Daniela Eisentraeger from Dorset applied for a vocational grant when she was looking for extra funding to complete her theological studies. Hear from Daniela on how she benefited from support:
Thank you very much for supporting me in my third and final year at Moorlands College. Through the grant from LWPT, I was able to carry on studying and graduated with a First Class Honours in Applied Theology.
Two years ago God challenged me to change my placement. After a time of discernment I followed God’s call and finished my two placements with the Hospital Chaplaincy and the Free-Evangelic Pentecostal Church and joined an Anglican Church with its two sister churches. It wasn’t an easy step as I was deeply rooted in my former church but this change gave me a whole lot more opportunities to preach, to lead and every so often to step out of my comfort zone.
The teaching at Moorlands gave me not only a deeper knowledge of the Bible, it also helped to improve my leadership and preaching skills that equipped me for my current job. Furthermore, the placements have provided many experiences which were a base for my further learning and development. Studying at Moorlands College was one of the best experiences I have had in my spiritual journey so far. God taught me so much during these last three years.
My trust in his faithfulness and providing hands deepened increasingly and his guidance lead me to the position I’m in now. I’m the new Lay Minister of the Parish of Holdenhurst, here in Bournemouth. Part of my role is the development of the church in line with the mission action plan of the diocese and to assist the priest in charge in his capacities as the leader of the three churches of the Benefice.
July 2019 Update:
We are those who are called by God and being tested by God, the parish, the diocese and the national Church of England. This process is called the discernment process. It’s a loooong process with many interviews, forms, and loads of prayers. The whole process climaxes in the selection procedure called the national Bishop’s Advisory Panel (BAP). There you are assessed by a panel of three advisers over three days.
Let me describe it in this way: it feels like being a tomato on the BBQ, grilled for three days, losing all juice and shape. The panel was tough. The few things which kept me going were the many encouraging text messages, the constant reminder of God’s faithfulness, the knowledge of people praying, and the mutual cheering on by the other candidates. I don’t know how often I got down on my knees, praying to God for stamina, wisdom, and peace of mind. At the end of the final day I questioned God’s call on my life, my confidence hit rock bottom, and the only feeling I had left was an overwhelming sense of tiredness and disappointment.
Then the nerve-racking period of waiting for the report and the decision to arrive. It’s funny how life feels when everything is on hold, because you don’t know which way to go and even God seems silent. During this time, I held fast to God’s promise and Proverb 3:5 became my safety buoy in the ocean of uncertainty: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.’
Waiting… waiting… waiting…
Then the phone call: ‘You are recommended for training. Congratulations!’ … Shock, relief, excitement, thankfulness, humbleness, and the unbelievable affirmation of God’s call on my life.
I’m so grateful for all of my church' community’s prayers, support, and just the countless listening ears during these last two years of the discernment process. Phew, what a journey…
I’ll be an ordinand from September. I’ll be studying, again – the endless joy of essay-writing ahead. It means commuting to London once a week and some weekends. My placement will be with St Saviour’s (an Anglican church serving the Iford/Boscombe East area of Bournemouth) and the wider benefice, but most of all it means the start of a new season.