Belarus Gathering – LIT 2019

Oleg & Joana from Sloviansk opened up our conference – they did a wonderful job and I’ve heard from so many folks just how refreshing it was – they a young couple we are eager to invest more in as the Spirit directs.

As quickly as they fell upon the beautiful City of Brest, Belarus, they have boarded their buses, trains and ubers and dispersed back to their hometowns. Around 700 young people from around Belarus gathered over this picture perfect fall weekend. Our guest musicians from Life Center in Harrisburg, PA were a wonderful blessing, encouraging the locals with testimonies, and fresh hope to charge ahead with Jesus, despite the restrictions and struggles they are facing.

Two legacy groups… XDH (Christ for the Nations, Belarus) and LCW (Life Center Worship), meaningful histories and families behind both of these ministries. To the next generation of creative artists an culture shapers!

This year, we hosted a full day of break-out sessions, and allowed for more relationship connections. The previous LIT events were wonderful moments of worship, but for all the effort and investment, we felt it was a wasted potential to not build upon the effort and open hearts to cross denominational barriers. To see young 18-25yr old believers gathered in unity around Jesus, rising above particular doctrinal issues, was a thing of beauty, and I believe a massive victory towards the future of an expanding living faith in Belarus.

Great to have Yan back leading with XDH after 2 years – he’s now married and living in Minn.

We had baptist youth pastors involved, holding hands with pentecostals – the 1% ‘evangelical’ cannot afford to be divided, and the young believers in Belarus are dissatisfied with tribal church structures. One of my favorite moments during the day included small group prayer, all around the auditorium. A holy moment to be sure as the focus turned not towards a stage but towards one another, caring, encouraging, praying for Belarus. One young person shared, “During prayer, I realized that I can pray for my City, and that these prayers can make a difference.” It’s this ‘breaking of the box”, of the religious confines of what Christianity looks like for a generation hungry for more that delights our hearts. To see eyes opened, hearts awakened, it makes it all worth it.

All the breakout sessions were full, cool. We do need to work on making these more interactive and using some of the cool tools I’m receiving from Fuller – so many better ways to learn!

Our teams are now all back in Minsk, boarding planes and Deb and I are headed back home tomorrow. Excited to see our kids, at least I am! Deb has enjoyed the break. We have a week to get reset, Deb preparing for Far East Russia week teaching at YWAM. Our next. big project in Eastern Ukraine with university student outreach – Leadership and creative seminars. We want to come alongside young future leaders, teaching them how to take steps building new places of community outside the vestiges of dry religion. Hearts are hungry and so many believers ignorant just how easy it is to love, create meaningful places of belonging and natural relationships in the world that God so loves.

Great job by Vikente & Natasha and the dozens of volunteers that worked hard for months to pull this latest LIT event off. Alevtina and several others from the XDN team really serve with excellence and mission. It’s the coolest thing to see youth energized and accomplishing things like this event, it gives them much needed confidence and vision for joining the Spirit’s work in a difficult place for the gospel.

Thankful, pondering, Lord water those seeds that were sown. Join with us in praying for this!

Get your t-shirts! Neat to see the brand take root and become an annual event, so much potential moving forward as we listen and discern together. Fun to track social media and see some of the impact in real time. Follow the movement on instagram @litworship

Our prayer is for deeper, meaningful artistic community to emerge. For ongoing spiritual formation, joining God’s missional heart in new spaces around Belarus and Ukraine.

Belonging (community) precedes believing – St. Patrick.

Thank you for all who gave to LIT. In actuality, only a handful of extremely generous families made this happen. I don’t want to pretend 100’s are behind events. Often, it’s just one or two people that God speaks to, seeds are sown, and a generation is influenced for Christ. It’s so wild how God works. Who knows the ultimate outcome of investments like this – I believe they are eternal.

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