VAN MODEPRAATJIES TOT GELOOF IN DIE OEKRAÏNE 

Of dit nou gesprekke is oor modegiere of intieme geselsies oor ‘n koppie koffie – elke interaksie met ander bied die geleentheid om God se groot liefde te deel met diegene wat oor ons pad kom. As dit met liefde en toegeneentheid gedoen word, word ‘n nuwe wêreld ontsluit wat oor taalgrense en geloofsverskille strek. Gelowiges moet soek na sulke kreatiewe maniere om God se Woord en Sy alomteenwoordige liefde met ander te deel.   

Die doel heilig die middele, word gesê. Die FEBC-radiospan sal dan ook geen steen onaangeroer laat om ‘n platform te skep waar hulle met gemak ‘n gesprek oor God se werke kan begin; en om Sy liefde met andere te deel nie. Ons luisteraars in die Oekraïne is baie uiteenlopend en kreatiewe maniere is dikwels nodig om ‘n gemeenskaplike aanknopingspunt te vind wat almal aktief by die gesprekke betrek. 

Die gespreksonderwerp oor modegiere met vroue van verskillende ouderdomme was die ideale (en baie kreatiewe) manier om die belangrikheid van self-liefde en -aanvaarding te demonstreer. Baie vinnig het hierdie gesprekke dan tot geleenthede gelei om die Evangelie te deel met ‘n baie ingewikkelde en kontrasterende groep mense wat wissel tussen dié met streng tradisionele geloofsoortuigings en ‘n jonger generasie wat baie meer liberaal en vrydenkend is. 

Die Oekraïne is pragtig en interessant, maar met ‘n baie ingewikkelde religieuse geskiedenis en  landskap. Die FEBC-span is in die proses om ‘n evangelisasie sentrum te vestig in Kiev. Daar is tans sewe FM-stasies oor die land versprei. ‘n Aanlyn program word in Kiev gebruik om luisteraars te bereik.  Om die suksesvolle mylpaal werklik na waarde te skat, moet die leser die religieuse geskiedenis van die land ken en verstaan. Hierdie forum het nie die ruimte om die ingewikkelde geskiedenis weer te gee nie, maar diegene wat belangstel in geskiedenis, kan gerus die volgende onlangse artikel raadpleeg vir meer agtergrond: The Conversation: Why a centuries old religious dispute over Ukraine’s Orthodox church matters today, by Victoria Smolkin. 

Alhoewel die Oekraïne al sedert die jaar 998 amptelik onder Prins Vladimir die Grote as ‘n Christenland begin bekend staan het, het die daaropvolgende meer as 300 jaar baie uitdagings meegebring. Oor eeue heen was die behoefte aan ‘n onafhanklike kerk ‘n geestelike brandpunt, en in 1991 het die Oekraïne amptelik onafhanklikheid verkry. Die verlange na godsdiensvryheid en na ‘n eie kerk, is verwesenlik met die vestiging van die Ortodokse Kerk van Oekraïne in 2018. Die indrukwekkende St Michael’s klooster met sy pragtige goue koepels word tans as die moederkerk gebruik. 

Vir eeue het die Oekraïnse en Russiese Ortodokse kerke te midde van ‘n mengelmoes van verskeie ander religieuse invloede gefunksioneer met ook ‘n beduidende en florerende Joodse gemeenskap. Statistieke wys daarop dat van die ongeveer 45 miljoen mense, ‘n indrukwekkende 30 miljoen hul nou met die Ortodokse Christendom identifiseer. 

Die ouer gardes bly vaskleef aan hul geloofsoortuigings en aan die ander kant van die spektrum is die jong klomp wat baie dinge bevraagteken. Die uitdaging is om ‘n middeweg te vind wat byval sal vind by albei groepe. Ons span het groot sukses behaal deur modegiere as ‘n vertrekpunt te gebruik, en daarmee is luisteraars geprikkel om aan die programme deel te neem. Die modepraatjies was net die aanknopingspunt om ‘n geleentheid te skep waar diep en indringende vrae oor geloof in die 21ste eeu bespreek kon word.  Die terugvoer van die luisteraars demonstreer die beginsel dat liefde en aanvaarding die wenresep is wat almal kan gebruik om mense nader aan Jesus te bring. 

Polina het haarself beskryf as spiritueel eerder as gelowig. Sy het gereeld joga en ander spirituele praktyke beoefen, maar het steeds na “iets meer” verlang.  Aanvanklik het sy nie van die FEBC-Oekraïne uitsendings gehou nie omdat sy haar eie praktyke begin bevraagteken het.  Vreemd genoeg het sy wel aangehou luister en toe ook begin deelneem aan die aanlynbesprekings. 

Ina, die gasvrou van die program, het Polina se stad besoek en uitgereik na haar.  Hierdie keer was die gesprek oor ‘n koppie koffie die platform wat die perfekte geleentheid gebied het om oor God te gesels en Ina kon getuig van die ingrypende veranderings wat God in haar eie persoonlike lewe bewerkstellig het. Dit was die begin van die verandering in Polina se eie lewe. Sy het agterna laat weet dat sy God ervaar  en gevind het. ‘n Lig wat sy in Ina se oë waargeneem het, was vir haar die aanduiding  dat dit slegs van God kan kom. 

Daar is geen uitdaging te groot vir ons span nie, en ons bly baie dankbaar dat hul eie geloofsoortuigings so duidelike spreek in hulle uitsaai- en uitreikgeleenthede. 

 

Geskryf deur: FEBA Radio SA


FASHION-TALK MAKES WAY FOR JESUS IN UKRAINE

Whether it’s a conversation about fashion trends or an intimate conversation over a cup of coffee, every interaction with others offers the opportunity to share God’s great love with those who come our way. If this is done with love and affection, a new world is unlocked that transcends language barriers and religious differences. Believers should always look for creative ways to share God’s word and His unfailing love with others.

It is said that the end, justifies the means. FEBC’s team in Ukraine, have left no stone unturned by using social media platforms to start meaningful conversations about God; and to share His love with others. Our listeners in Ukraine are very diverse and creativity is often required to effectively engage with them in conversation.

They use relatable topics like women fashion trends, to connect with women of different ages and teach them the importance of self-love and acceptance. These conversations always open the door for deeper spiritual conversations about God with varying audiences – those who have strict traditional beliefs and a younger generation of liberal free thinkers.

Ukraine is both beautiful and rich in history – a city of artisans, with a complex religious history and landscape. Over the past few months, FEBC’s team have been in the process of establishing a new Evangelism Center in Kiev that will soon be launched. There are currently seven FM stations spread across the country. An online audio and video streaming platform is used in Kiev to reach listeners, while FM frequencies are being used in other parts of the country. To truly value this incredible milestone, one must understand the religious history of the country. Sadly, this forum does not contain enough space to go into the meticulous details about their complicated history, however those who have an interest in history can read the following article for more information; The Conversation: Why a centuries old religious dispute over Ukraine’s Orthodox church matters today, by Victoria Smolkin.

Although Ukraine was officially recognized as a Christian country since 998 under the rule of Prince Vladimir the Great, over the course of the ensuing 300 years the country endured many hardships; which include atrocities like genocide, persecution and even starvation at the hands of their leaders. For centuries, spiritually, the need for an independent church was their primary focus, and in 1991, Ukraine officially gained independence. The longing for religious freedom and for their own church was realized with the establishment of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in 2018. The impressive St Michael’s monastery with its beautiful golden domes currently serves as the nation’s mother church.

For centuries, the Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox churches functioned in the midst of various other religious influences, including a large and flourishing Jewish community. Statistics show that out of approximately 45 million people, an impressive 30 million, now identify with Orthodox Christianity.

Elders continue to cling to their traditional roots and on the opposite end of the spectrum, the young love to question everything. The challenge is to find middle ground with topics that can appeal to both of these groups. Our team in Ukraine has achieved much success by using popular every day topics like fashion trends as a starting point, and with this, they are able to encourage listeners to become active participants of their programs. By winning the hearts of listeners, the door to communication about faith is immediately opened. Feedback from listeners clearly demonstrates the principle that love and acceptance is the winning recipe for bringing people closer to Jesus.

Polina, considered herself ‘spiritual’ but not religious. She flirted with yoga and other spiritual practices, but she felt like there was more. “When I started listening to FEBC Ukraine, I found myself being challenged by what I heard, and I didn’t like that. Still, I was drawn to the program, and soon I was taking part in the discussion online.”

When Inna, a host of the show, came to Polina’s city, she reached out to Polina. “We met for coffee, and I told her about God and what He has done in my life,” said Inna.

After the meeting, Polina wrote, “I experienced God. I saw a light in your eyes, and I know it can only have come from the Lord.”

There is no challenge too great for our team, and we are so grateful that their faith is boldly demonstrated through their broadcasts and outreach efforts.

Written by: FEBA Radio SA