Why I'm Not Giving Up My Summer

This upcoming summer will be my 6th summer with TEAMeffort and almost every time I try to explain what I do during the summer someone says back, “Wow, I can’t believe you would give up your whole summer to do that!” But the truth is, I’m not giving up a summer.

Sure, there are things that I’m “giving up”. I’m “giving up” a summer driving around my hometown with friends. I’m “giving up” getting a nice even tan at the community pool. I’m “giving up” barbeques, baseball games, and sleep. But what I get out of a TEAMeffort Summer is more rewarding than anything a relaxing summer could offer.

During the summers, not only am I able to live with brothers and sisters in Christ, but I’m also able to serve with them, laugh with them, cry with them, dance with them and share life with them. Each summer has granted me friendships that will last forever.

During summers I meet so many leaders who have been working with youth way longer than I have and are almost always willing to offer me advice when it comes to working with teens. Spending a week learning from these youth leaders is an experience I couldn’t gain if I were spending my summer anywhere else.

Leadership experience.
Each day I go out with a group of students and lead them in serving a community that I call home for two months. I lead them in devotions, group activities, and working on homes. I teach them how to build decks, ramps, and relationships.

Real and authentic time with Jesus.
Each summer I am stretched so many different ways yet I am still constantly encouraged to spend time with the Lord daily and praise Him for all He’s doing.

Jesus told us to go, and that’s what I do during the summers, I go and I tell people about Him. Because I do that, I learn about different cultures within the United States that I would have never learned about before. I learn about how other people live and how I can use my resources to help them.
To me, a TEAMeffort Summer is not really “giving up” anything, it’s building, growing, and strengthening my relationships with others and my relationship with Jesus, and I can’t think of anything else I’d want to do this summer.