The key Bible verse for all the sermons and discussions was Deuteronomy 33:18: “The eternal God is your refuge”.
During the conference the invited speaker Dan Deaton from USA and other brothers Gagik Tarverdyan, Asatur Nahapetyan shared God’s Word with the participants.
Dan Deaton was the first to share his thoughts on Exodus 13:17-18. The key idea was that even though God led the Israelites to the Promised Land through a long way which was full of trials and difficulties, God led His people with miracles. God kept on reminding them that the only refuge and hope of the Israelites was Jehovah. The following idea was highlighted in the speech: faith is the weakness of men which leans on the power of God. One can have spiritual victories if only he trusts God’s power and not his own.
In between the speeches, the brothers had an opportunity to worship the Lord and give their testimonies.
Dan Deaton also spoke about ministers and preparing leaders. Having Joshua 3:1-4 and Joshua’s life as an example and the story itself how God prepared Joshua before his leadership, he emphasized the importance of preparing leaders. Joshua needed to get trained by Moses for a long time before he led the Israelites to the Promised Land. And Joshua was called by the Lord, not by Moses. When God calls somebody for a ministry, He trains, leads and carries him through. If someone’s ministry is not the will and call of God, then he will not be blessed and delighted. If God has not called us in a certain ministry we will see how everybody around us will be blessed but at the same time we will not be blessed ourselves. But if we are called by God, then we have to prepare God’s people for the future ministry as Moses prepared Joshua. On of the reasons why Joshua succeeded is that he had an organized and well- trained team.
Then the participants of the conference were divided into small groups for group discussions. There were several questions for the discussion.
1. How confident are you in your call? Are you really called by God in whatever you do and will you stay firm in place God has put you?
2. What blessings did you have that you would like to share as a testimony that you are walking with God faithfully?
3. How confident are you that you have eternal life and you will be with the Lord forever?
Else than this, every one of the participants was asked to remember the greatest miracle the Lord has done in their life and share it with everybody. It was very encouraging to hear about all the miracles that the Lord has done in His children’s’ lives.
Those testimonies reminded us once more time that irrespective of all the difficulties a believer may face, the Lord always leads him in a miraculous way even if it feels like he is alone. Then the President of the Armenian Evangelical Christian Baptist Churches, Rev. Gagik Tarverdyan spoke about faithfulness of God’s workers, the General Secretary of the Armenian Evangelical Christian Baptist Churches, Rev. Asatur Nahapetyan, emphasized the importance of being accountable before God in pastoral task.
In the end, the floor was again given to Dan Deaton, who read from Hebrews 12:1-2. He encouraged the leaders to have a “big heart” otherwise it would be impossible to finish the race and stay firm in faith in all the difficulties and trials which one may face in his ministry. God’s servant has to be faithful and patient in his ministry so that he will be able to bring it to a glorious end.