When I embarked on my Journey with 21 other college students this summer, I had no idea what the Lord would have in store for me. I was not prepared for what God would ask me to surrender and how much I would be led to rely fully and trust completely in an intentional, loving Savior. The days and weeks that followed that first night away from my home in May held heartbreak, redemption, love, insight, revelation, joy, and excitement along with so many opportunities and growth. I met people, had experiences, loved hard and was poured into through so many aspects of my summer. From the community I built with the Americans surrounding me, to the kingdom relationships I was blessed by with adults and children, I undeniably met Jesus in the face this summer. I saw him in the challenges, in the love I received, and in how much I grew in intimacy with Him.
After all of this, an incredible summer, I was being called home again. I, like my fellow interns, was called to return to my own community, my own school, my own home and begin to live in a way that reflected the Jesus I had grown to know in a whole new way. I was called to participate in my original setting with a completely revolutionized perspective and understanding of who I was in Christ. I was called to love and be loved with a fresh lens. Thankfully, Choose to Invest knew before I did that this next step—coming home—would be the hardest part of Journey yet. And so, in anticipation of our call to re enter our communities, we were given the opportunity to debrief.
Debrief was a chance to more fully begin to process all that had just happened. God showed up in a big way, but He was and is not done yet. Debrief proved to be such an integral and important part of my Journey. It allowed me to re-acclimate myself with culture in America. Being in the states and surrounded by all the blessings we have was difficult. Not to mention the heart change that I had just experienced. Now I had to immerse myself in a world that I wasn’t quite ready to handle. The Lord was so sovereign over that final week of Journey. He provided us wisdom to know what to do next, hearts that could love each other well as our time dwindled, and the energy and peace to return to our families, ready to embark on what was not the end of Journey, but the beginning. The Lord used that week in such a mighty way to rejuvenate and prepare us to go out and do what we are called to do—share His love with those we are surrounded by, wherever that may be. I knew that the God of East Africa was and is the same here in my more traditional home, but He used that week to confirm so much of what He taught me over the course of the summer. Debrief was such a special time with the Lord as well as my Journey community. Even though we were so close to home, we needed that time of hanging out in the North Georgia mountains, learning everything we could from different speakers that took the time to share with us. We needed a day to play volleyball and slip n slide like crazy people together. We needed a night to share our experience collectively, as a unit, with our friends and family. We needed that time to pour out the love that Christ had given to us for each other through encouragement and prayer. We needed those last few days to soak up all God had for us. Debrief allowed each of our hearts a time to wrap our heads around what God has just done, be intentional in prayer with each other, and conclude as a family a summer that changed each of our lives in such a tangible and supernatural way.