Update from Natalie

Hi Everyone,

I hope that you have been able to unthaw these past few days! We got 8 inches of snow on Sunday, and it has been slowly but surely melting away each day.
I’ve been thinking a lot for the past several weeks about sending an update letter, but I honestly haven’t known what to tell you about. So as I’ve been thinking, praying, and talking to my mom about Camp, I keep on thinking about Psalm 100:4-5. It says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”  So here are a few things that I have been thanking the Lord about the past few weeks:
  • Because most of our normal groups had to cancel due to COVID related issues, we have been blessed to serve other groups that we wouldn’t normally be able to. One of the highlights for me was being able to lead a challenge course time for a small group. It was neat being able to watch them work together, play on each other’s strength and then debrief each activity.
  • We were able to host an “Extreme” weekend, which was meant to be a touch point for our high school staff and campers. Because the majority of our gap students were counseling, I was able to help Ian (our Spiritual Ministries Director) out in the chapel doing the slides. I absolutely love being able to do the slides because not only is it something that I don’t normally do, but also gives me the opportunity to listen to the message. The main point that has continued to stand out to me is the question, “Do I continue to gain more head knowledge of God, or am I actually growing in my personal relationship and intimate knowledge of God.”
  • I have been able to get together with one of the gap girls more consistently. This year it has been challenging for me to figure out when I can actually get together with her, since our schedules are so opposite. I’ve been so excited to see how she is growing in her faith from the beginning of summer (she was one of the girls I was discipling this summer) to now. My relationship with her continues to remind me that I really can’t control the outcome of people’s lives, but I do have the responsibility to speak the truth into it.
  • I’ve still loved volunteering at Family Life Services every week. I’ve been moved up to the older teen group, which is fun because we are able to have deeper conversations. I’ve loved having the opportunity to learn more about their lives, play, and laugh. I’m not going to lie, it has been a hard transition to be with the older kids, because I still love the boys in the Middle group. Today as I was processing my time with the Teens group/the night, the Holy Spirit reminded me that I can’t rely on my own intuition and “wisdom” on why I’ve moved classes, or how I’m supposed to encourage the Teens class, or why different events had to happen. Instead, I’m able to relax in knowing that God knows what exactly each of the FLS kids need and He will provide for them.
A few things I would love prayer for are:
  • Praise that God has continued to bless us with groups that we are able to serve!
  • Prayer that our 60th Anniversary Celebration would not only be a blessing to everyone that attends virtually and in person, but that we would also have the wisdom and foresight to think through all of the details. If you would like to participate or help work, please let me know!
  • Prayer for wisdom, knowledge, and encouragement as I continue to try to invest in the relationships with the girls at Camp and with the teens at FLS.
  • Prayer that I would have a bigger view of who God is.
Please let me know how I can be praying for you!
Natalie