Rosalynn, Jacob, and Lucy, tell us how they are using their gifts to make a positive difference in the lives of others
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
Service is a key component of education at Redeemer. Three alumni shared with us recently how they served in various capacities at a summer camp in New Brunswick, supporting a farmers’ co-operative in Morogoro, Tanzania, and serving our country through an internship program with the Canadian government.
Rosalynn worked at Snider Mountain Ranch, a Christian camp in New Brunswick, as the head female counselor and spiritual development coordinator. She assigned mentor-mentee pairs, scheduled people to lead staff devotions and campfire talks or testimonies and developed cabin devotions material. “I loved the role and the opportunity to practice discipleship,” exclaimed Rosalynn.
Rosalynn initially used the camp position to ease the transition from university to “whatever the fall was going to hold.” As her plans fell through, she said she wrestled with God and had to trust that he would lead her wherever He wanted her. As it turns out, camp was where she was meant to be. Rosalynn will continue to lead the staff in spiritual development, work in donor relations and social media, and serve rental groups.
“Christian education played an important role in preparing me for where I am today,” acknowledges Rosalynn. “I feel my knowledge of the Bible was impacted by my education. This is an asset to me as I develop devotional material for staff and campers. Also, I enjoyed learning in a Christian environment and I enjoy working in one now. There’s something so special about working with people who have the same vision and motivation for their work.”
Jacob volunteered in Morogoro, Tanzania this past summer. He ran communications and social media for a farmers’ co-operative. This was an internship position through the Uniterra program, an initiative funded by Global Affairs Canada.
The organization Jacob worked with dealt specifically with youth who want to start their own farming business. “I was inspired by people who were my age or younger and showed bottomless amounts of drive and work-ethic to realize their dreams or create more stable livelihoods for themselves,” stated Jacob. “Tanzania faces enormous challenges: a relatively small economy, less recognition of human rights, and the arriving juggernaut of climate change. But these things do not define the region for me: instead, when I think of Tanzania, I think of the extremely capable and aspirational generation that I worked with every day.”
Lucy signed up for the Brain and Boot Camp Political Training Program during her gap year between Redeemer Christian High School and university. The internship program run by Christian Members of Parliament (MPs) aims to equip young people with the knowledge, experience, and practical skills to become effective world changers, on the hill or off it. “I signed up for the program on a whim,” said Lucy, “but it ended up being one of the most amazing, and one of the most challenging years of my life.”
The program was split into three parts: class, office, and campaigning. Interns would listen to a speaker each morning—talks on leadership and character building, stories from MPs about how to maintain faith and family during political life, and tales from front-line government workers about topics such as human trafficking.
From 9am to 5pm, Lucy worked as a member’s assistant. In the office, Lucy checked email, drafted correspondence to send to constituents, prepared briefing notes and attended meetings. “My role was diverse, and often changed from day to day,” noted Lucy. “By the end of the year, I was an essential part of our office team, and I was given a lot of responsibilities. Often this felt daunting, as an 18-year-old I felt insecure about doing things like leading a meeting with 30-year-olds around the table or writing long policy reports with only my high school education, but I was able to keep up and produce good work. I learned a ton from this part of the experience and was constantly pushed out of my comfort zone. Honestly, this fast paced, challenging environment is the part of the program I now miss the most.”
The final part was campaigning. Sometimes Lucy would go to someone’s house and make phone calls for a few hours after work, sometimes she would go out in a neighbourhood and door knock, or occasionally, she would visit another location and campaign full-time for a few weeks. Lucy appreciates the new skills she learned on the campaign trail. “To be effective campaigners is a great skill to have,” she affirms.
Now, Lucy is at university where she is majoring in International Studies. “My time at Redeemer provided me with some of the technical skills I needed for the internship program, such as writing and good critical thinking,” said Lucy. “I also appreciated the leadership opportunities I’d had in high school, which ensured I was comfortable taking on leadership roles in various aspects of my job.”