I commend you if you caught the reference in the post title there. At any rate, welcome to the third update for my trip. As the title suggests, there is a lot to talk about in this update, so let’s get started.
Things were a little weird on the job this week, but some good things happened as well. I was on The Great Water Race once again and you can definitely tell that we are finally getting into the summer season. The days went by quite a bit faster than last week due to how busy it got at times. Anyway, I reached an important landmark with one of my co-workers, Adam: he came to dinner! I feel like he had a good time and got to see the friendly community we have here. In fact, there were a few times where I had tend to other responsibilities and I would look over to find groups of people chatting with him. I haven’t really seen him since then, but I hope he comes out to more. I almost had Jere, whom I also mentioned in my last update, come to dinner, but I feel as though perhaps he has other things to do. Anyway, continue to pray for those guys as I interact with them as well as for my other co-workers that I haven’t mentioned specifically by name.
On a slightly different (and shorter) note, Wednesday was my day off and we went to the famous redwood forest. Seeing the size of these massive trees was incredible and it was a really relaxing day to hang out with my fellow summer project people. There isn’t much I can say about this other than… it’s really something you have to see – description doesn’t quite cut it. I’ll attach a few pictures that I snagged while we were there.
As far as project activities go, there was really only one big one for this week: our “Barn Party.” As a combined summer project activity and outreach event, this is one of the few large-scale events we’ll be putting on this summer. In short, what we did was decorate the Pan to have a Western theme – hay barrels and all – and just had a good time with each other and everybody that we invited. The bottom line of the party was to get our co-workers to see that Christians can have a good time and to, at some point in the night, try to get some insight into their spiritual backgrounds. We had a gigantic meat cooker brought in with an independent caterer – it was fantastic. I almost got sick from the amount of food I ate. Anyway, we also had games, a couple of eating contests, music and dancing, and a bunch of other neat stuff. The co-workers who did show up seemed to really enjoy themselves and a few people walking by randomly joined in the fun. After the festivities – cut off mainly due to noise laws after certain hours – many hung around to chat and there were quite a few spiritual and/or deeper than usual conversations happening. I think that, if anything, the party established a name for us Campus Crusaders in the area for people working on the Beach Boardwalk. Hopefully, this will get people talking about things we do as a group in the future. Overall, it was a pretty big success.
Finally, I want to go over one thing God showed me this week through quiet times and reflection in His Word. The clean-cut statement which generally expresses what I feel that I’ve learned this week is this: God wants to and will use you despite your circumstances and shortcomings. Something I noticed while I was reading was that I have always felt internally – whether I chose to express it or not – that God holds different people at different standards. For instance, I have been raised in the church and in a good home where morals are highly valued. I have always felt that God has expected me to “know better” than to do some of the things I do, and so long as I continued to struggle with different issues, I was not suitable for His work. I struggled with the issue of works-based salvation, just as I had explained last week with the difference between the Old and New Covenants. I felt that if I could just overcome these struggles and temptations, then I could go out and do what God has called me to do. What I didn’t realize is that, for starters, these struggles are not going to end. Second, I can’t overcome them on my own. I was (somewhat) randomly reading through Micah chapter 7 when I came across verses 18 and 19 which say: “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” When we repent of our sins – turning from them and following after God once again – He completely gets rid of them in His forgiveness. He doesn’t count those transgressions against us and we can fellowship with Him and do His work. So I realized, even though I had known it in my head for the longest time, that even though I may stumble, that doesn’t make me useless to God and that he has in fact forgiven me. It gave me a new view of things and gave me a newfound joy in knowing God as well as strength to carry out what I came here for.
Thanks again for the continued prayer. Once again, please pray for my co-workers, our upcoming outreach project for this weekend, and for my continued studies in God’s Word. I’m feeling a little under the weather this week with a cold (courtesy of my roommate, ehehehe), so if some of the above statements don’t make sense or something, that’s probably why. Thanks for reading – see ya next time.