Taking up our Cross

Hi everyone! After a weekend of working or having a weekend off we are back into the swing of things. On Monday we had Monday Morning Mania without Bob, but with Sam! The jingle just wasn’t the same, although Sam was a great substitute. We had a great time of getting margin and finding space to just find rest in God, which looked different for every student. After that we had our Ancient Geography of Israel class taught by Rachel! We learned about what cities were located around the coasts of the Sea of Galilee and what people groups were associated with those areas. It varied from Zealots who killed Romans in the name of Jesus to where many of Jesus’ disciples grew up in Capernaum. We also reviewed for our first test next Monday at the end of class. This meant that many of us spent our two hours of study hall preparing by memorizing Hebrew words like gan (garden) and hazurah (fellowship). Others used this time to catch up on homework or reading our next book for book discussion, Scary Close by Donald Miller, which has so far been a fantastic read. We were also introduced to our new speaker Monday night, John Alvarado. He is a missionary and the founder of Reflect Ministries, based in Tijuana, Mexico. They want to show deep love to the people of this region who are living in the largest Red Light District in North America. Some examples of the work they do include: feeding children breakfast every Saturday, rescuing girls from the sex trade, and giving meals to men on the street. He said that being Christian means giving everything you are to God. He used the verse Mark 8:34 “…If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” He wants us to die to ourselves, put an end to living a life for ourselves, and follow him with all that we are.

Tuesday morning started off with a lovely breakfast made by KP and an hour of devotions. This led into our first class of today which was John. We talked about the prologue of John and how he used the term logos (the word) to relate to the people that he was writing to. We split up into group and analyzed different parts of the prologue and came together to find what the big picture of the passage was; to introduce to gospel of John and to lead into his spiritual propaganda. After that we had The Grill with John, a time of question and answer between student and speaker. As a class we learned a lot about John’s life, ministry, and influence. After lunch many of us went off to SWEEPs and others stayed back for Flex Time. Some people were able to do PE with kids from the charter school while others worked kitchen, maintenance, or Support Services. Those of us who had Flex Time did homework or built community with our fellow peers. Tonight John talked about how we are all called to be missionaries in our daily lives, because that is part of being a Christian. He expressed the importance of missions and reaching those who are unreached because us they wouldn’t know any different way to live. We have the Truth and it’s our responsibility to share it. Again, repeating the point that we should deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him. Right after speaker we split into girls and guys and had our weekly fellowship time. The girls staff shared their testimonies over brownies and we got to know them a little bit better. The guys saddled up and went down to main camp to participate in some wild recreation activities. They somewhat split up with one group playing basketball and the other group went down to the beach volleyball court and played some spike ball under very shadowy light.

All in all, it has been an incredible start to the week, and we are very excited to see what is to come. Stay tuned!


Winson Cameron, Rachel, Cori, and Ray



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