After finishing her degree at AUT in Auckland last year, Kathryn Millar relocated to Christchurch as part of TSCF’s ministry internship programme (Minty). In this story of change Kathryn reflects on the Holy Spirit working in the life of a Christchurch student and the journey she has been on this year to learn more about God and his Word.
A real highlight of Minty is meeting and reading the Bible with students who are seeking to know more about Christianity. Early in the year at our Christian Union welcome BBQ, I met with a psychology student called Emma*. Her family is not religious, and although Emma had some experiences with church, she had little understanding of the gospel. She thought the Bible was only written by people, and discussed it intellectually rather than having a personal relationship with God.
Throughout the year, we have connected regularly through our one-to-one Bible studies and the CU weekly events. Emma has loved reading God’s Word in small groups on Wednesday nights, and it’s been great to see her ask questions and wrestle with what it says. She shared with me that she joined TSCF’s Bible study because she felt that joining the group would be a way to really get to know the Bible and this would help her as she considers following Jesus. The welcoming atmosphere and encouraging community are part of why she started to attend the meetings regularly. She writes, “I enjoy being a part of such a great community of people who want to follow Jesus that are just generally friendly and welcoming… I don’t really find that anywhere else.”
I love how Emma isn’t afraid to ask big questions. One night last semester while we were cooking a vegan curry together for a Christian Union night, she asked me, “Do you think it’s ok to eat animals? Where in the Bible is that?” As we drove to the Christian Union Bible study, we continued our conversation, which was the beginning of many great chats! Since then, we have discussed the significance of the resurrection of Jesus, the nature of the Holy Spirit and a bit about different Christian traditions.
It’s been encouraging to see how God has captured Emma’s interest. At one of our meetings, we read about the hope we can have in the resurrection of Jesus, and these verses from 1 Corinthians 15:17,20-21 really hit us.
“17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins… 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
We were both amazed at how, because Jesus was raised, those that believe in him will also rise. In a lost world that is seeking hope, it is such amazing news to know that Jesus offers life with him, now and forever!
Emma now believes that Jesus is God. She wants to orient her life around him, meet with other Christians, study the bible and ask questions about practical ways to apply the passages she reads. Would you please pray for Emma that her young sprouting faith would continue into lasting confidence and love for Jesus? Praise God for his continued work in the lives of students on campuses across Aotearoa who are searching for hope. Pray they would find it in Jesus.
2021 Ministry Intern