Sarah Hollenbeck (Session 6)

Summit Student Conference Sarah Hollenbeck 2016 Colorado Session 6Nebraska | 19 years old

My mom has talked about Summit Ministries for a long time, so when my sister graduated high school, it wasn’t a surprise when she was gifted with a trip to Summit. She went the Summers of 2012 and 2013 and literally hasn’t stopped talking about her experience since! When she came back, I noticed that she actually had grounded opinions on societal issues. She learned to think for herself, and so I started doing that, too.

What really brought me to Summit was curiosity — my sister talked about the community at Summit being what the church is supposed to be; I wanted to see that for myself. I wasn’t disappointed!

Summit teachers actually encouraged us to come to our own conclusions instead of taking their word on it. At the end of the day, they wanted us to go through the Bible to find for ourselves what it says about Marxism, homosexuality, and feminism; then they challenged us to go to history and science books to test for truth.

An issue I’ve been struggling with before I came here was God’s roles for men and women, especially married men and women. The Bible talks about how a man is to cherish his wife as Jesus does the church; but I don’t see that in my Christian circles back home often. Honestly, it scared and confused me. At Summit, many speakers (Jim Downing, Dustin Jizmejian, and Barry Asmus, for example) made it obvious that they adore their wives, value their advice, and seek to protect them in a selfless way. Barton and Sarah Stone even took us through the Bible to look at God’s designs for men and women. I grew in understanding of what a Biblical, Jesus-centered marriage looks like.

In all honesty, I came to Summit with uncertainty. Obviously, my sister loved Summit, and came back with a passion for the truth; being more of an artistic relational personality, I thought Summit may be a little “too much” for me, but I loved it and God used it. He did many mighty works in me during those two weeks and answered so many prayers (even the prayer for someone at Summit to teach me ukulele!); now that I’m home, I’m equipped with more confidence and joy — I look forward to what God is going to do next!