EXIT Tour Round 2 with New Life!

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blogCrossfyaflyerAfter two months “off EXIT Tour”, we were back on. Our local church, New Life, in Lviv, where we have served for 10 years(!), was up next in line for an EXIT Tour. They had booked a band out of England, Crossfya, which was the same group that came last year and did a similar project. However last year we were granted only 2 hours in each school, and the tour was not promoted by the Dept. of Education in Lviv. Now we have more officially developed our program – we have even hired a full-time Ukrainian staff person, Nadya Vorobyova! Congrats, Nadya! (See the redhead next to Ben in the photo.) You are rocking it! Plus, June 15th-ish, Lee and Katie Humerian are moving to Ukraine to help further develop this program.

EXIT Tour ended last Friday, and we are still thinking about it. It is a huge commitment, and it will wipe you out physically, but the fruit that it produces and the connection of teens to a local church is so well worth it. On this tour I got to teach another 12 rounds of Personality Testing and Conflict Management with Classmates. It was so fun. Yulia and Yara from church were my translators. I really enjoyed teaching with them.

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Praising God for the 14 new kids that came to EXIT Club #1, for the 67 new kids that came to EXIT Club #2, for the 325 people in attendance at the final Friday night concert, and 62 new kids for the afterparty follow-up on the day after the conference. At the first Fusion rock-pop choir rehearsal after EXIT, there were 15 new teenagers. At youth group on Friday, we had 5 new kids.

Our teenagers at New Life have done a great job of building new relationships and staying connected in new peoples’ lives. We trust that this will bring about many new kids who find hope and joy in Jesus and a new group of friends who will build them up and share life together according to the way that God has created us to live.

Here are some photo highlights of Exit Tour Lviv New Life:

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“IT IS NOT FOR SCHOOL BUT FOR LIFE THAT WE ARE BEING EDUCATED.”

One of the schools chosen for us by the Dept. of Education was Gymnasium 85, which was ranked in the top 10 secondary schools of Lviv! It also made the top 50 schools in Ukraine! That is a huge deal. Therefore, I wasn’t as surprised when the main sign out in front of that school was in Latin!

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86 schools eligible for our programs (this means that 7th-11th grade is taught in their school) never ceases to amaze me. On tour, Yulia reminded me of how many schools already have partnership with us and our programs. We are chipping away at this number, one school and one face at a time…

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I love this picture above because this was at our second Exit Club, when 67 new kids came. We played a lot of games and hung out, but we also did a sharing time. Tim, from the Crossfya band, had a chance to share his personal story of why and how he chose to follow Jesus Christ when he was 16 years old. We pray that many teens were inspired, transformed, and saved because of Tim’s willingness to boldly share Christ in front of many. Syava also helped in sharing the Gospel, and we would be no where without Olya’s amazing translation skills, which often bring the Christian message from English into to Ukrainian THROUGH HER. This is a joint effort. Like here, where Olya, Christy and Chris are all on stage, bringing their personalities into light in order to bless large bodies of students, not even caring if this is an event for their local church or someone else’s. It is all about the shared effort we in Josiah Venture Ukraine play in order to make Jesus known.

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We praise God that He was glorified during EXIT tour. I had key conversations with two Rostyks that I have known for many years from School 51. I love the fact that we didn’t even intentionally do Exit tour at 51 this year, yet the seeds planted from our work many years ago are budding and growing. One Rostyk finally accepted Christ after all these years! Another agreed to start playing floorball and reconnect with our church after a long (and he confessed, lonely) period away.

What kind of love is this??
God never stops drawing people to Himself. He died so that we might have life. Which life will you choose? It is up to each person individually. Choose Jesus! 

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