Mission Week 2017: Student Discoveries

From September 17-19, 2018, the Kyiv team of CCX Ukraine held the project called Mission Week. The project included two lunch discussions at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and three evening discussion meetings. Dr. Christian Hofreiter was the guest speaker at all those events. A native of Austria, he has studied, lived and worked in Innsbruck, Brussels, London, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Oxford, and now lives with his family in Vienna, Austria. He also worked in a government relations firm in Washington, DC, which represented the interests of foreign governments and other clients to the United States Congress and Administration, and also served as deacon at the Church of the Resurrection on Capitol Hill. Today Dr. Christian Hofreiter is Director of RZIM Austria, Germany and Switzerland, the Zacharias Institut für Wissenschaft, Kultur und Glaube, and a Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics.

Let’s take a closer look at what happened at the event. 

Day 1

The highlight of the first day was the discussion “Jesus of Nazareth: Man or God?” Each of the people present at the discussion discovered the personality of Jesus for themselves. Nowadays in literature and films, we often encounter the fact that the conspiracy of the Roman Empire in the 4th century turned Jesus Christ, an ordinary man and ordinary teacher, into a divine figure. During the lecture-discussion Dr. Hofreiter helped the participants to critically analyze the proofs which made people believe that Jesus from Nazareth was the Son of God.

Students noted that they really liked the atmosphere of the event. One of them even wrote, “I really liked it. I did not think it would be so incredibly cool.” There were about twenty participants from different universities of Kiev (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, National University of Food Technologies, Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics, and others) and a few high school students. Most of them were Christians. After the meeting, under the pleasant tunes of live music, the students had a good time of communication over a cup of tea, coffee and sweets. 


Day 2

On the second day, we had a lunch discussion on the topic “What international lobbying and a political scandal taught me about integrity and true happiness,” and an evening meeting on the topic “Uncover the truth: Has science proven the existence of God?”

Both events were extremely interesting and useful. During his lunch session, Dr. Hofreiter shared how to preserve happiness in the midst of political life and political scandals. Since Dr. Hofreiter worked as an international lobbyist in Washington, DC, his advice was practical and informative. Fifteen participants, including ten students, attended his lecture.

The evening meeting was marked by numerous appeals to all the participants to think critically and see that science does not refute but instead confirms the fact of the existence of the Creator of the Universe. The audience responded to the lecture in an hour-long discussion after the speech itself was over. There were about thirty-two participants, and twenty-seven of them were students of different universities of Kyiv. The evening meeting resonated in everyone's heart, and one atheist student gave a positive answer in response to the lecturer’s question if he would like to get acquainted with God. Traditionally, warm tea, treats and music made the evening event even more pleasant.

Day 3

On the last day of the project, Dr. Christian Hofreiter gave a lecture “True Happiness: What psychology, philosophy and religion can teach us about the good life”.

It is so important to stop in today's ultrafast day and give yourself time to reflect on what makes us really happy, and our life meaningful. It has been the core question of philosophy and religious studies for centuries. Today, more and more people are looking for answers to this question in the sphere of psychology. At the lecture, Dr. Christian Hofreiter helped to look at this issue from different perspectives, stimulating further reflection among listeners and an interesting discussion. There were about fifteen participants at the event.

The evening discussion was based on the topic “Uncover the Truth. If God is good why there is so much suffering in the world?” Dr. Hofreiter explained different points of view on how both a good God and evil with suffering can coexist simultaneously. He helped to reveal to those present the things that almost every person encountered in their own lives. The most argued and popular answer to the main question of the evening lies, as the lecturer explained, in the sphere of love. True love requires freedom, and as God granted humans freedom the Fall followed, which resulted in suffering and evil.

About thirty people attended the event, including more than twenty students. Warm atmosphere, an incredible lecture, good music and friendly communication were inseparable attributes of the evening program.

Press Center of CCX Ukraine