Thursday, June 11, 2009

OCSP09: The Diagnosis

Established in 1967, Ocean City Summer Project has since become a yearly event for Campus Crusade for Christ. It was the first one of its kind, but due to its incredible success, Summer Projects have now spread all across the U.S. and worldwide. So, what exactly is the point of bringing 100+ christian college students from all across America to a tiny tourist spot on the east coast, housing a majority of them in a massive rickety old building, and integrating them slowly into the surrounding community? The answer is three-fold.

The first is for our spiritual benefit. Since I have gotten here, I have been subjected to so much spiritual doctrine I have felt information overload at times, and that's saying quite a lot because I'm an avid information sponge. I enjoy knowing things and having random pieces of knowledge tucked away in the corners of my mind, but the supersaturation that occurs here, especially during the first week, has everyone scrambling to refresh/reacquaint themselves with their bibles. Since then, things have calmed down quite a bit as we got jobs and slid into a daily routine that will further cement itself in the coming weeks. The learning is still ever-present and applied to every situation, but it's not overwhelming anymore. The doctrine is rich, the conversations are deep, and the relationships are intimate, transparent, and require a level of vulnerability I would love to see the secular world even attempt to replicate. Indeed, I believe it is necessary for the soul to have people know you as well as some of these guys are beginning to know me, and the summer is still very young. All this training will be put into use when we go back to our respective universities in the fall and become leaders of the on-campus movements there.

The second reason is for the purpose of evangelism. (A topic I will probably write extensively on later but for now will just skim.) Because this is a tourist spot, the beaches fill to capacity during the weekend which means thousands of people laying out tanning on the beach with nothing better to do than take our Spiritual Surveys and, if they are interested, learn about what Christians actually believe. I'm betting some of you reading my post right now don't know what that is. Oh, you may think you "know" what Christianity is, but I doubt you really do. I say this because most people I've done the survey with that claim to be a follower of Christ or come from a "Jesus-loving" background actually have no fricken clue what they "believe" at all, so we do our best to educate them mostly by guiding them through the Four Spiritual Laws which I'm thinking about covering in the next four posts, one for each. For the non-Christians reading this, I urge you to actually read through my next couple posts, not to change your life, but to change the way you view Christianity in general. I believe you will find that much of the stuff you may disagree with or dislike about Christianity is not even really Christian doctrine at all. But, the message (especially law number two) is offensive, just a warning.

The final and most importent reason why we are here is the same reason a Christian should have to do anything he/she does, to glorify God (1 Cor 10:31). Everything that exists (even God Himself) exists to proclaim His glory. Therefore, He is most pleased with us when we find our satisfaction in Him, and recently, I have found a great well of satisfaction in my Heavenly Father which could probably be said for everybody else on this project as well. For His glory and His glory alone, I pray that we here in Ocean City continue to do His work as enthusiastically as we have been the past two weeks or even more enthusiastically as time progresses, for there is much still left here to do. "I tell you, open your eyes and look to the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so the sower and the reaper may be glad together." (John 4:35-36)

"No single raindrop believes that it is the one to blame for the devastating flood." - Anonymous

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