Homepage Feature — 19th June 2018
Lee Cook, Personal Assistant to the Principal, will be heading back to America after almost four years of volunteering at Nazarene Theological College.
“When I retired, I told the Lord wherever He wanted me to go, whatever He wanted me to do, that’s what I would do,” said Lee. “So this is my third assignment and I feel each one has prepared me just a little bit more, each one has required a little bit of a bigger step of faith and has taken me more and more out of my comfort zone.”
Lee arrived at NTC in October, 2014 and will be leaving June 17. While her official title has been PA to the Principal, she has helped fill many roles on campus from covering reception to helping with work and witness groups.
“She’s got all these gifts,” said Rev. Dr Deirdre Brower Latz, Principal of NTC. “She is incredibly efficient, able, thorough, meticulous, she’s a nurturer and wise and that’s just such a unique combination.”
Dr Brower Latz recalls Lee’s arrival at NTC and all the ways she’s seen her grow in her role. “From helping implement ideas on neighbours and reaching new communities, compiling reports for governing the college, praying and witnessing to people to baking some wonderful cakes, Lee has become a crucial part of my everyday life, professionally and relationally. It feels like amputation, I am so sad she’s leaving”, Dr Brower Latz explained.
From meeting students at registration to getting to know them on a deeper level within pastoral care groups, Cook says that walking through life with the students has been one of her favourite parts of her time at NTC.
“Lee has been like a mother to me,” said Mick Fleming, a current student at NTC. Lee met Mick in her first year at NTC and they have spent time together sharing stories and praying. This past year, Lee has been helping Mick write a book outlining his walk with Christ. “She has helped me find the voice I never had, see things I have never seen and to hear things I have never heard, I can now look at the world with a new perspective because of the time I have spent with Lee.”
“When I retired, I told the Lord wherever He wanted me to go, whatever He wanted me to do, that’s what I would do,”
In the past few years, Lee has had the opportunity to not only get to know many different students in many different ways but also others on campus as well. “Deirdre has been amazing to work with, she has changed my thinking in so many ways,” said Lee. “She always asks for input, she seeks other people’s advice, but she has the courage and strength to make those tough decisions. So certainly I’m going to miss my interaction with her and all the people, but it’s been a real privilege to work with her.”
As Lee prepares to head to America she has reflected on the friendliness of people she’s met in the UK. From strangers on a coach inviting her for coffee to folks she met walking on the beach in Wales offering her a place to stay, Lee says the warmth of the people has never ceased to amaze her.
Throughout her time at NTC and her years volunteering, Lee has continually given glory to God for each and every experience, and hopes others can do the same.
“I would encourage people to give up control of their life and allow God to just use them wherever He sees fit, get rid of any preconceived notions about what you can and can’t do, He’ll equip you with whatever He’s asked you to do, I’ve found that to be very true.”
Lee is leaving NTC a better place and has touched many lives during her time here. “Lee wasn’t coming in as somebody who was an untried Christian testing her skillset, she was actually an incredible able woman totally open to God,” said Dr Brower Latz, “You have a vision of who you’ll be as a Christian in your older years, [to see] somebody who is still willing to move country at 71, navigate trains, planes, and automobiles, travel widely, what an inspiration.”
Lee is moving to a community in Fruitland, Idaho, where she’s looking forward to meeting new people, sharing God’s love and learning from those around her, but her work and legacy will continue to inspire those at NTC.