The first week of November has been special for ECB sisters in Belarus for over 15 years. These days the sisters get together for prayerful fellowship and meditation over the Word of God.
November 4-5, 2011 in Gospel Light church we had one more conference to celebrate 15 years of a regenerated sisters’ ministry in Belarus. The topic of the conference Walk in the Spirit was chosen in accordance with the 5-year program of the Baptist Women’s Day of Prayer, prepared by the Administrative Committee of the Women’s Department of the Baptist World Alliance in 2010. Over 200 sisters came from 6 regions of Belarus in order to learn to walk in the Spirit, to meditate over the Word of God about the 9 kinds of fruit of the Spirit, the characteristics of a good Christian and to show their presentations of sisters’ ministry in each region.
The Chairman of ECB Union in Belarus V. Krutko opened the conference by the invitation to serve the Lord as Lydia from Thyatira (Acts 16:14-15) did. The sisters confirmed the opening of the conference by raising their Bibles high up. Vera Tikhon shared about 15 years of ministry of Belarussian sisters and about the sacrificial work of mothers and grandmothers who have already passed into eternity.
Livija Godina, the President of the European Baptist Women’s Union came to greet the ladies. Livija and Belarussian sisters lit six candles as a symbol of six regions of Belarus. Then Livija presented EWBU scarves to each lady responsible for various regions. Livija celebrated the Baptist Women’s Prayer Day during the second day of the conference. She shared about the ministry of sisters of the European Federation, about the problems of Asian and African countries, about the needs of women of the Caribbean and South-West Pacific regions, and she also presented some video on ministry of sisters in seven regions all over the world. The sisters were engaged in fervent prayer, lifting each of the seven regions up in their seven groups.
J.A. Timofeev, the second Pastor of Bethlehem church in Minsk, expounded on walking in the Spirit using Abigail as an illustration. She was instructed in the law and the prophets, acted promptly, took the guilt of her husband upon herself, humbled herself, and trusted the Lord in doing His will.
Olga Mokan, a special sister from Moldova, who loves Belorussian sisters, was inspired to share about purity and walking in the Spirit. Elizabeth was blessed when the Lord took away her defamation and John was born into her family. He was to “be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb” (Luke 1:15, 25). It is Mary, such a young girl, who says – “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to Thy word”. She is moved by the Spirit and she hurries to Elizabeth in order to greet her and says, “My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour” (Luke 1:38-47). It is an elderly widow Anna, who ministered to the Lord by fasting and praying day and night. She glorified the Lord and told all the people about salvation as they were waiting for their Saviour (Luke 2:36-38). The Lord filled these three ladies with the Holy Spirit even before the beginning of a new era, before the first coming of Jesus Christ. We live waiting for His second coming and we should minister to Him where He has put us, walking in the Spirit in goodness and kindness to the people for the sake of their salvation. “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall” (Malachi 4:2).
The sisters from Ukraine under the leadership of Svetlana Svishcheva encouraged the Belorussian sisters with wonderful Ukrainian singing, poems and a short video “You are special”.
The sisters of the Messianic Jewish church, House of Peace, glorified the Lord by singing in Hebrew. And sister Galina shared about her parents, who hid Jewish children during the war. They put their own daughters in front, risking their own family.
On the second conference day the sisters listened to the word of edification from the General Secretary of ECB Union in Republic of Belarus N.V. Sinkovets. He spoke on the danger of going after the desires of the flesh, as a result such ladies would be grumbling, unhappy, disappointed, upset with their husbands and shouting at their kids. We are not just to try to look happy; instead we are to walk in the Spirit and be happy.
L.I. Mikhovich, the Senior Pastor of Minsk Region of ECB Union invited the sisters to do ministry in three ways: mission and outreach, mercy and catering for the needs of people, and prayer in church and at home.
Then ministers of the Union of ECB in the Republic of Belarus N. Sinkovets, L. Mikhovich and A. Firisuik blessed the regional leading sisters in prayer.
Marianna Dubchak from Moldova invited the sisters to give glory, praise and honor to our Lord all the time. She encouraged them to keep faith as an important quality of the fruit of the Spirit (Psa. 146). She urged the sisters to affirm their faith using Sarah’s faith as an illustration, the kind she had at Pharaoh’s house, and the Lord brought her out of there by faith. Our God is alive, He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6). Then the sister asked everybody to pray in 4 steps: 1st – glorification, 2nd – confession, 3rd – thanksgiving, 4th – petition.
Tatiana Firisiuk, responsible for the ministry Defend Life at it’s beginning invited the sisters to join the ministry and talk to the youth and young couples. V. Zdanevich, Director of Sluzhenie Pokoleniam mission invited the sisters to promote ministry in each church Sunday school for children.
In the conclusion the ECB Bishop A.I. Firisiuk read Rom. 12:11-19 and invited the sisters to be longsuffering, ministering hard in God’s fields, to have joy in the Lord in our churches and families, to have peace with each other without judging each other and the church. It is the Lord’s business. “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand” (Phil. 4:5). Then everybody had a prayer of gratitude and the prayer for Belarus and EAF countries.
Belarussian sisters treasure such time of fellowship, when they receive encouragement and edification. The sisters in three churches of the city of Vitebsk had this opportunity for close fellowship on Sunday, November 6. On the invitation of V. Zaletilo, Gospel House church Pastor, Livija Godina and Vera Tikhon had this kind of fellowship with the sisters in Vitebsk. It made the ties even stronger to build sisters’ ministry in the future in Vitebsk region.
Sisters of Brest region are always happy to meet Olga Mokan. On Sunday, November 6, she took the regional conference for sisters in the town of Pinsk. Her work in Belarus is not yet over. She keeps praying for us, writing letters and giving phone calls. May the Lord bless her hard work in God’s fields in Belarus.