Family. In the four days I’ve been at Bridge Street Mission School (BSMS) I feel like I’ve found a new family. It’s amazing that we already feel so close from such a short time!
We moved into the Lincoln (our dorm house) a week ago from today. Immediately I could tell this is going to be a great year. We were all a little reserved and shy to start but soon the walls came tumbling down and we opened up a lot.
On Monday morning we left a three day camping trip to Platte River Campground near Traverse City. During our trip we did lots of bonding and exploring. We each shared our testimony. On Tuesday and Wednesday morning a few of us ran along Lake Michigan and ended our run swimming in it as the sun rose. It was majestic. On Tuesday we went on a canoeing trip along Platte River that ended in Lake Michigan and going swimming. Wednesday we packed up everything to head home. But before we did we went to one of the biggest dunes in the area and raced to see who could get down and back up the fastest. I got second behind Ben who beat me by four seconds. I did it with a time of 10.46 minutes. The dune had to be at least 2,000 feet tall!! It was incredibly hard and I just lay at the top for 15 minutes afterwards exhausted. Ben, me, and Lyric all beat the all-time time of 12 minutes set by Derek last year. Oh, and on our camping adventure I got a braid and tiny ponytail! YOLO. 🙂
We arrived back at the Lincoln on Wednesday night to unpack, relax, and get all the sand off our bodies. It was an amazing trip. It was awesome to just spend three days in God’s incredible creation with my new family and all the incredible stuff we did.
On Thursday and Friday our teaching topic was Hearing God’s Voice and the Character of God by Ryan Waalkes, the directer of BSHOP. We had an hour to just spend alone and hear from God. I spent my time laying in Lincoln Park next-door on the grass with the sunshine and wind on my face. As I felt the wind I was reminded that, like the wind, God cannot be seen but his attributes and effects are extremely evident and everywhere.
One thing I’ve loved is that we have a whole hour set aside every morning for personal devotions. It is amazing how just slowing down and listening to talk and reading the scriptures can be so powerful.
I’ve been reminded that God is not defined by the sum total of the concepts that define him. He cannot be defined by a single word or phrase. He is immensely relational and desperately wants to know us.
Another highlight of my week was that we spent a good chunk of Friday afternoon reading through the entire book of Matthew. We each read one chapter at a time and just went around the circle. Over the next weeks and throughout Phase 1 we will be be doing a Bible study on Matthew.
Friday night we had confession time. Everyone shared some of the deepest and darkest crap from their past and brought it into the light to bring healing. It was really hard, but I confessed the darkest secrets of my past as well. Healing can never happen alone. Satan wins if we don’t open up and accept help. Healing starts with accountability and community.
Throughout everything we’ve been through in just this first week, I am incredibly excited to see how God is going to move in these next 8-months. Seeing how close we are already, I’m super pumped to see where God brings us by April.