Monday, April 24, 2017

Indonesia #1

Hey family and friends,

I have just ONE WEEK until I leave for Indonesia! Its hard to believe that I am just 7 days away from traveling across the world to teach middle school students! I have been preparing for this trip for over 6 months and its crazy that it is right around the corner! I am so thankful for all of you who have supported me prayerfully and financially throughout these last few months. It has been such a blessing to me this semester to feel so supported by my family and friends. I will be forever grateful for all of you who made this trip possible for me! 

I wanted to make a quick post to give you guys a brief summary of what my time in Indonesia will look like! We will begin our journey on Monday, May 1st and after a few long flights, including a day layover in Bali, we are planning to arrive in SoE, Indonesia on May 4th. The first few days we will spend working on lesson plans and on May 8th we will start teaching. I will be teaching at a middle school with half of our team and the other half will be at a high school! I have never taught my own class before, but I am up for the challenge. Our students will know minimal English so most of them still have a lot to learn. The language barrier is intimidating to me as well but I know this will be such an amazing learning experience for me before I start my student teaching in the fall.  Our team will be spending 5 weeks at a hotel in SoE and the last few days of the trip will be spent debriefing on the beach in Bali! Our organization is partnered with a local orphanage so we will be spending our evening hanging with those kiddos. 

Here are some ways you can support my team in prayer this next week and the first days of my trip:

-That our whole team can stay healthy!
-We can have a smooth transition from our life here at GCU to Indonesia
-Finish this school year strong
-Safe Travels
-Positive spirits 
-We won't have any fears about the trip

I will be updating my blog every week if the wifi at my hotel allows it. So stay tuned! 

Indonesia on world map
Indo is made up of almost 17,000 islands and we will be in west Timor (center at the bottom).

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

CBS 3.5

Week five was very eventful, especially for Syd and I. We tried to find the balance of spending time with our family and soaking up every moment we have left with our friends. Syd and I feel so supported by our family and family friends and it's a treat to have them here to experience the place we love so much. It was so nice to have our parents in camp to do a bit of debriefing before we head home this Sunday. 

Last Wednesday was a great night for dancing since we we had 61 high school and junior highers and 20 college students. It seemed like we were so busy dancing with as many campers as we could. It made for a fun night! Last Thursday some campers and staff had an epic belly flop contest and about 150 campers watched from the beach. Spontaneous activities like that make me love camp. I love how it wasn't only staff and young campers participating but people of all ages came together and had a fun time doing something silly.

Sadly, we said goodbye to our week 5 campers in preparation to welcome our staff's 7th and final week here on the island. It was especially difficult to say goodbye to our loved ones as we watched them leave on the boat, but we are so thankful they were able to come. On Saturday night our staff put on our 2nd annual (revived) CBS Staff Coffeehouse. The Coffeehouse is a time where the staff can perform a talent of theirs, either individually, or in a group. It originated several years ago and the staff stopped doing it until it was revived last year. We had duets, quartets, science experiments, dancing, short plays, and an a Capella group. There's nothing more special than watching our kitchen team, facilities team, office team, and program team bond over watching our friends get up and showcase their gifts. After coffee house, we played Grey Wolf: A night game that is a mix between sardines and tag. This game, which was introduced to our staff last year, is such a thrilling game filled with screaming, laughs, and lots of running! 

On Sunday we welcomed our final week of campers. These past few days have been filled with a lot of "lasts" but we are really feeling God's presence. For our Sunday Evening small group, our group meets at Greg and Wendy's house which is built on the cliff. As we sat on their porch which overlooks the rock jetty, a huge bald eagle flew above us about 25 feet above our heads. It's moments like those that remind me how beautiful God's creation is and how he specifically designed us to savor it. 

Whether it's participating in a belly flop contest, hosting a coffeehouse, or playing a night game, I love seeing how we come up with random things to do in order to keep ourselves entertained. I appreciate this cove because it's a place where we can slow down and focus on what is important. One may say there isn't a whole lot to do here, but this place is designed for fellowship. When we are here we are celebrating what God has designed us to do: to live in a community that spurs you on without distraction. 

The women on staff have been reading a book called "10 Things for Teen Girls" by Kate Connor. I've been challenged by her words this past week. She writes "You are enough because God declares you so. This is the great scandal of the gospel. You are more sinful than you could dare to imagine, and you are more loved and accepted than you could ever dare hope. God doesn't love you because you are enough; you are enough because he loves you. This is God's story. His love makes you enough" (Connor). There are times where I don't feel like I'm enough for my campers. I'm tired, and I sometimes feel as though they aren't hearing what we say. But what Kate Connor says in this passage reminds me that I am enough because of what Jesus has done for me. I need only to be still and let him work. God has done some great work in my heart this summer and it's not because he only speaks to me at camp, it's because I take more time to listen. 

Be praying for our staff this week that we finish this race strong and we can enjoy every moment together. 


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

CBS 3.4

I'm surprised by how refreshing week 4 was for me. In the beginning of the week I was kind of thrown off because I didn't know a ton of campers like I did the previous weeks. I am just blown away by the Lords work this week. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I had such a mature group of campers. On Thursdays we split our class up into gender groups so we can go deeper in our discussions. The girls opened up on such a deep level and I'm so grateful for their honesty. Week 4 reminded me that even though it seems like these families have it all together, they still come to camp with brokenness. They are desperate to be refreshed.  I'm thankful for the vulnerability of the girls in my class week 4.

This past week has been pretty fun! We finished the week with a kids campfire, more classes, banquet, and saying farewell to our week 4 campers. This weekend the majority of the program staff planned a 2 mile kayak trip to Whites Beach. I decided to stay back and make cinnamon scones with Virginia. You may be wondering why I gave up an adventure just to work in the kitchen but those of you who know Virginia probably know why I said yes. Every moment I have with her is amazing.  She is truly one of my best friends here on the island. It has always been a dream of mine to spend a day in the kitchen cooking with Mama V, and I'm so glad I took that opportunity.

Later that afternoon, the women on staff had a tea party where we enjoyed the scones made by Mama V and her sous chef (yours truly). During our tea party the men on staff gathered in the dining hall and ate Tri-tip with their bare hands without wearing any shirts. They like to call this their "meating". You may think I'm joking but I say this with seriousness. They enjoy doing manly things while the women sip tea and eat scones. We finished the night with an (almost) full moon hike, a staff movie, and Paul's cookies. 

The best part about Week 5 so far is my family being here!!! Hooray! Sydney and I have anxiously awaited their arrival. Not only are my parents here but my aunt Sylvia, the Langs, and the Ellison's are here as well. I'm so refreshed by having so many familiar faces here with me. I'm especially grateful for the way my friends love my parents. I love seeing my parents interact with my all of my homies here. I'm so grateful that the Lord has given us this week to be together. WE MISS YOU ALEX AND ERIC!!!

Everyday when I have a moment to myself, whether its when I'm laying in my eno on the beach, sitting on the veranda, walking down the fairway, or laying in my bed underneath the stars, I take a moment to realize where I am. It's as if God has created this place just for me. I belong here. This is a place where people respect me and know what makes my heart beat. It's a place where I feel encouraged and loved. But above all, it's a place where the Lord has called me. I'm here on purpose.

 We have a week and a half left and I'm thrilled to see how God is going to move. I can go on and on about each person on staff and I refuse to come to terms that we only have a little over a week and a half left. 

Holy is the Lord revealed before my eyes, and my burning heart can scarcely take it in. As I behold your beauty with unworthy eyes, the only song my soul can find to sing is 'Hallelujah'


Shelby Dreves 
Campus by the Sea
PO box 466
Avalon, CA 90704

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

CBS 3.3

Week three was tougher in a lot of ways compared to the three previous weeks. Even though the staff did a fantastic job serving our sweet campers, we were a lot more tired this week. We had 21 kids in our class!! Some kiddos in 5th and 6th grade needed a lot of one on one attention and it challenged me, Erik, and Taylor.

At times it was difficult finding the balance of hanging out with the kids who needed a lot of attention and setting personal boundaries so we didn't exhaust ourselves. Some of the children in our class don't want to waste a moment of our attention. I really prayed for a positive attitude this week. I prayed that God would give me the willingness to give positive attention to the kids who needed it most even when it was difficult. One particular girl left us on Saturday with tears in her eyes and it was in that moment I realized how special this place is for her. It's not only a place to learn about God, but a place where she is always loved, cherished, and noticed.

It was also very difficult to say goodbye to the week 3 of campers. It was such a treat to have the Yardley family in camp this week. Liz Yardley was on staff with us week 2 and she joined her family as a camper week 3. I am so blessed by their friendship. When they are here I feel as if it is my own family. The closeness that CBS families experience here on the island is unlike any other place and I believe it is one of many things that make this place so special. I watched the Yardley family line up on the pier with tears in my eyes not knowing the next time I would see them, since they live in North Carolina. However, I am confident in the friendship I have with them and even though every year is different, I trust the Lord will provide us a way to reconnect this coming year.

After the campers left, the staff spent the afternoon swimming, enoing (hammocking) under the pier, falling asleep over the water, going tubing, watching a movie on the beach, night snorkeling, and spending the evening studying the stars up at the cross. I'm thankful for the simplicity of our lives here at camp and I'm thankful for the simple times that put our busy lives on the mainland into perspective. 

Week 4 campers arrived on Sunday and for the 5th and 6th graders, this is a mellow group. Our 10 kids are mature, silly, and eager to learn. We have a lot of younger kids in camp this week so it has surely kept us on our toes!! 

Our staff has been reading a book called New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. This book has 365 daily devotions and it's been so cool reading the same thing as the rest of the staff everyday. On July 5th, Tripp wrote about our weakness and how "confessing our inability produces hunger for the power that is only ever found in Jesus" (Tripp). Week three I felt so weak. I tried to fix my tiredness on my own without looking to the Lord. Tripp reminded me that "our problem is our delusions of strength that keep us from seeking the grace that strengthens us in our weakness" (Tripp). I was so caught up with thinking I could do it on my own, and I was so wrong. I failed to unwrap the gift of grace that God has given me. If you're reading this: I hope you are challenged by Paul David Tripp's words the way I was. This week you will have at least one moment when you feel weak and you can attempt to use your own strength or or look to the one whose strength is plentiful. 

Prayer requests:
-Healing for a few staff members who have colds
-For the families to feel God's presence this week at camp
-My friend Danika Langley (on the mainland) who had  surgery on her hip this past Monday. 

Sweet Jesus Christ, my clarity

Bread of heaven broken for me

Cup of salvation held up to drink


Shelby Dreves 
PO Box 466
Avalon, CA 90704

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

CBS 3.2

It's hard to believe that we have already hit our half way mark for the summer. Last Wednesday evening I was able to start dancing again since I sprained my ankle! Swing dancing for the first time in a year brought me so much joy! We ended the week with a crazy, yet fun kids banquet. Each banquet gets crazy but I am thankful that our amazing staff always rises to the occasion. This past week has been an amazing one. As we said goodbye to our amazing week 2 campers, we welcomed an exciting weekend!!

On Saturday, July 2nd, once the campers left, our staff celebrated the 4th of July two days early with a picnic and field games. We were treated to corn on the cob, ribs, bbq chicken, potato salad, and cake! We had an Egg and spoon race, a water balloon toss, a 3 legged race, "king of the court" knockout style, and minute to win it games. We had four teams with about 12 VERY competitive people on each team which made these simple games seem just as important as the upcoming Olympics. Many people became so passionate about this simple picnic, but it made it so fun! We ended the night with a campfire, s'mores, and worship. We sang with full hearts and raspy voices from screaming our team chants earlier in the day, but not one yelp was wasted. Worshipping together was the perfect way to end such a fun day. 

On the actual Fourth of July, we had a normal morning and afternoon with our week 3 campers. The kitchen was sweet enough to rearrange the food schedule and have burgers on the beach to celebrate Independence Day. The elementary team led the kids in some fun night games and ended the day laying underneath the stars at the cross watching countless firework shows 26 miles away on the mainland. Praise the Lord the sky was clear! These people rock my world and I'm so thankful for the special memories that were made that night. 
This morning 38 staff members did the shore hike into Avalon. This short and dangerous hike is a fun tradition that is only for the staff! We helped each other over cliffs and jumped through the rocks. We left at 6AM and a few laughs and bloody knees later, we made it to town around 7:45. We are thankful that everyone made it safely and we are happy to be in town for our day off!

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for my ankle; I am feeling much better! I hiked the shore into town today with the rest of the staff, so I'm nearing my full recovery. 

If you are wondering how you can continue to pray for our staff, my biggest prayer is that we don't get comfortable where we are. My heart for the staff is to continue to jump out of our comfort zones when serving our campers. I want us to continue to go out of our way to invest in each person's life as well as keep pulling ourselves away to listen to God's voice. I want us to pursue friendships with people we have yet to seek out. I especially pray that each person won't take a single moment for granted.

Christ Alone, Cornerstone.
Weak made strong in the Savior's love.
Through the storm he is Lord, Lord of all! 


Shelby Dreves 
Campus by the Sea
PO box 466
Avalon, CA 90704

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

CBS 3.1

Well, our staff has finished orientation week, Family Camp Week #1, and half of Family Camp Week #2! These last few weeks have been so incredible. It has been cool to see how God has moved in such a short period of time!
As most of you may know, my position this year looks a little different. This year I am the director of the Elementary program as well as a 5th and 6th grade teacher. I have been challenged by this new job in so many ways but the Lord has truly equipped me with the strength I've needed to succeed. The rest of the elementary staff has exceeded all expectations and I am so confident in who we are as a team. This summer I am working with Erik Anderson in the 5th and 6th grade class. Last year Erik and I worked together for a few weeks so it's been cool to pick up where we left off and  work together again this summer. I am astonished the by maturity of the 5th and 6th graders we are leading. They all have big hearts for the Lord and are genuinely curious about what it's like to live a fully-surrendered life. There's nothing more encouraging than seeing how much a 10 year old can grow spiritually in a week. 

I am so happy that I am reunited with so many of last year's summer staff! It's fun to catch up with each person and listen to how God has worked in their life this past year. Many of them just finished their first year of college, and after finishing my first year away from home, it's been really cool to share mutual struggles and joys from the past school year. I am so grateful to be part of a staff full of people who are actively pursuing a relationship with Jesus. It's so refreshing to meet a large group of people who are seeking the same things I am. Their love for God's word is so inspiring and I am so grateful for each friendship. The last two weekends we have spent our time having Bunco parties, playing in the water, practicing our line and swing dancing, and eating as many of Papa Paul's cookies as we can handle. I soak in every moment that I spend with our staff because this uninterrupted time we have on the weekends is rare. 

Some of you may have heard that I sprained my ankle at the end of Orientation week. I spent 3 days hobbling around on crutches and sitting out on some fun activities. Shoutout to my awesome sister Sydney for carrying me back from our living area (Little G's) all the way to main camp on her back. That walk is about a 6 minute walk up hills, and multiple flights of stairs and I wish I could say I was surprised that she did it, but she's a beast to say the least.   For those of you who are familiar with Campus by the Sea, you have an idea of how difficult it is to "walk" with crutches and miss out on all the fun activities. After 3 days on crutches, 5 days of limping around, I am finally back to walking normally and playing simple games. My foot is still in a little pain but I am thankful for a fast recovery! Thanks for the way you have prayed and supported me this summer! 

Prayer requests:
-Stamina for the staff
-Continued healing for my ankle
-For the kids in my class who have a hard time focusing during discussions
-For the staff to not get tired of going out of our way to serve people

All I have needed thy Hand hath provided
Great is thy Faithfulness Lord unto me. 


Shelby Dreves
Campus by the Sea
PO Box #466
Avalon, CA

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I'm Unsatisfied

I'm Unsatisfied. Lately I have been a unsatisfied person. I have been given the world this winter break yet when one thing goes wrong I get so frustrated and it keeps me from counting the blessings that are happening right under my nose. There are so many examples I could share but this one illustrates it the best: 

(#)= blessings counted

My family was able to take an incredible trip to New York this past week. Most of you may know that we used my sister's flight benefits to fly standby in order to cut down the cost of the trip (1). We arrived to New York with no travel complications and enjoyed our 4 days in the big city. It was truly an incredible trip. It was probably the last opportunity that the 5 of us would all be traveling together, alone (2). We saw the Statue of Liberty (3), the Rockefeller Christmas tree (4), we saw our ancestors' name on Ellis Island (5), we went to see Jennifer Hudson perform in The Color Purple on Broadway (6), and we spent hours getting lost on the subway TOGETHER (7). We arrived at the airport only to find out that every single Virgin America flight to Los Angeles was overbooked by at least five seats, leaving us stranded at JFK. When you fly standby you can only get on a flight that has empty seats, so we were completely out of luck. I waited in the airport for 20 hours for a flight home. That was a really long day. A happy day lasts a minute and a stressful day lasts a decade. We debated driving home (yes, from NYC to LA) because we had absolutely no hope of getting on any flights. We decided to stay in the airport with the hope of getting on the 7AM flight. Long story short, we all made it home by the early evening (8). During those 20 hours I was completely consumed with stress. Not knowing when I was going to arrive home or if I was going to be able to travel to Boise for the New Year. I completely blocked our incredible trip out of my mind because I had was too busy worrying about not getting home. I didn't have time to think how lucky I was to spend an extra 20 hours with my family. I didn't have one second to think about how precious that time was, or a second to think of how lucky we were to experience a trip like that.

I'm done being unsatisfied. It's distracts me from counting my blessings. I'm so consumed with what others can do for me instead of looking back at the things at the things that God has already done. 

So I'm here at the airport and I missed my flight to Boise because I read my itinerary wrong (9). I consider this a blessing because this time at the airport has given me time to reflect of how important my blessings are. I saw God do great work in getting us home safely from New York after hours of waiting and I'm honestly thrilled to see how God uses other situations to bring Glory to Him. 

Friends, if we are too unsatisfied with where we are at in the moment, we miss out on what God is trying to do.