Christian Leaders Institute student Fran Hume has been a part of her Church’s outreach program for a long time now, but feels the need to take her involvement in ministry further. She has enrolled at CLI for a Formal Ministry Education, and will use her education to become more involved in her community. Here is her story…
Formal Ministry Education – Fran’s Story
My name is Fran Hume. I’m an American from the deep South, serving the international community in Lahti, Finland. For the past seven years, I’ve served my local Pentecostal church’s outreach program to our international residents. The roles I fill change according to need. They have been/were group leader, Bible teacher, deaconess, webmaster, and “mom”.
Our growing group includes immigrants, students, multicultural families, and seekers, from about 15 countries and speaking about 25 mother tongues. Members’ religious backgrounds are diverse — they come from Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, agnostic and atheist backgrounds. We build community by ignoring differences and focusing on Christ the One True Community. Our foundation is built on Christ’s sacrifice and salvation, and His instruction to love and forgive. We share faith by doing and pray that they see Christ through us.
How I came to Christ
All my life I’ve worked very hard to overcome the long years of abuse I’d suffered at the hands of an alcoholic parent. After leaving home at 19, I devoted my life to working hard as a writer and trying to be a “good Christian person”, but I didn’t have Jesus in my heart. Life was a struggle. By the time I was in my 50’s I had walked into, and pulled my way out of, one near-death experience after another, crisis after crisis. The NASDAQ crash of 2000? Yep — from rich to bankrupt overnight and I pulled myself back up. The World Trade Center in 2001? Yep — I lost everything and pulled myself up by moving to Finland. I climbed again to the top — but this time it was I who broke.
I remember spinning in a circle and mumbling and hearing voices. I couldn’t separate present events from memories, was suicidal and suffering profound anxiety attacks. The doctors said I showed all the symptoms of a combat soldier returning from long combat in active war zones. Only then did this tough little Texan give up. I whispered “I give up. Jesus — if you’re real — then you do it.”
In the snap of a finger, I heard in my mind, “Go get a cuppa coffee.” That led me into a cafe run by an English-speaking saint. She led me to a social office, whose workers led me to a Salvation Army shelter. A few weeks later, another lady led me to the only church offering an English-language worship service and fellowship. Jesus began pouring a love over me.
As our beloved Apostle John wrote 2000 years ago, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them was written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” (John 21:25)
In Christ, All Things Are Possible!
Now, I’m 62. My Lord and Savior has completely healed my body and mind; he baptized me with the fire of the Holy Spirit and delivered me from generational curses and demonization through my sinful choices. I live in His peace, and strive to give other immigrants the same assurance of Christ’s mercy, grace, and love that He showed me.
Recently I’ve felt more urgently that I must shift my attention towards getting a degree in Bible studies. It feels like there’s a closed door somewhere that Jesus wants me to walk through, but first he wants me to get the key: a formal ministry education.
I’m 62 now, and as so many other immigrants here, am unable to find a job. It’s impossible for me to pay the high tuitions required by Bible schools. That’s why CLI’s scholarship program is crucial for me. It represents Christ’s perfect provision. Thank you, and God bless you all!
Please pray for all pilgrims forced to leave their homes, and for those receiving-country missionaries who minister His hope to them.