In a recent View from the Hill, the weekly William Jewell College e-newsletter, it was mentioned that Jewell and the Future Leadership Foundation (FLF) are in the second year of a joint initiative that provides used iPads to seminary students in the Ukraine.
FLF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to global ministry. Their mission statement is: “The Future Leadership Foundation (FLF) develops Christian leaders globally, collaborating with churches, ministry organizations and religious entities by addressing needs and goals that facilitate reaching people for Christ and equipping them for ministry.”
By partnering with Jewell, FLF is able to provide seminarians and students at Ukraine Baptist Theological Seminary in Lviv, Ukraine and Baptist Seminary in Minsk, Belarus with gently used iPads at a greatly reduced cost.
All Jewell students are given iPads upon registration. After two years, students exchange their first iPads for newer models. The returned iPads are refurbished and resold. According to Steve Hemphill, member of the FLF Board of Directors, the organization buys iPads from Jewell at an one-third discount. Then both the seminaries and students receiving the iPads and FLF pay the remaining cost. So far, FLF is the only organization to which Jewell sells old iPads.
The first installment of iPads was delivered this past June. Jewell alumni, Rev. Chris Cook ‘93, John Jackson ‘68 and Hemphill ‘78 personally delivered them while attending the FLF European Summit of Baptist Leaders from across Eastern Europe. This summit was held at Ukraine Baptist Seminary, allowing leaders from Russia, Moldova, Belarus, Romania, Poland and Ukraine to meet together for the first time.
The seminaries were chosen for the project based on their preexisting relationships with FLF.
“The FLF is committed to helping train church leaders all over the globe. The Baptist seminaries in Lviv, Ukraine and Minsk, Belarus are growing at phenomenal rates and need help. The seminary students in the Ukraine are hungry for technology, but the economy is such that none could afford a new iPad,” said Hemphill.
Part of FLF’s mission has been to work with these individuals and their churches over the past several years.
“There are exciting things happening in churches all across Eastern Europe. It’s inspiring to see their growth, and we are honored to help,” said Hemphill.
Having iPads will allow seminarians, students, pastors, faculty and church leaders easier access to ministry resources. iPads will enhance classroom experiences and allow for collaboration and communication within the seminary and between churches. Overall, this technology will open up new areas of ministry and assist students in applying their education to practical ministry.
So far, FLF has delivered around 200 iPads and with another 100 ready. In a recent press release, Cook commented on the goal of the initiative.
“We are nearing our goal of delivering 500 iPads to the students in Ukraine and Russia. They are extremely grateful for them,” said Cook.
The hope is for this to be a long-term partnership.
“There is a continual need to support the seminary students in Eastern Europe and hopefully the Future Leadership Foundation will be able to continue this project,” said Hemphill.
Individuals are encouraged to get involved in the global mission of FLF. Those interested in their mission can visit their website to learn more.