OLD School Semester Update!
Harry here with some updates on the 2012 OLD School Semester.
This year’s semester has been awesome! The students are 7 weeks into their 13 week course and so much has already happened. The semester in a glimpse so far: The students have been on a 2-week backpacking trip, a 10-day climbing trip, a 10-day caving trip, and a short primitive skills section; they have been certified as Swiftwater Rescue Technicians (real fancy), river guides on the Nantahala, and are working on their Wilderness First Responder as we speak. This year we are working through the book of Ephesians with the students who have now studied through part of chapter 5 and will finish the study of the book on their 10-day sea kayaking expedition in the Everglades.
The stuff these guys have done and will do is so amazing! Speaking as a former student, I am often jealous when students return and tell me how awesome something was, but speaking as a staff, I am so grateful to take part and facilitate some of those experiences as well. I had the privilege to lead the climbing section this year and it was such a blast! If I had gone by myself I would have had a ton of fun, but being able to lead people in first time (possibly once-in-a-lifetime) experiences such as climbing an almost 400 foot tall rock face makes it so much richer for me. Some of the routes we climbed I have done a dozen times, but to see students love what I love and overcome fears and obstacles to get there is a rewarding experience, to say the least. There is something about climbing to the top of a mountain that makes the view better than just walking to the top.
On the climbing section I was also given the chance to teach through part of Ephesians 4. We really focused in on what it means to put off the old self, be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and to put on the new self. It is a passion of mine with every believer I meet to encourage them to cling to and love the Scripture, so this was so enjoyable for me to speak to these students about studying scripture, spending time in prayer, submitting to the Lord and His Word in every aspect of our life in order to allow Him to change us more into His image. Do I hope the students from this year love climbing? – Sure, that would be cool. But do I hope and pray that every one of them loves the Lord and His Word more than anything else in their lives? – ABSOLUTELY!
Every year the semester takes on a different look – the students are different, the leaders are different, the weather is different, but it is so awesome to know that our job is essentially the same – preach the Gospel; teach the Word! Sure some of the nuances of discipleship are different, and different people need to be challenged and encouraged in different ways, but the truth of the Lord will challenge and convict all people always. His word that we preach and cling to will lay us bare showing us how we need to change, and then as we cling to it and submit to it, it will change us. Praise the Lord that He has preserved His word for us and that in it we have everything needed for life and godliness, not only in this life, but also in the one to come.
Love you all, enjoy the pictures!