"What if?" - CCX Kharkiv Mission Week 2018

For those who have already been following our news for many years there will be nothing new. It is our 4th time that we hosted a large-scale project like mission week.  It always includes 3 basic elements: a creative invitation, lunch lectures in universities and an evening event in a nice venue. Year by year we tried to increase the scale of this project (it shows the success of the week, isn’t it?). In 2014 we focused on one university, in 2015 we already took three, and a month ago we did a mission in 6 universities at the same time. And all of it was done by a small team of 45 students and volunteers, with the support of 3 churches (Presbyterian, Korean and independent).

There are several intersecting facts about our last mission week. This time we decided to do lectures at universities only with the participation of academicians, without inviting pastors or priests. Of course, all of them are also Christians. They shared their worldview during the lectures. But from the point of view of the administration of universities it was, so to say, "more legitimate". 

The second special thing was the process of selecting topics. Mission week is an apologetic project, where we want to answer the most common questions regarding the Christian faith. Previously we simply copied the topics made by our colleagues in UCCF. We borrowed their topics and answered the questions that Ukrainian students might not ask. Now we decided to improve the situation and make our own poll.  All the lectures and talks were chosen on the basis of this poll. Serhiy Gula who is a professional lawyer was invited to speak at Law School. He spoke about corruption and advocacy.  K.Milkov from Macedonia spoke in pedagogical university,  Markus Jobe who is a from USA  spoke in economical and polytechnic university on the subjects of management and statistics. In the main national university city ​​of Kharkiv all the lectures were hold by its own professor of philosophy A. Filonenko.

All the evening talks were made by local theologian S. Sudakov. Talks covered the themes of faith, the authenticity of the Bible and the historicity of the person of Jesus Christ.

The third highlight is the beginning of work with foreign students. We provided translation for all of them. This is a completely new experience for us, and it was amazing to see how Muslims from Iraq, Iran and Africa hear about Jesus Christ. At such times, you understand that living in your hometown you can carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

Also we reached a new level of creativity in the approaches of the invitation to the project. By simple flyering it is hard to surprise someone, so we tried to look for more efficient ways. First we made a great emphasis on advertising in social networks because our research has shown that the majority of Kharkov students react specifically to information on the Internet. Secondly we shocked students through flash mobs. A camel strolling along the corridors of the university, students asking frank questions about sex, jokes, interviews.  All of it may sound very strange but it shows others that we are not just boring sectarians trying to impose our faith but we are in the first place the same young cheerful students with reasonable beliefs.

As you can see there were a lot of work done, and, perhaps, this mission week is the most well done. But by quantitative results we have average indicators. During the whole week we covered about 600 non-Christian students who could hear the gospel and draw their own conclusions about the Christian worldview. 166 of them left their contacts to continue the search for Truth. And now we can talk about some conversions and the changed lives of students, some of which we will share later.

So how do you evaluate all this work? Was it worth it? Sure, it was! We did our best to make hundreds of skeptical students postpone their prejudices and could hear the Good News. But not only had we worked. First of all, God worked, and this is His mission. He softened hearts, He cleaned the barriers, He led to repentance. And we know that "God's angels rejoice even about one repentant sinner." Thank God that He gave us the opportunity to be faithful to Him, despite relatively small results, and we are already waiting and preparing for new achievements in His field!