The Forge Armenia

It is an honour to minister to church leaders, but this was taken to a new level when we were able to run the Forge for church leaders and their wives in Armenia. Having established the Forge in the UK, this was our first Forge to be run overseas. I have always said that I wished I knew what I know now when I was a church minister, so being able to equip and minister to current leaders was always going to be special, but it went beyond what we could have imagined.

This group of pastors had been brought together through lockdown and meet regularly over zoom to pray for the nation. This was an opportunity for them to gather face to face, to be equipped and to receive ministry themselves.

By necessity, the programme was honed from the standard Forge 1 and 2 programmes. We wanted to focus in on the subjects that would help the leaders and their wives come to a place of healing and deliverance, along with tools to use in their own churches, to see the same healing in their fellowships.

We taught on Forgiveness and Bitter Root Judgements, Deliverance, Spiritual Warfare, Healing the Land and Prophetic Intercession among others, and also included Shame and Honour and End Times. During each session, we had a team of intercessors praying in a separate room. The words that we were receiving from them, along with the words coming from our prayer support in the UK, arrived just in time to speak directly into the situations we were facing. One word in particular encouraged us to be more like the rabbis in our answers to challenge, to answer questions with a question, rather than reverting to our cultural norm of coming from a place of defence. There were challenges, as the pastors came to grips with some of the teaching, but this was reminiscent of the Bereans, in Acts 17, searching the scriptures to ensure that what we were teaching was sound. This was certainly a case of iron sharpens iron. It was obvious that the pastors were hungry for the teaching, and when invited to respond, they did so.

They did not hesitate to come forward for prayer; they laid their stones down for emotional healing, nailed their forgiveness to the cross and came for a Flame hug in the Father’s love. We broke into ministry groups at the end of each day, with the wives in separate groups to the pastors. This gave freedom for each group to share openly. There was healing and loving fellowship in all the groups. One pastor realised that he held judgement against the president of Turkey through the bitter root judgement teaching. Having nailed his forgiveness to the cross, he was healed of pain in his arms and side. Our host was delighted and shared that this is exactly what he had hoped for; an opportunity for these pastors to meet together and receive the healing ministry.
One pastor started the conference with a very severe face. On day four he shared how his son had been killed on the last day of the 2020 war with Azerbaijan in an ambush. He and his wife were the only ones in their church to have lost anyone. He was asked whether he could forgive those who had killed his son, and courageously he said that he could. He then went and nailed his forgiveness to the cross and having released his son to the care of Jesus, we saw his countenance change completely. It was obvious that both he and his wife had been released. She had found the same healing in her own group and said that she now had hope for the future.

There were lots of testimonies of inner healing and of being set free from fear and occult spirits. Two ladies in one group were doing deep business with the Lord. They lightened over the consecutive evenings. It was noticeable that once the process of healing had started, they wanted more. Many of the delegates opened up about the terrible realities of the war. Some of them were fearful of their sons being called up. There was deep healing from grief.
The delegates engaged with the practical session on intercession, as they stepped over a line and each made a prophetic declaration. They made proclamations as we focussed on spiritual warfare. In response to the healing of the land teaching the delegates joined in groups, praying for their regions. They were calling out to the Lord in fervent prayer. There were four regions that were not represented on the Forge and pastors came to the front to cry out on behalf of those regions. It was a powerful time of prayer and there was the sense of a distinct shift in the heavenlies. There was a literal shaking of the ground as there was a small earthquake seven kilometres from the capital, Yerevan. We felt this was the Lord speaking over the nation. That which was happening in the physical was happening in the spiritual.
At the end of the conference there was a time for questions and answers. In light of the probing questions we had had during some of the teaching sessions, we wondered what we might face. The reality was that the delegates made it clear that they wanted us to come back, only, they wanted us to be there for longer! We give all the praise to Jesus for the transformation we saw in the lives of the delegates over the course of the first overseas Forge.

It was an opportunity to develop new relationships with the pastors, and as a result, invitations were given to speak at three churches on the Sunday; two of which were new to Flame. One team went to Harazdan (where we have been before), one to Chambarak and the other to Vanadzor. The team of four going to Vanadzor were picked up by the pastor and returned home by him too. Over a six hour round trip for him, and a sign of the hunger and dedication of the people there. The church was packed with 120 people of all ages (they are looking for bigger premises). One translator shared how she had been praying only days before for the Lord to use her, and then the pastor called her to ask if she would translate. The church made a cross for the forgiveness teaching and when the time for response came, almost all of the fellowship came forward. After the teaching, the team ministered for over two hours to the queues of people seeking healing. One elderly man had been attacked by his brother with a hammer and had lost the sight in one eye and the hearing in one ear. He chose to forgive him. One lady came forward who had been displaced from Artsakh and received a measure of healing from the grief and trauma. One 13 year old boy came forward and surrendered his life to Jesus. We rejoiced!

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