Christmas Update 2011

If there’s one thing that we often associate with Christmas, it would miracles. The story of the coming of God’s Son is full of them. And then there are the stories of Christmas peace on the battlefield, miracles of holiday generosity and reconciliation—the list goes on.

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to find yourself in the middle of a real, honest-to-goodness miracle? Over this past year I have begun discovering exactly that, and I can only describe it as amazing.

The realization that Prairie will soon mark its 90th year of existence is nothing short of a miracle in itself. You’d think that by now an institution in a small town on the prairies would be running out of steam, no longer relevant to a modern world. And yet the wind of God’s Spirit is clearly blowing over this campus, bringing fresh life and vibrancy to the school. We see it in our staff and faculty as they begin each work week with prayer. It’s clearly evident in our students as they approach their studies with a genuine desire to know God and worship with whole hearts in chapel. (By the way, Wednesday morning chapel is now streamed live at 9:55 onto the website. Join us, won’t you?)

Miracles have been evident as well in God’s abundant provision. We stood amazed this past spring in a time of real need as donations came in at triple the level of the previous year.  Many of you had a part in that and we were so encouraged to see our Prairie family rise to the challenge to become involved in what God is doing in this generation.

God’s provision also included an exciting 17% increase in students after years of declining enrollment.

They are thriving on revised courses with double the Bible content, and the new one-year scripture immersion program known as Encounter has become extremely popular. Without our students we would have no reason to exist. Each one is a miracle of grace, the future of the church. Why don’t I let some of them tell you what God has been doing in their lives here at Prairie?


I completed the one-year Explore program last year and hadn’t intended to return, but we worked a lot with young people at Camp Bighorn and that solidified my desire to minister to teens. I wanted to learn more about youth ministries and narrow down my options for the future so I returned to Bible college again this year. My experience at Prairie has been shaped by the community. Being surrounded by people who are intentional and genuine in their own faith is incredibly inspiring and challenging. I am constantly encouraged to step up in my own walk with Jesus Christ.
- Craig, Youth Ministry

I’ve been interested in the medical field for a long time, so finding a college that teaches both the Bible and nursing is the perfect equation for me. I came to Prairie open to what God had for me and I feel like I’m changing spiritually in a big way. I know I wouldn’t have this kind of support at a secular school. This community has such a strong passion for God and we definitely help each other grow. The training I’m getting is top quality and the teachers are really open and accessible and willing to help us with our questions and struggles in our faith. I wouldn’t trade my brothers and sisters here for anything in the world.
 - Carrie, Practical Nursing student

I am now into my second year at Prairie and would have to say that my time here has been an awesome experience. I have learned how to fly an airplane, studied the Bible, and grown so much closer to God and to other people. It is my goal to graduate from Prairie with an Associate of Arts in Mission Aviation and join a mission like MAF someday. I wouldn’t trade my time at Prairie for the world.
- Marten, Mission Aviation student

My three years at Prairie have taught me the importance of fellowship as I grow in my respect for the Body of Christ and the concept of “iron sharpening iron.” I am even more aware of the need to be surrounded by believers who not only encourage but also give correction according to the Word of God. Being a part of the PBI family, I have learned to love and embrace not only my own humanity but the humanity of others. Prairie has taught me many things, but most importantly that we as believers are not perfect; we are simply forgiven.
   - Mericha, Youth Ministry & Worship student

My goal in coming to Prairie was to learn more about God and to become a good church leader but what I have experienced so far is well beyond anything I could have asked for. What a joy it is to be part of the Prairie community! My passion is to disciple people who are at the beginning of their Christian lives so that they will become fruitful and active members of the Body of Christ. When my wife and I look back over the last fifteen years, we can see how God has been preparing me for this time right now. It’s amazing what God can do with hearts that are surrendered to him.    
   - William, Pastoral Ministry student

A common thread in many of these comments from our students is the value of community and how much growth occurs when the Body of Christ comes together for a season of focused Bible training. As schools like this become fewer and fewer, PBI continues to stand as a place where men and women learn to plant their feet firmly in God’s Word and discover the joy of a life lived in obedience to him.

We are so grateful for the many one-time gifts that help to keep us going. At the same time, have you considered whether God might be calling you, perhaps even as a retirement ministry, to make a purposeful , regular investment in a school like Prairie and the impact it can have? I believe you will be blessed as you do.

Partners in the miracle,

Mark Maxwell, President
Prairie Bible Institute



Prairie Bible Institute
Box 4000
Three Hills, AB T0M 2N0

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