NTBI graduates TJ and Lily Shropshire are currently working in Senegal, West Africa. They are working hard to grasp the language and culture there, in order to someday see another thriving church planted in an unreached people group. They’ve answered a few of our questions about their lives:
What are you currently doing in your ministry? What are you main responsibilities, or what does a normal day in your life look like?
Right now, our ministry is learning French and West African culture… short sentence, big meaning! After TJ spends some time in the Scriptures, he makes breakfast for our family and any house help who will be there, and then commutes by moto to his language session. While TJ is out Lily is at home, doing school with the girls and taking care of the house. TJ spends about 4 hours each morning with his language helper telling stories, recording speech and trying to make progress in French. After his session he goes home and eats lunch (the biggest meal of the day) with family, and many times, African friends and house help. Lunch is in French (house rule :). After lunch Lily starts her Language session at our house. TJ spends the afternoon watching our two young daughters and try’s to take a little break. Lily’s done at 5:30, and before dinner we usually go out on the street for a little bit, do something as a family inside or go to our host families house a few blocks away. Dinner is frequently later in the evening and is light. By the time we get our girls to bed it’s usually around 9-10 pm, and we unwind by watching a TV show before going to bed. Jesus, mosquito nets, and fans are necessities for daily life.
What are you goals for the future in your area of ministry?
Our family is pursuing partnership in church planting in southern Senegal with Del and Arielle Griffith (Lily’s brother), and Janel Nale. We have about a year left in French and culture study before joining this new team.
In what ways did NTBI equip you for your current ministry?
TJ: God used NTBI to strip away my self-focused perspective. I was asking the same questions most young people ask, and really only concerned with how NTBI was going to help my future plans. Being immersed in God’s Holy Word was like an acid bath for my self-centeredness, and once my motives became clear to me the Lord began showing me the direction he had already laid out for my life, and I couldn’t have been more at rest after that.
Lily: I was 18 years young when I arrived at Bible School ;). What really happened was that God grew my heart for him; it was a point in time where God gave me direction. Each person’s experience is very different but God’s word will change anyone who is willing to change. Bible School was a spiritually dry time for me, and yet God was there, and as I look back, I can see clearly how he directed me. I went to NTBI to get a better grip on God’s word, and in the middle of it I felt 100% convicted by God to “GO” and be a part of reaching the unreached. I denied that God was asking me, and ignored him until I came down with Scarlet Fever and listened to Brad Buser in chapel for a week talking about the need for more workers in the harvest field that was ready. By the end of the week I broke down before God and said “I will Go”. He has never stopped being clear to lead us and faithful to us through every step.