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First Post from BigStuf

June 10, 2012 Leave a comment

The past few days I have been thinking about what I wanted to say in this first blogpost since starting my internship with BigStuf.  What words could I say that would accurately capture all that is going on down here?

Surreal.

At a very surface level, life is simply surreal.  This very minute I am sitting on my 5th floor balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico as a storm rolls in while listening to some pretty epic music (Explosions in the Sky, for those wondering).  How did I get here!?

As I’ve been thinking more and more about where I am and what I am doing, I can’t help but giggle at the way in which God moves and uses us. I am laughing just thinking about what I would have said if, four or five years ago, you had told me that I would spend my summer after graduation as a BigStuf intern.  It’s actually humorous to me.  But as humorous as it is, I am excited because I know that the Lord placed me here.  There really is no other logical explanation as to how I got here other than that God has had this planned for me for a long time.

We have just finished week 1 of camp.  My head has finally stopped spinning and I am starting to take things in.  Firstly, I am so incredibly blessed to be working with the people that make up the BigStuf team this summer.  My intern team is a great, fun group of folks that I get to work and laugh with all day long.  Our staff team is made up of a slew of gifted and talented individuals who are wonderful at inspiring us by their hard work and encouragement.

I have the absolute privilege of working in Reggie Joiner’s room this summer.  That man is too cool.  I cannot say it enough.  Getting to hear him speak all summer is such an insane blessing and privilege.

I get to watch the passionate and talented BigStuf band lead students into worship every night.  After spending the past year being on the stage every week, it has been surprisingly refreshing to be able to sit back and enjoy being lead.  I can’t wait to spend more time with those guys.

As you can maybe tell, I am still having a hard time gathering my thoughts.  All I know is that the Spirit of the Lord is at work here at BigStuf.  I ran ragged this past week.  Looking back, I have no idea how I was able to function, other than that the Lord gave me the strength to do it.  It is humbling to look back on this past week and know that nothing that I accomplished this past week was really done by me.  It was the Lord working and ministering through me.

I am looking forward to the coming weeks.  I am excited to grow and develop my relationships with my fellow interns, the BigStuf staff, the band and the speakers.  I am excited to see the Lord open up new ways for me to serve and minister.  I am excited for the opportunity to start conversations with students that can have eternal significance.  I am simply excited to see what the Lord has to do.

This post is not very spiritually deep.  Not to say that I am not learning things.  I am.  This post just serves as something of a “I’m still alive! Here’s how I am doing!” kind of deal.  But I will leave you with this quote I have been mulling over.

I’m reading Gospel by JD Greear, finally.  The book is blowing my mind.  Here’s a quote for you to think about until my next post.

“Always ‘begin again’ with the gospel.  Abide in it; swim in it; make your home in it.  See more and more of your life through it.  Be absolutely convinced at every moment of every day of the goodness of God in your life.  That’s the only way you’ll ever really grow.” – JD Greear.

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What’s next in my life!

April 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Four years ago I embarked on a journey.  That journey was to get a business degree from Indiana University.  I am finally coming to the end of that journey.  Today I walked out of a college class for the last time (though I still have final exams next week).  If you had asked me four years ago what I would be doing with my life today, I can only imagine the answer I would have given you.  If you had even asked me a year ago what my outlook on life would be coming in to today, the answer would have been completely different.  But I can confidently say that I know what the Lord has for me next…at least until August.

If you have read any of my prior blogs (there hasn’t been a new one in a while), you probably have an idea of the work the Lord has been doing in my life in the past year.  I went from wanting to play music, to wanting to get a job in the music industry, to wanting to do ministry, back to wanting to get a job in the music industry, then to wanting to make playing music my ministry.  That’s an incredibly abbreviated reader’s digest recap.  Well, last fall I began seeking wisdom and advice from various people in my life as to what steps I should take once May arrives and it’s time for me to leave IU and begin my “life.”  I got a slew of feedback and ideas, but one that kind of stuck out was to apply for an internship with an awesome organization called BigStuf.

I had heard of BigStuf.  But I had never actually gone to BigStuf.  BigStuf is an organization that puts on a summer’s worth of camps that minister to middle school and high school aged students from all over the country who travel to Florida, usually with their church youth groups, to spend a week of their summer experiencing the truth and power of the gospel through worship, speakers, activities, and community and end up leaving that experience changed like never before.  In the past, BigStuf has hosted speakers like Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, and Francis Chan along with worship leaders like David Crowder and Kristian Stanfill, just to name a few.

I never got to experience BigStuf firsthand, but I had friends that had gone when I was in middle/high school and all I heard was how amazing it was and heard/saw the way it changed their lives.  I asked around a little bit and continued to hear nothing but good things.  I had also heard from a few people who were familiar with the internship program  (some who actually got to intern themselves) who said it is an absolutely life changing program.  So after doing the research and praying over the idea, I decided to apply (what’s the worst that could happen!?).  I had to get letters of recommendation, write essays, take a strengths assessment test, turn in my resume, record a video about myself (which you can view here: bit.ly/Is5qZu) and THEN go through a phone interview.  TONS of people apply for this internship every year.  So I figured it was a bit of a long shot that I would get in, especially considering the fact that I have never actually gone to BigStuf.  But I continued to pray that if BigStuf was where the Lord wanted me, then He would open those doors.  If not, then I asked Him to close them.

A few weeks went by….then the call came.  I was accepted!  I am now one of 14 awesome guys and girls that get to intern with BigStuf this summer.  I will fly to Atlanta on May 21st for two weeks or so of training and team building.  After that, we travel to Panama City Beach to help run the camp through June and July, with the internship ending in August.  Over the course of this summer we will minister to roughly 15,000 students from across the country.  We will be running cameras, lights, merchandise tables, volleyball championships, security, and so so so much more.  It’s going to be exhausting.  I will be working from 8 in the morning until 11 at night, if not more.  I will be running around like a chicken with my head cut off (sorry for the graphic description).  But I get to serve JESUS.  I get to serve Him by serving the other staff and leaders of BigStuf.  I get to serve Him by serving the BigStuf Band.  I get to serve Him by serving the other interns.  I get to serve Him by serving the youth leaders that bring their groups to BigStuf.  And I get to serve Him by serving the students that come to BigStuf.  I honestly cannot think of a better way to start my post-college life than spending my summer exhausting myself to serve the Lord and expand the kingdom.

NOW HERE’S WHERE YOU COME IN!

Some of you reading this may have gotten a letter from me recently, others of you may be hearing about this for the first time.  With such a daunting task ahead of me (and the other interns), we have a number of needs that must be met to ensure that the Lord has the most room to work and move how He will.

Needs:

1.  PRAYER!! – I need your prayers.  Everyday will be an absolute battle, both physically and mentally.  I will be physically tired.  I will be emotionally tired.  I will be spiritually tired.  There is no possible way that I could do any of what the Lord has already laid out for me to accomplish this summer without the power of the Holy Spirit and the support and prayer of my friends and family back home.  This summer is going to have an eternal impact on the lives of thousands of students and leaders across the country, myself included.  As a result, the Enemy is going to do his best to make sure that problems arise, that we as an intern team and BigStuf as a whole is disrupted as much as possible, and that each individual that takes part in this camp is under constant attack.  Already, I have seen the Devil trying to get into my life to bring up junk to distract me from the work God has in store.  Please be praying.  This is the absolute more important thing I could ask of you. Pray for the leaders of BigStuf, the band, the interns, the students, the youth leaders, and any other aspect you can think of where the Devil can take a foothold.  We need this summer SOAKED in prayer.

2.  I could use your support financially.  Part of the BigStuf internship experience is support raising.  Our leadership team has set a goal before us that, when raised, goes to pay for all of our living expenses throughout the summer along with paying for our training materials and other tools we will need throughout the summer.  So far, this has been a huge challenge for me.  I absolutely HATE asking people for money (which really stems from my own pride).  However, the Lord has promised to provide and I am claiming that promise with confidence.  Already I have had an amazing group of people come to my need by giving of their funds to see that I am able to help in the expansion of the Kingdom of God through BigStuf.  However, I am still not anywhere near meeting my goal.  The goal for this summer is $2,800. Considering all that this goes to pay for, it is a very reasonable figure.  However, I start with BigStuf on May 21 and at this very moment I have raised $1,625.  That means in the next 25 days I am going to have to come up with $1,175 ($47 dollars per day).  If one person would give $50 per day over the next 25 days, this need would be met.  Anything I raise over that amount goes to pay for the expenses I incur in traveling to and from Atlanta.  I have been praying, and will continue to pray that the Lord would be providing these funds.  In doing that, I ask that you, whoever you are that is reading this, would consider joining with me.  I would love your support in any way you can provide it!!!

If you want to give you can go to the link below.  The easiest way to give is by giving online with a debit/credit card of some kind.  However, you can also send your money/check in to BigStuf directly.  If that is how you would like to roll, they ask that you still fill out the form on the website to pledge the amount (it also gives you a number to identify that I am to receive the funds and instructions on where to send it, etc).

THE LINK: http://intern.bigstuf.com/ryanharvey

If you have any additional questions about BigStuf or the giving or anything I have mentioned in this blog, feel free to get ahold of me.  Comment on here, shoot me an Email (rystixx89@gmail.com), shoot me a text if you have my number, Facebook message, Tweet, whatevs!  I’d love to talk to you more and answer any questions or hear your thoughts!

So there you have it!  I am jacked for what God has in store!!!  I will definitely work to keep this blog more up to date in the coming days with my needs for prayer, what the Lord is doing, and all sorts of exciting news from my experience with BigStuf.  This got rather long (in true Ryan Harvey fashion).  Thanks for reading and for any support you can throw my way!!

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