Hey everyone, sorry my posts are so few and far between. Literally everything we do here has a story worth sharing with everyone, but finding time is so difficult. It is super hard to understand the intensity and energy wrapped up into every event we do, but we are learning to rely on Christ to revive our strength, and find rest in him.
Here is a quick example of our schedule!
My job at Tocaloma Day Camp in Beverly Hills runs Monday- Friday from 8am-4pm. I am a counselor for a group of 6 year old girls, and I bring them aroung to all of their many activites throughout the day. This past week, all of my girls were still in school, so I doubled as a sports specialist, seeing all different groups of kids and running around playing with them. So tiring!
On Monday nights, we have weekly meetings at our church, which are just like Cru weekly meetings at home. Tuesdays are Action Group nights, where we meet up with our action group after dinner, have a Bible study, and then go sharing. Wednesdays are Date Night With Jesus, where we pick up our dinner in a paper bag, get a packet to go through, and find somewhere in Santa Monica to spend 3 hours of time alone in the word. Thursday is called Teach and Go, because we eat dinner, learn about a new method for evangelism, and then go out sharing. Fridays are free! yaaay! Saturdays are also free until dinner, and then we have a social after, like a scavenger hunt throughout santa monica (my team won because I ruthlessly forced them all to run, against their wills!) or dodgeball and donuts. On Sundays we go to church, have lunch and a meeting, and then go sharing. It's super packed, and every event is really intense, so it is all very draining. But I am so blessed to be here, and I am enjoying the community more and more everyday!
This week was packed with memorable conversations with people. First, on Sunday, I went out with two girls. We ended up finding a middle-aged man relaxing by the beach and began getting to know him. He was slow to open up, but within half an hour, he was telling me about his divorce in process, looking for jobs while currently unemployed, and finally accepting his disease of depression. At one point, he even said he knows that all that is missing from his life is God. This moment was so surreal for me, and he never came to salvation that day, but he looked over cards we had entitled "the skeptics prayer" and "the believer's prayer," which basically are prayers of salvation, and he said he agreed with most of both of them. He said he may come to church with us this Sunday, so please be praying for that! While all of this was going on, one of the girls got to talking with a homeless man who actually approached us. We ended up taking him out to lunch and talking with him for a while, and he also poured out his whole heart. It is still sooo crazy to me how open people are!
On Tuesday night, we were all beyond exhausted, and were dreading going sharing. We even wanted to skip it and just have our Bible study, so we went to a Starbucks on the promenade. Surprise, God had other plans! While I was sitting waiting for everyone, a man just plopped himself down in the chair next to me and started telling me all about his life. Literally. I never asked a single question! He got up and left just as abruptly, but it was enough to change my attitude for the evening. About halfway through our study that night on sanctification, another lady came over and helped herself to the empty chair next to me. She was reading something, so we just continued talking. We didn't speak to her until I was saying goodbye to her, during which she began talking to us. We ended up staying for almost another hour, and she was telling us how excited she was that young women were meeting and having fellowship and spending time in God's word. She ended up telling us she was a producer, and my roommate Alexa, who is studying communications in the entertainment industry, asked her what it is like being a Christian in the industry. It ended up being a special night for Alexa, as the random woman was affirming all of the things Alexa has been so scared of. She said she could tell that Alexa has a special "aura" and a talent for leadership and standing strong in her faith, and that she thinks the entertainment industry needs a young woman like that. She also told us about some of the top secret projects she has in the works. They exchanged contact information, and promised to meet up and continue talking. Also while all this was going on, a young man approached us and noticed that we were having a Bible study. He ended up being a strong Christian looking for a church in Santa Monica, so we invited him to our sunday and monday night services, and he promised to come. By the end of the night, we were all so energized and refreshed and happy and in awe of God's plan. I have basically given up on trying to guess what He has in store!
Soooo much more has happened, and we have already had four salvations this summer! Apparently this is a huge number for Santa Monica Summer Project, because last year saw two salvations all summer. We are not focused on the numbers, but it sure is encouraging! Please keep us all in your prayers, as it gets a little overwhelming realizing we still have six more weeks of this! Love y'all!