Q and A with Mike Jessop
Who do you call your family and where do you come from?
I hail from down south in Balclutha. I grew up in a loving Christian home with two great parents and four awesome siblings. I also have a supportive wider church family who encouraged me to step into leadership opportunities within the church. This included being a youth group leader, being part of the youth worship team, serving at the kid’s holiday camps and endeavouring to take every opportunity to help those around me.
Why did you decide to do the Missions Internship with Bishopdale Theological College (BTC) and NZCMS?
I’ve always been interested in missions. As a kid, I was inspired by missionaries’ testimonies. In 2015/16 our family went over to Kapuna Hospital, Papua New Guinea (PNG), for six weeks. The experience was very impactful, and it opened my eyes to more than just NZ. After I left school, I spent a year at Kapuna, living and serving alongside both PNG locals and international volunteers. This was a transformational time and solidified my call to serve people all over the world.
Being fresh out of school, I felt like I needed more life experience and skills to be able to better fulfil my calling. So, once I came back to NZ, I became a building apprentice with the hope of using building skills to serve people overseas. This didn’t go as I’d hoped so after two years I left and looked at going to bible college to gain a greater understanding of God and mission. The Missions Internship with BTC and NZCMS combined those two aspects, and I was immediately drawn to it. I applied, got accepted and here I am!
Tell us a bit more about the course. What will the average week look like for you?
The course I’m doing is a Level 5 Diploma in Christian Leadership, with three papers per semester where I will complete assignments, do readings and attend a three-hour lecture for each paper every week.
My internship involves working with Alice Kinyua, NZCMS’ Intercultural Ministry Enabler. The shape of the internship is a two-pronged approach. One aspect involves getting involved in intercultural contexts, building relationships, and serving people from different cultures. Right now, I’m involved in International Student Ministry groups and Alice and I are continuing to explore other areas where I serve and learn.
The other aspect is local mission: evangelism and discipleship. I have connected in with Nelson’s St Stephens Community Church and am learning about all the ways they are involved in the community. Going forward, we will begin to explore ways to build on what is already being done.
If you were to describe how you’re feeling about the Missions Internship in five words, what would they be?
What’s a top outcome you hope to get out of the next year?
One thing I hope to get out of this year is to be able to confidently share the Gospel to those I meet, through both word (sharing my story) and action (serving others).
And now, the most important question – Rugby or cricket?
Football! I grew up playing football and that’s my favourite sport.