Nashville, Tennessee | 18 years old
Walking through the Colorado Springs airport, my breath was coming faster and faster, realizing I was about to be at Summit Colorado — of course, some of that could have had to do with the change in elevation. I bent down, riding the escalator to baggage pick-up and spotted the staff with their Summit sign.
“Okay! I’m really here!” I was quickly drawn into games while waiting for the bus, and when we arrived at the Summit Hotel, the energy of the staff members was quite infectious. I was sucked into the wonderful world of Summit.
This is a place where every-day kids get to listen to amazing, famous speakers and then have personal conversations with them over lunch. This is place where you overhear deep conversations between students, as you walk through the building.
As I write this, a group of students are gathered to pray for the church, inspired to take action by speakers and make a difference. New and lasting friendships are being made. Edification is rampant, and the Hotel is glowing with lights for Christ. Everyone here has become one big family, even though we are from all over — and out of — the country. The Holy Spirit can be felt here. During lectures, we students get so transfixed on what we’re hearing that we forget to take notes.
I, for one, am growing in my personal relationship with Christ. Every other evening, we have small groups. Divided into fours and fives, we are put with one of the staff members, with whom we soon fall in love with. Lectures are discussed and testimonies shared; personally, those days are my favorite.
But we aren’t only a bunch of nerds, sitting in a cold classroom, in the middle of Colorado, in the middle of summer, in hard thought. I mean, we are, but we also have fun around here. Night watch calls us to life and bacon every morning (well, bacon most mornings). Every meal, we’re challenged by dish-pit to slide our dirty plates into specific, taped off rings, and earn points. The food here is amazing. The kitchen crew provides us with valued nutrition and hydration, as well as smiles as they charge through the dining hall, yelling, “Hot pan! Hot pan!”
The place is full of singing, quoting movies, using random accents, chess, foosball, mafia, swing dancing, hikes, high-fives, and going down the hill to town for custard. We fill up the buses on Tuesdays and Thursdays and head to the park for sports time. Most of us play speed volleyball, but others also play ultimate Frisbee or relax on the hillside with friends. Yeah, we’re all sunburned. But it’s worth it.
There are so many different people here with so many different testimonies. It’s amazing to see all the different ways God brings people to Him and works in their lives. I want to hug each one so tightly and let them know that God does love them so much. All of us are on the journey of sanctification and were reminded of 1 Corinthians 6:11 by one of the speakers; that such WERE some (all) of us, but we have been made new and our identity is now in Christ and nothing else. We must lose our life to Him. When people walk away from us, we want them to be thinking about the fact that we are Christians; not that we are really good at some sport, or have a certain talent, or are attractive or unattractive, or opposed and condemning towards a certain thing … but that we live out Christ’s unconditional love for us.
I’ll close with a thought we were given today: Be the missionary, not the mission field.