What a year to step back into studies and begin my education once again. I will admit that entering into a doctoral program after 20 years of not writing and studying like a graduate student was a little intimidating. I did think I had an edge though because I currently live abroad. Living abroad sometimes can be fascinating and challenging at the same time. So beginning this LGP program I had the idea that I would come with leg up on the “global perspective” side of the discussion. Boy was I wrong, as time and time again I have seen God teach me and stir my heart in understanding common ideas in new ways. Even though I have grown up abroad and have worked overseas for more than 12 years, the books, professors and guest lecturers have been able to challenge me to think in new and creative ways about subjects that are very relevant to the teams that I lead.
This year I really enjoyed getting to know our cohort. It is made up of a very loving group of people that also happens to be extremely different from each other. When you put this kind of group together of individuals from different theological stances, different culture views and entering into a program like with our own agendas, one doesn’t know what form the chaos will take. Whether the pastors, counselors or overseas workers are sharing, we all listen and learn from each other. There are times that our weekly online meeting has been exactly what I needed or gave me insight to an area of leadership that I was wrestling with or never thought of before.
As I begin to research and seek out the specific topic that I am feeling directed to, I feel more confident in the direction that this program has directed me concerning the dissertation. We still have a long way to go and many more steps to narrow that research question that will be the heart of my paper, I feel like I am getting excited about looking deeper into this topic. Diane, my dissertation advisor, has been so encouraging and helpful in the journey so far. What a blessing to have someone of this caliber working alongside me to find and develop the topic that I need pursue.
God has continued to open my eyes and let me see the journey that He has for me. The Advance in Cape town was humbling as the reality of how God continues to heal a broken people and sinfulness that makes up our world became so evident. Living in Asia, I am looking forward to the different approaches to our advance in Hong Kong. One of my cohort asked me what I could possibly learn in a city I have been to many times and I think my answer is a different view on the world I live in. I am trying to come ready to see what the voice of God will sound like and what He desires to teach me. This year has been a year opening myself up to new challenges and perspectives that I hope will shape my leadership and broaden my way of thinking in a world that demands creative solutions. Jumping into the deep end of the pool might have had the initial reservations and fear but I have found it rewarding and do-able.