What Makes A TEAMeffort Summer?

Can you believe the summer is already over? We here in the office are already planning for next year, but the memories of the summer are still fresh in our minds.

If you’ve ever been on staff before, you might find yourself separating the year in your mind: TEAMeffort Summer vs. the rest of the year…

We are definitely right there with you on that one.

So what is it that makes a TE summer so special? Why are those two short months so life changing? Why do we have the most fun sleeping on church floors and going without showers? (Really though, we didn’t shower a whole lot.)

I asked some of our office staff that very question and here’s what they thought…

Seeing students "get it"... This summer, a student shared about seeing his need for a relationship with Jesus. He talked with his youth pastor and decided to get baptized in our lake in Jacksonville, FL! He didn't want to wait. That was pretty cool!     (Rachel Boulanger)

Gaining new "family"... This group of strangers you're living and working with becomes a family in those two months. When I look back on a summer, I don't think about lack of showers or sleep, I think of all the people that made the summer special. PLUS, by the end, you know you always have a friend to see when you travel.    (Ren Wilson and Carly Hall)

No sleep = irrational crankyness = funny stories later on... We have quite a few hilarious stories by the end of a summer. (Carly Hall)

Forming relationships with people in the community we serve... This past summer I had to opportunity to work at our New Orleans camp as well as our new camp, Gulf Coast, MS. In each location I was able to form friendships that were focused on the Lord and seeing his glory brought to each community! From Ms. Johanna, our lovely homeowner in Mississippi, who would knit hats and slippers for each of our groups, to Pastor Jack and his church family in New Orleans, who would cook us lunch every Thursday, each camp is filled with loving relationships that bring light of God's great name to the communities!      (Matt Beyland)

Chapel... There is nothing better than seeing students rejoice in the Lord. To see youth groups lay themselves down before God and worship his name is one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen. A community of believers shouting praise to our Father! What could be better?      (Matt Beyland)

Being completely worn out and overwhelmed... One thing that I've noticed during many TEAMeffort summers is that you have to depend on the Lord for so much.  So much is going on and you are so busy, it's impossible to do everything by your own strength.  There have been so many moments that I have been overwhelmed, but the Lord always gives me the strength or the peace I need to carry on.    (Caleb Vermilya)

Mission site stories... We allow the campers to come up in front of everyone and share how they have seen God on the mission site.  Some stories end up being hilarious and sometimes you really see the kids open up and share what the Lord is doing and it provides some really beautiful stories.  You sit back and think to yourself, "This is it. This is why I'm here. To see these kids and home owners growing closer to Jesus."  There's nothing better than that.     (Caleb Vermilya)

What do YOU think makes a TEAMeffort summer?