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Band of Survivors 2014: Update #1

Over the past three and a half weeks, I have been hunkered down at Metropolitan Divisional Headquarters working on material for the 2014 Band of Survivors program which begins next Monday.

Band of Survivors is a summer youth mission school that is designed to eradicate spiritual complacency, inspire revolutionary kingdom visions and equip youth with the necessary tools to live a “Great Commission Life”.

Part of my duties as the intern for Band of Survivors includes writing the daily cell group material.  This year, Band of Survivors is going to be studying the gospel of Matthew.  It was a blessing for me to take two and half weeks and really dig deep into the gospel of Matthew.  I saw things I never saw before and saw significance in passages I often glanced over.  I cannot say that writing the material was an easy task, but it has already been a rewarding experience.  I cannot wait to discuss the gospel of Matthew with the students who will be joining us soon!  The Bible studies will be posted daily on and I will be tweeting a link to each day’s materials.

Last weekend, we had both our leadership orientation and our full group orientation.  These days were packed full of learning opportunities as well as logistics.  Needless to say, I was exhausted after the weekend.  It was great to meet the 11 students and 4 leaders who I will be spending the next month with.  I can already tell that God has some amazing plans for this summer!

This week, I have been working on two other major responsibilities that I have.  Over the summer, I will be team teaching a discipleship class with Nate Irvine using the book “not a fan.” by Kyle Idleman.  This book challenges Christians to understand what being a follower really means.  Instead of being fans, enthusiastic admirers, Jesus calls us to a life of discipleship which means that we follow his directions in Luke 9:23:

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

I look forward to sharing with the students what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ and how they can encourage others to be disciples of Jesus.

The other responsibility that I have is to teach another class on the theology of suffering.  This is based on a class that I took at Moody Bible Institute on the same topic.  There is always suffering around us.  We either know people who are suffering or we have suffered ourselves.  It does not matter to what degree we suffer, suffering is a problem of this world and causes many to question if there really could be a good God.  In this class, we will be discussing what suffering is, what causes it, why God would allow suffering to take place, how the church support those who are suffering, how the church can lament to God, and much more.  As I told the students, this class is not going to answer every question about suffering or eliminate their suffering.  Instead, it gives us a glimpse of the God who is present with us in our suffering.

I cannot wait to start this month of discipleship with the students!  It is going to be packed with worship, prayer, ministry, evangelism, Bible study, and fellowship!  May God begin to prepare our hearts for this experience!

About the author
Blake Fewell
Blake Fewell is a Salvation Army Lieutenant serving as the Corps Officer in Marion, IN. He grew up in Rockford, IL attending The Salvation Army all his life. Blake is passionate about Salvation Army theology and ministry. Other passions include running, brass band music, social media, reading, writing, and preaching. He holds a Bachelor's degree in systematic theology from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL and is working towards his Master's degree at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL.