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One Student’s Influence: Part 2

SES Real Stories #29

The following story is part 2 in a 3-part series about the humble influence of one SES student on his peers.

Part 2 explores a Toronto woman’s growing confidence in sharing her faith.

Patty works for the school board in Toronto where she occasionally interacts with a Muslim custodian.

“I feel more confident to engage in discussions because I have more understanding on how to approach things,” she said.

That’s largely due to her friend, Pastor Sule, a SES student who heads a church in her city.

She got to know Sule while attending courses at his church on everything from angels and demons to grace and salvation.

She’s a bit older than Sule and a different race than most in his congregation, but said she finds his church “warm, open and accepting.”

Throughout the pandemic, Sule has held weekly Bible studies via Zoom.

“He’d bring big questions and go through Scripture to answer and back it up,” Patty said. Questions like “Did Jesus say He is God?”

With a significant Muslim population in Toronto, that’s a popular one.

Sule’s testimony serves as the backbone of his zeal for evangelism. As a Jamaican transplant infatuated with the Nation of Islam, the wayward teen ultimately surrendered his life to Jesus and became a pastor.

Since then, he’s joined the Doctor of Ministry program at SES where his enthusiasm is met with rational arguments to back up his beliefs. He’s eager to share what he’s learned with anyone who will listen.

In her role with the school system, Patty comes into contact with all kinds of people, just like Sule.

Prior to a Zoom call to talk about Sule’s influence on her faith, Patty said she saw a man walk past her condo holding what looked like a Bible. She rushed to her balcony to call out to him, but barely missed him.

Her excitement over what may seem like a small thing—a guy carrying a Bible—underscores the rarity of the moment. That kind of thing simply doesn’t happen where she lives.

“Toronto, in my mind, is quite godless. It’s very liberal,” she said. Very “woke.”

“Everything is about those buzzwords—equity and inclusion and equality.”

Working with the school board, she hears those terms all the time. Though they’re promoted as good things, she said, they end up being repressive and exclusive.

This is her mission field.

“I’m not the best at pulling things out of my head from memory,” she admits, but that doesn’t keep her from circling back with people when she’s asked a complex question.

“I know there are answers, and I don’t shy away from any opposing views. … Sule’s teachings have given me confidence. There are solid Scriptures to prove my point.”

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Be Confident in Defending Your Faith

Patty, along with Pastor Sule, attended a 2018 debate at an Ontario mosque. The topic explored the God of the Bible vs. the god of the Qur’an.
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