So I initially planned on posting this about 10 days ago or so, but Tahoe has consumed my life. I now have a job at the Heavenly Village Cinema (woot) as a Concession/Sales guy (however, I usher and am learning box office now too)!!! God has blessed me immensely with this job and ministry opportunities galore within which I will go into detail on a later day where I don’t only have 17 minutes left until my laundry finishes at this sketchy laundromat.

So I started off summer project right reading-wise by picking up “Wild at Heart” (thank you Brad Myers). Reading through the first couple chapters so far, it talks about “something wild in the heart of every man” because there is something wild and strong about God. It discusses the hardwiring differences between men and women.

A couple Wednesdays back, our project had a night of reflection to think back on the first week. I decided to go with a few people to Emerald Bay and trek down a huge waterfall that leads into the bay. Now I’m not the biggest outdoorsman. I don’t really hike or go camping so much and I’m not the biggest fan of heights. But this day I wanted to be adventurous. I conquered the rocks about 2/3 of the way down and found myself at the bottom of a good 30 ft waterfall or so, which only ran 100 ft further down. Needless to say, I was in awe. I think our generation uses the term “awesome” far too often to describe anything and forget the “awe” part of the word. However, this sight was truly awesome (as evidence by the picture below at the end of this).

I felt at home in God’s kingdom, as I have at many other locations in Tahoe. The mountains are gorgeous. The lake is gorgeous. The waterfalls are gorgeous. Everything. Is. Gorgeous. Sitting at one of the local beaches surrounded by mountains, one truly feels they’re sitting in God’s lap. To be honest, if I didn’t feel I belonged at Ohio U and that it is where God wants me to be, I may be considering transferring to Washington State just to be near the area. But I do belong at Ohio University. . . for now. Not only would I be near the area though, but I would be surrounded by a large amount of my fellow project students.

Washington State, Montana State, Eastern Washington, and Idaho University compile up nearly 70% of this summer project. The community I have experienced here has outweighed any of which I have taken part. I have experienced tremendous growth through my life group (3 other guys and 1 male staff member), outreaches into the beach and at my workplace, training times, and just down time with friends and talks with staff guys. It makes me long for a stronger community back at college. I know there is great community there and maybe I’m just on a spiritual/emotional high right now, but I feel like the community here is far greater. The 78 students here on project cover probably somewhere near 20 different schools. Many people knew each other coming in, yet I have barely even sniffed anything close to a clique forming. Everyone is open and friendly with another. We share testimonies almost every night, are always looking for opportunities to get to know different people and are never satisfied with our spiritual growth, always searching for more.

So I suppose this is somewhat of a challenge to everyone back at Ohio University or any other college really. I have experienced the community through Cru at OU as a leader for 6 months now and as an attendee for 2 years. We have serious clique issues. There are so many people that come to the weekly meeting and don’t ever meet anyone or get out of their group or comfort zone. There is a girl on project here who is 26, from a school where she doesn’t really have anyone else and I cannot count how many people have reached out to her, how many hearts she’s touched and how much she has grown in her walk with God and grown out of her comfort zone. As a leader in Cru, she inspires me to reach out to others beyond belief and invest in lives of those I don’t know. I would hate to look back at my college career at Ohio and involvement with Cru and say that there was more I could have done. I want to be spent for God and pour out into others. So yeah, call it a challenge.

I can’t believe that I’m already 3 weeks into project. Staff leaves in a week and a half. I really don’t want this to end. I just want to take all my fellow project students back to school. I’ve struggled with worrying about the day I have to go back to Ohio. I’ll cope with it, so in the meantime I just have to enjoy the time with the people I have here.

Fun Facts through the first 3 weeks in Tahoe

-A fellow projecter named Emily almost came to OU, grew up near Columbus and used to be best friends with a guy I shared with in Baker Center at OU near the end of spring quarter. She expressed how he had taken a turn for the worse since high school and wishes he would get involved with Cru. One of her best friends is his sister. When I talked with him a few weeks ago, he expressed a strong desire to come out to bible study. Emily goes to school in Montana.

-While trying to take a picture up some rocks while hiking, I turned my head up only to find the sharp part of a broken branch of a tree facing my forehead. We met head on and I got the hugest bandage I’ve probably ever had. The scar on my forehead kind of looks like Harry Potter. Guess I’m the boy who lived! P.S. – Don’t worry mom, I’m perfectly fine 😉

-My testimony is a lot longer and a lot more in depth than I thought. While waiting for work to start, my friend Tori and I shared our testimonies and I took 40 minutes. And I realized that there is no 180 in my life that has taken place, at least I don’t want to define it as that. Since 8th grade, I have been steadily turning my life to God. I don’t like to think of my life or any part of it as a 180. That makes it sound like I’ve made it or I’m all good with God now. But I can still be a control freak and don’t want to give God full control over certain situations in my life. No, I may be at a 136 instead, but I’m constantly inching. For, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 3:14

Below are a few more pictures to sum up the summer so far. . .

Bus buddies and all our luggage! (Liz and Alex)

Packed into Curtis' van the first night there to make a K-Mart run. I knew none of these people going into the car except maybe one guy and we all got along fantastically.

Group trip to Keva Beach (Darren, Mary Scott, Katie, Mary Beth)

We all just found each other on the beach (this is about 1/4 of our project)

Group trek to Emerald Bay (Matt, Johnathon, Sean)

Lookin' pretty good

Life Group bud Jarrod and I west-siding at MORP (aka Thrift Store Prom)

Rockin' at MORP (Zach, Jeremy, Zach, Curtis, Anders, Aaron, Josh, Mike)

Group hike and evidence of my head to tree incident (Madison, Aaron, Sean, Tim, Austin)

Too beautiful for words

The Midwesterners of Project!!!

Owning in the basketball tournament

Epic marshmallow catching skills