Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year, you have certainly heard of the troubles Ukraine is having with its aggressive neighbor, the Great Bear. As I write this post, Ukrainian friends of mine are gathering wood for the winter, under the looming specter of Putin shutting off gas supplies that flow from Russia. Yet God is alive and well in that part of the world, and the Spirit is moving in ways I'd like you to know about.
Last month I spoke at a conference in Kozin, just outside of Kiev, hosted for Christian educators and professionals. The compelling theme of the conference was: Connecting School, Society and the Professions in the Light of Christianity.
While Ukraine is at war, Christian educators, mostly elementary and secondary teachers/administrators, along with leaders from higher education and working professionals, came together for three days to focus on ways to better prepare students to apply the biblical worldview to their future professional occupations throughout society, in such areas as business, law, and civil service.
Was I dreaming? Indeed I was not! Here are some of the titles of presentations given at this conference:
A Biblical View of Work and its Significance for Education, The Role of the Professions in the Kingdom of God and their Relationship to the School, The School as a Moderator in the Formation of Future Professionals, The Influence of Christian Thinking on the Professions, A Christian’s View on the Profession of a Business Leader and its Significance for School Education, The Foundations of the Professions in the Elementary and Secondary School Curriculum, and, How to Help Schoolchildren Choose a Profession.
I have not seen anything like this in my own country, the USA. Here was a Christian educators' conference devoted entirely to the matter of elementary and secondary schools, along with universities, preparing the next generation to fulfill the Cultural Mandate by honoring God through professional vocations as followers of Christ in society. I hope the Ukrainians will carry this idea further, and create a model for other countries--including Russia, whose language they share. Why let something like war hold them back?
What is God doing in Ukraine? Plenty! Most of which you'll not hear about on CNN.
Below are some photos of the conference, courtesy of Ray Le Clair, the primary organizer:
|I introduced the group to my wife, Kathy, by showing them the photo on the screen taken at our wedding, 44 years ago. It is hard to see, but Kathy looks the same today as she did back then. Actually, better!|
|Most of the participants were teachers and principals from elementary and secondary schools. Representatives from higher education also participated.|
|Why were we all wearing coats? Because it was cold, with no central heat!|
|One of the most inspirational messages was by this Ukrainian business leader, Andriy Vasylenko, who runs a multi-million dollar company in a nation where many claim it is not possible to do business "by the rules," or to pay the required taxes. This highly successful Christian businessman boldly declared the opposite. You may visit his company at www.zeelandia.ua|
|Was I dreaming? Indeed, I was!|