Autumn 2021, The Twelve
Staying at the Bible College of Wales was a real dream for me. The three months flew by, and at the end I only wished there was more time to spend with my new family in Wales. I think one of the most incredible things about the college is the way it gathers people with many differences—geographical, personal, denominational—and relies on God’s grace to bring them together. It is a beautiful example of the international church and I was so thrilled to catch a glimpse of the great vision of the folks there. To get to know people whose lives have been lived so far away from my own, and at the end, be able to call them my friends and family with a full heart, was more than I could have asked for.
During the semester, I loved the balance of teaching, prayer, and time to rest. Since I have been home, I think so often of the view from the highest point in the Italian Gardens where you can stand on your toes on the stone pavilion and just see the lighthouse at the end of Mumbles pier. I wish I thought of it myself, but I can only agree with whoever said that ‘BCW is a thin place between Heaven and Earth.’ It seemed like everyday the sweetness of God was seeping through in the misty rain and streaming down in the sunshine. The soul-searching I went through was raw and very difficult for me at points, but there was also a constant excitement in my heart about being together with people who truly desire to love God and do good.
When I got home, my devotion was tested very quickly, now that the trip I had been looking forward to for so long was over. I had thought that while I was living in Wales that the Lord would clearly translate my calling to me and open up an exciting life of ministry, but back at home I found that I was still unsure where to go. In the months since I have been back, I have been wrestling with the fact that a life of faith means faith-fulness—long-suffering and consistency. Even though we walked through Rees Howell’s example and the way of surrender at the College, I can see that I am still trying to ‘come through.’ It is difficult to gauge how deeply you have surrendered until you are actually faced with loss or disappointment. However, perseverance in that time of doubt is just as essential to the process as the first commitment.
BCW has set the bar high for life and faith as I am sure many of the alumni have found. But though it is a challenge now, I believe we will come out as gold, purified by the fire and not destroyed. Jesus was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, and yet He is also our joyous and triumphant King. He walked the impossible path, not so that we would not have to, but so that we could also walk as He walked. He did not die so that we would not have to die, He died so that we would be able to die and resurrect. I am so happy and grateful for my time at BCW, and I believe that, though I am still in need of direction, God will bring me through, and the struggle is an important part of the authentic faith that can be seen so clearly at the College. I pray today for each one of us, that we will persevere through pain and be found faithful, upheld by the Only Worthy One, full of the true love of God.