Who We Are.
Lifehouse is an immersive 14 week gap-year program operated by Greater Vancouver Youth Unlimited. Here, you will thrive in an authentic community, mentored by leaders whose example you can follow as they follow Jesus.
Lifehouse is a place to ask your tough questions about the Bible and what it means to follow Jesus in everyday life. And it gives you space to practice what you’re learning in an atmosphere of acceptance, adventure, prayer and wonder. Your time at Lifehouse will launch you into the adult world with confidence, competence and a faith that lasts.
What You Will Do.
Live in a good space. The first 14-week session of Lifehouse takes place on Vancouver Island in the Cowichan Lake area. It’s a beautiful spot, surrounded by forests, lakes and mountains, and with less distractions than city life.
Be part of a community. Work, laugh and pray together, be authentic, tell your story, receive encouragement and challenge, invest in one another.
Get a tutorial on life. Learn to make meals, bake bread, change the oil in a car, manage a credit card, build a campfire, and much more that people expect you to know but don’t show you how.
Learn about the faith walk. People who have walked with Jesus over time will come and lead discussions about God, spiritual practices, the Bible, leadership, helping others and taking care of the things God has entrusted to you.
Meet people to look up to. We want to put you alongside the kind of people whose example is worth following and who will walk with you toward being the person you want to be.
Have hands-on experiences. Put into practice what you are learning as you make a difference in the world around you.
Be welcomed and appreciated. We will love and accept you just as you are, and also love you too much to leave you there. Expect change!
Go on adventures. BC is a playground: hiking, canoeing, exploring the city, finding out-of-the-way places - all with a great new set of friends.
Who Should Apply?
Lifehouse is looking for students between the ages of 17 and 21 who have:
A faith in Jesus
An explorer’s heart
A desire to make a difference
A craving for community
Dates and Cost
Lifehouse will offer 2 programs a year. Students arrive on Sunday September 12th for the fall term and conclude on Sunday, December 19th, 2021. Students can then decide whether to do a second term from March to June, 2022.
The cost is $3500 per 14 week session, which covers accommodation, meals, classes and activities. Students will want to have an additional small amount for personal needs. Lifehouse staff fundraise to cover their own salaries, which keeps program costs down. Your fees simply pay for your expenses.
What if I can’t afford it?
Program fees can be fundraised through a personal network of people who choose to stand with you. The person who has referred you to this program can help with that! Donations are tax-deductible with charitable donation receipts issued at the end of the year. Students who are engaging in fundraising are also eligible to apply for a needs-based bursary, to help you with tuition after a fundraising plan is in place and in motion. Talk to us about the possibilities. If Lifehouse is a fit for you, we will do what we can to help make it affordable!
Where Will This Happen?
The first session of Lifehouse will take place this fall in the beautiful Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. This is a area of lakes, mountains and forest, with endless opportunities for adventure. You will stay in a lodge at Camp Imadene beside Mesachie Lake and will spend many of your days at the Honeymoon Bay Retreat Centre, which is owned by Youth Unlimited and is just five minutes down the road.
Why does Youth Unlimited have a program like Lifehouse?
Some who graduate from high school after being connected to our youth programs find themselves wondering about their next steps in faith and life. Lifehouse provides “discipleship”, which is walking in community with others who are following Jesus. This supportive three-month community will help you on your way.
What does a typical week at Lifehouse look like?
Though there is nothing typical about an adventure like Lifehouse, any given week includes discussions with experienced teachers on what it means to follow Jesus in every area of life, opportunities to put what you are learning to work, and adventures around the in the local area. Weekends are a mix of time to breathe, household tasks and church involvement.
Where do the students live?
For the fall session, students will live together with their leaders at a summer camp near a lake. It is an amazing setting away from the rush of life, but even better, it will be a safe, comfortable environment for students to thrive together.
What about COVID-19?
We are hopeful that we will see improvement in the COVID situation by September, but we will adjust the program and living situation to comply with health authority recommendations as needed.
Who leads the Lifehouse program?
We have selected leaders who can say, “Come and follow my example as I follow the example of Jesus.” There will be 2-3 adult Christian leaders in place by this summer who will live at the Lifehouse with you.
What will I gain by completing the Lifehouse program?
Though Lifehouse is not a college-accredited program, there is much to be gained: long-term friendships, a solid faith foundation, helpful life skills, amazing experiences that can build your resume, character development, confidence and direction for the future.
Do students have breaks during the program?
Students are welcome to return home or make other plans during the Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day long weekends. Otherwise students should plan to make Lifehouse their home for the three plus months, and enjoy breaks together. Arrangements can be made for special occasions.
Can I keep in contact with my world back home?
Certainly. Internet is provided at Lifehouse and there is cell phone reception. Students will be encouraged to keep family and friends up to date by use of a blog or other online journal.