“If the world hates you, you should realize that it hated me before you” (John 15:18)            

Welcome to the CTI Study Abroad Program’s blog. My name is Brenton Green. By the end of this year, I will have completed my Student Ministry degree at Geneva College.  Through the course of my 22 years, I have never really been outside of the country. There have been plenty of reasons behind my method of thinking. Once 9/11 happened I assumed that the terrorists would have a more predominant role in the destruction of the United States. There was absolutely no way I was leaving the country.  However, God changed my way of thinking. He determined that my next destination was Scotland. Initially, I was still very hesitant about doing the study abroad program. My specific reason was the program was run under a Reformed Presbyterian denomination. If you knew me during my sophomore year, I hated going to a service that was Reformed. I was and still am affiliated with the P.C.U.S.A Presbyterian sect. The mandatory chapels Geneva required students to go to each day was my study time.  Even though God has changed my mindset towards the Reformed denomination, I still was unsure that I could deal with an entire semester of Reformed worship.  After many months of constant prayer, God had decided my first semester was going to occur in Scotland. Since God had predestined this choice, how was I going to argue with God? God’s decision was final, and I was going to be studying in Scotland.

John 15:18 states “If the world hates you, you should realize that it hated me before you.” Over the course of this past week, this Scripture has really resonated with me as we visited the sites of the Scottish martyrs. Even though men like John Knox, Andrew Melville, and George Wishart knew death was imminent, they still felt called to proclaim Christ as Lord. Their entire life’s purpose was not their own, but rather of the Kingdom of God.  As the week continued, I began to wonder, would I truly die for Christ at any moment? This thought begain to pentrate deep into my inner midst. If I was not willing to die for Christ, was I then truly committed to Him?  My doubts lingered until I began to think what Christ really did for me. He has saved me from the pit of Hell and filled the void within my heart. Before Christ was in my life I attempted to fill the gap with any form of pleasure.             

Although I could probably write an entire five to seven page paper on this week, I am going to stop for now.  I do not think God has placed me here out of sheer luck. God has a purpose that is beyond my knowledge. Continually I pray that God will enlighten my mind when He sees fit.  

I would ask that all the Geneva students and faculty continue to pray for our studies and our time in Scotland.