Seeking Christ

Reflections from MCC’s newest discipleship program

Four individuals are seated on the floor, surrounded by art supplies and colorful paper cutouts. They appear engaged in a creative activity, smiling at the camera in a room with a casual setting.

Seek is a discipleship program run by MCC that invites young adults to explore, engage and reflect more deeply on what it means to be an Anabaptist follower of Jesus in a complicated world. It’s a six-month program that will provide an opportunity to live, learn and serve abroad with MCC.

The 2024 cohort of Seekers recently completed their term in Cambodia and shared a little bit about what the experience was like and what they learned. Their answers have been edited for clarity.

A young woman poses for a portrait

Greta Wiebe

Greta Wiebe, 18, is from Neepawa, Manitoba

A young woman poses for a portrait

Audenne Derksen

Audenne Derksen, 19, is from Winnipeg, Manitoba 

A young woman poses for a portrait

Madeline Simons

Madeline Simons, 19, is from Dunedin, New Zealand.

What did it feel like when you were considering applying for Seek?

MS: I found it pretty scary, because all my friends were continuing with university, so I'd be the only one who would be kind of left behind. Also, New Zealand's pretty secular, so most of my friends aren't Christian and it was another thing to choose an opportunity because of my faith. I also knew that it would be good for me — I knew deep down, I had to do it, to kind of force myself to apply, because I knew I would have fun later. And I was right. I'm really glad I did it. 

Can you tell me a bit about what the day-to-day of Seek looks like?

GW: In an average week, we'll go into the MCC office, and we’ll do some Bible study, we'll discuss different Christian ideas and theologies and practices. 

AD: And another big aspect of Seek is we also do a lot of traveling within Cambodia. We'll go into different provinces every few weeks. Each trip has been wonderful and there's a great variety to them. We've been to Siem Reap to see the temples, we've been to Kratie to see the river and the dolphins and to Prey Veng to visit the village and hear people's stories.

What stuck out to you about how Christian faith is expressed here compared to home?

MS: We heard a testimony from someone who grew up in the underground church in Cambodia before it was legal. It sounded very similar to the way the early church was described in the book of Acts, which was quite cool to hear. They weren't split up by denominational or specific theological points. It was about service, and welcoming people in, it was very grassroots — for the people by the people. They went around and all shared their own interpretations.

Seek is so much fun! We've been on so many adventures together.

Audenne Derksen, 19, Seek 2024 participant

Have there been Bible verses that have felt particularly meaningful for you during this time?

GW: When I think of meaningful scripture that stands out to me, I’d say Psalm 46:5, “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day,” which is pretty on the nose, but still valuable.

AD: I would say from 1 Corinthians 16, “Do everything with love.” I think that's the approach that you have to have going into a different culture with different contexts and practices that you might not quite understand coming from a Christian context. It's important to treat everybody with love and have an open mind for new experiences.

MS: Probably kind of a basic one, but “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It was one that kind of helped me sort of take the leap into Seek. Knowing that I would be okay.

What would you say to someone considering applying for Seek?

MS: I think it's a wonderful way to expand your worldview and build a really strong sense of community. You experience a new culture with a safe place to come back to. And it's also a great place to have open discussions. Yeah, do it for the community.

AD: Seek is so much fun! We've been on so many adventures together. And on the province trips you get to do so many different things, like seeing the temples or swimming in the river, bathing elephants in a waterfall. Cambodia is a beautiful, diverse country and very rich, a lot of culture and history to offer. 

GW: Do it because you'll meet people, and you'll stay in touch with them. If you do solo traveling, you'll meet a lot of people, but there's no guarantee you'll ever see them again versus, you spend six months with someone, and it's much harder to let that go.

To learn more about Seek, read some frequently asked questions or apply for the program, visit our the Seek page on our website.

Top photo caption: Seek participants (from left), Nadia Thiessen, Madeline Simons, Greta Wiebe and Audenne Derksen, took the shards of the broken pot that they had painted to represent their vision of God's kingdom and repurposed them into a mosaic demonstrating the power of reconciliation. (MCC photo/Charles Conklin)