Trusting in the Lord
January 05, 2013
Gabriel and Jennifer Malloy; M.Div. and Certificate students, respectively.
Gabriel and Jennifer Malloy are both from the Tampa, Florida area. As an M.Div student, Gabriel hopes to one day serve with his wife on the mission field on a church-planting team among the unreached. Before they came to Westminster, they were both teaching science in high school and involved in sharing the gospel among high school students. When asked what brought them to Westminster, Gabriel says, “We were sharing the gospel and wanted to go on missions. We felt that we were doing missions work in Tampa, but we wanted to get further training.” Jennifer says, “We had been to Turkey on a short-term trip, and we talked about going to seminary. Gabe was helping out with RUF (Reformed University Fellowship), and the elders at that church encouraged us to consider seminary. We asked that God would make it possible, and in His sovereignty he orchestrated things to make this possible for a family of six.”
They would not have considered Westminster without the support of their home church (Holy Trinity PCA—alumni serving there as pastors: Steve Casselli, Dustyn Eudaly, and Steve Light). Gabriel says, “Both of our elders graduated from here, and I don’t know anywhere else that we would have considered. The books I was reading were mostly written by professors from here, so I thought, ‘You mean I get to sit under the men who have influenced me with their writings?’ So it’s a great opportunity to sit under the teaching of professors I have benefited from for a long time before seminary.”
When asked if there has been any specific teaching that has been particularly influential in his life, Gabriel says, “Anything written by Sinclair Ferguson. Just seeing how scripture is put together has helped me to see that Christ is not just the surprising ending, but that he is truly visible in the Old Testament, and that he’s the essential aspect. Seeing the continuity of the gospel between the Old and New Testament has been incredibly devotional.”
Gabriel and Jennifer both feel that their time at Westminster, both inside and outside the classroom, has been incredibly helpful in preparing them for a possible future on the mission field. Gabriel took a course on evangelism, and he says, “That course takes the notion that seminary can’t prepare people for evangelism or missions and blows it out of the water! There are also lots of people on campus who have a heart for sharing the gospel with Muslims right here in Philadelphia.” Jennifer goes on to say, “It’s hard to put a finger on what preparation for missions looks like. That could be a course, that could be going out and evangelizing, but I also believe some of the best lessons we’ve learned have been learning what it means to rely on the Lord as a family. As a larger family far away from home, we don’t have all the comforts we’d normally have, but the people here, both the professors and our local church, have been very helpful in reaching out and helping us process that. What does it look like when you’re going through a trial and having a framework to address that? This is something I’m learning in my Dynamics of Biblical Counseling class with Dr. Powlison.”
Gabriel currently works two jobs while going to school full-time to support his wife and four children. His time at seminary has taught him and Jennifer what it means to shepherd their children and trust the Great Shepherd. Jennifer says, “A lot of wives out there who have husbands wanting to go to seminary are wondering how they can do this. How can they afford it? If the Lord has truly laid it upon your heart to go to seminary and your local church is behind you, the Lord will open the doors for you to study here. We have found God has been completely faithful in every area of our lives to provide for us, not just materially, but also with a fantastic home church and friends who can encourage and support us.”
Gabriel goes on to emphasize the importance of connecting a seminary education to the local church. He says, “You can’t be here without support from the local church. Even though it takes time away from studying, try to serve in your local church and sit under the shepherding of local pastors.”
Gabriel and Jennifer are open to going wherever the Lord will send them, but they particularly have a heart for reaching Muslims through church planting. Coming to seminary, while incredibly blessing, has also been the hardest thing they’ve ever done. It has been a continual opportunity to trust in the Lord, and they ask that the student body would pray for God to continue to sustain them during their time here and wherever he might send them in the future.
If you would like to support the work of Westminster to train men and women like Gabe and Jen, please visit our online donations page here.