This is Justin Langley reporting from night watch in Manitou Springs, Colorado. As a 21 year old senior in college, I am well acquainted with the late (or should I say early?) hours. However, I never expected to spend half my summer pulling all-nighters.
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.
The week before leaving [for Summit], I became extremely doubtful regarding the worth of the camp. However, all my fears were proven wrong. Upon arriving, one thing became apparent: everyone was nice. When I say everyone, I mean everyone. Even on the bus ride from the airport, one of the staff members, after learning my name, yelled, “That’s my friend Curtis!” In that moment, I fell in love with Summit even before arriving at the campus.
Some people ask why we do it. Why do we give up almost our entire summer and serve? How can we have good attitudes when washing dishes for over 200 people, cooking for them, and cleaning up after them? My mind always goes to Matthew 20:26-28, “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.”
As I started Summit, my whole life changed. My perspectives about life changed. I used to be extremely bitter towards God, but through the love of the girls that I got to know, and ultimately the love from two of the staffers, Sam and Caroline, my heart was softened to the idea of God.
As Eric Smith, Summit’s Program Director explained during staff training, Summit is like a spiritual greenhouse. It’s a place where people grow at an increased rate. After being here four weeks, there is nothing truer than that analogy. To be in the middle of God’s beautiful mountains and do life with like-minded people will cultivate spiritual growth like no other place. Come to Summit, it won’t be an experience you regret.
I decided to come to Summit when my friend said he was planning to attend and wanted me to join him. Recalling my cousins’ stories, and realizing my own lack of spiritual growth, I readily agreed to apply, and was ecstatic to learn that I was accepted as a student. Fast forward to the first day: I was caught off guard by the quality of the speakers and their lectures.
When you go home from a camp, everyone always asks, “What was that camp you went to?” One would think, that after two weeks of wrestling with the top issues and theological discussions of our day, this would be an easy question. It’s not. Words seem utterly unable to sum up what Summit Ministries is.
My name is Nathan Schwebach and I am from New Mexico. I was raised in a Christian home by two godly parents, however, prior to coming to Summit, I had never really taken my relationship with the Lord seriously. I was a Christian because my parents were, so in consequence I lived like a mediocre Christian…
It was in 2012 that I stepped out of a van with six other high school youth group students and stood in front of Bryan College, totally exhausted from the fourteen hour drive down from Iowa to Tennessee. I had no idea what to expect from Summit Ministries, all I knew was that I was going to be attending a Christian apologetics conference for the next two weeks.
I heard about Summit from our family friends Jim and Ryan Dobson. They recommended Summit to help with my worldview training. At first, the thought of spending 8 hours in class every day made me want to cry. I would like to say that with persistence, my mother somehow convinced me that Summit would actually be fun. In all honesty, my mother made me come to Summit. I dragged my feet all the way. I was expecting a boring class session and an even more uneventful camp experience. Fortunately, none of my expectations came to fruition.
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.