I (Mark) have started up doctoral studies again. I had enrolled in the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Leuven, Belgium several years ago, but withdrew because I was not quite ready in a number of different areas (including financially). But I feel like the Lord is leading me to return.
You might ask, “Why doctoral studies?” Well, in most any vocation, there is ongoing education. People work at something for a while, and discover after a while that they need some further instruction. Time in a job can often reveal holes or needs for further instruction. Many jobs mandate a certain number of hours each year in continuing education.
Well, I have been in Ukraine for 9 year now. I feel like there are some areas that I need help on. So if you are a teacher, how do you get further education? You go back to school. So I am pursuing the next level. I am not planning to get this degree so that I can leave Ukraine. Rather, I want to receive further instruction so that I can do what I am doing in Ukraine better.
Please pray for me during this process, that I can learn and do the work, and that we can afford the tuition. The benefit of this program is that I will only be required to be in Belgium one week out of the year. So I will not need to leave ministry in Ukraine in order to study. And I am already putting my studies into use in my teaching, so it is very practical. Thank you for your prayers. Below is a picture from my time there a few weeks ago.
Each day we had a chapel worship service that always ended with a time in prayer. Most of the students are missionaries, but most are not American missionaries. And they serve in every part of the world. There is even a student from Baghdad, who unfortunately, because of visa problems, was not able to attend this year’s session. We spent time praying for each other’s countries. It was exciting to see what God is doing all over the world. There were even two students from Ukraine studying for their degrees. Praise the Lord.