Becky Roberts from London applied for a vocational grant when she was 19 and struggling to make up the rest of her funding for a Christian gap year. Hear from Becky on her experience:
I was freaking out because I had 2 months to raise all the money I needed for Soul61, which is a christian gap year program designed to train and raise up leaders. I found out about LWPT through someone I knew who was already on the programme.
The grant was such a blessing and answer to prayer. It reassured me that God was going to provide, which he did. In 2 months I raised all the money I needed. Money was such a crazy issue leading up to Soul61; there was so much to pay and sort out. I was so thankful for the efficiency with which LWPT replied and how they kept in contact with me throughout the process because it meant I had the money to be able to pay for things in time. When I first heard of Soul61, something in my spirit leapt and I knew I had to do it. However plans were in motion for me to move to Florida when I left school so I thought I wouldn’t be able to. But after lots of prayer I realized that God was telling me to take that risk of not moving to Florida and applying. So I did!
I'm not sure what I was hoping to get from the course when I applied. Most of my life I've been told "Becky you're a born leader" but I never really believed it myself. I mainly applied because I had this hunger to learn more, go deeper in my relationship with God and I wanted to experience working and being really involved in a church. Plus I just KNEW I had to do it.
If I was to write all I learnt on the course I think we'd be here until Jesus came back! It taught me so much and when I look back at who I was at the start to who I am now it blows my mind how much God worked in me. I learned that I am a leader and I am capable. It gave me a confidence in myself I never had before. I learnt what it truly was to be a leader and how important it is to have a servant heart.
I also now have knowledge about the Bible, faith, life questions and the world that I didn't have before. But what's more is that God has planted such a hunger and passion in me to know more and to continue stepping out to learn more. One of the biggest things I learnt and biggest change for me was through my placement at St Luke's Church. I was thrown in the deep end doing anything and everything...it stretched, challenged and grew me in amazing ways! One of the main things we did was Children's and Youth work: something that if you'd asked me about 18 months ago I would have said "never in a million years would I do that, I'm no good at it!" But I love it now and I am so passionate about the importance of investing in the younger generations: I can't imagine not doing children's and youth work!
After Soul61 I realised God now wanted me to move to Florida, which I found really hard because I wanted to stay in the London area and study Theology. Since moving to Florida, God has actually asked to give my dream of Theology and working in a church to him and at the right time he'll give it back to me. For now I will pursue a career in Christian Counselling, so will hopefully be studying Psychology at a Christian College here in Florida from September.
Being able to access the Soul61 course through the LWPT funding helped equip me by teaching me so much about myself, my gifts and my abilities. Also it gave me a love for youth work because since moving to Florida I've got involved in the Student Ministry at The Crossings, my local church, and they are phenomenal. Moving countries was one of the hardest things, if not the hardest thing, I've ever done. Had I done so before Soul61 I don't think I would have survived and I would have probably given up and moved back. But because I did it after Soul61, I did so as the changed Becky who knows so much more and has so much more confidence in God. Through becoming a leader for the Student Ministries I've made friends who have become like family in 5 months. I can't put into words (hence the waffle, sorry!) just how much Soul61 has impacted my life...it's changed me, it's grown me, I have such a deep and incredibly amazing relationship with God I didn't know was possible before Soul61...it's prepared me in ways I'm unaware of (and learn daily) for life. It's changed my life. I'm so thankful for the experience!
Honestly, LWPT, I love you guys and think you're so awesome! Throughout everything you have kept in touch and checked up on me to see how I was doing. You genuinely care. It was wonderful being able to meet you all too because I saw the passion you have for investing in others and helping them to reach their God given dreams. I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to recommend you to others! From the bottom of my heart I just want to thank you. Because of you investing in me and my dream, I'm forever changed and I have experiences that I will take with me for the rest of my life!
Thanks again for everything, I hope that God really blesses you guys and all you do!
Today Becky is living in Florida and has done for over four years now. In December 2017 she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Palm Beach Atlantic University with a Bachelors of Science degree, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Ministry. Becky has plans to get a Masters degree eventually in Counselling or perhaps doing a double Masters combining it with Divinity. She remains focused in pursuing God's dream for her life!