This issue shares a few stories of how God is using our current and former students to make a positive impact the world. With over 4000 graduates ACOM continues to touch the lives of many people around the world. We hope these stories are an encouragement as you continue to explore your own life journey with God.
It has been nearly four years since 20-year-old Tammy Forbes put her faith in Jesus—she likes to count the time because it reminds her how of much He has done in her life. She remembers the first time she heard about Jesus’ love and how she felt living without it. Today, these memories fuel her passion to reach out to others who do not know Him.
Tammy lives in Withcott, Queensland; a small town with a population of approximately 1,700. She commenced her Diploma of Christian Studies with Australian College of Ministries (ACOM) in mid-2013 and is now an integral part of the Withcott Church of Christ where she runs the worship ministry and assists with the youth and children’s ministries. Since she came to the faith, Tammy has been to Vanuatu twice (in 2012 and 2013) and is an eager member of the partnership between Withcott Church of Christ and the Churches of Christ on Central Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.
Speaking about this partnership, Tammy said: ‘There’s a real love between their community and ours.’ She continued: ‘It feels like something out of the book of Acts. Our pastors who have gone over have been able to teach and I’ve been so inspired by their willingness to help us in prayer and how they prioritise relationship over everything. For them it’s about people getting to know God, not keeping the institution alive. They’ve taught me that relationship is the cornerstone of mission.’
As Tammy continues to grow in Jesus, she is also discovering more about herself; for example, as wonderful as her experiences in Vanuatu have been, Tammy feels that her greater mission is at home where there appear to be more people in her own neighbourhood who do not know Jesus than in Vanuatu.
Tammy explained: ‘I tend to get very restless if I feel I’m not doing things with people who don’t know God. I really love being around people who don’t know him and just being like him to them. I taught religious instruction to a Year One class at a local primary school and taught English to refugees—I’m amazed at the things Jesus and I have been able to do together this year; I’m so blessed that he would want to use me!’
One of the most significant things God has taught Tammy, particularly through her studies at ACOM, is the difference between being busy and bearing fruit. Despite the fact that is It is not always easy, Tammy is learning to live with the tension between wanting to accomplish things and letting God’s spirit pour into her so that she can bear lasting fruit. She has learnt that it is not about fitting the mould of what she thought a ‘good Christian’ should be like; rather it is about becoming the disciple of Jesus she was created to be.
Tammy is not sure what will happen next in her life, but she feels blessed that God has given her a simple, childlike faith and knows that he will come and be faithful to his word. Tammy explains: ‘When people ask about my plans for the future my favourite things to say is that I don’t have one—I just want to follow Jesus and do what he’s asking me to do. I’m on an adventure with God! … I think everyone’s life can be an adventure with God if you listen to him. He will supply every need if there’s something he’s asking you to do.’