To view PDF version of the Short Report click here
“It feels like we’re speaking a different language”, he laughed in frustration. A local pastor I was meeting with commiserated with me about how easily the practice of basic discipleship has been forgotten.
It’s a common sentiment that I’ve heard many times over the past year. As I network and meet with local pastors, the conversation often reaches the same conclusion: Jesus’ model of discipleship could not be plainer, so why don't we see it modelled in all churches?
Despite the fact that this is a discouraging reality, I came away from the meeting encouraged. What Mount Carmel has been doing —training disciples— is a simple, yet radical model that continues to transform the students who come here.
When Jesus called his first disciples (in Matthew 4:19), his call was very simple. “Come, follow me.” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people." God's laid out plan for changing the world, was Jesus inviting a handful of people to follow Him. Jesus invited them to walk with Him and to learn from Him. Jesus invited them to apprentice under Him. And then, for those apprentices, to go on and “fish for people”.
Mount Carmel seeks to mimic Jesus' practice by inviting a few students to come and disciple (or “study”) under Him. We do this, as we always have, by immersing students in Biblical teachings, giving them opprotunities to serve, and surrounding them with mentors. As our students are challenged and encourage to walk alongside Jesus, our hope is that they in turn will pass on what they have experienced and invite others to follow Christ too.
This is the heart of our ministry: a desire to train and mentor students, so that they can go and be a light to their communities. In this short report, you can read about the impact God is having on some of our students. As you read through it, we invite you to celebrate with us the good work that God is doing in these students’ lives. At the same time, I invite you to reflect on the mentors who shaped your own life, to thank God for them, and then to consider how we can continue to pay this mentorship forward.
- Nils Reuter
March 2: Open House (register here)
March 2: Thunder Pong
March 15: Early Application Deadline (free textbooks)
March 18-25: Northern Alberta Trip
April 22: Grad
Word of mouth has always been the best form of advertising. As you think about the young adults in your life, we would love if you talked to them about Mount Carmel and encouraged them to check us out. We are very encouraged to have already received over 20 applications for next year! However we would love to have even more young people experience a discipleship year at Mount Carmel!
Danika: How much time you spend with your classmates. There’s very seldom a day where people don’t hang out for hours after school ends. This school becomes like a second home. Coming into this year, I had no idea how incredibly close I’d grow to people. The friends I’ve made this year are so much more than just school friends. They’re the kind of friends who consistently challenge me in my faith, and are willing to meet me in my struggles.
Sean: How quickly we connected with each other. Within the first week we were all basically friends. This makes it easier to try new things, even rock climbing in my cowboy boots!
Hanna: The friendships and the people. You get here on the first day and it’s a room full of strangers (or mostly strangers). It’s hard to believe we’re the same group of people now. I feel like we’ve changed so much since then and gotten so much closer. I came in on the first day fully expecting to have one, maybe two closer friends - but the whole class is super close.
Hanna: This year I have been coming to realize what exactly I believe. Christianity as a whole has become more tangible to me, and less of an idea that I can’t physically grasp. It’s become more my own faith, and less of something I just believe because others believe it. I believed it before, but it’s become more personal for me this year through what we’ve learnt and the community around me.
Danika: I’d say the main thing you take away from a year at Carmel is simply learning how to put your faith into action. Throughout the year we’re provided with the opportunity to serve in many different ways, we’re taught to interpret scripture in a way that allows for words on a page to come to life and cultivate genuine passion within our lives, and we’re given the chance to grow alongside others who truly love God and desire to live for Him. Ultimately, for me, I can say without a doubt that my love for God and my love for people has grown profoundly these past couple months. I think that Mount Carmel steers you in the right direction to be able to truly and wholly live for Jesus.
Hanna: I'm at Gold Bar School helping kids in the classroom, mostly with math; Awana- a kids club focused on teaching kids the Bible; and Youth Rise- a youth drop-in centre. Overall they're fun to go to and I feel like I learn a lot from everyone there.
Sean: I have three Impact placements, Gold Bar Elementary, Hardisty Care Centre and The Vault Youth Drop-In. Through these I have increased my awareness of the needs of people from different backgrounds and stages of life than me. At the Vault, in particular, I have learned that you do not need fancy programs to bring youth to God, but rather just provide a welcoming and open environment with people who care.
Sean: After graduation I am planning on working for a year, probably up north somewhere and I will definitely try to come back to the city and hang-out with my friends. After a year I am hopefully going to Lethbridge College to take the Natural Resources Program, then the Conservation Enforcement program.
Danika: I am planning to go tree planting in B.C. this summer. Then in the fall, I plan to go to university to study psychiatric nursing. I’m hoping that this year at Carmel will allow me to go into my studies – and eventually my career – better equipped to be a light for God’s love out in the so-called ‘real world’.