Name: Kevin Campos
Hometown: Satellite Beach, FL
Teen Challenge Center: Graduated Central Florida Teen Challenge in 2015, Working at Tallahassee Teen Challenge since 2017
Brief Testimony: I was raised with a loving family and going to church, although never had a true relationship with God. When my dreams to receive a college scholarship for football were crushed, I turned to drugs, stealing and bad relationships to find my purpose. After many arrests, moving from city to city and burning bridges between family and friends, I was left with no choice, but to change my life. Teen Challenge accepted me, regardless of my financial situation and that’s where I became a disciple of the faith. Since then, the Lord has blessed me with provisions, gifts, motivation, discipline, education, a purpose and most of all the priceless benefits of the best family and friends anyone could ask for.
What do you enjoy most about your role? What I enjoy most about my role are the moments I experience as a teacher and spiritual leader, to witness men and women choose to love God and live it out in the context of the Word of God.
Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable? Leadership and the training that accompanies it are necessary and valuable because in order to fulfill the great commission and make disciples, there needs to be a sense of leadership and taking responsibility to influence others in the best way that promotes Christ-like change. And although someone can be naturally talented in qualities of a leader, much like a naturally talented athlete, we will never reach our full potential and have others grow in their level of potential without choosing to be trained well and training others along the way.
Name: Ezra Perez
Hometown: Pensacola, FL
Teen Challenge Center: Tallahassee, FL – 2012
Brief Testimony: God spared my life in April of 2015. He had a greater purpose for me than being the drug addicted, alcoholic son of a single mother. After 25 years of addiction and incarceration, God provided my escape. I have been living for Him ever since.
What is the vision and calling that God has given you: To help others find freedom from the their addictions while pursuing a better relationship with our Lord and Savior.
How has the ELP Program impacted you: The ELP Program has helped me further develop my leadership skills, and continue to grow in my relationship with Jesus Christ.
By: Bryan Sampson
I remember the first time I tried paddle boarding. I wouldn’t recommend trying on the ocean for your first time. Needless to say, I couldn’t stay on the board for more than a couple of seconds; just long enough for the next wave to knock me over. As the sun bore down and the waves kept crashing into me, I kept trying, growing more and more frustrated. I could not keep my balance to save my life. I thought that mental focus would help, so I focused more intently on my body, just to be tossed aside time and time again. Nearing the end of my patience, I decided to start praying. Interestingly the more I forgot about balance and focused on God, the longer I stayed on the board. I was shocked and elated at this revelation of were to focus my consciousness. By not focusing on my balance, my body would properly adjust to every wave, keeping a perfect rhythm, that allowed me to stay on the board and start paddling. My focus switched from balance to rhythm.
I believe this picture captures the essence of what Lance Witt (2018) was getting at in establishing rhythm (see p.53). Life, like the waves in the ocean, has a lot of ups and downs, calmness and motion and if we try to keep balance, we will constantly find ourselves frustrated and weary of our pursuits. So how do we switch from the pursuit of balance to the dance of rhythm? God gave us the practical strategy to help us live a life of rhythm and it is called Sabbath.
There will always be more to do, more to strive for, and more to accomplish, but you can choose a rhythm for your life that allows you to stop, rest, and restore. God gave you the Sabbath as a gift. How are you treating it? Witt (2018) states that “if you don’t have a biblical and theological conviction about the practice of Sabbath, the gravitational pull toward busyness will always win”. If busyness is always winning in your life, what is your prognosis? Balance or burnout?
Take time today and start to think about how you can begin to consistently participate in Sabbath keeping. Think about ways that will help you connect with God, relax, and restore. Find a hobby, meet with friends, go to a movie, go shopping, whatever it is, go enjoy yourself and relax. Remember God infused the Sabbath day with blessings (Exod. 20:11) and a healthy you is the best gift you can give your team (Witt, 2018).