Meet Yuliana Petrova. She’s a fellow SIM Culture Connections missionary ministering in Toronto. If Jesus saw her coming up the road I’m almost certain he would say something like “Here is a true Russian in whom their is nothing false.” Believe me, you would know where you stood with Yulianna within 5 minutes of meeting her. She would be talking about “Yeshua” (Jesus) with you in short order. Yuliana will admit that her methods are quite bold and strait forward, maybe overly so at times. She is very transparent and is not hesitant to ask hard questions. God would rather we risk and venture out on his faithfulness than cower in fear. I believe its because of this that Yuliana has been particularly used of God to demonstrate the reality and power of God over and over again in very miraculous ways.
As you may know I’ve been running a series called “Proving Jesus.” Simply put, these articles are snapshots of men and women of God who proved God to the world not in words but by faith in action. The results were always miraculous. I asked Yuliana if I could share the latest way Jesus miraculously demonstrated his power and presence in her life this month. She was all for it.
A few weeks ago I attended a retreat with fellow SIM missionaries from across Canada. Most of us minister in urban centres and marginalized people groups. Yuliana was there and repeatedly asked for prayer because her beloved Honda CRV was giving up the ghost. She dubbed it her “tabernacle on wheels.” She had shared the gospel and led many to Christ in that old car. It had been a place to meet with God and travail in prayer as she ministered in the city. God had used that Honda as mobile ministry platform. It was time for a new tabernacle on wheels but she had no money at all.
I’ll leave it to Yulianna to share what happened. This is from an email I received from her this week. I wish I could include her rich Russian accent as you read her words:
…As you all know, two weeks ago, my car, my faithful ministry partner, the tabernacle on wheels, if you will, passed away. Then on the next day after the retreat, which was FRIDAY, Brian and I went to the dealership. I need to admit, I had no faith to move mountains; I hardly had enough to move a little stone. Shame on me.
But while I was hesitant, God had His plan!
So, I prayed, “Lord, if You can, do something, take pity on me, I need a car by grace as soon as possible, please.
“If I can?” God replied. “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
And then I saw “him”! “I’m taking him home in a week”, I surprisingly found myself thinking looking at beautiful Hyundai Tucson 2010.
I looked at Brian who drove me there, bless his heart, and I could clearly see hesitation on his face while he was watching me getting excited over the car. However, $15,500 was the only thing between me and “him”. And it does sound like a huge mountain when you just spent the last thousand dollars trying to repair your old car. Oh dear….
“Take courage”, appeared in my heart. “If you don’t have enough faith, find some witnesses”, the Lord said.
I answered: “What?” (Never argue with God, dearly beloved, better do what He says!)
So, I looked around and my first witness was Brian of course, but another one appeared to be a new believer, the salesperson. So I shared my case with him briefly.
“I do not have money to buy him right now”, I said, “but as surely as the Lord lives, I will come back for him in a week.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God” popped in my mind, then with unconcealed joy he answered, “Amen!” and promised to keep me in prayer. “His spiritual channel is not polluted with hesitations indeed,” I thought, then we left the dealership.
The next day I got more witnesses among the pastors, people from my church and my synagogue, friends and so on. My faith was increasing every time when I was proclaiming that I am getting a new car in a week by God’s grace. MONDAY I got a message from my donor saying that $10,000 for my car had been raised already! “Continue to pray”, he said, “by the end of this week I hope to raise all the money you needed.” Wow!
On that day, I felt like an angel’s choir suddenly got awakened in my heart singing the chorus “Hallelujah!” On THURSDAY I got this message: “Hi Yuliana, $16,000 has been raised for you to purchase your new car! May the 2010 Tucson serve you long and well as you continue missionary work with SIM Canada.” This time the angels’ chorus sang louder and I was leaping and dancing as King David did before the Lord!
“If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
I’m driving my new fancy car since last week and rejoicing in God’s mercy and faithfulness! God of Israel is God of miracles! Share my joy people! -Yuliana
If the world could say one thing to the church today I’m sure it would go something like this, “Don’t tell me about Jesus, Show me Jesus.” So as Paul said to the Corinthians, “I did not come with wise or persuasive words..but in weakness and trembling…in demonstration of the Spirit’s power so mans faith would not rest on man’s wisdom but on the power of God.” Its like talking about how much money you have in your bank account instead of just opening up a suitcase with a million dollars in it. Demonstrate it!
“Ok,”Leonard replied, “I’ll tell you how.”
“Just a second, let me get my pen out.” She said
“Oh, you won’t need a pen,” Len said, “All you do is get yourself into such a jam that your lost if God doesn’t show up.”
Of course, that statement can be abused by presumptuous people, but you and I know that isn’t the problem in the churches today! The problem is that very few of us at all venture out on God like Yuliana did. We back off even on things God has very clearly called us to when it gets tough!
Thank you Yuliana for venturing out on God and proving Jesus by demonstration and not simply by words!
“Faith reckons, then it risks, then it rests”-Leonard Ravenhill
P.S. Why not consider financially supporting Yuliana as she boldly lives by faith. You can go to SIM Canada’s donation page and fill out the form including Yulianna Petrova in the “Missionary Name” field. I’m sure she would be greatly encouraged! I’m sure you would be even more blessed to get to know her.