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    Director of Children's Ministry
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My Summer at Southwood

by Kalie Deaton Youth Intern
When I left Asheville in May, I had no idea what to expect from Huntsville except that it was a giant leap out of my comfort zone, hot, and full of people who say “Roll Tide.” I now realize that I really underestimated how hot it would be and just how often people cheer for their favorite team. As well, I underestimated how God would build cherished friendships with the students, parents and leaders of High-Life.

Since most of my time was spent hanging out with middle school girls, my vocabulary now contains more LOLs, OMGs, and “like…” than it ever has before. That being said, though, the middle and high school girls that I got to know are awesome. They all have genuine hearts and sweet personalities that are completely their own. Whether it was getting to know the girls on a trip or sitting in a backyard by a pool, I was able to get to know many of the girls of this ministry well. As the summer went on I learned who prefers Coldplay over One Direction, who likes getting coffee rather than frozen yogurt, and more importantly how to relate and pray for each one of them individually.

To say that I am thankful for this summer internship would be an understatement. It’s easy to say that this summer has been one of the best of my life. This season of time allowed me to see what it really means to experience love and grace. Southwood welcomed me with open arms and was an example of how to do the same for others. In the two and a half months that I spent in Huntsville, I was able to be a part of a youth ministry that truly loves its students and their parents. My hope and prayer is that I won’t forget the road trips, superhero dance party, funny conversations and sweet friendships that I have made with the students here this summer and that I can use this experience to encourage others to take a step out of what they believe is their comfort zone, too.

by Katie Patterson Children’s Intern
Southwood Summer Round 3: COMPLETE! It’s crazy how each summer here has been unique, and I must admit that this summer has been my favorite. My first summer here was a lot of organizing, as children’s ministry was being moved upstairs and the downstairs was being renovated. The second summer, I was the receptionist so I didn’t get to play with the sweet kids much. This year I’ve been able to do everything­—VBS, Water Wars, Movie Night, teach Sunday School—and I am extremely grateful to have been so blessed by these kids!

VBS, as those of you who helped know all too well, was a huge undertaking this summer. The set design was absolutely fantastic, and I’m glad we had a ton of kids to experience our “weird jungle.” I led worship on stage singing and doing motions at the beginning and end of each day. I think I lost about ten pounds solely in sweat! I’ve done VBS at Southwood several times, but I was very touched this year by how much the kids were loving worship. They essentially made a mosh pit in front of the stage and were dancing and singing at the top of their lungs! It truly made my heart swell.

Water Wars was awesome as always. Well, extra awesome since we had TWO inflatables! The giant water slide was a huge hit, and the new slip and slide attracted quite the line. I spent my day running away from kids trying to shoot me with water guns, which made my revenge of throwing water balloons at them all the sweeter.

This has been my first summer doing Sunday School upstairs, and I’ve loved every second of it. Ice cream, pancakes, whipped cream, silly string, bouncy balls…. I’m 22 years old and I wish that was my Sunday School for the rest of my life! This summer we’ve been learning about how Jesus FLIPS our hearts so that we can live His way. While the lessons are simple in design they teach big truths. It’s been a great reminder for me and fellowshipping with the kids each week has been a lot of fun. How about Round 4 next summer?