PERM – On January 4-6, the LIVENTC23 Youth Conference was held at the New Testament Church in Perm. It brought together over 800 young people from different cities of Russia. The conference program included inspiring sermons, an evening of praise and worship session, helpful and practical workshops, an interactive talk show with speakers, games and a lot of fellowship.
The day before the conference opened an inter-city soccer match was held. Teams competed for the LIVE Cup. There was an inspiring, bonding atmosphere at the match, which became a great introduction to the conference.
The first day of the conference
The opening of LIVENTC23 was marked with a vibrant dance performed by the LIVEDANCE kids and youth teams. LIVEWORSHIP team led the entire first day in worship, and the first speaker of the conference was David Grabovenko, youth pastor of the Perm Church. He shared how God put a desire in his heart and gave him an opportunity to launch the One Year for Jesus–Youth Project (MGDI), which have been in existence for over 7 years and have spread in many cities of Russia. God showed David this project’s vision in the secret place. So the pastor encouraged the youth, “If you want to do something great for God, you need to have your own place to meet Him. God will give you a vision and never leave you. Most importantly, don't stop fellowship with God and give thanks for everything.”
A memorable and unusual event of the first day of the conference was an interactive LIVESHOW, at which the speakers of the conference — Mika Velichko, Alexander Khudyakov, David Grabovenko and German Anfinogenov — shared interesting facts about their lives. During the show, the young people took a quiz and learned something new about the speakers. For example, we learned that Mika Velichko had to go to classes, when it was -62 degrees Celsius outside, since she lived in the northern town Vorkuta. Alexander Khudyakov once got lost in the woods and spent a day without food, water and shelter, relying only on God. German Anfinogenov is 186 centimeters tall and likes to hug people who are taller than him.
The second day of the conference
The second day of the conference began with a morning prayer for healing with Pastor Sergey Povarnitsin. Collective prayer is the best way to start the day. The entire second day the worship services were led by the youth team from the Good News Church of Tyumen. The speaker for the morning session was Mika Velichko, fragile and gentle on the outside, but strong in the spirit. She shared the message about spiritual warfare. This was the first time Mika preached at our conference and was very memorable for the audience. Here are a few of her main thoughts:
“Spiritual warfare is not a war with the devil, it is a war with false beliefs in your head and your heart.”
“To win the spiritual war, we must gain control of our minds and bodies. And the strength to do this we can only find in the Lord.”
On the same day there were workshops on youth evangelism, creativity in youth ministry and teambuilding. The leaders of the Perm church shared their experience, told in detail about the “inner kitchen” and encouraged the youth to try different ways of being active.
Andrey Alexandrov, pastor of the Liberation in Jesus Church of Kungur preached at the second session. He covered the topic of “The Sweet Cunning of Aggression”, which is relevant today, even for believers. Unfortunately many people have left the church and ministry because of resentment, so the pastor taught how to fight this tool of the devil, “Resentment is not a result of circumstances beyond your control. It is your choice and your decision that can be avoided.”
The conclusion of the second day was an praise and worship service led by the youth worship group LIVEWORSHIP. That evening the youth in unity praised God in songs and prayers. Especially everyone remembered and enjoyed the new song “Jesus” that has an unusual history.
This song was created during the Youth Convention PASSWORD2022 in Perm right at the songwriting master class of German Anfinogenov. After that, the praise group designed, prepared, and performed it for the first time together with the youth choir at the LIVENTC23 Conference. There are plans to record and release this song on music venues soon.
During the service youth pastors and leaders from different cities of Russia prayed for the participants. Many young people noted that they felt a special presence of God: God was very active and answered their prayers. At the praise and worship service musician Herman Anfinogenov spoke. His main thought was that if Jesus Himself is sleeping in your boat, that's a good sign. It means He has everything under control. Herman reminded everyone, “If you are where you are, that's Jesus' idea. Salvation is already in your boat — that's where Jesus is.”
The third day of the conference
On the third day, the leader of the youth ministry of the New Testament Church of St. Petersburg Eduard Tsvetkov preached at the first meeting. The minister encouraged the youth not to stay in their wilderness because of their fears. Young generation needs to go into the Promised Land on time. “We must go there and lead the next generation — children and teenagers — because that's where God is and that's where the calling is.” The youth team from Severouralsk led the worship at this session.
For the first time there were gifts from the speakers. So, Mika brought venison jerky from Vorkuta and gave it to a lucky person in the audience. Eduard Tsvetkov from St. Petersburg prepared a whole package of unusual sweets, which are not easy to find in stores now. Herman presented a poster from the last summer Youth Convention PASSWORD2022. But we remember that the main thing from the speakers is not the gifts, but the revelations that they shared with everyone.
On the same day, there were two workshops held separately for brothers and sisters. Both events were held in a talk-show format, where pastors and church leaders shared their principles for building relationships and answered questions from the participants.
At the closing session of the LIVENTC23 Conference Pastor Alexander Khudyakov shared his revelations on the topic “Just Like Jesus”. He reminded the youth that as Christians we need to reflect Christ: through character, through behavior and deeds. The pastor took the life of Jesus Christ before the age of 30 as the basis, which the Scriptures don't say much about, “Being obedient to your parents, as Jesus did, is a narrow and challenging path that will surely lead you to God's blessings.”
At each break at the conference, the youth had plenty of choices to spend their free time. There was an area with pouffees for socializing, board games, bowling, a giant jenga, various wooden floor games. And the most attractive for the youth was the Live Fair, where different areas of LIVE youth ministry and the Moscow Missionary Center were represented.
Representatives from each area conducted interactive activities where participants could earn stickers with conference slogans. For those who had collected all kinds of stickers (they could be exchanged), there was an opportunity to participate in a lottery where the main prize was an all-inclusive ticket to PASSWORD2023, which is planned to be held in Moscow.
From the bottom of our hearts we thank God, each speaker and the organizers, without whose help this conference would not have happened. There were many revelations from God, God's presence in praise and worship, edifying fellowship with people from different cities, fun and interactive activities.
All sermons and workshops of the conference are on the YouTube channel of LIVENTC: https://youtube.com/liventc
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The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith