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By Rachel Yubeta
Not a single day passes by that Canada isn’t far from her thoughts.
Senior sociology major Audrey Rader — the leader of the Baptist Student Ministry’s IMAGE Bible study — spent the year before she was a college freshman in Canada at Capernwray Québec, a branch of Torchbearers International. Capernwray is one of 25 Bible schools located in 20 different countries and sponsored by this international organization.
One of the important tenants of this organization approaches the Bible as a tool students should know how use as individuals free from the influence of other beliefs.
The program aims to guide students into a level of comfort with the Bible
that enables them to approach their faith with strong individual convictions.
Rader said the program leads students to “not just listen to a speaker and believe what they say, but look it up for yourself.”
This healthy suspicion of what is said when it comes to spiritual matters is still something that Rader tries to hold onto in her daily life.
As a first time leader of the women’s oncampus devotional called Image, Rader is excited to have the opportunity to study the Bible and share her beliefs with others at the university.
“I think community is huge,” she said. “Community growth and community living is really hard, but you learn a lot from it. (It) is a big part of learning Christianity, but also a big lacking point sometimes in our world.”
Christian ministries major Kristian Nichols said, “I’ve known Audrey for a
while, and now that I get to spend a lot of time with her at the BSM, it is obvious to me that she is passionate about serving others.”
Rader’s dedication to the importance of community follows her outside the realm of life as a student at UMHB. Rader has spent a significant amount of time working as a counselor at Laity Lodge’s children’s camp, Singing Hills.
Her calling in life, she believes is to try to reach out and positively influence the lives of a younger generation.
Friend and roommate of Rader, senior psychology major Beky Cheatham said, “I’m amazed by Audrey’s dedication to summer camp ministry. I’ve worked at a summer camp before, and it’s exhausting. It takes a special type of person to be willing to go back year after year.”
Rader believes it is important for older members of a community to mentor its younger members because “we have a lot to share — share our experiences and share our fears.”
Elementary age children are the group that she feels she is called to reach.
“They accept everyone still. They are vulnerable, and they want to know, and they are still learning,” she said.
With graduation looming in her not so- distant future, Radar still feels a little
nostalgia for her days at Capernwray.
Though it has been three years since she last walked the halls of her old school, it is always something she reflects back on, even as she takes on her current responsibility of leading a weekly campus Bible study.
Despite her reminiscence, Rader finds joy in her current role in life — spending her summers working at a camp and leading Bible studies during the school year.
Rader said it “takes me back to my Capernwray days of getting to research the Bible and share what I’m learning.”