Student Leadership Project Reflection by Laura Nagle

Laura is a Senior at Trinity School at Greenlawn in South Bend, Indiana. Laura has been involved in Young Life at Adams in the past. She has experienced Young Life Camp at Saranac and attended Young Life’s Student Leadership Project this past Summer.

The Student Leadership Project is an experience that I will always remember. During this time Jesus Christ instilled in me a deeper and stronger yearning to spend time with Him. The leaders along with the students all shared this same passion: to know Christ and to serve in His Kingdom. One of the most significant things that I learned during SLP was the literal meaning of the gospel. In the first century A.D. Palestine, the gospel literally meant the message that a good king had defeated and conquered the bad, tyrannical king. In Jesus’ case, this is shown in the first chapter of Mark when Jesus overcomes Satan in the desert, and then declares that the kingdom of God is near. This new-found understanding of the meaning of the gospel truly made me realize in a new way that Jesus Christ is a king.

The extent of what I learned during SLP is vast. Merely spending time talking with my new friends and getting to know each other was a lesson in itself. Each morning we had formal class time during which time one of the adult leaders led us through our devotional and then another leader gave talks on topics such as: viewing the world from different lenses, God’s calling, and observing the gospel at work. During the devotional times we also spent time discussing spiritual practices and praying for each other in small groups. The devotional time progressed during the week. The first couple of days the devotional time included the whole group, but as the week progressed, the large group was broken into smaller groups, and then finally at the end, we had our devotionals by ourselves. This was an extremely helpful structure for me, because it was a way for me to ease into training myself to be more diligent in spending habitual time with Jesus Christ.

Along with class time, there was also much time of service and fun. One afternoon we spent a few hours at a home for kids playing bingo, and then also doing crafts and helping in whatever was needed. Also, for lunch one day all of the students were divided into groups of two and had a couple hours to have lunch with homeless people in downtown Chicago. This time was very humbling and eye opening for all of us. I was able to see life from a different persons’ perspective and let judgments and prejudices fall. On other afternoons there was time for relaxation and hanging out with friends. We went to Lake Michigan on a couple occasions, took a boat tour of Chicago, played games together, and spent time enjoying being with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

During SLP I was surrounded by one of the most eclectic groups of people I have ever been around, and I met friends that I hope and pray that I am always close to. God has taught me such an immense amount during this adventure, and I cannot wait to see what He has in store for me and all my wonderful SLP friends!

Below:  YL’s Student Leadership Project (Laura is in the black and white dress)

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