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Old friends: Tom He

This term, we’re going to find out what some of the students who left SKG last year are up to. Do pray for them as we hear what’s going on, and we hope that their experiences will help us know what to expect when we move on from student life.

Tom, what have you been up to the last term?

Last term was the first term of my exchange year with the University of California, San Diego.

What have been some of the challenges?

It's been hard to be separated from everyone at home not only geographically but also by timezone making it difficult to speak to anyone at home. I'm living with some 'hard partying' American guys this year and while I'm very thankful that we get on well, those of you who know the awkward me can probably guess I don't fit in. Sadly, I think I've been characterised more by 'things I won't do' than showing Jesus' love working outward in practice.

I've been attending a church with a different style and theology and while again I'm very thankful that I've found a loving family devoted to Jesus, they have some strongly held beliefs that I don't necessarily agree with. While I don't show it outwardly my heart is often far from humble and gracious in relation to this. I've often found myself lazily dismissing teachings that aren't consistent with what I've heard before rather than taking the time to test everything against Scripture.

Praise God though that by being in awkward situations like this I've had to reflect on many specific aspects of my sin and weakness. I often value my own comfort too much to change in response to what I learn from the Bible and this year has been good medicine for that.

How did your time at SKG equip you for what you're doing now?

When I arrived at SKG I had no intention of coming regularly. I knew lots of things from the Bible but they hadn't changed me. However week by week through the teaching and in the way you lived I saw a model of what it looked like to live for Jesus and how desirable it was to be more like him. Even though I was (and still am) awkward and immature many of you took the time to be my friend and challenged me to change in response to God's word - I'm very thankful. I really have come to know God better in my years with you and despite my many failings in living for him here in the US, I can trust that he's working to change me - for my good and for his glory.

Is there anything you want to say to the current students?

I miss you all very much and would love to hear how you are individually. If you've got a second, drop me an email / facebook message!