Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer Project 2

The specific emphasis on this summer project is personal growth. The goal is to create a safe place where students (and staff) can experience the power of the gospel in a way that changes their life. We talk a lot about cultivating a relational growth environment of grace and truth. Grace is the free gift of unconditional love and acceptance. Truth is reality and righteousness. Jesus embodies them both.
Last week we divided the 16 students here on project into 3 groups. There are only 5 guys on the trip and so they got placed in two of the groups while one group remained all girls. Our first weeks activities included 3 days of backpacking. I worked with fellow staff Adam, Chris, John and Lindsay and we took the all girls group out.

On the trip we had programs that addressed topics like teamwork/trust, leader/group dynamics, and defense mechanisms and their affect on relationships. The most intense program was the one that addressed "responsibility" and what happens when we don't follow thru.

Several weeks before the project began the students were instructed to read a certain book. Upon arrival, they were asked whether they had actually finished reading the book or not. Some had, some hadn't. On the first day of the backpacking adventure, after lunch we introduced the program where those who had read the book had to carry the packs for those that had not read the books. (In addition to our own packs.) The lesson was meant to illustrate the way that our lack of follow thru or responsibility usually affects others in an adverse way. We may think we are getting off easy, but it probably means someone else is carrying the weight of our laxity. After hiking about 3/4 of a mile or so, we sat down to debrief the experience allowing the students to reflect on different areas of their life and the choices that they make etc.

Yesterday we embarked on our first outreach. We all drove 40 minutes down the hill to Gunnison Colorado to attend what was supposed to be a raging fiesta in the middle of town. Their was a large cycling event in the area and there was supposed to be a lot happening at one of the local parks. We were going to hang out at the bash and engage people with a Gospel sharing tool called "Soularium." Soularium uses a set of pictures combined with a short questionnaire to start conversations with people about God and their spiritual beliefs. We've used it at Cornell, and at Big Break in Florida. Unfortunately, no one attended the big party! I don't know if we should blame it on spiritual warfare or bad sloppy joes, but that place was a complete nothing-fest. We waited for a few hours, but literally, hardly anyone was showing up!

Next week there is a big mountain bike festival here in Crested Butte, so we are hoping that will turn out better!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer Project....fresh snow in June!

Fresh Snow!
We started our summer project here in Crested Butte, Colorado last Saturday. The weather was warm and amazing all week and then yesterday it got cold. In the past 48 hours we've had wind, rain and a fresh dusting of snow on the beautiful peaks surrounding us here. Sunshine has broken thru at random times, so we've been able to hang outside still.

We are on the Rocky Mountain Lifelines summer project. Lifelines is the 'outdoor and experiential learning' ministry component of Campus Crusade for Christ. This project focuses on leadership and character development. We will be helping students to experience the Christian life and grow in the context of relationships where we help each other to understand the grace and truth of the Gospel more completely.

This past week all the newbies like ourselves were trained in the programatic ways of lifelines. We learned how to incorporate Biblical truths into educational outdoor experiences. It was sort of a crash course lead by our awesome coaching team.

As part of it all, I got to go on a one night backpacking trip and Stephanie got to do some rafting. One of the best things about this project is serving alongside our friends Adam and Tracy.

Yesterday, the students showed up. We have 16 students on this project.

Man I hate computers! It doesn't matter where we are, it seems like computer/technology problems follow me and harass me like a playground bully. Our internet situation here should be good to go, but for some reason it only works about half the time we need it to -and only on one of our computers! This has made checking our e-mail and updating this blog quite difficult! We'll do our best to keep you updated!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Life on the road 1

I’d like to start out this post with the lyrics from Five Iron Frenzy’s song “Superpowers”

Bacon bits and jalapenos on my polish hot dog....half a pound of potato chips, and a beef jerky log.

I press my face to the window. A wrapper sticks to my shirt. Eight people in a stinky van, a couple more couldn't hurt.

Eat some food off the floor. I've developed a taste for bread mold. Ride around in a van, don't take a shower for six weeks and...

We’ve been on the road for the last 8 days. Living out of our van and staying in different places on our way to our summer assignment in Colorado. (Don't worry, we take showers!) The truth is we like travelling in the summers. It’s a part of our job that certainly has it’s difficulties, but we honestly think it’s pretty awesome!

We spent the first few days of last week finishing up our packing and moving out of the house we’ve been renting for the past couple of years. We got a late start out of Ithaca last Wednesday and travelled on I-80 til Kearney, Nebraska. We spent last weekend there. It was a great time there as usual visiting friends, ministry supporters and the Kearney E-Free Church. We stayed at Joe and Mishelle Maul’s house. Always a 5-star set up!

While in Kearney, we got to go to the new children's museum/play place. Jack and Joe got to dress up as Firemen.

On Monday we arrived here to Windsor, Colorado. Stephanie’s parents recently moved here to work and be closer to Steph’s family who have been here for years
We’re staying at Steph’s Aunt and uncle’s house which is always a blast. Yesterday, the kids got to ride some horses and a little pony after uncle Don and Grandpa John finished roping.

This is a great place to be for our kids as well since they get to hang out with all of their (2nd) cousins. Scotty, Will, Zach, Lilly, Molly and James are great!

On Friday we’ll head farther west to Crested Butte for six weeks to staff the lifelines summer project there.