Eleven of us went to Malawi with Summit in March of 2013. I thought I was going over just to serve in Malawi... I didn’t know that God had other plans for my life for when I got back! Our team grew close to each other while in Malawi and near the latter part of our trip, we decided we would form a Connect group when we got home. Some of us invited a few others to start the group and a few weeks after returning, our group started! When God created humans, He didn’t intend for us to live our lives alone... He intended us to live our lives in community. One of the great things about being part of a short-term mission team is being with a body of believers almost 24/7. It’s part of what we see in Acts 2:42-47 in the early church... the body living their lives together with a deep sense of community. Upon returning home, we longed for that community we experienced in Malawi! Though, we knew things were going to be different. We all had to get back to our own lives, our work, our school, everyday chores, etc.
It was so awesome to see everyone’s desire to continue in community even while getting back to our everyday lives! We would meet each other to hang out four to six days per week sometimes. We’d have lunch with each other, have dinner together, go places together, and do things together. Even those who hadn’t gone on the trip seemed to see our desire to be with each other and jumped right in. It was great!
Over time, some people have left the group for various reasons (moving, work, other priorities) and new people have joined the group. We continue meeting each week: studying the Bible, doing book studies, giving life updates, eating together, attending monthly prayer night at Summit, taking Summit U classes, etc. We continue to see each other two to four times per week and enjoy each other’s company!
As time goes on, doing life together can get harder. People get sick, lose jobs, have family issues, have relationship issues with each other and with others, have life struggles, etc. We press on as Jesus wants us to, though... to love one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to help each other in times of need, to pray for one another, to take care of each other, to provide food for each other, to provide financial assistance to one another, to walk alongside each other as accountability partners, to help each other move, to give rides to each other when we need them, to listen to each other, to walk through life together. It’s sometimes hard, because life is hard. We make sacrifices for each other. It’s easy to want when we’re in need and hard to go out of our way when others are in need. But it’s all worth it. We’re trying our best to live how the Bible guides us... to be involved in each other’s lives, and to love each other as Jesus loves us.
Guest blogger Bobby Braun has been attending Summit since 2012. He's passionate about fighting human trafficking and enjoys being part of short-term mission teams. He is thankful for God's grace!
If you'd like to get connected in community here at Summit, join us for Group Day this weekend:
Herndon // Thursday, January 22nd and Sunday, January 25th following all services
Lake Mary // Sunday, January 25th following all services
Waterford // Sunday, January 25th at 12:30 p.m.
Windermere/Dr. Phillips // Sunday, January 25th following the 10:45 a.m. service at Herndon*
*If you’d like to be part of a Windermere/Dr. Phillips area group but can’t make the 10:45 a.m. service, group leaders representing this campus will also be available following Herndon's 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 6 p.m. services to help you get connected.