Two very silly girls.

Writing from my new office.  With Broderic and Bronwyn now in the US, a bit of space opened up in our house.  We shuffled the little girls to another room and opened up the western facing bedroom, fresh coat of paint, old desk, done!  We have missed the sun.  It seems to hibernate all winter, rarely coming out to encourage us.

The past few weeks I’ve been buried in seminary tasks, reading, and some writing.  I fell behind almost immediately because I wasn’t aware how the online system worked – I don’t like learning new systems, but the content itself has been rewarding.

Life throws some pretty radical curves at us, doesn’t it?  Just when you think you’ve mapped things out a bit, change.  Never imagined being back in school, the thought terrified me.  I wasn’t a great student, I’m hands on and not a linear, didactic learner. I’m encouraged the the Lord has me in a relevant place of learning – among existing leaders, in a cohort that is fully andragogy (adult) learning based. It’s quite fascinating.

My classmates for the next few years, Lord willing.

Students are from all over the world, but also places in life and careers.  One guy writes for New York Times, another from InterVarsity.  Several are missionaries non unlike ourselves running various business and missional efforts that are quite interesting!  Cool map eh?

I haven’t really talked about how this all came about.  It’s really quite amazing, and one of the few ‘miracle’ type events in my life I can fully attribute to God inserting His hand. When you sense God in something, you tend to relax with a peace but also really don’t want to screw it up! 🙂

Easter Dinner in Kiev with our friends Andrei & Olya Murzin – they helped us settle on moving to Ukraine +10yrs ago!

The first quarter of this MAGL course at Fuller is all about taking inventory, learning how we learn, and how our life experiences have shaped us.  By the end of this quarter I submit my ‘learning plan’ which I will then follow for the remainder of the Master of Arts in Global Leadership program.

This July our family, thanks to family in Canada, will be coming over for a month.  During that stay I will need to attend a week seminar with the crew from this Cohort – it will be really cool to meet them all.

I’m just getting into a rhythm in the day of reading/writing, balancing Lighthouse and missionary stuff but now have to leave for Russia on Monday for a week.  What’s cool though is the program realizes we’re all leading active lives and allows us to move ahead and plan for such things.

One of the areas I’m most excited to grow in is leadership development, particularly in the context of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia where there seems to a real emergence of non-traditional church communities. I’m increasingly out of touch with the west, what’s happening with Trump, and the many issues of race, church, gender equality. To be effective in what God is growing us in here to the Russian speaking world, we need to have our pulse on global issues (not just American), but be wrestling through our own relevant challenges as well. To do that, with others in similar context (westerners no longer in the west), theologically and philosophically I’m thinking will be pretty cool!

Pray for me, this requires more discipline that I’m used to having with my time.  I’m now looking at areas to cut, like social media, which is sort of a life-line but also distraction.   Pray for Deb also, this impacts her as much as anyone as I’m left to juggle more things.  I do sense His grace and favor on us for this season, for our marriage as well – but we do appreciate prayer!

Speaking of the lovely Deb, thanks to very generous and dear friends in Texas, will be coming with me to Vladivostock on Monday.  I’m almost finished preparing – I will be sharing on pioneering business and ministry to a group of gathered YWAM + partners in the Russian speaking world.

I’m excited to challenge these guys actually, a lot of eager learners looking for non-traditional ways of impacting culture. God cares about the heart, and I do hope the He uses me to inspire them to look beyond ideas and money.  One session I’m really looking forward to sharing on is called, “Living an investable life”.  I don’t think investable is a word, but that’s ok!

Registration table as this week we hosted 50 students for pizza day – great connections!

Loving the weather, wishing for more time in the day to enjoy it.

Please pray for:

  • YWAM Russia Trip & Confernce Next Week
  • Lighthouse team (new lunch menu launched this week, really hoping we can improve our financial situation this way, still very challenging).
  • YFM team finishes up next weekend, for safe returns!
  • Next weekend we are piloting a Weekend of Prayer/Worship at the ‘Big House’.. opening up to those who want to come from the city, or area and in/out join us for continuous 50hrs of prayer!
  • Bronwyn has a new job, likes it so far, now needs car.. welcome to America!
  • Pray for our kids while we are away, kind of a crazy schedule of babysitters as our older two are in language lessons in Kiev during week.
  • Kiev platform, we had 2nd meeting last week, only a couple showed up for prayer but was encouraging time – inspired me to host this weekend thing. Please keep praying for a place, timing, and His hand!
  • Emerging leaders and development.. this is one area the MAGL course has already stoked in me, to be more proactive in learning with those around me as an effective way to disciple.  We’re trained to think of leaders as the ‘sage on the stage’, but that’s more of a teacher-child type of learning – I want to be a better ‘guide on the side’ in my leadership role as I grow in Christ and others.