Preparation for Internship Program

In case you're confused, yes this is a second version of the same blog written by the same guy. It's like a sequel to my previous blogs, let's call it Tyson’s Blog 2: Electric Boogaloo. These will be similar to the first ones but also have some key differences and experiences. I’m excited to be able to compare not only what was happening, but who I was last year compared to who I am this year. And I hope you enjoy seeing that change as well. The first time I did the internship was also my first experience with TEAMeffort, so I'm excited to be back and have a frame of reference for how spring break and summer work. TEAMeffort is a youth missions organization that takes youth groups on mission trips around the United States. Working as an intern means that I will be helping with spring break camps, helping to prepare for and serve in summer camps, going on a domestic mission trip, working alongside TEAMeffort staff, and learning from the TEAMeffort staff and community leaders. Being able to be back in the place where I changed a lot and saw myself start to become more of who God is calling me to be is super encouraging and exciting. This time will be different since I'll be balancing the internship with school, being a substitute teacher, and just life in general. I'm grateful for the opportunity to come back and be able to serve in a different context with some different people. I am extremely excited to see what God has planned for me this year and what changes I'll see happen. Thank you so much for reading and in case I don't see you, good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight!

Starting the Internship Program

The wait is over! The internship has finally begun. As of February 7th, everyone was here and the program began. It's been exciting to get the ball rolling on a few different projects and recruiting trips. We have already started working on spring break stuff, and I am so excited to be working with this amazing crew!!!! I can't wait to get back on a mission site and see some familiar faces from last year. I am slightly nervous about balancing school and spring break, but I'm ready for the challenge. My overall travel experience was pretty normal, except for the lack of Atlanta traffic. The only thing that stands out is I was standing on the beach, while my house was expecting snow. Man, I love Florida weather!!!!!! Seeing the office staff has been awesome. I haven't seen most of them since the first few weeks of summer so it has been great to reconnect. The interns have been super cool to meet and hang out with. I'm am blessed to be working with amazing people!

Spring Break Prep

Spring break is just around the corner!!!! Which means camp is almost here!! I am super excited to be able to work with churches that I worked with last year. I can't wait to hear how they have grown and what they are looking forward to that week. During spring break I will be helping lead mission sites, play guitar and sing for worship, and give a message on Wednesday night. I am super excited to get back in the rhythm of mission sites and chapel, and see how much I have learned since last year.

It's been one month since the internship started! I have had so much fun working alongside the other interns and office staff. It has been really cool to see how much I have changed since last year and I can't wait to see how I continue to grow and change as we head into summer. I have also had the opportunity to start serving in the youth program at the church I attend. I am excited to see how God uses me this spring break and this summer. Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day!!

Easter Break

Well with two weeks of camp behind me, it was really nice to take a break. I was able to catch up on a ton of school work, serve at church, and see some family. Being able to see my family was so much fun. I had so much fun telling stories, playing games, and watching the game show network! Spending Easter with them was great, I even filled in for my cousin in some of the pictures taken.

It was cool to see that friends and family have seen me grow in change especially because I changed so drastically last year. They said I am more mature and dedicated, both to the seventh graders I lead at church and when it comes to playing guitar. These comments have honestly given me so much joy and encouragement, even more than they know.
I absolutely loved doing spring break. It was so much fun being able to hang out with previous campers and chaperones as well as meet new people. Something more challenging for me was leading worship. I haven't done it since summer, the first couple nights felt a bit hard and stressful. I loved seeing how much the students poured into their work and the people serving. I also loved being able to see the other interns step outside of their comfort zones and do an absolutely incredible job those weeks

With the break coming to an end, it means summer is approaching fast. I hope that I find the summer fun and exciting, but also that I grow in new and exciting ways. I ask that you pray not only for me, but all of those who are going to be involved with it. Thank you so much for all your thoughts and prayers, and have a terrific day!!

South Carolina Trip

Roughly a week ago, the entire office went up to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for a trip. The trip was both a fun trip but also a trip where we moved some mattresses for the Western Kentucky trip. We went to the beach, played mini golf, and took 30 minutes to pick a movie. This was the first trip we went on as office staff and interns, and it was really good for bonding and growing as a staff.

It was also nice to be present and stay in the moment for a while, not worrying about what was going to happen in a month with summer, but focus on the friendships and relationships we have been building for the past few months. It was also hard knowing that this would be one of the last big things we do as a group, before we part ways and head off to different camps for summer.

So now we are, as I am writing this, three weeks away from the start of training!!!! I can't wait to be able to meet the staff that I will have the opportunity to pour into for the summer. I can't wait to watch them grow in different areas in their life. I ask for prayers, for the staff, the leaders, and the campers this summer that they come with hearts willing to serve those in need. Thank you so much for reading, and have a great rest of your day!!!!!

Preparing for Training

This is the last blog until summer starts!!!!! I'm excited to say that I will be staying in Jacksonville as director this summer!!! I love the camp and am already extremely familiar with and know the worksites well too! It's cool that I get to serve in a community that I have been living in for a while now and have people I know see what I do.

I have a group chat with the staff. Most of the time we talk about mountain dew or country music, you know guys stuff. They are super excited to get here and enjoy the lake! I'm hoping that this summer I grow in my trust in God and giving all of it to him. The summer is long and tiring and when I try to do it on my own it doesn't work out. So with this new position and experience my goal is to give it all to Him, and let Him lead me in the way He wants.

This summer all of us interns are spread out between three different states! So keeping up with each other is gonna be a little tricky. Especially since everyone has different things that they are working on and serving in different compacities. Probably the best thing to stay in communication is our group chat and maybe calling occasionally.

I pray for the leaders and and students going to all the camps that they may have hearts willing to serve as well as listening to the messages prepared. I pray for the staff for endurance and excitement through the summer. I ask that you pray for us as well, and keep everyone in your prayers through out the summer.

Summer Staff

Summer has begun! My life got really chaotic, stressful, and awesome! I've been directing the Jacksonville Camp as well as doing worship! It's been awesome to be able to lead in the place where I started living differently! The groups have been so much fun and have really helped me grow in my leadership capabilities. I've also had the chance to travel. As I'm writing this I am sitting in a cabin up in Copperhill Tennessee, where I actually spent most of my summer last year. A week ago I was down in New Orleans serving at the Ida camp. I got to lead worship and share my message which was super cool! I ask that you keep me and the staff in our prayers as we get things ready for our big week of 90! I also ask for prayers for the homeowners we are serving and we may bless the with our service and love we give!

Post Summer

Well…summer is over! It was stressful, fun, and enriching. There were times this summer where I felt like nothing could stop me, and other times when everything could. I had to learn quick to put all my faith and trust in God or I never would have gotten things done. I got to see not only my staff grow but me as well, as I grew in my relationship with God. What was cool about summer was being able to worship when I was stressed. Taking my guitar to the lake or field became my way of both thanking the Lord for bringing me to where I am and asking for strength to keep going. 
This summer I also traveled to two different camps! One was Louisiana, where I got to try some delicious Cajun cuisine. The other was Copperhill, which meant I was able to see family for the first time in a while. Both trips came exactly when I needed them, but they also stretched me in different ways. I am so happy I got to be a part of all the camps.
So I guess this is where I say what comes next…and honestly I'm not sure. I have no answers. Which is great because I have no expectations to do anything, but terrifying because I have nothing to catch me if I fall. So I ask for prayer as i take this next step in life, that I keep putting all my trust in God and that I rely on Him fully. Thanks for keeping me in your prayers this year! And in case I don't see you, good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight!!!

Preparation for Internship Program

Hello, my name is Tyson Kuyper. I am 19 years old and currently live in Jasper, Georgia which is about an hour north of Atlanta. It’s hard for me to believe that I will be leaving so soon for Green Cove Springs to work with TEAMeffort as an intern. TEAMeffort is a youth missions organization that takes youth groups on mission trips around the United States. Working as an intern means that I will be helping with spring break camps, helping to prepare for and serve in summer camps, going on a domestic mission trip, working alongside TEAMeffort staff and learning from the TEAMeffort staff, and community leaders. I am very thankful that TEAMeffort has an internship program that will help grow my faith while helping me discover opportunities for my future. The Bible verse that best describes my hope for this time is Matthew 5:16; “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”. God is the One who deserves all of our praise and our focus should be on Him. The purpose of serving others is not to make ourselves look good, but to bring those we serve closer to Him. Over the past few weeks, I have been getting ready by packing, praying, being mentored by my uncle, and helping daily at my church. As much I am excited about this opportunity this will be the longest time I will be living without my family, so I am nervous about being on my own. I am glad that I will be on a TEAM that will be there to support and help each other.   

Starting the Internship Program

After months of planning and preparation, it feels great to finally start the internship and have the opportunity to serve those in need. As I start this program, I hope that it helps make me grow both in my faith and in my maturity. I am also happy for the opportunity to work with TEAMeffort. I love mission work and after last summer got canceled it was great to hear about a chance to serve others. While my drive down wasn't very exciting, it was my first time driving through Atlanta. It was also my first time driving to a different state on my own. While I enjoyed controlling the music and where to get lunch, I did miss the road trip atmosphere that driving with my family has. When I arrived at the camp, it was weird knowing that this would be my home for a while. It was nice to meet the other interns and the office staff in person. I am excited to serve alongside everyone for the next 5 months. Thank you to everyone who has helped me get here and to those who have kept me in their prayers. I can't wait to share my experiences and stories with you.

West Virginia Retreat

If you would have told me that I would go from swimming one day to skiing the next, I wouldn't have believed you. But that all changed last week when we went to West Virginia for a couple of days. It was a nice way of taking a break from work before we have campers show up. Growing up in Georgia, when it snows you can sled but that's about it. In West Virginia, not only did the resort make enough snow that you could ski down the mountain, but on our last day at the resort, it actually snowed. I'm not really big on snow or cold weather but it was beautiful. Nights on the trip were used as a time to fellowship and worship. Someone would share a devotion and we would sing some songs. It was nice. After worship, we all sat together laughing and talking. That Saturday we drove back to Florida sharing favorite things about the trip. And while I didn't ski much, I will never forget the time I went to West Virginia with TEAMeffort and the memories we made there.

Preparation for Spring Break

Spring break is on its way, which means we have done a lot of preparation to get ready for campers. We are doing everything from shopping to practicing worship. I am super excited to start working with campers. It will be great to get to know these youth groups and get to pour into them for the week. I am a little nervous to lead a mission site for the first time. But at the same time I am ready to start serving in the community alongside campers. 

At nights I will be on the worship team for chapel. It's been fun to learn music and rehearse alongside some very talented people. I'm also excited to give a message on one of the nights. What's great about the message is it was a fully collaborative project for all the interns. 
My hope for the campers is that they come here and have the time of their life. That they use this week to grow close to Christ and their youth groups. For me, camp was one of the most influential times in my life and I pray it's like that for the campers. Over the past month of being here I have grown a ton. I have grown close to God in a way I never imagined. Through weekly discipleship I have started to find who I am and what I'm meant to do. I couldn't have done any of this without the prayers and support of everyone out there. I am excited to be able to share what I have gotten out of this experience with everyone. I just want to say thank you again to everyone for praying for me. I have changed in ways that I never thought possible until I came here. So thank you again, and have a great day.

Easter Break

After three amazing weeks of spring break camp, I got the chance to go hang out with some family. It was nice being able to sit and talk with family and tell them all about what I had done for the past few months. This was one of the first times I can remember hanging out with my grandma and cousins without my parents. Because of that, I sort of became the favorite. This led to some super cool moments of playing with cousins and even getting to feed some bears (this was at a ranch where they let you do this kind of thing). But honestly, my favorite part was getting to spend Easter with my grandma. Since my dad is a preacher, we don’t really travel around Easter and the last time that I spent Easter with my grandma was 10 years ago when my grandpa had died. It was nice being able to talk about him and what he meant to both of us. I didn’t really notice how much I have changed until my family had pointed it out. For one I have this really cool tan line on my feet from wearing sandals. They also said that they noticed how I have matured both spiritually and emotionally. Because of that, I was able to open up and be honest about what I have planned for my future. Spring break was incredible. Serving alongside teens who have a heart for helping those in need was amazing. One week we were able to go and work with some homeless shelters. Seeing these kids just walk up and start talking to people and asking how they could pray for them was incredible. When it came to the construction aspect, that was challenging. If you have ever met my family, you know that construction is not our strong suit. So, leading a group of teens to build a pump house was a challenge for me. But seeing it be finished and seeing the homeowner’s reaction was worth it. One of the ways that I saw God move was how the kids responded to the chapel messages. It seemed like the kids took what we said to heart. I thank God for three incredible weeks of camp, a great vacation, and a fantastic and rainy drive back.

Mission Trip to North Carolina

We just got back from our mission trip to North Carolina which was an amazing experience. Our team worked on a bunch of different work sites in helping the damages from Hurricane Florence that drastically affected the communities in NC. Going to a new place for missions always gives me insight and a reminder of the need and how it's where you least expect it and how anything is done to help gives the greatest impact! We mainly did drywall work, helped build a wheelchair-accessible ramp, part of a bathroom demo, and some framing which was all newer work for me, so it was a fun learning experience. I think waking up early was the most challenging thing I encountered, but I had a very nice and gentle alarm clock thanks to one of the office staff. Eating cake every night was a definite highlight and the cookout on the way down! My favorite bonding experience would hands down be jamming to worship music while mudding and sanding with everyone! On the day we did the bathroom demo, God was moving in ways we didn’t notice immediately. The removal of the tub was a difficult process that went on four hours, but the tub was only moving a couple of inches. But the project wasn’t the real reason we were sent to this house in God’s eyes, it was the homeowner! 
Ms. Ginger was the sweetest woman, and her heart was so full of love. We noticed that while throwing this beautiful broken-up tile that she had mentioned it was put in by her mom and dad so long ago and we could tell her heart was hurting as it was gone. We three decided to save a piece of the tile and chip it away and put it on a stand for her, and she was beyond grateful, and it brought tears to her eyes. It made me realize that yes, we are on a mission trip to help rebuild homes, but God had a mission of His own all along to reach Ms. Ginger and her heart! This mission trip was fun and always moving and on the go. The internship has prepared me individually to fuel myself so that I can go out and fuel others on the mission field. Someone explained it to me like a bucket and a hose…. there is only so much you pour into others before your bucket runs dry so it's always important to spend alone time with the Lord and fuel your body!

Summer Prep

In two weeks staff training starts and not long after that we start the summer. I am a little nervous about juggling all the responsibilities I will have over the summer. I am also nervous about making sure I spend time with God and not letting being tired get in the way. But I am excited to be able to serve in the community I have been living in since February. With Jacksonville being the smallest camp, I am excited for the chance to build closer relationships with the campers.

This summer I have the honor of staying here at the Jacksonville camp. I am ecstatic about staying here since this is where I have been since the start of the internship, I know it pretty well. I love the area around it and just love the camp in general. We have a lake, a basketball court, and lots of wildlife. I think the best part about staying here is I already have the perfect spot to do my quiet time.
When thinking about how I want to grow this summer and what I want God to show me, one thing that comes to mind is that God shows me what is next for after summer. I have a few ideas of what I want to do but nothing is nailed down. I also hope to learn how to maintain an intimate relationship with God despite being busier than I have been the past couple of weeks.

I am praying that God uses me to impact their lives and give Him all the glory. I also pray that God uses these campers and other staff to make an impact on me and teach me new things as well as grow together as a youth group.

Summer with TEAMeffort Missions

What an incredible summer it has been so far! I have had the opportunity to be a part of 3 different staffs for the summer and each has been very different. The first staff in Jacksonville was the smallest staff and amount of campers I have worked with. My group was so much fun and really made a difference in my homeowner's life.

The next week I made my way up to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I was able to make a quick pit stop at my parent's house which was great just to relax and sleep in a non-camp bed for a night. In Gatlinburg, I had 2 groups who were both amazing. We worked with a super cool ministry helping do some sorting for a thrift store and added onto a trail. One night I lost a game with my group and had to wear a wig as part of leading the game for chapel. Apparently, I looked like Ed Sheeran.

After that, I made my way to Copperhill which is where I have been since. It is super exciting to be able to serve in an area close to where I live. I have also been able to share a message on Monday nights and sometimes do some worship. This summer has been both fun as well as hard sometimes. But through all of it, I have relied on God to help bring me through. Thank you for all the prayers for me and those whose lives I touch.

Nearing the End of the Summer

It's hard to believe that the summer is almost over! It feels like I have only been gone for a month when really I have been away since February. These last few weeks have been hard, because I know I'm getting to the end. All of the growth I've had and all the memories I've made will impact my life forever. I've built decks, lead worship, and made lasting relationships with youth groups.

The past couple of weeks have been an eye-opener to me. I have been able to share some of my testimony most weeks during chapel and the past few times, I had some good conversations about how I got to where I am. It's amazing to see campers relate to what I've gone through and be able to help them through it. Its also been fun to learn from the chaperones and hear how they got to where they are. I have been given countless pieces of advice that will help me as I strive towards being a youth minister.

I think one of the things that have helped me this summer is how close I am to my home. Having the opportunity to take a break from camp and go home for a weekend or two has been extremely helpful. It also allowed me to share my experiences with my family and my church. Being able to hear from my family that they have noticed a change in me has been incredible and I hope I can continue to change.

I want to say thank you to everyone for praying for me through this internship. I ask that you keep praying and that you pray for all the campers going to each of the camps this last week. Thank you so memorable!