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Living Epistles

Ви – лист Христовий

Have you ever given someone important news? Have you ever been the actual message? Last week nearly 100 young people from different parts of the Poltava region had the chance to be Christ's letter to the world. "You are the message of Christ " - that was the motto for the 4th Poltava Christian Youth Festival, which was held from August 5th to the 10th in the picturesque setting of the village of Chutovo.


The festival organizers, along with the missionary family Vyatcheslav and Natalia Klimova, set a goal to provide as much help as possible to those most in need, and to render services to the city. Everything was done with enthusiasm: whether it was a quick cleanup of church grounds or several days of tidying a park or help around the house for elderly people living alone. In any case, the greatest pleasure the young people got was not from the results of the physical labor, but from sharing God's Word and His love for people . However, our efforts were often also rewarded in material terms: watermelons, apples and plums, generously offered to us by the people we helped, were very welcome during the breaks from work.

The festival was more than just work for the participants; there was also the pleasure of liesure time shared together. There was the chance to meet new people, share ideas and dreams - this helped to forge new friendships, to reinforce life values ​​and redefine goals. The participants were divided into six teams, and every day they gethered in their teams to meditate on the importance of developing qualities such as honesty, fairness, generosity, and satisfaction in Christ. There were also morning competitions, like first place in eating breakfast, interesting skits, sports, evening gatherings around the campfire - all these added new experiences and gave the festival a friendly family atmosphere.

Each evening the festival activities moved from the quiet banks of the river Kolomak to the lively city center. Maybe the locals are not that accustomed to the sound of spades and a cracking of branches, but most were aware of the fact that at eight PM there was a special program at the church. When we extended the invitations we certainly met with some unfriendliness. Still, they recognized us in the streets, asked us questions and shared stories from their lives. In fact, the openness and sincerity of our countrymen pleasantly surprised five young people who came to the festival from Spring of Life Church of Orenburg, Russia, bought by Peter Vogel. Working side by side with Poltavans to the glory of the Lord, our Russian friends not only demonstrated their zeal and diligence, but also shared their unusual talents with the residents Chutovo. Masha Novikova's face painting was a big hit! It caused a great stir among children and adults. After a soccer game with our sports team the local kids and teens hurried to get a beautiful pattern drawn on their face. No less interesting were the theatrical performances that the festival attendees from Zolotonosha presented.

In addition, the locals had a chance to see the movie "Fireproof ", a show by a strong man and to listen to live music ... All of these offerings emphasized the importance of Christian values ​​in our lives and the importance of reconciliation with God. Festival attendees enjoyed music almost around the clock. There were songs of praise as a wake-up call, there was music during the liesure time, quiet relaxing songs at evening campfire and loud choruses in the jam-packed cars headed of for work. It wouldn't be surprising if our Russian friends learned some of the Ukrainian repertoire ...

The festival is over. Its effects were felt far beyond our area. But we hope that a fuse was lit in the hearts of these young Christians that will inspire them and impact their daily lives. We believe that they will be a "clearly understood letter from Christ", that will show their neighbors the character, qualities and habits inherent in true Christians . This is what we can do to have an eternal impact!

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