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Ended Jan 25, 2016
Are you a Name or a Voice? My pastor started his Sunday message with this question during the season when I was seeking the Lord for my future direction. My Fulbright adventure in the US was coming to an end and I was going to continue pursuing ... More ...

Are you a Name or a Voice?

My pastor started his Sunday message with this question during the season when I was seeking the Lord for the future direction. The great adventure I had in the US as a Fulbright scholar was coming to an end and my original plan was to continue pursuing research through a PhD track. But that message made me test my motives and once again ask myself why I am in Academia. Is it just because I love research and the beautiful people I meet there? Or because it is my calling? Am I doing it because every degree, every scholarship, every published article adds something to my name,  or because I am given a chance to be a witness for Christ in a place where so few know His name? Do I want to be a Name or a Voice?

Through these questions God was sifting my heart and showing me the dark corners where pride and fear were nesting. At the same time Christ was telling me not to be afraid to abandon my dreams and follow Him, because His dreams for me are much better than mine. This is when I learned about the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics (The OCCA). It is a one-year course that Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) provides in partnership with Oxford University that teaches apologetics with some of the best apologists in the world today. The word ‘apologetics’ does not mean "to apologize" but comes from the Greek word απολογητική, which means "to give a reason". And as a Christian I believe it is important to give a reason for why I believe what I believe. In 1 Peter 3:15 it is written, “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”  This is especially important in the world of Academia, where integrity and reason remain to be the key concepts.

Because the vision God has given me was so similar to the vision of RZIM, whose motto is "Helping The Thinker Believe. Helping The Believer Think"  and because I knew that I am in great need of a good training in Theology and Apologetics to be equipped for the road that lies ahead, I applied to the program... and got accepted! This was beyond my wildest dreams! But this was just the beginning! Since I was still in school finishing my master's and had no savings, I was not sure how I would pay for the program, but God opened this door too! Over the course of the past few months I was given two scholarships of 7,000 GBP and 19,745 GBP (!!!) which completely cover my tuition fees in Oxford. 

Now there is one last door that has to be opened so that I could start the program in September. To be able to get a student visa I need to raise funds covering the minimum living expenses requirement, which is 7,380 GBP (roughly $12,600). It is a very big amount for me and there is little time left, this is why I decided to ask for help and partnership from my family and friends. I know that I am not walking the Narrow Road alone, and that a lot of you share the vision God has given me, so I created this campaign to ask you whether you would consider joining me on this journey. As one of my friends pointed out, "if each one of your 600+ friends on Facebook felt led to contribute just $20, you would have the necessary funds in less than a day!"

In Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell says “I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” As for me I can’t say that I’m fast but when I study, I do feel His pleasure. All I can hope for is that this year God will give me a chance to study more for His glory and pleasure. I am very thirsty for a fresh revelation that would allow me to express His Wonder and Beauty in deeper ways. And the greatest possible honor that I can imagine – is to be not a name but one of the voices, sharing His story which has always inspired people to think and to believe.


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