To view PDF version of the Short Report click here
We all love a good underdog story. The stories where, against all the odds, the impossible happens. The little boy unexpectedly slays the giant. A small gang of heroes withstands the fire of a dictator. A young queen defies etiquette and risks her life to confront a ruler, saving the lives of her people. The Bible is full of such stories. As a sports fan, it’s why I keep cheering for the Oilers with the enthusiasm of the mid ‘80s. I hold out hope. I believe they can. There is something within us that, against all odds, believes in redemption.
Last month our class went on our Vancouver Exposure Trip where we connected with different ministries. During our time there, we visited Wagner Hills which is a recovery/rehabilitation centre for men in Langley. It was there that I met Trevor. As he shared his story, it was increasingly evident that Trevor has not had an easy life. He talked about his father abandoning him and how he had spent years struggling with addictions and his identity. Eventually, he hit rock bottom and ended up in Wagner Hills' recovery program. This was where Trevor started to hear about Jesus.
After several months in the program, Trevor recounted sitting in a chapel service while the worship team played the song “Good, Good, Father.” Trevor broke down. With tears pouring down his face, he mourned the pain his human father had caused him, while celebrating the grace and love of his Good Father.
With obvious excitement he shared with me about the transformation that had taken place in his life. It was clear that he wanted nothing more than to tell anyone who would listen about how Jesus changed his life. “I think the thing is that everyone is addicted to something–to selfishness, to pride, to sin,” he said. “We all need redemption. We all need Jesus to transform us. I’m glad God brought me to a place where I was aware of this.”
“If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
What struck me about Trevor's story is that the transformation he experienced at Wagner Hills is not so different from the work God is doing at Mount Carmel. We are now three months into our program and God’s work of transformation is clearly underway. As we enter the Advent and Christmas season, we reflect on the transformation of a divine God into man. What an amazing thought! An all-powerful master of the universe became an infant. He transformed from great to small so that we, the small, addicted and unworthy could be made new.
- Nils Reuter
Dec. 15: Early-Bird Application Deadline
Jan. 30: Open House
Feb. 10-11: Focus Youth Conference
Thanks to everyone who gave so generously to our Giving Tuesday campaign! We more than doubled our original goal, raising over $37 000! We are so thankful for the continued support of our community.
The Gospel of John: The Life That Is Truly Life
Starting January 18,
Wednesdays 6:30 - 8:30pm
Join Mike Pedde, our New Testament instructor, as he teaches a 12-week class on the Gospel of John at McKernan Baptist Church. Come and satisfy the craving you have to experience the abundant life.
Wednesday evenings starting January 18th.
6:30pm supper. 7pm course begins.
Register online: www.mckernanbaptist.ca/Life
Currently, I’ve been enjoying the Connect slots in our schedule. Getting to have one-on-one conversations with staff has been really special and impactful. On the days we’re not meeting with staff, we use that time to journal, pray and read the Bible. It’s a great outlet to connect with God and either process how the day has been going or wrestle through questions from classes.
One of the many things I've been looking into more is what it means to love others. We cannot just let love happen. With the eyes of Jesus, we need to look and find those who need to be loved and act accordingly. It makes all the difference to the love we give others, and how we receive love from others and from God.
Honestly, I’m surprised at how well our class gets along. We genuinely have grown to care about and love each other. Even though classes end at 2:30, we often hang out at the school to work on assignments together or just enjoy each others company!
Something I’ve realized about being a part of a Christian community is how much it impacts my faith and my relationship with God. Having a group of people my age, who all have questions and are as eager as I am to learn, really gives me an extra push to keep strengthening my relationship with God.
It's been a great contrast to being stuck at home and doing school online. Meeting people, especially Christians, in person has not only rejuvenated me but also allowed me to grow in ways I never could in an online setting.
They have been going extremely well! I am serving at the Mustard Seed donation centre, the Father's House (serving food to low-income and homeless people) and Steele Heights Baptist's youth program. It has been interesting to see elements of my old mentor coming out in me, specifically in the youth program, as I answer some of the exact same questions I had when I was younger. It's so exciting when someone I am talking to seems to get what I am saying in a deep and meaningful way. At the Father's House, I continually see God at work in ways I never expected. It is incredible to see that the more God uses me, the more I connect with those I am helping and the more I see myself growing.
The scriptures that have come to life for me during my time at Mount Carmel are about being a servant. Not just in the normal "I'll serve food to people who need it" way, but giving my life fully over. I've learned that, in some situations, the best way to serve people is just being in community. Even if it is just talking to people about 'pointless' things, it helps to build a community with them and gives them someone who is there and willing to hear what they care about. It seems backward to me in so many ways, but the more I look at the scripture, and the more I am interact with my fellow classmates, the more I see this.
One of things that has challenged me is just constantly being in a group of people. I am not a socializer and even now I struggle being with people. However, since the beginning of the year I have slowly been able to interact with people more consistently and in ways I normally felt uncomfortable doing, simply because I am being encouraged into it by both my classmates and teachers.