SALT conference 2016

At the end of January, CCX Ukraine held its annual student conference “Salt” that united 46 Christian students from 6 cities to communicate, study and worship God.

Shortly before the conference, Ukraine celebrated a special holiday – The Day of Collegiality of Ukraine – and, likewise, “Salt” can be called the holiday of collegiality of CCX Ukraine because it is the only event once a year when our movements’ representatives from all the regions get together. Students from Kharkiv, Lviv, Odessa, Kyiv, Mykolaiv and Simferopol spend 4 days at the Roman Catholic Seminary’s property in the village of Briukhovichi, Lviv region, with the intensely charged program that CCX staff had been preparing for half a year.

Deep Scripture study, active leisure, and creative discussions helped the students to evaluate the work of the 1st semester, and to share the experience and blessings of their ministry at the universities. At the same time quality teaching from professional speakers from Ukraine and CCX’s partner movement UCCF, UK, provided correct motivation and essential skills to spread the Gospel in the coming semester.

This was the 4th winter conference of such kind. This year’s specialty was the participation of representatives from other countries. Students and staff workers from IFES movements in Moldova, Georgia, Germany, USA and the UK created a unique atmosphere of inter-cultural communication. We are deeply grateful to God for the growth that makes us fit to serve not only Ukrainian students but also share our experience with other countries.  

The name of the conference speaks well of its purpose. Jesus used the image of salt to explain the quality changes that should take place in His disciples, and also to show the Christians’ mission in this world – to be people of influence in our own environment. This is exactly what we are teaching our students. Every year we can see how through “Salt” God is working in their hearts, changing their minds, their lives so that after going back to their home cities they could change their universities with the power of the Gospel. The final day of the conference brought amazement to the organizers as all 46 participants made a decision to dedicate this coming year to their active ministry with CCX. We would like to share with you just a couple from the numerous testimonials of these young people. This is what students said about the 2016 “Salt” conference:

Alina Bashevska (4 year student)

«Well, I am an ordinary student from Kharkiv – if medical students can be considered ordinary at all. This year God has blessed me with taking part at the “Salt” conference. And here is what I discovered: we suffer from “far-sightedness” when it comes to witnessing, and few are righteously “near-sighted” in this as we are called to be the salt to our immediate neighborhood, to the community God has put us into. The conference showed to me the importance of it and how to do it right. Honestly speaking, in terms of witnessing I am far from being a model, so it is no surprise that my first “Salt” was all about it. Speaker’s words hit me – if you love somebody you are going to talk about this person incessantly. So if we do love Jesus we should talk about Him with no pressure to do so. This was the key moment for me! And the conference’s atmosphere was astonishing! You get to feel the strength of the entire CCX family, how different we are, so unlike each other, unique – and all gathered up in one “God’s salt-pot”. Thank God for this incredible feeling!».

 

Ilya Brusin (newly converted): 

"I am eternally thankful to God for being able to take part in this conference! There are so many positive emotions, impressions, and memories! I didn’t have the slightest clue about witnessing before. Now I even know how it is done in other countries of the world. I am especially grateful for providing the opportunity to practice this skill right at the conference. I want to go on with learning how to be the salt of this land."   

 

Alina Terletska (student-leader):

"I prayed almost every day that the exams wouldn’t prevent my going to the conference, and God answered my prayer. The exams finished just the day before the beginning of “Salt”. I took it as a proof that the conference is truly blessed by God. I was able to open myself up there and admit the fear that had kept me a slave. It was the fear of making mistakes, that God might disapprove of me, that there is someone who can do the ministry better. And the feeling of guilt is so depressing. Talking to a CCX staff worker helped me sort it all out. Also, I realized that I need to go on with working on my relationship with God, I need to learn to trust Him. Sometimes I feel ashamed – He is doing so many wonders for me and I am scared to take risks for Him. The time, the seminars, the fellowship, the experience sharing, the Bible study inspired me with confidence. And though I am so imperfect, awkward, weak, far from being a good speaker, still God has entrusted me with the task – serve in my university. Surely, I can make it only being in one team with Him".

 

Ilya Efimov (2-nd year student):

“Salt” conference helped me to realize that sharing the Gospel should take the primary place in my Christian’s ministry. God made it clear to me that He wants to be my partner in His own work. And if I am imperfect in any respect, which I certainly am, He will help me to achieve a better result. After “Salt” I started to be more responsible for spreading the Gospel in my surroundings".

 

Iryna Mashika (Law student):

"This was a trully blessed time for me! It was very nice to meet other Christian students from Kyiv, Lviv and Kharkiv and to feel that you a part of the large all-Ukrainian movement! During the conference I gained a lot of practical skills in how to share the Gospel with my friends and what projects we can do in Odessa".

 

Vlad Kovalchuk (student-leader):

"When I was going to “Salt” I didn’t expect it would have so many good seminars and sermons. I was sure it would be very nice but didn’t know then I would have so many personal discoveries. The conference challenged me to witness to my friends more and taught me how to do it well. I have a clear picture of what I should do in my university, how to share the Gospel with my group mates when I go back home. This conference also made my relationship with God stronger, helped me to better realize what it is – to be a Christian and what priority I should give to witnessing".