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Home News Like Shakespeare in Poltava
Like Shakespeare in Poltava

Як у Шекспіра

Every year when autumn is winding down and winter is making its presence known, young people from all over the region gather in Poltava. Kotel'va and Kremenchug, Dykanka Zinkiv, Oposhnya and Horol, Great Bagachka and Chervonozavodskoe, Kobelyaki and Komsomolsk, Kiev and Pavlysh - that's the list of the cities and towns from which Christian young people came to our city (and in fact they came from more places than that).

Як у Шекспіра

This annual "migration" of young people is not caused by weather conditions or seasonal changes. The Regional Youth Conference - that's what motivates hundreds of young people to leave their warm homes and go on a trip. Yes, that's right, hundreds! That's not an enthusiastic exaggeration, it's a fact. On November 29 and 30 about 270 young Christians gathered at the Christian Ministry Center to resolve the question: "To be or not to be". That mysterious shakespearean title was not chosen randomly. "Lukewarm" Christians and "lukewarm" Christianity are a problem any time and in any nation. Thus says the Lord: "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!" (Rev. 3:15). Hot Christians are those who have the fire of God burning in them; a light for this world; cold: those are the ones that have already cooled down. These people understand their situation - that they are not on the path of salvation and their only choice is repentance and turning to the Lord. Those who are lukewarm are in the middle. They are no longer burning for God, but they don't understand their condition, and think that everything is fine. "So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth," says Jesus . "You can not get into the kingdom of heaven as lukewarm Christian, you can not ride in two cars in different directions at the same time," that's how Poltava regional pastor Oleg Ovsy put it in his sermon. The evening of the first day was spent on this topic.

Як у Шекспіра

The second day of the conference, November 30, was intense. Seminars, worship, preaching ... Sometimes it seemed like more than we could take in. Still, the organizers are confident that the intellectual effort and study laid a solid foundation for the future life of each participant. The workshops were: Stanislav Cherniayev (pastor of the Rakowski Evangelical Church of Kremenchug) on the topic "No Compromise"; Alexander Tretynko (pastor of New Hope Church in Kremenchug) on "Relationships with the Opposite Sex and My Dedication to God!"; Leonid Serebryakov (administrator for short-term missionary trips outside of Ukraine) on "Missions"; Eugene Konstantinnik (missionary to Papua New Guinea) on "The Everyday Life of a Missionary in Another Country". Other key Speakers were Oleg Ovsy (senior regional pastor, as mentioned above), Radislav Tsurcan (regional youth ministry leader), Vitaly Cherniayev (a leader of Born Again Church). The event coordinators were Vladislav Gorbachev (Born Again Church of Poltava) and Konstantin Kononenko (Salvation Church of Poltava). After all of those interesting lectures and sermons we can be sure that no one went home without having learned something; no one left the way they came.

Як у Шекспіра

After the conference the organizing team had the opportunity to meet and discuss the pros and cons of the program. Thanks to a survey they received a lot of opinions to read and take into account in the future. Many people commented on the relevance of the seminars, expressed their enjoyment of the worship band, expressed gratitude to the kitchen staff and were amazed by the decorations and staging. The main problem with the conference, according to many, if not all, was that some of the rooms weren't big enough to hold everyone who wanted to attend; some people had to listen from the hall. Still, it wasn't really upsetting. Most people wanted to attend all of the workshops and suggested extending the conference proposed one day (having two workshops on the first day, and then two more on the second). This problem has already been addressed to an extent. The audio for the seminars and talks are available on the Internet.

Summing up, we can be really happy that in our region a generation of Christians is maturing who are eager for the gospel and who are standing on a solid foundation of faith in Jesus Christ. We are confident that they will spread the news of salvation throughout the Poltava region, Ukraine and to the ends of the earth.

Constantine Zaika

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