Continuing in our series of past students reflecting on how the programme has impacted them, this week we are hearing from Sharon Stockdale.
Sharon Stockdale – Spring 2006
Then: Geneva College student
Now: Works for Johnson and Johnson in post market quality for a diabetic insulin pump.
I am the person I am today because of the way in which the Lord used my time in Scotland. The Lord taught me so much during my time in Scotland. I am still coming to see and understand some of the seeds that were planted there. I consider my time in Scotland to be the pinnacle of my college education. Tens years later after the classes, textbooks, and information has faded, it is the life lessons that make the investment into a college education worth it. The Lord taught me so much about worldviews and service in His kingdom during that time.
Experiencing and beginning to understand another culture, through immersion, teaches you so much about your own worldview—a worldview that continually needs to be conformed to a biblical worldview. Having seen and experienced another way of thinking and relating I find that it has revealed many blind spots and cultural ‘truths’ that are accepted without question, but in reality are not biblical. It is hard to capture in words the extent that it changes the way you think and the transformational work the Lord brought about. One of the elements that makes this experience unique is you are not in a school building surrounded by other students that buffer you from the culture around you. I lived in a house with one other student and was immersed in a local body. I greatly treasure that blessing from the Lord. We did life together with a local body of believers in the kingdom of God.
Many of my current habits including independent study, resting on the Sabbath, and a love for singing the Psalms were developed during my time abroad. The local body in Airdrie modeled well, what living together as a body of believers, under the Lordship of Christ, looks like. Their model, while not perfect because we live in a fallen world, has greatly influenced my service in His kingdom. It enhanced my desire and sensitivity towards proclaiming the gospel, service towards other, biblical love of fellow believers, and doctrinal principles related to church planting. All of those things are valuable transformational pieces but more importantly I came to see the Lord more clearly and love the Lord all the more because of many of those perspectives.
The Lord immensely blessed and transformed me through my time spend in Scotland. I am eternally thankful and grateful for the opportunity. I consider it such a privilege to have known, loved, and been known by that body. I carry many of the lessons learned there with me today. I only pray that I would faithfully be able to further His kingdom here better because of the growth and transformation bestowed upon me there. It is His kingdom, for His glory, and only by His grace!