Church leaders and members share their blessings, challenges, and hopes.
Published on: 11-30-2019
“The Lord Is Coming!” was the theme that informed the Congress of Gospel Ministers gathering of Seventh-day Adventist leaders and members in Kyrgyzstan, in the capital city of Bishkek, November 9-10, 2019.
According to local church leaders, the weekend gathering sought to draw the attention of every believer to the need for transformation in all spheres of the Christian life and to pray for it.
“We live on the eve of the coming of Jesus Christ, and the great struggle between good and evil is getting fiercer every day,” said Kyrgyzstan Mission secretary Ekaterina Kirichenko. “Each member of the church goes through its stages, losing in its path or gaining victory. We know that changes are necessary — personally in each of us, in our attitude toward God, and changes in the church. This gathering was organized with that in mind,” she added.
Organizers included Southern Union Mission (SUM) executive secretary Vladimir Kotov and Sabbath School and Personal Ministries director Ildar Sultanov.
First-Person Sharing Time
The November 9-10 event included moments to share testimonies of what God has been doing in the lives of members, as several of them shared their experiences.
“A year ago, a miracle happened in my life — you cannot call it otherwise,” shared Milan, a church member. “I have a complex kidney disease that I have been struggling with for several years. Last year, I was worried because I was told I needed a kidney transplant. It is a complicated and costly operation, but the Lord took care of every detail. My mom became my donor. Brothers and sisters, relatives, and just strangers donated their funds for the operation, and thank God, there were enough of them to save my life,” he added. “We will not tire of thanking the Lord for these blessings and everyone who helped me.”
Other members emphasized the individual and collective need for a reformed Christian experience.
“Our Christian formation begins, of course, in the family. However, due to a lack of practical Christianity in the family, the church can go through a spiritual decline,” explained Tatyana, another Adventist member in the Kyrgyzstan Mission. “The importance of family services, the impact on the family when we criticize other church members or the pastor, being late for services and talking non-stop during worship — all these things require unceasing prayer and serious reform in our lives.”
Sergei, also a church member, agreed. “Spiritual illness is the result of neglect of duty. Changing your attitude to the truth, to the Sabbath day, to your spiritual and prayer life, will also change your attitude to the church,” he said.
For church member Lydia, changes include taking care of physical health as well. “Health reform is a special message from God to His church, and it’s important not only to accept this truth but to live it,” she said.