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Dedicated disciple

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Dedicated disciple

Grant Lombard (pictured, right) is a triplet from East London who came to university as a ‘raw’ Christian and is finishing his BA in Media, Writing and History, enriched by the cultural diversity of the Y community. As a student leader, friend and disciple, Grant realised that you don’t have to be in a position of leadership to serve.

When I came to university I was a very “raw” Christian, passionate but not grounded in the faith. I had never been discipled or mentored. I was involved in youth in my home church, but needed to be grounded in God’s Word.

When I came to university, I knew I needed Christian community. God really provided that through the Y, especially through very close friends. I remember praying for solid Christian friends and along came Jono. I made many more friends, but he was the first.

Friendships                       

Looking back, it’s been amazing to see how God provided those relationships – God knowing who I needed and providing those friends and seeing those friendships built over the three years at university.

I also remember coming to the Y in first year, and being quite shocked by the fact that there were students my age who were incredibly knowledgeable about Scripture and I become aware of how much I needed to learn and grow in that area. So, looking back over my university years, the Y community made me aware of my need to be grounded in my faith through the Word of God. That’s really what stands out for me – how I’ve grown to know and understand the Word and to be nearer to God.

Cross-cultural enrichment

The Y has helped me become more cross-culturally aware and sensitive. Coming from a very white suburban youth background, the Y helped me appreciate and befriend students from totally different social and cultural backgrounds. I’ve always enjoyed people, but the Y was a context where I came to appreciate the multicultural diversity of the church and have been incredibly enriched by it. I consider this very important, because that is the nature of our country. To not want to embrace the reality that South Africa’s people are diverse is naïve. UCT and the Y really taught me to love people from all walks of life, different places in life, different cultural backgrounds, different personalities…

It is safe to say that God has impacted me through the Y in the sense that He’s shown me how to be a follower of Christ, in terms of discipleship. That’s what I love about the staff element of the Y – I’ve just learned so much from each staff member; seeing how people live out their faith in all kinds of situations and how they persevere. That was a big impact for me – drawing a lot of encouragement from older men and women and the Y and the fact they take such real interest in our lives.

Serving in all areas

I’ve also become more aware of people around me and how they serve. You don’t have to be in a position of leadership in order serve – seeing people serve in all kinds of areas, including what may be regarded as menial tasks – it’s all important. The Y is a space where I, for example, was able to serve in formal positions, as the Student Committee chairman for two years, but also washing dishes, stacking chairs, making coffee, and generally just being available to serve wherever needed.

Leadership

Leadership is not simply a case of upfront roles, but doing tasks that you don’t really want to do, it’s part of being in a community.

The biggest thing I’ve learned about leadership is that it doesn’t mean that you have to do everything. The challenge of leadership is to encourage others to exercise their gifts and abilities in a coordinated way.

Next year I have signed up for an apprenticeship year at the Y. I’m really looking forward to being in a different role – not having the constant pressure of studies and balancing that with involvement at the Student Y.

Discipleship

I’m really passionate about discipleship and want God to grow me in this – what does it look like in my own life and in the UCT context. Getting the opportunity to read and reflect more and to work out some of the implications for my life and service to God. I’m hoping it will be a good year for my personal growth as a Christian and getting a clearer sense of my vocation going forward. I hope that the apprenticeship will help me discern this more clearly.

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