I have just completed a 3-day conference in the Crimea with David Schneier, Director of IAMCS Europe and with Jewish and Christian leaders from central and southern Ukraine who represent both messianic congregations and local churches.
The cost per person is up to $100 USD which includes their travel, lodging and food. I appreciate LifeMISSIONS of The LIfe Centre in Ottawa and Sid Roth’s Messianic Vision Canada for funding this conference and enabling 150 people to attend.
The conference has grown from 3 key leaders from 3 major cities in 2007 to 150 leaders from 27 cities now in attendance. Growth is taking place relationally through friendships with a gospel agenda.
What a wonderful group of men and women who love the Lord and each other!
(I am third from the left and David is next right.)
Here are a few of the comments from leaders during a debrief after the conference.
We are becoming more of a family as we gather together twice each year. It feels more like a reunion than a conference. We are enjoying a safe place to interact with one another, ask questions, and receive answers from our peers. We enjoy a spirit of encouragement without anyone trying to control anyone else. God is working deeply inside of us. It is a relief that our gathering is not about numbers but building friendship and relationships. Seeds are being planted and God is making them grow. The Name of the Lord really is our Strong Tower/Fortress. A very positive experience. With each conference, we see ourselves moving forward. Wonderful how leaders longed to be together with other leaders. It is not about money as leaders helped other leaders attend. Lots of confirmations as talks were given and we shared with fellow believers. Loved the Jewish focus on messianic truth. Each talk and the following group discussions really helped us understand clearly what we were hearing.
2) What are some of the highlights?
A greater understanding of our Jewish roots. The challenge of Yeshua’s word about leadership like the nations rather than like the kingdom. A fresh appreciation of the contrasts between Jewish and Greek thinking. Loved learning more about the Person of God - the desire He has to enjoy relationship with us. Enjoyed free time with other team leaders. Great time in small groups as we shared openly. Going back to scripture to learn the old ways where there is peace. A very peaceful place, very relaxed and relational. Really feel like we are moving forward.
3) What hopes and dreams do you have for the future?
Not becoming a copy of anything else but an original move of God. Continuing to focus on genuine authentic relationships. Developing true servant leadership amongst congregational leaders. Taking time to confirm that God is directing our steps by hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches present - maturely listening to each other.Some of the final comments included dreams being realized by Jewish believers joining with other Jewish believers. Amazing spirit of worship in song and congregational dance. We have really participated in what the book of Ephesians calls One New Man - Jews and Gentiles celebrating the Lord together.
Ukraine is experiencing a move of God unprecedented anywhere else in the growth of messianic congregations.
One request mentioned was that in between the conferences, it would be great to have regional meetings amongst the congregations who have attended and are building relationships. Ah, what a great future in the Ukraine.