Winter 2019 Short Report
View condensed PDF version here:
Or read the full version in the drop-down sections below:
View condensed PDF version here:
Or read the full version in the drop-down sections below:
Priscilla: I've served in community life by helping to lead worship, following up on people who have expressed interest in initiating out-of-class gatherings, ministering to and rejoicing with peers about the work going on in his Kingdom, and sharing about Jesus’ work in my own life.
I’ve particularly enjoyed the following aspects of our community life: eating lunch together Monday to Friday (especially soup and bread on Thursdays), doing team-building activities in Immersives on each Friday, having set discussion times in growth groups and during Connect, spontaneous small-group outings with instructors, occasional staff open houses, chapel services thrice a week, “hanging out” in small groups/individually outside of the class schedule (after school/on weekends), and hearing classmates’ life stories and sharing my own. The story sharing is incredibly vital to building our community’s unity. The knowledge of an individuals’ background gives useful insight into their motives, heart, struggles, aspirations, and where they’re at in their journey with God.
Brayden: The community in Carmel is something that you will not find in many other places. The small classroom size and the amount of exercises and events that you do as a group really helps you bond quickly and create a solid, friendly environment in the school.
Arianna: It has been a true pleasure to serve in worship for Chapel time as a community. Worship for God flows naturally from my heart best when it comes through music. Music is a deeply beautiful way of worship that connects us all as a community of faith, as a family. Playing my guitar and singing a song of praise is service not only for our community, but for my own heart as adoration for Jesus pours out of me.
Priscilla: My Impacts are Hope Mission kitchen (food prep), teaching conversational EAL at International Student Ministries Canada, and serving as a barista at Sherwood Park Alliance Church’s café, Legato. God is teaching me that I can tend to task mindlessly without remembering why I’m there serving physically, I’m capable of more than I think (e.g. reading aloud confidently), and I care deeply (e.g. steaming milk and doing latté art with love). God is also teaching me that I thoroughly enjoy learning more about him through his Word, that old habits die hard but with himthey die quicker, that I need to start thinking deeper about my attitude toward service-ministry (which will aid my effectiveness in it), and that by the act of being present for people I am already co-creating with God.
Brayden: My impact placements this year have been wonderful. I have been given the opportunity to help teach in grade 4 and 5 classes using math games. Through the year, God is teaching me that he has given me the ability to work well with kids, and that whatever future career I take, I want to continue to serve with youth.
Arianna: I am at Rehoboth Christian Ministries with a lovely woman I am overjoyed to have befriended. Through this service, God has been teaching me the cruciality of communication… all relationships thrive on constant, honest communication. My friend at Rehoboth has been teaching me the value of direct communication through the grace with which she greets me when I fail to be a consistent friend. Relationships require work. This is no different than our relationship with Christ- if we desire growth and change, we must put in the work!
Priscilla: What inspires me in my walk with Jesus is when I see proof of his love and grace in the lives of others, when I see someone who is passionate for Jesus who channels their passion into building others (Christ-followers or not) up, and when I see the Body putting effort into strengthening its unity with God by ministering to each other.
Brayden: What inspires me in my Christian journey, is the people that I meet. Whether it is people I am going to school with, teachers, or someone I have seen once. Seeing the immense love for God in people inspires me to be on the same level as them.
Arianna: My youth leaders have had a tremendous impact on me. Their examples of life as people living in Christ is one that I strive after. Their strong work ethic and servant heart for others, their passion for God’s Word and dedication to our family of believers is worthy of emulation.
Priscilla: 1 Corinthians 10:31 - “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”. I find that I often feel guilty for sinning and/or becoming apathetic (toward prayer especially). This verse reminds me to glorify God in all that I do - to honour him in every single aspect of my life - and that his mercies renew every day. I stay convicted instead of condemned or shamed; it reminds me that I can be okay with never being good enough for Him - I don’t have to be marred by the lie of never being able to measure up to his perfect standard, because his grace and truth set me free.
Brayden: One of the most meaningful pieces of scripture that we went through this year so far is Luke 7:36-50, the parable of the forgiven servant. It stuck with me knowing that God wants to be with you. That he is willing to forgive you for anything. And if God can forgive you on everything, what is stopping you from loving and forgiving others too?
Arianna: There are 2 verses actually that have resonated deeply with me: Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy (Leviticus 19:2), and Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:36).
Salvation comes from the Lord Jesus Christ alone. We are not saved by anything we do to merit salvation. This is not an excuse for passive, he himself is holy, merciful, and perfect. We are called to live lives that reflect His very nature.
Priscilla: “Do I love God today?” and “Where’s your heart at?”
Brayden: One thing in the class that has stuck with me was when one of the teachers, Mike, yelled very loudly in front of the whole class, teaching us about God’s grace. It stuck with me because it shows how passionate the teachers are about God, and how much they want you to understand and know God the best that you can.
Arianna: Having a hard time forgiving someone? Look above. He forgave us. Forgiveness comes not from us, but from Christ’s suffering and sacrifice.
Priscilla: I don’t currently have a strategy to handle stress...usually, my stress is a result of either not having a plan, not following my plan, or putting too much on my plate. When I’m stressed, I usually talk to someone about it. If I don’t become less stressed from talking to them or I don’t talk to anyone about it, then I tend to become apathetic and passive towards whatever matter I’m stressed about. I end up doing anything fun to keep my mind off it instead of facing it head-on.
Brayden: My way of handling stress is talking to people in the class or the teacher. The other students are going through the same thing as you are, and the teachers all understand how you feel as well. The thing to remember is that you are not alone in the school, and people want you to have a good experience, and everyone wants you to succeed!
Arianna: I cannot say I have a strategy. I can be quite irrational when too caught up, for long periods of time, in the stress of life. One thing I try to do is grasp onto God’s peace- his reassurance of care when we cast our anxieties on him. A classmate of ours has brought up multiple times a passage dear to his heart: Matthew 6:25-34. Such gentle reminders of God’s care clears my head of worry and allows me the space to relax and just be.
Priscilla: Mount Carmel is an 8-month discipleship school program where you learn how to live life with God and let him work on and through you. It is a place where you are challenged to give it your all and be intentional with your behaviours in ways that glorify Christ - a place where you can share freely, give with a cheerful heart, hang out, be met with open hands, and grow deeper (in spirit, faith, and emotional/mental/physical stamina) than you ever expected to. While you will only get out of the program what effort you put into it, making any effort at all to allow Jesus to push you to be the driving force of motivation for your growth, inspires you to continually set your bar higher.
The first life lesson you’ll probably learn at Carmel is God’s grace: a concept that is difficult to wrap your mind around. There is no greater thing than the good Lord’s grace, love, mercy, empathy, and the feeling of “I did it because Jesus was with me and because he pushed me and supported me and comforted me” that comes from obeying Holy Spirit’s conviction.
Carmel is a place where you will learn equally about the life of Jesus, the contextual background of the Word, different theological viewpoints, who you are in Christ, how to love yourself, and how to love others in community. What Carmel is not is a “Jesus bubble”. (The instructors especially) demonstrate Christ-following with a real-life perspective in mind - a balanced way of living one’s life and honouring him with every fibre of their being.
Brayden: My response would be something along the lines of "A good decision: a great place for you to grow in faith, and a place to surround yourself with a wonderful sense of community."
Arianna: I would say it is a space where growth is valued and encouraged- growth of all sorts! There can be so many different things going on at Carmel. We grow as a community, we grow as we learn more about ourselves, we grow as we learn more about God’s Word and his purpose for us… but above all, we grow more and more each day in the knowledge of the love of Christ. That is what is at the heart of Mount Carmel.
My grandfather loved to see things grow. As a farmer and a gardener he dedicated his life to creating the best environment for plants to flourish. It was his occupation on the farm, and his hobby and passion in the garden. The results were obvious. His huge garden was full of row after row of healthy produce. I liked the carrots most and would often wash one or two off in the rain barrel for a snack. My wife would be most excited for the tomatoes. Deep red, firm, juicy, they were nothing like what you got in a store.
“Wow, how do you get them like this?” she would ask.
He would reply, “You can’t grow great tomatoes in this short of a season. You have to start them early in the greenhouse.”
We all know that in Central Alberta summers are short and winters are long. Greenhouses provide the warmth and sunlight needed to promote healthy growth. In a climate like ours they extend the season and allow plants to grow stronger before being exposed to the elements. They reduce the extremes of heat or cold, and they provide protection from insects and animals.
Sometimes we compare a year at Mount Carmel to a greenhouse because it is also an intentional environment designed for growth. It is a small community that gives students the opportunity to develop in their faith and put down roots before heading out into the world. We are excited and encouraged this year already by the growth we have seen in students. They are learning in classes, they are learning to live in community, and they are learning to serve. The Vancouver trip was a real highlight for me personally. They did so well. It wasn’t easy for them and they were willing to engage and allow God to stretch them through what they saw and the people they met.
Continue to pray for our staff and students as we create a greenhouse environment. We want to see each student continue to live their lives in Christ, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Thank you for your prayers and support. I hope what God is doing in the lives of students at Mount Carmel encourages and inspires you in your own journey of growth as a follower of Jesus.
We have now signed a contract to complete the roof within our existing budget. The project is scheduled to start in the next couple weeks. Thanks to all who contributed to the roof fund so we could get this completed!
Funds have been low in the last month. Our overall budget and staffing costs have been reduced this year to be responsible with our resources but we still find ourselves behind and were unable to pay staff fully in November. Please prayerfully consider supporting our staff and the ministry of Mount Carmel.
Please contact any potential students and inform them about this event. Our Winter Open House event is an opportunity for prospective students to spend a day (9:00 am – 1:00pm) with us, and get a sense of what a year at Carmel involves–register at mountcarmel.net/openhouse.
Focus is our annual senior-high youth conference. This year’s conference theme is Kingdom. Early registration ends on January 6th–register at mountcarmel.net/focus.
Come out and connect, watch, and play at Mount Carmel’s Annual Table Tennis Tourney! 6:30 pm official start time. Supper will be served at 5:30.