In Uzhgorod, Ukraine
One Collective | August 8, 2017
Uzhgorod is a university town with 20% of its population of 120,000 attending one of the two universities or one of the several colleges or institutes. One cannot ignore this significant block of young people when thinking about this city. In addition, over 2000 foreign medical students, primarily from Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim countries, have been brought to our doorstep.
We have opened Connections Café as a place to build relationships with these students and have conversations about Jesus. Comfortable seating and tables with the best coffee in town encourages community. The Connections Café also provides multiple plugs for students to charge their accessories, high-speed internet, and a video game room for those who just want some recreation.
This last quarter we focused on bringing students to Connections Café. We partnered with a World Race Team and a team from Judson University to talk with students in the streets. Many students also came to the café because of the following events.
We hosted a medical seminar with an Indian-American doctor with over 150 foreign medical students attending. Most of the students are from India, and already dozens of them have become regulars in the café – many are wearing their hijabs. These students are attracted to the fact that their patronage goes towards helping the poor people in Uzhgorod.
Nearly 50 students attended a game night, and we hosted a worship night for students who follow Jesus. We began a volleyball league and already over 75 are participating. We are also planning to host an outreach concert in the city with a follow-up with the bands at Connections Café the following night for a more intimate show on our stage. This will be the launch of our weekly young adult club called 6PM.
The Connections Café truly provides the environment for students to connect with each other and with our team.