Mercy Hill Church - Sent Initiative - City Project 2014

1:00 am Conversations That Changed My Life

It was November of my junior year at High Point University. My roommate and I had participated in too many 1:00 am conversations about what we were going to do with our summer, and yet, here we were again. What would our parents think? How would we make money over the summer? What about an internship? What about my friends and family at home? Would we get to see them at all? These were the questions we had been wrestling with for weeks. My roommate and I both had an 8:00 am class the next morning, so we decided it was time to actually sleep. The next morning, as our alarms went off, we looked at each other and decided this is it. We were going to print out applications and start filling them out. We met after class in the library and started the process. The process that seemed so daunting and scary, yet exciting. If you haven’t caught on yet, I’m talking about City Project.

1. The Decision

The decision to do City Project can honestly feel like one of the biggest decisions you can make in your college career. That’s what it felt like for me. I had just recently become a Christian, and I was craving more of Jesus. I wanted to know more about who he was. I wanted to know how my life could start to look more like Jesus’ and what it meant to really live out life in college, and after college, as a Christian. It was still a hard decision though. As I continued to read about City Project and ask questions, I realized that the Lord had put City Project in my path for just these reasons. Through traveling, teachings, and community, I learned more about Jesus and how to live my life for Jesus.

2. The Hope That Is Within Me

During the Greensboro portion of City Project, we had teachings every morning for about three hours. I’m not going to lie. Some days getting up early and going to a teaching was hard, but the reward was so worth it. We learned about a ton of things. From hermeneutics (and what that even means) to what it looks like to be in deep, God honoring community with one another. The teachings sparked questions and thoughts that I had never had and more importantly, they allowed a space where we could ask questions and not be worried what others would think.

One of my favorite teachings was about apologetics. We learned how to defend Christianity and our faith. This was so imperative for me because I am the only believer in my family. Being a new believer, it was terrifying to think about sharing with anyone, let alone my family. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “. . . in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” The teaching helped me to do exactly what this passage says. “Regard Christ the Lord as holy.” I could see more of Christ and why he is Lord. And through that, I fell even more in love with him. This teaching also made me “ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” We learned different facts and reasons as to why the Bible is good and why it is true. I felt like I could confidently share my faith and not be crushed when people criticized me or disagreed with me. I was finally starting to truly understand and believe even more fully “the hope that is within me.

3. The Leap

Looking back four years later on my summer in City Project, I can see how gracious the Lord was in allowing me to have such a life-altering summer. If I hadn’t done City Project, I would not be as confident in my faith as I am. I wouldn’t have been a missionary on my campus, and I would not have been able to see students go from death to life through community group at HPU. City Project shaped the way I view my faith, how that affects and can influence people around me, and most importantly, how I view Jesus. If you’re on the fence, let me challenge you to take the leap. I did. I’m sure if you’ve ever talked to someone who has done City Project they have told you “it was the best summer ever.” You probably don’t believe them, but what if it’s true? Take the leap, and come and see!

-Sarah Richardson (Finance Team)

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