Meet The Colleagues
How Philip Is Developing Leadership
As graduation from Whitworth University approached, Krista Colleagues Phil Culbertson and Michael Novasky (‘07) became inspired by a vision to serve God together internationally in Kampala, Uganda through a young ministry called Come Let's Dance. They worked with a children's home of over 100 orphaned or abandoned kids, helped the ministry achieve NGO status in the country, fundraised to buy land and a house for the kids, and worked in the slums with widows and street kids. Putting his Communications degree to use, Phil also created promotional videos for children in rural villages who needed and received life-changing surgeries.
In this new cultural setting, Phil found himself being stretched in his understanding of global citizenship. "I saw the importance of the pursuit of understanding and patience at all times, trying to best understand where others come from and what their motivations might be. I also saw the importance of trying your best to understand your own actions and how these are perceived by others."
Living in a rural community with a significant Muslim population, Phil developed a hunger to understand the religious and cultural tensions which contributed to the violence and displacement of millions of Africans. Your support gave him a Service and Leadership Development grant, which he used to study Islamic and Christian relations and ultimately involved travel to Egypt, Jordan, and Israel including visits with local leaders in mosques and synagogues. This led to a life-shaping introduction to the American University in Cairo where Phil is now pursuing a Master's degree in Forced Migrant and Refugee Studies. For his thesis, he will study the Zimbabwean migration to South Africa, as they flee local violence, and the implications for both populations.
Soon after his decision to attend graduate school, he wrote "I'm excited and just wanted to let you all know how in a big way your program has shaped the direction of my life. The grant has given me a sense of responsibility and another level of accountability and the foundation is influencing my direction as a leader."
Philip's Service Bio
Essentially we were part of the formation of this group in Uganda, working with a children's home of over 100 kids. We worked to attain NGO status in the country, fundraised to buy land and a house for the kids. We worked in the slums with widows and on the streets with 'street kids.' Separately, we helped put together large concert events that consisted of 1,200 people and up to 40,000 people in attendance. I worked on marketing and advertising for such causes. Finally, l was able to travel to numerous other African countries making promo films for children in rural villages needing life changing surgeries, and videos of them receiving those surgeries.
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