In the early ’80s when Denise and I began our itinerate ministry in the U.S., I secretly worried that not many pastors would want us to minister in their churches. And I often wondered, How will we pay for this ministry as we’re getting started?
One night, I couldn’t sleep because I was so distracted by worry. I did my best to command worry to leave me. Finally, I got up to spend some time in prayer. After a time of prayer, I opened my eyes and found myself in another dimension. It looked like this dimension stretched around me “forever” into eternity. Then in the far distance, I saw a small light. It drew closer to me and grew stronger and brighter. When it finally reached me, I saw Jesus — and when I saw Him, I dropped to my knees and bowed my head.
When I lifted my head to look again, Jesus began to speak to me about our future ministry, which I write about in my autobiography Unlikely. He said, Behold, I give you fullness of ministry — so much ministry that it is already amassing more ministry for your future. Instantly, I knew this meant that Denise and I would take on greater and greater responsibility in the ministry in the years ahead.
Well, almost four decades have passed since that visitation, and every word Jesus spoke to me that night has gloriously come to pass. He also spoke to me about ministry finances and, although our situation didn’t change overnight, I entered into a complete rest concerning financial provision for what the Lord had called us to do.
Less than one decade from the night of that visitation, Denise and I moved halfway around the world, where we began teaching in the first aboveground Bible school in the former Soviet Union. Soon after, we launched a TV ministry where Christian television had never existed before; founded a church in Riga, Latvia; started a pastors association to assist others with the call of God on their lives; and, after that first aboveground Bible school closed, started our own Bible school to equip those with the call to serve God in full-time ministry.
Whew. Ministry was indeed amassing. Denise and I, our sons, and our team were running to keep up with the vision God was unfolding in this part of the world.
But that’s not all. The Lord’s word to me about “amassing ministry” was a word for perpetuity that continues to this day! Since our beginnings in the former USSR, we have started two more churches — in Kiev, Ukraine, and Moscow, Russia, where we reside. We have opened additional church campuses in Moscow, as well as started a vast ministry to thousands of senior citizens. These are but a few of our outreaches, which you can read about in my autobiography or in our Annual Report, which can be accessed online at renner.org.
And just this year — in our 30th year in the former Soviet Union — the Lord opened a new opportunity to RENNER Ministries, and we are now the owners of the largest Christian satellite network in the Russian language in the world! Over this network, we broadcast solid Bible teaching to Russian-speakers in 83 nations of the world — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
Jesus’ word to us almost 40 years ago still holds, and through the generous support of our partners, we are fulfilling our divine assignment to get the teaching of God’s Word to those hungry for it through every avenue as He leads us. Currently, we’re building a new TV studio in Moscow, where we record up to eight programs every day, and we’re purchasing a new ministry building in Tulsa. THANK YOU to every person who believes in our ministry and supports us with prayer and finances as we continue this Gospel work!
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families