Andrew Powell (Westminster Presbyterian Church, Bull Creek, Western Australia)
Greetings, I started my MTS apprenticeship in January 2018, which at the time I write this, I’ve been in Christian Ministry for roughly three months. I thank God every day for the opportunity to be a worker in the harvest (Matthew 9:37-38). It has been an incredible experience, seeing God work in and through the church, the staff, people and myself. The ministries I am involved in are wonderful. Whether it be with children or adults, sharing the Gospel and serving them is a privilege and a joy. There have been struggles. Immersing myself in God with work, study, family, relationships has emphasised my sinful nature, an extremely sobering truth, leading me to a lot of confession, repentance and overwhelming love for Jesus and His eternal grace. It has been difficult to see friendships and family connections drift away because of my faith. Knowing the need for Jesus in everyone and seeing those I care about reject Him is heartbreaking. This also includes strangers I evangelise to and ministries that fail. These struggles push me to stand firm and devote myself to ministry, where I continue to pray for wisdom in balancing it all with the responsibilities of being a husband and a father. God, through the apprenticeship, has changed and improved the way I pray, grow in Scripture and love people. Before the apprenticeship I worked 12 hour shift work with a lot of overtime, I never had time for people. Now my job is to make time for people. I love it.
I have had numerous moments of witnessing the power of Jesus. We serve an amazing King. One ongoing experience I would like to share. I met a man who started coming to our evening service. We started chatting and he explained to me he was trying to find peace and understanding during some massive struggles and suffering in his life. He told me he loved coming to our church. In the first four weeks, he said different people had spoken to him and really loved him. I asked him if he was spending time with any Christians during the week to pray, read the bible and chat with. He said no but he would love that. This started a bond between us that has changed both our lives forever. We started reading the Bible together and talking about what it means to have Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. We have laughed, cried, debated, confessed, repented and poured out our hearts in prayer. We encourage each other in our faith, sharing the Gospel, dealing with our pain, suffering and temptation in Jesus. Praise the Lord for His enduring love at the centre of two brothers in Christ! And it all started with a bloke who was in despair and feeling isolated coming to church looking for answers. Thank you Jesus.
May the love of Jesus overflow in us and the people we meet.