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Welcome to the Carnival!

Greetings from South Carolina! 

Three days later, we are 1,084 miles from home, burnt from head to toe, and decked out in Walmart gear; welcome to Summer Training Project 2016! Praise the Lord that everyone made it to South Carolina safely. Everyone was so excited to get out of the car and onto the beach. 

On Friday, we had our very first project social. The theme was “Awkward Family at a Carnival.” Each guy and girl room paired up and creatively decided what their theme was going to be. This year we had a lot of different types of families in attendance. Minion, Olympic, hillbilly, hood-rat, Noah’s Ark, and zombie-nurse families tried their hand at multiple carnival games. My favorite awkward family was Krista Bain and Benjamin Greener’s room who dressed as the Duggar family. 

At the end of the carnival, the “Balla-Shock-Calla” family, Alexis Garcia and Erin Bankson, won ice cream sandwiches in a name drawing. Minion family Mariam Amirikian and Thomas Luichinger also won 10 tickets for best costume. 

The carnival concluded with a dance party in all of our costume attire. What a site it must have been to see Noah’s Ark and the Duggar family doing the cupid shuffle in 90 degree weather. All in all, the carnival social was a success and students are stoked to hear what the next social will be! 

Thank you to all who have supported and been a part of our Summer Training Project. The first social is just a taste of what is to come! 

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Time to get Social

          STP sync swim socialThursday nights are a special time at Project. The weeks are packed with work and trainings, and it’s not uncommon for students to burnout.

But Thursdays are different.

Thursdays are rejuvenating.

Thursdays are socials.

Project socials are weekly opportunities for students to spend time with each other on some sort of crazy adventure or embarrassing escapade. Let me give an example: Last week was this summers’ first Project social. Each room was told to dress its room leader as a Disney character. There were standard results – a prince here, a fairy there – and there were also those who thought a bit more outside the box, like Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast and a paper boy from the Newsies.

Dressing up like characters from our childhood (who am I kidding, we all still watch Disney movies) was simply step one. Next, all 110 college students marched half a mile down the Myrtle Beach boardwalk, 40 of us still fully Disney-fied, to play an 18-hole round of mini-golf. Did people stare? Of course. Did we care? Nah. The confused looks on people's faces adds to the fun.

That was merely one example of a Project social. I asked around to students who have attended at least one Project before to find out which social was the favorite. Three popular responses were Synchronized Swimming, Boat Social, and Broadway Scavenger Hunt.

Let's start with Synchronized Swimming. Throughout the summer, rooms of guys take rooms of girls on group dates (that’s a blog for another day), and Synchronized Swimming is a chance to mix it up. First, the rooms of men have to create a synchronized routine to perform in the pool in front of all the ladies at Project. One female room in particular will be deciding if the routine was ‘worthy of a group date,’ which they always are. The room of girls will then take those men on a group date they have previously planned. This social is always hilarious, and girls love the opportunity to plan a group date, which is a task the men usually take on to bless their sisters.

Another crowd-pleaser is the Boat Social….literally, a crowd of passers-by gathered last year to see what on earth was going on. The different teams on Project break up and plan a skit to perform for the rest of the Project. Here’s the twist: the scene must involve some sort of boat, whether it be a ship, a raft, a steamboat, or a canoe. This boat must be crafted within the allotted two hour period, and the finished product must stay afloat from one end of the pool to the other, while at least one student stays on board at all times. Not your average skit anymore, is it?

That leaves us with the Broadway Scavenger Hunt. In the heart of Myrtle Beach lies a magical place called Broadway at the Beach. I would deem it as a cross between Mall of America and Disney World, but on a much smaller scale, of course. There are countless restaurants, shops, and random attractions scattered throughout the designated area. The social we have come to love is the scavenger hunt in this chaotic environment. Again, we have a twist: the hunt is not just for items, but for people. While groups are attempting to find and take pictures with countless items on the list, students are walking around as ‘bonus points’ if they are found. And let me tell you, the bonus is well worth the hunt. About 20 students from the CCP team dress up in any way they want (hats, sunglasses, fake uniforms, and dyed hair are all fair game) and can walk around as we search for them. If your group spots one, you discretely walk over, ask for the token, and they hand over a small golden medallion. The group with the most points at the end wins.

So that is a glimpse into Thursday nights at Summer Training Project. Socials are wild, a bit crazy, usually embarrassing, and often some of the most fun memories students have at STP. If you want to know more, ask students you know about their favorite socials. And as always, entertaining pictures of our adventures will be posted throughout the summer!

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Whose Line is it Anyways?

Thursday evening, everyone from our project got together to enjoy our weekly social.  This week our social was "Whose Line is it Anyways?"

Almost all students from our project participicated in playing the game.  Students were divided in groups of four people, encompassing both guys and girls. One the games that was played from the hit TV show was The Alphabet, where contestants act a scene with each sentence starting with successive letters of the alphabet. Another game that was played was Scene With a Prop where contestants are given a prop and must act out a scene including the prop.  Many different games were played throughout the evening.  The night turned out to be very humurous watching students playing the different games. After the game, students enjoyed watching the movie, Heavyweights.

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Decade Bowling

Thursday evening, we held our annual Decade Bowling Social.  The night proved to be an exhilarating night of dressing up, bowling, and coming back to project for ice cream cones. Everyone dressed up according to their teams. Team Dougie dressed up as the 90's, Team Strike Force as the 80's, and Team Fun, Fun, Fun as the 70's.  Most students planned a trip to the local Goodwill store during the days leading up to the event.  Students had an enjoyable time dressing up as outlandish as possible.  Once at the bowling alley, a guys room was paired with a girls room and they competed against one another.  When the bowling was over, students came back to the project where the team leader girls scooped fudge icream out for everyone.

Everyone enjoyed a night of silly dressing and fun bowling.  Here are some pictures from the evening:

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Goodbye and Hello

This past week, we said goodbye to the staff team.  The staff team left Wednesday morning to raise support for the next month.  Project is now completely student-led. I am encouraged to have already seen student leaders stepping up.  It is exciting to see how the Lord will continue to work in the hearts of students. Please pray for staff as they continue to raise support and the students as they seek to know Christ more.

On Wednesday, Bethel senior, Joe Johnson led evangelism training.  He talked about the reality of hell and how, as believers, we should be living in light of eternity.  This life is short and fleeting, and we have only one hope in Christ.  He encouraged us to tell others of the truth that is in Christ. He alone saves us from eternal wrath.  After the training, students wrote letters to loved ones who may not be believers.

Last night,  the India Team prepared the Project's social.  Students went to Broadway at the Beach, and had a scavenger hunt.   The teams were split up with one guys' room and one girls' room. They were told to do certain things, such as take a picture with a random child, and take a picture laying down in the fountain center.  Everyone had a blast doing outrageous things.  After the social, everyone came back to project to find out the winning team and enjoyed viewing all the pictures that were taken.

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Low Country Boil

Another great project social – the Low Country Boil! After work, AiT and a heavy rain shower and thunderstorm, the students gathered at Project dressed up as Hicks or Southern Belles. After lots of pictures being taken, Paul led the students in song, improvising with his guitar! Then the potatoes, shrimp and sausage were sieved and throw on top of the tables so everyone could grab the food and eat! There were about 4 rounds of food, then we had Banana Cream Pie and some dancing went on. We finished an amazing night watching the NBA final.

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16-17

Wednesday night, project had guys and girl's time once again. Disciples really enjoyed their time. Girls and guys met at their respective meeting locations and spent time asking questions to a pnel formed by team leaders. As for Thursday, after a long day of work it was show time. Guys had to perform a synchronized swimming routine for the ladies in order to win a group date for the night. However, because of a storm the show had to be stopped, nevertheless, every guy's room was paired up with a girl's room for the night.

Disciples are starting to work on cleaning. They have been given a list with the different tasks that need to be done before everyone leaves project.

synchro swimmin

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syrup- one of the four main food groups

During last nights social, disciples had a lot of fun exchanging gifts, making gingerbread houses, and watching Elf. Each room dressed up creatively as angels, reindeer, shepherds, jingle bells, elves, and even a manger. They also had the chance to sit and take photos with Santa and Ms Claus, Mike Polley and Emilie Toll respectively. <The gallery> which has lost some momentum the past couple weeks will be going through a major update sometime today, look forward to pictures from the past socials and more.

even more sharing

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Christmas in July

Students are surprised with the thought that in three weeks project is going to be over. However, most of the students are excited to go back home and keep developing these new friendships.Yesterday, at evangelism training, James Gisler talked about "Mercy Ministry" being a part of our every day life.  Later on, students did something different.  Each room read an article about the doctrine of Hell, then spent time at the beach praying for people and meditated on "the  hideous doctrine may grip our souls in dark terror and make us weep, but let us be sure it also prompts us to holiness and compassion." (John Thomas). As for tonight, social is taking place at project.

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Team Leaders (Reid Jilek, James Gisler, Josh Schrock)

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friday talks about yesterday mostly

Disciples enjoyed looking for the CCP team members during the Broadway at the Beach Social Time on Thursday night. Teams left at 7:15 then came back at 10:00 after walking around and taking pictures of each other following the crazy directions of the scavenger hunt. Jeff Wiesner's team surfaced as the winners of a night full of entertainment to the disciples as well as the bystanders who got to watch or even take part in the antics of this week's social. Look forward to some great updates including pictures from the CCP Broadway at the Beach and another week's highlights video. We have also prepared the sessions from this week for your hearing pleasure: <Reid Jilek's Life Training> <Jack Thompson's Bible Study Training> <Elliot Stokes' Theme Training> <Adam Evers' Leadership Training> <James Gisler's Evangelism Training>

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salsa puts the "spice" in thruspiceday

Disciples ate guacamole and danced salsa during yesterday's social. After dinner, Natin Moreno led the project in a quick salsa lesson. Everyone in project enjoyed their taste of Hispanic culture as they ate guacamole, danced, and cheered as they broke colorful piñatas open. Campus Time was led for the first time without the CO staff who left at various times on Thursday. Many of the campuses spent their time by breaking up into groups and praying, sharing testimonies, and contacting friends outside of project, or praying one-on-one on behalf of the other person.

This week's encouragement verse is from Romans 8:18-19.

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Parents Social

We recorded the testimony from Kari Lorence (Susie Lorence's mom) and Andrew Knight's talk at the parent social. If you weren't able to join us, feel free to listen to it here: [display_podcast]

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fresh stuff from this week

Project is now complete after the arrival of Alan Hoglund. He arrived Wednesday night after a long flight from Europe.Project Dinner was promptly followed by Campus Time. Disciples got to exclusively spend time with individuals in their respective campuses after breaking up into smaller groups. During this time, they shared their reason for coming to Summer Beach Project and prayed for each other. Bowling in style, or in the style of your parents, or even as old as your parents seemed to be the theme of Social Time Decade Bowling. Disciples dressed up in the various fashions from the 60's to the future and went bowling at Surfside Bowling. dsc_0941 The gallery has finally been updated! See some pictures from the week including the Social <at the SBP 09 gallery>

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Bigger, Better

For our Project Social this week, we played a game of "Bigger and Better," the gist of it was to find something bigger and better than the other teams through a series of trades and bringing it back home to show off crazy items and funny stories. Some people came back with sofas, gum-ball machines, a colorful pair of bikes, and even jobs. Random treasures are not the only things that are becoming "bigger and better." We are all growing in community daily as we share in the word, eat, and live together. We also had our first Campus Time this week. Each group prayed for their campuses and God's plans for us in the coming semester. On a lighter note, three group dates are already underway with others anticipated for the coming weeks.

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The group picture was taken yesterday, hopefully this means that it will be up in the gallery relatively soon. Other pictures from this week have also been uploaded to the gallery, <check them out here>.

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