GSAA Offers Student Discipleship Program
For 90 years Gem State Adventist Academy teachers and staff have endeavored to influence students to become their absolute best—for God, for His kingdom, for the salvation of this world. But if Gem State students fall into the norm for academy students across the North American Division, nearly half, or 2,500 of the academy's 5,000 former students have, at some point in their lives, left the Adventist Church and its vital mission behind.
In an effort to do something about that, GSAA will be starting a new Discipleship Program for its students this summer. The program is made possible by a $15,000 grant from Versacare Inc. Formed in 1953, this group of Seventh-day Adventist laypersons gives grants to innovative ministry projects in North America.
Kathy Iwasa, part-time GSAA teacher, will lead and mentor the program. Iwasa will teach students to read the Bible and pray for the purpose of a relationship with Jesus, to communicate and build friendships with people of all ages, and to do public speaking, music and drama.
Student disciples will conduct church services, provide programming for camp meetings and visit with people. At each venue they will build relationships with an eye toward building people up, just as Jesus did. In some cases this may result in Bible studies, but in many cases the students will simply share God's love.
When school begins, the four original disciples will encourage and help mentor other students. The dream is for every student to have the opportunity to be discipled.