I feel like I can't fully describe the feelings that I had doing Summer nor put everything down that I did in Chicago in one blog post. I may just fill it with more pictures than words if that is cool. I'll just give you a brief rundown of what Summer Jam is.
Summer Jam is a little 10-day camp they have at the Church in Hyde Park every August. For over 18 years they have had girls ages 10-15 come and participate in fun workshops and activities. A lot of these girls are already members but they do bring non-member friends and relatives so it's a great experience for everyone. The point is to give these girls a safe and fun environment to learn and interact with other girls who live in Chicago and give them a boost to be able to handle the challenges that come from living in an inner-city area. This year's theme was Finish Strong and so every day we tried to incorporate that theme in our workshops. My day was "Beginnings-it starts with you." In my devotional I talked about Eric Liddell who tripped at the beginning of the 400 final in the Olympics but he didn't quit and he actually won the race and set a world record. I tried to emphasize that it doesn't matter how you started that day, you can still finish strong. It really was amazing to be with these girls and for the short amount of time I felt an incredible amount of love for them. I've never connected with so many people so fast and feel that I've known them all my life. I'm not much of a crier in public but I cried hard when we had to say goodbye to these girls. It really hit me then how much of an impact they made on my life. It was just an incredible opportunity to serve and learn and grow. I've learned so much that I hope will stay with me throughout my life.