Two young adults—Brett Baeverstad and Summer Swisher—who are working as teachers in the youth summer program Totus Tuus being offered at parishes across the Denver Archdiocese, are writing a weekly blog about their experiences for the Denver Catholic Register. The week four column by Swisher is below.
When I hear the phrase “The Lord provides” often I get annoyed because I think it is so cliché. After this week, June 23-27, however, Jesus showed me the truth of this saying.
As week four of Totus Tuus approached, my team and I were excited but we were also tired. Filled with exhaustion we were faced with working with another team, which we had not done for the past few weeks, as well as work with the largest group of kids yet. Nearly 160 kids attended the daytime program and 30 attended the evening program at Our Lady of Loreto Church in Foxfield. With these big changes, the Lord showed us that with great trust and obedience, the Lord truly provides.
The daytime program this week was awesome. The energy given off by the kids was amazing. It was exactly what our team needed. Songs were loud, cheers were exciting and laughter filled the room. Joy filled my heart being with the kids.
Power learning sessions were lively and dynamic. Many times I heard the teachers comment on the great conversations they were having with the kids during these sessions.
The questions the kids asked were amazing. We had conversations about sin, redemption, hell, dignity and conscience. It is wonderful to be able to speak the truth to kids at such a young age. We should never underestimate their ability to wonder about, seek and understand truth.
During the week, the Lord blessed our team and the kids with a special time to discuss vocations to priesthood or religious life with them. Usually we have one power learning session on vocations, but this week, five different communities of religious brothers and sisters visited Our Lady of Loreto and talked about vocations with the kids. A few of the kids were also able to dress in habits. How beautiful it is that at such a young age these kids received the opportunity to see what it would be like to be a sister, priest, or brother. Each and every one of us is chosen by God to fulfill his mission. I pray that each and every one of those kids know that they are chosen by God.
The nighttime program with the teens was also really fun. I praise God for putting these teens in my life. It is amazing to see the way God works in building friendship with each one of the teens in such a short time. The week transitioned from being awkward the first night, to all of us being really comfortable with one another. I am grateful for the conversation and fun I had with all of them.
Nowadays my teammate Carter and I like to call ourselves “runners.” A few times a week two of my teammates and I go for a run (this is a lot for me, and the reason I call myself a runner!). It is the Lord, who gives me motivation and perseverance to keep serving my teammates and the kids I encounter and yet still have the energy to run. He knows exactly what each one of us needs and it is through him, that everything is possible. We were running out of energy this week but the Lord knew exactly what we needed—and he provided.
Summer Swisher is a recent graduate of the University of Colorado in Boulder. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in dance and a minor in religious studies. She loves Jesus, people and dance. This is her first year teaching Totus Tuus, for which she feels honored and blessed.