This semester in iConnect
Despite ongoing restrictions and the sense of uncertainty in the world, we have been so grateful to have the opportunity to continue our events for international students in Sofia and Varna.
In Sofia, students have enjoyed having their weekly meetings – every Tuesday they gather for Explore groups, where they discuss life’s big questions like happiness, freedom, suffering, truth, just to name a few! And they explore what Jesus said about these things. Every Thursday they gather for a Bible study, where students come to learn more about the message of Jesus, and what we can learn from it and apply to our lives today to be better followers of Him. Every Saturday is something different and fun – games nights, film nights, trips and more!
Just last week they hosted a film night, where they watched Groundhog Day and discussed it’s themes. This led to some really good conversations about the topics of uncertainty and loneliness. It was great to hear students share their honest experiences and how we can learn from each other and benefit one another.
This month they are planning a few Christmas events, including baking Christmas cookies, and hosting a Christmas party.
This is what Danielle, a student from our international group, shared about iConnect:
“ iConnect had been a really great thing for me because it’s all about fellowship and fun. I’ve gotten to know a lot of new people and I got to know other people better. I’ve loved the Bible studies, because everyone has a say and can share their opinions and we can all learn from each other. I love everyone that’s involved and everyone that gives their time to organise it. It means a lot to me, and has really been a blessing to me.”
In iConnect Varna, international students meet also every Tuesday, but this is a day for online Bible study, where they explore the book of Genensis. Thursdays they meet for a Bible study in person, where they read, share opinions and strengthen their faith together. Saturdays are fun-days! Sometimes it is a board-game evening, sometimes Bulgarian club or Escape room.
A favorite tradition of the international groups in Bulgaria is to celebrate Thanksgiving together! Obviously this is not a Bulgarian holiday, but it is a fun chance for the American staff workers to share part of their culture with the students, and to talk to students about being thankful to God for everything that we have. Usually this is one big dinner, but because of the situation things were a little bit different this year. Still, more than 20 students gathered over two evenings in Varna to celebrate together. Students did a great job inviting their friends, so there were several new students who were attending the group for the first time, and at least 10 different countries were represented. It was a wonderful time of food and fellowship, and we are grateful we had the chance to still gather together in this way! We can’t wait for Christmas!
We’re grateful for the growing community at iConnect and are excited for 2021 and all that God will do in this next year!