Thursday, June 13, 2013

A word from last year's community award winner

Here are some words to you from last year's Community Award winner, Lokadia Leeson:

     I am so excited that you will be participating in the Kaleo program this year. You won’t regret the decision- this year will be one of the most incredible, transforming years of your life IF you allow it to be. 
     The community you are going to be a part of is such an important part of your year! One of the greatest parts of this community is supporting and encouraging each other. Live each day in community soaked prayer. Be prepared to wrestle through your journey with God together. Allow God to teach you to love one another an insane amount. Do not be afraid to be vulnerable with one another or go to each other with prayer requests. Call each other out, keep one another accountable, be intentional, and seek out those who might need extra encouragement or prayer. If you allow God to use you to love and impact others I can guarantee you won’t regret it as you will find that God transforms your heart for others and teaches you to love in a new way. It is so important that you learn to love God and yourself so that you can also learn to love others in a powerful way. 
     I want to encourage you in two areas. First, If you are struggling, broken, or hurting- do not hold it all in, don’t try and be strong- rather be willing to humble yourselves and be vulnerable with your community. Ask for support, prayer, and accountability as it speaks about in James 5:16. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results”.  If you want a strong community where struggles can be shared then you MUST take that first step and be vulnerable too. You have the choice of the kind of community that you will experience this year. 

     Second, I encourage you to be intentional, be willing to serve for the glory of God. If someone’s struggling- confront them, chat with them and pray for them. Be willing to always lend a helping hand to take a load off someone else and be more focused on others rather than yourself. I pray that this year, through the community, you will discover what it means to be loved and what It means to love others. It is my prayer that you would find a family in the other students. “Home is where the heart is” Let this be true. Make Camp Qwanoes your home for these next 8 months with each of the students. Don’t be fearful of the end goodbyes but remain focused on the "Right here Right now". Take advantage of the time you have with one another and shine the light of who Christ is to one another in all you do. The community will leave lasting impressions on each of your hearts when you learn to embrace it and pour everything you are into it!
(Lokadia is in pink)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A word from last year's Adventure Award winner

The adventure component of the Kaléo Program is designed to stretch students out of their comfort zones while giving an an amazing opportunity to experience the goodness of God in creation. We dive into each adventure in community seeking to grow together, learn about leadership, and worship in the beauty of creation. Here is a word from last year's adventure award winner:

My name is Brookelynn Allan and I was the winner of the adventure award. When I was applying for the Kaleo program the adventure component was what made me the most nervous. I knew coming into the program that I would have to face many of my fears such as my fear of heights and my fear of the ocean; but I felt God telling me that it's time to get over those fears and put my trust in Him. This program has stretched me further out of my comfort zone than I've ever gone before, and more than I ever could on my own. The leaders and my fellow classmates helped me realize that I am not alone, I was not the only one with these fears and the encouragement that I received from everyone was incredible. The encouragement I received helped me to gain the confidence and belief that I could in fact do it!
          Not only was I afraid of the adventure component because of my fears but I was also afraid because of my skill level. In high school I had lots of really athletic friends and I was the one that never made any of the sports teams. This was really hard for me because I always felt like a failure and even got picked on by my friends because I didn't have the skill level that they did. I thought coming into this program that what happened in high school would happen again because of my skill level with the adventures, but I was wrong. This program has helped me to realize that I am not a failure and that God has gifted me in other ways. In order to have a great experience in the adventure component of the program it is important to have an open mind and to be okay with the skill level that God has given you. Try all the adventures, push through and try your best through them all. The adventures are not actually as scary as they seem at first glance, but as soon as you go for it, its really fun. The adventures were a huge help in my growth this year and I can't imagine where I would be without the experience. 
(Brookelynn is on the left)