SBFM (School of Biblical Foundations & Missions) is an Apologetics & Worldview secondary school we run to further equip DTS graduates to be grounded in sound doctrine; Trained to teach others, and Mobilized into areas of need.
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I had the incredible opportunity to be a part of an outreach, spending four weeks in India. My team got to join an apologetics tea shop ministry in an urban area of India. What this looked like was spending our days in the tea shop, and waiting for students from a nearby university to come and sit with us. This ministry was set up to fight against the enemy’s attacks on the city, mainly through depression and suicide.
In this tea shop we would sit with the students that came in for tea and have open conversations about life, hope, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Atheism, peace, purpose, and more.
Our main objective was to ask Jesus what each student needed to hear and be ones that would help to direct conversations from basic, general, and small talk, to deep, meaningful conversations. My days would begin by asking Jesus, “Lord, help me to see these students as you see them. Show me your heart for them. You know what they need Jesus! Only you, Jesus, know every hurt, every struggle, every doubt, and every wound. Help me to love them.”
Throughout our time in India, I had the opportunity to get to know one young Hindu man. After some time, he began to open up about his anxiety, his bad temper, and deep relationship wounds. I was able to share about the hope of Jesus. We would openly talk about both of our beliefs. He confessed that Hinduism confuses him. He’s not dedicated to it like his father, and has even been exposed to some Christian beliefs by his mother, who has also been more interested in learning about Jesus. One day I asked him if he would be interested in doing a video study with me, which focuses on some of the main beliefs in Christianity. I also asked him if he would be willing to read through and study the book of Mark with me. He agreed and so we began.
IT WAS INCREDIBLE! Reading through the scripture with him was so exciting! Everything Jesus said was new and fresh to him! Studying this familiar book with him, who had such an excitement, made it new and fresh for me as well. He brought up questions I’d never thought of before and it forced me to seek more of God in my personal times, and to seek guidance and wisdom from my fellow students and leaders. It was the most amazing experience to see him read, re-read when he didn’t understand, and ask questions. I saw him become captivated by Jesus more and more every day. I saw him become so intrigued by how bold and outspoken Jesus was! His favorite story was when Jesus healed the leper. He was amazed that Jesus would have compassion on him and touch the man.
Our studies got to the point where he would begin to defend Jesus in front of some of his other Hindu and Muslim friends when they would claim that “all the gods are the same.” This young man would boldly say, “There’s NO ONE like Jesus!”
Before I left India, I asked him what he was thinking about Jesus and the Bible. He began to talk about stories in Mark and also Genesis, which we started after we finished Mark. He told me that reading the Bible has had a positive impact on his life. He had begun to read some of the Psalms at home and even went to church on Sunday with one of the staff members from the tea shop ministry.
During the lecture phase of SBFM I learned to dig deep into the big questions of life. Why am I a Christian? Is it really worth it? Is it really true? Why are other religions not true?
Without this training, I would have not had the confidence to speak to this young Hindu man with so much boldness. I would have shied away from the tough questions, and wouldn’t have been brave enough to challenge his beliefs. In SBFM I learned how to have real, in-depth conversations with educated, smart, students; people that would’ve formerly intimidated me. SBFM also taught me how to have compassion and to always focus on the person’s heart rather than winning an argument. It taught me how to balance being firm in my beliefs, while still learning how to listen to what people say. I also learned to hear the emotions behind what they’re saying. I’m so grateful for this school and how much God used it to grow me into further maturity in Christ.
By Abi Voth