Mikel French is an evangelist who loves going to Russia to preach the Gospel. Russia is the largest country on planet earth expanding over 6.5 million square miles and a population of 141,903,979. There are 158,000 cities, towns and villages and only 4,000 Evangelical churches in the entire nation. On today’s Evangelism Podcast we talk about what God is doing in the great nation of Russia.
Power Points from Mikel French
- You must connect with the heart. If you capture the heart, the mind will follow.
- To connect with the heart preach the power of the cross.
- Use stories to connect to the hearts of the people.
- Everyone wants to know who they are, where they came from, and where they are going. The bible answers all three.
- Be honest with people and see in them what God sees in them.
- Make it your constant challenge to speak uplifting words into everyone you meet.
- Trust the Word, pray the scriptures.
Evangelist Daniel King (00:00):
Mikel French is an evangelist who loves going to Russia to preach the gospel. Russia is the largest country on planet earth, expanding over 6.5 million square miles, and it has a population of over 141 million people. There are 158,000 cities, towns and villages in Russia, and only about 4,000 evangelical churches in the entire nation. On today’s evangelism podcast, we talk about what God is doing in the great nation of Russia.
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:38):
Jesus said, go into all the world and preach the gospel.
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:45):
Everyone who calls in the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:50):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies, and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary, and evangelist Daniel King.
Evangelist Daniel King (01:14):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast. I’m Daniel King and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus today. Have a very special guest with me, Mikel French. Thank you for joining me on the Evangelism Podcast. Well,
Mikel French (01:26):
It’s great to be here Daniel. Thank you
Evangelist Daniel King (01:28):
Brother Mikel is a tremendous man of God and he has a great love for the nation of Russia. And for many years he has been going to Russia preaching the gospel, telling people about Jesus. Brother Mikel, could you tell me how did you first go to the nation of Russia?
Mikel French (01:50):
Um, I first went because of the invitation of Rob Hoskins. Um, I heard about what God was doing, especially through Billy Joe Doherty and what victory was doing in those days and enjoyed hearing the testimonies. And then, uh, Rob Hoskins invited me to go to Russia and for about 18 months I turned him down. And uh, then one day now
Evangelist Daniel King (02:13):
Rob Hoskins, he is the director of One Hope. Yes. And they have an absolutely tremendous ministry, especially ministering to children and youth all over the world distributing literature. Yes. I just was in a conversation a few days ago Yes. With Rob Hoskins. Was was on the Zoom call and I’m so inspired by his vision and his strategic thinking. Yes. And so it sounds like he was str strategic in inviting you to go to Russia.
Mikel French (02:41):
Yeah, well he was, it’s kind of strange because I met him in California. He was a youth pastor and I had no idea of his family’s influence around the world. His father’s one of the greatest missionaries in history and also his family, uh, from his wife, parents and relatives, extraordinary relationships. And Rob, when he heard me speak in a church, he said, you know, you could do this in stadiums. And I went, well, no, I’m happy being a revivalist. I knew I was an evangelist cuz I led people to Christ. But then when he started inviting me to go to speak in the schools of Russia, and then one day I, he invited me to go to Siberia and I said, um, I’m thank you. I can I pray. And he said, would you give God a chance? And without going through the whole story miraculously commitments that I needed to keep graciously changed. Uh, when I shared with people, they, every one of them said, we we’re in agreement that you need to go to Russia. And it, it transformed my life.
Evangelist Daniel King (03:47):
What year was that, that you first went to Russia? I
Mikel French (03:49):
First went to Russia in March of 1992.
Evangelist Daniel King (03:52):
Wow. So let’s talk a little bit about Russia. I have your website pulled up here, Michael french.com, and it says that Russia is the largest country on planet earth. It expands 6.5 million miles as a population of 141 million people. So a huge population. There’s 158,000 cities, towns and villages and only 1600 evangelical churches in the entire nation. So it sounds like there are a lot of people that need Jesus in Russia.
Mikel French (04:26):
Yes. And and also we need to update that when I started in Russia, there were 61 churches that we were in relationship with. Today we have 4,600 churches. Wow. And, um, and then many others that are closely related to us. But the church crossed Russia over the last few years has been exploding in supernatural growth.
Evangelist Daniel King (04:51):
And so you have some statistics here about Russia and, and these are very dire says someone commits suicide every 10 minutes, every 40 minutes a woman is murdered by her husband. Thousands of children each year are murdered by their own parents. I didn’t, I didn’t know this, but in a land where you had atheism that dominated for so many years, uh, I, I remember, uh, when Russia first opened back up, I was just a young teenager and Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty was doing Crusades Yes. In St. Petersburg, Russia. And every month for 18 months, I think he, he went and did a crusade in the Olympic stadium there in St. Petersburg. Yes. And so I was 14 years old, I got to go and I got to preach the gospel on the steps of what had been the Museum of Atheism there in St. Petersburg.
And I remember the, the phenomenal openness of the people because when Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty gave the altar call, people ran from the back of the stadium to the front in order to give their lives to Jesus. Yes. It was a phenomenal moment in history. Yes. And then after the initial excitement, a lot of people from here in the United States, they stopped going to Russia, but you never stopped. Why did you keep going? Why, why did God put it on your heart so much to continue working with the churches and encouraging the churches in, in the former Soviet Union? I
Mikel French (06:23):
Went through a transformation. By 1995, I was ready to quit. I had wonderful pictures. The altar calls cities of 5,000, 6,000, 7,000 people coming to Christ. It was extraordinary. But the local church was so anemic, so small, so young, uh, and at times would almost fight against these new believers coming to Christ. And in 1995, I met a young man, 26 years of age, Edward Grava Vinco, and he was planting a church. Uh, when I use the word planting, what I’m realizing is a lot of people don’t realize that means starting a church. Um, he was starting a church in perm Russia, but he already had 800. He’d already planted th 30 churches. And out of that, that week of meetings, we saw many people come to Christ, but nearly half of them, 90 days later were in church. And since I came out of a home where my father was a pastor, I was a revivalist.
I’ve always believed that you want a church to help people. You, you can’t be a disciple without that vehicle to accomplish that. And when I began to work with Edward, I began to see the vehicle not only for people to pray a sinner’s prayer and to invite Christ into their lives. And when I began to work with Edward, it changed everything. Now since then, we’ve done other things in other parts of the world, but we keep going back to Russia. And with it we’ve been able to establish pastor schools, young adult conferences because we want people growing in the power of the Lord.
Evangelist Daniel King (08:04):
Tell me some of the miracle stories of what you’ve seen God do in Russia over the years.
Mikel French (08:09):
Let, let, let me tell you the first story, that there are so many things that are extraordinary. But one of the first stories in my life, I I was in the city of your Coots in, in, and anyone who knows anything about the Book of Hope, that means you’re in schools. And so we’re in schools and, uh, we had about 50 Americans there. And that morning I went downstairs and because I was the speaker, I didn’t have to go to the schools. But I went down every day and I would just pick out one of the teams and I would go with them and usually not even speak, just observe and pray for them. And that morning when I got into the, the, the taxi <laugh>, the, these people, they were just so excited, oh, brother Michael, please, we we’re so scared to death, will you, you please do the presentation for us today.
And the other part of it was my interpreter, which I did not know until later, she was the number one star pupil from that school. I was going to 16 year olds, 200 of them gifted children who spoke at least three and four, five languages. Wow. And so I go and I speak and, and when I, when I speak up, they, they’re very receptive. Most of them had never seen an American in nine March of 1992. And um, uh, when I gave the invitation, almost every hand went up. And then over on the right, there were some young men who were not really happy with me. They were heckling and they were telling everyone to put their hands down, sticking their thumbs up in the air. And, and I, I, to be honest, it made me nervous. And I, I turned to the interpreter and I said, ask everyone who wants to receive Christ to stand up. And so she did. And nobody stood up. Have you ever gone from excitement to total like you’ve lost everything? And I, I remember when I was listening and, and watching that day, the crowd, I turned to the interpreter again. And I said, now you have to remember, I did not know that she went to that school. I did not know any of the history. And I said to her, ask one more time, is there anyone here who wants to stand up for Christ? And she looked at me and said, do I have to
Evangelist Daniel King (10:24):
Mikel French (10:26):
You’re all confidence is leaving your body quickly? And uh, I said, yes. She said, they’re embarrassed. Just answer questions about America. And I said, if no one stands up, we’ll do that. And I said, so she turned in, in Russian, invited them to stand in, in the very back row on the aisle there was a young man and he, he was making noises like almost like he was a troublemaker. And he went, and I, I looked and I thought, Lord, get. And all of a sudden he stood up and he stood up almost kind of like slouched. And, and over on the right, they started heckling him. And the louder they heckled, the taller he got,
Evangelist Daniel King (11:09):
He was a troublemaker. He’s like, I’m going to stand up for Jesus whether they like it or not.
Mikel French (11:14):
And I, and I turned to look at this group of people, and she may have been standing the whole time, but she was so short, I didn’t even realize she was standing right in front of the troublemakers was a girl. And she was standing and she was very young and very short. And now she’s tip jumping up and down and on her tip toes because she wants me to realize she’s standing. And then on the front row, two girls stood up and then the entire front row stood up. And the second it was like they were doing the wave till every kid in that place was standing with those, those boys on the right. Wow. And, and I turned and the interpreter was crying. And she says, I’ve never seen such courage. She says, is Jesus real? And she said, I want to accept him also, all because of the courage of one person standing in the back.
Russians. What what you have to learn about Russians is if you argue with them, they won’t ever let you win. Even if you win. I, I was trained in philosophy. I know how to stand in front of a crowd and and present the case for, for God, for the New Testament, for the cross. But what I’ve learned is touch a Russian’s heart and they’ll die for you. They’ll, they’ll do. And and what I learned was this, that day was so profound in the fact that one of the teachers said to me, you keep arguing with the Russian mind and you won’t ever win cuz they won’t admit it. They said, but if you’ll capture the heart, this one of the teachers said, the mind will follow. And that is the miracle that that connected me was a again and again. The thing that has happened to me in Russia is watching the courage of the people. When people there decide they’re gonna stand, they stand.
Evangelist Daniel King (13:10):
How do you connect with people’s hearts? What’s the message? What, what are you saying that helps you to really connect with the heart of people?
Mikel French (13:20):
There there are two things. Number one, you can connect with the heart, but if the substance of content is not there, then what will happen is something emotional. So what I do is that first of all, I preach the power of the cross. I want people to understand what Jesus Christ did upon the cross and that he’s torn down the walls that have divided us and that he holds the keys of death hell in the grave and can forgive us of our sins. Make that very clear. But then secondly, um, uh, one of the stories that happened in my second trip to Russia, um, there was a lot of resistance from the mayor, the schools and everything. And, and God performed a miracle that made the mayor literally had to host us. And we go in the first school and I get up and, and I’m teaching and speaking and, and, uh, when it was over, uh, what I’d asked was, everybody wants to know who they are, where they’ve come from and where they’re going.
And Jesus Christ answers those questions. Oh, when it’s over. I was told that if I had any more American philosophy, I’d be thrown out of the city. <laugh> next class, next, the next, the next cla the next school. Um, one of the ladies on the trip said, um, I have a word from God is all right if I give it at the next school assembly. And I’m going, well, I’m getting this thrown out of the city. And she stood up and she said, you know, I have a little girl and I bet your parents are just like my parents. They want you healthy. I have a garden cuz I want my kids to get the nutrients they need. And then she held up the Book of Hope and she said, in this book, are the nutrients of life, just as your parents want you strong God the Father wants you strong. When I heard her story and then she led her daughter to the Lord, I have told the story of my son and leading him to Christ. Now with that, that’s all within the context of the word and the truth. But what I have found is, as with everyone, stories connect the heart. And and most evangelists, those of you who are listening to me today, for the most part, I would almost preach with no stories. I’m a principle-based person.
Evangelist Daniel King (15:42):
12 steps to success.
Mikel French (15:43):
Yes. 12 steps. This is what the Bible says. Principles are the foundation of relationship and and out of it. I believe that’s how you overcome through the power of the word of God. Do you understand it? But I’ve also learned that people, many are not like me. They, they need a story to connect to something they can see, something they can hold onto.
Evangelist Daniel King (16:07):
So one of the questions I’ve really been wanting to ask you, you’ve been in ministry for for many years and I’m still very young in ministry and a lot of the people listening are just starting out in the ministry that God has for them. Tell me a couple of stories that would help us as young people in ministry. What have you learned over the, these course of, of years of serving the Lord that would really help a young minister?
Mikel French (16:36):
The first thing I want to say, because I want to say it to you, um, the most important thing is understanding the prophet prophetic. Now, when I say that, that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But when I look at what the Bible talks about in the book of Corinthians to exhort, to comfort, to edify, I put it in modern English terms to lift up, to build up, to cheer up. That when you’re able to speak to people out of a heart of love, now I hope you will receive Daniel what I’m getting ready to say. You’re a champion of the most high God. And I don’t say that because I’m trying to make you feel better. It’s because you are. I’ve watched you, I’ve watched what God is doing in you and through you. And one of the most important things to me is be honest with people.
But the second thing is see in them what God sees in them. Every person out there, if you hear me speak, you’re gonna hear this phrase. This is my, uh, tagline if you want to put it that way. I say it every time I speak. You are beautiful. I see Jesus in you. Your actions almost always follow what you see, whether it’s in the natural world or in the unseen world with your words. Can you begin to see how to lift up, how to build up, how to cheer up? What I have found is we live in a world that can tell you you’re nothing. You’re nobody. Daniel. You probably know this better than I do. I no longer have to convince people they’re going to hell. You know, when I started in ministry, I would have these messages and philosophy and, and hell is real.
Uh, almost every person you talk, you can walk up to the street and go, if heaven is real, if hell is real, where are you going? They’ll go, oh, I’m going to hell. It’s reality. But can you speak, it is my constant challenge to speak words into every person I meet. I believe words change the atmosphere. I believe with the power of words, you release the prophetic of the future in people’s lives. I believe the very gifting of God’s ability to speak God’s ability. I don’t even know if that’s the correct way I wanna say it. Uh, God has the ability to speak and instantly things are created. And when he breathed into us the breath of life and those of you who are listening inside of you is the breath, the seed, the ability to transform a person and an an entire grouping of people, a nation.
And we have the ability to shake nations and to take cities for God through the power of our words. And I want every person to learn that, learn that ability to speak without fear and that watching the power of God. And, and, and those of you who are watching, pray for Daniel. He’s an extraordinary man of God. Uh, if I was younger, I would be jealous. How much God, I don’t know of anybody who works harder than this man. And I bless him. I bless him in the name of Jesus. I’m thrilled that I get to be here talking to you with him. I, uh, the association, I’ve watched what you’ve done. Um, I know it’s not good to be proud, but I’m proud of you in a spiritually godly way for what you’re doing. But that’s also what I’d recommend, learn to live a life that exhorts that blesses and opens up people to bless people, will not only shock them in some ways, blessing people creates trouble cuz they don’t know what to do with it.
Evangelist Daniel King (20:18):
Well, thank you so much for your kind words. What other advice would you give to young ministers?
Mikel French (20:25):
Um, trust the word. When you pray, there’s old pictures of old men with the Bible open and you see them praying the word. When you’re praying, pray the word. Uh, make sure you have a list of scriptures that you pray over yourself every day. I can give you advice on, on how to give an al alter call, how to give an invitation. But to be honest with you, what I do and how I do it is almost a, the DNA of what God put inside of me. But I can teach you how to open your Bible and and, and be over it and, and in the word and prayer and watch the power of God begin to lift you up in ways you never thought possible. When, when you understand that, that, that to me as I’ve watched through the years is the difference. Um,
Inspiration is extraordinary, but the discipline and discipleship of your life and the word, your life in prayer, uh, and, and, and welcome God, the Holy Spirit. Uh, uh, the one thing Russia taught me, um, when I went to Russia, um, I woke up early like 4:00 AM every morning. And in those days there was nothing on TV to watch. Although in the early days, somehow Trinity Broadcasting network had like two hours in the morning. But there was Russian over the top of it, <laugh>. And, and there was nothing to do but pray. And this is what would happen in the early days, and it was dysfunctional. A lot has changed in Russia. Moscow is a one of the most beautiful cities in the world. St. Petersburg is one of the most 10 beautiful cities in the world. And we must pray for the believers there because the number one thing they are asking that the gospel not be stopped. And, and you, you’ve, I’ve watched an entire nation change in so many wonderful ways and, and right now the hurt and the pain that we’re observing. But the one thing was seven o’clock every morning there would be a knock on my door. And when the knock on my door came, it would be from an interpreter, a liter. And they would tell me everything that had gone wrong in the night.
Evangelist Daniel King (22:50):
Mikel French (22:51):
Everything, it was like all nightmare. Well,
Evangelist Daniel King (22:53):
Good morning to you two <laugh>.
Mikel French (22:55):
And, and, and yet I’d already been in the word in prayer for three hours.
Evangelist Daniel King (23:00):
Mikel French (23:01):
And I never saw it once worth, at the end of the day, everything was accomplished by the power of God’s grace. Overwhelming. And that is the beauty of the power of knowing God.
Evangelist Daniel King (23:14):
Wow. That’s awesome. Well, brother Michael, I wanna say thank you so much for being on the Evangelism Podcast. If you’re listening and you have a heart for Russia and you want to help the churches of Russia, you want to preach the gospel in Russia, I encourage you to support the ministry of Michael French. Thank you. And to help him with what he’s doing in the nation of Russia. And what is your, your website if someone wants to find out more about you or get in contact with you?
Mikel French (23:43):
The, the key to finding me is this word Mikel. My mother did this to me, and I’m thankful you spell Mikel. M i k e l. Now if you put Mikell French, uh, it’s Mikel french.com. It’s Mikel french.org. It’s MiKel French ministries.com. But the key people will say, oh, I tried to find you. If you spell Michael the normal English way, you won’t find me. But M i k e l will find
Evangelist Daniel King (24:12):
Me for a long time I thought you were Miguel or I I didn’t know who you were. And everyone was talking about MiKel. I said, who, who is this Mikel you’re talking about? I’m like, oh, it’s you <laugh>. So yeah. So I’d encourage you go to Mikel French m i k e l french.com. Yeah. And find out more about the ministry. You have brought revival all over the world, not just Russia. You also preach at churches all over the United States and, and other parts of the world. And, and you re bring revival everywhere you go, you help people get closer to God. Yes. And so I’d encourage you to, to reach out, find out more about this tremendous ministry.
Mikel French (24:49):
Thank you. Thank you. It’s a privilege.
Evangelism Podcast Host (24:51):
Is there evidence for God’s existence? How do we really know Jesus was raised from the dead? Can we trust the Bible? Do miracles happen? Does God care about me as an individual? In Dr. Daniel King’s book, proof God is real. You’ll find the answers to these three vital questions and more is God there? Does God care? And do I dare to follow him? In his powerful, easy to read book, Daniel provides seven convincing proofs of God’s existence. You’ll learn about the evidence of cause. Design, logic, morality, scripture, miracles, and religious experience with proof God is real. You’ll read about topics like, was Jesus the son of God or just a crazy preacher? If God does exist, is he interested in your life? If God is there, why do bad things happen? To good people, improve. God is real. Daniel King shows you, God is there and he cares for you. Plus how to take a leap of faith and start a relationship with a God who deeply loves you. Order proof God is real today by calling 1-877-431-FOUR 2 7 6 or find the book on Amazon.
Evangelist Daniel King (25:54):
Thanks so much for listening today. I am excited about telling people about Jesus and I want to invite you to be a part of helping us to rescue people from Hell and take them with us to heaven. There’s two things you can do to help. First of all, can you go find the Evangelism podcast on Apple iTunes and leave us a positive review by giving a review, you will help other people find these valuable resources about sharing our faith. And second, would you become a financial partner with King Ministries. Every single dollar that people give us enables us to lead at least person to Jesus. And so that means for only $1, you can help start a party in heaven. And so today I want to invite you to become a monthly partner. You can start out for just a dollar, but if God puts it on your heart to do more, of course you can do more. But please go to king ministries.com and become a monthly partner with us today to help us to lead more people to Jesus. Thank you so much, and God bless you.
Evangelism Podcast Host (27:15):
For more information about how to share your faith or to financially support our worldwide evangelistic outreaches, visit king ministries.com. Again, that’s king ministries.com.