"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." Hebrews 6:19
Ocean City Beach Project has already been one of the most influential parts of my Christian faith.
Our white house on the corner of Wesley and 7th, also known as the Ark, quickly became home to all of the students. My other twenty six Jesus-hungry peers come with different stories, talents, and passions. The unique diversity each individual brings, coupled with a concrete common ground of Christ and a desire to lead, formats one of the most beautiful communities I have ever been a part of. Simply put, it’s a family. It is a place of hospitality, acceptance, laughter and growth. One snapshot of this could be found by looking at our dinners. Each night we sit down and eat together, followed by a student or two sharing their testimony. That’s good food, Jesus, and vulnerability, folks.
The basis of the program is to transform college students to be better leaders, get a clearer picture of God’s call in their life, and ultimately in turn transform the world for Christ. Each student has a job throughout the day which enables us to be a part of the community. With this job comes the opportunity to truly have a servant’s heart in our daily lives and to be immersed in the world of ministry. We are encouraged to invite co-workers over for dinner. We are challenged to live out our faith in the work place. We are given responsibility.
Furthermore, in the evenings, we are blessed with speakers who teach truth into our lives; everything from gospel identity, to bible study leading techniques, to strength finders material. We are also diving into the book of Mark together this summer. Broken up into small groups, we are then each able to lead a bible study on a specific passage of Mark. We have discussion groups about Tim Keller’s Gospel in Life series which are particularly challenging to how we practically live out the gospel. On top of this, there is a more intimate group called a triad; a staff member and two students. The triad groups are reading through A Gospel Centered Life and digging into everything on a much more personal level. I can’t fail to mention having house worship each week or being connected with a local church and investing in them (even by little ways such as joining the choir).
God is constantly revealing himself as we constantly seek him. I am humbled by the amount I have learned in my short time here. Everyone in the program is hungry, thirsty, and desperate for Christ- and he satisfies. I am so grateful for experiencing that satisfaction that doesn’t disappoint or leave me empty. I am thankful to learn more about myself. I am in love, quite frankly, with Jesus.
This season of my life is evidently a time of contentment and restoration that can only be found in Christ. After a storm, there is shock. After shock, there is acceptance and initial healing. Yet there is one aspect that often gets overlooked; the rebuilding, rediscovering, redirecting and attending. This is the step that requires action. I’ve experienced many storms and mindlessly continued to live among the rubble instead of clearing out the junk and replacing it with something beautiful.
The Beach Project has been so vital in clearing out the trash in my heart. Being surrounded by a Christian community has been incredible. Sharing my story and experiencing acceptance, freedom, iron sharpening iron, Christ chasing after me daily. Praise be to God!
Wounds are being healed and replaced with the appearance of beautiful scars. Redemption is bringing glory to the only one who deserves it. Growth is evident and love is easier. Positive action is not only wanted, but needed. Walls are crumbling, truth is not only heard but believed, and prayers for more faith are constantly whispered in longing of an adopted daughter’s heart.