Despite only having met briefly one other time she answered quite candidly when I inquired about how she was doing. She told me about the stresses of her university life and the loneliness she felt there. Then she looked at me and said, “I am just going to tell you. I used to have an eating disorder and I am struggling again.” She spoke to me so humbly in her broken English and I knew God had allowed our paths to cross.
Larisa is an international student from Russia. She is passionately in love with God and believes that He has sent her to Ukraine with a purpose greater than just a diploma.
Ukraine is a difficult place for Larisa though. Her classes are taught in Ukrainian, a language she doesn’t know and is trying to learn, and at the same time she is trying to learn English. Studies that take hours for any student takes her an even greater amount of time because she doesn’t understand the language.
Before finding CCX’s English club Larisa was discouraged and felt completely alone. Not only has she found a place to practice her English with native speakers, but more importantly she has found some solid Christian students that are at her university. They meet together on Friday afternoons to pray for one another and for their peers.
I received an email recently from Larisa, below is an excerpt:
“I thank God for such blessing for me and I can not explain how it is important for me. God really uses you for encouraging me in that hard and stressful time for me. Through you God give very much especially now He restores my identity in Him.”
Please pray for Larisa that she will continue to find her identity in Christ and be able to conquer the obstacles that university life here holds for her. Pray also for the Christian students as they meet, pray and encourage one another, that they will also find ways to reach out to their peers in the university.
This Saturday we will be hosting a large group gathering for our Christian students as an opportunity for them to get together from the various universities and build relationships with one another. It will also hopefully be a time of empowering them to reach out to their peers and some creative planning for specific ways to do this.
On a personal point, please pray for wisdom as I help lead the prayer time, but also please pray that I am healthy by Saturday. I spent most of last night tossing and turning, while also alternating between freezing and sweating, and this morning found me with a swollen throat that feels a bit like I swallowed needles.