Wow, what a year! As I reflect and look back over my time here as a GFA School of Discipleship (SD) student, I am just amazed by what the Lord did in my life. And I look forward for Him to continue breaking me, molding me, and creating me into what He wants me to be, leading me where he wants to go.
One of the biggest things I saw and experienced while being here has been the power and presence of God displayed so evidently here. He is definitely at work through this ministry! First off would be the most important and effective way – prayer. We pray a lot here. Someone once told me when I first got here, “We don’t plan prayer around our day, but we plan our day around prayer.” This is so true! And it is such and joy and encouragement to get to be a part of those (many!) prayer times, and then get to see God answer them. This year definitely grew my faith in prayer. Even in my personal prayer life and relationship with the Lord.
Another way I know God is at work with GFA is by getting to hear some of the staff’s personal testimonies and hearing how God is working in their lives personally and as they serve at GFA. And another way is through hearing stories and reports from the field. God is for sure working and saving so many people’s lives in Asia! But ultimately, I know God worked in my life so much! I know He still has so much to do, but He has also brought me so far. He broke my selfish flesh in areas I didn’t know needed broke. He taught me how to have grace for people – even when they fail. We all fail, including me. So, God has shown me to have grace on myself when I make mistakes, and to give grace to others, because He has given us such amazing grace.
God taught me how to live in a community with other people. We’re all different and unique, but we all have one thing in common: to serve Christ and advance the Kingdom of God. He showed me how to love these people for who they are – none of us are perfect – like He loves us, even if it takes a cost.
God showed me how to be fully content and joyfully serve Him, wherever He places me. To be honest, staying in the IT Department for my second vocational training assignment was hard at first. But God helped me to totally overcome that! I am so thankful for the team I got to serve alongside. I truly love those people!
God grew my trust and faith in Him so much! Not having my SD Tuition fully funded and losing my one and only monthly supporter was really hard. But I prayed a lot about it, and finally got to the point of having peace in the Lord, knowing that He was going to provide because He always does. He is so faithful! Building this faith in Him drew me into a closer relationship with Him, which has been so special.
My favorite course was probably Touching Godliness by Dr. K.P. Yohannan. It was so hard, but God taught me so much in that book! He showed me what it means to fully submit to those in authority – even when I don’t agree, or don’t feel like it is “my way” or the “best way”. He taught me that we can obey without fully submitting. Submission is all the attitude of the heart.
God grew me in the knowledge of church traditions: liturgy, founding church fathers, leadership names and meanings, and even why the leaders wear what they wear! 😉 Attending a “small-o” orthodox church this year was not the easiest at first. But I started to really enjoy it. I asked lots of questions, I saw the influence liturgy has in our faith (Satan can’t stop us from saying what is already written and right before our eyes!), and I am now fascinated by how the ancient church got established by who.
A special Scripture passage that stayed with me all year was Psalm 139 verses 7-10 “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.”
Moving away from home – family, friends, and familiarity – was really hard. But God gave me such a peace about it, and I had such a rest in Him, knowing He was with me the entire time, and was going to give me the joy and strength to get through this year.
So now with the year wrapping up, I am very excited to see where the Lord leads me next! SD has changed me. So, with everything that I have shared with you and so much more that the Lord has taught me and grown me in, I want to keep applying it all to my life. I can’t go home and act like nothing happened. I need to take everything I have learned, and keep growing, keep learning, and keep applying it to my life for His glory.