The Navigators host a Summer Training Program (STP) in Fullerton, California for college students from Oregon, California and Arizona. Students sign up for the “Golden State Summer” STP to get training in some key elements of Christ-centered living. They’re then placed into teams of 3-4 under a team leader. This summer we have been doing a Bible study on the book of Galatians, debriefing on daily time spent in God’s Word, doing initiative evangelism every week, and so much more. I’m praying these practices will become habits that will help the students be strengthened in their faith for the long haul.
When I went through an STP as a student, it brought about a huge transformation, so I’m extremely excited that I have the chance to be a part of the Golden State Summer STP as a team leader this year. Pictured are the four young women (Elaine, Melissa, Julianna, and Ali) I get to refer to as “my girls” this summer.
Coming into STP, I was really looking forward to spending time in a collegiate ministry setting because I have missed the high-energy atmosphere, and I knew I would be refreshed by so much time in God’s Word. I started praying a month before the program that I would love my team of four right where they are rather than be frustrated with what they’re not. I asked God for a desire to pour myself out for them, putting their needs above my own (Philippians 2:3). I have to say that God has made the last few weeks pretty easy! These four are not difficult ladies to love. It has been really fun living with them; their excitement for the program’s vision shows in the way they spend their time and in how quick they are to receive the suggestions, tools, and tips I pass along to them.
An avenue through which I’ve really seen God’s mercy this summer has been His faithfulness to let me know when I’m trying to take too much responsibility for the girls’ individual growth. A few days ago I was worrying about not having the “right answers” or adequate resources for my girls, and I sensed God warning me that instead of trusting Him I was thinking that I had to provide everything they need.
During a weekly time of intentional one-on-one discipleship, one of my team members shared something God had been bringing up in her heart that I wasn’t sure how to advise her in. I felt uneasy after letting her go with only an encouragement to invite the Lord into her wounds and dialogue with Him. But later that night I heard one of my other girls give the one I’d been worried about a great booklet to aid her in the kind of prayer we’d talked about. Thanks be to God who supplies all our needs! It’s not up to me but to Him!