Words by Jodi Stacey
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” – Hebrews 12:1-3.
The “race marked out” for me has brought me to Cape Breton to work for Youth For Christ with Dave Sawler at the Undercurrent Youth Centres. The Cape Breton Discipleship Adventure is an interdenominational gap year program for youth and young adults between the ages of 18-25. While we operate in several communities in Cape Breton, our ministry home is located in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.
In Glace Bay, 55 per cent of young adult men are problem drinkers. This does not include drug use or statistics for women. This means that over half the children who visit our Undercurrent Youth Centre have witnessed alcoholism, drug abuse or parents who are separated. We have the opportunity to influence children who are desperately in need of love.
The Discipleship Adventure is a nine-month program where youth and young adults spend time growing in their spiritual walk with God by focusing on a few specific things. A big part of our program is community living, inspired partly by how the disciples spent three years talking, learning and ministering together with Jesus. We want all those involved to be part of learning the dynamics of interacting with others on a daily basis. We have intentional times of worship and prayer, and a mentor who walks alongside our interns throughout the program. The interns become mentors themselves to those in our youth centres.
I now have an opportunity to walk alongside young adults who have a desire to know God more and to learn how to influence the younger generation and point them to Christ.
In my gap year program I experienced the benefits of setting aside a year for God. I was completely transformed and came to a point in my life where I never wanted to turn away from my Creator. I now have an opportunity to walk alongside young adults who have a desire to know God more and to learn how to influence the younger generation and point them to Christ.
This ministry is designed for those who are looking to grow in faith and gain experience in working with at-risk youth. We want our interns to leave the program standing firm on the foundation of who Christ is and who they are in Christ. If this resonates you or makes you think of someone you know, please contact me or check out www.discipleshipadventure.ca.