Today is June 29th, which means tomorrow is June 30th, which means it is the last day of final exams in Lviv, Ukraine for all university students. You can feel the excitement in the air – summer is almost here and so is the freedom that is found there. Summer is only two months in Ukraine, so September 1st will once again start the old school year again for MOST of our Pilgrims.
However, there are approximately 10 graduating seniors this year at Youth to Jesus, and the month of June has been a bit more freeing for them then the other students. This, of course, is only after an oral defense of their 60-80 page diploma paper, and confirmation that they have no outstanding library books from any of the university libraries. (I say approximately 10 because those are just our committed regulars. There are a bunch of others that are in and out of our doors, but do they really consider themselves one of us? We’re not sure.)
All of our ‘seniors’ graduated after their fifth year. A four year degree is a bacholor’s degree while adding another year qualifies as a masters. And just like in America, the job search has begun. One young lady just took a job as a journalist for an English speaking company that is launching both a new website and TV channel in Ukraine, two are working in the tourist industry, one is working for us, one is hoping to become a lawyer somewhere in Lviv, one is hoping to immigrate to America, and the other four have no idea.
The hardest part about our seniors graduating is that because we are a student organization most of them will probably leave us, and this makes us sad, especially when we have enjoyed this group of students so much and they are such strong leaders. We are hoping to plug some of them into the United Methodist Church and help others find church homes that they feel are better fits. And even though David and I have a strict policy at the student center of needing to be a student to be on the leadership team or to lead a small group, we might bend those rules a little this next semester while we are home on furlough.
It’s hard to let go of such an amazing group.