Yesterday, three men, Philip Morrison (Northern Ireland), Jean Pierre Fahd (Lebanon) and Jerome Quiring (Philippines), made their lifelong commitment to the Servants of the Word. In case you don’t know them, here’s a little bit about them:
Phil grew up on a dairy farm in rural County Down, Northern Ireland. At the age of 18 he took a GAP Year with Youth Initiatives in Belfast, which is where his journey with the Servants of the Word began, becoming an affiliate a year later. He studied Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh for four years, before beginning further discernment with the brothers.
His first experience of living with the Servants of the Word was in London, England where he served mainly doing youth work and some student ministry, before moving to Michigan, for two years of further formation. For the last three years Phil has lived in Belfast focusing on student ministry with UCO Belfast and also with the church he attends. Phil has a focus on discipleship and building community amongst students. Amongst other things he enjoys playing the saxophone and following rugby and football.
Jean-Pierre (a.k.a. JP) is originally from Lebanon, where he grew up in a Christian family that is part of the People of God, a Sword of the Spirit community. He is the eldest of four children, followed by his sister Nadira, his brother Mark, and his sister Najat. He is not the first Fahd to make his lifelong commitment – his cousin Joe made his Lifelong Commitment four years ago!
JP studied Computer and Communications Engineering at the American University of Beirut. Right after graduating, he moved in to our house in Belfast for two years. Then he spent the two years in out International Formation Household in Ann Arbor, and after making his first temporary commitment to the brotherhood he moved to London where he has been living for the last three years. JP’s analytical abilities have allowed him to contribute greatly to the mission of the brotherhood. He serves in finances and IT and he is also the steward of our London house, which involves maintaining the house and overseeing the brothers there in their house service. In addition to all that, JP serves with the Antioch community youth group and with university students in Koinonia. His main role in Koinonia is caring pastorally for some of the men as well as caring for the worship environment and training students to lead prayer meetings. In his free time, he likes to hang out with people, read a good novel, go for a run, or play football (soccer).
Jerome “JR” Quiring had an unusual discernment process. When he first lived with us and was in training for two years, he discerned not to continue with the brotherhood. However, two years after that, he reconsidered. This time he heard God call him to serve him as part of the brotherhood. As of yesterday, he’s now a lifelong brother!
JR is not new to making “surprise” moves. His father is a doctor, and growing up he and his three older brothers were dead set on following suit. After graduating from the University of the Philippines with a degree in Public Health, many anticipated that he would be a successful medical doctor and practice in the small town where he grew up, Gubat. (Gubat is a coastal paradise south of Manila). But, this was not the case. Upon graduation he decided not to go to medical school and that decision led him two more important decisions. First, he decided to work full-time for Christ’s Youth in Action (CYA), the college outreach he was part of when he first met the brotherhood. Secondly, he decided to join the Servants of the Word.
When he considers it, JR sometimes still finds himself in awe of how things have turned out, because the world has a million choices to offer. He could have pursued a hollywood dream but he is content with just “belting out” around the house or occasionally performing for his community. He could have jumped on to being a “legit” triathlete, but he is fine with just biking to his office once in a while, swimming twice a week in a (not-so-clean) pool nearby and running after college guys who need to encounter Christ. For a 30-year old guy, there’s still a lot more “could-have-beens”, but JR firmly believes that his surprise-filled life is not a surprise to God–but rather it’s in the hands of the sovereign God who has great plans for him!
Rejoice with us over the gift of these men!