Love Like Jesus: Fellowship

I am a couple of weeks late, but I wanted to do a Lenten series this year. My series will focus on experiences and stories that demonstrate love like Jesus'. 
 One year into my walk with Christ, I became interested in spending a summer in service with other believers. I ended up going on a Summer Project with Campus Crusade for Christ in Yellowstone National Park. 

My dad graciously drove me to Montana to drop me off at our kick-off retreat. I had been anticipating how wonderful the summer would be for months, and no anxiety had crept in. As we approached the rocky mountains and came one hour away...thirty minutes...and then ten minutes away, huge anxiety came out of nowhere. I realized I was about to spend the summer with twenty five people I had never met before, none of which were from my region. I was going to be in a totally new place, with totally new people, doing a totally new thing. I told my dad I was scared as I ate my "last meal in civilization" at Taco Bell (my request).

Once I met my Summer Project team, it didn't take long for that anxiety to fizzle away. We spent several days at our mountain retreat in Montana, and then spent the summer at the park. We worked as room attendants in the hotels. I worked at the Old Faithful Inn and watched the geyser blow half a dozen times a day from the windows of the rustic cabin rooms as I made beds and vacuumed. We didn't just work; we had meetings, small groups, worship nights, and campfires... we witnessed to others about Christ's love, and we delighted in the presence of one another, marveled over God's incredible creation surrounding us, bared our hearts and stories in honesty, and challenged one another to grow deeper in our faith.

I have never known fellowship like we had that summer. I always think of that time when I read Acts 2:42-47:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

That summer taught me that I needed people. My guarded, hurt heart had to learn to open up and rely on others. To trust them to call me deeper and wider in my love and understanding. To believe that God can work in others to love well. 

I climbed mountains with these people. We cleaned toilets together. We roasted about a thousand marshmallows. We got insane sunburns. We had even more insane dance parties. We sang worship on the boardwalk as the geysers cascaded water towards the constellations above us. We called out one another's gifts and places to grow and watched God work his magic. We shared bunkbeds and loved on the other workers we in our employee dorm and lunchroom. We delighted in some that we witnessed to coming to faith in Christ. We sang and cried and hugged when we said goodbye. 

While I constantly strive to build fellowship with believing friends, family, and church family, when I think of fellowship I always go back to that summer. God transformed each of us, and called us deeply into him as we loved each other like Jesus loves. 

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  1. It's so great to look back on past experiences that grew our faith!

  2. This is so neat! I would love to do something like this someday. I am sure you have made some lifelong friendships, thankfully it is so easy to keep in touch these days through texting or FB! Also, I am sure it was a beautiful place in nature to grow in your faith!


  3. this sounds like such fun! i've always believed that being in nature helps us become closer to ourselves. and Yellowstone is an incredible place to be.

  4. Experiences like this can really have such an impact. This looks like a fantastic trip!

  5. What an amazing trip. It's moments like these that can make life long impacts on your soul.

  6. that's amazing, I feel like going on a trip with my friends,


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