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Leaders’ Retreat

Group of people stanign together smailing at the camera with green valley and green hills beind them.
The Uzhhorod Ministry Team were so blessed to have the opportunity to minister to the Church of the Living God leaders during a two day retreat in the beautiful Carpathian Mountains.
With multiple translators, we found that most of the leaders knew at least a little English. Many had their own ministries, some with holding orphan babies at the hospital, transitional living homes for girls who aged out of the orphanages, outreach to the Rroma community (who face discrimination) and building construction for refugees. One of the members of the church is ministering to injured soldiers in the hospital. It was clear that these were passionate Christians who poured their heart into helping others and took seriously the call to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Over the course of the retreat, I discovered that I loved these people! I loved their faith, their strength, their hope, and their compassion.

We played silly games to help them laugh (one of them was a fruit roll-up eating contest!).The team took care of their children during the retreat so they could dig deeper in their relationship with God and take time for relaxation, studying, journaling and prayer.  Together, we experienced Ukrainian traditions, like drinking birch juice, soaking in the chan and steaming in the sauna together.

We found out that we came at a perfect time when they needed unity within their church.
Many were experiencing some symptoms of burnout.
I thought that we came there to help them, but I realized that they were also ministering to me. I felt ministered to in the way they welcomed us, shared their lives with us, laughed with us and prayed with us. In the midst of the turmoil they are experiencing, through the war and in the hardships of their own ministries, they have amazing faith. They are so courageous.

I learned that I want to be more like them.

by Cheryl Harris
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