So last night I was thinking about the fact that in the Bible it says we are created in the image of God. Well if that is true, then each of our unique personalities and attributes could potentially represent God. Well if you follow that train of thought, I decided that God must have a sense of humor! Think about it, there are very few people in the world that don't have at least some sense of humor. On top of that the release of laughing is such an amazing feeling. Laughing until our eyes water and our stomach hurts is one of those things that makes us feel truly alive.
So this past weekend was our project camping trip in the Rocky Mountains. We stayed at a place "in" Estes Park (a small city right outside of Rocky Mountain National Park). There was no electricity, no running water (only a couple wells that we could get drinking water from). It was the most hardcore camping that I have ever done. Being in Yellowstone a few years ago I was familiar with being cautious of bears and such, but at least then I had a camper between me and a bear ... not a tent.
After we left the Visitor's Center we drove back out to our campground for the evening. We socialized and had dinner. After dinner and clean-up we had a "passing of the torch" ceremony where the staff handed the project over to the students. Two project directors, two assistant directors and an ops director. Along with Bible study leaders and ministry team leaders. I was given the privilege of being asked to co-lead my ministry team - which is the social team. I was really excited about it and I love the fact that I will be able to serve the rest of the project in a leadership role. As we sang a worship song the staff actually left and it was just the students the rest of the night. We had a time of sharing wha t God has been showing us / doing in our life this summer and singing worship songs around the campfire. We also had smore's! After that we headed back to our campsites and got ready for bed.
We took a car trip up to the "bathroom" and Sara Beth forgot to put the car in park, so when she took her foot off the break we started rolling backwards - and she had no idea what was happening or how - no one got hurt or anything, so it was really funny. Sunday morning a few of us got up to watch the sunrise. It wasn't that spectacular, but the idea of it was fun. Then we got to sleep a little more before we had to get up to pack our tents and our stuff. Sunday morning we had breakfast and then a short worship service. Laura (one of the girls on project) talked about the two analogies of mountains that are used in the Bible - that if we have faith we can move mountains. And that we should trust God. We even had communion together. It was really nice. Then we drove home and had the afternoon to relax, sleep and catch up on our Bible study for the week.
I really have been growing close with a couple of the girls on project and this weekend was just more time to get to know each other, to laugh with each other (a lot) and truly enjoy who each of us are as God made us to be. We keep refering to each other as "soulmates" and I think on some levels it really is true.
One other note before I end. I noticed tonight that I think I take worship for granted sometimes. Worship music/ singing is how I tend to really connect with God and hear from him. I realized tonight that I have been a little dissapointed in the little worship time that we do get and that I really miss being able to sing with a band and worship God through song. I think once I get home it is something that I will appreciate that much more.
So once again, its been a little while. The week just gets away from me so easily that its hard to find time to update the blog. Aside from the fact that the work week has sunk into a pretty predictable schedule. Monday work 9-4:30, Dinner, Meeting at 6, Small Group 7-9. Tuesday work 9-4:30, dinner, community involvement (playing ultimate frisbee) 7-9. Wednesday work 9-4:30, Discipleship @ 4:15, dinner, Reflection night 7-9. Thursday meeting 8-9, work 9-4:30, Meeting 7-8, project teams 8-9:30. Friday work 9-4:30, night time free! So its pretty busy during the week. It has also become my "normal" for the summer.
So last Saturday and Sunday was Brewfest in Fort Collins. As our outreach for the week, we teamed up with Timberline church to help out with their free rides home program. There were volunteer time slots from 11am -3am. I volunteered between 10pm and 1:30am.
When we first got there a large group of people were arriving for a new shift. So we waited around for a meeting (got free t-shirts!) and chilled waiting for instruction. A few people were asigned to the vans that they had taking people home, others were just told to talk to people and/or hand out flyers. I ended up with Ashley L. Erin and Joel walking all around Old Town handing out flyers and just telling people about the free rides. We had a few interesting conversations with drunk people when we handed them out. A few people asked what the catch was, or if it was just from donations. Others knew that Timberline was doing it. One of the first people we met was a bachlorette party - and she said if it wasn't for Timberline she wouldn't have met her soon to be husband 10 years ago. So that was cool.
Another guy was really drunk and when we asked him if he had heard about the free rides he said "I'm not drunk, I just dance" and started dancing. It was funny. We were headed back to the tent area where the rides were leaving from and we ran into a couple of guys. We mentioned the free rides and from there just started talking to them. Joel and I ended up talking to one (Ben) and Ashley and Erin talked to the other (Chris). Ben was raised a Christian, but now considered himself agnostic. He studied Judaism for three years and so his stumbling block was the resurection (makes sense). He pretty much did all the talking. Telling us about his life, his belifs and just who he was. Chris was a "proclaimed atheist", but Erin and Ashley said that a lot of his beliefs were actually Christian. It was a really awesome testimony to just being there for people, just listening and not preaching or pitching, but taking a really relational approach to sharing the gospel. Ben said multiple times how great it was that we were just there, not "selling" Christianity or pointing and blaming and saying who was wrong, and that by being relational it was really showing Christ to him. It was awesome.
We talked to both of them until they got on the van to go home. I was going to go with since I was still talking to Ben, but they didn't have room to put another person in the van. But it was ok. After that we didn't really talk to anyone else, but just sort of helped out around the tent.
We left at 1:30. It was a long night, but a lot of fun. And a really great outreach opportunity. I love drunk people, and I would totally do something like that again!
So another week as come to a close. It wasn't an overly eventful week and so I haven't been taking the time to post since there hasn't been any really exciting news or stories.
The work week was pretty normal. There wasn't as much to do this week, lots of little projects - some to do with the conference, some not - that everybody was working on in pairs or by themselves. I worked on the newsletter again this week and it was a lot less stressful. I had content to start putting in on Thursday and I formatted the newsletter on Monday so it would make the rest of the summer easier. It was officially complete at about 3:30/4 on Friday after two read-throughs/edits. Much better than last weeks. I am getting along better with the writer that somewhat heads up the newsletter and I just have to say that it is 100% a God thing, cause our personalities definitely clash.
Our project activities were pretty normal this week too. On Tuesday we went to City Park again to play ultimate frisbee. For awhile there wasn't anybody there that we were "outreaching" to. Nature eventually showed up and said they were there earlier, so miscommunication. We also got another guy to play that said he would come next week. Wednesday night I had a really good date night with God. I really got a lot out of my quiet time and the sunset was beautiful.
Yesterday was our first Friday where the Ops students decided to dress alike and see if people noticed. Since Michael Jackson died on Thursday we wore all black. It was fun. At 3:30 we busted out the Rock Band 2 for wii and played for like and hour and a half instead of working all the way until 4:30. It was great fun!! Last night a group went to see Transformers 2. It was pretty good, and just a fun thing to do with people. Before dinner Kellie and I went randomly riding our bikes around some of the neighborhoods near campus. It was a fun night and a good end to the week.
Today we had training this morning. After that we had lunch and then a bunch of people went to the thrift store. Four of us rode bikes. I got 2 tank tops, a zip up, a jacket and a movie for less than $15. I'm pretty excited about that. After we got back Sara Beth, Kellie and I went to the city park pool. It was a lot of fun. I got sunburned, but it wasn't from the pool, it was actually from riding our bikes to the thrift store and back. After the pool we had a little bit of down time and then a group of us walked to Sonic for dinner. It was really awesome - and it is really close - like 10 minute walk from the dorm. Tonight we are headed to Old Town to do this week's outreach at BrewFest. We are working with Timberline church's free rides home program. I volunteered for the 10pm-1am shift and the 12am-3am shift. I am just going to stay until I get tired.
So the title of this post is free stuff, and I thought I would document the amount of free stuff I have gotten so far on project.
Project t-shirt, Ops shirt
Moleskin, Finding Divine Inspiration Book
Food, food, food (snacks in office all the time, free Panera and free HUGE cinnamon roles on Friday)
That's about it for now. Tomorrow we have pretty much free except for a "family" dinner with all the project people and staff. A group of us might try and go hiking ... but nothing for sure yet. Since I didn't go to church tonight I will have to go tomorrow morning, which means getting up early, even though I will be out late. I also have to do laundry some time tomorrow. Once again I'm sure the weekend will be over faster then I want it to!