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!

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