Five-cent coffee is just around the corner. But at the 2011 Summer Training Project, caffeine has nothing to do with staying awake.

Awake is the theme for the summer, and Elliot Stokes gave the first theme training June 2. He said there is an awake way to live and a sleepy way to live. We want to be awake to all spiritual truth, and we want to see the world through a Biblical lens. This is what we will be focusing on for the two months in Garden City, S.C.

So what’s been happing at Project for the past two weeks?

The staff and student leaders arrived late-afternoon May 30 and were instantly hard at work. In a matter of a couple days, 37 rooms that hadn’t been unlocked since last summer were made livable.

On June 2, the rest of Project arrived. As each new car unloaded, Larry Martini’s energy level kept rising. After the 22-hour car ride, the disciples were greeted with lots of cheering, Jordan Zurek sprawled on top of their car, and a popsicle.

It hasn’t taken long for the room leaders and disciples to get to know one another. Each room has one leader and three or four disciples. In each relatively small space, friendships have been formed, meals have been made, sin has been exposed, and dance parties have happened.

Everyone has heard a variety of thought-provoking and convicting messages. At the second theme training, Matt Reagan talked about being in awe of God. He said that God is glorified by us “receiving him and enjoying him.”

Students have also grown through learning about evangelism. Jon Saunders challenged people by saying that we are natural evangelists for what we love most. Each Wednesday, everyone at Project goes out on the beach and shares the gospel with people. On June 8, people paired off and evangelized for a little over an hour. Then, everyone sat around the pool and shared how their discussions went, praying about specific individuals.

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are work days. Students work at a variety of places, including Walmart, McDonalds, Krystal Burger, Sonic, and Buy Low. The Lord was so gracious to provide every person a job, and we are working to be thankful as well as joyful about work.

Every Thursday night, we have a project social. We have had two so far. For the first, everyone went to see Kung Fu Panda II, and all the disciples dressed their room leaders up as a jungle animal. It was pretty interesting. For the second social, we had a “boat social.” To sum it up: there were three spectacular performances by the pool – one with pilgrims, one with pirates, and one with The Little Mermaid. Each team had to build a boat that could take people across the pool, all the while acting out the scene.

On Sunday mornings, each team attends a different church that is close to Project. Sunday nights, there is optional worship and optional theology time. For many people, Sundays are a day to rest.

Note from Emma DeJong (author):

Hello! I’m very excited to be blogging this summer about STP. This first post is an extremely brief summary of what has happened so far. Somebody could probably right a novel about each day, but unfortunately, our schedule is pretty packed.

I’m hoping to post at least once every day. As of right now, I’m planning on posting each morning about something that happened the previous day. So basically, stay tuned and be ready to hear all about Project!