In May 2021, we interviewed Simon Kepert about his passion for mission, current student life, and what he hopes for the future. We have been supporting Simon as one of our missionaries for many years now and are continuing to support him as he prepares for future ministry.
- Can you tell us a little about your previous mission work with MAF? What are you involved in now? And what do you hope to be doing in the future?
I was a Missionary Pilot with MAF in Arnhem Land. I flew to small, isolated Aboriginal towns. Most of the flights were for social development, especially education and healthcare, as well as being a general ‘taxi service’. We did a lot for the local church as well, supporting various outreaches and other events.
I left MAF with the original goal of quickly joining Pioneers and going to Bolivia, with a change in ministry to focus more on evangelism and discipleship, rather than flying. But things changed, and I decided to study theology to be better prepared for a life of ministry. Pioneers and Bolivia are still on the table as options, but I’m open to seeing where else the Lord may lead once I finish my degree. I’m studying a Master of Divinity at Presbyterian Theological College, which will take four years.
- How are your theological studies going? What are your current challenges and what has been most rewarding?
My studies are going really well. This semester I’m doing OT Foundations (Genesis to Kings), NT Jesus & the Gospels, Pastoral Care, and Biblical Greek. The main challenge is balancing the workload and getting back into a ‘student’ mindset and lifestyle. It’s very rewarding to study the Bible with a bunch of other people who are all planning on going into ministry in some form or another. I also did an essay on the Gospel of Luke, and really enjoyed taking the time to do a deep dive into his themes and the way he talks about Jesus. Every day is a new exploration into the richness of God’s beautiful, inspired Word. It doesn’t get much better than that!
- What books are you reading at the moment? What have you been learning?
I’ve mostly been reading for my classes. I’ve learned a lot about the historical background of the time of Jesus, and about approaches to Pastoral Care. The main thing is to keep the Bible and Gospel at the centre of your approach. God is the one who changes hearts! I recommend When People Are Big and God Is Small by Edward T. Welch.
- What are you doing for fun or enjoyment these days?
I like anything to do with computers, catching up for coffee, and babysitting my nieces. I’m also reading The Silmarillion for the first time. I love Lord of the Rings and am enjoying exploring more of the incredible world Tolkien created.
- What is something interesting you would like us to know about you?
I began learning Spanish in preparation to go to Bolivia, and even after my plans changed, I kept that up. I still have lessons once a week – though my teacher gets annoyed as I almost never do the homework she sets, due to being too busy with Uni homework, especially Greek! Now that Emily and Rodrigo (my sister and her husband) are here, I have a lot more opportunity to practice, especially as Rodrigo’s still learning English.
I also want to say thank you to everyone at Hills for all the prayers and support you’ve given me over the last 4 years and continue to give. I couldn’t be happier to call you my church family and God has blessed me through you in more ways than I could imagine. Let me know if you want to catch up for a coffee or a meal some time!
- And lastly, how can we be praying for you?
I’ve got exams coming up and a major essay due at the end of all of them. Please pray I can manage time well, and truly learn and grow in my faith as I study, not just study to pass! Emily and Rodrigo have just arrived in Melbourne from Bolivia, where they’re missionaries. Emily’s pregnant, so please be praying for that, and that they can rest and have a great time reconnecting with people in Melbourne.
We are thankful for Simon and his passion for mission and his diligence to follow God’s leading and direction for his life and future missional work. May we continue to pray for him as he completes his theological training and spends time with his family in Melbourne.