Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Sustenance of Stories

This past week was Rapla’s English Camp.  As the anticipated camp approached, I spent time reflecting on my camp experience last summer with Hume Kauai.  Most of what I remember from Hume Kauai is tied to a video shot by professional videographers throughout the camp.  The high-energy video highlighted the best moments of camp with shots ranging from kids yelling from inside bubble balls to kids sharing their testimony of how God made Himself known to them during the camp.  With the Hume Kauai video in mind, I spent my waking hours, which far outnumbered the precious hours of trying to sleep on the school’s hardwood floors, filming short clips around English Camp.  By the time camp was over, I had a few memories of where God gave growth to the work put in (1 Corinthians 3:6), such as an unanticipated invitation for the people at camp to play soccer against the local youth (the camp team lost, but connections were made).  As the other intern and I pieced together a video the day following camp, I was reminded though of the many ways that God created visible growth which served as yet another reminder for how some of the seeds planted may yet yield such visible growth in the future.

As I read through the Old Testament in preparation for seminary, I am struck by how many times the history of what God has done up to that point is recounted to the Israelites.
For example, in the last chapter of Joshua, a brief summary of what God has done to bring the Israelites into the land they are just beginning to settle into is recounted.  The account of what God has done is immediately followed by a command for the Israelites to serve the the LORD alone.  The Israelites affirm that they are willing to take up the command and the covenant is renewed.  Notice that the telling of what God has done has a purpose, namely to showcase God’s character and inspire trust.

This week will turn another chapter in my life story as I conclude my internship in Estonia.  The stories contained in the concluding chapter will still play a role in how I live into upcoming adventures (see blogpost on embracing culture).  The stories that influence me though are not only those that I’ve personally experienced, but also those I hear from others and those I read.  As I’ve attempted blogging about my adventures this summer, I’ve found several stories from the Old and New Testament to be helpful in providing me a framework with which to think through my experiences.  Stories, even really old ones, are active and crucial as encouragement and sustenance as one grows into their identity in Christ.

The video of the English Camp:

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