What is Slovenia like?
Slovenia is a beautiful post-communist central European country nestled between the Austrian Alps and the Mediterranean Sea. To the west is Italy and the east is Croatia, with a corner bordering on Hungary. With largely rural geography and outlook, almost every spot in Slovenia is within sight of a church building, or at least a crucifix or shrine, although very few are visited regularly.
Most Slovenes have never even met a Bible-believing Christian. Less than a 1000 people in the whole country would call themselves evangelical, about 0.03% of the population. Churches are very small and isolated. In general, Slovenes would consider evangelicals to be members of a harmless sect - if they were aware that they existed at all. The challenges for sharing the gospel are overwhelming for local Christian. They need our help!
The Union of Evangelical Students of Slovenia (ZVESh) is a small pioneering fellowship with only a handful of members and supporters. We have contact with Christians in only a few faculties. In addition to this, it is generally illegal to hold religious activities at University.
What will the team do?
The IFES InterAction team will play a vital role in supporting the national movement, which is still very much in the pioneering phase. As there is no annual intake of Christian students ministry in general is focused on contacting and evangelism. Though there is flexibility for the team member's area of interest and abilities, the work is basically outreach to international and national students, supporting and encouraging ZVESh in the various aspects of this work, and meeting weekly for their own personal encouragement, prayer and training.
What are the main areas of ministry?
ZVESh work involves: friendship, hospitality, evangelistic Bible studies, public talks, web/blog work, open evenings, prayer groups and inter/national camps and conferences. Cooperative participation, friendship and hospitality are the bread and butter of a good team member. Other skills, particularly computing, would be very useful.
What is the present state of the work?
At the moment we regularly run public events at the start of the academic year in October, with international guest speakers holding talks and debates in several locations around Slovenia. Following such outreach events we launch Bible discussion groups in English or Slovene where possible. Both English-speaking foreign students and Slovene students enjoy practising their English while meeting for Bible study.
What about accommodation, living costs, courses, jobs for InterAction team members?
The majority of living expenses will need to be raised beforehand, and proof of sufficient means of support is a visa requirement for non-EU citizens. Costs are comparable to most western European countries and would amount to about 8000 euro/year.
Accommodation: Candidates need to find and pay for their own accommodation (200-300 euro/month + expenses). If an enrolled full time student then shared student dorms may be available.
There are opportunities to earn money as an English language proof reader for professional articles (good level of English required; you are at an advantage if you have specialist areas such as science, medicine etc). Also ESL possibilities.
What special requirements are there for joining a Slovene InterAction team?
A visa is required for non-European Union citizens. Visa requirements include a proof of ability to support yourself, and adequate health insurance. Slovene language is not a requirement, but it is helpful to undertake some language study while in Slovenia.
Some Web sites:
Guide to living and working in Slovenia
Comprehensive government guide to legal requirements regarding living and primarily working in Slovenia, in particular work, tax, visa laws etc. Good links to other relevant sites - website.