Aug, 2016 | By Solomiya Ilnitsky | Cru Student Sacramento State
Before Santa Monica Summer Mission–lovingly nicknamed SaMoSuMi– I had a deep longing to be part of a community who desired to deepen their understanding of God and what it truly means to be a follower of Christ. The last two years, I was fortunate enough to be a cheerleader at Sac State. Though I loved repping God to my team, as well as jumping into so many other collegiate events, the lack of a Christian community caught up with me.
People in Cru told me that I would make the best friends of my life on summer mission…I have to say, I was a little skeptical.
Only a few weeks into SaMoSuMi, I began to realize that I had met some of most amazing people on this planet! The SaMoSuMi community was a glimpse of what I believe Heaven will be like; brothers and sisters who have God prioritized in their life, who desire to know and worship God, but also who truly love each other and don’t just say it but show it.
The men threw a Women’s Appreciate Dinner to bless the women. Not only did they make the fanciest invitations ever, they gave us the opportunity to get dolled up, and some men chauffeured us to our dinner. Other men escorted us to our seats, took our orders, and served us our dinner. To top it off, they included entertainment; five men became “5th Direction” and danced, another man created a rap telling us how much they appreciated us, and they even passed out roses. The genuine love that was shown to us women was so real; they did not want anything in return, they were not doing it with some reasoning behind it. They blessed us simply because they appreciate and love us as sisters in Christ.
When I say going on a summer mission’s trip was the best decision I’ve made, I say it wholeheartedly. When I made the decision, it was not without risk. I already had a good internship for the summer that I turned down to join SaMoSuMi. In surrendering to God, I wanted to trust Him to provide. Two weeks into the mission, God placed– not an internship– but a job, wanting to hire me after I graduate college, right in front of me.
I was ready for sacrifice. God blessed me with community and a job. I know it doesn’t always happen that way. My heart has been ravished, my soul has been set ablaze, my soul thirsts for The Lord. Coming to Santa Monica for a Summer Mission with Cru has been one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life, and I would absolutely do it all over again if I had the chance. God does things we can’t even imagine as we do one thing. One simple thing. Trust Him. I know this wasn’t meant to be a pitch for summer mission, but I can’t help it. Give Him eight weeks of your life, He will give you far beyond what you could have desired. When we sacrifice our life for God, He takes it and does what we could not even imagine.
Impact| Your Stories: Our Summer Champion series a set of stories celebrating a wide range of steps students have taken in their relationship with God. We–the Cru community–tell these stories because sometimes as champions, we feel like a failure. We tell these stories because good in our own lives, and in others, doesn’t just happen. We attribute goodness in our lives to the work of God, along with some sweat and tears.