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From getting Lost to Reaching the Lost

Janet Roberts (MA/CM 14)

I am the ESL (English as a Second Language) Training Coordinator for East-West Ministries International. I am a full-time missionary based at the Hope Center in Plano, Texas, going on short-term trips as needed, writing curriculum for Culture Camps, and training those who use it. I also train missionaries—short-term, mid-term, and long-term—who use ESL. I love training the missionaries in using ESL and have been teaching or tutoring ESL for more than 38 years both in the United States and in other countries. Teaching and training are ways for me to show God’s love to those who have a need to learn. It is an amazing privilege to meet that need as well as add to it the truth of the gospel and the love of Jesus which encourages missionaries, feeds believers, and brings unbelievers to a saving faith. I invite you to read about the ministry to which God has called me.

My first semester at DTS was very interesting because I was returning to school after 30 years of doing life—getting married, raising children, and doing ESL ministry. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I was not the only gray-haired female student on campus, and I was amused at the number of times I was asked if I worked for the seminary. I got lost on my first day of class (though I wasn’t late) and wrote my funny story of that first day in the student newspaper. One of my favorite times of the day was lunch time when I fellowshipped with my Spiritual Formation group which was made up mostly of life-experienced ladies like me. We shared meals and talked about important matters in life. When I started at DTS, my daughter was a third year student. She recalls how, for the first few weeks, she introduced me as her mom. Shortly thereafter she was known as my daughter because of the published article and some mentions of the ESL ministry at my church in chapel. I loved being there with her. My best friend and her daughter also started DTS at the same time.

My time at DTS fully prepared me for my current role as I contextualize both the curriculum and the training to the culture of the countries served by our missionaries. It is a challenge but, as a MA/CM graduate from DTS, I have much knowledge and many resources from which to draw. I credit the excellent teaching of the mission department for this. DTS also taught me to keep first things first so no matter what task I am involved in, I try to keep in mind the main purpose of it all is to “teach truth and love well.” East-West also has a purpose statement and the two fit well together: “Multiplying followers of Jesus in the spiritually darkest areas of the world.” I feel that the Lord has taken all the experience and training from my many years and the experiences and knowledge from DTS to prepare me for this very special calling with East-West Ministries International.

The mission of Dallas Theological Seminary is to glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders for the proclamation of His Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide.

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