This Friday officially marks our halfway point of Chicago Summer Mission (CSM) 2015. Five weeks ago, we never imagined that saying our farewells to the staff would produce the feelings it elicits now. Our 40-plus staff members (including our four Crossroads staff) are more than just staff members who make us follow a schedule and attend training sessions. They are far more than that. They are role models, people who have invested their summer in us and who love on us as Christ loves us. They are an inspiration for imperfect people, redeemed by Christ and now devoting their lives to serving the Lord. They are not our authoritative staff; no, they are our friends; our brothers and sisters in Christ.
“That’s one of the perks of working with a lot of Christ-following students and staff members” added Student Co-director of Crossroads 2015, Bri Schrader.
This week at Crossroads we honored them and their purpose in the office and our lives. Griff, Joselyn, Josh and Tim each taught us something unique while serving the common purpose of working for the benefit of not ourselves, but of our loving and gracious God. This week Griff, Joselyn, Josh and Tim set aside time to assign each person a role to take up when they leave the office. The roles range from co-directors of Crossroads, to head graphic designer, to snackmaster, office manager and even keymaster! Roles are assigned in not only Crossroads but in all of CSM as well. This ensures that we are succeeding in the mission that they have trained us for and the mission that God has set each one of our paths on.
“This is a cool opportunity and I think it will be challenging, but you know what they say…” commented Alex Newsome, Student Co-director of Crossroads this summer.
Our last day with the staff came upon us faster than the blink of an eye. That morning in the office was spent continuously working on getting one step closer to the finish line of the projects that we have been working on. We packed up early for lunch to find two sleek, black Navigators and a compact car waiting outside to serve as our escort to a team luncheon. We enjoyed one another’s smiles and laughter as we reminisced all the greatness the Lord has blessed us with. That night’s Vantage service was spent with great teaching on what it means to be in Magnificent Life with one another in this magnificent community. As one mission, we divided into our Action Groups, wrapping our arms around one another, and the staff prayed over us and the mission that was left to be done. They have trained us well through their wisdom and experience and now we are ready to finish what they have started.
And in the blink of an eye, they were gone.
As scary as it seems now, staff left us in a great place, surrounded by a great foundation and community. We are ready. We have accepted the challenge ahead of us. Satan will be looking for ways to attack but as Philippians 4:13 states, “For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. It’s not going to be easy but we are ready. This isn’t goodbye, this is just the beginning. From this day on out, everything changes.