I don’t know that Koko had ever opened a Bible, not to mention studied it verse-by-verse. However as a global pupil determined to move the TOEFL take a look at, she needed all of the English follow she might get.
Koko’s title was truly Hiroko. She was a Japanese faculty pupil staying with my younger household. My 18-month-old son couldn’t pronounce “Hiroko,” so she rapidly turned “Koko,” a good friend who introduced him sweet and taught him Japanese phrases.
Whereas we stored complimenting her English, she was all the time asking us to right her. After I requested sooner or later if she’d like to check English with me utilizing the Bible, she rapidly mentioned sure.
I’d beforehand taught ESL throughout seminary as a method to earn grocery cash. However my classes with Koko have been one thing new. As an alternative of specializing in conversational vocabulary, I needed to discover primary English phrases to elucidate difficult theological ideas just like the Trinity and the incarnation.
The Gospel of John led Koko to new English phrases—and new concepts about God. However that wasn’t the one method it was new. It was additionally one other surprising place for me to make use of my theology diploma.
Why Go to Seminary?
My plan hadn’t been to show a Japanese faculty pupil whereas dwelling with my pastor-husband and 18-month-old son in St. Louis. Initially, I went to seminary with the plan of returning to sub-Saharan Africa to show at a Bible faculty the place I’d spent a summer time throughout faculty. I used to be the nerdy woman who received a thrill translating passages from Greek or Hebrew to English in my little cubicle within the quiet library.
I used to be decided to rapidly end a level, elevate help, and get again to Malawi. I had seen ladies in lots of roles on the mission subject and knew my diploma can be useful. What I hadn’t anticipated was God’s creativity, and the necessity for such a level proper right here at house.
It’s true that girls aren’t licensed or ordained in my denomination. However I had the advantage of some robust feminine function fashions and a church that paid for my seminary diploma. The Christian women and men round me inspired me to make use of my analytical thoughts and need to do ministry with out worrying an excessive amount of about what form any future ministry may take. They gave me the liberty to be skilled, asking God alongside the best way how he would need me to make use of this nice reward.
A few of the wants for theologically skilled ladies appear apparent and urgent. We’d like seminary-trained ladies on the mission subject. We’d like ladies who educate Sunday college, lead Bible research, and mentor youthful ladies. We’d like ladies’s ministry administrators who assist discern meet the wants of the ladies within the church.
I knew this stuff once I enrolled in seminary. What I didn’t know was all the opposite methods God would use my exegesis and systematics and Greek and Hebrew for his glory.
Loving the Stranger
Koko wasn’t the primary one that made me grateful to have theological coaching. Lydia was one other. An Azerbaijani refugee, Lydia first got here to our church by way of the meals pantry. She attended our worship gathering typically and rapidly turned generally known as the beneficiant however typically choosy common.
Between her little little bit of English and my little little bit of Russian (Lydia had realized some Russian as a lady in class), we turned buddies. I quickly realized Lydia was within the technique of making an attempt to turn out to be an American citizen. English classes and lengthy, arduous conversations with plenty of laughing at ourselves and one another commenced. As a former baker, Lydia would typically carry baked delicacies to our conferences.
I heard horrible tales about life in her village that had led to her eventual escape. Within the midst of our conferences I used to be ready, little by little, to elucidate the gospel to her—although her hospitality and generosity far surpassed mine. By means of my weak and faltering classes and her tenacity and exhausting work, Lydia turned a citizen of the US. I hope sooner or later she’ll turn out to be a citizen of heaven, too.
May a theology diploma allow you to welcome the strangers in your personal neighborhood?
Answering College students
After six years as an affiliate pastor, my husband accepted a name to Savannah, Georgia, to function a campus minister with Reformed College Fellowship on the campus of the Savannah Faculty of Artwork and Design.
There, I received to know younger ladies studying create new fibers, animate for movies that might find yourself on huge screens, and design the buildings of tomorrow. However they have been additionally studying about God, they usually had deep questions.
In the course of the semester, a pupil and I co-led a ladies’s Bible research, the place—together with the fundamentals of Reformed theology—we mentioned the problems on the scholars’ hearts and minds: What does God consider artwork? What does your sound-design main should do with God’s kingdom? How can I make leisure for the glory of God? Their questions have been honest, however they weren’t easy. In answering them, I used to be grateful for being skilled to interpret and apply the Bible.
May a theology diploma permit you to reply the advanced questions of youthful ladies?
About 5 years in the past, a good friend on employees at my church was in search of Bible research curriculum for busy younger mothers that was related and nourishing, however could possibly be executed rapidly. They needed to deepen their understanding of Scripture, however they didn’t need to do homework.
In a second of frustration at not having the ability to discover the appropriate supplies to serve the ladies of our church, she requested me to put in writing one thing. Collectively, we wrote a research on Romans for that group of 20 ladies, however we discovered it crammed a necessity for a lot of different Christians. That good friend and I are actually writing our sixth research for busy ladies who need to research Scripture in depth however have little time to take action.
May a theology diploma equip you to provide a weblog, publication, curriculum, or podcast to serve your native church?
I nonetheless haven’t made it again to Africa with my diploma. However, over time, God has proven me that my training hasn’t been wasted. If you happen to’re a girl with a theology diploma—or only a stable basis by way of your childhood, church, or faculty ministry—you might be wanted. Ask God to indicate you the place you would serve others and educate his Phrase. He simply may shock you.