In March, a team of 9 from Auburn BCM traveled to Ukraine to resource a Student-to-Student Evangelism Project. The group partnered with IMB and Cru personnel. The team spent each day prayer walking among the city’s 90,000 university students and providing leadership for a nightly large group outreach gathering in a local museum auditorium. Nightly meetings, Monday through Saturday, consisted of icebreaker games, a lesson in English grammar, a Gospel presentation through the shared testimony of one of the Auburn students, a small group discussion time, and ended with a group game. Each small group was led by one member of the Auburn team. We led the same small group each night with the discussion becoming more focused on faith as the group grew close to one another. Each group had a translator and a member of the Cru team for the purpose of passing these relationships off to the Cru team for follow up once we left. According to Steve Thompson, campus minister at Auburn, ‘many of our new university friends have maintained contact with us through social media where we continue to share words of faith with them.’
Andrey, a Cru leader, writes about Auburn’s time with them:
“Hi Steve! I hope the flight was safe and easy for you. Just wanted to say thank you, truly it was the best English club in 4 years of our ministry here! 158 students took part, 101 visited everyday. Thanks God for His blessings!”
Additionally, the team assisted with gender specific activities with a girls’ event on Tuesday afternoon and a guys’ event on Wednesday afternoon. Again the central focus of these events was the presentation of the Gospel through the testimony of one of the Auburn students. Other outreach opportunities included providing conversation practice with native English speakers at two university English clubs. Thompson said, ‘we saw many of the students we met in these clubs at the nightly events.’
IMB worker, Mike Ray, took the team to a school (grades 1-11) in a neighborhood where he hopes to plant a church to help strengthen relationships by providing conversation practice for students of all ages in several classes. English faculty enthusiastically received the team as they split into 2 groups each day and taught a total of 16 classes with 15-20 students in each class. Ray is hopeful such service will open doors to plant a church using the school facilities in the near future.
As Thompson reflected back on his trips to Ukraine, he said, ‘…there has never been a time we haven’t heard back that someone we befriended on our journey has accepted Christ into their life. I expect the same will be true of our trip this year as I know of some who are so close to making that decision as indicated to us in our conversations with them.’
Pray that the seeds that were planted during Spring Break sprout into eternal fruit!