Looking Back, Thinking Forward
Reflecting on a Summer of Impact
By Christian Postel
On the heels of our summer programs I typically like to invite a few of the summer attendees to share their personal story with folks like you who make their experience possible. I’m always thrilled to see what God did in the lives of the young men we invest in.
This year, I wanted you to hear from all of them, so I gave them an opportunity to write a personal note at the bottom of their HigherTrek program evaluations.
When you read their words you will certainly notice genuine joy and gratitude. I hope you find this deeply encouraging, as do I. Such transformation deserves celebration, but I’d be remiss if I shared their gratitude without giving you a glimpse of what many experienced before coming to HigherTrek.
The guys that came this summer faced the same issues as those before them, as they try to take ownership of their faith and follow Jesus. However, I’ve noticed a recent trend that their struggles are more compounded and prevalent. This summer, we noticed in several an increased fear of vulnerability, increased history of addiction and more severe childhood trauma than we’ve ever had before (in addition to the pain from family challenges, theological confusion, and lack of a true identity in Christ). Yet, because they arrived with open hearts and a desire to grow, the Holy Spirit produced amazing change in their lives.
There is no doubt the guys who came to HigherTrek this summer wanted spiritual growth more than any groups we’ve had in the past. This is evident by their willingness to quarantine and get tested for Covid-19 before coming. There’s also no doubt in my mind that this summer’s programs were the most impactful we’ve ever hosted.
Just last week, during the closing night of the final program of the summer, I got to watch as the eight brothers from the final group went around the room and affirmed each other, speaking truth, building one another up, shedding tears and cracking jokes while pointing out the Christ-like attributes they see and admire in one another. It was an appropriate send-off, and I was once again reminded that this type of fellowship is rare. The Lord used that time to impress upon me the importance of making HigherTrek available to more young men who desperately need this type of life changing opportunity.
So as we say thanks and celebrate what God started in the lives of young men during HigherTrek this summer, may we be reminded of the exciting job ahead of us. We know young men have trouble overcoming personal struggles and growing a deep relationship with Jesus. HigherTrek provides a framework to help them own their faith so they can follow Him for a lifetime. Your support allows that to happen. My hope moving forward is that we’ll be able to extend our reach. There are tens of thousands of young men who need help growing spiritually, and we know HigherTrek would benefit them greatly.
As we look forward to 2021 and beyond, will you pray this ministry is effective in making HigherTrek available to more young men? I look forward to sharing with you what that will look like in the coming months. In the mean time, I join my sixteen new HigherTrek brothers in saying thank you for your faithful partnership.
Honored to do this with you,