Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

מלחמות ושמועות מלחמות – Wars and Rumors of Wars

Written by: on January 25, 2024

מלחמות ושמועות מלחמות (pronounced: melchamot veshemuot melchamot) – Aramaic for Wars and rumors of wars.

Part 1:  Introduction

Part 2: What lessons I took from Annabel

Part 3: Impact on GoodSports Ukraine



Matthew 24:6-7 (New King James Version): “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.”

Jesus said those words, and if one looks at the news reel we see Ukraine/Russia, Israel/Hamas, U.S. & U.K./Yemen, Iran/Iraq?, Iran/Pakistan?  As the world confronts a potential global conflict, I chose to focus on Annabel Beerel’s Rethinking Leadership[1] in these Leadership in times of crisis (chapter 7).

Part 2: What Lessons I took for Annabel.

In regard to the Covid pandemic, Beerel writes, “Suffice it to say that three major contributing factors were (a) a denial of reality, (b) lack of open communication, and (c) minimal if any collaboration between major institutions and world leaders” p. 163.

This statement so describes my running gun fight with my nonprofit International Board as I push for the establishment of a GoodSports Ukraine.   I must confess I have burnt some relational bridges on this topic this past 4 months. (Sigh..)  I see their denial of reality in Ukraine to be so limiting – they have their heads in the sand.  I see their lack of open communications as close-lipped denial (see point number one) because they are unable to communicate with those in the “field/Ukraine.”  They do not feel that we can establish a network of institutions in Ukraine that would make GSI Ukraine effective – have they even tried?

Sorry for venting.

 Part 3: Impact on GoodSports Ukraine

As GoodSports International (www.goodsportsinternational.org) develops a ministry response to Ukraine, there is a considerable negative response to the idea on the part of the GoodSports International Board.  Looking through my great disappointment, some of our previous authors, spoke into my dilemma.  Openness and less openness were highlighted in Robot Souls: programming in Humanity, By Eve Poole.[2] Poole reminded me that those on the board had never started exploratory mission trips overseas.  All live comfortably within the confines of the United States. Understanding this position allows me to reframe my approach in proposing a GoodSports Ukraine Operation.

In his book, Leadership: Theory and Practice, Peter Northouse[3] also highlighted for me that the difference between leader and manager imperatives were also impacting the nature of the boards leadership style. Three of the five board members are accountants. This kind of mentality lends itself toward “bean counting” rather than expanding missions in a war zone. Northouse’s graph highlighted the differences.


Leaders Managers
Emphasizes the general influence process (Summary Chapter) Focuses on planning, organizing, staffing, controlling (Summary Chapter)
Adaption and constructive Change Creating order and stability
Proactive and more emotionally involved More reactive and less emotionally involved
See Chapter 1, Summary (Kindle location 665)

Beerel’s Chapter 7, Executive Summary writes, “..two major aspects of crises. The first is that they (leaders) invariably arise because institutions have selected to deny, ignore, or defer reality.” My drive to develop the structure to support missionaries going to Ukraine has been a strong imperative with volunteers leaving Jan and Feb 2024 for Odesa and Kharkov.  I do not believe we can defer the organization jumpstart in Ukraine without putting our volunteers at risk of failure.   How do I convince the managers on the board to be PROACTIVE AND MORE EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED?

Beerel, however, hits me with a baseball bat when she writes, “Furthermore, leaders must collaborate with others.  They cannot do this work alone.”  This timely statement keeps me from going rogue and forces me to articulate the need to the board.

I spent the bulk of my time on the our last ZOOM meeting wearing my coalition building hat…thanks Beerel, I needed the warning.  I CANNOT do this alone!

Additionally, it reminds me that one of my major support imperatives is identifying the Christian NGO and church networks in Ukraine which serve as critical start points for establishing a structure that will last throughout the war and beyond.

Northouse, Pool and now Beerel allow me to put theory into practice.

Today  (25 Jan 2024) Stephanie Flohr age 70 arrived in Odesa (Одеса) Ukraine. She will minister to widows and seniors (Stephanie lost her husband 3 years ago). I asked her if she had purchased her body armor and she said she has Ephesians 6. Wow.

Nate Gerber leaves 9 Feb. First to GoodSports Slovakia (Prievidze) then through Poland, to Lyviv where I have asked him to attend a Ukrainian Sports Conference. Then Kharkiv to work with Redemption Church initially to deliver food (Samaritans purse) to elderly in three villages. Too old to move, these folk on the border with Russia are in survival mode. Moving however is something to hard to contemplate.

On Saturday I speak to Penuel (where Jacob wrestled with God), they have 300 children and need another field.

When I look at all of the resources we are reading, I wonder how they could help me “lead” in these circumstances.

Моє лідерство зараз перевіряється. Батьку, дай мені мудрість. (My leadership is being tested now. Father, give me wisdom.)



[1] Beerel, Annabel C. Rethinking Leadership: A Critique of Contemporary Theories. London New York: Routledge, 2021.

[2] Poole, Eve. Robot Souls: Programming in Humanity. First edition. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2024.

[3] Northouse, Peter G. Leadership: Theory and Practice. 6th ed. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, 2013.

About the Author


Russell Chun

interlinkt.org is now ready for your Refugee Resettlement needs. 15 tasks, languages ESL plans coming

6 responses to “מלחמות ושמועות מלחמות – Wars and Rumors of Wars”

  1. Jenny Dooley says:

    Hi Russell,
    I appreciate that you pulled this quote from Beerel regarding the pandemic, “Suffice it to say that three major contributing factors were (a) a denial of reality, (b) lack of open communication, and (c) minimal if any collaboration between major institutions and world leaders” What would it have looked like if the opposite happened? For example: (My examples aren’t the greatest)
    1. Leaders helped us face the reality that we were in a very uncertain situation and there would be no easy answers.
    2. Calm clear communication was the norm in news conferences, talk shows, and modeled among leaders and experts.
    3. More collaboration and less blame would have been a first response.
    I may be way off base, and I am not saying that asking questions is a bad thing at all, but I noticed many questions/speculations made by reporters, journalists, and those on social media seemed unnecessary fear and blame mongering. What do you think? I just took a peek at our next book and wonder if my question will be answered there. I was reading Luke 20 yesterday and considering how Jesus responded to questions designed to bait him and trouble others. He often replied with a question of his own.

  2. mm Russell Chun says:

    Hi Jenny,
    Today I noticed a two YouTube session done by Tucker Carlson on Immigration. I have to say, it was hard to take. The U.S. Government working with Mexican Cartels to introduce Fentanyl, Terrorists, and increasing democratic votes for the Presidential election.
    I needed to have a feel for the extremist point of view for my paper.

    I mention this because my Immigration symposium is in Texas and I just realized it could blow up in my face! Social media is running between extreme points of view. I guess “calm and measured” does not sell.

    “It is better to be thought of as a silent fool, than to speak and remove all doubt” is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln. We might want to remember that as we move forward.


  3. Esther Edwards says:

    As always, your heart is so evident in your writing. You have such a passion for the refugee, for those in need… And yes, God will give you wisdom, much wisdom. Keep asking.
    I was particularly drawn to your question:
    How do I convince the managers on the board to be PROACTIVE AND MORE EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED?
    Last week we had a staff/board retreat and we have felt some of those feelings as we move into a new building in a new area and the board is concerned about future resources. One of the strategies was that we used the “Wheel of Life”, which is a coaching assessment model, where the participants assess the current areas of what is needed. (For example, our areas were outreach, worship, ministries, gathering, etc). We already had our ideas as the leadership of what was needed, but as they processed together, their ownership and buy-in increased. Then we took the area that was in most need (agreed upon by all the scores combined) and each group came up with a mock preferred future for that area and ways to get there. The excitement in the room was over the top. The difference? They became passionate about the need and had greater buy-in regarding the vision.

    • mm Russell Chun says:


      Wow, just prayed with two Ukrainian soccer/futball coaches. Brilliant. God is clearly in control.

      I am really interested in your Wheel of Fortune/Life.

      My Immigration Symposium on March 9th might be able to use something like this. If you have pictures/thoughts. I would love to hear them.


  4. Hey my brother. I love how you express yourself. I have an easy question. She you wrote, “I CANNOT do this alone.” what steps are you taking to assure you do not do this alone?

  5. mm Russell Chun says:

    Hi Todd,
    One of my quirks is coalition building. As former Civil Affairs officer in the U.S. Army, one of our primary functions were to establish networks of NGOs to share resources (manpower/trucks etc….). This was my task in Operation Desert Storm to respond to the relief work needed.

    In Ukraine, my role is different in that God has been working in Ukraine. In the spirit of Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God, I am seeking to find out what he is ALREADY doing in Ukraine. Then I pray I will share the need with U.S. churches who have to resources to assist.

    Thanks for asking…

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