Truly we never graduate from discipleship. We only begin a lifestyle of surrender to continue on as disciples, daily learning more and being ever changed into the likeness of Yeshua. With this in mind, it was a joy to celebrate what the Lord has done in and through all of us during this year’s GTS programs with a ‘Commencement Ceremony’ on Wednesday. Students, staff and community members came dressed to mark the occasion and, beginning this special day in a familiar way, we started by lifting high the name of Jesus in worship. Innumerable encounters have happened in our worship room here in Moniatis and this was no exception. As Preston led out songs of thanksgiving and praise, we reflected on the past months with overflowing joy and gratitude!
Matthew then took a moment to share a stirring word from Psalm 84. As many of us prepare to step into the ‘unknown’ of the next season, there is an invitation into His presence. The altar inside of our hearts pulls Heaven down around us and transforms our environment. Matthew encouraged us that especially during each transition, as we journey from strength to strength, we can find these ‘thin places’ of encounter. God manifests Himself in the time between times, in the moments of changing seasons. How we deal with these transitions determines how we will do in the next season. Students were also challenged not to buy into the lie that they had missed out on anything the world has to offer during the sacrifice of the past five months. They were not to exchange the precious deposit of Heaven in their lives for something of far less value, but instead were reminded that ‘a day in His courts is better than a thousand.’
One by one, the students and interns came forward to be honored and celebrated. The children of the community who have been a part of Mini Flight School this year were also brought to the front and each given a gift. For many of the students, the ceremony was a victorious moment as they had overcame challenges and difficulty to stand there that day. Greater than the certificate of completion they received, they each now carry the written Word of God upon their hearts and a testimony of transformation. The scripture which has framed this year’s GTS is Ephesians 3:14-21, and truly we seen a beautiful fulfillment taking place! Christ dwelling in hearts through faith, lives becoming grounded and rooted in love, together encountering the width, length, height and depth of the love of Christ and stepping into fullness.
After the ceremony, we began to really celebrate! Tables were filled with an overflowing array of beautiful food, lovingly made by our GTS staff the day before (Homemade Strawberry Lemonade and Mini Pavlovas with Lemon Curd were particular favourites – well done Chef Krista!). After the feasting, our very own Scotswoman, Gwen, got people off of their chairs and onto the dance floor as Ceilidh dancing was next up on the order of the day. There was much laughter as many of us found ourselves skipping and spinning under the Cyprus sun!
The transformation in the lives of the students is evident, and we are certain that this work of grace has only just begun. As students now fly home, we look forward to seeing their destinies unfold and hearing the shouting testimonies
of lives well-lived in His presence.
The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.