IN THE SPOTLIGHT
MOSCOW (RUSSIA) – In his letter addressed to the Ambassador of Egypt in Russia, Head Bishop Edward Grabovenko wrote, “Tragic news about the death of innocent believers gathered for Friday prayers at the al-Rawda mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed brought deep sorrow in our hearts. On behalf of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith we offer sincere condolences to all who have been under the terrorist attack, and who have lost their loved ones.
Any act of violence and terrorism is a challenge to the whole world, disrespect for the law and basic values of life. Evangelical Christians in Russia are united in intercessory prayer for Egyptian people. We grieve and pray for the families of the deceased and for the injured. May the Almighty God restore their mental strength, comfort their hearts and heal physical wounds. Also, our prayers today for those servants who are on duty, facing this evil and ensuring safety of the citizens. May the Lord strengthen their hearts and give courage.”
Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith
MOSCOW (RUSSIA) – Head Bishop Edward Grabovenko on behalf of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith offered deepest condolences to the families of the victims and all those affected by the tragic church shooting in Texas. He also sent a condolences letter to the Assemblies of God General Superintendent Doug Clay.
In his letter he wrote, “With sorrow we learned about the tragedy that happened on Sunday, when believers gathered to hear the Word, to pray and worship God.
Russian Christians are united in prayer for our brothers and sisters who are suffering as a result of this terrible act and for the families who lost their loved ones. May our merciful Lord give them peace and heal their hearts. We pray for the speedy recovery of those who were injured.
Our prayers are for comfort to the families of Sutherland Springs and for many people to come to know Christ and His good will. Our hearts are with the Christians of the USA during this tragedy. Please know we mourn with you and lift prayers to the Lord.”
The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith
SAINT-PETERSBURG (RUSSIA) – The electoral conference took place on October, 28 in North-Western Association of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith. Representatives of all registered churches and church communities of Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad area met together to elect a senior presbyter and plan their common work in the region for the next six years.
The association unites 60 churches and religious groups in Saint-Petersburg and cities of Leningrad area, situated in 85,3 square kilometers, which is compared to the territory of Austria. The population size is 6 900 000 people.
Alexander Tsvetkov, serving as Senior Presbyter for the North-Western Association of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith, was elected for the next term by the majority vote.
Alexander Tsvetkov has been a pastor for 20 years, during the last 10 years he has been a pastor of the New Testament Church in Saint-Petersburg. With his wife Valeria they have five children. In his program for the next six years Pastor Alexander noted the most important directions the association is going to move in:
• “One Year for Jesus” project;
• Developing an informational platform;
• Work with youth, teenagers and children;
• Providing support in starting new churches;
• Developing the spiritual education structure;
• Cooperation with representatives of the legislative power and the executive power;
• The inter-confessional relationships development.
The Board of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith was represented at the electoral conference by the First deputy of the Head bishop Nikolai Zalutski. He finished his speech by the message on the importance to dedicate oneself to the ministry to God, and to be at peace with each other. Representatives of churches of the regional association broke the bread together and prayed the blessing prayer.
The Senior Presbyter Alexander Tsvetkov addressed to the participants of the conference: “Dear brothers, pastors and ministers. I thank God for you and for the confidence that you have in me – to become a senior presbyter for the region. Four years have passed fast, and during that time, resting upon the rich legacy of the past achievements of the brotherhood, we moved further and achieved certain results in every direction of the vision that, I trust, I received from God and presented to you. Each one of us made certain sacrifice for the changes, for reaching the goals set, and I’m sure the sacrifice is not in vain, because the unity of the brotherhood is evident. I believe that the unity will take us to even more results and fulfillment of the will of our Lord Jesus Christ in Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad area. After the electoral conference we will move forward and make further steps to developing the presented vision. The core of the vision, formulated as one single goal, can be expressed as: “To provide every local church of our brotherhood an opportunity to dwell in an atmosphere that allows it to be filled with the Holy Spirit and multiply in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
North-Western Association of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith
OMSK (RUSSIA) – Congress of “Harvest” and “Bread of Life” churches took place in Omsk on January, 28. Every year brothers and sisters gather together to worship, praise and pray and receive revelation in the Word for the upcoming year.
Bishop of Omsk regional association, senior pastor of “Harvest” Church Sergei Gorbenko and his wife Yelena opened the Congress and blessed the participants.
In joint spirit brothers and sisters worshiped God and thanked Him for His love, mercy and blessings.
Roman Shkodunov, senior pastor of “Bread of Life” Church, shared from the Word. He reminded that God established His church on love, and all people present are here to be able to say in unity: “God, I love you!”
The “proСВЕТ” youth ministry presented a skit where they shared about their strivings, ways and expectations. Most importantly, they plainly proclaimed: “We are the generation of people who have found themselves in God”.
Andrei Mazurin, senior pastor of “The Kingdom of God” church of Barnaul, was reflecting on chapter six of the Gospel of John. He mentioned that Jesus takes care of His people, keeps everything under His control and has the best plan for each one of us. Our obedience, humility and faith mean a lot to God.
The blessed brothers from the social ministry of Sosnovka settlement shared a testimony of God’s mercy. They recited a poem “We are Christians, God’s people” and sang a “God Almighty found me” psalm.
The year of 2017 was announced a year of discipleship, leadership and mission. This vision encouraged starting new ministries. The missionary work has especially developed. During the last year Omsk missionary training center graduated two admissions of evangelists. Pavel Pigurski, the head of the restoration ministry, congratulated the graduates.
Another significant event of the congress was the ordination of brothers and sisters of “Harvest” and “The Bread of Life” churches. May God strengthen each one of them and give them wisdom and the Holy Spirit guidance in the ministry!
One of the most important parts of the Congress was receiving the Word for the upcoming year. Sergei Gorbenko mentioned that we continue to follow the vision of discipleship, leadership and mission. “I believe that the year of 2018 will be a year of breakthrough in missions, evangelism and serving people! To communicate the Word of God, to share the Gospel and implant the right moral principles – that is our task”, – concluded the senior pastor.
The Congress was concluded with the Lord’s Supper, worshiping and thanking God in unity.
The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith
ADLER (RUSSIA) – Another interdenominational fasting for Russia organized by the “Unity” movement took place in Adler on January 4th through 6th. 300 ministers and members of churches affiliating the largest Pentecostal Associations: The Russian church of Christians of Evangelical Faith and The Russian Associated Union of Christians of Evangelical Faith (Pentecostals), and also representatives of other protestant associations gathered for prayer and fast and fellowship.
Participants from fifty churches from 34 cities and towns of the southern part of Russia took part in the event. During three days Christians were fasting, praying for Russia, listening to the sermons and fellowshipping. One of the largest groups was from the city of Rostov-On-Don and the area. Representatives of Rostov’s Christ the Savior Church were active participants of the fasting, were preaching, ministering by their musical and dancing talents.
– For many years we’ve been supporting the “Unity” movement projects and personally interacting with the founder, Rafael Gurdzybaev, – says the head of the family ministry department of the Russian church of Christians of Evangelical faith, bishop, senior pastor of the Christ the Savior Church Vladimir Khvalov. – I’m happy that this year about 60 people from our church and other churches of Rostov and the area were able to take part in the fasting. Also about 50 people were fasting at the same time at our church in Rostov. This is a good beginning of the new year, and we believe that the Lord with answer our prayers in some special way.
Media ministry of the Christ the Savior Church, Rostov-On-Don – www.hristos.ru
SAINT-PETERSBURG – On December 26, the concluding pastors’ meeting took place in North-Western Association of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith. In celebration of Christmas 88 senior ministers together with their spouses gathered socially at the large hall of Saint Katherine’s Cathedral for the festive dinner. The program included the word of the senior presbyter, prayer, the Holy Communion and a festive program.
Ministers recollected the main events of the year and summed up. It’s the second time that at this meeting pastors determine winners in different nominations by authorless voting.
Pastors voted the Reformer of 2017 – a person, who has made a special contribution to the life of the Association, has started a new ministry, church or a project – the senior presbyter of the North-Western Association of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith Alexander Tsvetkov. The Family of the year – family as an example of faith, love and devotion to the ministry – is Dmitry and Nadezhda Larkin and their nine children. The Father of 2017 – pastor as an example of care and fatherhood – is Petr Kravchuk. The nominees received memorable gifts and in their response word wished all those present a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
That day has become a pleasant memory and gave pastors had a good time of fellowship and ready to continue to expand the Kingdom of God in Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad area.
The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith
NOVOSIBIRSK (RUSSIA) – Leaders of the world famous ministry International House of Prayer (IHOP KC) will become participants of the first in the history of Siberia conference "IHOP-Siberia". On the eve of this large-scale event, we had questions to the senior pastor of the Covenant Church, bishop of the Russian Church of Evangelical Christians Vitaly Maximyuk.
– Vitaly Vladimirovich, the movement IHOP KC, known for its 24-hour service of praise and worship, can undoubtedly be called one of the largest prayer centers in the world. How relevant is this prayer movement for the modern church?
– 18 years ago, at the beginning of the IHOP KC movement, there were only a few places in the world where people carried around the clock prayer service. Today there are about 20,000 such prayer houses on the planet. What I saw at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City is likely to be arranged differently than, for example, in Egypt, Mexico and other countries. What unites people who serve the Lord with prayer? The thirst for the presence of God, and the understanding that before anything happens, the church prays. The apostle Paul says: "First of all, I ask you to perform prayers, petitions and prayers." Prayer precedes what will happen. In the ninth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus speaks of a harvest and a few workers. He speaks of prayer: "Pray for the Lord of the harvest, that He sends laborers into His harvest." He does not say, "Go," He says, "Pray." Therefore, prayer is a state in which the church must remain constantly. We need to sacrifice something, refuse something, to pray and be in the presence of God. This revelation is carried by the prayer movement IHOP KC.
– The fast pace of life often leads to lack of prayer life among modern Christians. How do you manage to cope with this?
– It's always a challenge. I have to postpone something, or even completely refuse some things. It was easier before. Now I ofetn say: "I'm sorry, I'll answer tomorrow," "I'll answer later." I set aside time for prayer, quiet time with God, I try to do this in the morning. If I'm on the road, I do it when I'm alone. These are questions of discipline, as well as what I am prepared to sacrifice. Often I have to give up some projects and even relationships in favor of spending more time with the Lord.
– What are the most noticeable prayer ministries in the world?
– They are in many countries. The events in South Korea are widely known. Here, Christians over the past 50 years have inspired the world with their prayer life. It all began with David Yonggi Cho, a famous minister of God. His mother-in-law acquired land on one of the mountains, and they built prayer cells there. It became the morning prayer place for the church. There are thousands of prayer mountains in Korea today. The Chinese church surprises the world by the prayer, which occurs at home, a silent prayer – they can not pray loudly and make a lot of noise. I met with a representative of the Chinese prayer movement and was surprised to learn how much the church prays in the days of persecution. Pain, stress, imprisonment of brothers and sisters put the church on their knees before God. We see this in the book of Acts: when Peter was in prison, the church diligently prayed for him. I talked with a young minister who was 32 years old, he was the son of a pastor and since the age of 16 he has been founding prayer houses in Mexico. He opened more than 60 prayer houses across the country. This young man is filled with the fire of prayer, the desire to inspire the whole body of Christ in Mexico for constant prayer. The prayer movement in Brazil is widely developed. Brazilians are hot in temperament. They pray loudly, expressively, the Lord does great things in this part of the world.
"Within minutes, 50,000 people chanted the name of the Savior – the presence of God was incredible!"
– How are things in the Muslim countries? Is there also a widespread prayer movement?
– Muslim countries are no exception. On November 11, 2011 amazing events took place in Egypt. The Holy Spirit prompted the leader of the prayer movement, he was not even a pastor, to organize a joint prayer of Christians of different denominations from 6 pm to 6 am. Just a few weeks before the final decision was made, during a discussion with the bishops of the Coptic, Catholic, Lutheran and Evangelical churches about all Christians 12-hours gathering to pray for the country, about the movement of God in Egypt, they let an ad run on television. One day before the appointed date the director of one of the Christian TV channels asked the organizer of the prayer night: "How many people do you expect?". He replied: "I will be happy if 3-4 thousand people join us." His interlocutor then expressed doubt, saying: "God grant that they came, because before that there was no such experience, and no one can predict with certainty whether people will respond." More than 50 000 people arrived! Thousands of buses from all over the country. People came together to pray. About two o'clock in the morning people in the audience unexpectedly and spontaneously started shouting: "Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!". For a few minutes, 50,000 people chanted the name of the Savior – the presence of God was incredible! After this, the feud between denominations in Egypt ceased. Christians fell in love with God's Word – they began to read Scripture every day. People read the Bible from beginning to end several times a year, and this movement continues to this day.
"We are on the verge of one of the largest prayer movements ..."
– What is the significance of the IHOP-Siberia conference for Russia?
– Any awakening in history had prerequisites. One of the most important factors in the awakening has always been prayer. Studying the awakenings of the past, we will notice that every movement of God, a change in culture, the outpouring of God's Spirit on earth was preceded by prayer. I deeply believe that we are on the verge of one of the largest prayer movements, and the changes will, in my opinion, be obvious to the whole world. Today, the Spirit of God through Bob Jones and other prophets announces that the last awakening before the coming of the Lord will come through the Russian-speaking world, through the Slavic people. When the fire of thirst for God's presence, the prayer fire will flare up in Russia, among the Slavic people, it will sweep the whole world. These are the prerequisites for awakening, but in order for the Spirit of God to be to poured out, the Russian church must light the torch of prayer.
– Christians of Russia have always been in prayer. How should this prayer movement differ?
– Of course, we prayed when there were persecutions, but these were different prayers. We are talking about prayers of intercession, worship, contemplation on the beauty of God. This is a different nature of prayers – we are not looking for "Give me" or "Answer my need." On the contrary, we are looking for "How to serve You, Lord?", "We magnify You!". When the focus of our prayer shifts from ourselves to our Lord, this will be the starting point of the awakening that will change our country, the people, the whole world.
"This is a small turn, which opens a wide road leading to the awakening of our nation..."
– In our country there are many events, many conferences. Why should I postpone everything and come the IHOP-Siberia Conference?
– This is not a regular conference. To make this event possible, people prayed for decades, searched for ways to bring this fire and this revelation to our country. We believe that this is the door that opens today. This is not just another conference, it is the birth of a prayer movement in the Slavic world. I know from the Lord that this is the beginning. It's a small match that will ignite a big flame; a small lump of snow that will cause an avalanche; this is a small turn, which a opens a wide road, leading to God's movement and the awakening of our nation. The IHOP–Siberia Conference will be held in Novosibirsk from 28 to 30 of March 2018. One of the leaders of IHOP KC movement John Chisholm, as well as youth pastor and director of the school of service "Forerunner" David Slicer will be speakers of the Conference.
The site of the event: www.ihopnsk.ru
The Theme for Perm Conference is: “A CERTAIN KIND. Discipleship That Re-Defines Success In The Ministry”
A synopsis of the conference: The greatest need of the Church is leadership. To produce a certain kind of spiritually qualified leader, authentic discipleship and intentional disciple making are the biblical keys. The chief goal is life transformation – building depth in the lives of leaders to influence the Church to arise to be what God intends it to be!
When: November 17–18, 2017
Where: New Testament Church, Perm, Russia
(93, Uralskaya street, Perm)
For more information visit our web-site: novizavet.ru
Reverend Edmund Chan
Leadership Mentor, Covenant Evangelical Free Church
Founder, Global Alliance of Intentional Disciple Making Churches
Edmund Chan is a highly sought-after expository preacher and an esteemed leadership mentor. His insightful biblical teachings are very well received, resulting in worldwide speaking invitations up to five years in advance.
Edmund also mentors top-level leaders, including business leaders and CEOs, bishops, senior pastors as well as the founders and directors of Christian organizations globally.
He travels extensively to minister in diverse countries, including South East Asia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Russia, Africa, Europe, UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada and USA.
After his 25-year service as the Senior Pastor of Covenant Evangelical Free Church, Edmund transited in leadership in 2012 to provide leadership as Founder of the Global Alliance of Intentional Disciple Making Churches (IDMC Global Alliance). He remains on staff at Covenant EFC as the leadership mentor.
A highlight in ministry was the launch of the Global Discipleship Congress (GDC) in Manila, in partnership with Christ Commission Fellowship. The inaugural GDC 2013 was attended by over 8,000 pastors and leaders from 61 nations; and have since paved the way for major regional discipleship summits, particularly in Europe and Africa.
Edmund distinguished himself academically by completing his two-year post-graduate degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (USA) in less than nine months and graduated summa cum laude.
He has written several books, including Growing Deep in God (2002); Mentoring Paradigms (2008); Growing Deep In Faith (2010); Cultivating Your Inner Life (2011); A Certain Kind (2013), Radical Discipleship (2014), Life & Legacy (2015) and Discipleship Missions (2016).
Edmund is married to Ann, who actively ministers and mentors alongside him around the world. They have two lovely adopted daughters, Amanda and Belicia.
Pastor Ann Chan
Pastor, Covenant Evangelical Free Church
Director, Global Alliance of Intentional Disciple Making Churches
Ann Chan ministers actively alongside her husband, Reverend Edmund Chan, championing the Intentional Disciple Making Churches (IDMC) vision around the world.
A gifted leader and teacher, she has pioneered many of Covenant’s ministries, including Women-In-Covenant ministry. No stranger to pain and suffering herself, she has been an empathetic and wise counsellor to many who have approached her over her years of ministry.
An educator by training, Ann graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Christian Education (with Honours) from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1994. She has also mentored, preached and taught in Hong Kong, Australia, America and London.
Global Alliance of Intentional Disciple Making Churches
Covenant Evangelical Free Church
No. 2 Kallang Avenue
#10-26 CT HUB
(Tel) +65 68926811
MOSCOW (RUSSIA) – On October 25, an outstanding event took place in Moscow. The Archbishop Dieterich Brauer accepted symbolic keys to Evangelical-Lutheran Peter and Paul’s Cathedral from the Assistant director of territorial administration of Federal Agency for State property management in Moscow Nikolai Peshkov, as a sign of ownership.
Head of administration of the Head Bishop Ivan Borichevsky, and Senior Presbyter of the Central Association of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith Boris Dikidzhi took part in the event.
According to the cathedral’s pastor Viktor Weber, the decision to sign over the Peter and Paul’s Lutheran Cathedral building to the Evangelical-Lutheran church of Russia on the 500th anniversary of Reformation is the first step to restoration of the historical justice and returning other religious buildings to the believers all across the country.
President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier has arrived with a private visit to participate in the ceremony. Representatives of the Russian President’s Administration, Government of Moscow, State Duma, and all Christian denominations of Russia participated in the event.
Vladimir Medinsky, Minister of Culture of Russia, and Henry Bedford-Storm, Head of the Evangelical church of Germany, made greeting speeches.
The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith