Well, it has been a little over two weeks since I arrived in Garden City, South Carolina. For those of you who haven’t heard much since I got back from Spain, I am down in South Carolina until August at a program called Summer Training Project. It is a summer program through Campus Outreach. We are down here basically being bathed in the gospel for two months. Staff refers to it as like drinking the gospel from a fire hydrant. It’s a lot to take in, and it’s very easy to be overwhelmed. As a room leader, I get to lead four girls this summer in facilitating discussion, helping them to walk through the Bible, and allowing them to see my growth over the summer. I feel fairly incapable of doing any of these things. I have been realizing how little I understand the Gospel and it puts me in a really sweet place of vulnerability as I try and learn alongside of my girls. I don’t feel very often that I am leading them, but more like we are all in it together, trying to soak up as much of Jesus as we can this summer. If you want to find out more about the program, feel free to check out the website at http://www.cominneapolis.org/stp.
As far daily life goes, every day is pretty different. One thing that doesn’t really change is Wal-mart. To help support ourselves this summer, we have all gotten jobs at Wal-Mart. I was placed on the Demos team, which I didn’t understand at all until I realized that I get to be the girl that hands out chunks of pineapple, watermelon, doughnuts, and french bread. So far, the best has been pineapple. Our job is to core pineapples, and after about 50, you get pretty good at it. After 500, well…my arms hurt pretty bad. It is worth it though, we laugh a lot and sell tons of pineapple, which keeps our managers happy. On our first day of sampling, we sold over 200 pineapples, which is more than the store usually sells in a week. We were pretty proud of ourselves, and the managers decided that it was a program they would stick with. The next day we came in they told us they had ordered 500 pineapples for us to sell, no pressure or anything 🙂
Monday nights we have Theme Night, and this year the theme is Convinced. Convinced of the Gospel being true, convinced that He is sufficient. Convinced that my salvation is not based on the works that I do, but the sacrifice of what He did. It is a lot to be convinced of, but we are learning and walking into together, and learning a lot every week.
Tuesday nights are D-group. These nights I get to spend with the girls in my room. We have a chance to pray together, discuss what is hard, what is going well, and things that might be confusing. I love this time. The girls in my room are so sweet and we have been able to open up to each other about things that we struggle with, as well as where we see God working our lives.
Wednesday and Thursday we work, and Wednesday nights are free, unless we have a group date. Group dates are super fun. We went on our first one last week, and had a blast. The guys organized for us to go to an arcade and we all paired up to see who could win the most tickets. The winners then got to spend all the tickets on whatever they wanted. The losers all had various consequences. My partner for the night and I did quite terribly, so we had to fake a marriage proposal in front of a lot of people. It was a little bit stressful, but made for a good story in the end. Then we went to a coffee shop and played games. Group dates are a really sweet way to get to know the guys on project, and we have had a blast with it.Thursday nights we have social, which is another really fun night. Each week we do something different as a project. The first week we did a low country boil, which was essentially a lot of shrimp, potatoes, corn, and onions spread on top of butcher paper and we all stood around eating it trough style. It was so yummy. This week we did a variation of Whose Line is It Anyway and created skits using props or situations we pulled from a hat. It is always exciting and often times embarrassing.
Thursday nights we have social, which is another really fun night. Each week we do something different as a project. The first week we did a low country boil, which was essentially a lot of shrimp, potatoes, corn, and onions spread on top of butcher paper and we all stood around eating it trough style. It was so yummy. This week we did a variation of Whose Line is It Anyway and created skits using props or situations we pulled from a hat. It is always exciting and often times embarrassing.
Friday and Saturday we have the morning off, and often times will run across the street to lay on the beach or play games, then in the afternoon we head over to Wal-mart and work until late. Thursday and Friday nights are my favorite. I have gotten really good at coring pineapple and I got to meet a sweet older man named Marlin who is a gem. I’ve gotten to know more about his life story, and learned that he has been married for 60 years. When I asked him how he had made it so long his response was “She works the day shift and I work the night shift!” He is really great, and though has a tough exterior, I’m pretty sure he’s a big teddy bear, and I am hoping I get to see that this summer.
Sunday is a great day. We have life training in the morning, then my girls and I head over to Pine Drive Baptist, a tiny A-frame church that just never quite made it out of the seventies. Okey Landers is the pastor of the church and he is just a sweaty old man who loves Jesus and makes Him known. After just two services, I have been blown away with how he portrays the Gospel in a way that makes it so clear and so not about me, but about Jesus. It is so different from Bethlehem, where I attend in Minneapolis, but I love it, and the congregation, though tiny, has accepted us with open arms and we already feel at home there. After church, I get time alone. I didn’t realize how much I would need it until I got here. I am still learning what I can do to be restful. So far, I just go out and get time alone to journal, read the Word, or spend time with some of my closer friends.
So that is where I am today, I snuck away to get some wi-fi and to get some time alone. I have loved being down here so far. I do have prayer requests, so if you would join me in prayer, I would love it!
~For an opportunity for Marlin to hear the gospel from me or another student
~For courage and perseverance as we share our faith on the beach on Wednesdays
~For the rest of my support to come in, I am over 60% of the way, praise the Lord! THANK YOU to those of you who have supported me already!
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