Oh, the Returns! — A Story from Dells STP

Investment: def. (noun) a devoting, using, or giving of time, talent, emotional energy, etc., as for a purpose or to achieve something.

Across the country, students are investing a summer during their college career in hopes of receiving fantastic spiritual returns. They hope—and almost always find—that these returns involve deeper trust in God, skill and confidence in evangelism, and strong relationships with Christian brothers and sisters. They usually collect some superb dividends with their investment’s returns: lots of fun and memories that last a lifetime.

Oh, the Returns! — A Story from Dells STP

These students are spending their summer at a Navigators Summer Training Program like Dells STP in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Here’s what Jared (pictured left, in the gray shirt and khaki shorts) had to say about his Dells STP experience:

“The Summer Training Program was one of the hardest but most rewarding summers of my life. Of the numerous things I learned that summer, three things stand out: Identity in Christ, Fellowship, and Evangelism. Identity in Christ was the first step in enabling me to experience major growth at STP. It’s more than identifying with Christ and saying that I’m a Christian. It means placing all of my value in what God says about me, and letting this guide my actions. I figured out how much I wasn’t doing this when, through a series of humbling events, I discovered how much of my worth I derived from my abilities. Basically I epically failed at a few things. But after talking with my team about how I felt, they pointed me to Scripture. God says I am His child and that He loves me no matter what. If the Creator of the universe says I am valuable, then I am valuable. Why would I need to go to anything/anyone else to affirm this?

“After discovering I don’t need to be perfect in everyone’s eyes, I was able to experience fellowship in much truer ways. Fellowship is much more than Christians hanging out together. It’s us purposefully spending time together with the intent of directing and drawing each other to Christ. Without having my worth tied up in others’ opinions, I experienced a deeper level of vulnerability than ever before. This allowed God to use others to speak many truths into my life and help me grow in my understanding of Him and His purpose for me.”

“All this culminates into the last big thing I learned at STP: Evangelism. The summer gave me a new sense of purpose and direction in my walk with God. I used to be very self-centered in my thinking about it. “I want to be a better person. I need God.” Things like that were common thoughts for me. But now I realize my purpose should be sharing the truth that I know with others. I know Christ has paid the price for all my mistakes and that I will live with him forever; but many do not. Nothing is more important, so why would I not dedicate more time and effort into sharing God’s Good News?”

“Things are learned through tears and trials, but God is greater and God is good.”

Jared is one of many students who have been positively and powerfully impacted by the decision to invest a summer at Dells STP. And this year the program will include an exciting development it hasn’t in the past! A new residence hall complex to house 600-700 international student workers from dozens of countries around the world. There will be 30 American students living there surrounded by those nations—and you could be one of those students!

Will you choose to invest your summer in your walk with Christ and the Kingdom of God?

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