We have already shared our joy of having Olexandr/Sasha back with us on our Jeneralka campus – Sasha who is an IBTS graduate and who wanted to come and give two months of his life to help us out in surviving this winter as a volunteer. Here are some of his thoughts, and pictures.
A decade ago my family and I left IBTS heading to Ukraine, to our home country. It had been nice to be a Master student and spend hours, days, even weeks and months in the library reading books and periodicals, studying different theological approaches to common life situations. A process of learning seemed more difficult than applying what had been learnt.
However, in real life – I mean, outside of cozy and warm classrooms or comfortable and quiet library – this is different. Many obstacles and challenges, misunderstanding and hardships, or even hatred come and test your ability in applying knowledge gained from your studies. And you begin doubting in what has been read and studied, well-known things start to look inappropriate, impracticable or undoable. And we tend to forget of what Jesus told to his followers, namely not to be afraid in what they were going or supposed to do since His power, His comfort and spirit would dwell withing them.
We often see things as they always are and nearly forget of many other ways of looking at the situation or issue from another perspective, distance, or a different angle. In certain circumstances in order to understand the crux of the problem it is necessary to get closer to the issue, perhaps, even to go on knees and place yourself in an awkward and maybe unusual pose. Once it’s done you suddenly begin seeing well-known things differently, in a new way. Such a lesson was offered to me once again in the fall of 2013, as I came to IBTS, but not for the lectures this time. On my knees I learnt that things can be viewed differently from a tiny wild camomile covered with crystal frost but full of life and determined to struggle among dead leaves fallen off the trees and hardly noticed by those who happen to walk by and look at the nicely cut lawn from a distance.
The plant brakes its wisdom; in harsh environment of winter cold it continues blossoming and producing life-giving nectar, and waiting for the needy – bee, hornet or other insects who have already fallen asleep till better times in spring – to come and be fed.