I’ve finished my first year at Bible college in Scotland, Motherwell and now it time for some catching up!
First I’d like to say thank you to you – Ebe church! – for sending me to Bible college last September, I have not forgotten that it is Ebe who sent me to Bible college, I have continually thanked the Lord for your support – your financial and prayerful support – which has been so immensely valued during my year!
For a year I was a student at Tilsley college in Motherwell outside of Glasgow. Tilsley college is a Bible college part of the missionary organisation GLO (http://www.glo-europe.org/glo/), the course is therefore mission-centered! But let me answer the first question that you might ask yourself… Why Scotland?
Let me go back a few years back. I actually have been a Christian for less than four years, and since I was saved I’ve had a passion for evangelism – for telling people about our wonderful Saviour Jesus, the Jesus I was not told about until my early twenties! – and a passion for the Bible! These burning passions have been so important in my life that I prayed many times for the Lord to train me to be a missionary and to send me on mission. Two years ago while I was in Bristol, I went to a GLO conference about mission and there I was truly impacted by the way people spoke about mission and of how seriously they were taking the Great Commission. I applied to the course and continued praying about it seeking guidance from the Lord. I heard about a Bible college in Brighton that was also equipping young people for mission and I applied to it too. For me – as a girl from the South of France – deciding to go either to Scotland or to Brighton sounded like a decision easy enough to make; I wanted to go to the south coast! But the day I was going to have the Skype interview with Tilsley College, I prayed and spent time with God before the interview and God spoke very clearly to me in a way that was not what I expected neither what I wanted to hear but the Lord said “Nineveh”.
I was very perplexed about it, and realised that the Lord was telling me that as Jonah was sent where he didn’t want to go, so was I sent where I didn’t want to go! I had the interview and was reassured that the college sounded like a great place to learn about God and decided to be obedient to God and to go to cold Scotland!
Tilsley is a unique college for many reasons; this is a small college that never takes more than 18 students per class to follow Jesus’ example of having a small group of students. Because there are few students, the teachers are intentional about always being available for us. Their doors are always open to come and receive advice concerning essays or to be prayed for or listened to. We were only 9 students during my year; people of different ages and nationalities. We lived and studied together for those ten months.
The motto of Tilsley college is “Knowing, Being, Doing”. I have grown to love this motto which was repeated all year. Each part is fundamental to our Christian lives; Knowing, that we would know God in order to love Him more, that we would grow in our relationship with Him. Being, that we would be sanctified, that we would be daily molded into the image of Christ as we spent time in His word. Doing, that we would serve Him, inside and outside the church, in ministry and in mission. This year I have learned how each part is so vitally important to our Christian lives.
Tilsley college offers many opportunities to build experience in Christian ministry and mission; all through the year we were able to serve in local churches, helping at kids’ club, youth club and social actions. What’s more for one week we partnered with a local church in what is called ‘team evangelism’ when first and second year students are sent by groups into different parts of the UK to serve a church and do evangelism in their community. And for a week at the beginning of the year we went on a mission trip as a class to Italy, Naples.
This is this part of the story that I would like to tell you more about because it has to do with my second year!
First of all, maybe you remember that a group of people from Ebe went to a mission trip to Athens last summer and we worked with Christian organisations working with refugees. This was an amazing experience during which the Lord broke our heart for this cause! Going to Bible college just a month or so after that I knew that where He was going to send me had to do with the refugee crisis. We were told at Bible college that we were going to go on a mission trip to Naples, Italy. I asked some of the staff if we were going to work with refugees and they told me we would not but that we were going to work on a church plant with GLO missionaries. But a week before we were to go there, we had a meeting with the team, and one of the teachers told us he received an email from the team leader of the church plant asking if ‘by any chance’ there is someone in the class who can speak French, because they had reached to a hundred a fifty refugees in a migrant centre in their neighborhood, that most of them spoke French and they’d like to have a Bible study with them! At that point everybody in my class turned to me. First they obviously all knew by then that I was French, but they also all knew I wanted to work with refugees, so all eyes were on me and I was just dumbstruck!
It would be too long to tell you about all the incredible things the Lord did during that mission trip but we were indeed able to do Bible studies with the migrants in French and English as well as presenting the gospel to them at various occasions and being amazed at all the positive responses! We made many contacts that are still ongoing.
While I was on this mission I heard again the word I didn’t want to hear, the Lord was saying “Nineveh”. Again and again the Lord was telling me, “yes this is where I am calling you” and I was not happy about it. Like Jonah, the reluctant prophet, I was concerned for myself and about what I wanted and I thought I knew better where I should go! But after a couple of days I surrendered to God and asked Him to lead me wherever He wanted. When I returned to Scotland I continued praying about and the Lord was opening the doors for me to go back to Italy for my internship of four weeks.
I spent four weeks in Italy, working with three different churches that have a ministry with migrants and I learned a lot about the Italian mission field and about the situation of the refugees in the country. It is in Naples, as part of that church planting team that the Lord has called me to do the second year and I will be flying to Naples in only a few weeks where I will spend most of my second year!
My daily life will be doing evangelism in Naples, among Italians and African migrants, continuing to work with the contacts we have made and making new ones. If you’d like to participate with me in building our Father’s Kingdom in Naples, please sign up to receive my newsletter where I will share prayer points every month. You can also, if you are led to, support me financially, which will be greatly appreciated, I am still looking for people willing to support me monthly.
Thank you so much for all your loving support, and your partnership with me in the gospel.