We want the world to know that the biggest privilege for Transform Student Ministries is hosting young people of all ages for summer EQUIP Boot Camps and the ENGAGE Internship. We love investing in young men and women. We are humbled and excited to spend intentional time with them, and to see their hearts and lives change through the power of the Word of God. In short, we serve God by participating in discipling students through Scripture. At the moment we’re introducing each of this summer’s ENGAGE interns! If you’ve missed any of the posts, just click here and read away.
We’re absolutely floored to be a part of David’s story, and that he is part of our story as a ministry. It has been a gift to have David on staff for EQUIP Boot Camp the past few years. His answer for why he has served on staff that really touched us:
I have learned a lot of things through Transform as a camper and a boot camp staffer. I love the people and atmosphere and could not think of a better way to spend my summer than by living and working alongside an organization that has meant so much to me personally.
When talking about his testimony, David talked honestly about how he had distinct memories of asking Jesus to save him, but that there was a season afterward where he walked in complacency and ignorance.
I walked through most of my elementary and middle school days in a private Christian school so it was totally normal to be a good little Christian boy. I had very little understanding of what it meant to truly follow Christ and to seek after Him. I suppose very few people do at that time of life, but I grew very good at looking a certain way because I knew what people expected of me.
Have you ever settled for pleasing people instead of pleasing God? Can you relate to David and his struggle?
As time went on and I was moved to public high school, I was challenged in ways I did not really grasp at the time. I was confronted with people who actually thought my God was weird and thought I was weird following the “rules.” I did not handle it well. I started trying to fit in and ended up developing a little bit of a mouth and not being the purest person on the planet.
How did those outward sin actions affect David’s heart and conscience?
It was a very hard time for me. I constantly felt conviction and knew many of the things I was doing were wrong, but due to my lack of depth I had no idea how to fight or defend myself. At this time in life, I really started to doubt my salvation and I lived with a lot of guilt and shame about who I was and wondered if God still loved me.
Part of our identity as a human is sin. But part of the identity as a Christian is righteousness. We are human Christians, and those identities will continue to clash until our dying breath. While that might sound discouraging, it’s true even though we don’t like it; and that’s why handling our sin is one of the most important spiritual skills we can refine. Does that sound like we have to do it ourselves, or that all the burden is on us? The good news, friends, is that we DON’T have to be defined by the “human” part or fix it ourselves; we GET to be defined and transformed by Christ!
Ephesians 2 lays out the blunt reality of sin right before the trumping reality of what God has done for us. “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins” is how it starts. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).” There are a lot of commas (and a lot of meat-y truth!) in there, but the statement is:
Not dead and hopeless, but alive and the receiver of God’s goodness towards us! How did God act towards David when he was living in guilt, shame, and confusion?
That is when He sent me to my first Boot Camp. Suddenly I was surrounded by people that loved Christ and I had counselors showing me how much God loved me. It took me a little while to feel comfortable in the setting, but as I worked through the study we did that year, the Lord told me how much He loved me and grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.
It’s easy to forget that God’s goodness was expressed completely even WHILE we are still saints who sin. But the breathtaking part is exactly what David said: God won’t let go. His gospel toward us will continue its saving work again and again. And because His work is already complete, we can bring our sins and struggles to Him without shame (1 John 1:9, Hebrews 4:14-16). It continued working in David’s life:
When I did the Covenant study, my view of God radically changed. He was God, that no matter what happens, will keep His promises, and loved me enough to give me a place in a covenant that I had not earned. I still struggled with a lot of temptation and I still do, but the Lord started growing me up and showing me that only His perfection is necessary. The blessing EQUIP Boot Camp was to me cannot be overstated. The study skills that the men and women at Precept taught me have helped me to understand the Scriptures and have deepened my knowledge of God’s character.
That’s what we’re all about: giving young men and women skills that walk out the door with them. We don’t aim at just affecting someone’s summer; we want to give truth and training that’s strong enough for the day-to-day, and for every season of life. So why did David feel like the ENGAGE internship was the next thing for him?
This internship has a history (that I have witnessed) of growing and shaping young people’s lives to better serve our Heavenly Father. This program lines up perfectly with my own personal goals of growing my ability to teach and share my experiences in God’s Word with others. I also look forward to the opportunity to grow alongside other young people in striving after the Lord.
If you want to support David financially, you can do that on his support page. If you want to join us in supporting him through prayer, please pray:
— That God will increase his faith, preserve, and sustain him
— The training he receives will bear fruit in God’s timing, and unique variety
— That the students he serves will be transformed by God’s Word
David and the Transform team