TeenPact Montana 2012 

I flew into Helena, Montana, seven months after having flown out from Survival NW, almost to the day. The landscapes from the plane, the familiar airport, the Sleeping Giant, the capitol building, the restaurants and stores I'd been in, they all brought back memories that I have cherished. An interestingly enough, the bushes on the front lawn of the capitol still read, "Montana, 2011."

Coming into the week, I was unsure of what to expect from myself, and from the class. Personally, I didn't know how to prepare emotionally for being back in Montana, but God is so good. Time in His word, encouragement from friends, and focus from the fellow members of the staff team really allowed me to pour myself into the week, and into the students. Nathan Baber, Nate Kirby, Sarah Gentzler, Sandie Gilliland, Grayson Allen, Grady Johnson, and Rachel Brazell, you were each so clearly a part of God's plan for this team, and for my experience here. Thank you.

God works in mysterious ways. Last week in Washington, His work was clear and loud. But this week, we served Him faithfully on trust, knowing that even when there are no outright "revivals," God is still in the business of reviving hearts.

But don't misunderstand me; there were many clear opportunities we had to share Jesus. As staffers and students grew closer together, we were able to share some of our deepest desires and sorrows, bonding in a special way. We saw many students do things they had never thought they could do, from speaking on a bill to running for office. And I will treasure the girls I grew close to as well, from old friends to new ones.

And simply practically and logistically, it was an amazing class. I love the Montana capitol, and we got to meet all week in the very House of Representatives, sitting at their desks, using their microphones all week long. How awesome is that? I was privileged to be master of elections during the week, which was a blast. And I got to spend a lot of time in the House and Senate with Grady on Field Experiences, where I learned so much (and had a lot of fun). As with every TeenPact class, I learned lessons that I wasn't expecting, but that I know God had planned precisely for me.

It was hard to leave. Finding myself alone in the airport once again brought tears to my eyes. The trip had been wonderful, another part of God's healing process. I'd been able to see students and staff from Survival NW '11 that I hadn't seen since that last week of July. While it was wonderful, it was also hard many times, as I had known it would be. But I rest in knowing that, as Ben Solem reminded us during the week, though we may tremble on the Rock, the Rock never trembles under us.

Through everything, I continue to love Jesus more. And that is what it's all about.


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