From mid-May to the end of June, we welcomed four young adults into the East Mountain house to live with the residents and participate in a compact version of our leadership and theological development courses,(one from America, two from Zimbabwe and one from right down the road in Kayamandi). It was an incredible 6 weeks of growth and awakening for these young adults. We thank God for how he stirred in their hearts and are excited to see how he continues to work in and through them as they go back into their communities empowered to continue growing and sharing about who God is. Read one summiteer's reflection that he shared at graduation.
“Five weeks ago, an American, two Zimbabweans, and one Capetonian who didn’t know one another from Adam came together to experience something new. Many of us arrived feeling tired, used up, alone, and out of our elements. We didn’t know what to expect of the summer looming before us or of the people we’d be living with. Hardly had we stepped through the East Mountain threshold, however, before our fears were put to rest as the residents and staff opened up their hearts, lives, and homes to us. Five weeks later, we can confidently say that all our lives have been changed for the better.
Dave has done incredible work in walking us through his intimate understanding of biblical theology. We’ve been able to grow in our understanding of scripture and to begin to apply that understanding in our own lives and in the communities we’ll be returning to. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen the glory of the full story of the Bible revealed, the beauty of the task we were originally created for, and the powerful need for our many relationships to be restored. We’ve gained new understandings of the character of God and a new determination to fulfill the tasks which fall to us today.
Mark and the Phillips introduced us to our own stories and reminded us of the identities we have in Christ. We learned the power our pasts can hold over our present and our futures and the need to better understand ourselves before we can understand and invest in others. We’ve learned who we are and of the masks we hide behind, and that knowledge will continue to serve us long after we move on from East Mountain and step into the roles God has for each one of us.
Caleb, Marisa, and residents, thank you as well for including us in your lives, your ministry programs, and your friendships. You are the ones who truly made us feel at home here, who modelled leadership in action and who gave us opportunities to step into your domains and lead. You are also the ones who had to put up with all our little quirks and eccentricities, and for your patience we are especially grateful!
The workshop leaders devoted long hours toward equipping us with practical means for living out the gospel. You have made us stronger, healthier, and more biblically grounded, and we will take our lessons home to equip our own domains. Marcie and Lindsay out in endless hours overcoming numberless obstacles just to make Summit 2021 happen and it has not gone unappreciated.
Each of you—our leaders, our mentors, those who cooked and cleaned and drove us all over creation, and everyone working behind the scenes—have made an incredible impact on our lives. The work you’re doing doesn’t just ground and develop our own spiritual walks; it will also be taken home to impact our own communities and lives which we may never know of or hear about. Thank you for pouring into our lives on such a personal level, for listening to our stories, and for offering your encouragement and hope. Thank you for serving us, thank you for praying for us, and most of all, thank you for loving us.”