This is Captain Sharon. Halfway through the first class she took with me she told me that she had thought I was a snob because from a distance and on the basketball court when I played with or against her husband, I always looked so serious and focused. This was when we were in the processing of transitioning from short-term to full-time and it was very stressful! She is the most recent in a long line of people that have told me that I should smile more 🙂
But apparently I won her over and when she graduated she told me that I was one of her favorite professors and she was amazed at how different I was from her first impression. But I think what really impacted her, from what she shared, what that I used her feedback in another of my classes, interpersonal relationships, to illustrate the benefits of feedback for relationships and leadership. In Asia, and especially the military, for people in roles of respect or authority to share how they are learning from the people they lead or are teaching is extremely rare. She shared that she heard about me using her feedback and she was blown away and that this really helped shape her view of leadership and the kind of leader she wanted to be.
And it was a great reminder to me – we can sometimes exert the greatest leadership influence by being learners ourselves!
Eileen and 6 others associated with the Philippines Armed Forces or Government graduated this year, joining our 11 previous graduates. Having had most of those 19 in my classes over the past 4 years, I can testify that it has been a work of God to see how these men and women move from general motivation for spiritual growth to passionate commitment for being Christ-like agents of change through the platform God gives them. They add so much to the IGSL community and God uses the multi-national community to transform their lives and their vision as well.
In February we signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Philippines Marine Corp, due in large part to 2016 IGSL graduate (& basketball buddy) Captain Vince Salmingo who is now the Director of the Marine Corps Center for Leadership Excellence. God has given Vince a platform that has influence over 10,000 marines and God has opened up a door for us to partner with him and the Marine’s to help shape these leaders and many more. Please pray that we would steward these opportunities well and that God continues to cause IGSL to be viewed with favor from the government and armed forces here in the Philippines.
Brian & Christine
One of the powerful moments from us during the graduation banquet this year was hearing the testimony from a couple from India who lost their 9-year-old daughter suddenly to an aneurysm 1 month before arriving at IGSL. We have shared about them in the past. It has been a painful journey, but powerful to see God’s healing hand on their lives, even using them mightily to encourage another young student couple who suddenly lost their 1-year-old child this year to pneumonia.
They became very dear to us and we saw them and their young son heal in their time at IGSL and now they return equipped with even greater vision for reaching Hindu’s for Christ in India. Please click their photo above or this link to see their 7-minute testimony of how they grew and changed at IGSL.
Brian & Christine