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stp16revealed

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Our Redeemer

It is the last full week of project and students are preparing to go home. We will no longer be doing beach ministry and working at Walmart. So who’s our ministry now? Where do we go from here? 

The Campus

Monday night David Cook, student project director, gave a theme talk about Jesus being our redeemer and what this looks like in ministry. 

“Jesus has redeemed us and invites us to participate in His redemption where we are.” 

The gospel is the story of redemption and how Jesus makes us to be like Him. I’ve been thinking about what this looks like in my life and how my interactions with people reflect my relationship with Jesus. 

This next school year I will be living in the dorms at the University of Northwestern, St. Paul. I’m going to be around new, freshman girls who may not understand the true meaning of the Gospel. This is my ministry. Going out of my comfort zone and showing freshman and sophomore girls the love of Jesus is worth more to me than getting a good grade on a test,  making a lot of money, or building my resumé. 

This summer I have been convicted of so many ways I spend my time selfishly and don’t let the message of the gospel permeate every area of my life. 

Our Reward

If Jesus is our reward, why am I not jumping at every opportunity to serve Him? If we lived in a community of believers that inspired us to do so, how would our campus change? I look forward to the opportunities that will arise living in the dorms as a senior. God is worth going out of your comfort zone.

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Laundromat Ministries?

One place you’ll see a lot of students on our day off is the laundromat.  There’s sand, sweat, and grease all over our clothes by the middle of the week. I’m the type of person who puts off laundry for as long as possible. I don’t know how effective that method is because I end up spending the same amount of money by doing more loads, but I guess it’s considerate to keep your clothes clean.

A couple of weeks ago I was minding my own business, putting in my last load when I noticed a woman sitting on the table next to the washer machine I was using. She had a devotional book open and I felt God tugging on my heart to talk to her. I asked if I could sit next to her and she eagerly accepted.

We made small talked for a little while, “What’s your name? Where are you from? Where to you work?” then I pointed to the devotional book she had opened. She shared with me how she became a believer and how she’s trying to be better about reading her Bible. We continued to talk about her past, hard things she had been through, and how Jesus has always been a constant in her life. I was so encouraged by our conversation and wanted to let her know that she is loved. The woman opened up to me about how she has felt alone for many years. This broke my heart. She so readily accepted my offer of friendship and community which is something I take for granted. I expect people to circle around me and be in community with me. I believe that community is Biblical and beautiful, but I never understood what it was like to stand alone and be complete in Christ.

Before I left I asked her if we could exchange numbers and get together again. She gladly accepted and we met again. She contacted me last weekend and we met at Dunkin Donuts. We talked about how her Bible reading is going and how God meets us where we’re at. We read Psalm 81 and talked about how God delivers us from the hard things of this life. I hope to meet again with her at least one more time before we leave project.  

The more I meet with people the more I see how God is the only one who can change hearts. I am an inadequate human being who has been saved by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ and it is HE who works in the hearts of others. I have a tendency to take credit and expect God to change people because of me. How sinful am I! There is nothing I will ever say or do that will stir the hearts of others apart from Christ. He holds His children in His hands and by His grace I am able to have encouraging conversations with others. Praise God for His mercy and allowing me to catch a glimpse of His beauty through the Holy Spirit that is living in others.

 

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The theme...revealed.

Every year, STP has a theme that we use to study the Bible to understand more of who God is and who we are. Usually we choose a book of the Bible and formulate the theme around the main point of that book.

This year, we did things a little differently.

Instead of selecting one specific book, we’re studying the whole Bible.

Well, not quite all of it. Our theme this summer is “Revealed,” and we’re studying mini-themes, traced through scripture, that show how the Lord revealed Himself to us. We’ll be looking at themes like the Lamb, the Suffering Servant, and the King.

Our theme verse is Psalm 98:2, “The LORD has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.”

It’s exciting that we’re going to be able to get a bigger glimpse into the redemptive thread God has woven through history and a deeper look into who He is. God reveals Himself in so many different ways that it would be almost impossible to cover them all in one summer, but studying the whole of Scripture gives us the chance to understand Him in a new and more holistic way.

What we want this summer

As I said, the goal of our theme is for us to be able to see more of Christ. But practically, how do we do we know if we’ve gotten to know Him better? Paul Poteat, director of Campus Outreach Minneapolis, and this summer’s project director, laid out three categories and some specifics of what he hopes we’ll get out of this summer of learning.

More of God

We're aiming to become more enchanted with God in all of His attributes and at the same time see Him as a total reality.

More of ourselves

This summer, we want to become disenchanted with our own goodness and our identities. We can’t come to a point of seeing our need for the cross until we recognize the depth of our own sinfulness.

More of Jesus

The more we learn about God’s holiness and our own sinfulness, the larger and more important the Gospel has to become in our lives; it can’t really happen any other way.

Ultimately, it’s God who is going to do the revealing and transforming work in our lives this summer. And that’s the beauty of it all, like Psalm 98 said: God saves and He didn’t make it hard to figure out how to find Him. He’s revealed himself all around us and we get a front row seat to see who He is.

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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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