Men Enjoy Inspiring Summit

“You will show up to work this Saturday or you will spend the rest of your life in prison!” The army commander’s threat was real, and it was not the first nor the last time Pavel Goia would be forced to choose whether he would follow God’s commands or face persecution in his native Romania. “Sometimes in prayer we use faith to manipulate God, instead of using faith to accept God’s will,” says Goia, who through God’s miraculous guiding in his life now pastors in Lexington, Ky., and was the featured speaker at the Upper Columbia Conference Camp MiVoden Men’s Summit, held Feb. 6–8, 2015, in Hayden Lake, Idaho.

More than 220 men attending the retreat listened intently as Goia shared how God had seemed to ignore his pleas for rescue as a young soldier, until at last he submitted his fate to God’s will and glory no matter the personal cost. It was at that precise moment of surrender to God that a visiting Romanian general, making a routine check of the army base, asked why the hardworking Christian soldier was about to be imprisoned. When the general learned it was military punishment for not showing up for duty on Saturdays, the general ordered the base commander, “This man will by no means be put in prison; furthermore he will be free to attend church every Saturday and will be considered under my personal protection.”  

This and many other faith-inspiring stories1 were shared, entitled “One Miracle After Another,” from Goia’s life. Men’s Summit attendees also experienced times of worship with the group Desert Praise, led by Paul Daniel. The great food, time to hike and experience the beauty of the Hayden Lake setting was also enjoyed by many.

A final highlight of the weekend was the prayer and intercession time led by Shawn Hicks, a young man with a deep personal testimony gained through an 18-year journey of living with Lyme disease. Having nearly died on more than one occasion, Hicks shared, “When you live on the edge and come back, it’s amazing because you can see God’s hand, and the unknowns of this life become precious.” Sobs were heard and many eyes were wet during the final anointing and intercessory prayer experience, in which men were invited to come forward and be anointed with oil while having their personal request prayed over.

Reflecting on this gathering of the brotherhood of Christ, Wenatchee attendee Alex Fowler shares, "I appreciated the powerful illustrations on praying until you are clear about God's will before making plans and not giving up until you are clear on God's impressions. This does not come easy because it takes surrender and a willingness to change self, surrendering of the pride, as Pastor Pavel painted well."

A new Christian by the name of Jose adds, “I learned that there is no cookie-cutter for a man of God.”

As the successful weekend closed, Wayne Hicks, who has led out in conference ministry for more than 35 years, articulated the vision of the event: "Those who come are seekers. They come with heavy burdens. Others are there just to know Christ. We rejoiced this weekend when some accepted Christ for the first time."

Next year’s Camp MiVoden Men’s Summit is again scheduled for February.

  1. To hear more miracle stories and the preaching of Pavel Goia, visit his church website lexingtonsdachurch.org or the Upper Columbia Conference audio archives.
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