Those summer days in Lincoln. Those filled with teachings, worship, prayer, fellowship, outreach, and service projects are done for the Summer Leadership Program (SLT) hosted by Candlewood Church. By now, Vintage Faith Students from Manhattan, Kansas and The Rock UNO from Omaha have returned home. Students from The Rock UNL have already begun to prepare for a new academic year as they move into new homes and dorms.
Those 60 summer days established friendships and bonds. Most important of all, those days of summer strengthened a love for God, each other, and people. And each individual who took part of SLT 2014 in the city of Lincoln took something from the experience.
The following are just three out of sixty-three stories:
1) Carolyn Fox (Vintage Faith Students – Manhattan)
This summer, I feel like God answered Jesus’ prayer in John 17:14,“ I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.” Every night, we met and were given truth through the Word. The world tells me so many ways that I can live my life: for my job, to make my name known, it shows me what friendships look like, what marriage looks like, how I should be treating the nations. And each night as we worshiped Him and read truth, we became less like this world. I also feel like John 17:21 where He says, “And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me”. Because as [believers] we all became more mature in Christ. When we go into the dorms or in class or in our jobs, our friends will know, probably because we can’t keep our mouths shut about our King, that God sent Jesus to the world to offer salvation.”
2) Logan Cullison (The Rock – UNOmaha)
God really used this summer to show me that no matter what, He is in control. He has a plan for my life, and while it may differ and change from I have in mind, He shows me where I need to grow. He is always there and beside me, and He will get me through. With this summer in Lincoln and out of my comfort zone, God showed me that sometimes as Christians we are called to be uncomfortable, but God will always be there to comfort me.”
3) Natalie Wiebelhaus (The Rock – UNLincoln)
This was my second SLT and my experiences with both summers were vastly different from each other. I think in a lot of practical ways it was an ‘easier’ experience, being in my own town and all, and having a lot of physical comforts and emotional supports. It was a huge blessing to have all these young people come in and bless our city and our own hearts with their love and generosity. Building deeper relationships with all the Lincoln women was probably my favorite. I enjoyed getting to know people better.
This summer, God has stressed the importance of love. Basically, I think God is asking me to have a heart that is more easily moved and touched. For me, this means being willing to be transparent, instead of hiding things I’m not sure I’d like anyone else to see.
[Also], abiding in His love helps me to remain in His purposes for me instead of waiting for myself to catch up with my life, which may never happen, and hoping the future will work out something great someday, rather than trusting God to do something great right now. The present is a pretty great time and I’m praying to make the most of it.”