Teaching Ukrainian students the final module of their 8-month GLOMOS Foundations course and then presenting awards to the graduates has been a big 2018 highlight for me. However, I knew that some of the students may never have seen a black man face-to-face before so there was a big surprise in store. Small towns and villages in the Ukraine are highly unlikely to have experienced much ethnic diversity so this was definitely going to be a memorable trip.
I definitely raised several eyebrows and became the topic of numerous discussions. One student asked to feel the texture of my hair and when I visited a kids camp, two children asked for my autograph - my first! Having said that, the thing that impacted me the most was seeing God at work in the lives of our GLOMOS students, often challenging them to embrace their calling and address the common leadership struggles of Christendom.
There was quite a range of experience and depth of understanding amongst the students. Access to theological training is limited in Ukraine, especially for those who are now working. I had a very strong sense that as the students were being 'rooted and grounded' in love for God, the churches and people that they represented were being raised to new levels of spiritual maturity.
A visit to a Roma children’s camp was such a blessing, especially because it was run by GLOMOS graduates. The graduates lovingly connect to the children both practically and spiritually and this opens the door to their families. Other Christian leaders who reach out to the Roma community are now expressing a desire to receive GLOMOS training.