russia_retreat

Dear HeartCry Supporters,

In the last days of January, we held a two-day retreat for pastors’ couples. Winter is the time when most pastors are less busy and can take a little break for refreshment. About 40 of us gathered in the quiet place surrounded by woods. The idea was to let pastors and their wives hear a word of encouragement from Scripture, to have moments of unhurried prayer for each other and to spend time with those who understand your burdens as few other people can. Pastors from different corners of Belarus, most of them bi-vocational, came with their wives.

I taught three messages:

  1. The challenges of pastoral ministry (based on Paul’s farewell to Ephesian elders)
  2. The biblical image of the husband
  3. The biblical picture of the wife. Also, two sessions were taken in giving personal testimonies and prayer for each other. It was fascinating to hear how the Lord has led different couples in His service. These were people of different background, of varying age and in different ministry situations. We also interviewed an older couple on the topic “Raising children for the Lord.” Their three adult children are robust Christians. One of them was recently ordained to be a pastor along with his father. Many younger parents were eager to learn from their wisdom. As our retreat was coming to its close, we heard many words of gratitude from participants. I believe that the work of the Holy Spirit work is not dependent on the presence of famous speakers or favorite subjects. When God’s servants get together and open their hearts to each other and the Lord in prayer they never fail to be encouraged, refreshed and uplifted.

As workers go back to their fields, there will be a lot of warm memories that will sustain them in their ministry, a lot of new insights from the inexhaustible Word that will invigorate their proclamation of the Gospel.

Pray for us,

Tolya