Big changes are happening in my life. In one week I will have packed up my belongings, loaded up my little car and be sitting on the Spirit of Tasmania moving to another state! Another island even!
There are a lot of emotions running through me now; excitement, fear, joy, but the most consistent is peace. In his letter to the Philippians Paul talks about the peace that transcends all understanding (4:7) and that’s what I feel. I have peace that I am in the centre of God’s will.
Whenever I imagined going to Bible college, I always pictured myself living on campus with all my friends, having coffee between classes and doing a little bit of study in-between. With fewer and fewer live-in communities being established I didn’t think this was going to be a reality. So, when I heard about Worldview Centre for Intercultural Studies and their cross-cultural community, I was beyond excited! Plus, their focus on cross cultural mission will help prepare me for living and serving in another country.
But let me back track a little and share how God led me to this place.
Two years ago, I went on a short-term mission trip through central Australia. On my phone I had written a list of things I needed to look up when I came home – books that had been recommended or history I wanted more information about. Honestly, I had forgotten about this list, but I found it the other day, and written there at the top was look up ‘WEC Bible college in Tasmania’.
I think I briefly looked up the college, but I thought I was ready to go overseas (haha this is funny now, I can see I had a lot to learn still!). I came home burning with a desire to go out into the mission field. I knew it was where God wanted me, I was passionate and excited to be sharing my love of Jesus with those who didn’t know Him. This is when God threw me for a curve ball, as I felt the Lord clearly say to me that I’d be in Melbourne for two more years. TWO MORE YEARS! What was I meant to do for two years?! So, I asked Him, and His response was to make these moments count and prepare for something bigger.
I had no idea at that point what was my next step. Bible college was something that I wanted to do, but it wasn’t until a few months ago God showed me where… Tasmania. More specifically, Worldview Centre for Intercultural Studies – the same college someone recommended to me two years ago on the short-term trip. After spending a week down in Tasmania last September, experiencing classes and having meals together I was sure this was my next step. Just a little side note, anyone can do a Taster Week at Worldview and I highly recommend it.
A couple of people have asked me if I’m scared about moving interstate, and the answer is no, I’m not. I have peace that this is where God is leading me, and I’m so excited about learning more about God and His Kingdom. I’m also super excited about meeting the community there, making friends and journeying together.
However, there are many things that I will miss greatly; family, friends and a home church I’m familiar with. I’m learning that with following Jesus comes sacrifice, and that can be hard. Whilst I’m excited about what lies ahead of me, it also feels like part of my heart is getting left behind. These are my people. They’ve seen me at my best and my worst and loved me regardless. They’ve prayed with me, laughed and cried with me and done life with me. The idea of leaving them behind is so sad! I wish I could pack them all up and bring them with me. And I’m thankful for the internet and how easy it is to connect with people all around the world, but it’s still not the same as being with them. I’m also sad about the things I’m going to miss out on. Children growing up, new relationships starting, fun adventures and memories that people back home will be having. The FOMO (fear of missing out) is real!
To top it all off it is also my first long term experience of independence in Australia. Whilst I know how to look after myself, I’m a little nervous about doing it all in a new space.
‘Do you really need Biblical training to be a missionary?’
A while ago I had this conversation with a friend. He was saying he didn’t think it was necessary for Christians to have Bible training to be a missionary, but my question was ‘why wouldn’t you want it’? If you were to become a teacher or nurse, you’d do the training needed for the job. And how much more important is the job of accurately sharing Jesus with others?! But Worldview is so much more than just studying. It involves learning to live in community, communicate with those who don’t come from the same country as you and ultimately learning to love as Jesus loved.
People have told me that Bible college is the best time of their lives. You’re living with friends, doing life together and getting deep into the Word. But it can also be really challenging at times, and a time of refining. A time when wrong teachings and shortcomings are brought to the light.
If you’ve never thought about Bible college, I’d recommend asking the Lord if this is part of his plans he has for your life. Taking a year or two out of the workforce can be scary, but is it not worth it, if it means you grow closer to the Lord and become more like him?
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. (Isa. 40:8).
Thank you so much for joining me on this journey!