Reflections on Semester One: Learning from Great Expectations

by Pheobe Guerra

At the beginning of this year, I was very keen to start the semester and really excited to meet international students on a regular basis. On my very first time with my Explore Group, as I was waiting for them in our meeting place, I started imagining how our interactions would go. When the time hit 12pm, other small groups started to fill up the area, but no one was approaching me until other groups had gone off. I tried messaging and calling them. One said that she wasn’t feeling well, another sent me a message an hour later apologizing and the other one didn’t respond at all.

What a way to start the semester, right? I was laughing at myself when I left the meeting place, but my mind was also in a race with questions. “Should I have tried meeting with them the week before? Did they feel pressured? Didn’t I handle my communication with them well?” Honestly, I felt like I failed just when I was starting.

That’s the battle that I needed to face as I started this semester. That is why I truly value how I’ve been being trained. The training that I’ve been going through both  in a team and as an individual setting is humbling me and encouraging me, allowing the word of God to shape me and how I view the circumstances before me. As I’ve learned from a seasoned campus worker, “Authentic ministry is centred in the gospel, motivated by the love of Christ, as we boast in our weakness and rest in the grace of God.”

God isn’t expecting me to do things perfectly. Rather He desires me to trust Him as I look forward to how He will take me by His hand. These are the things that I need to keep in mind and check with my heart as I hope to train campus student leaders and help other small churches as I go back to the Philippines. May the Lord be gracious to me that in His kindness I may continue to know Him, live for Him and serve others.

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