VELIKY NOVGOROD – The retreat called “Access Code” took place on June 21-26 in Demyansk and gathered 90 children, teenagers, and ministers from cities of the Novgorod region — Veliky Novgorod, Chudovo, Valday, Stara Russa, Demyansk, and Kholm — as well as from Severodvinsk, St. Petersburg, and Moscow.
The theme of the retreat was the story of Joseph's life. Each day the story unfolded in interviews with the heroes — Joseph, his brothers, Potiphar, Pharaoh. The participants learned what Joseph had to go through, what kind of difficulties he faced and where God led him. The main thing that the story conveyed was that in life not always everything goes the way you want, different circumstances and difficulties may arise on the way, but in everything and always God is there for you. Everyone has access to God and His Word. The main thing is to trust God.
The children were divided into five squads. They worked together on the topics of the day, carried out tasks. Everyone participated in games, quests and a variety of workshops: sports, camping, cooking, knitting, drawing, weaving with rubber bands, theater, music, dance.
Pastors and ministers participated in all activities. Sergei Pobedinsky, pastor of the Word of Life Church of Novgorod, which organized the retreat, held a master class in knitting, which surprised many people. His wife Galina taught the children how to cook at the cooking master classes.
In addition, the pastors shared messages from God's Word. At the retreat a mailing service was organized, with the help of which the children sent questions, and at the evening services the ministers answered them. The questions were many and serious: about faith and trust in God, about relationships and healing.
During the retreat kids and teens received special currency, it was called ‘potifariki’. On the last day at the fair, they purchased what they liked. The Talent Performance showed how many gifts the children have to glorify God. They sang, played various instruments, composed and recited poems of their own, and danced.
The retreat ended with an evening of praise and worship and prayer. The organizers thank God for the opportunity to serve children, to be together, to make friends, to have fellowship.
Children's and Teenage Ministries of the Novgorod Association
The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith