ETSC Update -August, 2016
It was wonderful to welcome back our students in mid-July, as they took a break from their summer internships to reflect on their experiences and share them with members of Faculty and with their fellow students.
The students study many topics through the academic year, but the internships allow them the chance to put the theory into practice. They find themselves placed in situations where they may not always be comfortable and have to develop the skills to meet the peoples’ needs and respond in creative ways.
After 1st year, the students are attached to a well-established congregation. Before coming to ETSC, the students will have been active in their local churches, but it is good for them to work alongside experienced pastors and be opened up to new opportunities. Ezat is in his 20s, but has never been comfortable working with younger children, but he was tasked to run a children’s conference and discovered gifts he never knew he had – and he had a broad smile on his face when he said that now he really enjoys children’s work!
Those students who have just completed 2nd Year are attached to organizations involved in social and developmental issues, which has involved them visiting different centres and projects, working with drug addicts and prisoners and their families and street kids, to mention but a few. After 3rd Year, the students spend their summer in congregations which have either just been planted or which have been without a minister for a number of years. They experience the joys and challenges of pastoral life. For Maurice, however, his problem was lack of numbers! He is in a town near Luxor in the South of the Egypt, but there are not even a handful of people attending the church there. In other countries such churches would probably be closed, but that could seriously have an impact on the Christian witness within the town. Maurice is quite musical, however, and so has tried to encourage the local youth to attend by offering them music lessons! We will wait and see how successful he has been! The students have now returned to their placements, refreshed and hopefully revitalized. They will finish by the end of August, after which it will be time to look forward to a new session!