Hello friends! After a couple of weeks in Charleston, I decided it was time to write about it and give you a peek at some of what I've been doing, the sights I've been seeing, the people who are quickly becoming my family while I'm here, and the FUN we've been having!
I really like Charleston. I love old, historic areas in general, and Charleston definitely exceeds my hopes and expectations. One of my faovrite things about the city is that people bike all the time. I brought my bicycle and have been exploring the city - bouncing down cobblestone streets, making note of all of the quaint locally owned coffee shops, enjoying parks, and taking in the scenery along the river. I have also found a great running route right along the river, complete with great views and a nice breeze the whole way!
|Don't you wish you could look a this on your morning run?|
The first week here was spent with just the staff team (which is pretty much an all-star team, if I can just make that quick judgment - we seriously have an amazing staff team and I'm so blessed to work with such great people!) We had lots of meetings, spent lots of really good intentional time getting to know each other deeply, and also just hung out and had fun together. A strongly bonded staff team is a really important aspect of a healthy and great summer project.
One thing I have really appreciated about working for Cru is that the organization as a whole really values the overall health of its staff. We are encouraged to take time for ourselves, take care of our bodies, and do what we need to do to stay healthy in all areas of life - physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. One way that they really care for our spiritual health is by scheduling a "Day with the Lord" once a month in which we take a whole day to just be alone with God. No phone calls, students aren't allowed to call us unless there's an emergency, and we just rest and delight in the Lord. On project we also have time scheduled into our week - both for the staff and the students - for time alone with the Lord.
Sunday afternoon I spent my time with the Lord in this park. It was lovely.
|My new favorite park. Next time I'm bringing my hammock!|
My favorite term is "on the project." Translated - something fun that was planned for and budgeted into our project cost from the beginning; a.k.a. - we get to do it for free! One of these lovely events was a minor league baseball game that we went to as a staff team. Much fun was had by all!
|Some of my coworkers - Aaron, Pete, and Sarah - at the baseball game. Sarah is also my roommate for the summer. She is great.|
In case you though Cru staff people are past their prime and are really boring and no fun at all, I have proof that we can be as crazy as our students! Once the students arrived, we planned a scavenger hunt for them in downtown Charleston so that they could become familiar with the city. They got bonus points for finding staff members at some key locations. I don't think they expected us to disguise ourselves quite as well as some staff did...
|Pete and Chad's attempt at thwarting students from finding them. It worked pretty well. Also, Chad (on the right) is our project director, a.k.a. - my boss. Don't you wish he was your boss too?|
|We really like working together! |
So now that students are here, we've been doing a lot of orientation and training for them this week, but in the next few days they'll get into their work schedules and routines, and project will begin to get a steady pace, which we're all pretty excited about. Today is a day packed full. We just finished evangelism training, and we're about to head to the beach this afternoon to put that training to use as the students do some initiative evangelism. Then we have a smoothie night this evening. It should be a great day. I'll let you know how the outreach went in the next couple of days!