My personal and spiritual journey

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I came to Calgary as an international student to pursue a master’s degree in education. It was my first time abroad and everything was new—food, people, culture, education, ways of thinking—except English. I had learned English before coming to Canada and was excited when I learned about ISMC staff Gisela’s ESL/Bible study.  

Most of those at her Friday afternoon ESL/Bible study class were international students. We learned many things about English idioms, Canadian culture, and Bible stories. I still have the handouts from eight years ago and used them to teach my students after graduating from the University of Calgary.

Gisela was patient and helped me understand the Bible as we read verses and shared thoughts. The friendly and open-minded setting made me comfortable to express opinions, ask questions, learn about God’s Word, and apply His instructions to my life. Amazingly, every time I faced difficult situations, the verses Gisela shared guided me to think differently and deeply.

Gisela’s class was not limited to campus—she opened her home to anyone interested in studying the Bible and offered rides if we had difficulty getting there. I truly cherish those memorable times at her place when we read the Bible, watched movies, shared life, and witnessed God’s abundant love and blessings.

When I was baptized in 2014, Gisela and other ISMC staff and volunteers were there to witness this important moment.

Gisela set an excellent example for my personal and spiritual journey. I have a teaching job I love, and live a life I am grateful for. I thank Gisela, and others who do the same thing for international students, newcomers, and anyone needing help adapting to a new city. It is because of people like Gisela that our life away from home is so much easier. I give all honor to God who is always working behind the scenes to guide us to know Him.

Mavis Mei

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