When Jenny Elliff and her family first came to Eurasia to start Chi Alpha groups, she faced discouragement. She wanted to begin building relationships with the university girls that she met, but between the reserved nature of the people in the Baltic cultures where she was working, and fact that she didn’t have a lot in common with them, she found it hard to develop the bonds of friendship that would allow her to share Christ with them.
But as she was praying about how to overcome these obstacles, she felt like the Lord spoke to her this simple message: “Use what you have.”
What Jenny had was a passion for fitness. She’d gotten involved with a CrossFit group before leaving the United States, and wanted to continue with her workouts in Eurasia. The girls she was meeting didn’t care a lot about exercise, but they did care about their figures, so by developing a community-driven fitness challenge, Jenny was able to invite many of the girls to come and exercise with her, and begin developing true friendships with them.
Most of the people in the Baltic nations where Jenny works (places like Estonia and Lithuania) have no desire to even go into a church building. So one of the only ways to open doors for the gospel message is through friendships and community events. And the Lord is using Jenny’s passion for fitness to open some of those doors.
But the work of sharing the gospel among university students is far from over. In fact, of the 5 major university towns in the Baltics area, there is really only one with a strong Chi Alpha presence and a church that is able to support it.
There is a desperate need for the gospel in this part of the world—only one percent or so of the population are Evangelical Christians. Those living in these nations need to hear the good news of the hope that can be found in Jesus. And as Paul says in Romans 10:14, “How can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
Would you be praying for a few things with us?
- That the girls who have participated in these fitness challenges and events would continue to be involved so that the workers in Estonia can build relationships with them
- That the leaders of the Chi Alpha groups would be encouraged in their work and confident in their calling, even when it seems like things are moving slowly
- That God would raise up people who are willing to come to the Baltics with Chi Alpha or church planting teams to spread the gospel to those who need to hear it
Thanks so much for your prayers, and for being a part of this community. We couldn’t do this without you. And if you want to find out more about coming to the Baltics, check out the opportunities to come to Eurasia Northwest here.
Also, if you’re interested in giving to the work that Jenny and here family are doing, you can do that securely here.