I am filled with gratitude to EBTC and would like to share a few words about how this ministry has influenced different aspects of my life and has benefitted my walk with the Lord.
I came to EBTC not too long after I became a believer. At that time, I understood the Bible to be a wonderful revelation of God deserving my whole life of devoted study, and I really wanted to study it systematically. Where should I start? When I heard about the Grundlagen Jahr (One Year Bible Survey) of EBTC, I thought it fit my needs perfectly. I was reading the Bible for the first time cover to cover. I came to know how great my God is, how He has dealt with His people, and how He always remains faithful. I had great joy spending every evening reading the wonderful words of God. As the name of the course suggests, this program really laid the foundation of my journey with the Lord.
Grundlagen Jahr (One Year Bible Survey) was only a “teaser” for me. I knew that if I wanted to be more mature and serve effectively in the church, I would need much more. Without any hesitation, I continued with both years of the Biblical Counseling program. To this day, the principles I learned in these courses are helping me to search my own heart in everything I do and to counsel others from God’s perspective. As I was taking the class, I noticed that I started to focus more and more on my heart problems and my relationship with the Lord, instead of simply looking to solve my behavior problems. In this process, I became closer to the Lord. I understood that He wants my heart. I became more honest with Him and trusted Him to change my heart and to turn it towards Him. I also noticed that the way I talked to other people had changed. I learned to analyze issues with biblical terms and see things through God’s eyes. I tried to give people biblical perspectives and counsel. Even in teaching a children‘s Sunday school class I started to focus more on how these children’s hearts should be amazed by God and turned towards Him.
At EBTC, I was taught how to make decisions biblically. Sometimes in life we must make big decisions, and when I find myself facing decisions that daunt me, knowing what God wants of me is very helpful. For years I wondered if God was calling me to missions and if so, where. As you can imagine, after 10 years of a comfortable life and a good job in Switzerland, this was not easy to discern and to decide. I started with what I learned from EBTC’s theology class: that God’s revealed will is for the gospel to be preached to all the nations. So it is obvious this has to happen and we should be part of it. What is my part in God’s story? Why do I want to reach unreached nations? What is my motivation? These were my daily prayers until things became clearer and clearer through prayer. I asked the Lord always to search my heart, to make sure I make decisions pleasing to Him. Through all His providence and guidance, He is leading me to Japan for missions. I know it will be hard, but I at least know it is from Him, as I see how He has directed my heart through the whole process and how He graciously provided everything I need to make it happen.
God’s blessing to me through EBTC is not limited to what I learned from classes. I am also still greatly benefitting from all the amazing friendships I formed with my fellow classmates. Even today they remain my best friends in Europe. Iron needs to be sharpened by iron. I have been tremendously encouraged, counseled and admonished by my friends at EBTC. I can’t imagine my pilgrimage on this earth without faithful friends like them.
My study at EBTC was only four years, yet God’s blessing through them is lifelong.