One of the great blessings of being a part of a seminary like RTS Charlotte is that I get to see, over the course of many years, how God uses our graduates in special ways throughout the globe. Over the past 13 years, it has not only been a joy to teach these students, but it has been a joy to watch these students become faithful laborers in the vineyard.
For this reason, I am starting a new series of blog interviews entitled Where Are They Now?, highlighting some of our alumni over the years. I will ask them a series of questions that tells us more about how God is at work in their lives and in their ministries. Keep an eye out for someone you know!
My first interview is with Cynthia Ruble (class of 2000), whose story is a special encouragement to me. She is a missionary in Nagoya, Japan.
1. What are you currently doing?
I am running a home for pregnant women and a crisis pregnancy/post-abortion center. I am also working with MTW missionaries planting a church in my home.
2. Why did you originally come to RTS Charlotte?
I was saved at age 35 and felt I had wasted many years of my life. I wanted to catch up on all the time I wasn’t learning about God. I chose RTS Charlotte because it stood out among the seminaries I visited. I was impressed by its reading list. I could tell it was academically serious. I was also very welcomed by Rod Culbertson and his then-secretary Rebecca Lawson. She even took me out to lunch!
3. Is there one thing that you learned at RTS Charlotte that has come back to you as you have ministered to others? A phrase, encouragement or advice?
Dr. Kelly talking about the problem of the “self-life.” Dr. Brown showing the true evil of abortion and what it would mean to society. A grasp of apologetics which has been invaluable in engaging people in Japan. A balanced Reform theology that has kept me grounded and helped me recognize error and dangerous theological tendencies.
4. What do you enjoy most about your current ministry?
I enjoy watching God gradually change a woman (who either has an unwanted pregnancy or is suffering after abortion) who is dark and a captive to sin into someone who is at least seeking God and sometimes even believing in God and who is thankful, hopeful and on a better path. I also love to see very depressed people come to know Christ and go from being completely miserable to being bright, cheerful people.
5. What has been a struggle in your ministry?
Finding good Japanese volunteers to help with counseling. Constantly living with young Japanese women with many problems, while also raising Micah (my adopted down syndrome son). However, through the hard times, God has become more real to me, and He has grown my faith exponentially.
6. If you could give any encouragement to a current student in seminary, what would it be?
Study hard because it’s the only time in your life that you will be able to devote so much time and attention to reading and learning. At the same time, maintain a warm devotional time and close walk with Jesus. Realize that the path you are on is going to lead to much suffering and so expect that; get familiar with spiritual warfare and don’t be caught off guard. Learn to set your hope and heart on eternity and not on this life. Determine to live a supernatural life.