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As we continue moving forward with caution in this COVID season, we have made the difficult decision to cancel July overnight trips with our group participants. Circumstances and guidelines have made it evident that it is best to spend our energies elsewhere to avoid health risks. Therefore, we have been focusing on camp improvements, serving with our local community, pursuing grant opportunities, and our Funding the Fees fundraising campaign. We are so thankful for all the investment in our ministry that we’ve received! In addition to prayers and financial donations, we’ve also been given tons of masks and hand sanitizer to help us stay safe! Would you consider engaging with our ministry through a financial donation? Follow the link below to find out about our Funding the Fees campaign!
Home Repair Project with GO International
On June 14th-17th, we teamed up with GO InterNational on a Home Repair project in Whitley City, KY! With grant dollars from the E.O. Robinson Mountain Fund we were able to build a new ramp and a side deck for the homeowner! It was such a neat experience to partner with another local ministry's staff and some of their families, bringing volunteers of several ages together!
I sat down with two of our summer staff to hear about their experiences with the trip. Kudzi described the trip, “It was a really great project! We had conversations with the other volunteers about faith, the impact of COVID-19, and social justice in today’s environment. One night after work we had a comedy session where we told jokes and stories and just laughed together. On our last night, we gathered around the fire and had a worship session, relaxing and listening to music, singing, and enjoying each other’s company. The night of worship was a really sweet time to be still and praise God. The group dynamic worked really well even though we had a diverse range of ages working with us. Everyone was quick to pitch in and get involved. We made sure everyone had the opportunity to contribute to the building of the ramp and side deck.”
Summer staff member Sarah talked about the connections they made during the project and the great conversations they had. AdventureServe staff and GO InterNational staff enjoyed good moments of fellowship together. Sarah talked about the opportunity she had to bond with one of the volunteers and her daughter as they shared life experiences and related to each other. Sarah explained that "also the homeowner and her son were very gracious and hospitable, offering a soda pop or a glass of water throughout the days of the project. Our homeowner’s son even pitched in to help with some of the tasks!”
Camp Improvements & Community Serve Days
As we focus on cleaning, organizing, and repairing areas on our campgrounds, we have already made a lot of progress! We have cleaned and organized the Tabernacle, warehouse, and are in the process of working through our dormitories! Our office building is almost finished being painted a beautiful blue that looks lovely under a Kentucky summer blue sky. While working on these projects, we’ve been able to involve a few of our apprentices who are learning leadership, service, and adventure skills. We also have opportunities for people in our community to volunteer with as we work on our camp projects! Our Community Serve program will be a great outlet for serving and building unity through community involvement. Check out our info page on our website to sign up and choose your availability! Please contact us at email@example.com if you have any other questions!
Meet Our Summer Staff!
Stephanie, Kudzi, Sarah, and Cameron joined our staff team this summer! They have all served on our staff in previous summers and we are so thankful to have them again this year. Although each one signed up for a specific position this summer, the circumstances of COVID-19 have affected the nature of their roles. They have been a wonderful support to our ministry as they adjust to serving in ways that are different than they expected.
Sarah Centeno from Chicago, IL: "This is my third summer serving with AdventureServe and this year was going to hold a new role for me. I was a trip leader for past summers but this year I was going to be the Warehouse Manager, so I was already expecting a big change. It's definitely important to be flexible in this season right now, but honestly it’s been really nice. It’s neat to focus on our camp and do some things to clean and improve our grounds! I feel equipped in flexibility because that was a big part of our ministry in my past summer experiences. We really learned to go with the flow. Overall, the important thing to remember is that this is still a successful summer even without trips running like they usually are. What we're doing is so important and God is in it."
Cameron Curran from Taylorsville, KY: "My role has changed a lot, I was prepared to be the Home Repair Regional Manager to train incoming trip leaders on how to do the home repair projects. However, now I have been mostly serving at our base with camp improvement projects. As we get into the middle of the summer I’ve been able to get into some other usual projects that I would’ve been doing such as grant research, drawing up plans, and scouting potential home repair projects for the future. I feel like God is preparing me a lot for the future by training me this summer. It’s definitely been a challenge to my attitude, you know we have our own plans, but God has His and we have to trust that His plan is best. I've realized that ministry isn’t just serving at a church, its serving as the church. I need to frame all my actions as if they are a part of my ministry, because they are. That even includes tasks like taking inventory in the warehouse! Our whole mission relies on the providence of God. This summer has made that more evident than ever, but I don’t have to stress over that. God will provide for the work He wants us to do. It’s my job to do the work prepared before me and just give up my expectations."
Stephanie Echeverry from Kansas City, MO: "I was hired as the Mystery Trip Manager and without running our usual trips that obviously looks different. So right now my role is just to come here and serve in the opportunities that are in front of me here. There are still some Mystery Trip tasks I am involved in such as recruiting donations and there are also a couple local day trips that I am involved in preparing for. A part of AdventureServe's core is that we are flexible people and all of us have that heart of service. Part of that means that we are willing to make sacrifices and be available for different ways to serve. Our ministry team is still trying to adjust and have a plan, but we are being flexible. Service isn't something you can put into a box. It changes and there are so many different ways we can serve. The point is that we focus on reaching out to people."
Kudzai Nyakudzi from Johannesburg, South Africa: "My perspective for this summer is understanding that it's not a throw-away summer. Just because we aren't running trips doesn't mean we are throwing away the summer in its entirety. It's a summer for us to build, learn, grow, and to get ready for 2021 so that we can be even stronger than we were before. This summer is about preparing for when it's time to run trips again so that we are ready to produce excellence in all we do. For now, my role is to do whatever needs to be done around camp and to be ready to dive in and work. In the midst of this, right now is a very tough time with all that is going on in our world including this virus which has affected my plans to be with my family this year which is hard. It's also so difficult to see the pain of how my black brothers and sisters are treated, it's been hard to watch all of this happen. It's difficult to witness so much death, even recently a childhood friend of mine lost his mother. I don't know how to feel with all of this, regardless it makes me realize how precious life is. If we didn't have death we wouldn't realize how precious each breath is. In a sense it gives me a weird boost of energy to be better because I know that none of us are guarunteed tomorrow, so what am I going to do today to live the life God has planned for me the way that God wants me to live?"