Summer Staff Stories - TEAMeffort
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Noah Durbin
Rockport TX 2019 & Houston TX 2018
When I was on staff at the Houston camp, it was an amazing experience. I learned so much from my director, staff, youth leaders, and the people in the community. One of the lessons I learned is that no matter what you go through, you can always serve people. I learned this by seeing the people we worked for as examples. They lost everything twice in their lives. They first lost everything when many were forced to leave Cambodia during the coup that took over their government. It was no longer safe so they moved to Rosharon, TX and started their lives as farmers. Then they lost everything during Hurricane Harvey. The hurricane not only destroyed their houses but their only source of income since their land and houses were destroyed. But, all of that still did not stop them from serving us. Every Thursday, the community would prepare our TE camp lunches. They wanted to thank us for the work we did each week. They were always happy to see us come to the village, and not because their houses were being rebuilt, but because they loved seeing and talking to people who were willing to help someone in need. I thank God for the opportunity to work in Rosharon, TX and for my staff. It was the best! 

Kate Bellamy
Blue Knob 2019 & Virginia Beach 2018
A TEAMeffort summer is like no other. Going into this community of people who are from everywhere is a little scary. You know almost no one but when you get there you feel so loved. When you go into a TEAMeffort summer you are surrounded by people who are showing Gods love to everyone and who are working for him. I learned so much about myself and I grew so much. Having people pour into you and being able to pour into others is amazing! Meeting new staff, youth, and homeowners and learning about them and leading them through things spiritually and physically is awesome. The summer does get tough sometimes but having people around you that support you and believe in you show you and remind you why you are there. It is so rewarding to take a step back and look at all you have done as a staff and all the growth you have made and others.

Meggie Baker
Sioux Nation 2019 & Puerto Rico 2018
My first summer as a summer staff in Puerto Rico was an amazing one! I met so many beautiful people and learned something from each of them. The messages taught me something each night, even on week 8. I learned what it looks like to truly step out of my comfort zone and rely completely on God and now that I'm home I'm learning what it looks like for me to cast my nets here. It's been a joy!

Jacob Holloway

Conway, SC 2019, Virginia Beach 2018 & Copperhill Staff 2017
I went into my TEAMeffort summer with absolutely no expectations and came out with one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had. It totally removed me from my comfort zone, as I got to spend week after week with kids from all over the country and helping them work together to serve a community in need.  By August, I had eight new best friends that I can count on for anything. It's amazing to be a part of such a close-knit community of believers and to share every moment in fellowship with each other.  I was blessed to work with some of the most amazing kids I've ever met week in and week out, getting to know then was one of the greatest opportunities I've ever had. Copperhill was such an amazing place to be because the camp and the areas around it were just incredibly beautiful.  A TEAMeffort summer is exhausting, sometimes stressful, but altogether one of the best ways you could ever choose to spend a summer.

Sioux Nation 2019, Blue Knob 2018 & Puerto Rico Staff 2017
This was my first summer with TEAMeffort Missions, and it was honestly the craziest experience of my life. I was never a camper, so I had no idea what to expect out of this situation. And I am glad for that. I had no expectations at all and God drastically changed the course of my life this summer. I was stretched in ways I had never been stretched before, using strengths I didn't know I possessed. I was able to serve the people of Puerto Rico and the students that came down in a way that I had never done before. God truly taught me the meaning of "servant-leadership" this summer, and I am forever grateful for that. If you're thinking you want to apply but don't know if you are equipped enough to handle it, let me tell you this right now; you aren't, but that's ok. God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called!  I had never touched a saw in my life, yet I had to teach students how to use one. I had never preached a full message before, yet I did so every week. And now, because of my openness to whatever He wanted me to learn this summer, I believe He has called me to pursue full-time ministry because of the lessons I learned. The lessons of leaning on God in every situation, trusting Him to work out even the smallest of details, and allowing Him to speak truth into your life even if it isn't something you believe about yourself. If you're reading this now thinking that you might apply and are looking for a sign from God to do so, here it is. You're not prepared enough to do this job, but that's ok. He is! And He will provide you with the strength and peace to do amazing things for His glory this summer.

Tana Neels
Jacksonville, FL Camp Director 2016; Tahlequah OK Staff 2015;  Blue Knob PA Staff 2014
I've spent 3 summers with TEAMeffort Missions, and each summer has been the source of exponential spiritual growth.  When I first began as a staffer three years ago, I worked with a staff that truly showed me what Christian community was all about - years later, they are still some of the most constant prayer partners and friends throughout my college career.  As a staffer, I had the opportunity to meet groups from across the country, work with homeowners who captured my heart, and make life-long connections.  I learned everything from construction to public speaking through my time with TE.  I'm so grateful for the experience I had in each place I have served.  As a staffer, you have the opportunity to connect directly with groups and serve them on-site and through chapel each night.  As a director, you work with each of the staff members and do more behind-the-scenes coordination and camp organization.  Both roles are incredibly rewarding and worthwhile.  Take a chance - make your summer meaningful!

Makayla Marshall

Golden Isles Staff 2016
Working on staff in Golden Isles, GA was such a moving experience. Only a few of the camps have a Vacation Bible School program and being able to lead one was so awesome. Every day for eight weeks I was with children who wanted to know the love of Jesus. Each day they would come running and smiling awaiting what God had in store. These children taught me more than I taught them and being able to share my story and the love of Christ with them all summer was truly amazing.

Matthew Beyland
Tampa Camp Director 2010; Sautee Camp Director 2011; New Orleans Camp Director 2012; New Orleans/Tampa Camp Director 2013; Gatlinburg Camp Director 2014; 2015 New Orleans Camp Director; & 2016 Copperhill Camp Director

I can honestly say TEAMeffort has changed my life. As a camper I gave my life to Christ and now being on staff has led me to some of the greatest moments in my life. The summer is hard, there's is no doubt about it; however as hard as it is, it's worth it. To see the change that can occur within a community, a staff, or a youth group is so rewarding. As a staff member you will learn more about yourself and will also grow in your faith. For the past three summers I've met some truly incredible people that are like family to me and I owe it all to God and TEAMeffort. 

Jonathan Crites

Puerto Rico Staff 2014, 2015
Puerto Rico 2015 As a TEAMeffort staff member, I grew in my walk with Christ more than I would have ever imagined in one summer. Being challenged physically and spiritually, I learned how to rely on God in difficult situations, and above all, how He is faithful and truly worthy of ALL of our praise. Working in Belgica, a neighborhood in Ponce, I worked with anywhere from ten to twenty campers a week, and one of the most rewarding parts of the summer was seeing how both the youth and homeowners became more and more receptive to each other over the course of each week. Despite the language barrier in some circumstances, the Holy Spirit was (and is) at work in the lives of these people. One homeowner was not very welcoming the first couple weeks (and in previous summers), but over the course of the week my group of youth decided to gift her with a hand-knitted quilt they had spent last year making. Without using many words (as the homeowner only spoke Spanish), they exchanged the gift with her, and received an emotional response full of JOY and LOVE. We are called to love everyone, and in doing so we are the hands and feet of Christ. Witnessing change each week is such a powerful thing, and makes all the hard work meaningful, as it is for the Lord's glory.