One of the longest days in my life just passed and I can take a deep breath – it is done. Years, months, weeks, days and hours of preparation actually paid off – I felt confident, calm and focused. I prayed all the way through the three hour long procedure and always knew that many of you were praying for me. Praise the Lord for hearing our hearts and for answering our prayers with love and mercy!
I knew that my thesis was good – but who has time to ready through all those hundred-fifty pages!? I knew that my abstract is OK but is dry and boring! So, I decided to put all the weight into the presentation where I can add my own personality and passion to the lists of facts and numbers. After all, wasn’t it exactly what I have been doing with FaithSearch during the last seven years!?
They only gave me 12 minutes for the presentation. I was told that the Board gets really nervous if somebody dares to go over that limit. Right. That’s what they always say to me when I first come to a secular university, teachers’ conference or even a Bible College: “Our audience usually listens to the lecture for half-an-hour so, please, keep it short and simple”. Well, two or even three hours into the FaithSearch Discovery presentation some of them perhaps get a bit tired and somewhat overwhelmed by all the material we go through and that’s where we turn to the Q&A session. All I needed yesterday was to keep my audience’s attention and interest up for 22 minutes. Piece of cake!
There even was a moment of awkward silence after I finished and the Chair person invited the Board to ask questions. One of them later admitted that she was crossing off her prepared questions one by one as I was actually answering them during my presentation. Thank you, Dr. Don, for teaching me to anticipate the questions and to then lead your audience through the path of logical “discoveries”.
I am happy to admit that I learned and borrowed from so many of you, my dear friends, my mentors, my supporters, my family! I am so proud of you and I praise God for each and every one of you!
Oh, yeah! I probably never told you that my thesis was on the Religious Education in Secular American Schools. Yes, I told them what’s been going on in the field of Christian education in the United States from the foundation of the country and to up to the most recent years. And what Russia can and should learn from that experience.
Thank you again for all your prayers and for your support of me here and my family back in the States! I’ve got two more ministry events (at the Pentecostal Seminary and at my Alma Mater – Moscow State Pedagogical University) and tons of red-tape and PhD formalities to undergo over the remaining four days in Russia. I surely hope the snow in Minnesota will be gone as I have already completely switched to a t-shirt mode here in Moscow!