Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gathering Support

First of all, I want to say thank you for taking the time to read my blog. My hope is that through this online journal you are able to better know me, and to more fully understand what the SOUL program does.

The ultimate purpose of SOUL is to spread the gospel, to share the good news of our Savior Jesus Christ with those who do not know Him. The way that we are able to do this is through going out into communities and serving His people, and that means all people.  Service takes planning, hard work, and supplies. Those are things that we could not have without the support of others, and those others include you! I hope you are as excited about the things to come as I am. This blog will make being a part of SOUL from a distance that much easier. The more people we can find to pray for us, to offer their emotional support the better. And if those people choose to donate their money, then it will be greatly appreciated. To make donating easier, I have put a button on the sidebar where you can choose how much you want to give. It will go directly into an account that was set up for SOUL this summer.

Another new feature is that it is possible for you to subscribe to, or "follow", this blog, so that my posts will be emailed directly to you. All you have to do is enter your email address in the space provided on the sidebar to the right.

Please, start praying for us now. That the on site team might have hear the Lord guiding us as we plan for the coming summer. Ask others to pray for us as well, so that we can all become one team, pushing the gospel forward.


Monday, April 15, 2013

The Inevitable Introduction

Well hello.
Welcome to my North Carolina SOUL 2013 blog.

Per the usual, my first post should let you know a little about me. So here we go.

As you may or may not know: my first name is Morgan, last name Westbrook. As a 19 year old college student I enjoy reading for fun, listening to good music, making crafts, and all kinds of television shows. Double majoring in Civil Engineering and Spanish does not give me much time for any of those things. Though I watch more TV than I probably should. The internet can be extremely distracting, and while I sometimes miss it, I'm glad I no longer have access to Netflix.

Now, getting on to SOUL.

I was introduced to SOUL through the church that I attend when I'm home in Asheboro. A couple of the guys in the youth group were going down to Alabama to be on staff. That was when the site in Alabama was the only site. My first year I was a participant, so I went down for the week of Sports Camp and had an amazing time getting to know the kids and getting to know the other volunteers who attended. Actually, I attended SOUL as a participant for a couple of years. It's been a pretty regular summer activity, so I often get confused about what happened during which summer. BUT!, I applied for a position on staff for the summer of 2011 as my first year on staff. That was also the year that we introduced the site in Belvidere, North Carolina. Serving in North Carolina, and trying to make people in the area aware of the things that they can do for their own communities was quite an adventure. It is something that I enjoyed so much, and have such a passion for that I have decided to be on the North Carolina staff for two more years. After that first year we were able to expand the SOUL program and create two staffs, one in Alabama, but also one in North Carolina. The NC program expanded to include another site in Goldsboro, and this year is working on another expanding even more.

The theme for this year is "Before", which I am really excited about.

As you can see, the theme verse for Summer 2013 is Matthew 19:30, "But many who are first will be last; and the last, first." I think this is a great theme for SOUL, because it really gets to the heart of what SOUL is about. SOUL itself stands for Serving Others Unleashing Love. The whole basis of serving others is that you put their needs before your own and do what you can for them. ... Putting them first. ... In case you hadn't made that connection.

Anyway, I think this will suffice as an introduction for now. The NC staff has it's next training session this coming weekend, so I may have some more things to report on after that. Until summer starts I'm not sure what I'm gong to be writing about, so if you have any topics you'd like to hear from me about please let me know.

ALSO! There are links to the rest of the staff's blogs on the side. Not everyone has a blog set up yet, so make sure to check back for more later. But definitely check those out.