Changed to Be Used

This past week, I had the privilege of joining 18 learners for a BEE World Facilitator Training, hosted at GFC. It was a transformational time for me personally on three levels:

  1. Entering into an inductive study of the book of Galatians for 6 weeks prior,
  2. Engaging with both facilitators and learners through hands-on practice sessions while teaching lessons, and
  3. Deepening my personal vision for world missions through the interactions I had with attendees from all walks of life, from a microbiology professor to a former south-Texas law enforcement agent.

Serving the learners during the week were 9 facilitators and staff members from BEE World who demonstrated their deep love for us as students by challenging us to study God’s word and learn from our mistakes in presentation. Peer reviews and facilitator feedback kept us on point as we moved throughout the week.

My interest in BEE World began 9 years ago when 2 women from our church were heading to Asia to participate in BEE World training there, leading women in the art and discipline of Bible study and multiplication of ministry. I was drawn to have them to my apartment to pray for them in their time of preparation and found myself following the ministry ever since. As we watched Larry Nees retire from pastoring at Grace Fellowship Church, we saw him continue to serve in a leadership role with BEE World and use his gifts to serve various restricted access countries around the world. I continued to hope that one day God would open a door for me to be more personally involved.

This past spring, a display was set up in the GFC lobby telling us more about BEE World because a portion of our café purchases that month were going towards their ministry. I asked for further information and, through conversation with Lois Martin and Mary Nees, placed my name on a sign-up sheet indicating my interest in training this summer. What joy I received the end of May when I got the email telling me there was a spot left in the training and asking if it would be mine!

As I picked up my study materials and began digging into the book of Galatians over the next few weeks, I felt just like I was living in my Moody Bible Institute student days all over again. The more I learned, the more I realized I did not know and the more time I spent in God’s word, the richer the reward. Some weekends I would find that I had been out on the deck at sunrise for 3 hours, not even noticing the time fly by. How humbling to see that even though I had studied God’s word for 40 years, I had not even scratched the surface of the depths of the truths that can be found in Galatians: freeing grace from the bondage of the law before Christ.

The crowning point of the conference was on Thursday afternoon when 8 of us from our local church brought our boxed lunches into a circle and brainstormed about how God might use what we had learned in future service to our partner churches in Rwanda. With what seems to be a new closing of open doors to enter with the gospel light, it is imperative that we act quickly yet closely, led by the Holy Spirit to equip others to study the Bible in their own country and culture. To this end, I pray with a heart that has been truly changed.

Barbara Gemar

Barbara Gemar has attended Grace Fellowship Church for the past 10 years with her husband and 2 daughters, who are both now grown. She is a published author and teaches writing to 5th and 6th grade at-risk students in the local public-school system. Ever since serving in Chicago’s inner-city ministry, Barbara has loved missions and enjoyed supporting others when she could not be on a formal mission field herself.

BEE World (Biblical Education by Extension) is a partnering organization with GFC that provides seminary-level training to church leaders who otherwise have no access to biblical education. Our partnership with them is focused on their training in Rwanda. Click here to learn more about this important global ministry.