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Outtatown participants celebrate returning home and finishing program

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The 30 students who traveled to Guatemala as part of the 2012/2013 Outtatown Discipleship School sing and dance at their graduation ceremony. Another 31 students traveled to South Africa.

Winnipeg, April 23, 2013 – Stories of love, hope, community and transformation characterized the 2012/2013 Outtatown Discipleship School Graduation Celebration on Sunday, April 14 as 61 young people graduated from the program.

“For years to come, we will be influenced by the experiences we’ve had as a community, as well as the things we have learned individually,” Ross van Gaalen, a student from Outtatown’s Site 2 South Africa group, shared with the crowd of family and friends who gathered to welcome the students back home after their semester abroad.

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“For years to come, we will be influenced by the experiences we’ve had as a community, as well as the things we have learned individually,” Ross van Gaalen, a student from Outtatown’s Site 2 South Africa group, shared at the graduation ceremony.

“No matter how impactful our relationships have been, no matter which crazy stories will stick with us, and no matter which lessons or insights will affect us most deeply, I believe this year has made us all better prepared to face the rest of our lives.”

Bethany Bustard, a leader from Outtatown’s Site 1 Guatemala group, shared that she and the students learned of God’s transformative love during their time together.

“God’s love is not passive or timid,” Bustard said. “It is a powerful and active force as Christ offers to live in us, place his love in our hearts, and empowers us to go forward giving, receiving, and finding love in both expected and unexpected places.”

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L to R: Erin Harder, Brette Elias, Erica Deighton, Tara Hansen, and Louisa Hofer from the 2012/2013 Site 1 Guatemala group celebrate their graduation from the Outtatown Discipleship School.

The celebration included a time for worship as well as a message by Outtatown instructor Nathan Rieger, who challenged graduates to use their experiences from the program to look at the world differently.

“You have to see differently – that is the core of discipleship,” Rieger said. “To say, ‘Jesus, I want to see with your eyes.’”

Before praying for the graduates, CMU President Cheryl Pauls likened the university to a rich mosaic and spoke of Outtatown’s place in the mosaic.

“Outtatown is definitely a vital part of what makes it glistening and gritty, real and holy,” Pauls said.

Reflecting on the stories he heard students sharing about their experiences, Outtatown Director Cam Priebe said common themes included hope, freedom, and the value of learning in community.

“Our own journey impacts those around us, and their journey impacts ours,” Priebe said, pointing to Outtatown’s mission to inspire students in their life of discipleship with Jesus Christ in a journey towards knowing God, knowing yourself, and knowing the world.

“When that’s done on an individual level, it’s one thing,” Priebe said. “But when it’s done with others, there’s incredible value in that.”

In addition to the South Africa and Guatemala teams, this year’s Outtatown program also included a team that traveled to Burkina Faso. That team graduated this past December.

The Outtatown Discipleship School is a unique and enriching program of serving and learning for students seeking a life-changing experience of adventure, travel, service, and Christian studies.

Through participation in Outtatown, students may earn up to 18 university credit hours for the academic work completed during their programs. Outtatown offers two-semester programs at site locations in Guatemala and South Africa, and a one-semester program in French Africa.

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CMU Receives Federal Government Funding for Resurfacing of Gymnasium Floor

(Via Canada’s Economic Action Plan News Release)

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – Today, the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport) and Member of Parliament for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced support for Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) under the Harper Government’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF).

CMU student athletes are joined by Terry Schellenberg (CMU VP, External), the Honourable Steven Fletcher (Minister of State, Transport), and John Unger (CMU VP, Administration & Finance)
CMU student athletes are joined by Terry Schellenberg (CMU VP, External), the Honourable Steven Fletcher (Minister of State, Transport), and John Unger (CMU VP, Administration & Finance)

“I am proud to see Canadian Mennonite University benefit from our Government’s support for local infrastructure,” said Minister Fletcher. “Investments such as this highlight our Government’s commitment to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity of Winnipeg and all Canadian communities for many years to come.”

The Harper Government’s investment of $8,262 has allowed Canadian Mennonite University to resurface the flooring in its gymnasium. The renovations are not only benefitting CMU students, but also over 40 community groups who use this highly-booked recreational venue in south-west Winnipeg.

“Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) acknowledges the critical role that student athletic involvement plays in building character, community and engagement within our university life,” said Terry Schellenberg, CMU Vice President, External. “We are deeply grateful for the funding provided through the Federal Government’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund to enhance our athletic facilities. A refurbished gymnasium floor will be of immense benefit to our students and the many teams and groups from the broader community who use our athletic facilities.”

In Economic Action Plan 2012, the Harper Government announced further support to help communities across the country modernize their infrastructure. Our Government committed $150 million over two years for the Fund. The Fund supports projects that look to improve existing community infrastructure accessible for use by the public, such as community centres, recreational buildings, local arenas, cultural and other community facilities.

Since 2006, the Harper Government, through WD, has invested in job-creating, small- and medium-sized businesses, aerospace, marine and defence industries, and supported innovative entrepreneurs in pursuing emerging markets. By continuing to promote new economic opportunities, WD is helping to create jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity.