Christian Leaders Institute provides ministry training for many students in Australia. One of these students is Simonie Carkeet. Simonie is currently a resident of Australia, but God has laid on her heart the calling to return to her birth country of Madagascar to preach the gospel there. Here is her story.
I was born 1985 in Madagascar to a Malagasy mother and an Australian father (died 1987). Leaving behind my 5 siblings & my mum, I migrated to Australia in 2002 to live with my paternal grandmother. Completed my bachelor of civil Engineering study in late 2009 & the following year got married to Daniel Carkeet.
Since 2012, we are parents to Abraham. I run business from home, trading the spot foreign exchange. I started going to catholic church with our neighbor when I was 9 as I wanted to go to catholic school (I thought that going to the church was a prerequisite for the school). end up not going to the school due to the cost but kept going to the church anyway. one of the oneness pentecostal pastor from my town in was preaching door to door and came across to our house and converted my mum. when I was 12, I started going to my mum’s church as well because the pastor explained things to us and in the catholic church I didn’t really know what was going on. from then on the bible became my favorite book, was baptized and felt like a new person.
It has been a progressive learning curves though as I didn’t understand many things early on in my walk with God. For example I didn’t quite grasp the Grace of God until I was at university ( though our university Christian group), before that time I though my salvation depended on what I did. The Christian group at university also encouraged me to consider missionary work. though full time missionary work have been on my mind, only this years that I feel God is convicting me to really surrender my whole being for Him (dying to myself and letting Him live in me).
My ministry goal is to go back to Madagascar and expand God’s kingdom by training local men and women and then send them to go to the unreached area of Madagascar. I want to give up everything for God just as Jesus did and to inspire others to do the same. My dream is to live my life like Jesus (after all i should be dead and only Christ is living in me). I want to be dead to sin, dead to worldly ambition, and and live as if Jesus is the one doing the living in me and live only for His kingdom and sharing His love to everyone. Madagascar is a very poor country so in Jesus name my husband and I hope to run orphanages as well with school. one of my dream also is to provide bible education to everyone for free ( bible colleges in every town & city in Madagascar). I crave for knowledge and revelations. I always asking questions and curious about how things works and fit together.
I have read and reread the bible but I feel there are plenty of things that i can’t quite understand and when on mission ground in Madagascar I would not want to be telling people the wrong things so i think bible education is crucial. Getting a scholarship with CLI would help tremendously and will be a great building block for further studies. (it will also give me great ideas to what to include when we run bible colleges in Madagascar)
1. Currently I live in Australia but where I would like to do full time ministry is in Madagascar. Hoping to start our ministry there by 2020. about 50% of the people in Madagascar call themselves Christians but majority of the country areas are untouched by missionaries so in these areas people still practice ancestral worshiping and witchcraft. These are the people that God has laid in my heart.
2. While living in Madagascar, a pastor of a pentecostal church came around to our place to talk about Jesus and the bible. my mum became a Christian through that and we kids followed her. Though I was baptised early on in my faith, I feel that God is increasing my faith every day and that i am owning my faith more and more as I get older.
3.The main dream we (my husband and I) have is to reach the unreached people of Madagascar but also we would love to be used by God to bring unity among the various churches in Madagascar. moreover, we would like to show the caring and love of Christ through helping kids who are orphans and bring bible education to anyone who are interested for free.
4. I see myself as pastor as I like to get to know people and helping people to grow to know God more but also I would like to train church planters and these will be the people who will go to the country areas of Madagascar.
5. When I was at university studying engineering, I was part of a Christian group there and the leader taught us to read our bible and challenged us to live only for Christ in response to what Christ has done for us. Philippians 1:21 is founding verse for my desire to serve God wholeheartedly.
6. Madagascar has 65% literacy rate and majority if not all of the illiterate people are located in the country side. Because of this issue, people can’t read the bible by themselves.
7. My Australian church is very supportive in our pursue of ministry as they allow us to present to the church about our ministry dream and they are praying for us. Our pastor is my mentor during my study at CLI
8. My husband has the same ministry dream so it is a blessing to have his support in this.
9. I am a stay home mum (my son is 15 months), so I can’t really attend an on campus bible education program so the fact that CLI is an online bible college makes it possible for me to have a good quality bible education while still able to look after my baby. the fact that CLI is not an government accredited university is a bonus as well for me as it mean that I can spend less time on my study but still get the same vital information as I am not interested in the academic side of things but rather I just want to know more about God’s word and how to understand it and how to pass it on to others. as mentioned I am a stay home mum at this stage and our family only has only 1 source of income so we don’t have much leftover at the end of the week so really appreciate that CLI is a donation based education.
10. Please pray that the desire God has placed in our heart will grow and that in our future ministry, we will always seek to glorify our heavenly Father and that we will not seek our own gain.