Watching God transform the students' lives and hearts is the greatest joy of working in the student life department at the Word of Life Bible Institute. It’s amazing and humbling that God allows us to be involved in their daily lives while they spend a year dedicated to building a biblical foundation and developing key ministry skills. In fact, about 93% of this year has been spent with them. As I calculated that figure, I paused and sincerely took some time to reflect on that. I have spent the majority of this year with these eight young women attending WOLBI Jeju this year and I’ve had the opportunity to walk with them through the joys and hardships of this year. We have great memories of adventure, laughter and talking about God’s Word, all of which will be very hard to forget. Throughout this year, I’ve learned that it’s the little moments that make the biggest impact and it’s the day-to day living that builds a loving community. I believe that is what makes the Word of Life Bible Institute such a unique place to study the Bible, that is, the opportunity for discipleship.
Investment. That is the first word that comes to my mind when I think about discipleship. According to Google, investment means, “devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result”.
That encapsulates the vision of the student life department completely as we seek to pour our lives into seeing these young students lives changed by the Word of God. It’s completely worth every minute of time, every ounce of energy and we minister knowing God will continue to transform their lives. By God’s grace and power, we have walked through this year teaching, guiding, and helping these students understand the joy of walking close to God in hopes that they will pass that on to others.
And they are. That’s the ultimate blessing, the opportunity to watch the current students invest in the lives of the teenagers on Jeju Island. Devoting much time and energy to sharing the Gospel with these teens, the students are eagerly investing in this young generation of believers in Asia. In two months these students will disperse, heading back to their native countries to continue to invest and bring forth the Gospel to the people of Asia.
Discipleship is hard because it takes time, effort, and energy. We have to be committed for the long run and remember that those simple moments of living life together builds influential and lasting relationships. I am reminded of the apostle Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 as he proclaimed, “So being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us”.
Paul encouraged the believers to share both God’s truth and their lives to the people and his words serve as a great model and reminder for believers today. What are you doing to invest in the lives of those around you?