This post was shared by Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko from LCMS partner church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR). The LCMS supports projects with this partner.
The family retreat this summer also included a Sunday worship service.
From July 6-8, 2012, the married couple Vyacheslav and Olga Lebedev from the ELCIR congregation in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, organized and conducted a family retreat titled “A Weekend with Our Dearest People.” Eleven families with children as well as six assistants, overall more than 40 people including 18 children, were gathered at a country recreation and retreat center not far from Nizhny Novgorod.
The three-day program included daily morning and evening devotions and a Sunday worship service. Activities for the adults included games to develop inter-family communication skills and daily discussions such as “Causes of children’s inacceptable behavior,” “How do I show love for my child?” “The two will be one flesh” as well as a fellowship and romantic evening to celebrate Love, Family and Faithfulness Day (a Russian holiday on July 8). In the meantime, the children were engaged in making crafts, playing various games and singing during which the retreat assistants helped them think on such themes as “How do we learn about God?” “I am created by God,” “Why am I here?” “God created my ears, eyes, nose, and mouth,” and “What is my future?”
The retreat was both diaconal and evangelistic in nature. Many couples had their stay and meals paid from the funds donated for the ministry of the Lutheran church in Nizhny Novgorod. There were several married couples who did not know much about God because they do not go to church. Moved by the atmosphere of love and joy at the retreat, they sought out information about the Lutheran congregation and its times of worship. All the participants said they would like to attend a retreat next year and invite their relatives and friends.
The retreat organizers and the pastor of the church, Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko, would like to thank all the supporters who have been donating their money for the ministry of the Lutheran church in Nizhny Novgorod.
- Pray for the work of our partner church, the ELCIR.
- Find out more about the LCMS in Russia.