Graduation Date - April 2021
“Go and make disciples…” was a phrase that flashed in my mind when I was praying that night when I was contemplating on theological studies. Church members, pastor and friends wanted me to be sure that I had wanted to pursue the area of theological education. I had just turned twenty and had to decide my subjects for my Master’s degree. All I could I think that night as I prayed was, “What does the Lord require of me to do?” I opened to Matthew 28,18-20 and was comforted to read, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” I was much assured that Jesus is in control for what he is calling me to do.
I took “teaching” quite literally because I am passionate about it. So, after my Masters in Divinity at SAIACS, I went to teach in Asha Kiran Academy, Lamtaput, in south Odisha located on the beautiful Eastern Ghats of India. I thoroughly enjoyed learning from the senior teachers, the students and the staff. It was amazing to see students listen to God’s word every day before their regular classes commenced. Every passing year, for three years, I reflected on God’s mission in the lives of the tribal groups of Lamtaput. However, I could also see how churches were divided on tribal and caste issues. Most of the local churches were not receiving the right teaching of the word.
Eventually, God was laying it on my heart to continue with my theological studies as I had earlier aimed. Hence, I arrived at SAIACS again to pursue my Masters in Theology in New Testament studies.
There is an enormous need to read the scriptures accurately and then apply it to our lives or the various missional contexts that we work with. And I see God working in me on this journey day by day.
(Karishma Paul studied MDiv in NT at SAIACS from 2013-16. Later she worked as a teacher in Asha Kiran School in Lamtaput for three years, before embarking on her MTh in NT at SAIACS in June 2019. Karishma is presently a Faculty-in Training and upon completion of her MTh and PhD, will continue to serve as faculty in the NT Department at SAIACS)