Since 2007, more than two hundred students have graduated from Patmos Reality Discipleship campuses in the Bahamas, Brazil and now South Florida. One-third of the graduates have taken their experiences into academic or corporate settings while the other two-thirds are in full or part-time ministry. Patmos alumni are ministering in countries like Morocco, Holland, Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, Liberia, and the Dominican Republic.
Colin shares his story of being a part of Patmos 5.
I had become a believer when I was twenty after I cleaned up my act from a bad past with drugs. I re-connected with an old friend and realized that something was different about him. He told me he had stopped using when he became a Christian. From the outside, I probably looked pretty good. I was pretty successful and I had always assumed if I stopped using drugs that life would get better for me. My success just wasn’t enough to satisfy me. I didn’t have a reason for hope. I didn’t understand the reason for my life. We went to church and I gave my heart to the Lord.
Over the next three years, I got really involved in the young adults ministry, was mentored by my assistant pastor and experienced some good godly fellowship with brothers in the church. I started going on missions trips and was part of the team that prepared the Bahamas site for Patmos 1. I thought it would be kind of cool to be a part of a discipleship program like Patmos but I had a great job and some old debt so the timing just wasn’t right.
I was in the Dominican Republic on a short term missions trip when I heard God tell me that He desired a greater commitment from me. I had been working in the youth ministry at my church in New Jersey so I assumed that meant me going on staff at the church. I got back from the DR and found out I was fired from my job. That Thursday, I got a call from my pastor saying there was a full scholarship at Patmos 5 for someone able to leave in three days. I cleaned out my apartment and was on the plane on Saturday.
At Patmos, the foundation God had established in me was strengthened as I realized that my commitment and devotion to the Lord was everything in my life. What I learned at Patmos has shaped my ministry, my life, my marriage, and my personal time with Him. I’ve experienced His ability to do greater things in and through me. I’ve seen His desire to direct me.
I’m married, I work three quarter time at Cornerstone Calvary Chapel and I’m a full-time student pursuing my bachelor’s in special education. Before Patmos, I could never have believed what the Lord could do in these areas of my life. Growing up, I struggled through school with a learning disability. Because of my dyslexia, my reading comprehension was so bad college seemed out of the question.
Because of Patmos, I’ve experienced how capable the Spirit is to accomplish things through me. I’m better able to give focused attention to what I’m working on whether it’s work, my marriage or studying. In John 15, God talks about the process of pruning for greater fruit. I was committed to serving God before I went to Patmos but now I can see how God took me away so that He could bear greater fruit through my life. If a man loves Jesus, his family, his ministry, his demeanor- everything- is affected.
To learn more about the upcoming Patmos terms, go to RealityDiscipleship.org