Pastor Natalia Potopaeva
The 23rd Church Anniversary

The value of gratitude

The evening service of the second day of the 23rd anniversary of the “Embassy of God” church was full of amazing presentations.

Our guest, Lola Sorunke, from California, USA, spoke about her Book Club: “It all started from when I first came to Ukraine and met Pastor Sunday. When I came back home from Kyiv, everybody kept asking me,“What are you doing in Ukraine? What has happened to you? You have changed completely!” I told people about Pastor Sunday, and about the “History Makers Training” program. Then, I went to Ukraine again, and upon returning from my trip, my friends insisted that I tell them about the incredible changes that had happened in me. We reached the agreement that when I finished my training, I would start teaching them how to transform themselves. But one day my prayer partner called and urgently asked me to gather people and start teaching a bit earlier. Thus, I created my “Book club.” I took the book “Who am I? Why am I here?” by Pastor Sunday Adelaja and start reading it with them. We talked to each other over the phone, as the members of the club are from different states. One sister had been struggling with what she thought was demon possession, but through the reading of the book, she testified of receiving deliverance. Another sister was thinking of giving up her Christian life, because she had cooled down and it was boring. During the reading of the book she was resurrected and wanted to go forward in leading the Christian life. Another woman cried through the whole meeting, because she had lost her son, who had essentially been life to her. But thanks to Pastor Sunday’s book, she realized that life is much more than she thought it was.

Thanks to having been at this anniversary, now I know how I will further develop my “Book club”. I promise you, your books will be all over California. I am very grateful to God because he has orchestrated everything – I am not here by accident. I want to thank Pastor Sunday, Pastor Bose and the whole team of pastors and ministers. Both California and I have been transformed through your books.”

Pastor Rory Kaye congratulates the church on its anniversary, with 23 roses, symbolizing 23 years! He said, “You are at the very beginning. This year is very prophetic. God is preparing to open 23 new nations to you. Many of the people here are upset because Pastor Sunday started transmitting more messages on facebook for foreigners, and not Russian-speakers, and has gathered a huge international family. But you do not have to worry, because all of these 23 new nations are your inheritance into which you are entering into. You have to remember that God promised Pastor Sunday to reach 500 million people on the Earth. Believe and trust God, learn foreign languages and you will be able to reach all these nations.”

Now a group of scientific figures populate the stage. Olena Stebelska congratulates the church on its anniversary and presents the team of scientific workers. It is known that 95% of the scientists in the world were believers. Now, a new generation of scientists are bringing spiritual principles into the field of science. The main goals of the new generation of scientists, professors, and teachers is to influence society through nongovernment organizations, to aid the youths in finding the true meaning of life. Our calling is to influence history with God’s help. The new generation of scientists influences society through scientific conferences, and they are doing an enormous work. They have conducted more than 100 conferences and roundtables on how to revive a country through Christian values.”

Pastor Sunday, commenting on the scientists’ work, said, “I am proud of you. These people are the future of the country, and all of this is happening through one person – Olena Stebelska. The revival of this country will be built on new principles. It will be difficult for anyone to find another country, except Ukraine, where Christian values are being propagated on this level: They are not only being preached in the church, but are spread in the world of science, among scientists, specialists, deputies, and politicians, revealing the principles required for the revival of the country. This is what changes the atmosphere of a society. It is a very deep work. You will not find this in ordinary churches. This is a firm foundation for the country.”

Natalia Potopaeva, a missionary in Germany, an apostle, a pastor, and an elder of the “Embassy of God church” who saved hundreds of thousands people from drug and alcohol addiction all over the world. Bestselling author of “The way of freedom in your family” came on stage.

The topic of Pastor Potopaeva’s sermon: The value of the gratitude.

Dear church, my brothers and sisters! It is our happy birthday, and we have already become adults! The showcased presentations revealed to us that Ukraine will be a model to other countries on how to build Christian societies, and I am happy to be a participant of this epochal event.

Psalms 90:10-17: “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. If only we knew the power of your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due. Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Relent, Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.”

Pastor Natalia began her sermon, “Pastor Bose and I call this anniversary the Anniversary of Jubilees, of Resurrection and Life. All the elders of the church have jubilees this year. Time flies very quickly and it seems to me that just recently, I was attending the Bible courses for new believers, but already, twenty three years have passed! In May, I will be seventy.” Pastor Natalia then read Pastor Sunday’s prior congratulatory notes to her, wherein pastor Sunday always thanks her for her faithfulness and love… Long ago, regardless of his young age, Pastor Sunday became a mentor for Pastor Natalia and she received God’s healing through him.

Pastor Natalia continues: “When I read that psalm back then, I drew the conclusion that a person can give his maximum contribution before he is seventy years old, which meant that time is short. I asked God for seventy years of life because I thought I would no longer be useful after that. Life passes very quickly… It feels like yesterday to me. In this church, you always meet people through whom God shows His love, faithfulness and gratitude. Today, these sound like proper and usual things, but Pastor Sunday knew that gratitude is not a mundane thing, and he thanked me in that letter, and that thanks has become an example for me to follow.

I was full of mistakes and stupidity at that time; I had no experience or knowledge. I only had the fire that God lit inside me, a passionate desire to help people and the faith pastor had in me. Only that faith sustained me. Praise God that I can thank all of you and the church for all the good and valuable things that were done for me. I want you to remember me as a person with a grateful heart.

In one of the HMT I was impressed by the quotation of D.Defoe, (the author of the book “Robinson Crusoe”) about gratitude: “24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, we struggle to either fit into the framework of life, or change the situation in our lives for the better…… It is best to just make the right choice and follow the path that leads to the Kingdom of God. If we don’t get a result, we are disappointed and ask God, “why?!” Because we are not grateful to God for what we have already had, of course! God gives us gifts every day, but we are so busy that we do not notice them. We are nearly incapable of accepting everything with gratitude. A person who does not have a sense of gratitude cannot live in faith. Without a sense of gratitude, we do not have the strength to overcome difficulties in our lives. Only with God, we can overcome all obstacles. Without gratitude you cannot be happy or satisfied. Everybody has something to be grateful to God for.”

I meditated on Pastor’s letter, on D.Defoe’s words and on the fact that ten years ago I asked God to give me seventy years. Today, I am nearly seventy. What if God heard my prayers louder than yours, and this year He will call me Home?… Anything can happen. Oh, my God what have I done for these seventy years of life and twenty- three years in church? Because the quality of years spent is more important than the quantity. Did I help those who I met? It is only thanks to God that I have my talents and abilities. Without God I am nobody, just an ordinary woman. Only through God, The Embassy of God church and Pastor Sunday, I have become the person that I am today. It is sometimes easier to thank God than the people right beside us. A birthday is a day when it is necessary to remember gratitude and to rethink one’s values.

What we see as defeat is actually a victory for God. I would like to draw conclusions, especially from the last year. It was a ripping year for me, in all senses of the word. In 2016-2017 God shook us and ripped off all the unnecessary stuff from us. It was a year of victory: I gained many life lessons. I had the opportunity to see God’s view on different situations, I got freedom from religious-judgmental mindset. I won a victory over myself – I am now able to see victory the way God sees it. He allows different situations to come into our lives to check the motives of our hearts.

Ephesians 5:26-27 “to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

It is important for God to clean His church and not to destroy it. Hence, God sends us cleansing and purification and we need not be afraid of it. The effectiveness and light of a church is measured by its good deeds. Our church is a record breaker in good deeds.

1 John 1:5-8 This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed. Jesus is the head of His church, the head of His body and also like an x-ray, since Christ is light. It seems to us that if we are in a church, we will always dwell in the light. Sometimes it is difficult to see darkness inside us, especially when there is a lot of light around, making it impossible to see the darkness. Christ allows darkness to be in a church before He directs His light at the church, to purify it and to separate it from darkness, to bring the light into the church and Christianity. In this way, He lifts the church to a higher level. Such churches have the ability to admit their mistakes and confess their sins before God. They are able to thank God for the good and the bad; they draw out good lessons from their situations and teach others, not paying attention to other people’s opinions but only to God’s opinion. I thank God, the church, and everybody who has helped me. When we started there was nobody except alcoholics and drug addicts, their relatives, and darkness, and if God had started cleansing the church then, nobody would have remained. The more we grow up and mature, the more we go through the purification. There was a time to gather in the church and now the time to let go has come. I thank God for the victory of seeing everything with His own eyes, for the victory of loving everybody who betrays and condemns you when you are innocent, for the victory of not pursuing my own desires but to let go without any grief. It is important for God to have His way. I got the victory of being a source for others, and if you are a source then people will always come to you.

I once made the decision to be a spring from the source where God led me to. And now, He has changed me into the living water for tens of thousands of other people. For twenty three years, a lot of people have gotten deliverance from different addictions, thousands of families have been restored, and thousands people changed their lives for the best. Wherever I go there are grateful people, I conduct conferences throughout the world, and people come from everywhere to thank Pastor Sunday for his books, his teaching and his followers.

When I appeared in social networks, in 20 days, after 120 live broadcasts, I got 25 000 views! Only after that, I realized the great work that God is doing through our church – so many letters, so much gratitude! As before, I am still sustained by the source God led me to many years ago. New opportunities to influence people came because of tests and trials.

My dream is to create an Internet rehabilitation center, to communicate and work with co-dependents using social networks. I know my dream would not remain a fantasy. I want to start live broadcasts on facebook for co-dependent people, as Pastor Sunday does for English-speaking people. There is no life without serving people, and I have been resurrected in order to serve. How can I not be grateful? A woman with 30 years of alcohol addiction came to this church and became a world personality. Where else do they treat people like me that way? Not in any other church are they interested in raising outlaws, rejects of society like I was, in the large numbers that the Embassy of God church is.

I want to repeat as an apostle what Apostle Paul said:

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life (1 Timothy 1:12-16).

I pray for the fulfilment of the promises in Psalm 90 in our church. May God reveal His mercy and grace at the beginning of all our works and projects from the very beginning to the end, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. May the Glory of God be on our children and grandchildren, for mothers to see the deliverance of their children and to be happy.

May all addicts not only get deliverance in God, but also be established and become personalities.

I pray that God would give us twice as much for the reproach we had, for everybody to see that this church is not being built by human hands but by God Himself, that His work, that glorifies His name is being done in this church.

I also pray for God’s favor to be upon all in the Embassy of God church, for God to, during any trials, help us, support us, ease our burdens, comfort us on the road and to offer us assistance in all the toil of our hands. May God always change defeat into victory.

I pray that all the things God has used me for will remain faithful in the Lord, for all my work over these 23 years to remain steadfast in the Lord, for me not to be ashamed of emptily lived years, for me to be able to peacefully go Home and not to be embarrassed in His presence.

I pray that not one good deed done by these people for me would go unnoticed or unappreciated from my side.

For it is very important to remain a grateful and noble person so that if a sudden calamity happens to the leader, we would not leave him in his hard times, but would offer a helping hand, even when all of society turns their back on him. Because gratitude is not just in the words: “Pastor, thank you for your contributions into my life,” for a grateful heart becomes known in hard times, when it seeks to give its help in need. To remain grateful means to always remain faithful. Indeed, this is the essence of God Himself, for He remains faithful to the end.

God bless you!

From the 23rd Anniversary of the Embassy of God
March 31, 2017, Kiev
Press Center of the Embassy of God Church

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