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Developing a Friendship with Holy Spirit

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Vladimir Savchuk, known as “Pastor Vlad,” serves as the lead pastor of HungryGen Church. Born in the Ukraine, he was raised in a devout Christian household. His family fled as refugees to America when Vlad was 13 years old. While he admits that he didn’t experience persecution himself, he says his parents did. As a fourth-generation pastor who was born in a communist country, Vlad heard stories about his ancestors being imprisoned, beaten, and dying for their faith. When the door opened for them to come to America, they took it.

When he arrived in the States, Vlad experienced culture shock. Not speaking English or understanding the culture was difficult. During his birth, Vladimir’s optic nerve was damaged causing one of his eyes to be smaller than the other one. As a result, he would also go on to endure debilitating migraines. Feeling isolated, outcast, and unsure about his physical appearance, Vlad was convinced the world would be a better place without him. Turning to God for comfort, Vlad made a promise to the Lord, having said, “God, if you will take away this feeling of unworthiness and insecurity, and take away my headaches, I promise that I’ll follow you for the rest of my life.” The Lord answered Vlad’s prayers. He was healed of migraines and God began to build Vlad’s self-esteem and sense of community. Now, it was time for Vlad to fulfill his part of the bargain.

During his senior year in high school, Vlad began wrestling with God over His calling. He knew God called him into ministry, but the truth was, he didn’t want to do it. Eventually, Vlad surrendered to God’s plan. At the age of 16, he began serving as a youth pastor. Later, he would meet and marry his wife, Lana, and eventually become the Senior Pastor of HungryGen Church

After marrying, it wasn’t long until they wanted to start having children. The problem was that they never got pregnant. After trying for years, they went to the doctor who said they could never have a baby. Coming to grips with that news was very difficult for them but they eventually made peace with it. 


When Vlad was confronted by a minister friend and told that he needed to grow closer to the Holy Spirit, he was offended. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and serving in ministry felt good enough for Vlad. Yet, those words influenced him. So, he began asking God to help him grow closer to the Holy Spirit. Studying the nature and character of the Holy Spirit, Vlad began talking to Him like a person. Before long, their relationship blossomed. As a result, miracles began to take place, and his youth group grew to four times bigger than the main congregation of the church. In addition, the Holy Spirit began giving Vlad visions. 

One day, while shopping, The Holy Spirit gave Vlad a vision of a baby boy and told him that he would have a son who would have a calling like the Prophet Samuel in the Bible. Vlad was so excited that he bought baby clothes, brought them home, and shared the vision with Lana. They rejoiced together and held on to God’s promise for an additional 10 years before a miracle happened. Leaving doctors baffled, Lana got pregnant and baby Samuel is due any day now.


In the Bible, we see the Holy Spirit playing a vital role in the life of Jesus. 
1.    Jesus was born by the Spirit (Matthew 1:18; John 3:5 2). 
2.    Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16; Ephesians 5:18). 
3.    Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 4:1; Romans 8:14). 
4.    Jesus was sustained by the Spirit (Matthew 4:4). 
5.    Jesus was empowered by the Spirit (Luke 4:14; Acts 1:8).

The Holy Spirit plays a similar role in our lives, and it starts when we give our lives to the Lord. In John 16:7, Jesus told his disciples, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (NIV). Pastor Vlad explains, “We get the Holy Spirit by salvation, but the Holy Spirit gets us by surrender. He begins to lead and fill us and gives us gifts.”


So, how do we get to know the Holy Spirit? Pastor Vlad says,
1.    Don’t use the Holy Spirit as a power; seek Him as a person (John 16:7).
2.    Remember that the Holy Spirit wants to have a relationship with you more than you want to have one with Him (2 Corinthians 13:14).
3.    Feed yourself on the Holy Scriptures if you want the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16). 
4.    Communicate with the Holy Spirit in your heart (Proverbs 20:27).
5.    Keep your heart soft towards God (Matthew 5:8, Psalms 51:10-11, Psalms 78:72). 

To purchase Pastor Vladimir's book, Host the Holy Ghost, please visit: His book is also available at booksellers everywhere. For more information on HungryGen Church, please visit: HungryGen.

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About The Author

Angell Vasko

Angell Vasko joined CBN in 1999. Acting as Floor Producer and Guest Coordinating Producer for The 700 Club, Angell briefs the cohosts before the live show and acts as a liaison between the control room and show talent during the broadcast.