Inspiring and Equipping
Over a year ago, when I was invited to step up as the Program Director for TeenPact’s Endeavor programs, I already knew that I loved the vision of Endeavor. The catechistic language was appealing, but, even more than that, such a vision seemed aimed at filling a deep and painful void that exists in all people in and of themselves, including young women. Inadequacy, comparison, discontentment, pride, lust, and self-disrespect are all words that can be used to identify some of the most poignant struggles plaguing teen girls today. However, these seem to be only surface-level ailments. Struggles in any of these categories can be traced back to our deeply-rooted sinful nature and need for a savior. The first step for all women is decidedly salvation and an acceptance of God’s grace and love. Endeavor is a place for these saved young women to gather and, because of what Jesus has done for them, take the next step in growing in who God is and what it looks like to glorify and enjoy Him.
Every element of the Endeavor program is crafted to fulfill these two goals. From sessions to one-on-one conversations to exciting adventures, all aspects of the program are designed to help student ladies flourish in their identity as a Christian as well as build sweet fellowship with one another. Every Endeavor program is chalk-full of powerful worship, bible study, training sessions, and lots of fun. This year’s Endeavor West, held in Breckenridge, Colorado, and Endeavor East, held in Greensboro, Georgia, were no exceptions to this pattern.
One of my favorite highlights from the program this year occurred at Endeavor West. There, every experience was enhanced by the stunning mountain backdrop of the Rockies and the crisp high altitude. We stayed in a sprawling mountain villa and enjoyed hot sunshine during our day hikes, cozy fires in the evenings, and stars at night. So many stars. On the second to last evening, we had just spent some time bundled up outdoors by a bonfire, roasting marshmallows and telling funny stories when I gave the signal-call to head to bed. One of the students asked me if we could take a moment – just a few more seconds – to simply be still and look up at the stars, to which I agreed. The group quieted and someone suddenly laid down flat on the grass. We all followed suit. With cold faces and supported backs all that was heard was the steady breathing of our group as we gazed at the stars overhead. These stars were so vast and so stunningly clear. Someone began singing “Beautiful” and other sweet voices quietly joined in. That memory of lying down outside worshipping with so many of my diverse sisters is still captivating. In those moments God was glorified, and we could not but enjoy the fullness of His presence.
The same heartset permeated the Endeavor East event as well and my staff and I all left both events with a feeling of refreshment and gratefulness. It is my prayer that students left with this impression as well. May we press forward in this vision.
You can see photographs from Endeavor at teenpact.smugmug.com/AlumniEvents/Endeavor