Report on Outreach in Zoazerne, Ukraine

Report by Roger Brind

Fimiam Church in Lutsk have developed an outreach among mainly professional people who need to learn English. Each summer they organise a summer school which is attended by up to 1000 people. As a follow up they run a course during the winter for two semesters of 10 weeks one evening each week and for the last two winters have run a “Retreat Weekend” in Zoazerne.

I was asked to bring a team of English mother tongue speakers to help with this activity. Travers and Jane Harpur from Essex and Martin Hewitt from Herefordshire joined me. The aim is to teach English but also to be a witness of the good news. The overall topic was Kingdom and we taught about the United Kingdom, its history, culture, traditions etc in the main teaching sessions and then each evening one or two of us spoke about our personal history and how we had come into the Kingdom of God.

In addition to then main lectures there were study and activity groups and time for relaxation when we had several serious discussions. I had one into the early hours of the morning for example with a group of men on creation and evolution and this was while sitting in temperatures of -18 in a Ukrainian Chan – something like a hot tub!

Here is the report of our Ukrainian Co-workers, “A retreat for students of the Practical English School took place February 23-25. We are so grateful to the people who financially supported the retreat and physically joined our team to help. This support partially covered the cost of food and lodging at the Retreat Centre for people who were unable to pay the full price. About 80 people participated in the retreat. They spoke English and had a splendid time in the Christian fellowship. We are glad that many of them became more open to conversations on biblical topics and life questions. We believe God is doing His work.”