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Ukraine: how Olya is reaching teenagers in Kiev

Young people in Ukraine seem to think church is boring. They’re sceptical about the church’s motives and feel like it has nothing relevant to say, say mission pioneers Innovista ...

Young people in Ukraine seem to think church is boring. They’re sceptical about the church’s motives and feel like it has nothing relevant to say, say mission pioneers Innovista.

Even young people who grow up going to church think it’s dull. Many of them go to church only because their parents take them. But when they’re old enough to choose for themselves, they stay away.

Olya is one of the leaders Innovista is training to lead mission better, reaching teenagers in Kiev. She estimates that when young people in Ukraine finish Sunday School, less than half of them continue going to church.

"They see their parents going to church," says Olya, "but they don’t know why."

Faith is more than a Sunday event

Olya (30, pictured) has a passion for this generation of young people who are leaving the church. She desperately wants to see them coming to know Jesus for themselves.

"I want to help young people understand that Christianity is more than just a Sunday event."

As part of her mission, Olya leads summer camps for teenagers and students. It’s an opportunity for them to see Jesus through fresh eyes and engage with the Bible in ways that are relevant to them.
And it’s working.

Following Jesus for the first time

This summer, Olya witnessed different young people making decisions to follow Jesus for the first time in their life. One evening at camp, the young people were discussing the Bible. Suddenly, without prompting, one of the girls came to know Jesus.

She was one of four young people at the camp who decided to change their lives and follow Jesus.
Most of them have been going to church for years with their parents. But they’d never before made this faith their own.

Now, because of Olya and her team, young people who have been in church all their lives are meeting Jesus for the first time.
 

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