Every summer, part of our summer program includes bringing in college-aged students to run the Summer Camp and learn the mission and vision of Common Ground Montgomery while living in our community. It's the reason our interns are in the Summer Resident Mission Program - they live here, they learn here, they help here, and we hope and pray that as much as they may impact the kids in our summer program, that they also are impacted by God and what's on His heart towards people that are impoverished or marginalized no matter whether it's in a cultural, economical, or racial or ethnic sense.
So please pray for our current interns and the impact they'll have in our community and also on how they'll be impacted by our community. Please remember our staff and staff families in your prayers also, as we're in the same boat; ever onwards and upwards to, sharpening and being sharpened into, the image of God for the glory of God.
Below is a short excerpt from one of our 2014 interns.
BY ANNE RICHOUX
"A lot could happen today. Who knows, but You, Lord. You know everything and I praise you for that. Orchestrate everything so that you get glory. Chisel me. Prepare me for whatever lies ahead.”
I wrote this prayer last summer during one of the worst days of my life. As I reflect on it, I remember the fear I had in my heart about what would happen in the following days and months. It may not seem that way in the words I used, but I was upset, angry, and confused. I was trying to believe that God would work all things together for good, but I did not understand how what was happening would work out in any other way than terrible. Outside of trials like that one, I don’t have many journals that convey such a desire to trust the Lord while also being honest about fear and confusion.
While I was a part of the 2014 Summer Resident Mission, I remember learning so much about what it looks like to respond to trials in a way that brings glory to God. Interns arrived during a difficult time in west Montgomery. I remember talking to both staff at CGM and students in the program and being so blessed by their transparency about the struggles they were facing. Many were confused and hurting, but they did not hide this. I remember listening to a song with some of my middle school students about being able to just have one more day with someone. It was a beautiful expression of their pain in that moment, and we had some awesome conversations about the Gospel. Those conversations started simply with being transparent about how confused we were about why God allowed certain things to happen. I think a downfall of American culture is our tendency to put on this mask when we’re struggling. I’ve seen this time and time again, especially in the church, but it is so unhealthy. How can we bear each other’s burdens if we are hiding them from everyone?
I am so very grateful for what I was able to observe and learn while living in Washington Park. Transparency and honesty with others about personal struggles is so vital to our Christian walk and fellowship with each other. What I learned at CGM literally transformed the way I responded to the things I was dealing with last summer. Not only then, but really every day.