Donation Stories

Anteneh Taye '15

When I first came over to the States from Ethiopia in August of 2008, I enrolled in the Masters Program at International Theological Seminary. After studying there for one year, my desire was to transfer to another institution, one that was both conservative and confessional. I prayed and fasted for several days, seeking the Lord’s guidance on where to go…

At that time, I applied to Calvin Seminary. Having been accepted, I decided to visit Calvin before transferring there. I flew from Los Angeles to Grand Rapids, but before visiting Calvin, I met with a PRTS student named Thomas Okpoti. Thomas encouraged me to consider PRTS, and said it was the best place to learn biblical Reformed theology. After having spoken with Thomas, I changed my plans. It has been an amazing journey, and I believe the Holy Spirit directed me here to PRTS.

When I first came over to the States from Ethiopia in August of 2008, I enrolled in the Masters Program at International Theological Seminary. After studying there for one year, my desire was to transfer to another institution, one that was both conservative and confessional. I prayed and fasted for several days, seeking the Lord’s guidance on where to go. At that time, I applied to Calvin Seminary. Having been accepted, I decided to visit Calvin before transferring there. I flew from Los Angeles to Grand Rapids, but before visiting Calvin, I met with a PRTS student named Thomas Okpoti. Thomas encouraged me to consider PRTS, and said it was the best place to learn biblical Reformed theology. After having spoken with Thomas, I changed my plans. It has been an amazing journey, and I believe the Holy Spirit directed me here to PRTS.

What would you say the one thing is that has made the biggest impact on your life while studying at Puritan?

God has blessed my theological education. I have been impacted by the complete worldview offered in Reformed theology, the exceptional theological instruction offered in the classroom, and the interpersonal experiences I have shared with many of the faculty. My family and I have also experienced firsthand the genuine love and concern that many of the professors, staff, students, and partnering churches have for us. I have also seen the way in which many Christians here seek to express their deep biblical spirituality in living exemplary lives. PRTS has also exposed me to other international students, which is always a blessing.

How have your theological views been enriched by coming to Puritan?

I came to PRTS with ministry experience, but lacked sound theological training. I came with the expectation that I would be taught biblical Reformed doctrine, and the last two years of my studies have proven to be very special to me. God has blessed me with a better understanding of biblical theology, historical theology, pastoral theology, and a theology of missions. For me, PRTS is an excellent seminary, training exceptional teachers, pastors, and missionaries.

How has the school’s emphasis on puritan spirituality affected your Christian life—and, in light of this, how do you plan to minister to others in the future?

It has helped me to develop a deep appreciation for Puritan spirituality. I see it as a biblical model for ministry. It emphasizes our need to commune daily with Christ, to seek the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and to be always governed by the Scriptures. Puritan spirituality stresses the sanctification of the Christian life. In my future ministry, I intend to promote Puritan Reformed spirituality among my fellow ministers and the local churches in hopes of seeing them grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

"Whether you partner with the seminary financially or volunteer your time, your commitment is helping to bring the spiritual benefits of Reformed theology to many churches throughout the world."

 

What are your future plans?

I have short, intermediate, and long-term ministry plans. If God is willing, my plans are to use my training in pastoring my Ethiopian congregation, equip key church leaders by teaching them Reformed doctrine, train new Christian leaders and ministers who desire to serve the Lord’s church, and to teach Reformed theology in our Bible colleges. I also hope to motivate churches in Ethiopia to think about what it means to be missional. I have a desire to write theological books that are relevant to my culture and which promote Reformed spirituality. I also want to help Ethiopian Christians to think with a biblical worldview.

If you had an opportunity to express your gratitude to those people who prayerfully and financially support Puritan, what would you say?

I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to everyone who helps support PRTS. Whether you partner with the seminary financially or volunteer your time, your commitment is helping to bring the spiritual benefits of Reformed theology to many churches throughout the world. The financial resources provided to the seminary make it possible for individuals from around the globe to train at PRTS. I would also like to express my gratitude to Seventh Reformed Church, Dutton United Reformed Church, and Emmanuel Evangelical Church, for committing yourselves and resources to my studies. I also want to extend a special thanks to all of my professors, the PRTS staff, and fellow students for their encouragement and support. I will always have a special place in my heart for Dr. Gerald Bilkes and the wonderful times of prayer we shared every Thursday; and for Henk and Margaret Kleyn and their interest in our culture and food. Finally, I would like to say thank you to Karl Kwekel. Mr. Kwekel has helped me become a better writer. Above all, I would like to say, remember Hebrews 6:10, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”

Learn more about the alumni of PRTS