92 year old evangelist to hold rally in Ukraine

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By Michael Ashcraft –

As David Hathaway stood in front of 1,400 inmates of a Siberian prison in subzero weather 30 years ago, the prison chief scoffed: “What can your God do to these men? I’m the only one that can deal with them. I beat them. I shoot them. How can your God change these men?”

After worship, it was David’s turn to address to 200 mass murderers, 400 sex offenders, 800 criminals. “I spent a year in a prison like this,” he said. “I know exactly what conditions are like. I know how they starve you, how they beat you. I know something you don’t: I know how to get out of a prison.”

Fearing David was sparking a riot, the prison chief sprung to his feet and grabbed him by the arm. David had spent a year in a Czechoslovakian prison for smuggling Bibles into the Soviet Bloc.

“If we overcome the guards and release you from this prison, 80% of you will be back here in three months because the evil spirit that brought you in here will take seven worse out with you,” he continued. “But God can change your life.”

After he preached about the power of God to change men, all 1,400 fell on their knees and repented, praying to God. Out of that revival, 140 of them became pastors, evangelists and missionaries.

“After you left, all the men changed,” he was told when he visited a year later. “All the officers changed.”

David Hathaway as a boy

Many of those men are still ministering, David says.

At 92 years of age, David is on his eighth decade of preaching. From 1961 to 1972, he smuggled 150,000 Bibles into the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. He was busted on the Czech border in June 1972 and sentenced to 10 years in prison, during which he was tortured, he says.

But David didn’t serve the full sentence. Instead he prayed.

“God, 2,000 years ago when Paul and Silas, when Peter and John were in prison, they prayed and you worked a miracle and broke them out of prison,” he prayed.

“In response to prayer, I did not spend 10 years in prison,” he relates. “I came out after one year because God sent the British prime minister, and I flew home with Harold Wilson on the airplane.”

David first pastored in Dorking in Surrey. His ploy to sneak Bibles into communist countries was an overland tour to Israel that passed through the Iron Curtain.

After his release from the Czech jail, David continued to preach in communist countries: Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and even Czechoslovakia. He continued these labors after communism collapsed and the formerly atheistic countries opened to the gospel.

On June 22, he will hold a prayer rally with 10,000 believers in Ukraine, amidst the war.

He has survived two bouts with cancer.

David married Zena in 1955 and they have three daughters. Sadly, Zena passed away in 2014.

Lord willing, he hopes to continue preaching until he is 100 years old.

To learn more about a personal relationship with Jesus, click here

About this writer: Michael Ashcraft pastors a church in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.

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