I’m Brenda Leavenworth and as a student of Calvary Chapel University my ministry has been enriched in unexpected ways!
When I first set out to finish my bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies I believed my study would develop my writing, speaking and teaching giftings in my current calling of Women’s Ministry. However, I soon realized my education had greater implications. My recent Christian Missions course delivered shoe-leather strategies that were immediately put into practice. Equally, my Building Teams course offered concrete techniques to the beliefs studied that directly influenced my leadership acumen to centralize teams in the field.
When I first became a believer in 1991, I read scriptures like “go into all the world making disciples” and “be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judah, Samaria and to the ends of the earth” and I often wondered what this would mean for me. Is it possible the Lord could use me to influence other nations? I just couldn’t picture myself in the jungles of Africa, the war-torn regions of Sudan, or in the punishing heat of the Middle East, and so I rendered myself useless when thinking of any kind of mission’s work.
I began to pray and ask God where, if anywhere, He might find me helpful. Over time He stirred my soul for the Irish, which in reality wasn’t too far-removed from my heart to begin with. You see, my mother was born and raised in Ireland, my Dad in Scotland, which made this California girl a natural born Irish and British citizen. A love for the Irish already ran deep within my veins.
I asked God for an invitation to confirm His call, and this summer marked my 5th trip to the breathtaking Emerald Isle. Over those 5 years, I’ve seen God’s amazing handiwork: Salvations; leadership, marriage, men’s and women’s conferences; holiday bible clubs; street witnessing; outreaches to Asylum Seekers; and my favorite, strengthening and encouraging Pastors and their wives to keep running the race.
This summer, our team of 22 joined God as He orchestrated a trip where we watched Him change lives through Holiday Bible Clubs and Women’s Conferences in three different cities. My husband, Ted, taught courses in Homiletics and instructed men in leading their families. We stood in wonder as several children, teens, young adults and ladies made professions of faith as we boldly shared the Good News of Jesus Christ. We left behind resources and materials for smaller churches in desperate need. We trained local leaders in children’s ministry and we were further amazed as one of our own team members came home to pray about returning as a missionary. He remains faithful!
The courses at CCU are effortlessly transferable to all ministry. Every course I complete, I’m astonished at how it improves my ministry. The modules don’t distract or take me away from ministry “until I finish school”. Quite the contrary, studying at CCU is the perfect partner with ministry that makes it more alive, and certainly adds depth and value.