One Year Discipleship Program.
The Founder of GFA World (Formerly: Gospel for Asia) and Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church invites young Christians aged 18-27 to spend a year of monastic-inspired life marked by rhythms of prayer, sacrifice and service, within a community devoted to “Serving God & Humanity.”
A year in our Discipleship Program will teach you to live an ordered, Christ-centred life through spiritually formational practices giving you a firm foundation in your faith to live your life purposefully for the glory of God.
What will my year be like?
Tough and Transforming! Two words that describe what you can expect from this experience.
This is an opportunity to come away for a time and learn what it means to take up your cross daily and follow Jesus. A great saint once said that to follow Jesus means “to imitate the pattern of His life”.
You can expect your year to be tough, because dying to self and carrying crosses are always difficult. But you can also expect it to be life transforming as you learn to imitate the pattern of Jesus’ life, little by little, step by step, walking with others who have the same goal.
There's no going back after this radical transformation in your life through this intense year of discipleship.
Latest from the Students
November 18, 2019
This verse really sums up well what I have been learning, especially through the opportunity we had this year to have a small garden.
I am not a gardener. At home, poor soil, cold summers, and wind combined to make gardening a futile effort, and after several years of battling against these things, my mother relented and gave up trying to grow vegetables, leaving just one flower bed that was sheltered from the wind.
I was very excited at the opportunity to have a garden here in Stoney Creek, but there were a lot of challenges.
First, we had to decide what to plant. Then we had to plant it - we were blessed to have a staff member till the garden for us, but I was not used to dealing with rabbits, who did their best to eat our beets and peas until we learned how to put chicken wire around them to keep the rabbits out. We also realized that we had planted our beets too close together and they were therefore rather stunted.
Then came the weeds.
At first, not being familiar with the differences between baby plants and weeds, I let both grow together. Then, having learned the difference, we cleared out the weeds.
Then came the portulaca. At home, portulaca is a lovely flower that people take great care to cultivate, but in Stoney Creek it is a dreadful weed. When it first came up, there were thousands of tiny plants, too tiny to possibly pull them all, so we let them grow. Soon, we were overrun.
It took a lot of work to get rid of the portulaca, and we ended up having to hoe out the rows, though of course by then the ground was hard so we were nigh unto needing a pickax. Needless to say, after that, we were more careful to pull them when they were small, however, as we didn't have hours to spend each week in the garden, the best we could do was to keep hoeing the soil to keep it soft, as portulaca doesn't like the soil that way.
November 6, 2019
How can I know what God’s will is for my life? This has always been a question burning in my mind, ever since as a young child I realized I would be doing something with my life, and I had to figure out what that would be.
I didn’t want to just do what I want to do, I wanted to do what God wanted. How could I know what that was?
I have thought about this a lot with past decisions I have made in my life. Even before coming to the Discipleship Program, I struggled to know if this year was the Lord’s will for me. Looking back now, I know it was, due to the amazing ways the Lord has worked through it. Prayer is one big thing I have grown in this year, as well as becoming more others-focused – learning what it means to serve, and becoming more of an outgoing person, willing to give of myself.
As the year slowly comes to an end, there is the question of what is next, not often spoken but often running through my mind.
Through a few things we have studied, conversations we’ve had, and the Lord helping me understand, I have come to realize God’s will for my life isn’t and doesn’t need to be as complicated as I always thought it was.
A picture in my head that would describe what I had thought about God’s will would be of a road stretched out in front of me, my life. In that road, there is a fork - a decision I must make - right or left, this or that. One way would be God’s will and the other wouldn’t. If I chose the wrong path, well, it wouldn’t be very good from there. I didn’t consider what would happen down that path, but I knew that it would be bad, and it was crucial to make the right choice.
I have come to see that the picture I had is wrong.
God’s will for me is to know Him more. If I am earnestly seeking Him with my heart, the choice I make will be what He desires as well.
October 1, 2019
A little ago, we were listening to a devotional by a GFA staff member during one of our prayer meetings, sharing about the parable of the tenants in Mark 12. How the lord of the vineyard sent the servants to collect fruit from the vineyard and they were beaten, killed etc. The Lord of the vineyard knew what would happen from the beginning to the end, including that His Son would be killed. Why would He keep sending them if He was God and knew what was going to happen?
In another message (We get a lot of good teaching 😉) that we heard by Joni Eareckson Tada, she shared on the theology of suffering, and how God is able to use the evil in our lives and use it for our good (yes, good) and His glory, that wouldn’t have been possible if those bad things were not in our lives.
When I hear something more than once, it gets my attention. God can and will use the suffering in my life for good. Too often, I view what God is doing and has done in my life with a less than joyful attitude, viewing it almost as if it was of lesser quality. However, He has a plan and knows what is best for me, even if it isn’t what I would choose or plan.
I wouldn’t think that it would be very helpful for me to have seasonal allergies this Fall; however, things have gone differently then I would have planned, and I now have seasonal allergies. I know that this is just a small example of suffering; I don’t want to make light of the greater trials that others all over the world are going through.