This week J and I got back from National Training Event (NTE) in Canberra, which is a conference for uni students from all over Australia (and some from overseas too). It is the major conference of the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (AFES) and all its affiliated uni clubs around Australia. J and I were both part of one of these clubs while at uni, and while J did his ministry apprenticeship in 2011 and 2012.
I've been to NTE once before as a student and it was very different this year going as a Bible College student leading a Strand Group. For one thing we had so much more free time because we weren't preparing to go on mission after the conference. We used most of this free time to catch up with friends from Adelaide whom we hadn't seen in a long time, as well as spending some time with college friends (also attending as Strand Group leaders) whom we hadn't seen in a few weeks. We were also glad for the chance to spend some time with J's sister who is currently living in Canberra.
I really enjoyed leading the group with J, though at times I felt nervous about what I was saying knowing that he could pick me up on it! He's also had more experience with our subject matter (Biblical Theology) because he ran a seminar on Biblical Theology when he was a ministry apprentice. But I enjoyed being able to explain this to the students in our group, and see them grasp for the first time some things about how the story of the Bible fits together.
We also heard some great talks, three of which were given by one of our New Testament Lecturer's from this year, who has now moved to the United States to work in a Theological College there. But one of the big things that I learnt (or realised) while at NTE was something about myself. I realised that what I want to do with my life is this: I want to pastorally care for people. I'm not sure how else to put it. I want to be able to walk with people as they go through life, help them in their struggles, listen to them and love them. This is the desire that underlies my ideas about becoming a psychologist or a counsellor.
I don't know where that leaves me or what kind of 'job' that might lead to. A psychologist? A women's worker in a church? A school counsellor? A chaplain? A mother? In any case, it's nice to have figured this out.