Spreading the Word of God

The Rev Dr Val Ogden at Pacific Theological College Extension Education. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

AT the age of 19, the Rev Dr Val Ogden of Manchester, UK felt a strong call to preach and to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ.

Now in her late 50s, she has spread the Word of God too many individuals around the world and you could simply say, she is an angel in disguise.

With her many years of experience in ministry work, Dr Ogden happily shares her love for the work and the strong pull it had on her life while growing up in Manchester.

“I was born in Manchester and was raised in the inner city not from a family of great wealth or statute, we knew our struggles,” she said.

“I grew up with a father, who had a disability but his faith shined through his disability and I learned a lot from him. He passed away when I was just 16 and I was quite young then.

“I’m amazed now that even in my late 50s he continues to have a good influence in my life. I know I’m in a rugby nation here, but I was born just down the road from the Manchester United Football Club and one of my good colleagues here is an Arsenal supporter so I’m constantly praying for him to convert.”

Humorously, Dr Ogden describes herself as a strange creature that has never married and has never had children.

“In the Pacific, this is regarded as a little bit of a surprise and God has enabled me to be kind of flexible and movable in mission and missionary because of that,” she said.

“I started with PTC in September, 2014 and I was invited to serve here in partnership with the Methodist Church in Britain.

“The Methodist Church in Britain has been a longtime partner of the college and I’m a talatala (ordained minister) for the Methodist Church in Britain.

“I was invited to come and help out with the extension program at the college.”

Now the outgoing director for the Pacific Theological College Extension Education (PTCEE), Dr Ogden has had a wonderful experience in Fiji especially doing the work of God.

“It has been a wonderful experience and I’ve learned a lot,” she said.

“Working in different context means we put on different spectacles or different lenses and we look at things in ways which are refreshing and sometimes quite challenging, but I enjoyed that and I believe that God works through that as well.”

She said she didn’t feel a call right away to fulltime ministry when she was young.

“I worked in different areas before training for ministry in education and training and in broadcasting,” she said.

“What I used to do before the ministry was to be a radio announcer and programer and radio was a great love of mine.

“About 10 years of working in these areas there was a strong pull on my heart to take up ordained ministry.

“Since 1992, I have been an ordained minister and started ministry work in Zambia with the United Church of Zambia.”

She did a bit of teaching at the Zambia Theological College with the United Church of Zambia and later returned to the UK.

“There I was involved with what people called Global Mission Education in colleges, something like where the world meets, different people from different countries coming together,” she said.

Now Dr Ogden will be going to Boston in the UK and will be a minister of the Centenary Methodist Church.

“I will be going as a minister working in sacramental pastoral care again and maybe doing some theological education too.”

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