June 16, 2012

Jackson Hole Update

I feel like I have a bit of writer's block approaching this update... not because I don't know what to write, but because I don't know what to leave out. These past couple of weeks have been incredible. Thank you to those of you who have sent us here financially and with your prayers. God has been faithful.

About a week and a half ago we welcomed 40 students from all over the southeast (and a few from other regions) to their home for the month of June. (It's not a shabby summer home, I might add.) We have several students who have been walking with the Lord since they can remember, but what seems to be the theme of this project is students who have just recently started calling Jesus their Redeemer.

Each morning the students have a few meetings full of truth and training. Some meetings are about leading a small group or sharing the gospel with your friends... some meetings are geared more towards searching your heart like identifying idols in your life, or prayer life. The afternoons are filled with activities (horse back riding, lots of hiking, mountain bike riding).

We have one night a week for a small group where we are going through a Bible study together. The other mom here (sweet Amy! Love her.) and I are leading a group together; Andrew is leading with another staff guy. Another night during the week is a women's time (going through Calm My Anxious Heart) and men's time (going through Thoughts for Young Men). They also have a night of reflection, a night of prayer and a couple free nights. All of the staff have students that they meet with during the week to disciple (I only have two girls because discipling Wilson is like having ten girls!)Summer projects are exhausting.... I was laughing with Amy the other day about how ridiculous it must seem to the rest of the world for us to just pack up our family and move for the summer. I'm pretty sure I didn't even tell my neighbor we were leaving and I'm very sure she's wondering when someone is going to come water our plants. Woops.

But while exhausting, they are also so rewarding. We always get to see students' lives changed by the power of the gospel. We've heard students say they are just understanding what it means to follow Jesus for the first time. One precious boy (okay, he's like 20) called to apologize to his parents for the hurt he's caused them these past few years. One of my girls has chosen to go back and face a terrible event in her life for the first time since it's happened because of the Rescuer she knows she has in Jesus. He is redeeming, restoring, and rescuing these students and their hearts. It's incredible to watch!

As we sat around in our small groups one night telling our stories of how Jesus rescued us into his kingdom, I felt like I was with the disciples after Jesus' resurrection when they were recounting who had seen Him and where. It was like I was hearing over and over, "He is real. He is alive. He has tangibly taken over my life and given me hope." I love our job.

Also, for anyone who didn't already know (and who might care), I have my own personal blog, {the art of blooming} where I'm starting to write again.

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