Ferry Hasiholan had always found comfort and community within the church. But after moving to Australia from Indonesia, he also found a path to further study, which gave him a deeper understanding of the Bible and life.
From the age of eight, Ferry had a dream. “I pictured myself living overseas. My family weren’t rich, so I had to pursue my dream – an Australian dream,” Ferry recalls.
It wasn’t until Ferry was 31 that his plan came to fruition. “In 2007, I left my family and job as an accountant in Indonesia and came to Australia alone. I came with $4000.”
He also brought with him his parents’ advice: “wherever you go you need to be within a church, that’s the most important point in your life.”
Raised in a Lutheran environment in Jakarta, Ferry was content with his faith. However, after arriving in Australia, his aunt introduced him to St John’s Camberwell, and he stepped out of his comfort zone. “I’m like a social butterfly. I used to just follow the crowd to church to hang out with people who are the same as me. St John’s was a different culture and age bracket.”
This brought a major shift in Ferry’s thinking.
I made a connection with the church. I realised I wanted to go to there to be with God.”
It was also St John’s that led him to Trinity College Theological School. Over the years, Ferry built up a rapport with the Vicar, Father John, who suggested he look at doing a course to further enrich his understanding of theology.
After meeting with the Revd Dr Fergus King from Trinity College, Ferry enrolled in the Monday program, a course in the Ministry Education Centre that takes place every Monday and includes a range of lessons, break-out sessions and communal worship. “Fergus talked me through and thought it was a good program for me. I wasn’t convinced at first, because the Monday program is designed for people who are aspiring to become a priest. I don’t know if that’s me, but that question is always open,” he says.
Ferry believes being a priest is a calling. “It’s not a job. It’s not a given. It’s a title from God.”
[Taking] theological studies doesn’t mean you have to be a priest. It’s more like having a better understanding and getting the big picture of the history of the bible.”
Now after his first year in the course, Ferry feels it’s giving him a deeper understanding of the bible and life. “We relate to the past to look to the future. When I look at one Bible story or teaching, I think about the story behind it,” he reflects.
“Every time I read the Bible I’m thinking about this, it’s not that it’s necessarily black and white – I need to make sure my faith to God isn’t going to be compromised.”
Building the trust within the course is also something Ferry feels is important and has really helped him.
I ask a lot of questions. It’s how I learn. I’m comfortable and supported by everyone. My faith gives me the comfort I need to face challenges. Until I finish life, God will be with me.”
“I’m a firm believer in que sera sera – whatever will be will be.”
By Jocelyn Pride
Established in 1877, Trinity College Theological School is committed to shaping men and women who wish to pursue ordination in the Anglican Church, develop skills for lay ministry, or simply explore Christian faith for personal or vocational enrichment and development.