From June 4 to 6, 2021, Seventh-day Adventist administrators, pastors, and local church leaders in the Southern Kazakhstan Mission (SKM) met in a hospital in Esik, in the Almaty region, to reconnect, fellowship, and reset for mission. The three-day event brought together 30 workers, including spouses.
Vladimir Mikhailov, president of SKM, opened the event by reviewing the experience recorded in the Bible book of Acts about the service provided by the apostles and deacons in the early Christian church, stating that he is thankful that the early-church focus on preaching and outreach is also the model of the contemporary church in the region. “I thank you for participating in evangelism and active service in your communities,” Mikhailov said.
The meetings became a tremendous blessing for the pastors and leaders who attended, organizers reported. Delegates to the event also became a blessing for others, as some of them went out to participate in serving others. Those who attended the Saturday (Sabbath) program at the venue enjoyed a spiritual reflection by Southern Union Mission (SUM) president Daniil Pavelko.
During the afternoon, pastors and delegates to the meetings shared experiences of faith and prayer during their years of service. SUM music ministry director Lyudmila Pavelko led a seminar on the importance of music for worship. “Music in worship should be beautiful and solemn,” Pavelko said, backing her claims with verses from the Bible and statements from Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G. White. “Music can bring joy and glorify the Creator when there is a place for accepting Jesus into our lives,” she emphasized.
In the evening, moments of fellowship allowed local leaders and pastors to participate in a Q&A session. They shared their struggles and sought advice and counsel on some of the challenges they are facing in their congregations.
On the last day of the meetings, the guest speaker was Yulia Sherengovskaya, an Adventist physician who practices in the local hospital. Sherengovskaya reminded participants of the relevance and urgency of health reform in the lives of God’s people. At the end of the session, SKM Ministerial Association coordinator Oleg Kim presented gifts to participants according to their years of service.
At the end of discussions, seminars, and prayer meetings, leaders reported that participants enjoyed a trip to a nearby mountain lake, where everyone was able to rest as they filled their senses with some of the wonders of God’s creation.
According to Adventist Church statistics, the SKM church region in the southern part of the country has 14 churches and 972 baptized members in a population of almost 10.5 million. Across Kazakhstan, there are 43 Adventist churches and more than 2,300 baptized members in a population of nearly 18.8 million.