Well, just like that, our Coldwater summer has come and gone… again. It is a pretty neat thing being involved in a ministry that has been built from scratch, and being a part of the growth of it. Last year, we had two trips (one I led in the Boundary Waters and the other Kari led in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with Chicago Public System students). This year, we put out two full (7 students + 2 instructors) trips into the Boundary Waters, as well as the CPS trip! This trip was the first I’ve led as “lead instructor”; the one who is responsible for having the final word on serious issues. It was testimony that Coldwater trips are not merely designed for students to learn things about themselves, God, or others; there is plenty of space available for the ones leading the trips to make discoveries as well. The thing that I learned through this trip was that I have no problem being #2; I am very content with being one who has enough authority to speak things into action, but not being the one who carries the most responsibility for the group’s well-being. So being the “lead instructor” definitely put me out of my comfort zone!
This summer we are focusing on continuing to build relationships with the students. Our summer program is happening every other Wednesday night. These meetings are a little more informal than during the school year, however, we feel that just because it is the summer does not mean we ought not have intentional conversation. So, we have had students write out questions, topics, points of interest, etc. and put them in “the bucket” so we are able to sit around a campfire (on a beach next to the biggest lake in the world – no big deal 😉 ) and have some group conversation about things that students themselves are thinking about.
This summer we have two service trips planned – one for the middle school (6th-8th grade), and one for the high school – heading to the cities. Our thought/ hope/prayer is to get students familiar with the idea of serving God’s people, and be able to transform that experience into seeing and meeting needs in our own community.
Please pray that hearts of the students (and leaders) would be open to the command of ‘loving neighbor as yourself’