Sunday, June 2, 2013

diving in & going deep

Wow. Cali is so great already and in just one week I’ve already done so many great things! Here's a few...

Experiencing the ocean for my
first time.
My first California burrito.
French fries meets Mexican?
My mouth was confused.
Long boarding around SD.

First time paddle boarding!

Hanging out at Tower 19 with new friends.

Alright, I know what you’re thinking from the pictures and no, it’s not all fun and games here. This first week has been all sorts of crazy. Here's a brief overview that may turn out to be not so brief. Sorry, should have gotten to this earlier in the week!

On Tuesday morning my flight went smoothly and I arrived to San Diego right on schedule. I took a shuttle with a few other girls who got in around the same time to the Project location. Soon after we had our first meeting. We met in a grassy area right next to the bay where we did our first few introductions and our project director, Ethan, gave us some words of encouragement for the summer, pushing us to dive in.   

Wednesday we had project orientation and our DNA groups did something called “soul to soul”, where we shared our testimonies and took time to get to know one another. “What’s a DNA group?” you might ask. Well, I’ll briefly tell you. Each DNA group consists of 4 girls (one being a student staff member who disciples the other 3 of us) and contains 3 things: Divine Truth, Nurturing community, and Apostolic mission. I imagine that I’ll go into more detail on that later. 

My DNA group! Student staff member, Rachel, on the far right.
She's our discipler for the summer. Oh! & fun fact, there are
actually 5 Rachel's on project. It's confusing.
Thursday was a big day of job searching. In our DNA groups we went out around San Diego searching for employment. Kind of intimidating since San Diego isn’t all that small! No luck for me yet, although I do have a couple leads. (Prayer that I’d find a job would be much appreciated!). After a long day walking around the city, we came back and went out evangelizing for our first time as a project. Each DNA group got assigned a different area and we went out and started spiritual conversations.

Friday we did some more evangelism training and went out around the mission beach area talking to people again. One of the things we also do when we converse with people is invite them to “Friday Night Live” that takes place each week. This is a time where people around the community and around San Diego have a chance to come worship with us and have an opportunity to hear the Gospel. So, after going out sharing we had our first FNL. 

Saturday was another big day of job searching. A few of us girls headed over to Fashion Valley and handed out our resumes there! Fashion Valley is an outdoor mall and it’s really sweet. After a long day of walking there we came back and walked some more for this thing we did called a staff hunt. Each one of the project staff members disguised themselves and went to different locations with about a mile and a half or so radius around mission beach. The objective was that whoever found the most staff wins (my team won, by the way!). It was super fun and cool to see how creative all the staff got with it.

Rachel & her disguise. 
Lauren's Disguise.
Winning rules! And we won a gift card to
the local "Better Buzz" coffee shop!
That brings me to today, Sunday. Gosh, there really is so much to explain so I'll try my best. This first week everyone on project was assigned to a ministry team that meets each week. Each ministry team plays a different role that is essential to keeping project organized. To name a few, there's evangelism team, mens & women's team, community team, prayer team, etc. I'm on training team. Basically, we're being trained how to tangibly take what we learn here and apply it back on our campus, such as leading small groups. On this team we will be taught how to lead DNA groups on the campus we go to here in San Diego, and it will be our job to take over our project DNA groups when the staff leaves after the first month! Off of that, each ministry team is assigned to a church for the summer, so this morning we attended Clairmont Emmanuel Baptist church and it was so great to meet some of the people there. They were so welcoming to us! After arriving back to project, we had our ministry team meetings and then ended the day with our weekly whole project meeting. At tonights meeting, another staff member, Max encouraged us with this next week's theme, "going deeper."

Well, that’s my first week in a nutshell. The months leading up to project are over and now I’m here, living it out. The preparation was not always easy, but its over and I’m ready to follow Jesus wherever he leads me this summer. Each one of us has had a different journey, but we’ve all had to dive in and trust God. And that is what I am going to continue to do this summer. I am going to trust God and let him guide me. This week I do intend to go deeper, to continue to press in, take off any masks I’ve been putting on, and get past the surface level. I have a past behind me and an opportunity in front of me, an opportunity to really get to know these people and more importantly to deepen my relationship with Christ. As I continue on this journey there will be times that may be tough, times that I’ll want to give up. When that happens I won’t tell my self to try harder by my own strength, but rather I'll remind myself that God is good and that by His goodness and His grace I can press on. His hope is an anchor for my soul. 

Continued prayers as we go out on campuses this week and as I continue my job search! Hope to post again soon!

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