Lots of learning

Hello Everyone

The last four months have felt a bit of a whirlwind but I have now finished the first semester. We have 2 semesters a year in which we take different modules. So this is a good time to review how it’s been going.

It’s been going well. Some of the highlights of this semester have been:

  • Translating passages of John from the original Greek. I still need help to do this but I find it so moving as it helps me to really understand the writing on a deeper level.
  • Having time to study in depth. The essays we have to write are particularly good for this – for example, I wrote an essay on the trinity which gave me a chance to focus on something I’ve always found a bit confusing (If you feel the same way, don’t worry! The general conclusion of most theologians is that it is beyond human understanding, but we know it’s true due to our experience of God and the scriptures – it just points to how awesome God is).
  • Spending time with God. There has been time made specifically for reflection to help in our walk with God.
  • A moving talk from Christian Solidarity worldwide, who support those persecuted for their religion and raise awareness.
  • Worship and Preaching skills classes which despite occurring first thing on a Monday morning, have been inspirational for me. I have so much more to think about now in planning services but I also find it very exciting.
  • A role play of a wedding – I was a bridesmaid – it was a lot of fun.
  • Making new friends – there are so many great people at college and getting to know them has been fantastic.
  • God’s provision. Despite the fact we are now surviving on one income we haven’t lacked anything we have needed. Those things we have had to sacrifice haven’t been a problem. Also, thanks to the church and other supporters I have paid the fees for the first year and have started saving for the second year.
  • Good grades – all the results I have had back have been very good.
  • Settling into South Norwood Baptist Church. It is a very friendly church, not that dissimilar from Perry Rise in style and congregation although a little smaller. They have been very supportive through a few nervously delivered services and a sprained ankle. Pete, the minister, is also a great mentor.

It’s not always been easy. There has been a lot of work, much of which needs to be done on my own. At first I seemed to do nothing but studying and I had to learn to prioritise and study more efficiently in order to have time to do the other responsibilities of life (e.g. housework). Having to be alone is also difficult for me; I’m quite susceptible to ‘cabin fever’. But, I try to use the library on study days so I don’t get stuck inside alone all day. God is also helping me to cope better with it. Prayer for continued adjustment would be appreciated.

But as you can see the good far outweighs the challenges. I feel really blessed to be able to study theology and fall more in love with God the more I do it. God is also developing me as a person and as a minister. I’m excited to see where I am going to be in 3 year’s time.

I am still praying for you all at Perry Rise. I occasionally attend some of the evening services and have had opportunities to meet with a few of you at social occasions. It has been great to see those of you I have and I hope I will get an opportunity to see others of you soon.

Rachel.

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