December 5, 2014

Every year, student leaders from Navigator ministries across the world come to The Navigators’ headquarters at Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs, Colorado for an intensive two-month leadership course called the Global Student Program (GSP). During this time, participants interact with influential Navigator leaders from all over the world, being trained as leaders who are able to pass what they have learned on to others.

This past summer, Canada had four representatives at the program: Deanna Gleeson and Kim Crosbie from Carleton University, Andreas Russell from UBC, who was also a co-leader, and Jonathan Bradley from the U of T. We asked each to share some of the things they learned:

Canadians at GSP

The Canadian contingent with the flags they were given as part of the opening day’s festivities welcoming participants to the program at the International Navigators headquarters in Glen Eyrie. From left to right: Deanna Gleeson, Kim Crosbie, Andreas Russell and Jonathan Bradley.

Deanna Gleeson

“One of the things I learned was [how to] be intentional about finding someone to disciple and work with. Last year I tried mentoring someone [at Carleton]. We met once. I’d never really put much thought into that and was like, ‘oh, you know, things happen, it’s good,’ What I want to do now is find one or two girls I can connect with and meet up weekly or do Bible study with and actually be intentional about it.”

“Also, [I want to make an effort to] not just hang out with my close friends but actually branch out and meet the new first and second year students. Actually putting time in and getting to know them, not just saying hi and walking past them and going to the people I know and am comfortable with.”



Canadians at GSP

Zuugii Boldbaatar (left) with Deanna Gleeson (centre) and Kim Crosbie (right) in the Carriage House courtyard before a cultural dinner night. These dinners allow participants to showcase their home food, culture and stories of how God is at work in their respective countries.

Kim Crosbie

“There was one cool experience where I shared that one of my brothers is deaf with one of the ladies I was working with, and she was like, ‘oh, my son is having surgery in a couple weeks about one of his ears because he might be losing hearing in it.’ I was able to ask her further questions and pray with her, and I realized God can redeem situations that are seemingly unfair in my life and use those for his good and for the good of his people, a bigger picture than I could see.”

“I learned that God is good. He loves me so much. He sees my weaknesses and flaws and desires to use me anyways. He loves me so much that he sees where I could be: a godlier woman more like Christ. He wants to get me there and he’s pruning me out of love. He’s using my struggles for good, that I may be more like his son.”

Jonathan Bradley

“A big one for me was humility. I did learn a lot but I feel like God challenged me a lot. My pride was brought to the surface and God showed that to me and how to deal with that. I was actually confronted by someone about it, which was extremely humbling. When you are told, ‘oh, you have this issue or that issue,’ you can either say, ‘no way, what are you talking about?’ or you can take it, consider it and change it. That was huge for me because I was bringing attention to myself, and I didn’t know I was doing that, so that was something for me to work on. I helped lead worship for a bit, and leading worship can be an easy way to fall into pride because you’re up there and growing up, it was the cool thing to do, the guy with the guitar and all that.”

“It’s a very, very good experience in so many ways. You’re able to meet people from all over the world and they’re not just following Jesus, they’re on fire. There were so many believers from so many countries. Growing up overseas, there aren’t many believers where I’m from, so seeing believers from all these other countries was cool for me.”

Canadians at GSP

Jonathan Bradley (left) and Andreas Russell (right) in the Pikes Peak Summit House with Zuugii Boldbaatar (centre), one of the participants from Mongolia. The Summit House is best-known for its donuts, the only ones in the U.S. made above 14,000 feet.

Andreas Russell

“I would say this was one of the best communities I’ve ever been a part of in my life; amazing people who love each other, not because they had to, but because they wanted to. In a broad macro sense, the program created an environment where people can learn from each other, grow with each other and live out what it means to love one another deeply.”

“One of the coolest things as a leader is seeing the growth in those you’re leading. To be able to mentor two guys on a weekly basis and see how Jesus is transforming their lives throughout the summer and to be a first-hand witness of that is incredible, and to understand that you’re not the one changing their lives, Jesus is.”

“The fact that we can meet young Navigator leaders from around the world that sincerely love Jesus and love people is just incredible. It’s a greater taste of what the Kingdom of Heaven looks like in action, in practice. I understand it’s a bubble, but it’s an amazing bubble to be in for a summer. If you need a really strong foundation for where your faith is at, it’s fantastic. It was transformational for me and much needed for my period in life.”


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