During the May holidays, Christian families of the communities of the city of Almaty, Russia, had the opportunity to gather in a beautiful and picturesque place for fellowship, education, and recreation.
Couples at all stages of life were invited--those who have adult children, as well as those with young ones still at home--though a bulk of the attendees were of middle-age. The biblical message provided to participants by the speaker set out God’s will for the marriage relationship. Acknowledging that each family has already faced many problems, difficulties, having experienced misunderstanding and disappointment in each other, the speaker also addressed the issue of divorce.
Often the rhythm of time and the way of life in today’s society dictate their own rules, having a negative impact on individuals, marriages, and between parents and children. We often lose sight of the One who blessed our marriage at the wedding, who gave us children, who keeps and blesses us every day. The topics of each activity during the event directed attendees’ eyes to the Lord as the Creator and Keeper of families.
It is true that on the eve of the coming of Jesus Christ, we need to rethink personal and family relationships with the Lord in order to be strong and resistant to the attacks of the evil one, the enemy of human souls, and not give him the power to destroy the tie of family. There is strength in unity, and cooperation should always be striven for in any relationship.
The easy and friendly communication between families during this event was valuable. Adults could get away from their daily worries and duties and enjoy communication, silence away from city noise, fresh air, and the beauty of the surrounding nature. Children also enjoyed companionship, walks, games, and “mini vacations,” enjoying meeting each other outside of school time.
Everyone felt the need for informal social engagement in order to also support each other in the more serious matters through prayers, advice, and help. And for those spouses who were experiencing difficulties in mutual understanding and communication, this event was especially necessary. Though sometimes it seems that there is no way out and that the whole world around us is crumbling, as one with the Lord, we can help one another and help save things that are crumbling or support those who are spiritually weakened.
During the Q&A on family counseling, experienced couples who have been married for many years used the Word of God, as well as the experience, to resolve them. Regardless of how long someone has been parenting, questions still arise about the relationship between spouses and childrearing, so meetings such as this helps to put things in order-- to help participants wade through and come to understand their thoughts, feelings, relationships, and actions. It is an opportunity to stop and assess our values in the midst of the chaos of everyday worries and the race of time.
We thank God for this opportunity to meet families in a picturesque corner of nature under a peaceful sky. May we always treasure our families and ask God for help when the enemy tries to defeat us.
Special thanks to Mikhailov Vladimir Pavlovich and Svetlana Alexandrovna, heads of the family department of the SKM, as well as Airapetov Alexey and Inna, heads of the family department of the Central Community of Almaty, for organizing, preaching, instructions, advice, and for sharing their personal experience, especially in the context of understanding and finding solutions through the Word of God.
May the Lord abundantly bless every family he has created!