Reaching out to students in Odessa – Project #1317

1317update Summary: Oleg Shevchenko, who is a pastor of the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Ukraine (SELCU) and an alumnus of Concordia Seminary (Odessa) and Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada), conducts missionary work among Ukrainian and foreign students studying in the various universities in Odessa.

Description: During this school year we were able again to have weekly Bible studies for students. The purpose of these studies was to strengthen those students who believe and to provide a place where they can bring their unbelieving friends to study the Bible and find out more about Christianity. This year I was able to train a few student leaders, who lead the studies by themselves. We distributed 40 English Bibles among the Iraqi and Hindu students, which opened the opportunity to have a few meetings with the Muslim and Hindu students and talk to them about Christianity and about living with God.

Each month I meet with different students a few times for counseling. Some get tired of their studies, some have difficulties and some are drifting away from God. I have noticed that these personal meetings helped the students to be more open about difficulties in their lives with God, and helped me serve them better by better knowing their needs. I was able to apply the Gospel to their lives in their needs. I know a few students who changed their opinion about God and His Church after the meetings.

There are different language clubs – Russian, English and German, which were started this year. A huge number of students had the opportunity to hear the Gospel at the end of these interesting language lessons. The Russian club for international students was of special importance giving us the opportunity to meet the students and to tell them about Jesus. It is through those lessons that a few Muslims asked a lot of questions about Christianity and one girl from India wanted to live a new life.

Pastor Oleg Shevchenko

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