Overcoming through God
Edwina Fullerton never saw herself receiving a bachelor’s degree.
But in 2020 God convinced her she was up to the challenge – and she walked out in faith.
Two years ago she received her associate’s degree from the Christian International School of Theology. On June 24, she will be presented with a bachelor’s degree in ministry in a ceremony at Koinonia Training Centre Bermuda, an affiliate of the school.
“At 60, I was praying to the Lord and I asked Him what is going to happen to me because I don’t have too many years left before I retire,” she said.
“The Lord told me to go back to school. I had only had education up to a few courses at the Bermuda College. I told him I’m not bright enough and I don’t think I have any money.
“I come from Parson’s Road. Nobody expects Ms Fullerton to do anything grand – except I expect it from God, so I want to see it come to pass.”
The 63-year-old worked for the Ministry of Education for 20 years. In 2018 the administrator joined St David’s Primary School.
Although proud of that service, Ms Fullerton wanted to be more intentional with the gifts she felt God had given her. She thought if she furthered her education it might help, but wasn’t sure she could do it.
It was as she pondered over that an e-mail popped into her inbox from a stranger – Joan Simmons, the co-president of Koinonia Training Centre.
Schools were shut for summer holidays at the time. Ms Fullerton was unexpectedly in the office finishing off some work.
“God has a mighty way of moving,” she said. “It just popped up. I just happened to be there and I just happened to look at it and open it. I wasn’t supposed to be in the office but I ended up in the office and her e-mail reached me. I took that as a sign. I said, ‘OK God, I’ll see what happens.’
“I remember what the Lord said about going back to school, but I struggled with that because when you settle you don’t want to change course. But I also knew that when God puts strange things in front of me it is for a reason and I have to try and that’s what I did. I tried.”
A meeting with Mrs Simmons was encouraging but there were several obstacles Ms Fullerton had to overcome before she could sign up for her first course.
Transportation was a big problem. She lived in St David’s and classes were held in Pembroke, at the Berkeley Institute.
Another obstacle – she didn’t have a computer. Completing school work at home would be difficult, if not impossible.
“When I went to school we didn’t do book reports, I didn’t know what a book report was,” she said.
But somehow, she managed through.
“For two years somebody brought me back to St David’s without me begging or asking,” she said.
Ms Fullerton will always be grateful to Gladstone Thompson who was “instrumental in me getting here”.
The principal of St David’s Primary School gave her access to a computer throughout her studies.
“God opened doors,” Ms Fullerton said. “I was able to study at St David’s Primary during the evenings, and I got someone to review my work.”
Huge inspiration came from her 21-year-old daughter, who was born with cystic fibrosis, a disorder that causes “severe damage to the lungs, digestive system and other organs in the body”.
It was through caring for her that Ms Fullerton recognised pastoral care as her calling and intends to pursue that next.
“During the time of taking care of my daughter, God said He would like to move me into pastoral care, which is caring for the sick and terminally ill,” she said.