Russian Northwest Camp Meeting Lighting Up Central Washington

November 01, 2011 | Jay Wintermeyer

Upper Columbia Conference's Spokane Slavic Adventist Company hosted the sixth-annual Russian Northwest Camp Meeting, Sept. 2–5. This year's event was held in Soap Lake, Wash.

Over 500 members from six participating Russian churches in the North Pacific Union Conference were in attendance. This unique camp meeting provided a wonderful time of fellowship and encouragement for this growing ethnic community.

The camp meeting began Friday evening with a message from keynote speaker, Oleg Zhigankov. Zhigankov encouraged listeners to allow the Holy Spirit to work out revival and reformation in their lives.

Sabbath was a rich time of worship and ministry. Sabbath School and church featured more messages from Zhigankov and music from a choir, a brass band and a children's bell choir. A panel discussion met in the afternoon. Lively, yet meaningful, discussions resulted on church-life topics such as: how to keep the Sabbath, how to be a friendly church family, and friendship evangelism.

Another Sabbath highlight was the evening youth program where all six churches had presentations from each of their youth groups. The youth shared music, drama and video clips all sharing what God is doing in their local congregation.

On Sunday morning, Zhigankov spoke again. Immediately following his sermon, everyone headed to the lakeshore for the baptisms of nine young people. Another panel discussion was held Sunday evening.

"It was good to see our members actively participating and dialoging about important church life topics," says Volodymyr Nesteruk, Spokane, Wash. pastor. "Instead of passively listening to a sermon, they were really involved."

The weekend camp meeting wrapped up Monday morning with a message from Vitali Oliinik, Bellevue, Wash., pastor.

"People were very excited this year. There was a good spirit and lots and lots of kids," says Nesteruk. "We're already making plans for next year."