On June 5, 2021 GSC celebrated its 26th year of equipping Canadian Christian academics to teach and serve on campuses worldwide! We hosted a virtual gathering of about 60 people, and some had spouses or family members gathered around the Zoom screen.
It was a full agenda, and we enjoyed hearing from scholars, board members, ministry partners, and GSC supporters. We unveiled our 100-page history booklet which was a collaborated project this past year. Our anonymous scholar who served in Asia developed an historic slideshow video for us as well, which tells an inspiring story and shows many of the faces and places that GSC has been involved in through the decades. Our new promotional video was also unveiled and we’re happy to add that to our digital portfolio in many ways in the near future.
A special moment was conferring new titles on a few people who are foundational in the work of GSC. And the news of Peter Schuurman’s 5-year re-appointment as Executive Director was very well-received.
Adrian and Wendy Helleman opened the evening with a glimpse of their newest project – a review of the first years of their work in Moscow. They said: “We shared our hope in a place where hope was in short supply. We had an incredible opportunity to serve at a critical turning point for Russia. We give God the glory that he used our efforts and this fledgling organization to make a difference in universities.”
Harry Fernhout recognized the Kamloops tragedy as part of our prayer, calling us to repentance and to be “channels of grace and healing in God’s world.”
Carla Nelson related a story of a friend who got a letter from an old professor of economics who apologized years later for not being able to answer her younger self’s questions about the relationship between Christian faith and wealth. She highlighted the “missional Christian academic” language, defining it as “a convinced participant in God’s mission in the world. Glorying God, advance the gospel, and human flourishing. To understand one’s academic work as kingdom work.” She ended by saying “This doesn’t happen without intentional mentoring, deliberate disciplining, and purposeful relationships.”
We so appreciate all who were able to gather with us online to celebrate 25(+1) years of Global Scholars Canada. There was some celebratory flair to the occasion, despite being a virtual affair. We’re thankful to God for all the scholars, board members, and supporters who showed up to celebrate with us, including those from The Gambia, Columbia, and Sierra Leone.
After the initial program ended, a few stayed online for another hour or so, including a rousing contribution from John Wood and Henk VanAndel in Edmonton. Henk told a story of sending 700 children’s books to Nigeria. Zoom does have some advantages in shortening these distances for a moment in time.
All in all – thank you for a wonderful evening for those who could attend!
And if you missed the celebration, watch it on YouTube anytime: