Summit Tennessee has had an incredibly special place in my heart since the Summer of 2016 when I was a Summit student for the first time. I remember getting halfway through the first week of my session and thinking to myself “God is doing big things through this Ministry and I want to be a part of it.”
Since then, I have gone to another session in Tennessee as a student, I staffed at the Summit Hotel in Manitou Springs Colorado and I also attended Summit Semester in 2017. When I was accepted to staff again this Summer, I was beyond excited! I had been praying about it for months and simply could not wait for the summer to get started. I arrived on the campus of Union University on Tuesday, five days before the students arrived and session 1 began. Those five days were used to instruct, train, exhort and prepare our (the staffers) hearts and minds to love the students well. We learned about each other (everyone’s name and where they were from), we spent lots of time in prayer, praying for both the students and for each other.
Leading two small groups, taking care of behind the scenes details and living in community with 140+ people for four weeks is no small task and we wanted the foundation of each of those things to be in Christ. Daily devotionals, worship, prayer, and quiet time with the Lord were both emphasized and exemplified by our incredible leadership team and they called us to excellence in every area of life, both during training and beyond.
Sunday morning arrived and I was outside ready to greet the families who were coming to drop their students off. We had students from all over the world, the energy was high, and the Holy Spirit was moving! I was so ready to meet everyone, especially the small group of women I would be leading the next few weeks. Everything seemed to be going wonderfully Sunday, but Monday brought some unexpected difficulties.
I was outside playing the first round of Adventure Ball (a fun Summit Tennessee tradition) when I tripped during the first few minutes of the game and hyperextended my left elbow pretty badly. I was embarrassed and quite frankly, I was feeling discouraged after spending several hours in the emergency room and pharmacy with a swollen elbow on the very first full day of Summit. I came back to campus with a new sling on my arm and I was in a lot of pain, not an ideal situation at all. I prayed a lot and experienced a lot of comfort and healing through prayer. I now know that God made zero mistakes in having me here for such a time as this. Although the pain of my injury was not my favorite thing- God used this pain as a reminder that He is in control!
I can be weak because He is strong.
I can be broken because He is a healer.
I have learned a lot about being able to praise God out of a place of physical brokenness and pain and the students here have taught me so much about that very thing.
Seeing students be challenged, learning, being understanding and being understood, loving, laughing, and engaging with not only the speakers but with each other was so encouraging. Having students sweetly volunteer to carry my food to my table during mealtimes and pray for my arms healing during free time was a humbling experience. I am beyond grateful to be on staff this year, I have seen God to beautiful things here.
God is working through this ministry, God is changing lives here, God is using speakers, faculty, staffers, and students to bring a taste of heaven here to earth. So although I have only been at Summit for two weeks of this summer, God has already greatly reminded me of His character and how He loves to reveal Himself to us through His most precious creation, His children.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.