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Taking time out for mission and service

Jennifer Habricot had doubts about enrolling on the One Year in Mission and Service course, but now she says every young person should take a gap year for mission work.

Language interpreter Jennifer Habricot said she had no intention of studying at Newbold. However, after a few light-hearted conversations with a friend and a brief chat with Newbold’s Student Enrolment Officer, she signed up for the One Year in Mission and Service course. “I wasn’t planning to do the course, and I didn’t want to come to Newbold,” said Jennifer. “However, a friend on the course told me I should do it. At the time, I was working, but I was planning to find another job. I thought, ‘Lord, I don’t want to go back to doing the same thing. What shall I do now?’”

“To cut a long story short,” continued Jennifer, “I went to an Adventist Youth Leader Training Conference organised by the South England Conference. Troy Smith, Newbold’s Student Enrolment Officer, was there promoting the College and talked about the One Year in Mission and Service course. I ended up speaking to him and asked for more information. I prayed about it, filled in the online application form, and soon after, he called to tell me I had been accepted. I thought, ‘Okay, I’m going to Newbold.’”

The first two weeks of the course did not live up to Jennifer’s expectations. She felt disappointed because it was not what she had envisioned. “I must admit, I didn’t like the first two weeks of the course. I asked myself, ‘What am I doing here?’ I didn’t know much about what we were being taught, so I wouldn’t say I liked it at all. We learned a lot of history, but obviously, I misunderstood the point of those classes. On the spiritual side, I thought, ‘We don’t even open our bibles in class!’ However, by the third week, I understood the whole purpose of the course, and I love it now.”

“I learned that the lecturers are not here to give people a particular type of spirituality; they’re here to provide you with tools to help you have a more profound spiritual experience. Now, I understand the context and history of the Bible, Christianity and other religions, which gives me a complete picture of things I need to know. So, this is how I understand things; no one else can work on your relationship and connection with God. You have to do that yourself, and the lecturers are here to help you. I’m really enjoying all the course modules now because I think it’s a global approach. After all, it gives you the big picture.”

Jennifer has a passion for health and well-being, and she is very interested in the medical missionary side of mission work. However, keeping her options open, she says she is keen to get involved in other mission areas, such as working with the homeless and refugees. She is looking forward to the mission trip [organised by ADRA or the Adventist Volunteer Service] and is willing to go anywhere and do anything and see how the Lord will lead her.

“I would encourage anyone to do this course,” said Jennifer when asked about her overall thoughts on the course. “I think it’s a shame that we have so many opportunities in the Adventist church to do mission work, but few people are taking them up,” she explained. “I think we’ve lost a lot of our missionary spirit. Instead of rushing off to university, I believe every young person should take a gap year to do mission work.”

Jennifer describes the One Year in Mission and Service course as a great opportunity for young people to gain mission experience. “If you’re thinking about doing the course, I would say don’t hesitate. Just come and see, and if you don’t like it, at least you know, but if you love it, it is going to be life-changing.”

Jennifer Habricot Profile Photo

Jennifer Habricot

One Year in Mission and Service Student

Jennifer Habricot is French and is currently living in the United Kingdom. She is an interpreter working for a broad range of Adventist ministries. She has participated in medical missionary work and homeless ministry projects in France and plans to get involved in similar projects here in the United Kingdom.

Connect with Jennifer directly at: [email protected]

If you’d like to learn more about our One Year in Mission and Service course, contact us at [email protected]