Sunday Solitude

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Sometimes our lives get loud and noisy. We forget to make time to just be quiet, listen to the Lord and hear what He has to say. GFA Discipleship students participate in the biblical and time-tested practice of solitude. Sunday Solitude is an occasionally a monthly scheduled time of seeking the Lord in the quiet. What does it look like?

For Sunday Solitude, students and some of the GFA Discipleship team will gather together first to pray. There will be a short time of worship to get hearts set upon the Lord. A student will share a few Bible verses that have impacted them recently and how God has used those verses in their life. This brief time of sharing is a starting point as everyone enters this time alone with the Lord. Everyone disperses to find a quiet place, inside or outside, to be alone with God for about an hour and a half.

Times like these are different than a typical devotion or prayer time. Students turn off their phones, and with a Bible, pen and journal, sit alone with the Lord and hear what He says. After the time is up, everyone gathers back and are encouraged as some share things the Lord spoke to them. The event closes with a couple songs song and prayer.

Here are a few of the encouraging things shared during the last Sunday Solitude:


“He’s not asking us to be something He’s not already.
He’s asking us to be like Him.” – Lucas


“God desires to change us, if we will let Him.” – Benjamin


“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you,
‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’” – Isaiah 41:13


“No matter what we go through, God will be there with us.
He will never leave us.” – Emily


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Recently we as students were able to attend a Sunday service in a Believers Eastern Church congregation. It was a huge privilege for me and an opportunity to meet some of the people that I've been praying for.

The service was a very beautiful event. I would even say that it was one of the most beautiful times of worship that I've ever been a part of. The church building itself was not excessively ornate, but the altar and the bishop's vestments were certainly decorative enough. But even that, while it added to the beauty of the service, wasn't the main reason that I would say the service was beautiful. My first reason for saying so was that every person around me that I could see was worshipping God absolutely. The entire congregation loved Jesus and was lost in Him.

I don't cry easily, but during that service I cried. Just being in an environment that charged with the Holy Spirit was extremely moving for me.

Over my time as a disciple with GFA Discipleship Program I've learned and seen a few things. I've learned about submission, surrender, discipleship, and the important facets of Christianity. I've learned about the liturgy, lectionary, and even the altar. I've been to visit Anglican churches and even an Eastern Orthodox church. I've been learning the reason why there are elements of design that all churches share. Visiting this church, I felt that everything that I've been studying for nearly two years culminated in one service.

The final thing is that I was blessed just to be with this congregation. These are many first-generation Christians, although not all. These are people who have dedicated their lives to Jesus' service. People who have laid down their entire lives at the foot of the Cross.

As these thoughts were running around my mind I was humbled to be with them, to worship together with them, and to know that God has done the same for me as He has done for them. Knowing this and seeing their response also has impacted my life and given me a greater drive to surrender and serve Christ.

—Disciple in GFA Discipleship Program



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We returned from the mission field last week, and now are back to the everyday routine, except with a whole new outlook on the work. Knowing what we've been a part of and what is being accomplish on the field is one thing, seeing it with your own eyes is another. I always knew that behind the power points, pictures and stories, there were real people but now I know what kind of people are behind them. People with tears, laughter, hopes and dreams and faces with lines on them that tell stories. It's been a real eye opener.

Yes, I'd been overseas before but I did not see the work of God in action like I did this time. We saw many things, heard lots of honking from unorganized traffic and experienced a whole new world in comparison to North American life. Through the heat of each day, from one destination to another we had much time sitting in a vehicle and time to think about all we were seeing. It begged the question, what on earth am I here for? Am I going to build my kingdom here in the sand or live for the one True God and His Kingdom? Creation groans for the redemption of Jesus Christ. Am I willing to yield myself to God and be used by Him to impact the world with His love? Yes, because Jesus paid for my freedom with His blood, I owe Him my life.

 One of the things that impacted me most was seeing the Widow’s ministry. A group of widows were gathered under tarps when we arrived. They all sat on the ground but they had put chairs out for us to sit on. They greeted us with flowers and much affection. Then, a few of the widows shared their testimonies. As one as one was finished sharing her testimony another would stand up, then another. It was touching because all they wanted was a voice and someone to hear them. I can’t imagine myself in their place. I hadn't thought much of the deep scars on their lives and what it would be like for them to lose their husband. But as they shared they had to fight tears because they recalled the memories as though they were yesterday when their husband didn't return home again. Now left to fend and provide for the family, forced to earn a living by daily labour for other villagers, life itself became a burden. 

But that wasn't how things remained. Our dear Sisters of Compassion and brothers were sent to share the hope of Christ with these precious women and to care for them. To help them with domestic work and make a way for them to have a community together with one another and with God at the centre. It wouldn't have happened this way had someone not been sent to share the Good News with them. God's love stooped down and met these precious widows and their children where they were at and met all their needs. He cares for widows deeply and tells us in His word to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction (James 1:27). What’s on my Father’s heart ought to be on my heart, not out of duty but because He loves, I also love. What a boundless joy to be a part of touching the lives of the people in Asia with the love of Jesus now, and seeing love in action. The harvest is still plentiful, and the workers are still few (Luke 10:2), there's much work to be done. 

—Disciple in GFA Discipleship Program




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Serving LepersThroughout our trip I was encouraged to realise that, yes, my prayers do make a difference and in awe of the fact that that God has chosen me to be a part of the work that He is doing on the mission field.

 I felt so humbled and privileged to get to see and experience the many different ways that lives are being touched through God’s love. To see the love on a widow’s face as she expressed her gratitude for the hope that she has found in God or the life and excitement in the eyes of the children at the Bridge of Hope centres we visited. Their smiles and joy reflect the fact that for the first time in their lives they have hope and a future ahead of them.

What an honour it was to get to pray for the missionaries who give up everything, face persecution and count it all joy for the sake of reaching those in need! I felt so small alongside them and yet they would ask me to pray for them. Because we are a team and both the senders and the workers, the prayers and those on the front lines are absolutely vital to this work that God has called us to.

I was touched by the example of the Sisters of Compassion we met serving in the leprosy colony. They are willing to go beyond the barriers of culture and society to serve and actually touch the lepers. Through this they show the lepers that in God’s eyes they are worth loving and touching and holding. They are no longer just lepers but precious men and women, so valuable in the sight of God!

To sum it all up I would say that the one thing that impacted me the most on this trip was the love that I experienced, God’s love. It was expressed in the lives of the missionaries who are love in action. It shined out of them in a way that made me say, ‘there is something different about that person.’ God’s love is what causes the Sisters of Compassion to touch the lepers, wipes away the tears of the widow and gives the destitute children hope.

In response to all I have seen and experienced my prayer is that God’s love would also shine through my life in such a way that all those around me would be drawn to Christ as a result. May His love be the reason behind all that I do and the focus of my life. Only through God’s love will I be able to lay down my life and be the hands and feet of Jesus to the world around me.

As it says in 1 Cor. 13:1-3 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

And verse 13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

~ Disciple in the Discipleship Program



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Has the Lord ever prompted you to pray for something very specific but you were uncertain whether the Lord would answer or if it was really from Him? I’ve been there, and I am excited to share with you how the Lord does answer specific prayers when they are according to His will to strengthen our faith and to bring Him glory.

 Jeremiah 29:11-12. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.”

It was a year or two ago when the Lord impressed upon my heart to pray for something specific and trust Him to bring the answer within a certain time frame. I had heard others share how the Lord answered specific prayer; but I wasn’t ready to commit myself to what the Lord was asking me to pray for. It just seemed to impossible for me. I was reminded of the verse in Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”” And I know this is talking about the rich young ruler walking away from Jesus; but somehow the words that are italicized challenged me to step out in faith and watch God work out the impossibilities.

Well I came to the point of surrender and stepped out in faith to watch God answer my specific prayer. By now you may be very curious as to what the request was that I was praying for and whether the Lord answered my heart’s desire. The request was for a trip overseas for my 30th birthday, which sounds silly and rather selfish, doesn’t it? I thought so too at first which was part of my hesitation when praying about it; but the Lord had given me that desire and all he asked me to do was tell only Him, pray and believe. This trip wasn’t for relaxing and vacationing; but rather to visit friends who were on the mission field and see what the Lord was doing in and through their lives.

Bridge1 Thessalonians 5:24 “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” The Lord called me to trust Him and by His grace and perfect timing I was able to visit the mission field before my 31st birthday, so technically in my 30th year the Lord answered my prayers and showed that He is faithful all the time. We serve an awesome God who delights in blessings His children and watching grow in trusting Him.



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