“Expand my boundaries, Lord!”, concluded the Christ is the Answer ministries conference
The sixth missionary conference “Expand my boundaries, Lord!” gathered more than 80 participants with families from different regions of Ukraine for spiritual growth, sharing experience in the ministry, meeting new people and fellowship, recharge and retreat of the entire team of the Christ is the Answer Ministries. The event took place on September 13-17 in Mizhhirya, Zakarpattia region. The participants included missionaries, pastors and volunteers.
“Praying and seeking God’s will is the first thing you need in order to expand your boundaries. God wants the words of Christ to flare up in our hearts: “Go and teach all the nations”, – said Taras Sen, director and missionary of “Christ is the answer”, at the opening of the event.
On the first day of the conference, he emphasized the importance of setting aside time for personal prayer and being filled with the Holy Spirit, being faithful in little and using what you have, hearing God’s voice and taking consistent steps in ministry, constantly learning.
Serhiy Tiurikov, a missionary and pastor from the Kharkiv region, spoke about the three keys to a strong ministry: calling, commitment and trust in God.
Oleksandr Dovydenko, a pastor of the church from the Kyiv region, spoke about God’s mercy and His sovereignty, realizing which, it will be easier for ministers to go through challenging times when the question arises: why, Lord?
Taras Sen spoke about the persecution and cruel treatment of Christians in Ethiopia based on his own experience of communicating with Christians experiencing such persecution. Muslims and religious fanatics in this country regularly torture Christians, mock them, force them to flee to other cities. Being in difficult conditions, local Christians remain faithful to God and continue to serve Him. Hundreds of them die for Christ every year.
In the Ministries, a lot of attention is paid to building family relationships: missionaries are encouraged to serve together with their wives, family meetings are held, where husbands are usually given homework – to spend the evening with their wives.
On the second day of the conference, Taras Sen, a husband and father of six children, told the 12 commandments of a happy marriage and initiated a family meeting. In a romantic atmosphere, the couples complimented each other and shared plans for the near future about seeing each other after coming back home.
The missionary team went on excursions every day. We had time to visit a natural geyser that erupts with mineral water every four hours, on Lake Synevir, on Mount Gymba, where we ascended by the longest cable car in Zakarpattia, visited the brown bear rehabilitation center and Shipit waterfall.
Missionaries of the Ministries shared about their activities in the regions of Ukraine on the third day of the conference.
CITA minister shared testimonies from the times of war about risky situations they had to go through, about new directions of activity and ministry to displaced people.
The representatives of the administration department of the Kyiv office of the Ministries shared with the participants about the rules and peculiarities of content creation.
Viktor Pavlyshyn, a missionary and pastor from the Mykolaiv region, preached and prayed that the ministers would be obedient to the Lord.
On the last day, the pastors of the union of churches called “Salvation” shared their experience.
Yuriy Savochka shared his many years of experience in conducting home groups, and Oleksandr Kucheruk answered the question: why are churches not growing?
“The growth of the home group is based on love. What does it mean to love people? To know about them more than just acquaintances, to be sincerely interested in them, to know their struggles, to pray for them, to be friends so that they could feel that they are needed.
Involvement in people’s lives opens the way for church growth,” said Pastor Savochka.
Having mastered this principle, a minister from one home community had 12 ones within a year.
Pastor Kucheruk shared his experience of outreach: “It is natural for the church to grow. Fast or slow, but it is constantly growing through evangelism, and results require consistency. Arrange outreach events with a creative approach, so that they would be interesting for unbelievers.”
“The spiritual element was extremely powerful at the conference: the main thing remained the main thing. Also the presence of beauty: all those candles and flowers on the tables during a family gathering. Trips! Incredible views! I am lost for words. This is a gift from God for us – my husband and I recently celebrated the 17th anniversary of our family.
I was impressed by how purpose-driven the ministries and missionaries were, by their dedication to the ministry and not only in Ukraine. It inspires you to be active in your ministry. I especially felt the importance of such events for my team in the church, in this format everything is perceived differently.” Oleksandr Dovydenko with his wife Lesya, pastor of a church in the Kyiv region.
“The conference is a time of unity in the midst of the storm that is underway in our country. We can support each other, inspire when we share our emotions, experiences, victories, experiences. It ignites us, we take an example from each other, and we can move on.” Andriy and Tetiana Vasenda, missionaries from Ternopil.
“I really like the atmosphere in the team, thematic seminars and sermons, which were supported by real stories from life. I was also impressed by the nature I saw during the excursions. The conference was organized very wisely: the spiritual and non-spiritual parts are well combined.” Mykola Cheremushkin, future missionary of the mission from Rivne.
“When pastors are in difficult situations, we try to teach them something, but the teaching itself gives little results. It is necessary to act comprehensively: spiritually, mentally and physically. When we get closer, as at such conferences, then a person can share some personal need, which he/she does not share with everyone. You need to be friends with pastors, talk over a cup of tea. In this way, a person becomes more open and can tell more, and therefore, you can minister better.” Yuriy Savochka, a pastor of the association of churches called “Salvation”, Kyiv region.
The Christ is the Answer missionary conferences are held every year in the Carpathians.
Press center of the Christ is the Answer Ministries.