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.
Project 61 Sports Camp
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.
I’m a little afraid of the pictures that will get pulled out of the archives to accompany this post. See, sometimes I don’t even recognize the girl who showed up in Tulsa, OK, in the summer of 2006. I wanted to serve God. I wanted more of His heart for all kinds of people. I wanted to grow. But I really had no idea how it would change me. I went from having vague, academic ideas about cross-cultural ministry and cycles of poverty and sin to having an unshakable love for people and for a place.
Interning that first summer very quickly stripped me of belief in my own abilities. We weren’t even a week into the summer when I found myself in one of the most terrifying situations I had ever faced–teaching an assortment of 11-to-16 year olds in the newly birthed summer getAHEAD program. The night before it began, as we sorted books and sharpened pencils, I remember telling Miriam, “The hardest class is going to be that oldest one. Who’re we gonna find to teach it?” About thirty minutes later, she announced that it was me. I was in the deep end without a lifejacket. Without swimming lessons.
I faced the class that first day so underprepared that I didn’t even know where my shoes were. I remember thinking, “I’m barefoot, nineteen, who decided it was a good idea for me to do this? I can’t do this!” I didn’t even understand half of what my students were saying and almost nothing of what they wrote in their journals. None of them were at grade level in reading proficiency. Their lives were full of things I had only seen on the news.
And all of this was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me, because it sent me straight into the word of God. I read it starving, needing the words to feed me, to give me the only thing that would help these kids. I listened to every sermon and message thirsty for myself and thirsty for truth I could share that would help them know Jesus. I branded 2 Corinthians 3:5 on my heart, clinging to the words, “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.”
When I talk to people about what kept me coming back to Tulsa, this is one of the main things I name. Seeing the beauty of God’s plan for bringing all kinds of people to Himself, seeing how He is honored when people who are so different from one another join to worship Him, and seeing His power perfected in my weakness to accomplish this. I love it. I can’t move back into monochromatic Christianity without feeling like something is missing. Something hugely important.
I could talk about many other things that impacted me that summer. I could talk about learning to pray as your heart grows in love for people and in dependence on God. I could talk about the deep and strong friendships that are forged as you walk through interning with others who are passionate about God’s glory and the salvation of the lost. I could talk about the growth that comes so fast you’re just covered in stretch marks by summer’s end. I could talk about the good plain fun that we’re constantly having. I could talk about how these kids worm their ways into your heart and you love them more than you ever dreamed you might. But all of that is just talk until you come. Come, and be prepared for God to change your life.
One weekend this summer we took our youth girls on a 24 hour retreat called Girl Talk. The guys do a similar retreat elsewhere they call Real Talk. It was an amazing weekend of retreat from the noise of our world and a wonderful opportunity to hear from God with thirty other youth and college-aged girls. The powerful teaching was brought by several of our staff and intern girls sharing simple yet profound truths about Jesus. I was so grateful for God’s grace and nearness as He came and met with us. It was encouraging to see girls responding to God’s Word and pondering it in their hearts. Please pray that the seeds planted in the hearts of each and every girl would take root in good soil and spring up with much fruit. Pray girls would run into the light to have their sin exposed and would believe all of the promises of Jesus are true. Pray girls would look to the cross to see the love of God for them. And please pray that the hope of Jesus’ return would be each girl’s great joy rather than their great dread.
“Project 61 is the best week of the year!” This is a statement made by Sam Blankenship, and I totally agree with it. “I wish every week was Project 61!” This is another statement made by Sam Blankenship, and I can’t say that I totally agree with it. (I’m not actually sure if Sam said both or either of these things, but I think I heard someone say them and Sam seems like a possibility) P61 is the funnest and craziest week of the year, but I’m glad it’s not every week because I can only take so much fun and crazy! Playing sports and having fun with the kids at the sports clinic is always great, but I also really enjoyed the balloon volleyball game that we played at the youth camp and, as usual, running around in the fire truck waterfall at Comanche! Besides being really really fun, P61 is the best week of the year because of the ways that we were able to witness God’s power and sovereignty. Derrick Cox, the pastor that delivered the messages every night, told us that God won’t give us a life that makes Him unnecessary. This was especially true for us before and during Project 61; we definitely could not have ran a successful P61 without Him. We provide transportation to and from the sports clinic for most of the kids and the day before the sports clinic began we didn’t have the means to do that! Long story short, God gave us a bus, just in time, for free. God showed us His power and how reliant we are upon Him by waiting until the last minute to answer our prayers and provide transportation for all the kids in a way that He alone received all the glory. Another way that we saw God work was in the weather. The first day at the sports clinic was really hot, and sometimes it was tough to get the kids to stay focused and have a good attitude. After the sports clinic that morning we prayed for better weather, and even though the forecast for Wednesday was even hotter than Tuesday, God blessed us with a continual breeze all morning and everyone had a great time outside. Recap: P61 was fun, crazy, and we witnessed God’s power. Best week ever!