Monday, July 29, 2013

A word from last year's academic award winner

Hey everyone, this is the last of our series in hearing from last year's award winners. I hope that Janelle's words help get you excited to dig deeply into studies this year.

Hello Qwanoes students! Yep – that’s YOU. : D

You may not know this yet, but this year is going to change your life. Many of you are already anticipating the incredible growth that is going to take place. Keep it up! If you aren’t expecting much from the year ahead, start praying that God would bless you with great excitement and expectancy for all He is going to do in, through and around you.  Because it’s not a question of IF He’s going to grow you. The question is, HOW is He going to grow you?

One of the major ways God is going to transform your heart and mind is through academics. I encourage you to not under-estimate the significance of academic study. I’m sorry if I’m the one to break it to you - but course lectures, readings and assignments are going to take up a lot of your time and energy. However, I can tell you from personal experience that this is a good thing! If you take advantage of your studies you will reap priceless rewards in your spiritual life.  This year you have the amazing privilege of studying leadership principles, various areas of Christian ministry and most importantly God’s Word under the guidance of some of Briercrest’s best professors. Although understanding radical concepts and managing the heavy workload is going to be a challenge, my hope and prayer is that you embrace every moment. Soak it all in. Remember that God often accomplishes His best work through our most stretching experiences. Invite God to stretch your heart and mind through academics. You won’t regret it!

Maybe some of you are now thinking: Oh dear, what am I getting myself into?! Well, here are a few tidbits of advice I wish someone had told me before I did the Kaléo Program. I hope they help! : )

First, do not be afraid! God gives us everything we need to accomplish what He asks us to do each day. The transition will be smooth if you depend on God and jump in with an eagerness to learn.

Second, do not procrastinate! Know your deadlines, keep each other accountable and use your time wisely. Stay on top of things and you’ll find that the workload is totally manageable.

Third, do not stress! There are going to be times when you wonder how you’re going to get a paper in on time. One big thing I learned last year was how to be content with doing the best I could with the time I was given.  Give each assignment your all in whatever circumstance you find yourself, and then trust that that’s enough. Remember Matt 6:27 – worrying just isn’t worth it.

Fourth, take advantage of your leaders! All four of your leaders are there to help you succeed. I know each of them personally, so believe when I say they are incredibly wise and would love to help you wrestle with anything from theology to footnotes. Ask them lots of question, take their advice, and don’t forget to thank them for all their hard work.

Fifth, practice what you’re learning! One of the unique things about the Kaléo program is that you constantly receive opportunities to apply what you’re learning in real life situations. Since genuine change of heart and mind is reflected by your actions, these are valuable opportunities to demonstrate true character growth.

Finally, learn as a community! Explore hard concepts together, share what you’re learning with others, and challenge one another to reach your full potential. Success means ALL of you succeeding together.

God says that we will find Him when we seek Him with all our hearts. I pray that as you sit through lectures, read books, and write papers, you pursue God with everything you’ve got. Be stoked about academics! As you do this, He will be faithful to reveal Himself to you in new and amazing ways that change your life forever.

All the best,

Monday, July 8, 2013

A word from last year's leadership award winner

Hey folks, here's a post from last year's leadership award winner, Jim Bodden:

Inspired for Life, called to lead
So you’ve been accepted into this program which has a tag line, “Inspired for life. Called to lead.” You have been called to lead. There is no better place to learn crucial leadership aspects than at Camp Qwanoes in the Kaleo Program. You will have many opportunities to step out in leadership throughout the year whether it’s on an adventure, or leading worship, or cleaning in the dish pit after dinner. You will have the opportunity to listen to, and participate with Andrew and his leadership team in leadership lessons. However, I challenge you to pay attention to the whole leadership team in their regular day to day activities as you will learn much from their example.
To be a leader is to have others follow you. Many believe that to be a leader you must be a talented public speaker for influencing the mass’s, a great guitar player for leading great congregations in worship a top physical athlete or a famous star admired by the world. Though many great leaders have these talents, these talents are not what define them as a leader. A leader is someone who has a positive attitude that rubs off on those around them, even if they are scrubbing dishes of cleaning toilets on a weekend retreat. A leader is one who is honest and has integrity, and makes those around them strive to follow their example. A leader must be willing to serve, to re-quote what Rachael Allen posted from Matthew 20:26-28, to be great you must be a servant and to be first you must be a slave, “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.
I am so excited that you have decided to go to Qwanoes to and partake in this leadership program. I pray that God will prepare your hearts for the lessons to be learned and the growth to be had. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Tim. 4:12)
In Christ
Jim Bodden

Monday, July 1, 2013

A word from last year's ministry award winner

Hey everyone, here is post from last year's Ministry Award Winner, Rachael Allen.

Hello my beloved friends,
Although we do not know each other, I feel like I know you all so very well, for I was in your shoes at this time last year. You are either at a summer camp (like I was at Qwanoes), working or bumming around playing video games (I hope not!) and going to the beach. Ahead of you is this year where you know you will be changed, you know God is going to work, you know that you will experience the fullness of life…but you just don’t know how it all is going to pan out. 
As most of your minds race to the throws of academics and textbooks you will have to read, or the sick, crazy, mind-blowing adventures awaiting you, or the prospect of sharing a room and having someone with you constantly in community, I plead with you not to let this year slip by without giving of yourself in service.
As much as the Kaléo program is geared to you searching yourself and developing yourself as a leader, the most valuable thing you can do is put what you are learning in classes, in community and out in the wilderness into practice by serving just like Christ did himself. Along with instructing his disciples, teaching the mass of crowds and spending time alone with his Father, he spend valuable time getting down and dirty and serving those who did not deserved to be served: “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” Matthew 20:28.

The ministry component is the most practical aspect of this program, at times it can be the component that gets easily overlooked and put onto the backboard so I plead with you to decide in your hearts that this will not be the case with you. In your youth groups, give it your all, give it 110%. You are only going to be with these kids for eight months…will they see Christ in you or just a duty to complete your Field Ed class? In camp ministry, no matter if you are counselling or washing dishes, how are you going to shine Christ to those around you? On your missions trip, you only get two weeks to be selfless like Christ and perform tasks that may not be your favourite…will you let Christ transform you and work through you?
 In your ministry journals, where you tell Lyann, but most importantly your friends and family back at home how your ministry at camp is going, actually try. Put effort into it, think hard, be honest and open. This online journal is something that you can revisit years down the road and read your own words of the life-change that God did in your own life through service. 
From one who has been there, from one who loves you and has huge hopes and expectations for you, I want to tell you that I know you are in this program for a purpose, don’t let it slip you by. It is going to be tough some days, you will want to scream and curl up in a ball and cry but it will also make you want to stand in Pacific Woods Lobby and cheer from the top of your lungs about the sweet miracles that Jesus Christ is doing through you.
 Immerse yourself in the passion, commit for the long haul and watch what God does through you. I am here for you, I am proud of you and I am praying for you! Add me on Facebook, tell me your stories, and especially though the year – tell me what God does through you as you serve practically for him! “To him be the glory, in the church and in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen!” -Ephesians 3:21

-Rachael Allen (Ministry Award Winner 2012-2013)