After Unexpected Student Days
Hier ein Bericht zu den Studententagen in Kaunas vom 16.–19. vom LKSB-Generalsekretär Stepas Ribokas – vorerst in englischer Sprache. Danach einige Bilder von der Veranstaltung.
Half year of praying, fasting, planning, arguing, uncertainty came to an end. That half of year was finished by the student mission week at Vytautas Magnus university in Kaunas – Unexpected Students Days. And the week in itself brought as to the limits of ourselves. It sounds almost unbelievable that we managed to do it. But as the mission week is slowly becoming a part of the past of our lives and work, let me reflect a little.
Firstly, we prayed a LOT. We planned a non-stop chain of praying and fasting. Nearly every single day since the beginning of the planning, until the mission week there was at least someone who prayed or fasted. And Churches prayed with us as well. It is always difficult to evaluate the results of prayer, but we saw that everything we do was happening. We received all the finances that we needed (about 90% came from local churches and Christians), we saw people responding in many different ways to contribute to the mission, we saw doors opening in the university, we experienced ourselves being refreshed again and again. I do trust that God was responding in these and many other ways!
We witnessed students being very open to the big questions of life. Over 300 of them showed up in our evening events. We got 109 contacts left of those who expressed a wish to somehow learn more about Jesus, Christianity, or to discuss spiritual matters. We managed to give out nearly 6000 leaflets and got in so many discussions with students during the morning invitations that it is hard to tell the number. Many many of them are people who long to speak and to search for something more in life than life can offer, yet they do not have where to turn much.
There is a big antagonism towards Christianity. Students generally are disappointed by Christianity and the Church and do not feel that Christianity can give any answers. As one student told me, he sees no answers in Christianity because at school his religious teacher was not interested in him. What a pity! They see Christianity as being bankrupt. And yet, they do not know much about Christianity.
Most of the students (and I mean ‘most’) are believers. They do believe in a rather strange, self-created god and has a deep perception of transcendence. The best that I can articulate about their believes is that they are ‘panentheists’. It simply means that they think that there is some kind of deity or some kind of cosmic power that comes from outside this world.
At the end of the week many many students in the university knew about Unexpected Students Days. They knew about a strange Christian group that is organizing the event. Some of them became more open to come and talk. Some of them were greeting us in the hallways of the Uni. We as Christians need to be very open about who we are and then by simply being present we become an attraction to many people. They do start to trust, they do start to be open.
I am confident that during the next several years Christian student group will stay in the memory of many students and they will be able to react better to other events run by LKSB or people who will say that they belong to that group.
For LKSB group and for everyone who was involved in the mission week it was very encouraging. We did grow in our faith and in our likeness to Jesus in our service. We became more confident in the One whom we believe and we will be able to be more open about what we believe. We will be more courageous.
I should mention Mark Drama as a very special event. We think that it would not have been possible to do it if not mission week. But for the reason of the mission week many people decided to dedicate their time and energy to build the drama. Everyone whom I asked from the drama team were very impressed by the drama and are willing to do it again and again, and again… For those who came to watch drama it left very big impression as well.
The mission week in itself, although is very important, is not the end. As I mentioned before there are lots of benefits (and surely I did not mention all of them) of the mission week for LKSB. But we need to continue what we have started. It might be even bigger challenge! We will continue by inviting those interested to Christianity Explored.
Many thanks to everyone who prayed, remembered, were interested in the mission week. Special thanks to our friends from Latvia, UK, US who personally were present.