Georgia: Profound Journeys

It’s quite a journey. Each year, thousands travel from India to study in the Caucasus, mostly at medical universities. But the journey is more than physical: away from family and cultural pressures, the students have a unique moment in life to explore their beliefs. 

In the Georgian city of Kutaisi, the local IFES group is seizing this opportunity by introducing international students to Jesus.  

Sunil has been attending the group for three months. At the end of his first Bible study, he asked to take the Bible home. He’s been reading it on his own and now comes to the group with searching questions. Recently he asked, “I have too many sins – how can I be sure that Christ has forgiven me?” 

Amitha has been coming for over a year. At first, she was negative about Jesus – she couldn’t accept the idea of Christ as “the way, the truth and the life” and argued against his divinity. But, in a recent study, she admitted to feeling a change: “for the first time I’ve begun to call the Creator my Father.” 

Prutvi was also deeply sceptical about Christianity; each week he questioned the reliability of the Bible. But, two years on, he trusts it more than his traditional religious scriptures and is now faced with a difficult decision: “Sometimes I just want to entrust my life to Christ. But I’m afraid of my mother finding out because she believes that Krishna is our family’s protector.”       

Over time, as the group faithfully shared Scripture and offered friendship, these three have discovered the promises, claims, and trustworthiness of Jesus. “Our hope is that they will discover him personally and follow him as Saviour and Lord,” declares Larisa, IFES Georgia staff who pioneered the International Student Ministry (ISM) group. 

It was two and half years ago that she invited three Indian Christian students to her home so they could read the Bible together. Soon, they were inviting friends, and, within a few weeks, more than 20 students were participating – with meals, studies in Mark’s Gospel, and board games. It wasn’t long before they needed to find a new venue to accommodate the growing numbers. 

The Christian international students have now been trained up to lead these meetings. Now, each Friday and Saturday, they guide Bible studies in English and Telugu. In September, they hope to launch another group in Tamil. 

Let’s pray that the many Indian students in the Caucasus will take journeys of faith – and discover Jesus. 

  • Give thanks for the way God has guided and grown ISM ministry in Georgia.  
  • Pray for Sunil, Amitha, and Prutvi – that they will encounter the living Christ as they grapple with questions of assurance, divinity, and allegiance.  
  • Pray for the current student leaders (Hema, Rakshana, Deepak, Smiley, and Irene) – that they will continue to grow and be led by the Holy Spirit – and for the discipling of two new leaders (Pranitha and Sharon). 
  • Pray for God’s guidance and provision for the movement in Georgia – with a new General Secretary, funding challenges, and a tense political situation. 
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