Summit Reflection

Written by Tori O'Connor

Eager, willing, hungry.  Three characteristics that merely scratch the surface in describing the 2018 East Mountain Summiteers.  These are the kind of characteristics that every Summit coordinator hopes (and prays!) to have in those he or she is spending the next six weeks with.  By God's grace, He blessed our community with six extremely eager, willing, and hungry individuals.

Eager to embrace every class, workshop, ministry, and person they encountered.  Willing to be challenged, molded, and stretched in their understanding of who they are and who God is.  Hungry to know God in deeper and more profound well as for mama Kat's delicious food.  As much as we hoped and prayed that the Summiteers would walk away being blessed by our community, I can say with confidence that they have blessed us in return and left their mark on each of us. 

Throughout the six weeks, I often found myself pausing and realizing how absolutely spoiled I was to have the vantage point of the Summiteers that I did.  I saw them at 6:45 in the morning when we would drag ourselves out in the freezing-cold, pitch-black mornings to drive to  Theology class, I saw them come alive singing and dancing during 10-minute car rides to the grocery store, and I saw them in moments of stillness late at night when exhaustion and deep thoughts encompassed their mind.  These moments are significant.  They are the moments when all guards come down and you're really just living life with people - authentically and organically getting to know one another in simple day-to-day tasks.  They are the moments when you see strengths and qualities that are natural God-given gifts in each of them.  They are the moments that allowed me to know them more than just my interns, but more as friends, brothers & sisters, family.

East Mountain desires to cultivate a Christ-centered community while developing leadership skills amongst those we have the privilege to invest in.  One of the Summiteers expressed to me, "Tori, I have learned so much through conversations and observation of the East Mountain staff as they have addressed situations and people. Apart from the workshops and teachings and events, I am learning leadership through simply watching and engaging other people."

Let us continue to create spaces to see each other in the day-to-day seemingly insignificant moments of life.  These are the spaces where authenticity is found and where community flourishes.  They are the moments where we can encourage, exhort, and stimulate one another to continue the missional work that is before us.  Let us strive to be a living example to others of Christ-like leadership who loves all who cross our path.