A youth congress, intriguingly titled “Trilogy”, was held in the territory of the Caucasus Union Mission. The event was attended by about 400 participants from Stavropol, the North Caucasus, Don, Kuban, Crimean republics and other parts of the country.
According to the plan of the organizers, the seven days of congress should help young people who want to completely change their lives, through the development of the three spheres of life, as indicated in the Scripture: “Now may the God of peace even sanctify you completely, and may all your spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he who calls you, who will also” (1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24, NKJV).
“A person feels 100% happy when mind, soul and body are in harmony. Therefore, the whole program [sic] and the seminars aim to present the best experiences and recommendations on how to effectively develop your spirituality, emotional intelligence and, at the same time, be beautiful,” commented Alexander Sakharov, director of youth ministries for the Mission of the Caucasus Union, regarding the objectives of the event.
First day: opening of the trilogy
The opening ceremony of the congress began with an interactive presentation of the presenters and a roll call of the participants from different territories. After that, organizers and speakers were introduced who would impart insights during the congress on how to glorify God in three spheres: spirit, soul and body. A skit was shown on the creation of mankind – literally, the creation of a body into which God breathed his spirit, thus forming a living soul.
If we talk about the worship team, they have been well prepared in advance. A special hymn was created for the gathering of young people, and on all days of the event they praised the Lord.
In a humorous way, the rules of conduct in the camp and a video of the day were presented.
The opening ceremony concluded with a sermon from the main speaker of the evening services, Alexander Lisichny, theologian and professor at Zaoksky Adventist University. The thrust of his talk was that despite the surrounding reality, our lives can resemble the God-sanctioned righteous life, the life of Enoch, who “went too far” in the best sense of the word. Having overcome the trials and temptations of his time and having learned constancy in fellowship with his heavenly Father, he was brought up to the Creator. The sermon was crowned by a call to young people: “Begin to walk with God, as Enoch already is today”, to which more than 100 people responded.
Such a start, according to many young people, has already caused them to re-examine their relationship with God and the world and awakened the desire to dive into the week of spiritual, physical and spiritual enlightenment.
Day two: How to build your ark and throw away the idols
The following Monday morning was full of fellowship with God, beginning with personal prayer and scripture reading.
Alexey Dedov, youth ministries director for the North Caucasus Mission, was the speaker for Monday morning’s service. He raised a very uncomfortable topic for young people: “Bury your idols”, pointing out that 21st century idols can be social networks, movies and television series, music, sports, video games or anything else to which we give our energy. , money, time and feelings. Young people are destroying themselves through the worship of idols. And you can break up with them today!
Roman Kisakov, Youth Ministries director for the Europe-Asia Division, led the general seminar “Modern for God.” Young people today may mistakenly think that being modern means following the lifestyles and values that are considered right and fashionable in the new century. However, sometimes these notions of how to live properly run counter to the kind of life the Creator Himself has defined for mankind. Modern for God does not mean backward on earth. It is a new level of life that brings transformation and meaning to existence.
After the general activities, the young people were offered seminars on different themes: “How to become a real man”, “How to find a spouse and be sure that it is the will of God” and many other subjects which are intended to form the character and beliefs of a mature Christian.
Not to be outdone were the activities that occupied the afternoon: volleyball, basketball and table tennis. Some people wanted to learn archery, take a robotics course, and spend time playing board games and other activities. All of this was not just for fun but also for making new acquaintances, building friendships and unity.
On Monday, the musical service was performed by the youth team of the North Caucasus Mission. The guys from SCM performed a skit based on the famous Soviet film Prisoner of the Caucasus. In this version, the “Caucasian captive” showed the way to the congress to the participants of the SCM, in particular Shurik, who got lost on the way, as well as to the coward, fool and bully, who had previously tried to kidnap her. The SCM team told the three thugs who Jesus was and invited them on a journey. They reconciled with the “Caucasian messenger” and wished to start a new life. On the way to the congress, a group of SCM travelers sang a song from the film, but with a different theme – joyful and spiritual – about the young people of the North Caucasus and their journey to paradise.
The second day of the gathering ended with a sermon by Alexander Lisichny: “Build your ark, and you will save yourself for eternity.” The speech, of course, was about Noah, as a man who also walked before God, as Enoch did. By trusting in God and building the ark, Noah demonstrated deep faith and obedience and survived the coming flood.
Moreover, Lisichny repeatedly noted that the wives of righteous men should not be less spiritual and believing because they had gone through all the trials with them.
At the end of the spiritual message, there was a call to “take a step toward the Saviour, become a whole person, and prepare for [His] coming.”
Day 3: How to find God and where to go
The third day of the congress was reserved for the presentation of the youth team of the Kuban-Black Sea Conference, of which about 80 people came to the event.
During the morning service, the leaders performed a skit on the importance of the unity of mind and body. A beautiful setting was the Kuban worship team’s musical performance. In his sermon, Evgeny Skripnikov, director of Kuban Youth Ministries, answered the main questions: “How can I find God?” and “Where is my way?
The general seminar was moderated by Andrei Kachalaba, president of KCHO, on the theme of leadership. The seminar provided insight into who real leaders are and what their lives are like. We remembered Moses, who was the most humble man on earth, and how God made him so, totally different from today’s leaders. We talked about the responsibility he had and how his life changed. At the end, we summarized what it means to assume leadership, saw the price to pay and how good leadership can change our lives so that the name of God is glorified.
That day, the camp participants had to face challenges. In the middle of the day, the weather suddenly turned sour, and in the afternoon, there were heavy showers with elements of hail. However, this did not shock anyone. The participants rejoiced; although they were wet, the spirit did not fade. The young people united in the tent in a common song; it warmed everyone up and lifted their spirits.
In the evening, a performance by the KCHO youth team was particularly entertaining, with skits and giveaways. There were comedy sketches about the convention. They reflected kuban coloring, fun sign-up times, and camp rules; and funny phrases from the speakers were played. There was a joint performance of the song “The Church of Christ in the Kuban spaces”. And at the end, all the guests received a sweetness from the south: the churchkhela.
Alexander Lisichny’s evening sermon called everyone to believe with untiring hope. Although everyone makes mistakes, even heroes of faith like Abraham and Sarah, their desire to believe and their decisions allowed the love of God to flow into their hearts so that their entire life journey was not in vain. There was a call to keep believing and going to church, even if we don’t think it’s interesting or if we don’t feel like it. After all, the main idea is that God in the church can pour out his love on us as much as possible and transform our hearts. Although it may not happen immediately, one who trusts in the Lord will not be ashamed.
The Youth Congress continues. Every day young people share their experiences with God, visit prayer tents, discuss spiritual topics with ministers, fellowship and praise the Lord through songs and services.
We want to believe that these days will help all congress participants to come closer to God in all areas of their lives!
Fourth day: How do you understand your call?
The trilogy continues to change people’s hearts. The morning of the fourth day (Wednesday) traditionally began with exercises and scripture reading.
Sergey Gromov, director of youth ministries for the Rostov-Kalmykia conference, addressed the audience with a sermon. In it, he called on young people to be chaste and stay clean until marriage for the God-determined spouse because of the importance of receiving the Heavenly Father’s blessing.
During the seminar, Kisakov spoke about the impact of Adventist youth and the opportunities God has given young people in the 21st century. Participants discussed God’s plan for each young person. What can each young person do for God? How can they understand their calling and experience the joy of ministry?
Afterwards, all congress participants were able to attend other seminars on subjects that interested them.
The evening was filled with physical activities. The sports tournaments, which had to be canceled on Tuesday due to wind, rain and hail, made the day particularly active, complementing the incredibly interesting seminars and sermons.
At the end of the day, the RKO youth team prepared a presentation for their conference. They presented a skit on how they minister during the year. The skit was interesting and positive, and in closing, the team sang a song that reflected their desire to serve and be a support for all. As a gift from the youth, the RKOs received ripe, warm and delicious corn cobs.
New for Wednesday night was the interactive “Pastor on Fire”. Lisichny didn’t just introduce another topic from the scene this time around, but answered burning questions from the youngsters gathered around the campfire. These are the results of the fourth day of the youth meeting.