A Veritas Life Adventures 2015 Outlook By Grant Boatwright, ED Veritas Life Adventures
What is it with our fascination with sagas? Those soul inspiring epic tales that awaken fears, passions, sorrow, and triumph. Those adventures that seem so impossible and unfathomable, to dark to overcome, and just when they are darkest, break, and the light shines through to a glorious new day, victorious, and full of new opportunity. Whether it is Aragorn standing defiant against overwhelming orc hordes with his companions in The Lord of the Rings, Luke taking that epic shot as he exhales deeply in the final moment of the Episode IV of the Star Wars Saga, or even a simple buzzer sounding that ignites a nation after ‘The Miracle’ hockey match in 1980; the fact is buried within. Our souls yearn for something great to be a part of, a story to play a part in, an adventure to be caught in. This yearning, which has spawned so many a great story, must originate from somewhere or someone. It is that greatest of stories, which began in paradise, in communion with the Creator of all things, a fall from His design, a long history trying to recover it, a sacrifice by His Son for us all, and this Son, Jesus, taking us all out of the darkness and shedding a light on the journey back, is the one resonating and calling to us still.
We, at Veritas Life Adventures, believe wholeheartedly in the reality of this yearning, the need to discover what it means, Who is whispering it to us, and how it plays out in our everyday lives. However, like all great stories, it must grow, struggle, and change because only through change will we improve and see the new dawn that is coming.
Reaping the harvest and planting the new seed
The start of 2015 finds Veritas Life Adventures wrapping up its last semester with a group of young Seekers, now seasoned, that are the culmination of our program initiation that began in the spring of 2012. One has been with us since the beginning, Conner Jansen, the others (Jathan Gupton, Erik Lavespere, and Tereza Bacca) have joined us along the way; but all are seniors in high school this year, ready to finish strong with the choice they made to journey along side us, and find a path that will continue seeking the truth in all aspects of their lives.
This presented us with a dilemma; if we start the program in January, what happens to the seekers who graduate in May and go off to their next stage of life, be it college or other, and still have half a year to go in the program? What about future Seekers who will be seniors in their high school careers?
That is why we are growing and changing to better serve our Seekers, and their resolution to be a part of this program, by finishing up with our current group of Seekers in July 2015 and starting all future years of the Veritas Life Adventures program on September 1, to go along with the school calendar.
We feel this will give both the current Seekers the best chance at finishing the program in the strongest fashion, honing and applying those skills they have learned thus far, while giving prospective Seekers for the new Veritas program starting in September a chance to fully commit, see how the program works, and begin and end with the other stages of life they are currently in. Therefore, go, find out more about the program, see what we are currently doing, and decide to seek that which is worth the struggle finding.
Their sagas continues, growing and strong
I confess I am writing this with a slight agenda… I want to boast a bit in the changes and triumphs I have seen Christ accomplishing in the lives of our seekers, encourage them in the work yet unfinished through them, and invite those new young Seekers (or parents of them) to make the choice to see if they ready for an adventure such as this.
All the Seekers who have come through the program, those still in and those who have left, have been transformed by Christ in some way; whether they want to admit it or not. Seeds for future success and a full life have been sown. But for these four (interesting that is how many went on our first trip to Red River in 2012), truly epic stories and accomplishments have been seen and are still being formed. While most of their stories are similar in their infancy with Veritas, as I will tell using Conner, and each has too numerous achievements to expound upon here, I would like to give you some highlights and share how they plan to take it to the next level.
Conner, an original 2012 Veritas Seeker, began an apathetic typical teenage gamer and who, like so many others, had multitudes of gifts, dreams, and passions just waiting to be awakened. Now he stands, a beast of a young man, poised to go to UTD to pursue a long time, but now fully enlivened, passion for audiology (as he is an award winning signer). He was a regional finalist for the Posse scholarship in Houston, a leader and active member in his church, Parkway United Methodist, and an active participant in the Insanity: Max30 program, along with Shakeology user, to help maintain a healthy physical lifestyle (literally see his physical transformation in our albums on Facebook).
Jathan, who has taken his talents in music to encourage those as a worship leader at Parkway and started workout sessions on his own with those in his community BEFORE SCHOOL…as a teenager!
Erik, who conceptualized, started, and seen manifest his own Ultimate Frisbee Club at his high school who just recently had their first inter school match with another local high school.
And dear Tessa, who in just her first year, has struggled and overcome so many personal trials (summiting Wheeler Peak on an injured hip and ankle), and pushing through strong spiritual questions to find Christ waiting with open arms, accepting Him, and ready to see what the next adventures bring.
And this year all four will be coming together to put on their own Veritas Intensives, where they will find, bring, and share with new prospective Seekers all they have learned in the program thus far. They will be planning the two day intensive all themselves: the nutritional meal made together, the workouts, the program/service project, and the journal topics discussed; so stay tuned, with much anticipation, to see what comes next.