‘I used to play rugby for the Chilean national team and was in training for the 1998 youth rugby world cup in France. However, shortly before I was due to fly out I caught pneumonia and couldn’t go. I was devastated! Rugby was my life.'
Felipe Chamy is from Chile and was a Crosslinks study partner between 2014 and 2016. He explains how he became a Christian:
‘As I couldn't go to France for the world cup, I was invited instead to go to a Christian youth retreat. It was there that I realised how much God loved me. A few days later, as I was walking through downtown Santiago, God convicted me of my sin - right there on the sidewalk. I started crying so much that I had to leave my friends and go home. This was the week I should have been playing rugby for my country.
‘Immediately I started going to church and the youth pastor read the Bible with me. He did a great job of discipling and encouraging me and after a year I was leading a group with him, teaching the Bible for myself. I enjoyed opening the Bible with newcomers and fellow Christians.'
This led to Felipe studying for a theology degree at the Center for Pastoral Studies (CEP) in Santiago. 'I thought I could be better trained for reading the Bible with others. My desire was to deepen my knowledge of God through the Scriptures.' Whilst there, Felipe was selected by the Anglican Church in Chile to train to become a teacher of theology himself. He writes, ‘The Synod of the Anglican Church wanted to improve the quality of training in Chile. So with the help of a Crosslinks bursary I went to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois to study for an MA in theology and the New Testament. For several years now CEP graduates have been ordained as church leaders in Chile. As people like me are being better prepared for academic ministry, CEP will be more able to cope with the demands of a growing Church in need of well-trained pastors and gospel workers.’
Felipe is now back in Santiago and teaching at CEP alongside pastoral ministry at a local church. Could you help someone like Felipe train for a life-time of gospel ministry?
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