Greetings faithful readers!
Some of you might have noticed that I haven’t come home yet. For those of you haven’t, no hard feelings. I’m just crushed.
Truthfully, though, I did sneak back home the weekend before last to hug my family and pack my things. After that, my brother Justin and I took the 22-hour drive down to Colorado and I finished moving into my new home.
I know there’s been a lot of news going around about the somewhat sudden changes happening in my life. Since I won’t be seeing you guys until Christmas, I want to make sure you get the story directly from me.
Here’s the skinny:
As most of you know, I flew out of PDX 174 days ago (not that anybody’s counting) fully expecting to enjoy a 2-4 months working with Summit Ministries.
[BACKGROUND: Summit hosts 180 students at their Colorado location every two weeks (called a “session”) for world-class worldview training. The students arrive Sunday morning, we orient them after dinner, then Monday’s lectures begin at 8am. The students sit in on a total of 70 hours of lecture and then graduate the second Friday. Saturday we take them back to the airport and clean the historic, Summit hotel. Sunday we start all over again with a new group. The first 4 sessions (8 weeks total) comprise the first half and the second 4 sessions make up the second half)]
Jen Honken, our Colorado Summer Program Director had told me that, as a policy, they don’t allow first year staffers to work both halves but that I should buy a one-way ticket and we’d reevaluate after I got there.
Due to the Waldo Canyon fire, we evacuated our students during Session 3 and then moved the entire operation to Denver for Session 4 –for the first time in Summit’s 50-year history. I was often told that it wasn’t a “normal” summer.
While in Denver, John Stonestreet, our former Executive Director, called me over and said, “You’re staying for second half, right?” I said sure and, just like that, signed up for another 8-week stay.
Second half would turn out to be a lot easier. Not having the most destructive forest fire in Colorado history happening less than 3 miles away from campus helped a bit. Plus, I was officially given the role of Classroom Supervisor –meaning I oversaw all of Summit’s classroom operations and trained and supported our 4 classroom directors.
During the second half, Eric Smith, who was (at the time) the Executive Director for Programs and Operations, sat down with me and asked if I’d be willing to take on a new project they were hoping to launch the following year. We had a couple of conversations about it and I told him I was definitely interested.
After those talks, I flew out to join the A Passion for Jesus team as a speaker for their conference/retreat tour of Florida, Georgia and Alabama. That’s a completely different story, but when I got back to Summit, Eric and I resumed our talks.
While I’d been gone, there had been some re-shuffling. Summit had recently been awarded a grant to update their Highschool level curriculum, Understanding the Times (which I’d taught since 2007). Eric had taken on the role of the Project Manager, but since that was in addition to his new role as Executive Director (taking Stonestreet’s place who had moved over to the Colson Center full-time), he knew he was going to need some help. So he was wondering if I would come onboard as the Assistant Project Manager as well as his own special assistant for a handful of internal, administrative projects.
I very quickly agreed.
So last Monday, Eric and I agreed on the job specifics. Thursday, Summit’s President, Dr. Myers signed off and I officially begin working full-time for Summit Ministries as the Assistant Project Manager for the Understanding the Times Revision and Special Assistant to the Executive Director for –which is a very fancy way of saying that I’ll be sitting at a computer or in meetings serving the rest of the full-time staff.
I’m excited, to say the least. But more than that, I’m grateful.
God has been extraordinarily gracious to me here in Colorado. Every day has greeted me with challenges I’ve needed to face, fears I’ve needed to confront, blessings I’ve needed to steward, friends to keep me light-hearted about it all and grace to see it all as heaven-sent.
Please keep all of us here at Summit in your prayers. If you know any students who are or might be interested in one of Summit’s programs, just have them get in touch with. I’d love to talk them into it.
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