Emerge 2016-2017 has been up to a lot since day one. The students have been settling into Emerge life and developing closer relationships with our church, each other, and most importantly, God. It’s November now. Destin is finally starting to get cool weather and orange leaves are appearing on the trees, and the students just got back from their first long break for Thanksgiving. They’ve been up to a lot these past few months, and today on the blog, we’re going to update all of you guys on the events and experiences that the students have had since September. Tiffany Tripp is a Year 1 Student and is passionate about writing, so she’s done us the honor of giving us her perspective on some of the key moments and events that have happened so far. Without further ado, here’s Emerge 2016-2017’s Fall Recap!
I remember that I was ready to come to Emerge the moment I applied. I am a professional procrastinator so I stayed up till 1am the night before packing. But it didn’t matter. I was too excited to sleep anyways. I didn’t think I was too nervous until I pulled up to the campus. I remember there were so many cars and so many people running around everywhere. Parents, fellow interns, leaders, and volunteers were helping us unpack our cars, and as I walked down the hall of my dorm till I saw my name on the door of my room it all hit me. This was real. My parents helped unpack some things, just to fit everything in and clean up a bit, but there were still boxes on my bed when we left for Parent Orientation. At the orientation, my parents mingled which helped me meet some of the other students, while they heard a little more about the program, and were comforted about where they were leaving me. I went for one last dinner with my folks, and my siblings later that night. When they dropped me off at the dorm, we prayed together in my room and they left. I spent the first night of Emerge alone in my room, finishing up the rest of my unpacking. I heard girls laughing in the room next to me, but I was too scared to go introduce myself. This was an ironic first night, because by the next night we were all hanging out in each other’s rooms, staying up till 1am every morning talking and getting to know each other. I remember on the third or fourth night, we ended up sitting in the floor of the hallway talking before we moved into someone’s room to sit on their bed.
The second day of opening weekend we all had breakfast together and I got to see all the students alone for the first time. We all introduced ourselves, and I was unsure what to say. I was hoping that the nervousness would pass quickly and I would be able to be myself around the people I was living with for the next 8 months. On Sunday night, we had dinner and a game night which was another chance for us all to really get to know each other. We told more fun facts about ourselves, and played some hilarious games to really break the ice.
The next morning, we had our first chapel. Our director, Ms. Heather, had written cards with a scripture on it for each of us that she had felt God wanted to share with us. The scripture I was given confirmed things God had been revealing to me in the weeks before Emerge, and confirmed that this is the place He meant for me to be. We wrote letters to ourselves to read when we finish Emerge. I don’t remember what I wrote even now, but I am sure I will have grown so much by graduation, because I have already grown so much now. Even the problems from just two months ago, seem so small now and God is continuously growing me and bringing new things up and working on me. We all had prayer time after that, and we were given the opportunity to pray with the second year interns who had already been through Emerge from the past few years. It was the afternoon when we had the infamous “Beach Olympics”. I had already read all about them on this blog, and wasn’t sure how I felt about it yet. I was nervous, but we had a great time. Our team lost almost every challenge, but I think the event did its job, because I didn’t feel a need to be shy after that day. That night we had our first dorm meeting and got to know our RA, Meagan, a little more and discuss different dorm rules and chores. I have loved every dorm meeting since then.
I’ve been here for over two months now, and there is no nervousness, or shyness left in me.
At the end of October, Destiny Worship Center holds a Fall Festival every year on Halloween night. They set up booths, and rides and give out candy at all of their campuses. Since I am an Emerge Year 1 intern this year, I got to participate in this wonderful event. I was placed at the Destin campus, which is the central and largest campus of them all. We got there in the morning to set up, but our Destiny Kids ministry had been preparing for this event for weeks. During the services that led up to the event, the church had been asking for candy donations and volunteers to help out. Emerge, with the help of some awesome volunteers, put together some of the booths and got everything we needed.
The event was held in the church parking lot, so we had to move everything outside in preparation for the night. It was a lot of heavy lifting, shifting things around, and making it look great. We only had to put out the carnival booths, because the bigger rides and bouncy houses, were already set up, and we had food provided from food trucks. I personally got sent on an errand for three tubs worth of candy (we went through our first batch in about an hour!). The Destin campus had a total of eleven tubs to give out that night. Because we had so many volunteers and so many Emerge interns, set up only took a few hours. We were told that we finished the fastest out of all the previous Emerge classes (Go Team!). We were even given some time to go home and rest before coming back for the big night.
When we got back to the church, about an hour before the event started, we got all the candy set up and then went to our places. I was in charge of one of the pre-school carnival games called “Treasure Hunt”. It was fun playing with the little kids and then watching them go crazy for the candy! I was really proud of my church for putting together such an amazing event. There were so many people, the line never stopped even for my game. EVERYTHING was free at the event. All the rides, the food, and the candy just served as a blessing to our local community. And the kids looked like they were having a lot of fun. Each campus experienced the same enthusiasm and turnout for the event. All-together, it was a fun night to be had!
Thanks for reading! We had so much to post that we split it into two! Go check out Part 2 to read out our Annual Emerge Campout!