By Karen Rummel, Director, Alpha DC Region, and Truro Church Parishioner
The first Global Alpha Training (or GAT) team from the Washington DC Region travelled to Kiev, Ukraine, in September. Five people from three different churches presented training on how to run the Alpha course during this short-term mission trip. Working with the Alpha Country Director for Ukraine, our team ran a two-day Alpha conference, teaching the basics of how to run the Alpha course to 15 groups ready to take the course back to their home churches.
As the Director of Alpha in the DC Region and a member of Truro Church in Fairfax, Virginia, I led the team to Ukraine. Two other Truro members joined me: Chris Douglas and Brandon Showalter. All Saints’ Church in Woodbridge, Virginia, sent Kat Zwingle, and our team was rounded out by Ruthina Northcutt, a staff member with Alpha USA in Chicago.
Using a conference model and materials developed by Alpha International, members of our GAT team presented the conference talks, led worship, and prayed for participants at the conference. Everyone on the team had a chance to present, and found that having a well designed and scripted program made it easy to present the conference. The local team in Ukraine handled all the logistics.
I have been to Ukraine four times before on short-term mission trips, and I loved introducing a new team to the charms of Ukraine, including the beauty of Kiev and the delights of Ukrainian food. But most of all I loved seeing my American friends immediately warm up to the Ukrainian people, finding friendships and a spiritual kinship that transcends distance and culture. It was a great joy introducing Alpha to such an enthusiastic group, knowing that at the end of our two days of training they were well prepared and determined to start Alpha so that they could reach their friends and communities with the love of Christ.
We hope to send at least two GAT teams from the region next year, if not more. Anyone can combine a love of short-term mission with Alpha by putting together a GAT! It’s easy, and you don’t have to have tons of Alpha experience to do it. There’s lots of info about GAT on Alpha USA’s website at www.alphausa.org/GAT. For more information, contact Karen Rummel at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 624-9317.
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