小猪视频

Living and Learning for Christ
Meet two current 小猪视频students and alumni of the Act Five gap year program transformed by Christian education.
6 min. read
April 3, 2024

When Christians seeking to grow are growing together, it’s exponential growth.鈥

This is what Caleb Bouma, third-year English and philosophy student has experienced first hand as both a 小猪视频 student and an alumnus of , a Hamilton-based, eight-month Christian gap year program.

Act Five began as a joint initiative of Redeemer, in partnership with five Christian high schools in 2019. Upon the completion of its fourth year in the spring of 2023, Act Five launched as an independent organization and registered charity.

Caleb Bouma grew up in Portugal as a child of missionaries. He moved to Canada as a young teenager, and says this change brought him pain, guilt and numbness. He experienced a deep need for community, and found himself in a friend group that started to lead him down a harmful path. As high school was ending, he decided that he needed to reconnect with his faith and figure out what being a Christian looks like in daily life, making the life-changing decision to attend Act Five. 

Caleb Bouma

For Bouma, Act Five taught him about 鈥渓iving an ordinary life, but doing it with God.鈥 He says that the program was very practical, from learning how to interact with other people to learning how to cook simple meals, and included many opportunities for 鈥渞eflection on life, self, community and society.鈥

Gillian Brouwer, a third-year biochemistry student, is a fellow Act Five alumna who, during the program, developed an appreciation for 鈥渉ow beauty and pleasure and celebration are part of living faithfully.鈥 She adds that she also learned about 鈥渉ow things work together, how God created the world to be so interconnected and steeped in meaning.鈥

Brouwer grew up in Ottawa, surrounded by Christian community. She moved to Sweden in Grade 8, which she describes as a very difficult time where she felt more distant from God. She moved back to Canada in Grade 10 and was able to develop a renewed faith. At the end of high school, she decided she wanted to do a gap year program, ultimately choosing Act Five. She made this choice because of how, rather than focusing on mountaintop experiences, the program focuses on equipping students for daily life.

It鈥檚 valuable to be challenged to think about how and why what I鈥檓 learning matters to living a Christian, faithful life.

Brouwer says that her love for learning was re-centred at Act Five and solidified at Redeemer. She has developed a deep appreciation of learning for the sake of learning, as well as its role in knowing more about God.

Brouwer says that she has enjoyed hearing professors teach from a Christian perspective, adding that her sciences classes go beyond just doing science. There is also an emphasis on purpose and importance of the content in light of being a follower of Jesus.

Gillian Brouwer

鈥淚t鈥檚 valuable to be challenged to think about how and why what I鈥檓 learning matters to living a Christian, faithful life. Just in general, 小猪视频focuses on education as a whole-person thing, instead of looking at just academics. It wants its students to thrive in all aspects of their lives.鈥

Both Brouwer and Bouma were deeply impacted by the experience of living in 小猪视频dorms. 

鈥淥ne of my favourite 小猪视频experiences is the random [moments of community, such as when] you step into the dorm, you鈥檙e just hanging out and you鈥檙e talking theology or some Christian thing,鈥 says Bouma. 鈥淎nd this was common at Act Five, too.鈥

Brouwer says that she does not want to be a student that lives incurvatus in se, a theological concept she learned at Act Five that is Latin for 鈥渢urned/curved inward on oneself.鈥 Rather, she has strived to live in such a way that looks outward that seeks the good of those around her.

鈥淚n our dorm, we talked about how we wanted to be a dorm that welcomes others and serves other dorms, rather than just being focused inward on taking care of ourselves.鈥

Throughout their lives, Bouma and Brouwer have learned the importance of developing a Christian worldview, which has led them to value Redeemer鈥檚 core program.

Christians are called to be in the world, in the day-to-day with people, and amidst creation. The core courses help educate you for the world through a Reformed lens.

“There’s so much learning to be done in the core courses,鈥 says Bouma. 鈥淪tudents may say, 鈥榃e won’t ever use it in our jobs.鈥 But no, you will use it in everything. You will use it in the way you think about your field, as it fits with God, his plan and his creation. Christians are called to be in the world, in the day-to-day with people, and amidst creation. The core courses help educate you for the world through a Reformed lens.”

Reflecting on the value of Christian education in his life, Bouma has come to believe that all fields of study point to God, that all of creation is a reflection of God鈥檚 creativity and truth.

鈥淚t provides those answers and provides that deeper insight. It makes a fuller view and leaves me in awe of God more and more.鈥

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