Would you like to find out what a taste of heaven can look like? I personally think of a community of 200 people from the Caribbean, South America, Canada, Europe (East and West), Russia, Australia, all regions of Africa, many nations in Asia, and even some from the USA (less than 25%). This is a current snapshot of BGU’s active students. At any time of the day or night, at least one BGU student, somewhere around the globe, is practicing and reflecting on how to impact his or her community with Kingdom values and perspectives. At any time of the day or night, a BGU student can be found interacting with another BGU student on the other side of the globe to discuss how to better engage with the cultural challenges encountered in their communities. As iron sharpen iron, our students find out that their worldviews continue to expand as they move through their studies.
Now let us take another perspective on what heaven might look like here on earth. We have for instance a Jamaican mother taking two kids to school while talking to her French instructor and her African course mate in Nairobi, Kenya, who is about to close down her office as a Campus for Christ Crusade (CRU) leader. During that time, another American student is building relationships and lobbying at the stock exchange market to infuse Kingdom values there, while another Canadian student develops her multimedia communication business with major multinational companies using BGU’s eight foundational perspectives of transformational leadership. During the same time a group of students from 10 different nationalities and 4 continents meet in Kuala Lumpur (Asia) to discover how a divine perspective on business can transform a tile-making company to become a major agent of transformation in their community or how the mayor of a city uses principles of transformational leadership to govern his city with Kingdom values. And, in that group of students, an Australian seasoned professional coach who has already earned a PhD is convinced to register for BGU’s Doctor of Transformational Leadership program.
Globalization thus permeates who BGU is and what it does. It allows each student, each instructor, each alumni to share a little bit of their background and context while connecting to the global and dynamic network of the BGU community. While realizing the global outreach and impact that BGU offers to its community, a synergy of ideas and practices develops that outweighs exponentially the sum of the individual experiences. When lit by the power of the Holy Spirit – there is no limit to God’s fire blazing through whole communities ignited by just sparkles of BGU community members.
Please allow me to share other tastes of heaven as related by BGU’s Director of Student Services, Dr. Lowell Bakke:
I had a wonderful meeting this morning with one of our MA graduates, Josh and his wife Meredith. They have had an incredible six years or so together applying what they learned in the MA program on the border of Jordan and Syria working with Muslims who are rebuilding their lives from the ISIS crisis through their work with All Nations, a missional movement church planting organization. Meredith and Josh met at an All Nations training event in Kansas City. Meredith went to school in Jordan and was working in Jordan where Josh decided to go. He planned to learn the language, which he started, but before he could finish, he sensed God was moving them to the border of Jordan to work with ISIS refugees. In the four years that followed, 42 churches were planted. While there he had to develop a training program for year-long internships for people entering their mission. Their skills in training are used in other parts of All Nations’ training program. Eventually he was asked to come to the United States to be the director of training for the US for All Nations and in January of this year they were called to be the executive Director of All Nations US.
Exactly the same type of leadership development has happened to Pieter, one of our BGU doctoral graduates, with the Foursquare Church, first as a church planter, then as the head of the Foursquare church planting movement in The Netherlands. He has now been asked to lead the church planting movement throughout all of Europe for the Foursquare Church and has become a key leader in their global church planting movement working with another BGU grad from Sri Lanka, Leslie Keegel, who finished his degree in 2011. I put those BGU students alongside several others and I see a real trend and hear the same type of words, apostolic, movements, church planting for leaders who started at the grass roots level and have risen to lead a wave of movements in church planting and other missional enterprises.”
As we are waiting to see this “great multitude which no one could count, from all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9), we are anticipating already here on earth, and in BGU’s community, the joys heaven. Ready to join in the celebration?
Dr. Martine Audéoud