14 Jun Anderson’s First Week: Settling In and Going Out
The first week of Summer LINK Anderson has been a beautiful, chaotic blur of settling in with host families, attending meetings with the Renewal Church staff, and speaking to strangers on the streets of Greenville, South Carolina about the gospel.
Our team consists of eight college students (five girls and three guys) plus our leaders, Sam and Sadie Youngs. The team is strongly balanced in personalities and has bonded easily, and we have already laid a foundation of fond memories and inside jokes that we hope to build upon for the remainder of the summer! God has truly blessed us with students who seek to further His kingdom rather than their own agendas and who have given up their summers to be under the authority and discipleship of church leadership. We had the opportunity to build team chemistry and get to know one another before the previous semester at Anderson University ended, so we have been able to jump joyfully into our housing assignments and weekly schedules.
Our First Week:
On Monday night we attended our first dinner hosted by a family from Renewal. Our team was able to hear testimonies from the family about how the Lord called them to faith, called them to be spouses and later parents, and called them to faithfulness in the Anderson area. Monday night dinners are the perfect way to build upon the gospel community that we are seeing modeled in the church and are learning how to maintain in our own lives.
Tuesday mornings are reserved for staff meetings at Renewal, and we got our first glimpse at how the local church is run from a ministry standpoint. We were able to see firsthand the leadership of Renewal encouraging one another, finding more efficient means of organizing events, and urgently praying for the spiritual health of the church body. The church leaders shared their vision for how they feel the Lord is leading them this summer in Anderson to fulfill the church’s mission of making disciples of all people for God’s glory.
Wednesday nights are vital for students to discuss the assigned weekly reading and to be equipped in evangelism and spiritual disciplines. This week our church’s Generation LINK Director, Sean Alford, taught us how to approach strangers and initiate gospel-driven conversations. This Wednesday put into motion the training we will receive from the church on how to faithfully respond to and pursue those outside the body of Christ and how to move them closer to knowing God.
Thursday evening we put our instruction into practice by walking through downtown Greenville and intentionally seeking to have conversations and begin relationships wherein we might have the opportunity to share the good news of the gospel. Some of us were able to have conversations about the gospel while others of us were able to just meet new people. Regardless of the individual outcomes, we were all asked to step outside our comfort zones and to take a step of faith for the glory of God in taking seriously his command to make disciples and be his witnesses. Will you join us in praying that the Holy Spirit would continue to lead us this summer and would prepare the hearts and minds of the lost we meet this summer?
Friday and Saturday were more team-oriented evenings where we sought to continue to build one another up and continue to grow in love and affection for another another. On Friday we got into small groups in order to confess sins and to ask and offer to keep one another accountable in our mutual pursuit of holiness. This time was spent in reflection and prayer as we looked back at the past week and looked forward to the week to come. Saturday was a day where we relaxed, enjoyed one another’s company, played lawn games, and watched an outdoor movie.
We look forward with great anticipation and enthusiasm to what our Father has in store for the rest of our time in Anderson. We can already see His hand working in our lives by increasing our knowledge of the Scriptures, our love for His church, our commitment to obedience, and our understanding of how important discipleship is. Please consider partnering with us in prayer as we seek to grow in the Lord and serve the Anderson community.
To God be the glory!