A common analogy used to describe STP is one identifying it as a “greenhouse growth of faith”, and I agree wholeheartedly with this description. Just like a flower benefits from the climate, surroundings, soil, and water utilized in a greenhouse to cultivate its growth, students at STP are able to benefit from the environment, staff, students, and culture of the program to cultivate and enhance their own personal growth. STP puts you in a community of fellow students who are all seeking deeper relationships with Jesus, and with this common goal in mind the opportunity for growth is incredible.
Personally, I experienced STP following my freshman year, and I returned in 2017 following my junior year to be a team leader. Though I had many fears about
returning a second time (leading others, missing summer work, anxiety) I took a step of faith and God met me there and allowed me to be used by Him. In both of my years I was able to create relationships with others from my own campus and campuses across the region, learn more about the character of God and His intimate love for me, and learn practical truths to apply to my life following the program.
One of these truths that I learned is the reliability of God’s promises in the Bible. Ever since STP 2017, I have found myself praying over and claiming various promises in Scripture that God has placed on my heart in different seasons of life. Through experiences at STP, I have been able to learn more about the reliability of God’s Word and continuously grow in the trust I have in His unfailing character.
Numbers 23:19 says
“God is not human, that he should lie,
not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?” (NIV)
This verse is one that really began to stick in my heart during my time at STP, and seeing the ways I have grown to trust this verse and rely on the Word of God in all seasons of life begins with my time spent with Him there. STP is not simply a great experience to be part of for three weeks. Rather, it is an environment that stimulates growth to propel you forward into a lifelong relationship with God, equipped to continue pursuing Him and seeking out the lost in your own personal circle of influence wherever you end up in life.