By the grace of God, we have made a difference.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t know the difference when you arrive some place else.”

This quote comes from some combined wisdom of Yogi Berra, Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, and our office’s Uninspirational Calendar.

We need a destination.

Without a destination, we have no direction.

Without a direction, we have no purpose.

Thankfully, Mountain T.O.P. has a purpose. We have visions and ideas; we have plans and outcomes. And, the best part: we finally have results!

Proverbs 16:9 says, “We can make our own plans, but the Lord establishes our steps.”

Mountain T.O.P. could draw up pages upon pages of plans. We could spend hours creating a vision, sharing ideas, and dreaming up desired outcomes. But, we ultimately have to depend on the Lord to make it happen; we have to lean into the discernment of Christ, graciously asking where his steps are taking us. I am choosing to believe that because these results we have at the end of the summer match those identified outcomes, the Lord is indeed establishing our steps. It is by the grace of God that we experienced success this summer.

He is the giver of good gifts, our great provider, our Shepherd, our sovereign Savior.

I have no choice but to believe that it was by the Lord’s goodness that after one week at Quest, 100% of our youth now believe they are an important person.

I am confident that it is the Holy Spirit that is transforming the hearts of summer staffers to pursue ministry.

I know that the Lord faithfully empowers our volunteers and staff members to truly meet all four needs of our families.

I am particularly thankful he gives us the means to capture not only the stories, but the numbers to prove these divine phenomena—the staff labor, the volunteers who help us with data entry, and the technology to keep track of it all.  

Anyone who has been involved—at any level—with this ministry surely has one story, or one hundred stories to tell. Whether it’s about a transformative experience with the Lord or a deep connection made with a stranger, whether it’s sweat-stained moment or tear-stained moment, it made an impact on you. These are the kinds of stories that raise the hair on your arms because you just know that it was an act of the Holy Spirit.

We cannot deny that stories connect us: they draw us together and help us relate to one another. However, there is more to share. This hard data adds another dimension to the stories that we love to tell. These numbers and statistics complete the picture of ministry that took place this summer. I invite you, as you read through this Outcomes Report, to fill in the space between the numbers with your stories. Partner your Mountain experience with what the numbers say.

We are excited about what you’re about to read. We are excited because the Lord is good and has showed us, for the 42nd time, that he is always able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine.

It is only by the grace of God that we have made a difference. We—you, this Mountain T.O.P. community, this kingdom of God—have made a difference.

Rachael Osborn, Mountain T.O.P. Communication and Assessment Coordinator Americorp VISTA

Click here to read the 2016 Summer Outcomes Report.

Click here to give to the 2016 Giving Campaign.