Europe and Russia Joint Summer Leadership Retreat ended with two sermons and showers of grace through the praise on August 16.
First there was a bible study with message about the second part of Jacob's life. How did Jacob become a true person of God? He didn't experience glory at first even though he received promise and blessing, but he had to through the lowest point. During 20 years he suffered in Laban's house and was blessed vertically, blessed in marriage and blessed with possessions as well. He was that much of a person of serving that everyone, even bad people like Laban could testify him. In the end, he doesn't need to come back to his homeland, but he does and even fights with the messenger of God, as he wishes to reconcile with his brother Esau earnestly. Why did he suffer? Why do we suffer? It is so that we can reconcile the Esaus of this planet to God and to ourselves. The heart of God is the humble heart that tries to gain Esau's heart.
Then the closing service message, delivered by Pastor Mark Spisak, dealt with the life of Joseph, the one who suffers unfair treatments still always believes in God. In his position, it is easy to blame God. Whenever we face trials we ask "Lord, why do you this to me? I am trying to follow you, I am a good person" During the retreat we feel comfortable and it is easy to thank God when everything is good, but as we continue the path of faith there will be circumstances in which we will be badly treated and face situations which seem unfair to us. When temptation comes it is easy to fall if we think "Anyway God put me into this troublesome situation," but Joseph kept fear and thankfulness towards God. And in the end, God glorified him in the most unexpected way. All believers should have the faith of God who is sovereign and judge on all things and turn bad into good.
The retreat was a gathering full of grace with people of diverse nationalities sharing the love of Christ. It will be followed by a leadership training for leaders and missionaries wishing to develop their knowledge and skills of leadership.