At April 26 Table Tennis Championship was held in the UMC of Pskov.
It took place between the team of kids from the orphanage and Pskov Methodist Church team. The Championship satisfied all the rules of tennis including scoreboards.
Team A plays against team B.
Rewards and gifts were also prepared.
Dmitri Parigin was a chief judge on our tournament.
Luba Kalashnikova was glad to become a secretary of the chief judge and got an opportunity to find out the complex system of championship scoreboards.
It is a well-known fact that sport, like any other physical activity, is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Sport is one of the main factors that has a positive impact on human’s growth and development at all stages of life. However, the apostle Paul wrote to his young disciple Timothy: "...and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise is profitable little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come". (1 Timothy 4:7-8) That is why spreading the gospel about Jesus Christ was an important part and aim of our sport project. We wanted to show that God so loved every person on the earth that He has desired to give us the life full of God's promises, life free from misery of the world. His will is to give us healthy life of a man created in the image and likeness of God. The teacher of the Pskov orphanage, whose name is Irina Ivanova, is also a member of our church. She gave a spiritual lesson to the orphans and other members of the church. We reflected on the sense of sound mind, sound spirit and sound body together with the kids.
Preaching for children the pastor Natalia Chernova emphasized the importance of having an opportunity to be born again spiritually.
The boys and girls listened very attentively and were speechless. It seemed that they were afraid to miss something special, vital and valuable... The children were absolutely concentrated and involved .
Getting into the bus most of the kids asked "May we drop in to you again”? And others said "I'll be back soon" or "I will surely play with that old lady one more time!"
It was a great day for all of us.
The members of our church, organizers of this sport project, participants of the championship, people who cooked for us, evangelists, everybody became closer to each other. The children from the orphanage were able not only to practice table tennis but experience the God’s love in action. "…Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love". (2 Peter 1: 5-7)
Text by Nataliya Chernova, pastor of “Ascension” UMC (Pskov)