On Sunday 28th October School of the Word officially launched for the 2018/19 academic year and we as staff could not be more excited!

We welcomed three new students into the navy blue uniforms (and also into our hearts) – Emma Wilson from Maidstone, Ken Rich from Maidstone, and Joani Burger from South Africa.

After the Celebration we drove off to Cornwall in convoy, ready for a week away together full of activities, teachings and games and team challenges. The goal of this Orientation week away is to get to know one another, grow as a team, make memories and take some time out to listen to what God wants to do in our lives this year – a good foundation for the year ahead.

“Cornish Cream Tea, Pasties, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Berry Crumble, Lemon Meringue, Cheese Cake! Beautiful Cornish scenery, fellowship, new friendships and a NEW COUNTRY!

These are a few elements that could make for a great week. Yet, the Orientation with School of the Word included something even greater than these wonderful memories…

In both Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4 we read that Jesus said that we do not live by bread alone, but every word of God. How true this is of my Orientation experience too.  Experiencing God through His Word will always be a highlight for me!” – Testimony from Joani Burger


One change to Orientation for this year was to begin our Inductive Study lectures whilst away. So our days were a combination of morning lectures, afternoon team challenges and activities, and then testimonies from each of our staff with a bit of fun thrown in to finish off the day. We learned over the week together that Ken is invincible, Emma exudes warmth and joy and Joani has a heart of gold – and we look forward to discovering so much more in the months ahead!

One thing I took away from this Orientation week is that you can make plans on paper and put together a schedule that you think will make for a great week, but at the end of the day it’s all about what God’s Spirit comes to do amongst His beloved children. And He did not disappoint. Through the teaching of the Word, solitude time, encouraging one another, vulnerability and prayer, we witnessed God on the move – speaking, giving vision, encouraging and challenging. And we all walked away from this week no longer as six individuals but as a team – a unit – ready to take hold of all this year has to offer and to do that side-by-side together.

Mel Lewis