by Bruce Narbaitz - posted Wednesday August 16, 2017
Every summer a group of Navigator students and recent grads descend upon The Navigators’ headquarters at Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs for two months to participate in the Global Student Program (GSP).
They come from across the world to focus intently on Jesus, His Word, His Spirit, and His people. They learn through serious Bible study, mentorship, conversations with one another and a top notch lineup of speakers. This summer, I was privileged to be one of two Canadians participating in the program this year.
A few friends of mine attended GSP in past years and they spoke highly of their experience. More importantly, their lives spoke for them. It was plain to see they had grown deeper in their trust of God and were more committed to His purposes. They had set aside two months of their lives to root themselves deeply in Christ. This decision was well worth it. They, along with a few others, encouraged me to apply for the program.
I recently joined Navigator staff full-time and after this summer, I am aware now more than before of my need to grow deep with Jesus. If I am going to invest in the lives of others and expect God to work through me, He has to work first in me.
My goals this summer were to first, grow in my own faith journey, and secondly, be equipped to help others grow closer to Jesus. All that being said, I’ll admit I didn’t go in with the best attitude, but God still answered both of these hopes in more significant ways than I imagined.
I was nervous the experience wouldn’t be worth it. Would I really learn and grow enough to justify giving up two months of my time? After all, it’s called the Global Student Program. I haven’t been a student for three years, but I have been working with The Navigators to disciple students.
Thankfully God revealed this thinking to be prideful and led me to participate in GSP. Throughout the summer he stretched me in many ways and helped me become more teachable.
Here are some videos I recorded throughout the summer, chronicling my time and some of the lessons God had for me:
These videos and words barely scratch the surface of all God did in me this past summer. I saw His power and love at work. I came to value prayer and the Bible far more highly. I was spiritually revived, feeling much like the dry bones God brought to life in Ezekiel 37.
I am excited for all the opportunities God will give me in the coming weeks and months to put this into practice. I know the lessons I’ve learned will shape how I connect with God, people and myself. As the school year approaches, I’m grateful for the privilege to pass on much of what I’ve learned to the students I’m investing into.
That being said, there are two ideas I want to emphasize within the Ottawa Navigators community:
Firstly, as I touched on in the last video, the treasuring and memorizing of scripture. God’s Word has such power to transform lives and I am praying our community will become a place where memorizing scripture will be normal.
Secondly, I understand in much more depth God’s heart for the nations. He wants everyone around the world to know him and receive his love. GSP was a powerful foreshadowing of Heaven where, as Revelation 7:9 explains, there will be “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne.” I want to help guide the Navigators community to be an increasingly diverse place as our participants share about the hope they have in Jesus with their neighbours, friends and classmates from all over the earth.
If you are 25 or under and seeking to grow closer to Jesus, I would encourage you to keep GSP 2018 on your radar. There is amazing power in devoting a large chunk of time to Christ. When people seek Him intently, they find Him. That’s His promise [link]. I experienced the reality of that promise this summer and I know my new friends from around the world did as well.
I am not the first Canadian to be empowered in my faith through the Global Student Program and I know I won't be the last…
Bruce Narbaitz is passionate about Jesus, climbing things, creative writing, board games, dancing, soccer, potatoes, and honest conversation. A Carleton University grad, he is excited to continue serving with an awesome team of Navigators in Ottawa.