Adventist youth attend a snowboarding retreat in Siberia

February 9, 2016, Sheregesh Ski Resort, Kemerovo Region, Russia

From February 2 to the 5th, young people from the Central Siberian Mission SDA Church attended a snowboarder’s retreat at the Sheregesh Ski Resort.

With the school session over, having turned in all their assignments and finished their exams, the students began their long-awaited vacation. But what would be the best way to spend vacation? To ensure adequate rest, regain strength, and get inspiration for new achievements?

The Adventist youth in Siberia prefer active-filled holidays, and so this year, the youth leaders decided to organize the first-ever snowboarding retreat in Siberia. They selected one of the most popular Siberian resorts, the Sheregesh Ski Resort located in the south of the Kemerovo region.

Everybody was thrilled by this decision and immediately began packing their things and inviting their friends.

In the comfortable and spacious cottage located at the foot of the mountains, the lovers of active rest got situated. 23 people went on the trip, some of who were pastors, but no less skilled on a board. Four boys who are not church members enthusiastically agreed to go on the trip as well.

All those attending were at different skill levels. There were professionals, and also those who had never been on a snowboard. Therefore, the more experienced boarders took it upon themselves to become the instructors and teach the others. For a few hours each day they went out on the slopes and learned first how to stand on the snowboard, and then how to slide.

God blessed us with beautiful weather. All the days we spent outside on the mountain were sunny, warm, and not windy.

After a few hours of snowboarding, the guys would return to the cottage pleasantly tired, where there was always a delicious and hearty dinner awaiting them. Everyone would happily gather around the table and discuss the day’s events, remembering funny and interesting moments that happened, and plan the following day’s activities.

The evenings were spent in deep discussion about God, His love for all people, and how He gave each and every one of us the gift of nature and all the good things around us.

The spiritual reflections shared by the pastors, personal experiences on the mountain, and the friendly company all contributed to a shared feeling that this retreat was an invaluable experience, not only in learning to snowboard, but also in spiritual growth and knowledge of the Lord.

Undoubtedly, the youth in Siberia will get together again next winter, because there is nothing more wonderful that mountains, fresh air, sunshine and the warm company of good friends.

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