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Just as God spoke to Abraham, telling him to leave his country and follow Him to another land, God also spoke to me several years ago and told me to move my family to the Soviet Union.

His message to me was clear: "Get up, get out of your country, and follow Me to a new home where I have wonderful things in store for you."

The Soviet Union?
It was the spring of 1991, and the Soviet Union was still fully in force. The Soviet hammer and sickle flew on Union of Soviet Socialist Republic flags throughout the vast space of the Soviet Union's eleven time zones.

Lenin still reigned supreme as the god of Soviet atheistic communism. His image loomed over the landscape in the form of monuments, statues, and paintings that could be found in every city, village, factory, and school. His face was even printed on the Russian ruble so that every time someone pulled out money to buy bread, the image of Lenin passed through that person's hands.

At that time, Gorbachev was still in power and the communists were still running the show from deep within the Moscow Kremlin. Soviet troops marched on the streets of every city.

The KGB was still carrying out its ruthless orders against Christians, who were considered to be dangerous threats to the existence of the State. In fact, the highest level of KGB espionage was being employed to monitor believers' activities.

On top of all this, the Soviet economy had totally crashed and burned. The government was rationing the most basic products, such as sugar, milk, butter, flour, and meat. Automobiles sat unused in garages because there was no gasoline to purchase. It was an economic mess so terrible that no fiction writer could have ever dreamed up so frightful a scenario.

Give Me a Break, Lord!
As I considered all these factors, the idea of moving my family to the USSR seemed horrifying to me. What man in his right mind would want to move his family into that kind of predicament? However, I knew God had to have something great in store for our family or He wouldn't want to move us there. My mind reeled at the very thought of obeying what God had put in my heart.

You see, my spirit was willing, but my flesh was weak. My emotions interpreted God's call to the Soviet Union this way: "Leave everything you've worked for; abandon everything you've built; and follow My voice to a country where they hate Christians and where there is no money, nor any visible way to financially support your ministry."

I thought, "At least when God called Abraham, he was called to a beautiful land!" But I was being called to a dilapidated, broken-down land, littered with nuclear debris and environmental toxins. It didn't sound anything like the land of milk and honey that became Abraham's destination!

Did God really expect me to leave our growing ministry and beautiful home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and relocate to a country where everything looked like a ghetto? Give me a break, Lord!

After wrangling with God for several months, I threw in the towel and surrendered to His call on our lives. If He wanted us and our ministry in the USSR, then that's where we'd go. I struggled deeply as I thought about all we were losing and leaving behind.

Learning to Look Ahead, Not Behind
Little did I know what amazing wonders God had in store for our family and ministry. I couldn't even begin to fathom how miraculously He would use us to:
  • Speak to more than one hundred nations on television each week.
  • Lead more than one million souls to Jesus Christ.
  • Build the first Christian television network in the heart of what was once the world's most famous center of communism. (Today the Good News Television Network is the most powerful tool for broadcasting the Word of God in the former USSR.)
  • Open Rick Renner Ministries offices in various nations, which process million of letters from television viewers and translate, print, and distribute my books by the millions to those who write and request them.
  • Broadcast into millions of homes quality programs of other Christian broadcasters via our Good News Television Network.
  • Conduct conferences, seminars, and huge evangelistic crusades from one end of the USSR to the other end.
  • Pioneer our church in Riga, as well as give spiritual oversight to several hundred pastors, churches, ministries, and missions scattered through the former Soviet Republics.
  • Build a church building for our own congregation that also serves as the headquarters for Rick Renner Ministries' outreach to the nations of the former USSR, Europe, and the Asian Muslim nations.
I didn't know any of the accomplishments listed above were in my future when God first pointed His finger at me and said, "Get up, get out of your country, and follow Me to another place where I have wonderful things in store for you."

I couldn't have even begun to imagine that these developments would occur.

I did know, however, that if I didn't tell anyone what God had told me, no one except God and me would know if I disobeyed that divine mandate.

My flesh was tempted to do just that. It wanted to say, "No, thank You, Lord. I'm staying right here in good ol' Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I'm enjoying the sweet taste of success, along with all my faith buddies!"

What Are Your Dreams?
Has God put a dream in your heart? Has He told you to do something that is so huge, you're tempted to dismiss it as silly nonsense? Do you ask yourself, "Is this idea really from God or just a case of crazy daydreaming?"

Be careful not to dismiss your dream too quickly! It may be a vision of your future that God has dropped down inside your spirit.

When these God-given dreams occasionally surface in your mind, you may misinterpret them as "wishful thinking" or "fantasies." But have you considered the possibility that God may be trying to break into your conscious mind to reveal His plan to you?

Copyright © Rick Renner Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Rick Renner
Web site: Rick Renner Ministries
Rick and Denise met while they were each on an individual quest to wholeheartedly follow God's plan for their lives. Rick was a college student, growing in his teaching ministry. Denise was a talented vocalist. She chose not to pursue a course that held the prospect of performing with the Metropolitan Opera so that she could instead pursue a relationship with Rick and fulfill her heart's desire to enter full-time ministry.

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