Viewing entries in
2012 South Project

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Almost the end...

Tuesday was our last day of work.  At Walmart, we began our last day by taking group photos in front of the building.  The store management surprised us with sweets in the break room as a thank-you/good-bye.  We will miss our coworkers and the familiarity of the routine, but it will also be nice to have a change of pace.  

Wednesday was the designated “free day.”  It was actually my first free day in two months, so it felt pretty strange!  The majority of people went to visit Charleston, which is about an hour and a half drive away from Garden City.  Charleston is a charming city full of history, shops, old houses and beautiful gardens.  It was good prep for going home in that it was an encounter with the “real,” non-STP world.

 

Today was filled with talks and Project evaluations.  Titled ‘Return Training,” today’s talks focused on the transition from Project to our regular lives.  Matt Reagan spoke about “The Impossible Task of Loving Family and Friends,” Jon Saunders talked about “Growing Up,” and Luke Christie-Perkins spoke on “Walking With God in August.”  The messages were helpful and thought-provoking, and we were able to write down questions that were then answered by the staff in a question and answer time.

 

Right now, people are rushing to finish games of Mafia before curfew, then it’s off to bed in preparation for “cleaning day” tomorrow.  Only a little over a day left on Project – crazy!

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Getting in the Word

The Word of God is a necessity in our lives as believers.  In light of this, STP puts out a Bible study schedule for the summer: each day has a specific verse to study that goes along with the week’s theme (ie. God as Yaweh, Provider, etc).  The first few days look at Old Testament verses that look at the specific name or attribute of God, while the later days of the week look at how Jesus was the fulfillment of those attributes.  

It’s been really good to study both the Old and New Testaments this summer.  We’ve gotten to see how the whole Bible is related and is, in the words of one of our speakers, like a conveyer belt leading to Jesus.

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Dolphins

I haven’t had much time to go to the beach this summer.  As a room leader, the responsibilities seem to pile up: one-on-ones with each of my girls, talks, d-group planning, leaders’ training, processing the information myself, etc.  Today, though, I had a free afternoon so a group of us went to play soccer on the sand.  A storm was rolling in, so people were leaving the beach as we arrived.  The rain trickled down, the sand blew, and we kicked the ball around.  As we stopped for a water break, a guy shouted, “DOLPHINS!”  There they were, a mother and a baby, surfacing on the other side of the pier.  The dark fins of the dolphins sliced the sleet gray waves, and we shouted with excitement at each sighting.  

Eventually, we jumped in the water too, clothes and all.  The waves were large and billowy because of the storm, and raindrops tinkled on the water’s surface.  The dolphins were visible in the distance at first but after awhile disappeared into the inky deep.  What a glorious world our God has made!  This afternoon in the ocean brought to mind how His love and grace for us is an “ocean of delights.”

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Dancing

Some Campus Outreach students, at least from the U of M and St. Thomas, often go swing dancing together during the school year.  This swinging tradition has seeped into Project as well: on Wednesday night, we went to a local church and had our own swing dancing “social dance” time.  It was fun to hang out, dance and talk in the middle of a busy week!  

On Thursday night, we danced some more after the job social; this time, however, it was salsa.  We have several Latino people here on Project, and they taught us the steps.  Some coworkers from Walmart joined in the fun, as did a bunch of people from North Project.

 

At curfew on Thursday night, the team leaders had a surprise for us: we could stay outside past curfew as long as we weren’t hit by water balloons thrown by the team leaders.  The winner was a guy who hid in the dumpster for over an hour.  He ended up calling the team leaders after they thought everyone had been found.  The prize better be good… the dumpster was really nasty!

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Job Social - South Proj

On Thursday night, we had the job social!  People from South Project invited coworkers from Chick-fil-a, Krystal Burger, and Walmart to come over for dinner and a program.  A lot of co-workers came!  Eating together was a great opportunity to both serve our coworkers and get to know them better.  I sat with a lady from Walmart who I see every day in passing but never for enough time to have deep conversation.  It was cool to get to know her, her husband, and their backgrounds as we ate.  

The program started off with skits by groups of Project people from the Walmart Paper/Pets/Chemicals department, the Walmart Homelines and Electronics department, the Walmart Hardlines department, the Walmart back up cashiers, Chick-fil-a, and Krystal Burger.  Our coworkers laughed a lot, and definitely appreciated the parodies of life in the workplace.  After those skits, the mood became more serious.  Some Project people performed the Lifehouse “Everything” skit, which powerfully portrays the Gospel through mime and music.  Devin Smith then got up and gave a talk about what we are learning this summer – basically, the need for a Savior and the good news that there is one!  The coworkers were invited to stick around afterwards, which gave us an opportunity to follow up with them about what they thought about the talk.  Please pray that there would be more conversations with them about Jesus in our last few days of work!

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God is working!!

There are 2 weeks left of Project.  Two weeks!  7 days of work, one more church service… it is strange to think that this two-month period of our lives is coming to an end.  

Looking back, it is encouraging to see the fruit that has come from project so far!  For instance, one of the leaders on Project has been very excited to see what has been happening in her room this summer.  The girls are opening up and through that are able to address and deal with conflict.  Difficult interactions and relationships are being redeemed, and friendships are growing.  As the girls and the leader see how much Jesus loves them, that love overflows into their own interactions.  It is sweet to see what God is doing and has been doing in their room at STP!

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Co-workers

Here at Project, we are blessed to have TONS of resources for spiritual growth: Biblical teaching, an emphasis on Bible study, a community of believers, and more.  In recent weeks, there have been several co-workers who have come to Project talks or have hung out at Project.  It is cool to be able to encourage them towards Jesus through sharing the resources we have been given.  

One set of co-workers that came to a talk was a Mormon family that works with a lot of students from Project.  They are receptive to us as people and are willing to talk about spiritual things.  Please pray that they would become believers!

 

Another girl who has come around a lot is our age and is a believer already.  She works with a lot of us, and is excited to learn more about living life in light of the gospel.  She’s heading to a local university in the fall and has talked about getting involved in Campus Outreach there.

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Synchronized Swimming

This week, we did the synchronized swimming social at South Project.  Basically, each guys room developed a synchronized swimming routine to perform for the rest of Project in the hotel pool.  These were about two minutes long, complete with music, props and drama.  Thursday night’s routines included a Super Mario Brothers re-enactment, a routine to music from Tangled, and a Pokemon re-enactment.  

Each of the girls rooms planned a group date (Sadie Hawkins style) and chose a guys room to take out based on their synchronized swimming performance.  Overall, the evening was filled with creativity and laughter, and was a great opportunity to get to see the different personalities of the rooms on Project.

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Another week at Project

The Squirtle Squad (the team led by Jared and Meredith) were in charge of organizing the hype and skit before theme training, the encouragement, the prayer focus, and the social for the week.  The hype was a “synchronized swimming” routine around the room, which served a dual purpose in advertising the social of the week… synchronized swimming!  For the skit, Jared and Meredith played a prank on us: they said that one of us had been seen stealing at work and asked that that person would come up and confess.  We were all stunned and unnerved until we found out that this was actually all false and only a prank.  

The prayer focus of the week was the India CCP Team, as they arrived in India this week!  For the encouragement, the Squirtle Squad wrote personalized letters of encouragement to everyone on Project and put them in the mail boxes.  Getting mail on project is always a special treat. J

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Evangelism, Letter Version

Storm clouds rolled in as we finished evangelism training time on Wednesday.  People were leaving the beach as we were about to head over to do beach evangelism, so we ended up not going.  Instead, we spent that time letter-writing.  

Each of us wrote and sent a letter to a nonbeliever in our life to engage them over the Gospel.  Letter recipients included roommates, friends from college or high school, family members, etc.  Writing letters helped mesh what we’ve been learning about this summer (our life here at STP and the emphasis on the Gospel) with our lives back home or at school, where we’re in contact with people who are dear to us but do not believe the Gospel.

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A glipse into another slice of work life

We have about 14 work days remaining before STP is over.  The majority of people on South Project work at Walmart, while the others work Chick-fil-a or Crystal Burger or have internships.  Two girls on Project have internships at a local animal hospital and everyday come back to Project with cool stories.  Here are some of their thoughts on their internships: 1)      It’s interesting and fun because they’re getting experience in their future field.

2)      They get to see surgeries (for example, today they were bubbling with excitement as they anticipated watching a hip surgery).

3)      Some downsides are that they don’t get paid and don’t experience much workplace community since they are not working with other people from Project and most of their coworkers are older professionals

Overall, despite being scratched by animals, getting thrown up on, and getting headaches from the barking dogs, these girls are really enjoying their time at the animal hospital!

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CCP Send-off

The India CCP team left Project on Friday.  People from South Project gathered at 6am on the beach to pray for India, the CCP team, and our own hearts for missions.  Mike Polley gave some direction for the prayer time and presented some related scripture, and then we formed groups around each CCP person to pray.  The early-morning light on the ocean and the sand beneath us was a great environment in which to praise our God and ask him to work.  It was refreshing to pray for the CCP team and remember that we can partner alongside their team through prayer this summer.  

Later that morning, before Bible Study Training, there was a joint North-South Project send-off time for the CCP team.  The project directors prayed over the team as a whole, and then the CCP team gave us an “encouragement:” Krispy Kreme donuts and hot chai tea.

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Saturdays at Work

The pace at work picks up on Saturday afternoons.  Saturdays are the turn-over days for tourist rental spots, so a new batch of tourists comes into Garden City (and the store that many CO students work at) every Saturday afternoon.  The parking lot of our store is full, and as you walk into the store you hear families devising shopping game plans (“You go get the eggs and milk.  I’ll pick up two beach chairs – should I get three? – and we’ll meet by the sunscreen in fifteen minutes.”).  The reinforcement cashiers are called to the front and managers direct cart traffic in the main aisles.  

Despite the hectic pace, I enjoy working on Saturday afternoons.  As a cashier, I have the opportunity to talk with each customer, hear a little about them, and share why I’m spending my summer in South Carolina instead of Minnesota.  Many of the families going through my line are worn out from a long day of traveling and stressed from reuniting with family members from around the country.  There are high levels of stress, frustration and excitement evident in their faces.

 

Working in the retail business in this tourist area has given me a perspective both on the economic impact of tourism (hundreds and hundreds of dollars are spent on food and supplies for a week-long vacation!) and on the fact that spending a week on the beach isn’t ultimately satisfying.  As humans, our desire for rest needs to be satisfied by something much deeper than a change of scenery – we need to find our rest in the only true Source, our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Scavenger Hunt!

This past Thursday night, our social was a photo scavenger hunt at “Broadway at the Beach,” a shopping and dining area in the Myrtle Beach area.  Each team (each guys room was paired with a girls room to form a team) ran around Broadway at the Beach, taking pictures as they did the crabwalk in front of Joe’s Crab Shack, rang the bell at the Fudgery, made a human pyramid with three strangers in front of the Hard Rock Café pyramid, etc.  

There was an added twist to the scavenger hunt: the CCP team members were disguised and were at Broadway at the Beach too.  We got points for finding them, so the hunt was on!  They did an incredible job disguising themselves.

 

At the end of the night, everyone raced back to project to tally up scores and watch a slideshow of all the pictures.  A great time was had by all!

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The staff kids have left, which means that their inflatable toys have now been adopted as pool accessories.  

Walmart was incredibly busy on Saturday night; the tourist season is definitely picking up!  We met a family there whose daughter attends the University of Minnesota – talk about a “small world after all” sort of moment.

 

Being at Dunkin’ Donuts is basically like being on Project – it’s close to Project and has free WiFi, so you can expect to see a number of Campus Outreach students any time you enter its doors.

 

Each week, a team is in charge of planning the theme night hype, a social, and an encouragement.  For the encouragement this week, the Awkward Encounters chose to make breakfast in bed for the entire Project.  It was wonderful to wake up to cheerful faces, pancakes and eggs!

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Thursday

This week was busy.  Five talks, one d-group, and one social, all on top of 40 hours of work.  Therefore, the Awkward Encounters team chose going to the movie “Brave” as our social for the week.  While it was very relaxing to go to the movie, sit down, and be entertained for two hours, this social was not your average movie-going experience.  Each room had to dress up their room leader as a Scottish person (the movie was set in Scotland), and the room leaders were presented in costume for the Project and had to speak in their best Scottish accent.  Lucy Liu won “best costume” for her creative attire and accessories, which included a homemade bagpipe.  The room leaders remained dressed up at the movie, which prompted many stares by fellow movie-goers.  

Before the social, Project participants split up according to campus for “Campus Time.”  “Campus Time” is an opportunity to get to know other people on your campus, pray for each other and your campus, and to think strategically about ministry opportunities for the coming year.

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So Long, Farewell

On Wednesday night, we had a “Staff Send-off.”  The team leaders started out the time by performing their own version of “So Long, Farewell” from The Sound of Music.  It was very well done, and definitely appropriate for the occasion. J  

After the team leader skit, the staff members separated by campus, shared prayer requests for the next month, and were prayed over by the students from their campuses.  It was great to hear specific ways we can be praying for the staff as they are raising support (etc.) during their month away from project.

 

There were also several birthdays that day… so, you guessed it: there were many splashes in the pool.

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Relationships Week...

This week, our theme night talk was split into two portions: one talk on Monday night and one on Tuesday night.  It was “Relationships Week,” and Matt and Lisa Reagan used the two nights to share their story, outline some Biblical principles and give practical advice regarding relationships (ie. marriage).  A main point, though, was that a spouse or a relationship won’t fulfill us.  Our longings ultimately point us to our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.  

For the last part of the second talk, there were Q&A times – girls with the staff women, and guys with the staff men.  This part was helpful to clarify things that had been on our minds, especially things brought up from the first talk.

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Transition

This week has a lot of changes in store: 1)      Campus Outreach Minneapolis’ CCP (Cross Cultural Project) team is coming to Project on Tuesday!  They are a group of older students from the Minneapolis campuses that are heading to India to minister to students at a local university.  We’re glad they’re coming to Project before they leave – they are great resources for STP participants and help spread passion for missions.

2)      The Campus Outreach Staff are leaving Project this coming Thursday.  It will be strange not to have the staff or their little kids around, but the CCP team’s presence at Project should ease the transition.  We are very blessed to have a great COM staff team, and have benefited a lot from their passion for the Gospel and for their willingness to invest in our lives.

 

Fun Fact:

Birthdays on Project are unique.  Basically, the birthday person is thrown into the pool as everyone sings “Happy Birthday.”  It was my birthday this week, and yes, I did end up in the pool.

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Too little time?

This morning, the life training session was called “A Merciful Schedule” and was about time and how to have the mindset of using time to bless other people.  For the Squirtle Squad (one of the teams on South Project), this theme was the theme of the entire morning because the service at Garden City Baptist was also about time management.  One of the pastor’s points was that, in his words, “the wisest use of time is preparation for eternity.”  

The schedule at Project is intense, and it is helpful to look at (and have solid teaching about) our motivations and behaviors when it comes to how we prioritize our time both here and in life in general.  Also, as we are college students, we have more “free” time than we are likely to have if we have jobs and families of our own.

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