Family Festival of UMC in Eurasia took place in Samara from 27 to 31 of July 2015. Sixty participants from the churches of Samara, Ulyanovsk, Satka, Novokujbyshevsk and Kurgan attended lectures of a family psychologist, took part in worship services, competed in games and sport activities. We would like to thank the organization team from Samara UMC and especially Volga District superintendent Natalia Prokhorova!
The Vononovs family:
“But if someone does not provide for his own, especially his own family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy, 5:8)
“We are always in a rush: we run, drive, fly trying to achieve something. The tempo of our lives is getting faster and faster every year. It became the reality of nowadays. And this concerns not only our business and worldly lives but also our church life. There are endless seminars, projects, services, conferences… It is often the case that we have no time for our beloved ones, for our families.
We, the Voronovs family, are very grateful that God has inspired church leaders to hold the Family Festival, which ran under the name “Your works are wonderful, Lord”. Events of this kind are crucial for Christian families, so that our children will not grow up with “My-parents-are-christians-syndrom”.
Outside the city on the bank of the river Volga we were spending time with our spiritual and blood families. We enjoyed the beauty of the creation, we praised the Lord, we listened to the Word, shared our testimonies – and that’s all without leaving our families – having enjoyable and active time. We have received a lot of blessings and learnt a lot during this festival. Every day there were worship, lectures, interesting leisure activities, beach, sport and games. This was a wonderful time detached from our daily routines fuss, specially blessed with God’s presence.
In my opinion this is the way Christians should spend their free time: with love, peace, joy, giving a proper example by their acts of love.
During the festival my son learnt several children songs with movements. He especially loved this one, and he tried to add something to it: “Every day planes are leaving, every day trains are departing… (then comes Leo’s additions) every day I take my subway train, every day I start my car, every day I enter my firefighters’ car (proceeded by a long list of vehicle types) … But I will stay with Jesus, forever and ever and ever”.
How wonderful it is that amidst of all troubles, fuss, wins and losses we still stay with Jesus… forever and ever and ever”.
“On behalf of my whole family I would like to thank heartily the organizers of the Christian Family Festival in Samara. It was a great blessing for us. We are grateful to the people who helped to organize this event, and to our brothers and sisters from Methodist Churches who helped in making it real!
The participation of our whole family could be considered a wonder in itself, since my husband had his vacation in the beginning of the month. However, during the second week of the holiday he was urgently called back to the office, which made me sad in the beginning, of course. But because of it, later we had one more week available and we spent it together at the Family Festival.
At the Festival we had a wonderful opportunity to spend time together, invest in our relations as a family and meet other Christians. Thanks to the well-planned program, the festival and its activities were well suited to each of us: elders and children – our son Oleg is 9 and our daughter Arina is three – we all had fun.
And since we didn’t have to care about such material needs as food and accommodation, we had enough time for spiritual learning and prayers. Our worship gatherings were well accompanied by lectures of a family psychologist, who spoke about topics of family relations and children up-bringing.
We would like to thank everyone, who participated in planning and organization of the Festival, who worked with children, led workshops and especially we would like to thank Mikhail Telepov for his wonderful lectures.
We could feel God’s love in everything. After the Festival we are filled and now carefully carrying the vessel inside of us! Now we would like to share it with other people. I have a hiding place in my heart, where I keep the most precious moments, and this Festival will get a special place in it! I pray that God blesses such Festivals, they become regular and more families from United Methodist Church in Eurasia could participate!
One more time, thank you!”
The testimonies were collected by Volga District Superintendent Natalia Prokhorova
Photos: Samara UMC and Irina Zagrebina
Video: M. Kvyatkovskiy
Translate by M. Kvyatkovskiy