Listening, asking a question, telling something about what I have learned from mentors in my own life as Rev. Snoei. Being a mentor is an important aspect of my work. Just being there, for students, for a younger generation of colleagues. This is clearly embodied in the summer program for PhD students. During five weeks, from early in the morning until late at night, sharing your life with an international learning community of students. Discussing together. Listening to each other’s life stories. Praying together. Laughing and crying together. The most diverse subjects were discussed.
With Sargez, from Iran, but now living in Germany, I spoke about the revival that is going on in his country of birth, and among Iranians worldwide. About the persecution he has gone through. I discover a lot of parallels with the time under communism.
Or with Doru, a young student from Romania, whose parents never go to the church. He longs to follow the Lord in his study and life. For the leaders of his church he does not always seem to fit the ecclesiastical “box”, as he is for some too “open”, which often gives him the feeling of standing alone.
Ivan is glad that finally he can leave behind his responsibilities of leading a major institution for theological education in Ukraine and can focus on his PhD studies. His big question is how the inwardly looking local churches can be transformed into witnessing, missionary congregations. Seventeen students, with seventeen different backgrounds and study subjects, from eight different countries, with eleven nationalities and five different denominations.
One of the students indicated that the highlight for him was: “when I met the mentors, who paid attention to my research, but also to my concerns.” Another: “the stimulating discussions with other colleagues, and with the mentors who were so open … “