Lauren Olivia Smith (Session 4)

Student Conference Lauren Smith 2016 CO Session 4

Montgomery, Texas | 17 years old

Think of the most formative, exciting, life-changing event that has ever happened to you. When was the point when you made a 180-degree turn from your path to God’s path? Can you remember the last time you were inspired to change the world? Has someone ever told you that God created a marvelous creation when He made you?

Even though I have always been told I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me, I have never been so inspired or equipped as I have been at Summit. Summit student conference is a haven for deep thinkers, a rare place of safety for the broken, and a place of answers for the inquisitive. There is no topic, no question, and no struggle that is off limits for discussion and prayer. Every single staff member and speaker is dedicated to helping us grow in our spiritual walks. We are treated and expected to act like adults. All of these things combined make an environment that nourishes, sustains, and encourages spiritual and personal growth.

Summit is a one-of- a-kind experience. It not only blends truth and relationship, but also fun and freedom, volleyball and naps at the park, custard and henna in downtown Manitou, white water rafting and zip lining are all parts of the freedom that Summit offers. At orientation, a quote from G. K. Chesterton was shown which is particularly relevant. “And the more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.”

Summit is like no other. I strongly encourage each and every person reading this to prayerfully consider getting involved in some way. My own personal journey began with a couple of suggestions from my parents and a fantastic recommendation from a Summit alumnus. I was stoked. I could not wait to come and meet new people and learn new things. I expected to grow in my faith, but Summit far exceeded my expectations. Before the first day had ended, I was already overwhelmed (in a good way) by my lack of knowledge. I simply had no experience with the depth of apologetics and logic that were thrown at us. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of new information. Luckily, I was not alone.

All of the students walked with each other as we struggled to process the thought-provoking lectures. We discussed politics at breakfast, holy sexuality at lunch, and major life decisions at dinner. We became a team and a family. I did not want to leave! The relationships that I developed here will extend way beyond the next two weeks, or even years! I am sure that I will be friends with some of these people for a lifetime.

I love Summit and I want to come back and staff here. It’s worth every penny and every minute. Come as soon as you can. You will not regret it.