Smiling, she said, “Da, da, da!” (‘da’ is ‘yes’ in Russian). We all laughed. The second service went well; but, Pastor Vitaliy was in Bucharest Romania kicking off the initial public service of a new church he founded from a home group 18 months before. Pastor Vitaliy has a goal to plant 200 new churches in his region in the next 2 years. Incredible!
I love the Embassy of God churches for their heart to plant new churches. Bishop Anatoliy told me they were planting from 5-12 new churches each month. He is concentrating his efforts this year in Russia, establishing 7 new schools across Russia.
We also ministered in Kherson, Nikolayiv and Yuzhno Ukrainsk. I was in those 3 cities last November and had promised to return this spring. It also was a blessed time. We have close relationships with many believers in this region of Ukraine. We’re planning on returning in June as Pastor Oxsana in Nikolayiv has invited us to attend her wedding to Andrei, a seasoned believer and businessman.
Many other things happened, too numerous to tell in this email. The weather was good, typical early spring weather, cold at night and in the 50’s during the day. Most of all, I was happy that Judy was with me to share the experience.
Love & Blessings,
David & Judy Tinney