Yesterday and Today and Forever

I’ve been back from the Summer Leadership Project for nearly a month now. I will go ahead and acknowledge that this update is long overdue. Partially because I’ve been really busy, and partially because I’ve procrastinated (note extra emphasis).

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But, thinking back on the SLP, I am still overwhelmed and thankful for all that God did and continues to do. Here are a few things that I’m thankful for about the summer (not in any particular order):

The other project leaders (Evan, Ben, Kunal, Drew, Christy, Maddie, Mallory, Sophie)Image

-Great friends, co-laborers in the gospel, music video actors, circus-performers (t-shirt reveal), beach-walkers, staff meeting-havers, etc

The Ellijay Crew

-There were 5 of us from Ellijay on project this summer (including my sister, Anna). It’s been really amazing to see God’s faithfulness to this town and my family even through the lens of this single ministry. We got together sometimes to talk about apples and stuff.

Group tea-time on the picnic tables on the hotel patio facing the ocean (thanks Connor)

The room leaders on my team (Alex, Cleve, Drew, Trav)

-Loved seeing these guys grow in leadership and walking with the Lord. I learned that in most situations I can give them a little insight or guidance, but all I really have to offer them is Christ. He was the one working in people, not our best-practices. I also enjoyed listening to The Cranberries on our way to lunch.

Attending First Pres. Panama City

-They were incredible in taking care of Team 3 and making us feel welcome. Our team of ~35 got to hang out and bond a lot as well (tubing adventure, afternoon at the pool, lunch after church)

There are numerous other things I could mention, but overall I am just glad to have been a part of things this summer. Thank you so much if you supported or prayed for us in any way. I believe the life trajectories of many people were impacted and will continue to be. God’s kingdom has been advanced and will continue to do so.

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So now,

One word to describe life for me: Change.

One word to describe myself: Nomad.

The pace and rhythm of life has changed a lot for some obvious immediate reasons such as: I have my own room, I’m now creating my own weekly schedule rather than it being set in stone, and I’m no longer living life alongside 95 students. Other reasons are less immediate and more gradual realizations, such as: I’m not moving back to Athens this Fall, I’m done taking classes, and I’m beginning to raise support to be what is essentially a missionary to students at Georgia Tech in downtown Atlanta.

In the midst of all this change, however, I can still sense God working and continuing to call me to himself. He still wants my heart and my affections because he knows I’m not going to be happy anywhere else apart from him. In the midst of all this change, he’s saying to me,

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

He’s still the only one who can satisfy and he’s not going anywhere.

So, as I start this new post-college/pre-college minister phase, I’m going to continue to press my life into him.

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A Treasure Hidden in a Field

Team 3 Team Leaders and Room Leaders – Mallory (Team Leader), Trav, Lewis (Team Leader), Cleve, Mary Catherine, Drew, Brittany, & Alex (Not Pictured: Karen)

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing… As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love… These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” –John 10

This has been the theme of Summer Leadership Project for me up to now. God has continually shown me in my role as a Team Leader that I don’t have all the answers, and ultimately neither I, nor the Room Leaders can change anyone’s hearts. This reality has driven me towards seeking God daily because it’s true when Jesus says, “for apart from me you can do nothing.” God is the one who changes the hearts of men by giving them eyes to see the truth and the desires to pursue Christ. Seeing this has been a joy, because instead of me depending on myself, it draws me deeper into a relationship with Him.

My role has pushed me a lot while we have been down here because I have a lot of responsibilities and no one is telling me when I’m supposed to be working on them. I have to make a clear schedule and set goals to make sure things happen. I have loved it, though. I’m working alongside 8 other project leaders (Evan, Ben, Kunal, Drew, Christy, Mallory, Maddie, & Sophie) as well as the CO staff, and it has been a joy living and working in community with them. Their fellowship and lives have pointed me to Christ continuously, and it further shows me how important it is to live life alongside other believers. And as Ben said earlier in the summer, we’re really just a bunch of goofballs who enjoy hanging out together.

I meet regularly with the room leaders on my team to help them lead their rooms of 3-4 first year attendees of the project each. It’s been really cool working with them and depending on God together. We’re three weeks into the SLP, and this is when problems and personalities start to clash, but it’s been so good to trust that God is working through the mess of our sin (Proverbs 14:4). He has us exactly where he wants us and is working for our good (Romans 8:28-32). It’s refreshing to spend time studying the Bible with a new believer and see light bulbs turn on and the Spirit work in their hearts, drawing them further into a relationship with Christ.

My hopes for this summer are that it would propel me farther out of my comfort zone and further into a life found in my new identity, which is Christ. God has made me his son,

“by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:14)

I want this for our whole SLP as well, that this summer would not end in itself, but that we would send ripples through eternity by building lifelong laborers.

Please join me in praying that this verse would become true for us (emphasis added):

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44)

Getting Ready for SLP 2012

The View from ‘The Ambassador’ Condo (where we will stay)

Thank you so much for your support both financially and in prayer for the Summer Leadership Project 2012. I cannot wait to begin to share with you what God does this summer. It’s coming up fast!

Team Leaders and Room Leaders arrive on project on May 16th.

1st Year attendees arrive on project on May 18th.

If you can, in the next few days, please join us in praying John 10:14-16 for the project:

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

Please pray:

  • we would see Christ more fully for who he is as our sacrificial shepherd
  • we would learn to hear Christ’s voice and follow him closely
  • we would join Christ’s mission to reach his other sheep not of this fold

Thank you!