Hudson Taylor Centre Working in Ukraine amidst Crisis
The Hudson Taylor Centre (HTC) at Tyndale University College & Seminary has partnered with SEND International to develop a three-year Pastoral Theological Diploma program for Chinese pastors serving in Ukraine.
Earlier this month, Dr. Barbara Leung Lai, Professor of Old Testament and Director of the Pastoral and Chinese Ministry Program at Tyndale Seminary, travelled to Kiev, Ukraine with her husband, Rev. Warren Lai, Director of the HTC, to teach their first course, “Theology and Practice of Ministry.”
This year, the course was successfully launched at Kiev Christian University, with 13 students participating from across four cities in Ukraine – many of whom are serving as pastors among university students and open market merchants in their communities.
“We had an engaging group,” says Dr. Leung Lai. “Most of the students are not only highly motivated, they also bring with them issues and questions from their practice in ministry – this enhanced the teaching of this class tremendously.” Starting next year, courses will be held at Kiev Theological Seminary.
After spending time in the capital, the group planned to visit Kharkov – a city in eastern Ukraine where some of the students live and serve as pastors. However, due to the rising tensions in eastern Ukraine, they were diverted to the southern city of Odessa. “Little did we know that a few hours before our arrival, a riot broke out in the city centre, killing 47 people,” says Dr. Leung Lai.
No one was harmed from the HTC-SEND group, and on the same day of the riot, Rev. Warren Lai preached in their Sunday service. Worship erupted in the beautiful Lutheran church that Sunday, acting as a ‘mighty fortress’ and a testament to God’s presence in Ukraine through the HTC-SEND partnership.
“We are indeed grateful to God and our supporters for making this trip possible for us – in fact, with outcomes that were beyond our expectations!” says Dr. Leung Lai.