Two summers. 20 glorious weeks. One motel. Two humbling Dollywood costumes. And endless memories later…
I traveled to the River Lodge South for Mountain Project two summers in a row, and I am SO glad I did. Mountain Project has greatly impacted my life in too many ways to count. I’d like to share a couple ways MP has impacted my life in the hopes that you might let it impact yours, too!
Mountain Project opened my eyes to the needs of the world. This past summer at MP we had a specific training called World Vision Training. During this time, we would learn about other countries and the people groups that make up those countries. We were exposed to their needs through facts, statistics, personal testimonies, and videos (among other things). Then, we would break up into groups and beg the Lord to meet the needs of these nations. This training allowed me to catch a glimpse of the greater picture - the reaching of the whole world with the good news of Jesus Christ! During our time at project we learned what it looked like to walk with Jesus daily, share our faith, and live in community. We were prepared to return to TTU and preach the gospel to those in our residence halls, athletic teams, and classes. Through the power of the Holy Spirit people come to know the Lord and they begin to multiply their life, sharing the gospel with those around them. Then, someone else comes to know the Lord and becomes convinced to share the gospel overseas in China, etc. What is taught in Pigeon Forge, TN has the ability to impact the world - and you can be a part of that! THAT’S SO COOL!
Mountain Project lets you experience gospel-centered community for ten whole weeks. I cannot express to you how sweet it is to truly live life among 70+ other brothers and sisters in Christ. For 10 weeks you are learning, growing, and working alongside fellow believers. Living in a community of believers allows you to experience accountability, gospel truth, and encouragement that pushes you back to Jesus. Community is also such a sweet reminder of the body of Christ and how it works so beautifully together. Each one of your brothers and sisters in Christ reflects the Lord in different ways, yet you all are unified because of how your lives have been changed. Not to mention, living with 70+ other college students leads to quite of bit of fun and adventure! Through two Mountain Projects, I have been able to establish life long relationships on the gospel of Christ, and the Lord has used those friendships greatly to show me more of His character and goodness.
To end, I will leave you with my favorite encounter from last summer in the hopes that it encourages you and reminds you of the Lord’s saving power.
One day, some girls and I headed to the Island on the Pigeon Forge Parkway to share the good news of Jesus Christ. After having a few conversations with people, we rounded a corner to see an older lady sitting alone outside of a moonshine store. We approached her, and asked her if we could share Romans 6:23 with her. She said yes, so we began to explain this verse word by word. About halfway through the verse, the lady began to sob. She explained to us that she had cancer, and that she was physically dying. Not only was she physically dying, she was spiritually dying, as she had not placed her trust in Jesus Christ. We finished going through the verse with her, and asked her if she would like to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. She responded, “Yes,” through sobs, and began to pray for the Lord to save her life.
By no means does Mountain Project have any magic power to save individuals, but the Lord IS faithful to use those who are obedient to His call. Y’all, Mountain Project is pretty incredible, and I encourage you to take a leap of faith and let the Lord rock your summer. You won’t regret it. (:
P.S.- Wearing a Dollywood uniform is undoubtedly one of the highlights of my life.
P.P.S.- Pigeon Forge has the greatest lemonade you’ll ever put in your mouth.