Jesus gives the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19, saying, “therefore go and make disciples of all nations” (NIV). Yet oftentimes as Christians we forget that our towns, states and country count as part of “all nations.” In addition, the Bible calls Christians to “proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” in Matthew 16:15 (ESV). However, sharing the gospel and reaching our communities prove to be difficult for many Christians, myself included. As I began my first year of college, I searched for opportunities to grow, specifically in evangelism and discipleship. God blew me away with all that He did in and through me during this past year, and I want to continue to grow in Christ and develop into a spiritual leader at Davidson College.
This summer I will attend an eight-week training program called Summer Beach Project (SBP) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, sponsored by Campus Outreach (an interdenominational college ministry). During this time, I will join over 100 college students from North Carolina and Florida schools to receive instruction in Bible study, prayer, discipleship, evangelism, and leadership. Throughout the summer we will build relationships with one another as well as with the surrounding community. Campus Outreach describes the process of building relationships with other Christians as life-on-life discipleship, or spiritual mentorship. As a community, we live together, work together, learn together, and grow in our relationships with Christ together. Obviously, life-on-life discipleship depends on doing Christianity together. Many students that come to SBP are international students from a wide range of countries. Many come as non-Christians, but leave as Christians. While at SBP, I will have the opportunity to disciple some of these individuals in unique ways.
While in Myrtle Beach, I will also be working a full-time job at Chick-fil-a to give me the opportunity to learn good stewardship and to minister in the workplace. All students work full-time minimum wage jobs throughout the summer, which provide unique opportunities to learn and serve in these intentional communities. Our co-workers will be from all over, another way to bring the nations to us. An alumnus of the program, also one of my spiritual mentors and good friends, said that working provides “a way to do missions by stacking cereal boxes at Walmart!” While working, we have the opportunity to love our co-workers so much that they notice something different about us, giving us the opportunity to tell them about Jesus. Working will also provide me with the opportunity to internalize what it means to “work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23, ESV). At SBP, we will also attend and partner in ministry with local Myrtle Beach churches.
Another major component of SBP is beach evangelism. Once a week we share the gospel, in small groups, on Myrtle Beach. Many students, myself included, are uncomfortable walking up to a stranger and sharing their testimony, or the gospel. This training equips us for the real task of building relationships and having deep conversations once we leave Myrtle Beach. At SBP we are placed in a Christian environment that helps us build skills and create habits in spiritual disciplines. Each day we wake up before work and read the Bible together, we practice consistent prayer, and learn what it means to truly disciple one another. However, once we leave SBP and enter the world again, these habits continue to permeate our lives.
In order to participate in SBP I must raise support from family, friends, local churches, and businesses, to cover the costs of the program. However, first and foremost, support raising consists of asking others to pray for my journey this summer. As I embark on this journey I ask that you would join my support team by praying for my spiritual growth, and for those that I might come in contact with. Then, if after prayerful consideration, you would like to monetarily contribute, please make checks payable to Linda Hamblin, and mail them to 3526 E Depot Rd, Vermont, IL 61484. If you would like to join my support team, or receive weekly updates of my trip and spiritual testimony, please send me your email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me at (505)-702-6813.