“If it weren’t for MTS I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t be a missionary. God used my apprenticeship to give me opportunities to try out ministry in a safe environment and challenge me to think about how I might use all that he had given me for His glory.”
Former apprentice Kellie Nicholas is doing work that helps to bring good news of great joy to all people. Kellie did an MTS apprenticeship from 2000-2002 with FOCUS at the University of Canberra and Crossroads Christian Church in the ACT.
The tap on the shoulder for becoming an apprentice
Kellie remembers, “After doing my teaching internship in 4th year at uni, I was left questioning whether I was happy to have limited time for ministry once I graduated. I was also thinking about going to Japan as a missionary in the future and wanted to see if ministry was for me. Lisa McNabb (an MTSer at the time) encouraged me to talk to Dave McDonald about doing an apprenticeship.”
After having those conversations with Lisa and Dave, Kellie decided to take the leap and do an MTS apprenticeship. It was a great opportunity for her to understand what skills she needed to improve for working in ministry, as well as how God has gifted her for ministry.
Kellie shares, “I discovered during my apprenticeship that I love meeting one to one and helping student leaders write Bible studies. I had always seen ministry as up-front stuff which I really wasn’t keen on. MTS helped me to see that ministry is for all kinds of people, even the introverts who don’t like standing in front of people. I also got to try a number of things in a safe, supported environment that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise.”
Kellie followed her apprenticeship with a Bachelor of Theology at Moore College, before joining CMS to go to Japan as a missionary in 2008.
Serving God in Japan with university students
She now serves with KGK, the Japanese Christian university student group, where she encourages Christian students to keep following Jesus and reach out to their friends, in an often challenging environment.
Kellie recalls, “As a uni student, I studied Japanese and went there on a year’s exchange. During my first semester, I couldn’t find any Christians on my campus. Second semester I found some but they were all international students (about 8). I came to realise how hard it must be to be a Christian in Japan, particularly as a student.”
It’s still hard for Christians on campus in Japan.
One of Kellie’s students, Motoe, shares, “At the beginning of 2021, I was the only member of my campus Christian group left as the other members had graduated. I wasn’t sure what to do so I prayed about it. I received a message from a student who was transferring to my university from America and so we planned to start meeting. At the same time, a non-Christian wanted to join, so we started with three members.”
Motoe wanted to create a place where both Christians and non-Christians could enjoy reading the Bible together, but didn’t really know how to go about it. This is where Kellie’s leaders’ training came in!
Motoe says, “I wasn’t confident to be a leader but I was encouraged by Kellie and the other students, as we learnt together and prayed for each other. At about this time I also met a second-year Education student and asked her to join the group. There were now four of us in the group. To start with we would just pray but after the leaders’ training, I realised it would be good if we also read the Bible together, even if it was only a short passage. Of course, prayer is important, but we also need to listen to God speaking to us.”
It is so exciting that with Kellie’s encouragement, Motoe is leading this group, studying God’s word, and sharing the gospel with her non-Christian friend!
Without her MTS apprenticeship, Kellie doesn’t think she would have made it to Japan. She shares, “If it weren’t for MTS I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t be a missionary. God used my apprenticeship to give me opportunities to try out ministry in a safe environment and challenge me to think about how I might use all that he had given me for His glory.”
This Christmas, will you give towards our $155,000 goal to help raise up more apprentices like Kellie who can bring good news of great joy to all people – both here in Australia, and in challenging overseas locations like Japan?
Your gift will make such an impact as we prepare and plan for 2023 and seek new ways to encourage, recruit and train apprentices.