IN THE SPOTLIGHT
ROSTOV-ON-DON (RUSSIA) – Southern regional conference of rehabilitation ministry took place in Rostov-on-Don on October, 26-28. More than 60 participants came from all over southern region of Russia: Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Stavropol, cities of Caucasus and Crimea. Special atmosphere of God’s presence was dwelling at every service.
Bishops Alexei Rudenki and Vladimir Khvalov preached and ministered by prayer. As all participants stayed at a recreation complex, many of them were able to talk in person with the senior ministers, who prayed for them, prophesied and ministered to them.
Pavel Pigurski, regional representative of rehabilitation ministry in Omsk area, shared his experience of cooperating with the government and supporting social projects.
Sergei Kostyushkin, coordinator of “Every home for Christ” project in Siberia shared his experience of preaching the Gospel through printed media. Everyone interested were able to participate in an evangelism project and try to create their own booklets.
We express our gratitude to Christ the Savior Church of Rostov-on-Don. The participants of the conference expressed their desire to make the conference annual. It was suggested to begin to train rehabilitation ministers for the southern region.
Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith
CHISINAU (MOLDOVA) - “Micah” International Organization’s Conference took place on April 8 and 9 in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. The conference was held for churches and social ministries of CIS, for Russian-speaking audience.
IZHEVSK (RUSSIA) - December 1-4, a final session in the city of Izhevsk marked the completion of the unprecedented project for Russian centers of social rehabilitation. During three years (2011 – 2014) directors and workers of the rehabilitation centers were able to go through a training program and improve their skills and level of work of their centers.
ALTAY (RUSSIA) – 120 indigenous women of the Altai Republic gathered on April 14 at a regional women's conference.
Pastors' wives of the West Siberian Association ministered at the conference. They preached about the role of women in the church: "A Christian woman is who she is", "Woman who ministers", "Woman in the Holy Spirit".
At the conference there was a warm, family atmosphere. The Lord filled the hearts of all participants with His presence. May the Lord bless sisters and expand their hearts to serve women in the Altai republic.
West-Siberian Association of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith
ST. PETERSBURG (RUSSIA) – March 8 is marked as the International Women's Day in the Russian calendar. On this day, it is customary to congratulate all women and give them flowers and gifts. One of the main gifts for women of the North-Western Association was women's conference "I love and I am loved."
The main speakers were pastors' wives - Tina Catto (Tampere, Finland) and Valeria Tsvetkova (New Testament Church of St. Petersburg). In their sermons, sisters reminded about simple, but important truths of God's Word: we are all loved by the Lord, and He, with His holy love, heals any wounds of the heart and soul. It is important to remember God's love for us, but on equal terms we must be able to give love, which manifests itself not so much in words, but, mainly, in deeds.
In addition to conference sessions, where sisters from 28 churches and religious groups of the association praised the Lord, prayed and listened to the Word of God, panel discussions took place. At them senior ministers gave answers that concerned women. The first panel discussion was devoted to relations in marriage. Answers to these questions were given by senior presbyter Alexander Tsvetkov, the first deputy senior presbyter Andrey Zyablittsev and a guest, senior pastor of the church in Tampere (Finland), Usko Catto.
Valeria Tsvetkova, bishop's wife Irina Linnik, and Tina Catto answered questions about relations before marriage. During the first part of the discussions, we learned whether an unmarried sister can be a leader and pastor, whether a woman can serve in case her husband is against it, what compliments we can tell our husbands, and whether they like them. In the second part we received answers to such questions as: "What to do if your husband is younger", "Can I kiss before marriage", "Can a woman initiate a relationship" and "How to manage to do everything in time".
At the conference, sisters received not only spiritual food, but also shared the joy of fellowship over a cup of tea, which certainly made this day even more significant. Thanks to the sign language interpreter, sisters with hearing impairments also listened to the Word and shared their thoughts.
The conference "I love and I am loved" allowed 180 sisters from different cities and towns of the Leningrad Region to spend a women's day among good friends.
Here are impressions of sisters who participated in the conference:
"The women's conference is a special time for me. I love it when the pastors' wives preach; there is much wisdom and love in their words. The Bible speaks of God's infinite love and concern for people. But also the command 'Love each other' is given. Our real happiness is that we are loved and can love, just as our Creator loved us". -Zabava.
"Spring is associated with the beginning of something new, warm, sunny and, of course, with a women's day. Thankful to God for the wonderful conference for sisters, which was held on a festive day. Worship, prayer, fellowship - everything was filled with the Spirit, I believe that many have come to hear the word from the Lord, to receive answers to their questions. It was wonderful that there were question and answer sessions. Thanks to sisters and brothers that served us, showing care and patience. Such meetings are very necessary and important, because they unite us, renew and inspire. Thank God for everything!" -Natalia.
The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith
PERM (RUSSIA) – On November 3-4, 2017 sisters from churches of Perm area, guests from Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk areas and Komi Republic took part in the conference. About 700 participants attended each of the four services.
How to receive the reward in spite of challenges and obstacles? Who is the woman living according to God’s Word, having made the covenant with God? – She is the one, fearless of anything, and going through all challenges and troubles with her faith and with God. That and many more the sisters were meditating and praying about. God was variously addressing each of the women’s hearts at the conference through the songs of “Living water” Russian song company, through the vocal-dancing composition “You have wings”, through the ministry of Perm and Krasnokamsk worship teams, and, of course, through His Word.
The speakers of the conference were Svetlana Pershina, director of Sverdlovsk non-profit organization Christian crisis counseling line “Lines of love”, head of women ministry of The answer is Jesus church in Ekaterinburg, and Natalia Gerasimova, coordinator of women ministry and a spouse of the bishop of Komi-Perm autonomous region association. Each one of them sincerely shared the Word of God, and was warmly and lovingly welcomed by the participants.
God visited the conference in a special way through a blessed guest, a precious sister, a founder and the head of women’s organization “Heart to Heart” Denise Renner. Thanks to her ministry, – God heals the hearts and changes women’s lives. At the conference Denise was singing and sharing what God has put on her heart, inspiring to move forward, in spite of any difficulties, temptations, challenges, and… receive the reward!
The “Living according to the Word” conference has become a bright event, where God was speaking to every woman’s heart, was inspiring, comforting, encouraging. Any woman is able to achieve anything if she lives according to the Word and follows the Holy Spirit leadership!
ROSTOV-ON-DON (RUSSIA) – Vladimir Khvalov, bishop and senior pastor of Christ the Savior Church of Rostov-on-Don and his wife Olga celebrated 20 years of ministry.
In summer 1998, Vladimir Khvalov became a successor of the founder and senior pastor of Christ the Savior Church Pavel Okara. Before that the Khvalovs served as pastors of a large church in Krasnodar. Moving to another city was a challenge for their large family (8 kids!), however, having received the confirmation from God they made the decision.
While leading Christ the Savior church that has become one of the largest evangelical communities in the south of Russia, Vladimir Alexandrovich for 19 years was also an irreplaceable chairman of a non-profit organization “Association of Christian churches and parachurch organizations”. He has made a significant contribution into strengthening the brotherly relationships between churches of Rostov area.
As a bishop and a head of Family Ministry department of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith, Vladimir Alexandrovich and Olga Yurievna created a family environment in their church and visited many regions of Russia with a unique project to support the family values “Territory of the Covenant”. The encouraging authorial seminars and conferences of the Khvalovs helped to restore and support many Christian families.
The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith
NORTH KOREA – One of the Russian Christian brothers went to North Korea for work. Here is his story.... We came on a working visa to the economic zone of North Korea, a rich region of this nation. Everything that we had heard before about North Korea, painted a depressing picture. Not all of what we heard was seen, but North Korea remains the most closed country for the Gospel.
Expectations were not met: I did not witness any horrors that I heard about. My phone and the Bible in Russian were declared while crossing the border. The border guards did not revise every page in the Bible.
In the country people move on bicycles, oxen, cars: simple electromobiles and expensive foreign cars. In my hotel room there were no portraits of the great leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
We toured around the city free, unaccompanied. Every Sunday, believers from different countries, except Koreans, gathered for the service, there were about 16 people. We openly praised God, prayed and listened to sermons.
We were in the North Korea for one month, building a dining hall. We and thirty builders from other countries worked from 8 am to 6 pm. Local workers worked from 5 am to 10 pm. Every day they received a salary equal to 130 rubles (2 US dollars). The Koreans called me «comrade». Korean workers were surprised that we were Russian Christians. At first they thought we were Americans and kept us at a distance. When they learned that we were from Russia, they began singing Russian songs.
On the second day Koreans invited us to have tea. In the morning that day we had helped them to do some hard work: to carry bricks, sand, to mix cement. I gave them my gloves, and this attitude ruined the wall. On the third day of work we bought them gifts — shovels and trowels.
Local people knew that we were Christians, they saw how we prayed before meals and worshiped God. We preached the Gospel.
In North Korea, I had my birthday: I cooked pilaf, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and laid out candy for Koreans. All this we ate with them at the construction site. The Koreans wished me a happy birthday. One worker put a candy in my mouth. In Korean culture this means respect.
A week after our arrival, we were asked to repair a room, which was intended for a chapel. In this room we build a new roof, because the building looked like a church. We worked on the ceiling, painted walls and laid the laminated floor. We returned to our hotel, covered with dust and smelling like cannabis, which the workers constantly smoked.
During one month we praised God in a closed country. Please pray that people of the North Korea will see the transforming power of the Lord, pray for brothers and sisters who are in prisons. Pray that the doors will open for the Gospel.
IZHEVSK (RUSSIA) – October, 10 became a special day for 17 people, and their families. On that day they made a covenant with the Lord by water baptism in Philadelphia Church of Izhevsk. The joyful event traditionally was accompanied by songs of praise to God. All 17 entered the baptistery, leaving behind their past life, to make a vow to God to follow Him.
God has prepared a wonderful destiny for everyone. He will never forsake or leave us. He will be with us in joy and sorrow. He will take care of us. We don’t know what happens in the spiritual world during the sacrament, but we know for sure that God rejoices. It is so wonderful that many of those baptized were young people.
After the water baptism pastors prayed for the Holy Spirit baptism for these people. After that all who were present at the event congratulated new church members.
Philadelphia Church of Izhevsk
The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith
VITINO (RUSSIA) – Recently, 1,400 young people from 170 cities and towns of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Israel, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and USA gathered at Vitino settlement near Yevpatoria for the National Youth Convention PASSWORD–PassTheWord, where the senior generation passes on the Word of God, the fire and ministry experience to the young. The rally took place on July 25 to August 2. The organizer of the rally was the Centralized religious organization Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith.
What we were doing at the convention
This year we’ve had enough spare time to rest and swim in the sea. Thanks to the meetings called PASSWORD.Connect we were able to make friends on the first days, and the fellowship continued during the rally. The participants added each other to their social networks’ accounts, invited each other over. Two of my friends are going for a visit to Saint-Petersburg and another friend – to Perm. We’ve become friends. Of course, there were evenings near the campfire with singing worship songs and games with a genial company, volley ball and soccer, cross-fit and many contests.
In the first part of a day the most part of the participants rested and swam in the sea, and at that time some of them, including the organizers, were preparing for festivals and contests, had auditions. After lunch the heat, spiritual part, began. The youth gathered at the large tent, and we were worshiping God and listening for God’s Word together. The preachers shared their ministry experience, inspired the young hearts to burn for God and faithfully minister to Him. After that the workshops and seminars took place, where the professionals were teaching the youth what they know themselves.
I’ve visited Vitaly Bushter’s, a business trainer from Orenburg, “Networking” workshops (building relationships and connecting with people), seminar of Andrei Derkatch, director of “Youth with the mission” missionary school from Rostov-on-Don. The most important thing that remained in my memory after the seminar is that in a foreign culture we shouldn’t be afraid to start all over, and his statement about “the lack of money is the main tool of mission progress”, turned my mind over. I believe that God has His reasons to tell us what we need to hear, and He leads the way. After dinner the second service took place, and then contests, meetings, a Viktor Lavrinenko’s, musician from Saint-Petersburg, evening, contests of drummers, rappers and beat-boxers, a “What? Where? When?” contest with questions from Acts, a Club for the Lighthearted and Quick-witted game and just some fun time together.
It seemed interesting to me that for the first time a children and youth ministry “Royal Rangers” was represented at PASSWORD rally. Their vision is faithful ministers of Jesus Christ, with an active position in church and society. The representative of “Royal Rangers” in the South region of Russia Evgeny Krishtop from Gelendzhik was sharing about how to become part of their ministry. The “Royal Rangers” site is in English: royalrangersinternational.com
At the rally the “One Year for Jesus” and “Youth year for Jesus” projects were represented. We’ve heard testimonies about the changes in lives of those who hear the Gospel and those who preach it. For further information please see: vk.com/mgdiperm, and for “One Year for Jesus” project news: hve.ru/year-for-jesus
Pastoral school for youth
Last year the Head bishop of the Russian church of Christians of Evangelical faith Edward Grabovenko was inspiring the youth to take part in the ministry as soon as they return home from PASSWORD8. And he invited to come to pastoral school all those who began a home-church or took some other part in the church ministry. One week before PASSWORD2018, 30 young people from different cities and towns of our country came to study pastoral and missionary work. The call to take part in a pastoral school next year was made at the rally this year as well.
The pastoral school is more than just lectures on spiritual topics. I remember what the pastors and missionaries were teaching about.
Vyacheslav Safronov, pastor from Perm and the One Year for Jesus project coordinator was teaching about how God has a sovereign power over all. Including me. He tells me whatever He sees right. When you realize it, you make a choice to submit to God’s will and tell Him “yes”. At one of the meetings we were meditating about the core of God’s leadership.
Head Bishop Edward Grabovenko was teaching about the basics of successful pastoral ministry and was sharing about the principles of the ministry, that it is important to see the need and be an answer to it. It is necessary to be established in the call and have a clear vision with a strategy of the performance.
A great blessing for me was to meet pastor and missionary T.T. Qua, who taught a course “Listen to your Father”. He gave us answers to practical questions about the ministry: how, where, with whom and for whom we’re going to live. We’ve studied spiritual matters about what we need to change about us, what to do for improvement and who we can minister to. Thanks to the course I’ve learned that it is important not only to become a good leader, but to raise great leaders in a team.
From the ministry experience of pastor Alexander Tsvetkov we’ve learned how the churches were started. At his lecture we’ve learned about the four questions we need to know the answers to when we begin to minister. The first one is the source of my inspiration, the second is resources and their source, the third is the task that will become the key in the beginning and the fourth is establishing the core and the team.
It was important to learn about what the missionaries have to face. Missionary from Vorkuta Fedor Velichko encouraged to never contrast what God gives us and what people do.
Youth pastor Daniel Lo and his wife from Malaysia shared about their ministry experience in a Muslim country. They were living among those who they preached and became friends with – a good example of relationships and influence of those who we minister to.
We’ve had opportunities to talk to the speakers, ask them questions and share our experiences with all the speakers. I’m immensely thankful to God for each person who ministered to us, opened the door to pastoral, missionary and other kinds of ministries.
In my heart I hear the words: if it’s not for God, where would I be? Every time when God tells us to go and do something, we need to open our hearts and not to miss a chance to be at where He desires to see us. I want everything that I say and do to be as worthy as if I was doing it on the last day of my life.
PASSWORD2018 official site: passwordhve.ru
IZHEVSK (RUSSIA) – A youth tent outing to Vala river “Revival, whatever it takes” took place on July 14 to 22 – informs Izhevsk Philadelphia Church web-site. 150 young people from churches of Udmurtia, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Samara, Saint-Petersburg and Moscow spent nine days at a tent camp.
The organizers settled an entertaining part with games, fellowship near the fire, and a spiritual part: sermons, reading the Bible, prayers.
Pavel Zhelnovakov, senior pastor of Philadelphia church, Vladimir Batalov, youth pastor, Sergei Odintsov, pastor of Church of Jesus Christ, Sergei Sukhanov, chaplain and regional representative of “Royal Rangers” and leaders of youth ministry of Philadelphia church were preaching.
All speakers were united by common topics: commitment, evangelism, missionary outreach, revival. They were talking about the importance of being able to hear the Word of God and act it out.
The kids came home rested and inspired. At Vala river they met new friends and enhanced the old friendships.
The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith,
adapted from Philadelphia church of Izhevsk web-site
ROSTOV-ON-DON (RUSSIA) – Forth Youth camp Adrenalin-2018 took place in Nikolaevskaya town in Rostov area on July 11 to 14. It was a most multitudinous outing organized by Rostov-on-Don Christ the Savior church youth ministry. More than 200 participants from different churches of Rostov area took part in it. Besides the youth many families with children participated as well.
The Head of family ministry department of Russian church of Christians of Evangelical Faith, senior pastor of Christ the Savior church, bishop Vladimir Khvalov talked with the youth about the premarital relationships. Leonid Filippov, president of a non-profit organization “Association of Christian churches and parachurch organizations” was one of the speakers.
The organizer of the outing, pastor of Christ the Savior church Igor Andrushkevich was running contests and competitions and was inspiring the youth to maintain the God’s fire in their hearts.
Every morning was starting with a prayer and worshiping God. Worship teams from several different churches were leading the worship. Every morning after breakfast the participants were listening to the sermons. During the day different sports events, fishing, soccer competitions and relay races were taking place. Common meetings – in the evenings. Before bedtime – fellowship around the fire and worshiping God.
One of the brightest events of the camp was the assault course which was a set of challenges for the kids. They had to run, swim and most importantly – not to be afraid to get dirty.
The participants of the outing learned to work as a team, met new friends, were equipped by new tools of spiritual growth and of course took home some great unforgettable memories.
Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith
PERM (RUSSIA) - Round 3 of Children’s Bible quiz, which all participants looked forward to, was held at the New Testament Church of Perm on June, 4. This time children from churches of Kachkanar, Solikamsk, Tchernushka and Perm took part in the quiz. Children showed profound knowledge of the Bible, answered the most complicated questions (questions for 30 points awaited them this time!), displayed smarts and erudition.
We should note that children eagerly prepared for the round. To quote a verse from the Bible and name the chapter and number of the verse can be challenging even for an adult!
NOVOSIBIRSK (RUSSIA) - Children’s ministry of the Covenant Church of Novosibirsk organizes various events and one of them took place recently: children’s winter camp during winter school break. Children and Sunday School teachers went out of town and spent several days in the recreation center.
OMSK (RUSSIA) - On June 24 to 27, Zhatva Church of Omsk with the help of football coaches from Sweden held a Christian football camp for children and teenagers. If last year 65 children attended the camp, this year 100 boys and girls wanted to participate at this exciting event. Of these kids, 20 have never heard the Good News.
PERM (RUSSIA) – At the National Conference of the Russian church of Christians of Evangelical Faith in Perm that took place on September 7 to 9, President of Moscow Theological Institute Sergei Yastrzhembski and the Programme Director Aelita Zhidyaeva conducted a commencement. The graduates from churches of Perm Association — 17 bachelors of practical theology and 4 ministers of practical theology — received diplomas of higher theological education.
The MTI President Sergei Yastrzhembski congratulated graduates on behalf of professors and workers of Moscow Theological Institute and encouraged them to be even more humble before the Lord and serve the Body of Christ with boldness.
The Head Bishop instructed them, “I’m glad that you’ve made it, thank you for your commitment. There’re many people who possess much knowledge, but they don’t know God, and you will help those who seek God. I pray that you become gifts to people”.
Moscow Theological Institute web-site: http://www.mti-rc.ru/
BARNAUL (RUSSIA) – A regional seminar and training for Sunday school teachers took place at Barnaul Light of Revival Church on August 8 to 11. 33 Sunday school teachers and children ministers from Light of Revival, New Life, Kingdom of God, Peacemaker, Source of Life, The Corner Stone churches took part in it. Speakers of the training seminar were Tatyana Chernyavskaya, Olga Verevkina, Ekaterina Sukhotina.
Brightly, vividly and clearly theoretical and practical knowledge was presented at the seminar. All aspects of children minister’s character, the identity and age peculiarities, basic principles of children ministry and children worship were reviewed in all detail. The core of the seminar was the knowledge about how to arrange a Sunday school lesson: preparation, structure and visual material. “The most important part of ministry to children is to be able to schedule the time and pray for children” – the speakers taught.
The biggest interest was aroused by practical tasks with interactive methods “The hat pole”, “Whirlpool”, “Cinqauin”, “Expert evaluation”.
During the breaks the children ministers made acquaintances, communicated, shared experience. The instructors gladly answered the questions and helped to prepare for the exam.
The seminar showed new directions of the ministry to children, new conception of preparing for the lessons, helped to set new goals and purposes in the new school year.
The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith
VOLOGDA (RUSSIA) – Media ministers of evangelical churches met in Revival Church of Tcherepovetz on March 9 and 10. The meeting was organized by Communications Department of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith together with the Revival Church. Sixteen representatives of five churches from Tcherepovetz, Vologda and Kaduy came to the meeting.
Anderi Derbenev, the editor-in-chief of "Primiritel" ("Peacemaker") magazine and "Faith and society" newspaper shared the tools of working with texts, explained how to write a press release and news, make a report about a mission trip. The media trainer presented practical examples of generating ideas and developing creative thinking.
The head of the Communications Department Irina Litvinova presented a review of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith media resources and during the meeting helped the participants to get to know each other and make friends.
Igor Bulatov, specialist in videography and smm, shared the knowledge about supporting accounts in social networks, gave some ideas of content for churches' accounts, presented elements of photoreports.
Media speakers focused on planning. During practice sessions the participants gained skills of media support of church's events.
Dmitry Molchanov, lawyer and representative of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith legal department, shared about the application of rules and regulations set by "Yarovaya law" in the media ministry. At the conclusion of the presentation the participants made an editor's check-list on the legalistic matters.
Similar media trainings took place since 2013 in Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, Perm and Krasnoyarsk. Media bfiefing is a format of gathering with coleagues, who meet, share experience, learn from each other.
The organizer of the meeting, media minister of Tcherepovetz "Revival" Church Artyom Vtorushin, said that he was glad to welcome guests from Vologda, Kaduy and churches of Tcherepovetz. Artyom was sure that as a result of the meeting new talents would be discovered.
"We've learned to generate and filter the ideas, - says Ilya Lamokhin, participant of the meeting. - I liked the "Six hats" method. Media ministers can help their churches in any ministry using it. Knowledge on media planning of a conference or any other event are useful to anybody".
"I liked to generate ideas using an "Octopus" techniqie, - says Leonid Chumakov. - I've learned how to write a news article, using a pyramid method. It was helpful to learn how to work in social networks and apply hashtags".
"New ideas and new victories in media ministry are guaranted. The Good News, properly shared, will be even closer to people", - Svetlana Vtoorushina summarized.
Artyom Vtorushin, Svetlana Vtorushina, Igor Bulatov
Photos by Igor Bulatov
The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith