This past 2016-17 Academic school year launched the third year of the Alumni Mentorship Program here at Columbia Bible College. This program entails previous Alumni investing in current students, walking with them down a road they too once walked. The results have been richly rewarding as God had worked within these relationships to guide, challenge, and prosper students through the voice of their mentor.
Take a look at two testimonials of a student and Alumnus who were part of this program this past year:
From Genny Anderson, Mentee, 1st Year Quest Student:
“Walking into the cafeteria early in the morning, I was ready to meet my mentor who I knew was going to be just like me: extroverted, external processor, and enamored with junk food. Much to my surprise, the lady who greeted me held a peaceful reserved spirit, easygoing attitude, and a passion for clean eating.
She taught me so many things; not in a blow-your-mind with cool idioms and wise-sayings way, but through the subtle behaviors that narrated her interactions with life. I found myself gleaning tons of pointers for packing and preparing myself for trips since she had also taken part in the Quest program, as well as kind reminders to find God in the classroom as well as outside skiing or hiking.
Thinking back on the year, I realize I also learned to listen without expectations or even suspicion, which was completely new for me. We met every few weeks when by a miracle our schedules aligned, and our conversation would completely set my tone and outlook for the day. There were always things coming up throughout the day that would correlate with our earlier interaction, which was really amazing to notice.
Overall, having a mentor challenged me to analyze my expectations and continue to release control of my life. I learned that everything can connect if you take the time to process through it intentionally, as well as how to let God hold my seemingly insignificant daily tasks. The King is moving all around us, we just have to be willing to see Him.”
From Maria Dyck, Alumni Mentor, Class of 2002:
“As I contemplated becoming a part of the Alumni Mentorship Program, I couldn’t help but ask myself: why should I bother in mentoring CBC students? They already are surrounded by other students and staff who are part of the God’s body to encourage, instruct and build each other up. I have nothing new to offer these students. At least that’s what I thought when I was first approached to be a CBC mentor two years ago. Not long into the first year I did see that I was where God needed me. Not for the sake of the students I was mentoring, but for myself.
I have followed Jesus into an amazing position with Youth Unlimited Abbotsford as a youth worker. With a dedicated team around me I am following Jesus and living my life in ways that allows for many young people have a redemptive relationship with a caring adult. As much as I would love to be able to talk about Jesus and introduce the young people that I am working with, I know that I do have to respect their own beliefs and love them where they are at and the space we are in.
This is where being a CBC mentor has become important to me, for it has created the opportunity to have other young people to care for and build into who already know Jesus! These are young women who desire to be heard, challenged and encouraged! As a CBC alumnus, I have the advantage of knowing what it was like to be immersed within the intentional community that forms at CBC, and what’s it’s like to become a part of the greater community outside of CBC. I can freely share my faith with the students whom I mentor without worries of stepping on toes, for I understand that those who sign up for this program want to be mentored!
Being a CBC mentor allows for a current student to have a safe person to process what they are learning in the classroom and figure out how it applies to their lives both on campus (because it makes sense there) and off campus (because God’s truths are completely different from the world’s truths). For example, a conversation could be formed around how their student practicum works with what they are learning through their classes. Most importantly, being a CBC mentor allows us Alumni to be able to ask questions that the students aren’t asking, notice where God is at work in ways they may not recognize, and be examples of how to be Jesus followers (His salt and light) into the world.”
If you are interested in making an impact on a student at Columbia, we would love to hear from you! You can find a link to apply on our Columbia Website or directly contact Julia McDougall at Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org