Alina Terletska Shares How Her Life Changed After Meeting with CCX Ukraine

Alina Terletska graduated from Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University in Kharkiv. From the first year of her studies she attended the events of CCX Ukraine. Later she became an active volunteer, and now she is an intern in CCX Kharkiv. She shares how her life changed after meeting with our student Christian organization.

Alina why did you decide to become part of CCX Kharkiv?

- As part of the CCX team, I will be able to help young women and men to overcome their complexes, fears, isolation, and loneliness. I will help them to understand themselves and their faith, as CCX once helped me and saved me from many actions that could have ended with dire consequences for my life. I believe that in CCX God will use me as His instrument.

How did you come to know about our Christian organization, CCX?

- I learned about CCX Ukraine during my freshmen year and was very interested in all their projects. It happened at a time when I desperately needed it. That was the answer to my prayer. I did not quite understand what I wanted, but I did not have enough of something, so I wanted to find like-minded friends with whom we would go against the system. The first two months of study at the university made it clear that I would not be able to cope by myself as there were many challenges and temptations.

What were the biggest challenges you had to face?

- Corruption, alcohol, premarital sex ... My group mates cast dubious glances at me; I faced misunderstanding and condemnation for being different. Sometimes they surrounded me and asked many questions about my faith, and I confess honestly, I could not answer them properly as at that time I did not really understand what and why I really believed. Since childhood I've been brought up to live with faith in my heart. Only my grandfather called me "sectarian", and it always hurt me. I went to church, but there were not many young people; we did not have any youth meetings. I often wondered about my life’s purpose and what God wanted from me. I did not understand why this universe differs from the one created by my own naive imagination. I wanted to know why there is so much injustice, so much suffering, why people are so evil. I often thought about death. I wanted to go to God sooner, though I did not tell anyone about it because I was ashamed of such thoughts. I was disappointed in everything, especially in friendship and love. Once I even dared to take drugs. It seemed to me that I was on the verge of something terrible.

How did your life begin to change?

- A boy from my university wrote to me. He asked if I was a Christian and told me that he was also a Christian and invited me to read the Bible with other Christian students. I agreed, but I was somewhat scared and thought, "What if it’s a kind of ‘sect’, maybe it would be wiser not to go," But on the other hand it was interesting, so I took with me an atheist friend (I only had such friends at that time) so that the group could not "brainwash" us. That friend of mine was very intelligent and did not yield to such Christian things. I really liked that meeting! I still remember what we read and in what cafe. I just felt how hungry I was for such lively fellowship, how such meetings were really lacking in my life. From then on, every week I waited for the next meeting. I was so cheered by the notion that I was not the only Christian at the university, as at least five other people were also believers. It was such a great pleasure and support for me. I was so fond of weekly prayers at the university campus. After getting acquainted with the Fellowship of Christian students (CCX Ukraine) I have changed a lot!

How exactly has CCX Ukraine helped you?

- The organization helped me to keep and strengthen my faith, to develop a personal relationship with God and, in general, to begin to perceive God in a completely different way. Previously when I thought of God, He was a tyrant and a chastener for me, and now He is a loving Father Who cares about me every second. I also became more confident. I never thought that I would go on a missionary trip to Moldova or that I would negotiate with the university administration to get their permission to hold a Mission Week project at our pompous university (if you only knew how my voice trembled in the office of the vice-rector). I never thought that my church would entrust me with the organization of the youth ministry, that for the first time I would go camping in the Carpathian Mountains, try bungee jumping, and, what is the most important, I would have real friends. These have been the happiest and most meaningful four years of my life.

What solid attitudes and values do you stick to in your life? 

- All of my priorities stem from my love for God. I love God and I do not want to upset Him. If earlier I tried not to sin so as not to go to hell, now I do not want to sin because I love Him. I want to be His humble and obedient daughter, and I know that this is necessary for me most of all. I understand that my whole life depends on Him. When I am not compromising I learn to trust Him, and then I see how He works in my life. I often pray and ask Him to help me withstand worthily. Self-examination also often helps me not to compromise. I find time to analyze my behavior, understand the motives of my actions. To do this you need to be honest with yourself. I love these words from the Bible: "Take heed to thyself, and to thy teaching" (1 Timothy 4:16).

How can a young Christian be the light of Christ to youth who do not know God?

- As for me, my sincerity and openness always helped me. There were a few cases when a person was categorically against my Christian position, but they still wanted to be close to me, wanted to spend time with me, communicate, and be friends. They said that some kind of light, good energy came from me. Therefore, I wish to believe sincerely, and sincerely confess my imperfections and downfalls. I am not afraid to recognize that I cannot answer all their questions. I also noticed that at first people look at your behavior and your deeds, and then they are surprised and ask, "Why do you do this? Why do you help others?" Then we can safely say who is our true Inspiration and model. Therefore, one has to behave in such a way that a person wants to ask them about Christ.

Alina, now that you are part of CCX Kharkiv, could you share your plans?

- We plan to build relationships with churches in Kharkiv, cooperate with them so that the churches begin to perceive us as a bridge between the university and the church. We also dream that there will be active student Christian chapters at all the universities, colleges, and even schools of our city. We will be working hard to make this dream come true.

What advice can you give to Christian students?

- I encourage them to develop their relationship with God, as we students often forget to devote time to the most important things in our life because of the distraction of classes, tests, exams, etc. I wish them not to rob from God, but to give to God what is His, and to the studies what is necessary for good learning. Do not live in vain: live every minute, filling it with meaning. Feel pleasure in the process, and then from the results. Have peace and tranquility, realizing that everything is in God's hands. It is important to trust God, to reveal the desire of one’s heart to Him and be grateful to the Lord!

Thank you very much for this important conversation!

Press Centre of CCX Ukraine