// VISION 2019 //
A couple of weeks ago, nine of us came back from VISION 2019. What is Vision 2019, you ask? Well, it was two weeks of jam-packed discipleship and training across a plethora of areas. Anything from car maintenance and cooking to sound mixing and advanced apologetics was up offered to over 250 students across two sessions. In total, we received ~56 hours of training over the course of Vision!
We began Vision by writing down a one-word prayer on a notecard and rock that we wanted to describe the next two weeks of Vision. Then, we paired up and got to pray for each other. We switched rocks and would entrusted to pray for the other person throughout Vision and return their rock at the end of Vision.
We were sorted by tribes by where we're from in order to new people over the course of the two weeks. In the first session there was Cobalt, Iron, Sage, Onyx, Crimson and Gold. We were in the Gold tribe along California. The first official day of Vision we participated in the tribe wars, where each tribe participated in various competitions. First, we made our team flags and did a team showcase with hype cheers (featuring smoke canisters!!) and then we competed in relays and capture the flag. There were about 170 of us, so you can imagine it was a pretty crazy time! After that, we went on a tour of the Berkeley campus. Each weekday, we would start with our 'devotional time' (AKA DT) by tribe pairings featuring a hearty breakfast prepared by many hard-working staff and volunteers which would end with different types of DT sharing times.
Later in the week, we went by tribe pairings to different quarter school campuses to help conduct outreach for special talks we were holding. Our tribe pairing went to Santa Barbara where we conducted outreach on campus and at the nearby area called Isla Vista. We arrived 1.5 days before A2F Santa Barbara's bible study about the purpose of life and hit the ground running by sending out five or so teams around the campus to conduct the pre-planned outreach we had planned in the preceding days. On our way back up to the Bay Area, we stopped by Point Lobos, where we were met with unparalleled west-coast ocean views.
We ended our time at Vision with a huge potluck of home cooked food (thanks to many generous staff) and a family time filled with hilarious and moving performances. We ended family time with all the staff and volunteers surrounding the students and singing the benediction over us. Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend attending something like this during y'alls summer! It was two weeks of amazing and fun training, fellowship, and growth!
Note from the Author
I'd go into more detail but if I went on about all the great things that happened during Vision, it'd take a little too long, but I wanted to share one (of the many) lessons that I took away from Vision, specifically, the Acts book bible study with Gracepoint ministries. We spread out the 12 hours of class over a few days.
The first day of class, I didn't know it, but I came into class with a closed mind and heart because felt like I already knew it all. But my eyes were opened to the state of my heart when the speaker said that he hoped our hearts wouldn’t be hardened to what he had to say just because a lot of the passages were familiar.
After DTs the next day and reflecting about the state of my hardened heart, I felt much more refreshed and open as the speaker walked through Acts with us. MAN did he have a lot to teach. He pointed out how God used the original 120 disciples mentioned in Acts and essentially multiplied them into all the Christians present day. So, in the same way, God can use us, even in small numbers, in those spheres, like our families or classmates, where we feel like we’re the only ones trying to reach out or share the gospel.
This was encouraging to me as I thought about my grandpa living in New York as I feel like I'm the only one trying to reach out to him and on top of that, we don't share a common language. Although I feel overwhelmed trying to reach out to my grandpa coupled with trying to overcome a language barrier and the distance, I know that God can use me!
The most challenging part of Acts for me was learning about other-centeredness and learning to step aside and do what's best for the church, and ultimately, God's plan. This started in Acts 11 when we learn who started the church in Antioch… it was “some of them.” We don’t even know who they are! How could this happen? The speaker pointed out they weren’t obsessed with making sure that their names were remembered, but rather were concerned with planting this church for others.
We are also introduced to Barnabas (translated as “the son of encouragement”) in this chapter and how he was glad and encouraged by going to Antioch and seeing what was being done there. So much so, that he stayed there to build up the church. I hope to have the same sort of joy over such things rather than having a response of FOMO or even envy. Later, Apostle Paul would come and take leadership, and the speaker pointed out how Barnabas didn't fuss about it and there wasn’t any conflict or drama around it. This was challenging because Barnabas was so willing to let go of this position of power at the church he had invested time building up for the betterment of the church as a whole. The speaker said “we need a Barnabas at every church.”
A quotation that stuck out to me was when the speaker quoted Leonard Bernstein, a famous symphony composer, who, when asked what the hardest instrument to find for the symphony was, responded with "the second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm -- that's a problem. And if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony."
So I pray that each of us could strive to be a harmonic and enthusiastic second fiddle here at the Austin church! I hope we would each be able to be inspired without envy or FOMO, be able to step aside and let someone else take the limelight or control without the drama, and truly to be the "son (or daughter) of encouragement" we see in Barnabas. Ultimately, I pray that our desire to serve God to the best of our abilities would surpass our desire to glorify ourselves!