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Maria Joao Petticrew

Where did you grow up? 

I grew up just outside Lisbon, in Portugal.

What did life look like before NTC? 

Life was interesting before NTC. I am a graduate of ENBC, and was working on my part-time MA, as well as doing some post-graduate work at the University.

When did you come to NTC and what year did you graduate?

I came for the first time in 2000, I think (so much happened in those years, I get a bit lost), to do the third intensive on my MA. I graduated with a Post-graduate diploma in 2007.

Why did you want to study at NTC? 

I wanted to finish my studies, and was given the option of coming to NTC to do so. At the time, there were no other options for that kind of degree for someone from Portugal. It was only after I was here that I learned about the diversity of people and approaches, and that I really wanted to be here.

It was life-changing, faith-refining and faith-defining, and it has provided me with life-affirming, lifelong friends.

What did you enjoy/learn at college? 

Above all, I learned to rely on God much more. I enjoy all aspects of learning (essay writing not so much, but researching is always fun and interesting), but I had to learn to rely on God’s faithfulness and provision a lot more. That first year after I moved to Manchester was challenging, to say the least.

How did this change/shape you?

It has refined me, and how I view life and ministry. I have learned, to a much greater degree, that God’s promises stand, and that His faithfulness isn’t just present when the outcome is one I would like.

What happened after you graduated? 

I graduated in October of 2007, about 6 months pregnant with my second child. He was born the following January, and I was a stay at home parent from the time he was 1 and a half.

Where are you now and what are you doing? MJP and boys

We live in Manchester, and are part of the leadership team at Didsbury Community Church (of the Nazarene). I work part-time as a teaching assistant in the primary school my boys attend.


How are you living out your faith in your job?

For a couple of years, one of the other staff and I met almost daily to pray for the school, and for God to move. We now have a much more obvious drive from the school leadership towards the spiritual well-being of both staff and students. There are prayer boxes in every classroom, there are Bibles in each classroom, and the children are exposed daily to Scripture and to prayer. I try and be light and salt with both staff and the children I work with. It is very easy to allow myself to become jaded in regards to what some of the children are going through, and staff, and I work hard to remember that they are loved, and to live out that love to each of them.

Anything else you’d like to share? 

Being at NTC was an incredible experience. I encountered other cultures, different personalities, life experiences so distant from mine that I had no idea, all of that has made me a better person, a more complete person, better able to take part in the ministry of reconciliation we are all called to, as children of the Most High. I would definitely encourage anyone to come, and experience themselves. It was life-changing, faith-refining and faith-defining, and it has provided me with life-affirming, lifelong friends.