Ruan Crews journey from Thornbury pupil to priest in the Almondsbury area has taken him across the globe.
Graduating from Bristol University he spent two years English teaching and Evangelism in Poland, followed by a move to the Netherlands with Dutch wife, Lisette. Over the next nine years he lived and worked at The Hague with OMF International and IFES, encouraging students and young people to get involved in cross-cultural mission in East Asia.
Five years ago the journey homestarted in prayer when he and Lisette began seeking God's continuing will for their lives. Sensing a call to the ordained ministry he was accepted, and enrolled on a regional training course based in East Anglia. 35 journeys between The Hague and East Anglia later and the rest is history. Now he and Lisette are looking forward to the next stage when Ruan will join the parish of Almondsbury, Compton Greenfield and Olveston as a curate.
Ruans travels have shaped the kind of person and minister he will be. Cross cultural experiences have left him with a deeper understanding of the complexity of human life and relationships. He has learned to appreciate the gifts of others; looking beyond the labels we so often use to categorise people. In his training he says, I have enjoyed relating to everyone, both high and low, liberal and conservative, and all shades in between, and hope to grow further in what has been called a 'generous orthodoxy'.
Being rooted in a rural community will be a world away from his international background, but he is convinced that God is calling him "home" and his response is one of "joyful obedience". In his own words he is raring to go; looking forward to putting into practice all he has learned and to see God at work transforming lives.
If there is one thing he takes with him into the new stage of the journey, it is this, Theres no looking back, God's grace will always be sufficient!
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time. T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets, Little Gidding