So, as Apollo Sunshine suggests, today is my day! Why? Because I say so.
actual reasoning behind my conclusion
After spending almost a week here in Burlington, I've already learned a lot about the program here, GMS, about other people in the program, people in the city, and about myself. Some of the main components of GMS include the following:
• Nav Night on Monday: this is equivalent to Large Group (for UC Navs) mixed with Leadership. We start out with worship (by some REALLY talented musicians) and had a PSA this week reminding us to take better care of Jeanne Mance (the dorm on UVM's campus in which we are living). After worship and the PSA that was well-crafted by three goofy guys (including 2 team leaders), we moved onto the more familiar aspect of Large Group, the talk. Christian Courtemanche, brother of UVM's Ben Courtemanche, spoke about the basics of the Gospel. His incorporation of analogies and history created a cohesive, understandable presentation of the Gospel and what it really means.
• Salt 'n' Light on Tuesday: most similar to Leadership or NLT, this event is focused on evangelism and is led by Ben Courtemanche. He spoke with such clarity and simplicity about relational topics with which I've struggled for the past 2-or-so years as a Christian that my head nearly exploded (luckily it stayed in tact). Ben talked about principles introduced by Evan Griffin and Katy Dietz to me over the past couple of years, such as how to start and continue a conversation with a person. This sounds ridiculous, but, yes, I struggle with this. With co-workers, bosses, classmates...you name it- I struggle to carry on a conversation past lighthearted, surfacey small talk. Ben reminded us of a few of the 200ish recorded questions Jesus asked people. It was a huge realization to notice how perfectly relational Jesus was, and how His example of questioning people is simple to imitate with people in my life. His challege to us was to speak to 3-5 people this week, asking questions like ones he provided to simply listen to others and pursue further conversation that may lead to deeper discussions of faith. This was an easily outlined and reproducible task that I'm excited to begin.
• Team Bible Study Discussion on Thursday: My team consists of 6 girls, including myself and our team leader. We discuss another well-formated study relating to Colossians, our devotionals, and experiences through the week. Last week, my first day in Burlington, we discussed Colossians 1:1-14 by stating our observations, interpretations, and applications of the text. The other girls were fairly open and relaxed, willing to share their hearts with each other and with me, the newbie. Maybe this was because they'd had a couple of weeks together already, but the reason seemed to be that they are awesome, loving, open-minded and open-hearted women who desire community and Truth to the same degree. As a team, we will be going to Boston this weekend (Friday night through Sunday afternoon) to hang out, enjoy the city, and grow together. According to some of my teammates, we have a place to stay! Meg, our fealess leader, has a friend willing to house us for free for the two nights we'll be in town. This means we can spend time and money more freely in the city to explore and enjoy the weekend away.
but why is today my day?
One of my closest friends, Vivian Chang, told me an inspiring story about one of her friends who just graduated from her High School (woot Fairlfield!). When people ask this friend what his plans are for the summer, he responds by explaining, "I'm training." As puzzled looks ensue, he further explains, "I'm training for life." He is training all aspects of himself for whatever next fall, next year, the rest of his life will throw at him. By exercising regularly, sleeping enough at night, and eating healthily, he's training his body to withstand physical stress and the results of emotional stress on the body.By doing daily chores around his home such as making his bed, he's training to be better disciplined with little upkeep daily to prepare for any bigger messes that will arise in more difficult days.By reading scripture, he's studying what God has to say about the world to prepare for everything, but specifically to combat lies that keep him from growing in a closer relationship with God. By memorizing scripture, he can more easily access God's instructions about certain topics and know more surely how to handle different situations. Reading and memorizing also helps keep the mind sharp, less mushy by the time classes come back around.Needless to say, I plan to train just like him. I don't remember his name or have ever met him, but this story is enough of a motivation to help me prioritize what's important for the summer and prepare for anything in the future. GMS happens to be the perfect place, and school-free summer the perfect time, for me to focus on training alone. So far, here's how I've been training:
• running every morning this week to wake up and enjoy Burlington had been a great way for me to train physically.
• the shared food we have at GMS is a way for me to be held accountable to avoid overeating/mindless eating
• studying scripture together and alone through my regular Cinci routine accompanied by the structured devotionals/Bible studies have given me time to hear from and respond to God's word
• memorizing scripture for Bible study (a few verses of Colossians per week) along with revisiting the A-Pack of TMS from NLT (translation: the first 12 verses that paint the Navs "wheel illustration," which explains the basis of a Christian life, from the Topical Memory System which we used for New Leader Training at UC) have helped me to remember and apply understanding of the Gospel and how I fit into the story of God's love
• cleaning my dishes and helping to keep the bathrooms, kitchen, and common room clean help everyone here to have a better peace of mind (I already have OCD habits like making my bed when I wake up and keeping my room organized)
So, today is my day because reflecting on the past few days has shown me where God is growning me and plans to grow me more through the time I have here.
I handed Zan (a team leader at GMS and an Edge-er in Maryland) my check with the remainder of the funds for the first round of fee-collecting (combined with donations to equal $800!). The next collection day is this coming Monday, June 18, and requires $600 more. 1/3 of this amount was provided for TODAY, so I feel confident that God will pull through with the rest of the amount. The last collection day is July 18, when the final $600is due. God has been faithful regardless of my amount of faith, and I'm in awe of Him for providing so much for me! I have a job here (good ol' Price Chopper), have much of my program cost paid for, and 1 1/2 months worth of rent for the Vatican is already paid.
What an awesome God! <-- for this comment, I had no choice but to post the familiar, cheesey song...
I am a student at the University of Cincinnati, majoring in Secondary Education and English with a certificate in Arabic Language and Culture.
This summer, I will be traveling to Burlington, Vermont for a summer training program through the Navigators. Along with almost 50 other students from all over the country, I will be gaining leadership skills and building intentional communities in the city.
Will you join me on this exciting journey?
To get to Vermont for the summer, I'll need a team of people who are willing to join me in prayer and give financially. I need to raise ... full info
Britain's American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the origina...more info