Courtney Worboys is an unlikely apprentice, having opposed the idea when her husband, Ryan, originally suggested it. Now about to finish the second year of a two-year apprenticeship with AFES, Courtney has seen firsthand how God is working powerfully to adopt people to His family.
Focus and clarity through faith
Growing up in a Christian household, Courtney’s personal decision to fully embrace her faith occurred at a young age. “I remember when I was about seven or eight years old, distinctly thinking ‘I don’t want to be sitting on the fence. Just because I’m in a Christian home doesn’t mean I’ve actually personally made the decision to follow Jesus,’” she shares.
So Courtney committed her life to Christ. She recalls, “My parents had come in and I shared the news with them and I remember all three of us crying with joy.” It was a pivotal moment, one that shaped her identity and provided a strong foundation as she went to high school and then on to full-time work.
Some years later when Courtney was a young adult and married to Ryan, the conversation about MTS started up. Ryan had been keen on doing an apprenticeship for a number of years, but Courtney was against the idea.
However, God was working in her to change this.
She shares, “Gradually, over probably the course of about three or four years, my heart was softened. And over time, money and career became less and less important. I saw the great benefit of doing an apprenticeship and I saw the work that was happening on campus and just the way it had impacted me and grown my faith. Seeing that and also realising the real need for gospel workers is part of why I thought I should consider it.”
Showing Jesus on campus
Together with her husband, Courtney started an apprenticeship with AFES on the Deakin University campus in Burwood in 2022. She is trained by experienced AFES worker Candice Bergamin, and appreciates how she has been able to further grow that relationship as mentor/mentee and also friend.
Courtney shares, “We meet up every week with the main aim of Candice training me, but it’s also to spend time praying together. It’s special sharing our lives together. There is so much to learn from Candice and it’s really valuable.”
During her apprenticeship, Courtney has been involved in a broad range of ministry areas including; reading the Bible 1-1, evangelism on campus, preaching to women, organising events and leading strands at the National Training Event (NTE) conference.
Courtney says, “There are lots of logistical things like organising camps, but the main aim is for students to come to know Jesus through hearing the Word.”
Adoption into God’s family
This year Courtney has been able to see the real saving power of God’s Word when it’s shared! This was through a friend she made called Sakura.
Courtney says, “My highlight of the whole apprenticeship was meeting a girl called Sakura from unreached Japan. We met in October 2022 and then ended up reading the Bible together.”
Sakura had never read the Bible before coming to Australia. She and Courtney faithfully read together each week from October 2022 to June 2023 when she returned to Japan. During this time, Sakura gave her life to Jesus and was adopted into God’s family!
“She even said to me, ‘If I hadn’t come to Australia, I would never have met Jesus,” Courtney shared.
Witnessing Sakura’s transformation was an amazing look into God at work. Courtney shares, “In June, before she headed back home, she got baptised. I remember weeping with joy because it was such a privilege to be a part of God’s saving work.”
Even though Sakura has now returned home, their friendship continues through regular Zoom catch-ups. Back in Japan Sakura has connected with the church and with the Christian group at her uni there. She’s also putting into practice what Courtney taught to her, by getting alongside another new Japanese Christian who wasn’t as prepared to navigate cultural challenges.
Courtney reflects, “It was really special being a part of her story and being able to journey with her and see her marvelling at God’s Word and understanding it.”
Sharing the gospel is urgent
Throughout her apprenticeship, Courtney’s growth in understanding and applying the gospel has been transformative. The urgency to share the gospel became clearer, motivating her to persistently engage in evangelism.
“Constantly reading the Bible with so many different students, it’s on your mind and your heart. It‘s really helped to sharpen my knowledge and made its application more impactful,” she says.
Courtney keenly supports those considering supporting MTS in its mission to multiply gospel workers through ministry apprenticeships. She says, “It’s worthwhile. What you give – none of it will be wasted. There are so many people out there that need to hear about Jesus, like Sakura, and your partnership (both in prayers and finances) enables ministry workers to be trained and equipped to take the gospel to all nations.”