THANK YOU to everyone who made it possible for getAHEAD to move to the Rose Bowl!
Here are some pictures of our first two days in our new location!
Project 61 Sports and Arts Camp will be Tuesday, July 26th – Friday, July 29th, from 10:30-2:00, at the Rose Bowl, an all-sports facility on the north side of 11th street between Memorial and Sheridan. Camp is free for students in the 1st – 9th grade.
Project 61 Youth Camp will be Monday, July 25th- Friday, July 29th. Every morning the youth will help local coaches staff the sports and arts camp at the Rose Bowl as a way of expressing love to kids and communicating to them the life-giving hope of the Gospel. In the afternoon and evenings youth participate in exciting games, awesome worship, and Christ-exalting teaching. Campers stay in cabins at Keystone State Park and commute to sports camp. The cost for youth attendees is $195. Scholarships are available upon request, contact Jared Tabor at 918-208-2222 with questions. Because youth attending Project 61 have the opportunity to staff morning sports camp for kids, all youth must apply and be accepted in order to attend.
Applications are now open for our summer urban ministry internship! This an opportunity for college-aged guys and girls to serve the community, study the Bible and urban ministry, and share in the life of an inner city church for the summer.
Applications are due Monday, April 11th, 2016.
The internship is a 9 week program from Sunday, June 5th, 2016, through Sunday, August 7th, 2016.
What can I say about this summer? Well, from the previous year of volunteering at FCA Project 61, and then Project 61 later that year, I had a strong feeling that I should return. I met a lot of fantastic people that were either members of Springs of Grace, interns, and even campers. Such joy came to my heart from the first to last day of camp.
With that said, I had just as, if not a better experience this time around as an intern. I was delighted to see so many kids return that I met last year, and how some have a growing desire for the Lord.
One 8th grader, Elijah, continued to amaze me with his genuine heart for God, and to excel in whatever he did. A verse that has been on my heart is James 2:14-17, What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Simply stating what I’d like accomplish is meaningless, unless I am out there actively working. This summer has been nonstop faith in action. I’m truly thankful to be around the members of the church and my fellow interns with a desire to help build God’s Kingdom.
Pastor Joe reached out to me about the internship and said, “It will be the best summer of your life!” The term best would be a dramatic understatement as to how meaningful, powerful and joyful the summer has been.
I can only imagine what God has in store for me and the rest of these wonderful interns.
Project 61 Sports Camp
By Mat Levenson
Well, where do I start? There’s quite a lot that I could write about; intern retreat, FCA P61, VBS, get-AHEAD, Sunday morning service, college Bible study, Day Center Bible study, Real Talk, Secret Church, even just living at the church. The learning curve is challenging and “the struggle is real” (as the youth would put it.) This being my second year of interning with the church brings a lot of familiarity, but when you are dealing with intercity ministry, you often times also step into uncharted territory- with not a clue what do or sometimes what to even say.
This learning curve is a curve that seems so perpetually endless, and so very steep at times, that it seems you are sliding down towards where you just came from until that Hand of the Lord grabs you. He then refreshes you with His strength and a reassurance that you are walking in the center of His will for your life- sometimes through some hard lessons. These hard lessons this summer have taught me that first: it isn’t about me at all, though I will indeed partake of the reward of Heaven and behold the Lamb with the multitude whose names are written in the Book of Life. In all actuality, it is about bringing glory to Christ by loving the orphan, alien, fatherless, and others. Furthermore, learning my own imperfections has pushed me to cherish Christ’s perfection much more, and to really marvel at the most evil act ever committed in history- the cross of Christ. This seemingly ugly, but actually beautiful cross is the reason that I have decided to come to Springs of Grace and serve alongside others who are going hard after God for another year (and however so long that the Lord permits.)
Probably some of the biggest things that the Lord has been teaching and showing me are to see Him in everything, even the smallest of things which seem insignificant; to talk to myself out loud about the Gospel (which is healthy); to love others despite their imperfections and my awkwardness; to pray fervently for others and for myself; to rest in Christ more often; to not pass judgment on others in the body; and to serve the Lord with a glad heart. I have much more to add, but I’ll save you the reading and scrolling. Seeing the little things this summer so far has enabled me to cherish and rejoice more fully in the grace of our great Savior.
Intern Impact is a blog series that highlights past interns and gives them the opportunity to reflect on the way God has used their time at One Hope to impact their lives and ministries.
My first night in Tulsa it thundered and shook. I slept in the top bunk of a bed that would soon belong to the eldest Ugandan addition of the Boone family. Prayers were bringing him home, and prayers had brought me here. As the restless creation stirred in unison with my anticipations, I remembered dedicating this new adventure to the Lord. I prayed He would manifest Himself to me in ways I had not experienced before and empty me of myself.
God was faithful to my prayers. It was busier, hotter, and harder than I expected, and more full of love and raw genuine fellowship than I ever experienced. We were in the church everyday working, loving, talking, reading, writing, playing, living alongside the people Jesus so cherished to love. Details and routines faded in the light of the heart connections we were building with the families around us and one another. I remember being so shocked. When had church become such a separation from the lives of people who need it most? This church, squeezed in between the houses of a struggling North Tulsa neighborhood, is a safe place, and I love being there.
What Springs of Grace does well is pursue people like Christ pursued us. Canvassing the neighborhoods to sign up kids for various tutoring and sports programs is one of the most simple and tangible expressions of Christ’s love. It is hot, and tiring, and the doors seem to stretch on forever, but the trudging and knocking, and sharing, and the picking kids up and carving time out, and the creating of stimulating educational, athletic, and artistic avenues of expression symbolically reminds me of the greatest One who came and shared and carved, carved out of His very self. He began a relationship with us, and that’s what He calls us to make with His lost image bearers…the ones who need communion with their Maker. We dare not think we can begin to save them, for we journey on with a strength that is not our own, but touching them with Christ’s empowering love, and showing them that our Lord is a sacrificial Master, is the fulfillment of our highest joy. He is a faithful God rich in mercy and the outstretched arms we offer stem from hearts in fresh remembrance of our own restoration.
When I hear people accolade my noble “missionary” work here, I can only think how I am the missioned soul. Pride is a brutal thief, blinding the eyes from a right view of God and crippling the heart from proper fellowship with Him. It renders me tired and worn down because I am poorly constructing an image versus living as an image of Someone far greater…someone that stuns me with a love so deep I can only pour it out. I am the graced one to be a recipient of such patient mercy, to be in a church body that runs alongside me, and to see first hand God’s rich worth even in broken situations.
I’ve learned that one of the ways we most love someone is by telling them our answered prayers for them. A friend once shared how my coming was an answer to her prayer and reminded me that it was God who appointed me specifically to come and build the relationships I hold so dear and touch the hearts I didn’t even know existed. In turn, she touched my heart more than she knows. Because, those of us who have tasted Christ’s grace long to be used by Him. We want to be near Him and reflect His glory. My roommate asked the 6th grade Sunday School class what they thought “weight of glory” meant. One of the boys replied, “It’s like God is gloriously heavy.”
I couldn’t have said it better, for I’ve experienced His heaviness here…in this cloud of witnesses.