Eurasia: Sowing seeds on new ground
Last August, a unique opportunity catalysed pioneering student ministry in several sensitive countries in Eurasia. A team of 13 students and staff workers, selected mostly from various national movements in the region, spent two weeks in a sensitive country training students from Eurasian countries yet to establish formal national student movements.
The team led Bible studies, talks, seminars and worship sessions, and shared testimonies – all with the goal of imparting a vision for student ministry that would encourage small beginnings. In this, they were sowing and watering the seeds of new student movements.
More than 30 young believers from these Eurasian countries took part, and the training team was deeply moved by the strength of their faith.
“We really were humbled hearing from the students here,” shared one staff worker. “Many students are first-generation believers, from broken family backgrounds. I was speechless to see how vibrant and real their faith is.”
The IFES Eurasia region contains a diverse mix of countries: some have active and growing student movements while other nations have little religious freedom and no formal student ministry. Regional training events, like this one, inspire students in their first steps towards forming student groups and reaching out to peers.
As a result of last August’s event, Christian students in one country launched an English-speaking club in the park for their friends before boldly asking the university authorities for a regular meeting room. Students in a different country committed to start studying Scripture with their friends using Uncover Bible study notes.
A student from yet another country was inspired to share the gospel with her lecturer. “I don’t want to waste time,” she said. “I will be direct and just share the gospel. I will invite my lecturer to a coffee shop, and I will talk to her about prayer. We have a very good relationship, and she believes that prayer is the key to paradise. I want to explain to her what true prayer means. I am really surprised about where my courage has come from.”
The team received many invitations to return, and local church leaders have received such positive feedback from their student attendees that they want to send more people next time. In August 2023, IFES will organise a second training team to visit this country. In addition, 10 students from this sensitive country and one from another sensitive country have already applied to participated in an IFES Eurasia student leaders formation event being held in July.
Please pray with us for students in Eurasia:
- Pray for boldness and passion for students who attended the training and are starting to form new student groups.
- Pray for fruit in the country that the team visited.
- Pray for more opportunities to start Christian student groups in areas of Eurasia where there are none.
- Pray that God will use the formation event in July and the training event in August to raise up even more young leaders who will strengthen student witness in this region.