Friday, August 15, 2008

Amazing Summer in the San Fran Bay Area

Well what an amazing summer this has been so far. I have been blessed with a wonderful group of staff from all different places this summer all here for one purpose to play our part in returning faithfulness to Christ our Savior. One thing I have always realized is that no matter what I'm doing or even when I'm completely unsure of what I will be doing - what I do know is that God is FAITHFUL and He always will be and I can rest easy on that.

Living in the Bay this summer has at times been so overwhelming and stressful that I often find myself feeling as though I really am drowning in the Bay that is only miles away. Then all I have to remember is that God is stretching out His hand in those trying times and pulling me up from the water and telling me to swim. Somehow I find myself being able to start swimming all over again, swimming when it seems like I have nothing else in me.

I believe God has placed me here this summer to get the full picture of what I should be doing in the future. Whether that be doing work like I am here in San Francisco, or whether that means going overseas to help in similar ways. What I have noticed throughout life, but especially this summer is that God is working here in the Bay Area, as much as he is working back home in Idaho or Oklahoma, as much as he is working all the way in East Africa. God continues to show me this by placing people into my life that come at just the right time.

This summer I have, in every sense of the word, been blessed with incredible serving groups. From places like Colorado, to Seattle, to small towns in Idaho, and even Spokane, WA youth have come to serve. What they often figure out by the end is that they did serve, but they often leave with a lot more than they may have given out. I encourage my groups to just break down all their walls and barriers at the start of the week and to just open their eyes to what God wants to show them, and often by the end of the prayer tour on the first night, these youth that just a few hours prior would have never thought of talking to a homeless person, find themselves in deep prayer and actual conversation with the same homeless people they once were afraid to approach. What these youth soon figure out is that there really is no difference between us, and the people we are serving in the Bay area, we are all broken people, the only thing that may be different is we have a place to go to every night to lay our head and get good sleep, and these other human beings often don't. All I can say about this summer so far is that God has completely rocked my world, and turned me in a direction I never thought I would be going.

CSM has given me amazing opportunities serving with the youth that came into my life this summer and completely transformed me in miraculous ways. I am so excited for what is left this summer as I finish out my last month in this beautiful place we call "The Closest Thing to Heaven!"

I leave you with this quote- "If we come to sleep we are his drowsy ones, and if we come to wake, we are his hands. If we come to weeping, we are His cloud full of raindrops. And if we come to laughing, we are His Lightning in that moment. If we come to anger and battle it is the reflection of his wrath. And if we come to peace and pardon, it is the reflection of His love. Who are we in this complicated world?"

-Will Stevens CSM San Fran Bay Area Summer 2008 City Host

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