Dhanu Eliezer was raised in a Christian family and always remembers knowing the love of God and having the understanding that Christ died for her. As she grew up, this was something she started to understand more and more. Dhanu recalls, “In my teenage years, through high school and uni, I became more aware of why he died and how we needed him. And more convicted of our sinfulness and the world’s need for a saviour.”
This awareness of the need of those around her for Jesus continued to grow in Dhanu as she finished university and went into the workforce to work in law.
Exploring an apprenticeship pathway
It was originally while at University that Dhanu heard about MTS. While involved there she was encouraged to think about how she can be living her life to serve God and to tell others about Jesus, and as a part of this challenge, she started considering an apprenticeship.
Dhanu recalls, “I wasn’t quite convinced at that stage. I just wanted to work out what life could look like and kind of get an understanding of what the world was like. I also was thinking, I don’t wanna just do it because everyone else is doing it or because I’ve been told to do it.”
Being torn between these feelings and the conviction that she should be “telling everyone and spending all my days, my weeks dedicated to” sharing the gospel, Dhanu started working at a law firm in Sydney.
She shares, “I was constantly wrestling with it, and thinking through; How am I using my time? How can I be growing and being trained up? I thought MTS was a good option because I would have this dedicated time to learn more about God through reading the Bible. But once I started working, it got harder.”
Dhanu reflects that the longer you work, the harder it is to let go. The worldly desires of promotions, salary increases and even the glory of being good at something are very attractive and hard to leave behind.
Thinking about the truths she holds to as a Christian were what helped her to forge a path forward. She says, “We’re only here for a certain amount of time, like, you know, 80 years maybe. Jesus is coming back. And God is completely in control. And he wants people to know him. And so I think that just kind of made me go, what do I have to lose doing MTS? If I don’t end up doing full-time ministry afterwards I’ve just spent two years being trained up in God’s Word and learning how to love others better. And so I can’t lose.”
So in 2022, Dhanu began an apprenticeship in a part-time capacity, under Jess Sheely at Scots Church Sydney, the church she was already attending.
Open doors for evangelism in Sydney
Dhanu’s apprenticeship involves Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday work days at church, with Thursday and Friday being days at the law firm she used to work full-time at.
During the week she meets with Jess and is involved in other staff meetings, coordinates a Hub Group (bible study), organises part of the homelessness ministry Bread of Life, is involved in women’s events and is part of a women’s preaching club to be trained to preach at those events. Additionally, she is also involved in Sunday ministries and follow-up, which often involves engaging with walk-ins investigating Jesus and church.
When it comes to evangelism, Scots Church tries to be really clear to visitors. Dhanu says, “We are quite conscious of the way that we do things in our service and why we do things. We are very much keeping in mind people who may have never been to church before or even have been before, but have not had good experiences. Because we’re in the city, we get a lot of tourists or visitors, and we get some people who see us during the work week and so decide to come along.”
In addition to their conscious design on a Sunday, Scots also runs a course called Simply Christianity that varies in size depending on the term. This gives a clear next step for those visitors who want more information and will run with as few as one person.
Dhanu shares, “It’s a bit different to suburban churches, people want a bit of anonymity when they come. And so kind of working out, you know, where people are coming from, what’s their background what’s brought them to church [is part of our approach].”
People walk into church for many different reasons, and seeing God work through that has been a real encouragement for Dhanu. She says, “It’s been interesting to hear what’s brought them along.” There are so many things that bring people into church and to investigate Jesus, but they’re not always what you would expect.
In all these different experiences, God is at work. Dhanu shares, “Sometimes the reasons seem a bit random and I feel like, ‘I don’t know if that’s the best reason for you to come’, but God can use that and that’s been really exciting to see and kind of handed over to God to do the work.”
The work of God in Dhanu
Through her time as an apprentice, Dhanu has been challenged by God’s sovereignty and trusting in his plan. She says, “For example, in the first few months of my apprenticeship, my Bible study group had maybe 12 people on the list, and on average we were getting three or four – including the two of us leaders. It felt a bit like ‘what’s the point’! But I was reminded that each week we’re still opening the Bible and God’s speaking to us. And that God can even use those opportunities.”
God has continually been reminding Dhanu to rely on him, and not the numbers or people’s happiness, but to trust God that he is at work. She reflects, “Being able to hand things over to God and allow him to work means I don’t really get super concerned about getting things right or perfect. And it’s been quite freeing. And so I think linked to that is just the reminder of the gospel of grace, that we don’t have to get things right to point people to Jesus.”
For those considering MTS themselves, Dhanu says, “To completely trust in Jesus and see him at work in people’s lives is a real joy. And so I think that for people who are considering, who are maybe similar to me – you don’t lose anything doing it. You come out with a lot more knowledge and love for God. And it’s a great opportunity that you wouldn’t regret even if it doesn’t mean you go into a full-time ministry afterwards.”