Lockdown life has given me lots of free time to create this blog/info website for my upcoming gap year working as a Sustainable Missions Engineer in Ukraine. I am going to work with Operation Mobilisation (OM) who are a global Christian mission organisation who are seeking to form "vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached".
I will be involved with a series of innovative projects pioneered by OM Ukraine’s leader, Wayne, to engage his local community with the gospel and start tackling local problems to steward our God-given resources. These project also create employment to help people live out God’s purpose for us to work. He is based in Kaharlyk which is a rural town about an hour south of Kiev.
Ukraine is widely unreached with the gospel today with the church being a distant irrelevant institution to most. On top of this, Ukrainians have suffered many terrible injustices in the past century with the situation remaining volatile to this day. You can find ways to pray for Ukraine here.
The primary project is the development of a pyrolysis unit to convert plastic waste to a marketable fuel products. This project is already impacting the community by creating jobs, facing the reality of the enormous plastic problem and creating gospel opportunity through the numerous relationships formed. You can find out more about the Pyrolysis project here. The video below was shot by OM Australia in 2018 and gives a good visual summary of what Wayne is doing and what I'll be getting involved with.
As a Sustainable Missions Engineer, the goal of this gap year is to continue development of the Pyrolysis project to drive it towards financial sustainability so that it may be expanded, and its impact reach the rest of Ukraine and beyond.
My initial connection to Ukraine was through a short-term mission trip in 2017 when I went to Odessa to serve OM's orphan ministry there. I met Wayne on that trip and we clicked immediately. After returning to Ukraine in 2019, it became clear what an opportunity a gap year would be to serve God as I transition from university to work. This gap year is such a gift from God that allows me to combine my engineering skills with making disciples of Jesus. You can find out more about how this gap year came about and Wayne's story here.
Another key influence for me was the book "Scatter" by Andrew Scott. He leads OM in the United States and wrote this book to help Christians appreciate the opportunity there is in taking their professional skills overseas and getting a job where the gospel is largely unreached. This book really helped to consolidate my thoughts around combining engineering and mission and prompted me to return to Ukraine in 2019. The video below is his trailer for why he wrote the book. You can also find out more about his vision for "Scatter" missions here.
I'll be posting blog updates throughout my time in Ukraine. You can check out recent posts below and sign up to receive them direct to your email inbox by signing up to my mailing list at the bottom of this page.
Some Final Things...
This gap year wouldn't be possible without all those who are so generously supporting me in prayer and with finance.
As you support me, you are supporting the Pyrolysis project that I will be involved with. It is already reaching Ukrainians with the gospel through the relationships formed through creating jobs and engaging the community with dealing with the huge problem of plastic waste. This gap year is geared towards furthering progress of the Pyrolysis project to drive it towards financial sustainability so its impact may expand without external finance. If you would like to support me in this project and ministry, you can do so directly through this link:
I would love to hear from you if anything you have read here has sparked your interest. We also love to welcome visitors to Ukraine so please do get in touch if you are interested in seeing what is going on for yourself. You can contact me here.