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Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, October 27, 2017

In the City by the River Uzh


Meeting in the office of the Superintendent. On my left (wearing glasses) is Mr. M., and on my right is the Worldview Matters' board President at the time, John Taylor.  


Truth is stranger than fiction.

Several years ago, I received an invitation to train educators on how to incorporate Christianity into elementary and secondary education. This in itself was not unusual. It's what I do. But this invitation was quite unusual: the person inviting me was the superintendent of a large state-run school district, with some 20 schools and about 16,000 students. I had never been invited to do training at a state-run school before, let alone a whole district.

My first thought was this superintendent did not really know what he was asking. You see, my approach is "no-holds-barred" biblical, and I was concerned this poor soul would be fired for inviting me in. I was nearly certain he would be.

Just to make sure the superintendent knew what he was doing, I met with him in his downtown office (photo above), to discuss my "no-holds-barred" approach to biblical worldview contextualization of subject matter. During my visit, Mr. M. made this remarkable statement: "Restoring Christianity is more important to me than academics."

Was I dreaming?

When I heard him make this statement, I knew this man was serious. And fearless! Mr. M. was on a mission to restore basic Christian tenets to the hearts and minds of the next generation under his educational care. He told me he was concerned about the breakdown of the family, as well as the proliferation of drugs and crime. He believed a restoration of Christianity was the answer. Here was Noah Webster's vision, alive and well!

Was this superintendent dreaming?

Yes, he was! The man had already taken steps to restore the essential, biblical world-and-life-view to those within his jurisdiction. He showed me the curriculum they were using. It presented the basic tenets of Christianity in a manner that was sensitive to denominational differences. He had not been fired.

Where was this unusual Shangri-La? It was far, far away from the USA, in the City by the River Uzh, in Transcarpathia, Ukraine, just a stone's throw from Slovakia.

You...didn't think this was an American school district, did you?

Mr. M. lived under a painful "no-holds-barred" atheistic body-press by the Soviet Union until 1991, when Ukraine became an independent state. He experienced what society is like when Christianity is silenced, and he understood the high cost of losing it...as no American can comprehend. 

Yet.

To see what I encountered, click HERE.