It’s that time.

Project is over halfway to completion, which means…

…staff is gone.

That’s right. All have departed.

For those of you who haven’t been informed by your student, this is how Project works: Project is nine weeks long, and four weeks into the summer, the Campus Outreach staff leaves. Only students remain.

What?!

Don’t worry, we are not running around Myrtle Beach unsupervised. We are now being shepherded by the student leaders. As I have mentioned in previous writings, Project has two project directors, a total of 13 team leaders, and approximately 25 room leaders. There is definitely accountability and guidance and structure to the Project. We are in good hands.

So why does staff leave?

Ashley Suapaia shed some light on that:

“Staff leave for a few reasons. 1:  For student leadership – for freedom to lead and ownership in leading the Project. 2: Support – they use this time to either raise more support or follow up with supporters they already have. 3: Time with family – This month off gives them time to pursue their families and spend quality time with them before August comes and school starts up again.”

Ashley and Jared Grove are the project directors this summer. When staff members are gone, these two, along with the team leaders, are the primary caretakers of Project.

I asked Ashley how she is feeling now that staff are gone.

“To be honest, in the beginning I was dreading it because I was putting a lot of unnecessary weight and burden on myself. I was anxious because I couldn't imagine leading a project without staff there, but this was me fully trusting in man and not in God. I was not seeing that this Project is the Lord’s and His sovereign hand was over this, and He is graciously using us as workers to proclaim His name.

After staff left I definitely felt the student leadership rise up. I felt much more free to lead and to own this Project with the other Team Leaders. It has been great for our student leadership to have staff gone because it has bonded us more and helped us to depend on the Lord and each other. We now as Team Leaders have prayer every Wednesday morning asking the Lord for help with this Project which creates a child-like dependence on our Father. It has been really sweet to be here with staff gone.

I feel more tired since there are less people to do tasks when the students are gone, but I have found so much joy partnering with the rest of the Team Leaders to walk forward in faith trusting that God has us in leadership positions for a reason and to steward those in a servant hearted way rather than an authoritative way.”

For the remainder of the summer, the training talks – normally given by various male staff members – will be given by the team leader guys, and each leader has a different subject (evangelism, Bible study, etc.) that he will be focusing on. Although it can be a daunting or anxious thought to give a talk in front of everyone, we trust in the Lord. In and of themselves, these men have no power to work in students’ hearts. But God causes the growth, and he uses people to further his purposes. We are excited to see what God does while the staff are gone.

Prayer request: Pray for Jake, Cody, Brent, Jared, Reed, and Patrick as they pray about, prepare for, and give their talks this summer. Pray that they would not put their hope in their performance, but in the finished work of Jesus Christ and the Lord’s ability and faithfulness to change hearts.

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