Theresa Leads a New Generation Closer to Jesus
Theresa works full time as a nurse for Red Cross and is also leading groups of disciples in the Navigators’ International Student Ministry. This is her story.
I grew up as a Buddhist. My family worshipped many gods, each god representing a different aspect of life. To me, religion was just a system of spiritual beliefs, attitudes and practices.
One evening in 1983, I was having dinner at a friend’s house when a book on her shelf caught my attention. It was Bilquis Shekh’s I Dared to Call Him Father. In it, Shekh writes about how, as a prominent Muslim woman in India, she encountered the God of the Bible and how this divine meeting miraculously turned her life upside down. From her personal story, I came to understand for the first time that Christianity is more than a religion: it concerns our relationship with the one true living God. By the time I came to the last page of the book, I found myself on my knees asking Jesus to forgive all my wrongdoings and to come into my life to be my Lord and Saviour.
Soon after, I met a couple of Navigators’ staff in my church who ran a workshop on discipleship training. They talked about the Navigators’ calling, spiritual discipline, Bible reading, quiet times, what it meant to be a Christ-centred disciple, and the Great Commission. The workshops left me with a deep hunger for God and His Word, and I wanted to be the person God would use to fulfil the Great Commission.
I became involved with the NSW International Student Ministry, led by Simon Lai. He and the other leaders patiently taught me the absolute essentials that must be present in a disciple’s life. They instilled in me a passion for God, a deep love for people and a big vision for the world.
I have lost count of how many people I have had the privilege of leading to faith in Christ as I have laboured among overseas students and their friends over the years. Just in 2014, there were as many as 14 people who came to know the Lord. Many of them have since returned to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, mainland China and Hong Kong! From the 2014 group, I still disciple four people and two of their friends. They are now slowly becoming a dynamic group made up of young mothers, fathers, professionals and students. They are learning to lead Bible studies in their first language, Mandarin (my dreams are now realised!), and reaching out to their friends and passing on what they have learned.
I know how fulfilling it is to invest deeply in people and see their lives transformed. Spiritual generations become reality as these ordinary men and women develop into reproducing labourers who lead others into relationship with Christ. This is the heartbeat of the Navigators!