Stuart Deming: Learning Overseas

Stuart Deming: Learning Overseas

Stuart Deming wanted to experience a different culture and gain a wider knowledge of the world. So, for his last semester of college at BBC, the 2011 graduate spent time learning in Italy.

Through Saints Bible Institute of San Lorenzo, Italy, Stuart attended classes abroad for three months with other students.Dawn Wilson

"My family is Italian," Stuart said. "I've always had a passion for Italy."

Originally from Waverly, NY, Stuart was a Specialized Ministries major and is currently working as an intern at Crossroads Family Ministries in South Waverly, PA. As a BBC student, Stuart enjoyed being involved in his small group on campus, and also helping with local rescue missions.

Read other In the Spotlights here.

Insight Questions

Why did you choose to be a Specialized Ministries major?
I wanted to get experience in different areas of youth ministry, missions, and also pastoral ministry.

Why did you decide to study in Italy?
To how God was working in other countries and to experience different cultures. I also wanted to get out of my comfort zone here in America.

What were your classes like there?
We took Bible classes, fine arts, contemporary issues of the Church, evangelism, and missions.

Each class was one-week long, six hours a day. For the evangelism and missions classes, we participated in a church plant and did missions work with the missionaries that live at the school.

What cultural differences did you experience?
They have "reposo," which is a three-hour period of rest from 12:30 to 3:30 everyday. In small towns everything shuts down. You go home, take a nap, eat lunch and then go back to work at 3:30.

They are more task-oriented than time-oriented. We're more time-oriented in America; we need to do everything on time. They just want to get the task done. The quality of relationships is stronger, too. They are more involved in peoples' lives. If you go to eat at someone's house you will be there for five hours, eating food and talking about your lives.

And the food. The food is a huge difference. They take time to make their food and make it good.

Did you have any trouble adjusting?
Yes and no. Most of the students in class were from the U.S., so there wasn't much to adjust to there. There were other smaller things, like the food and the language barrier. You had to really pay attention to people's hand motions. Actually, the bigger culture shock was coming back to America.

Did you travel to any other areas?
I stayed in Italy, traveling to all the bigger areas. I've been to all the major cities - Venice, Rome, Florence, and Sicily. I was all over Italy. My favorite area was Verona. You could see the history in the buildings that are still there.

What experiences made the biggest impact on you?
We were in a small community and we spent a lot of time building relationships. God really showed me how important this was. He also showed me how He is working in other nations and how the church is supposed to be a community, taking care of each other's needs.

What do you miss about Italy?
I miss the food. I miss the transportation system, where you can just hop on a train. I miss the people from the school and I miss not having so many distractions.

How will your time in Italy affect your future?
Knowing there are other kinds of people in other cultures but they are all broken, all lost, and all need a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Learn about the Specialized Ministries program here.

Contact Info

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Posted on: 7/22/2011 11:21:42 AM

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