A Summer Staff Testimony: Honesty Produces More Honesty

Crystal H. is serving with TEAMeffort this summer in PA. Crystal’s spiritual life has flourished at camp because of her relationship with others. She is learning from them, they’re keeping her accountable and praying for her, and her comfort with transparency is allowing others to feel safe being transparent too.

God is showing more of Himself to me through Scripture.

He has also been challenging a lot of my thoughts this summer. God asked me one day in the car when I was lost (for 2 hours) and trying to deliver concrete to a site. God asked me "Crystal, if I really am as big as you say I am, why are you stressed?"

I've learned so much from people this summer!

From my staff, specifically, I've learned a lot. From Austin I've learned how to better formulate plans and see things from a different perspective. Carrie has helped me be more logical and compassionate. Emily’s example has encouraged me to be more empathetic and present. Victoria has taught me how to be more patient and kind, have more tenacity, and honor boundaries I have set. My staff makes me a better person!! They make me look more like Jesus and push me towards holiness and sanctification.

We have had a great response to chapel here in Altoona this summer!

My staff has been incredibly vulnerable and gut level honest in their staff stories and it's had a beautiful ripple effect. When we are honest about the hard parts of our story and how the Lord redeemed that or used it, we hear from youth leaders all the time that their students are opening up in group discussions. Youth leaders are leaving camp with a much stronger connection to their students than when they came in. I've had multiple youth leaders tell me they had no idea what their students were walking through, or the depth of struggle they were in, until this trip. Now they are praying more specifically for them and available to them for the help they need.

I’ve been learning the importance of being honest in a loving way.

The only way we can form deeper relationships is being honest with so much love. A student talked to me after I had given the chapel message on Tuesday night about identity. She was walking through similar struggles at home that I shared for my testimony and she questioned how I trusted the Lord in such a hard time. It led to a deeper connection and a beautiful conversation. I find being honest and real with people wherever I go will allow me to grow deeper in my relationships with people.
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