We had the pleasure of interviewing previous OneLove delegate Amy, who along with her husband, planted a new church called Chapel Hill in Rozelle. In this interview, she shares how God's Word has impacted her life as a missionary kid, theological student, church planter, and mum-to-be!
1. Hi Amy! Please share with us where you're from and how you became a Christian?
God's hand has guided, comforted, dragged and encouraged me all along this journey of life.
Hi! I was born in Sydney but grew up in Kiev, Ukraine in a missionary family. We moved back to Sydney when I was 18 so Sydney is definitely home now (after some time of adjustment).
I would say that I initially became a Christian when I was about 9 years old through the testimony of my parents and having always known Jesus' love for me. I understood that I need Him for myself, not just because it's what my parents believe. But God's refining and revealing work has (and always will be) consistent in my life.
Moving back to Australia was a really formative time in me embracing my faith for myself away from the familiarity of church and friends. I'm so thankful that God doesn't let go of me even in my times of struggle. I can look back on all of my life and clearly see His guiding and sustaining hand through it all. God's hand has guided, comforted, dragged and encouraged me all along this journey of life.
2. When you moved to Australia you spent some time studying at Sydney Missionary Bible College (SMBC). How did God work in your life during your studies?
I had come from a very conservative church in Ukraine so what I believed about God was challenged here in Australia. My desire to know God's Word more deeply for myself motivated me to study at Sydney Missionary Bible College. I didn't have any big plans of where my training would lead me afterwards, but I just knew I wanted more of God.
Studying at theological college helped to confirm my knowledge of God in His Word and helped me to think through things that I may have grown up knowing, but not really questioning. I remember being so awestruck when I realised that all of the Old Testament was pointing to the need for Jesus. I hadn't seen that before!
During my time at SMBC, God used the Bible teaching and my relationships with other students to build up my personal confidence in Him. I sorely miss discussing lecture content with friends over lunch or late into the night .
3. Along with your husband, you started a church plant called Chapel Hill in Rozelle. What have been some of the highlights and challenges of starting a new church?
i've really enjoyed journeying with girls who like me, have come from christian families, but are now actually being challenged by god's word and seeking to put him first.
Straight out of college I was confident and on fire! Mikey and I were married a year after college, and straight away started church planting what is now Chapel Hill. In that first year I lost a lot of the confidence God had taught and built up in me. This was because I feared and listened to humans more than I listened to God's promises. It was a challenging time as I was trying to be a super wife and person in ministry but I was just floundering! The expectations I put on myself along with these fears overtook me.
Again, I'm so thankful that God's hand was leading me through all this and now as Mikey and I look back on our 3 years of church planting, we can so clearly see God's work in it all. He has deepened our love for Him and each other each year, and as we look back on the challenges of the past, we can see how much He grew us through them.
Real highlights of church planting have been seeing those who have been Christians for awhile getting into the 'meat' of God's Word, and watching them grow in Him. I've really enjoyed journeying with girls who like me, have come from Christian families, but are now actually being challenged by God's Word and seeking to put Him first.
4. What is your favourite Bible verse and why?
I don't particularly have a single favourite Bible verse, but over the past year Psalm 73:28 has been a huge source of comfort and encouragement. I've cried over it, clung to it and fallen asleep reminding myself of the refuge the Lord is:
"But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deed."
5. How does the promise of eternity with God impact your ministry?
instead of worrying about what i should do in my own strength, the promise of eternity takes me to a place of surrender and reliance on god.
Half the time I'm scared out of my mind with being a pastor's wife and a soon to be mum (our first bub is due mid June)! I get so caught up in what I should do that I lose sight of the whole purpose of life. Instead of worrying about what I should do in my own strength, the promise of eternity takes me to a place of surrender and reliance on God - which really is where we should all be all the time anyway! It calms me down to know that all parts of my life - family and ministry - are all about Jesus and I want my life to reflect that. I'm so excited for the day where i'll be standing before my Lord!