We just finished up the San Diego Express Summer Project. It was a quick few weeks with the 28 students from all over the country, but a powerful few weeks. We saw students grow in ways that will change the spiritual trajectory of their lives, helping them to live for eternal things instead of things of this world. And we saw those very students help people they met and shared the gospel with to think differently about Jesus and those who follow him, changing their faith-journeys as well. A small shift in degrees at one point in time makes a big difference when that line is extended out over a lifetime. It is God who makes people change and grow, but it is a joy to be part of it when He moves.
It was so much fun to hear the students share on the last night some of the memories and things they would take back home to their campuses with them.
- Under the category of first time experiences, some shared that it was their: first time sharing their faith; first time seeing someone receive Christ, first time on the West Coast, first time seeing the Ocean, first time not being afraid to share the Gospel.
- When asked about some things they learned, some shared that they enjoyed: learning how to listen to the Holy Spirit; learning what role God’s Word and The Spirit play in conjunction with one another in our spiritual growth and life; learning how to use tools that lead to spiritual conversations with strangers or friends (such as Soularium–photography-based discussion; and the Perspective cards–leading to a fun world-view discussion).
- When asked what they would remember, many shared how special the deep relational connectedness had been; many also mentioned some specific Evangelism experiences with interesting people they had met; one girl said getting baptized in Mission Bay (we had 4 students on project get baptized); a few also shared some of the analogies that our main speaker had used that really connected with them.
Jeremiah and I particularly enjoyed working with students who were hungry to learn and eager to do evangelism. They understood the Gospel enough to know that they really wanted to internalize it and make sharing it with others to be a more normal and consistent part of their lives. It was exciting to see them more deeply grasp God’s heart for the nations and for broken people during our small group Bible studies, and wonderful to see them set aside fears and cultural barriers and speak the Gospel in love to strangers as they asked questions and listened to the perspectives and backgrounds of individuals in different parts of San Diego that we went to.
We will continue to pray for these special young people as they return to the many states they came from, several going back to movements that are entirely student led, where they will bring a renewed focus for reaching out to the lost with the Hope we have in Christ and through the Power of the Holy Spirit.