Inspired and stretched – interview with Sian Hunt

smiling group of students pictured out on the Yorkshire moors

Sian Hunt (second from left) and fellow pioneer students out on the moors during a residential in Sheffield

Year one diploma student Sian Hunt tells me all about following God’s nudges and finding a place to belong with CMS Pioneer Mission Training.

Helen: Sian, can you tell us how you came to study at CMS?

Sian: Some time back I used a CMS devotional called This is Mission. Some days when I got to the end of the page it would suggest contacting CMS, and I would feel inspired about mission and want to make contact but then not be sure what to say and so didn’t. Then in spring 2022 I was using a CMS prayer diary and noticed it said about an upcoming open day at CMS House in Oxford, so I took the plunge and attended.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but when Jonny Baker mentioned the ‘gift of not fitting in’ I knew I was in the right place.

Over the years as I have explored how God might be calling me to serve him I have often felt that I didn’t really fit in but I had always seen this as a negative thing – what a release to hear that this was recognised by some as a gift!

Needless to say, I signed up for the Pioneer Ministry course.

How have you found the last year with us?

I have found studying at CMS so inspiring! Though there have been hard times of soul searching along the way as well.

There has been support and encouragement from the module leaders, my tutor and those in the office.

And then there is all the support that has built up among us students – for most modules we have been a small group of about seven. We have laughed and cried together, and been each other’s cheerleaders as assignment deadlines have approached.

You’ve been away in Sheffield on the Spirituality and Discipleship module; can you tell us about it?

I really love spending time together with the other students like this (we had a weekend away together for another module before). We studied together, ate together, and got time to hang out and build relationship which was so special, especially as some of our other modules have been on Zoom.

On the Spirituality and Discipleship module we explored what the terms ‘spirituality’ and ‘discipleship’ meant. Then we looked at different types of spirituality, from the desert fathers right through to the present day.

We began and ended the study days with contemplative worship – experiencing several different styles. Interestingly, silence was a common theme among them, and this was embraced, not rushed.

We heard from a couple of pioneers about their work – such application is always interesting, especially as these two approached spirituality in very different ways from each other.

Can you tell me about one special memory from the time away?

A very special time was when we students went out for an evening walk on the moors. Before returning to the car we climbed a big rock and prayed, contemplated and sang together – each bringing a different unique aspect to our impromptu worship as we watched the sun go down. Such a wonderful time in God’s presence!

What are you looking forward to in the next year of your diploma with us?

I am looking forward to learning so much more, being inspired and stretched.

What are your future plans or is it still all in flux?

I’m not sure of the future yet, I am taking one step at a time. I truly feel God led me to this course, so I am trusting him to show me the way on from here.

Lastly, how can we pray for you.

Prayer would be great, thanks! Prayers both that I will be able to keep up with the work; and for God’s leading for the future. Thank you.

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