60 miles. 130 miles. Those are the distances between Omaha, NE and Manhattan, KS to Lincoln, NE, respectively. Beginning on a Sunday afternoon, the first of June, 24 college students from The Rock at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and 12 Vintage Faith Students from Kansas State University joined 27 members of The Rock UNL for a summer leadership program. This program is known as SLT.
8 years. Those are the number of years that SLT has been a part of the Candlewood summer schedule. In 2007, a group of college leaders prayed for a summer where they could continue to grow in faith and closer to the God who changed their lives. After presenting the idea to their pastors, they were given the green light.
60 days. This is the duration of SLT. From Monday until Sunday for those 60 days, the schedule is filled with events. There is a teaching on a Monday night, prayer and worship on a Tuesday night, Summer Evangelism Training on a Wednesday, Lifegroup on Thursday, outreach in the city and the UNL campus on Friday, service projects on Saturday morning, and church on Sunday with times of rest on the evenings of the weekend.
63. That’s the number of college students/young people that decided to take part in SLT Lincoln. For those from Manhattan, they left jobs behind in their city, landing new ones in Lincoln. They all came in faith and continue to do so even if their jobs have given them less hours than expected. For those from Omaha, some, too found summer jobs in Lincoln. However, the majority of them commute, setting up a carpool plan that leaves as early as 5:30am. Now that’s commitment.
1st. This is the first time three college groups have taken part in Candlewood’s SLT. Last year, it was just Omaha and Lincoln, joining together for the first time. But with Manhattan being so close and with wanting to continue the tradition of a summer leadership program, Vintage Faith Students prayed about Lincoln. Last year, they went to the Wisconsin Dells.
One week in Lincoln! Pretty pumped and encouraged. I’m glad to run with these Christians. Excited to see what God is going to do this summer!” – Jim Walters (Vintage Faith Students-KSU).
30. These are the number of days that have passed since the beginning. SLT is halfway through. The teachings, the ones that cover the eight core values that define the Great Commission of Churches, about the grace of God, unity, love, raising families, and a commitment to God and His word have allowed the SLTers to learn together. The meals, the ones that arrived on time or a little bit late, allow the SLTers to eat together, sharing stories and laughter. The worship, the one that starts each event with a couple of acoustic guitars, a box drum, and voices in unison, is loud and fervent.
Friendships and bonds have already been established among all three college groups as well as strengthened within their own as they love God, each other, and those in their lives. And they’ll continue to do so for the 30 days that remain and beyond.
30 down, 30 to go.