Focus on Revival and Reformation in the Baltic Union

Riga, Latvia [Guntis Bukalders, tedNEWS] Dr. Pardon Mwansa, the Vice-President of General Conference (GC) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church visited the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) on the 21st and 26th January 2011. The purpose of his visitation was to explain the new General Conference initiative in revival and reformation. The following day, Dr. Daniel Duda, Education Department Director from the Trans–European Division (TED) of Seventh-day Adventists, spoke about the mission of the church and re-thinking of Adventism.

“These lectures were right on time as many churches are seriously thinking about the need for revival,” said Latvian Conference president Viesturs Rekis. “In plain and simple words, Dr. Mwansa explained the process and aim of a true revival, reminding us that a relationship with Jesus Christ is central in the life of every human being.”

“These seminars were of great help to the ministers and administration by sharpening the focus of the church and re-thinking our strategy of how to better fulfil the Lord’s given mission in today’s environment in Lithuania. Each minister will have to re-think how they can better educate and motivate church members for ministry in the local environment. This will help the administration to address the real need—how to improve the ministry to our ministers,” said Bertold Vinston Hibner, the president of the Lithuanian Field.

Estonian Conference president David Nõmmik stated his opinion about the training: “The messages delivered by Dr. Pardon Mwansa and Dr. Daniel Duda to the church ministers in Estonia were simple, logical, effective, practical and Christ–centred.” And he continues: “I like the idea that in order to be in the process of re-thinking, which is a challenge for us, we should ask the right questions. Questions concerning personal, spiritual, and church life, and God’s will, can help us define the ultimate aim of a minister. He can then help us to understand “why do I do what I do the way I do it.”

After the presentations, pastors shared their impressions of the event: “We are inspired and encouraged,” said Gintaras Nekis. Mantas Kucinskas shared, “This is really a very profitable meeting, after which nobody can stay indifferent to the Lord’s calling and to not endeavour all the possibilities that were mentioned.” “We’d like to have more of such high level trainings,” said another pastor.

“It was a good experience to meet Dr. Pardon Mwansa,” said Baltic Union Conference President, pastor Valdis Zilgalvis. “He is an experienced leader, good theologian and balanced teacher. His lectures about the role of a pastor in all three countries were excellent.” Pastor Zilgalvis said that he is thankful to the General Conference and the Trans-European Division for caring for churches in the Baltic countries. “Dr. Daniel Duda is an outstanding teacher and he is always accepted by pastors in our countries and the way he challenges pastors to think deeper about Adventist Mission and our Message is quite remarkable.”

We hope that by the grace of our Lord, our conference ministers, and with the help of church members, we will find the answers on those basic questions concerning the purpose and mission of our church and how to accomplish the task that God has entrusted to us.

Guntis Bukalders,
Baltic Union Conference Communication Director