The History of LKSB
Every story has its beginning, LKSB – is not an exception. However, even today it is unclear, when to celebrate LKSB birthday, in other words, what to consider as the beginning of the Fellowship. Is it the first acquaintances with students in universities, first group meeting or the first staff worker?.. Maybe it is the first prayer?
It is much easier when we remember the people – because the work of God always starts with inviting particular people at specific time. The first person of the LKSB „prehistory“ is Canada‘s Lithuanian Sandra Raudys. In 1979 she came to Lithuania for the first time and started communicating with the students. She was secretly sharing the gospel and provided Bibles. Eventually, the group of new believers emerged. Sandra shares about how fearfully she was waiting for the check up in the airport, during the one of her trips to Lithuania – in her suitcase Bibles and the recordings of Christian music were hidden. This time God protected in unusual way – the woman who was checking got so interested in the American fashion magazines, found in a bag, that she not even opened the suitcase…
In 1989 Swiss Hansjorg Baldinger, master of literary studies and active servant in VBG (Vereinigte Bibelgruppen – the union of Bible groups), gets the clear feeling, the invitation from God to come to Lithuania, to share the gospel and help with the IFES movement‘s establishment. In September 1990 he comes to Lithuania for the first time, where he establishes initial relations with churches. In Vilnius university Hansjorg teaches the first public lecture, in 1991 the firs students‘ Bible study group appears. In June Hansjorg visits Kaunas, where he establishes new relations at Vytautas Magnus university.
Eventually other Lithuanian cities: Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Panevėžys are visited and the leaders of different churches are met. In 1992 Jurgis Šečkus and Aušrinė Šečkuvienė become the first coordinators and Generals Secretories of LKSB. Evangelistic events, Bible studies and students’ camps are being organized by them. In July of 1993 the first leaders’ camp takes place at the home of Vaiva and Gintaras Butkai in Kačerginė. According to Hansjorg after the camp, LKSB started truly existing. During the period of 1990-1999 Hansjorg visited Lithuania around 35 times, with his help Lithuania receives financial support from Swiss.
1992-1996 were full of volunteering students and workers from abroad. Hansjorg actually contributed to it a lot. In summer of 1992, for the temporary visit, comes the first Christian students‘ group from Canada. The leader of a group Buff Cox is inspired by the previously mentioned Canada‘s Lithuanian Sandra Raudys. In September of 1993 comes another Canadian team to spend one year in Lithuania. The leader of the team was Dorothy Kieft. The ministry of the team was really fruitful – it brought more stability into LKSB. Six Canadians volunteers during this period come separately to work and live with students in Vilnius and Kaunas. In 1994 LKSB has a pleasure to meet Norwegian Halldis Pollen, who worked as a teacher in Kaunas and was as a spiritual mother for both, Canadians and Lithuanians.
The period of 1995-1999 is special in the history of LKSB because of a growth of local initiative. In 1995-1996 appear the first workers in other towns: Diana Meškauskaitė starts LKSB group in Klaipėda, Renata Mažeikaitė – in Panevėžys, Artūras Ulčinas starts working in Kaunas. The structure of LKSB strengthens – the first council of advisors in LKSB is brought together (chairman – Juras Grincevičius), the graduates unite. Some of them start supporting LKSB financially or by working as volunteers. In 1997 Rima Lahayne starts serving students as a volunteer in Šiauliai. Furthermore, the association starts getting stronger and receives juridical status of association – in 1995 it is registered as the non-governmental organization, in 1999 at global assembly in Seoul officially becomes a member of IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students).
Since 1999 traditional evangelic English summer camp together with a team of students from Christian students’s movement in England is being organized every year. Volunteering workers of IFES come from England for the long-term mission. Graduates’ meetings still continue. More and more of them are supporting LKSB, the initiative of volunteering grows. A few books are translated and published: Ada Lum “Discovering Jesus”; John Stott “Te Message of the Sermon on the Mount”, “Identity” (Mark’s gospel) ect. Also the seminar material for Christian students’ training: “How to Become a Contagious Christian?” and “Images of Leadership”. Articles are constantly being published in LKSB website, in which Holger Lahayne is faithfully serving LKSB since 2001.
From 2013 mission weeks are being organised every year instead of summer camps. The first mission week called “Unexpected Student Days” took place at Vytautas Magnus university in Kaunas. In 2014 an evangelistic Bible study course “Christianity Explored” is being published in Lithuanian. A new evangelistic project “Mark Drama” starts up. LKSB Board publishes a book with the most important documents describing the identity and structure of LKSB. In 2017 a new international student ministry is starting in Kaunas.
To establish LKSB, God remarkably used people with different nationalities, languages, cultures: Swiss, Germans, British, Danes, Norwegian, Canadian, Lithuanians etc. It shows, that God especially values diversity, through which He implements His plans. We are not able to mention all the people of LKSB: the volunteers, active students, advisers and sponsors... however, we know that during the different periods, in different cities there were always people, who were thirsty to share the gospel with students and God knows each one of them.