A Regional Conference of UCEC took place in Donetsk
28 May 2012
Initially the Saturday and Sunday general attendance services of the Donetsk Regional conference were planned to take place under the open sky at the church building construction site (as at the All-Ukrainian Conference of UCEC in September last year). But due to unfavorable weather conditions the Conference in Donetsk was at a real danger of being cancelled.
Preparations were in full swing. Many workers and volunteers were engaged in cleaning of the territory, arranging of the seats and organization of various help ministries.
But on the eve of the conference heavy showers lavished over Donetsk, thunderstorms, water flooded all public areas, and the air temperature dropped to 12-15 degrees Celsius.
Nevertheless on Friday, as planned earlier, the meeting for pastors and leaders was held in the premises of the "Word of Life" Bible Institute. Senior Pastor of UCEC Leonid Padun preached on “being a prisoner of your thoughts". "We are responsible for what thoughts we take into our hearts, in our mind. Just one single thought can lead us to defeat and disappointment, but God provided us with weapons, strong on pulling down the enemy’s strongholds, built in our minds. It is better to be a prisoner of the Word of God than remain in the captivity of your own thoughts!" - said Pastor Leonid.
The next day all the three conference meetings were also held at the premises of the Bible Institute. The main hall for 1000 seats was filled to capacity. There were people sitting everywhere - in the lobby, the church café etc watching the meetings live on TV monitors.
Everyone could get a place but once again the need to have a building for not only such regional conferences but for those of a nationwide and international level became quite obvious for the church.
On the Saturday morning and evening services the invited guest of the conference, Pastor from Asia, a well-known preacher and a prominent writer, a host of a popular TV program "House on the Rock" Dennis Podorozhniy ministered to the congregation.
Pastor Dennis taught about the practical steps to save our loved ones. He focused on the fact that in addition to the preaching of the Gospel, it is so very important to pray for our families and to preach by also our godly life style and our sincere love for them.
On the second service of the day Pastor Vladimir Shabanov, who is the Senior Pastor of the union’s churches in Donetsk region, preached on the Church of God as people united by the same revelations in the Word.
In the evening the theme of Pastor Dennis’ sermon was «Be strong and courageous». The life of a Christian on this earth is not a carefree walk indeed but still if in difficult situations we completely relay on God we can be confident that sooner or later all will end up well!
The wonderful culmination of the conference became the long-awaited services on the "promised land" of our church – the construction site on Sokolinaya Street. On Sunday the weather was warm and sunny and many of the believers could gather in the open, to listen to the Word and to praise the Lord.
At the first service Pastor Dennis preached about the three types of doubts that accompany the life of every believer, from extremes of believing everything to the extremes of doubting it all. What we need is the balance which is found in the Word of God.
At the final meeting of the Conference the Senior Pastor Leonid Padun spoke to the church on such an important and topical issue as a blessing through respect. "From year to year such moral values as respect for parents, the elderly, the authorities and the government are losing their value in the modern society - said Pastor Leonid. - Reverence and respect is born only in the Church, when a person recognizes the authority of the Word of God and begins to act according to it’s principles".
The conference concluded with a corporate prayer. Many of those present testified of refreshment and encouragement received from God during the days of the Conference. Many said they had been healed from different sicknesses.
All the meetings of the conference were broadcasted on the Internet, reported in the social networks. According to statistics 20,000 IP-addresses were registered during the broadcasts of the conference meetings.
Photo by Anton Itkin, Andrey Kalinichenko
Video by Anton Itkin, Maxim Hvishchuk