Outreach

Outreach is a big part of what we do here on project and I thought I’d share a little bit on what it looks like! One of our outreach opportunities recently was just going out into the community and engaging in conversations to hear what people’s thoughts were on God, Jesus, sin, etc. Our group was assigned to the wharf and while we were able to engage in some spiritual conversations with people, it was more about listening to what they had to say and letting them know we were interested and really cared about their opinion. It was also a great practice for initiating conversations. Not to mention, we got to be on the wharf at sunset….so lovely! Did I mention I love it here?

Another outreach we did this past weekend was throwing a big barn party at the Pan. For the past few summers, one of our director’s friends comes in and brings his massive smoker and graciously provides and cooks all of the food for the party. Then, we get to invite our co-workers to come and hang out and eat free food! It was a great time of being able to engage our co-workers in conversations that we normally wouldn’t be able to in a work setting. While it was a really fun night full of eating, dancing, and games, it was also a time for our guests to be exposed to the gospel. Two of our students got up and shared their testimonies and told how God has changed their lives. Continue to pray that they may understand the gospel in a real way so that they may come to know the saving grace of Jesus! Here’s some fun pictures of the night!

Also, sorry for the awkward post. I really have no idea how this blog thing works and I can’t seem to get pictures to be inserted in between the paragraphs. If anyone has any help for me, I would not be opposed. Thanks for checking in!

Our sign for outreach

The wharf

Here you can see the HUGE smoker that all of our delicious food was cooked in!

The Pan decorated for the night

App girls!

Me and Lauren

Bobbing for apples

Pie eating contest

Beautiful Cali sky!

Me and Katelyn….friends ever since the Minneapolis airport!

Sun shops co-workers!

Redwoods

Well, as you can tell from the length of time that has passed since my last post, it has been BUSY. I thought I’d take the opportunity to share some fun pictures though and give a quick update on how things are going! First of all, this is my first time to California, so it has been so much fun just being able to explore the area. One of my favorite days since I’ve been here is getting the day to go to the Redwood National Forest to hike, skip some rocks in the creek, and even hammock (of course).

View of the train tracks from down below

View from on top

Successfully skipping rocks for the first time ever! Look at that focus

Hammocking!

I’m here!

Whew! So for those of you that are wondering if I have even made it California or not, I have, I promise! It has been such a whirlwind since I’ve gotten here and I have barely had time to sit down and gather my thoughts. But I wanted to let everyone know that I made it safely and it has been an amazing experience so far!

We arrived this past Monday and have been going non-stop since we landed. There are 57 students on project here along with 20 staff so when we arrived it was really overwhelming. But after a few short days, we’ve all gotten to know each other really well and I already count their friendships as such blessings! We are all living in a motel called “The Peter Pan” and it’s a tight squeeze, but it’s so much fun having all these people around.

“The Pan”

This past week has been full of community-building activities, job orientations, and evangelism training. The first full day here, we had a huge scavenger hunt all around Santa Cruz to help orient ourselves and then we had job orientations on Friday morning. Our first day on the job was on Saturday and it was great! I’m working for a company called Miller’s Sun Shops and they own many retail businesses on the boardwalk. I received a lot of training Saturday on the job and I enjoyed getting to know my co-workers. I’m really looking forward to building relationships and spending my summer with them! They love having the “crusaders” here and they are so welcoming towards us. The Lord has really blessed the presence of this summer project in Santa Cruz! Another big part of our time here has been spent in evangelism training for different outreaches we’re doing in the community. We did our first outreach in downtown Santa Cruz yesterday afternoon and it was a great learning experience. Our goal yesterday was to get a good feel of the culture in the city along with getting the opportunity to chat with the locals. I got to talk to a couple different people while we were out for the afternoon and they loved getting to share more about their city and give advice on what to do here….which I loved hearing about! The conversations eventually lead to “Why did you come all the way from North Carolina to Santa Cruz?” and I was able to share more about why our group was here and what we’re hoping to do. It was great practice for initiating conversations with people and hearing what they have to say. All-in-all, it’s been a great first week!

This is our first full week of work so we’re not going to have quite as many project activities but we’re praying that good relationships will start to be made so that our co-workers will want to begin joining us for MNL (Monday Night Live….our Monday night worship service), dinner, etc. Through these things, we’re praying that we can engage in good, spiritual conversations so we may share the Gospel with them! I would love for you to join me in prayer for continued unity within our group, boldness in the workplace, and personal growth for each student here. Also, we’re praying for softened hearts in Santa Cruz as we encounter many people who need Jesus and that our hearts are in a place to love and serve these people well.

Sorry for such a long post! I thought I would get everyone updated on this past week. From now on, I’ll give short updates more often so I promise they won’t all be this long 🙂 Thank you all so much for your prayers and support!