As we near the end for 2017’s group of Luminate participants, we've been reflecting on their journey and how they’ve grown. At the same time we've been reflecting on what the future may hold and so I wanted to share with you one participant's reflection on their journey and where it has taken them. In the story below Alaina Brinkmann (2016) talks about how Luminate impacted her and how it has lead her on a different path than what she originally thought she’d do. Enjoy, Sarah Calder
Alaina Brinkmann's Luminate Reflection
It’s hard to summarise the year that is Luminate in such a short space as there were so many things that happened during the gap year that have impacted me for life.
Before heading into Luminate, I was finishing up my second year of university- a Bachelor of nursing and a Bachelor of Behavioural Science. During this final semester, after a series of stressful events, I started to doubt a lot about what I wanted to do with my future. I decided to take a year off and was just going to work full-time, however God had other plans in mind. Multiple people told me about Luminate, and eventually I got the message so I signed up!
When I signed up, I went into the year thinking that it would be predominantly a time for me to learn new skills and equip myself in areas of ministry. I was already doing volunteer work as the youth co-ordinator at St John’s Corinda – maybe a future for me would be to continue down that path of ministry? Once again, God had other plans. From the start, He used Luminate to strip back all the walls, masks, and excuses I had put up to ‘protect’ myself from getting hurt in any way, even if that meant not being real with the people around me. Little did I know that over the course of the previous years and putting up those walls, I had forgotten what it meant for me to simply be Alaina. Throughout the year, God reminded me of who I was – His child.
We did also learn a lot of different skills in regards to ministry, and life in general. There were two days a week where we met together, working on our Certificate IV in Christian Ministry and Theology, as well as learning about the Bible, our faith, ourselves and our futures. We built a community there, a family, where we had the freedom to be ourselves and to be vulnerable; to laugh, and cry, and support each other in a place that was so different to what any of us had really experienced before.
One of the highlights was definitely the two-week immersion trip to Far North Queensland. In Hope Vale and Cairns, we experienced culture and community that we usually wouldn’t see in our daily lives. We went up there to serve those communities, but they impacted us in so many ways.
I am now working in the Prince of Peace community (at Everton Hills) doing Youth and Young Adult Ministry and am planning on beginning my chaplaincy studies next year. Luminate helped to equip me with the skills and resources that I would need to be effective in my role, as well as building up my confidence in the areas that God has already blessed me in. It helped me to realise where God is calling me, and where my passion lies.
I highly recommend Luminate; it is a year full of learning, of growth, of challenges, of discoveries, of community, of joy, of God.
Is this something that you think you’d like to experience and be a part of? Is God calling you closer to him? You are still welcome to sign up for Luminate 2018. If you’ve got any concerns or worries, financial or other, talk to our team and we’ll help you work out if it is right for you. Head over to our website now to find out more information or contact us: www.luminate.org.au