I am graduating from mechanical engineering at Strathclyde University this summer and I am planning to go to Ukraine on a GAP year to serve with OM as a Sustainable Missions Engineer. I will be working with OM Ukraine’s Field Leader, Wayne on his innovative projects to engage his local community with the gospel and start tackling local problems in stewarding our God given resources which in turn create employment to help people live out God’s purpose for us to work. The primary project is the development of a pyrolysis unit to convert plastic waste to a saleable fuel products. This GAP year aims to continue the pyrolysis development towards financial sustainability to enable its impact spread through Ukraine and beyond.

My first connection with Ukraine came in 2017 when I served the orphan ministry with OM in the Black Sea coast city of Odessa. Whilst there, I was chatting to some American short-term missionaries who introduced me to Wayne because he was “into engineering and cricket” like me. During my layover in Kyiv on my way home, I was able to visit his home and he showed me his engineering and cricket projects first-hand. I knew I needed to return one day.

Wayne started innovative projects when he saw his congregation were disengaged with the community and there was high unemployment with no one taking initiative for the problems around them. He started to pioneer projects that would engage his church with the community to enable gospel access through relationships and give people employment to help them feed their families. Examples of previous projects have been using green waste from cleaning up the town to produce biogas and producing biodiesel from waste cooking oil collected from McDonald’s.

I returned to Ukraine last summer to spend more time with Wayne and understand more of what he is doing. I was able to hear more of his story and vision and see the practical ways that my engineering skills could be used for God’s kingdom there. It became clear what an opportunity a GAP year would be to serve God as I transition from university to work and so after the summer, I began the application process with OM.

This GAP year is such a gift from God to allow me to combine my skill of engineering with making disciples of Jesus.

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