By Iraida Mikhailova
“Those were unforgettable, blessed, eventful, and spiritually fruitful days. We had 60 people and I’m happy to note it was mainly young people and there were many children, which means the Church is growing and developing by God’s will.
Words can’t express all my emotions about this wonderful fellowship in the Holy Spirit!
The topic of Stones received interesting treatment in the lectures of Deacon Yevgeni Raskatov and in the different activities involving everybody to their great enjoyment. In addition to our traditional exploration games, instructive skits, open-air physical games, hymn-singing by a campfire and in the church building, there were also new things: a master class in mosaic led by Natalia Vikhrova from Living Stones Mosaic Art Studio in St. Petersburg and an excursion to the WW2 memorial in Rzhev. Fifty people joined together for the excursion and, while there, we sang Zhuravli (“The Cranes”) extempore and in a very moving way.
Afterwards, we traveled together to “nashe Poyavilovo” (humorous Russian roughly translated as “our haven in the making”), a developing area for spiritual fellowship (it’s under construction now). In the “wildland,” teams put themselves to a test on a prepared difficult trailway. After that, we said a prayer taking each other’s hand and forming a large circle around a cross.
On Sunday, Bishop Ivan Laptev and Rzhev congregation pastor Valeri Antipov celebrated a worship service in the open air. Such warm meetings stay in the participants’ hearts for a long time and help build up the Church and proclaim God’s Word!
Many thanks go to Natalia and Pastor Valeri Antipov who organized this and to all the people who took part, celebrated, and prayed! I’d like to say a special thankyou to Irina Sorokina who led a wonderful quest, Anna Antonenko, Natalia Polyakova, Yana and Vika for their activities with the children.
Thanks be to God for all things!”
Photo credits: Yelena Antipova, Igor Pavlov, Natalia Vikhrova
Source & photos: VK